Volatility: The Ground Beneath Us

Pema Chodron, one of my favorite teachers, if not the most favored, says the following:

“Ordinarily we are swept away by habitual momentum. We don’t interrupt our patterns even slightly. With practice, however, we learn to stay with a broken heart, with a nameless fear, with the desire for revenge. Sticking with uncertainty is how we learn to relax in the midst of chaos, how we learn to be cool when the ground beneath us suddenly disappears.”

My heart is a volatile ground. It changes, it gets filled with confusion and doubt. Frustration, anger, and sometimes feeling neglected or abused. It’s most certainly a broken heart. It’s been broken wide open for as long as I can remember.

I’m in a new relationship, it’s only 6 months old. He’s been so loving, kind and supportive towards me. Things have moved fast between us, with lots of love and acceptance. However, every now and then I fill up with the doubts. What’s going to happen? Is he really in love with me? I’ve listened to how his brother and the brother’s girlfriend have split apart and fought wildly and their relationship was just as new as ours. He’d proposed to her one week, the next, she was throwing her rings at him. I have wondered, “is it going to happen to us?” I am 2 years older than my lover, and in six months, I have seen that I am aging faster than he is. I have felt that my energy is not enough to keep up with him. When I looked over his shoulder the other day to see what was happening on his phone, I got to see a video about saving boobies and there were a whole ton of big, giant, young, beautiful, bouncing breasts that were in this awareness video. I had to walk away, as my heart broke again. I didn’t say a thing, but I felt the deficiency of my own saggy, tiny breasts weighing me down; standing between me and love.

Last night, he was telling me about our future plans. How he’s buying this piece of property up north and how once I get a job I can give him money to help him out. Ordinarily, I have a job. Right now, I’m temping for a property management group. I get placed in properties that are not far from me to help out in whatever capacity they need me in. I get paid $12 an hour, but he’s been encouraging me to pick up my yoga work. He’s supported me in saying that if I want to work on growing my yoga / healing business, I can. And so, I’ve been going at it working part time and spending the little bit of money I have to my name on supporting our household needs and buying things like this website, some business cards, and spending time looking at opportunities, developing ideas. I don’t get paid for the time I’m investing in growing the yoga stuff. So, when he made it clear to me last night that I should be looking to provide him with extra funds, I lost it.

I had a total and complete meltdown. This meant I’ve been wasting the last three weeks of my life. There’s been so much change, already, in this three weeks. First it was ‘get your real estate license’ and then it was ‘you’ll be Brodin’s caretaker and receive money for that while we live off the grid’ and then there was a hearing with the state about changing the status on my sweet heart’s license which affects our abilities to make plans for the future, and that didn’t go well. I’ve literally felt like I’m in spin cycle for a while. I can’t get situated. I can’t get very focused because the moment I do, things change.

I packed a backpack to leave last night. I didn’t know where I was going to go, but I was going to go. Perhaps I just wanted to escape the chaos and confusion. But it felt unreal as I made the motions to leave. It felt impossible. I stayed.

What is this all about? Did I melt down  because he wants some extra help from me and I already feel like I’m giving all I can? Is it that I feel like if I have to work full time there’s no fucking way I can continue to be a support to him because his job is so fucking brutal on him that it’s also brutal on me? Maybe. He brings home a lot of negative energy from his work because he’s surrounded every day by people who don’t give a shit about the work they do. All the incompetence around him makes him hate life, hate work,  hate people. If I focus my life on yoga, healing, meditation and creating more kindness and compassion in this world, will I be better able to handle his angst when he brings it home to me? Fuck ya. Can I help  him to let go and feel love and peace again? Yes, but not when I’m busy actually tending to my own stress and frustrations from working an unpleasant job I’ve been at all day.

Here’s the thing: I keep melting down when change happens. I feel like I can handle it all if I know what the plan is, and I can stick to the plan. When he told me he would like money from me last night, that changed the plans. If he needs money from me, I need to stop focusing on growing my yoga involvement and move towards finding a career I can live with. This ego of mine, the personality of Laurie McGill, wants stability. She wants to be involved with work she can feel good about – she does not want to spend her precious hours, days, weeks, and life dedicated to a position that actually creates more frustration and angst in people’s lives. Laurie wants to heal and the only way she can do that, she suspects, is by opening up her life to the healing path. It’s a walk of faith. I, Laurie, have to trust that all will unfold exactly as it should. That I have the power to handle the changes as they come at me, with grace. I don’t have to melt down. I can love my man no matter how brutal the job. I can wear myself out completely taking care of a household that does not actually belong to me. This life I’m in is a co-op. It only works as long as I’m willing to stay open, caring, trusting, and compassionate.

Truth: I’ve not been working my own spiritual healing enough. Not enough yoga, not enough meditation, and not enough money.

Solution: Get to meditating and then go get some yoga. Breath deep, find the internal peace, and trust that it’s all going to unfold in the best possible way. Whatever that way may be.

1 comment

  1. I completely empathize and sympathize with the nagging self doubt that comes with dating a younger man. Our whole culture teaches us that women are supposed to be young and beautiful and perfect to be worthy of a man’s love. The standards are unattainable. But you are beautiful inside and out. Even if he is looking at other women’s breasts for fun, I bet he loves yours the best because they are part of beautiful you. It is the soul connection that matters, not the bodily one (although that can be a comfort, too).

    Laurie, if there is anything I can do to help–with your yoga-teaching career (I’ll be your student any time!), with life, with whatever you need, please let me know. You are a gifted yoga teacher. I hope that you will pursue that dream, if not here, then in Colorado or wherever your travels take you.


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