There is a common misconception that strength means 'impervious' and similar such adjectives somehow construing that strong people have transcended the usual human conditions and no longer have lapses of depression, self-pity or worse, have completely recovered from and enjoy the amnesia of the usual or unusual traumas of life. But that's bullshit. The strongest people I know are those who have suffered and continue to put themselves 'out there' because they believe in life, love, the generosity and compassion of humanity and that not everyone is a colossal asshole and sifting through the rubble is worth it even though if you get tetanus or worse, a papercut on your tongue. Those fuckers hurt.
The walking wounded recognize each other. We don't wear team uniforms; unnecessarily redundant. It's in the lines in our faces, around our eyes where they catch the tears, the grief and the exhaustion and circle around our mouths where they capture our rueful chuckles and smirks of surrender to reality. This is life and we didn't sign up for it, except perhaps at the dawn of time during some kind of karmic powwow where I saw you and you and you and thought you were awesome and a bright new soul (and you, me) and I could never predict you might become a colossal asshole rampaging through life destroying everything in your path including yourself and I was just in the way and you didn't recognize me because I wasn't wearing our gang colors. I love you anyway, even if you don't know me. It doesn't change the volume of tears but it does change the enthusiasm with which I enter into new agreements and relational contracts. I think that's part of the learning process, spiritual schooling, if you will.
There is a duality to my nature that those who are...I won't use the word lucky...but perhaps, patient and tolerant enough to endure my frailty and flailing, able to see that the rest of the world, no matter how much they think they know me, never will. There is so much that I do give to everyone that they assume I have a natural gift and complete lack of discretion for dissecting and filleting my everything for public consumption that they don't realize, likely because there's just SO MUCH there, that it's only a part of me. They have some insights into the cracks, nooks and crannies but there are things about me that people who've known me my entire life will never see perhaps because I don't even know it myself. Truthfully, I try to spare them of so much of it because pity parties are exhausting and completely unproductive and when I love someone, it's spirit, mind, heart and soul and that means being unbelievably vulnerable and the very things that you're most vulnerable about, those tender buttons, are the very thing they can and often do use against you when you least expect it or it's most expedient to them and I've had enough of that for several karmic incarnations, thank you. And yet, and yet, I still try. I still want love, to be loved, to give love.
I have a fairly recent interest in the metaphysical properties and energy frequencies in crystals and stones and how they relate to our own energies, auras, chakras and meridians and at the moment, it fascinates me to no end. It's a fairly inexpensive hobby if you don't lose your mind bidding for the rare stuff on Ebay but among the metaphysical community you make friends fast with some great benefits. Their generosity is quite astounding, actually, and some of the best crystals I've ever received were actually surprise gifts with purchase. One stone I had a quick affinity for and attraction to, I actually did purchase, called a Herkimer diamond quartz, the authentic stones only being found in a mine in Herkimer, NY. The high frequency of the stone is such that anyone can feel the 'buzz' and it's quite stimulating. It's fun.
The unusual thing about these stones is that unlike other quartzes, it grows from a type of umbilicus so you have an extremely clear crystal with a more often than not little scar, or belly button at the bottom of the crystal. Termination points (the pointy ends) focus the energy and double termination points (one at each end) makes a relationship of give and take with the energy of the stone to you and back to it or the user if they're using it in energy work, like Reiki. Couples can actually get a pair and program them with spiritual or mental images of their love for each other and the beloved can actually 'feel' that loving energy when they hold the crystal. I love this idea and one day would like to put it to the test. I like my own personal singleton Herkimer diamond quartz and carry it in a little bag with me and play with it like a talisman or worry stone and the more I meditate the more I feel that addictive 'buzz'. I'm told that's because my own frequency or vibration is aligning with the Universe or Source or even the crystals themselves and it's not the crystals that have changed at all but me. Which is cool. These vibrations can be measured, both in the stones, in animate and inanimate objects, including me. It's quantifiable, and scientifically proven which appeals supremely to the geekette in me.
So today was a not so very good horrible bad awful day and on my ride home from a mostly unproductive six hours, I played with my stone and had a good cry in the car. I used to spend a great deal of crying and grieving over the loss of my husband's love, the loss of Spooky Oats' love, the loss of half my family, and for a long time my health and I was fairly tired of all of it and wanted some semblance of a healthy happy life so I decided that the tears had to stop and I had to try something new and I set out on a linear path that ended up being more like a game of Twister, only worse, the sheet was upside down and I had sudden unexplainable color-blindness. In the end (although I don't consider the end 'the end' until I take my last breath) of the beginning of this journey or path, I decided that all of this crap had to stop. I had to patch up the cracks in my heart, my psyche, my body and energy fields, and get ready for a newer better Lainey, a Lainey 2.0, a Super-Lainey but I forgot that all those seemingly negative things are all part of the human condition and there was nothing wrong with the tears, the anger, the loneliness; it was just part of the process of dealing with shit. I had to stop being so hard on myself and accept me for me because I was magnificent even in the depths of my sorrow and that sorrow would end. The well had a bottom, I was in it, the only way out was up and I was climbing, breaking a few nails along the way, cursing up a storm, stopping for a few tears, wiping them away and kept climbing.
I talked to my angels, I talked to my spirit guides, I talked to my spirit animals, I talked to my intuitive friends, I talked to Father God and Jesus and Buddha and Krishna, and Shiva, et al;, Spirit and Universe and the Vortex and everything and as is typical of me since even before I could enunciate the word 'vocabulary' I relaxed and began to recover little by little. There are fits and starts and a great many leaps backwards after a few teensy steps forward but I see progress and I do see that I do indeed like and even love me, the me that is dualistic, and strong and vulnerable and weepy and clingy and aloof and loony and I held this Herkimer diamond in my hand while driving home thinking about all these things and absentmindedly brushed my thumb across the unlovely little bump, the belly button of the crystal that isn't as uniform or smooth as the rest of it, the scar, the evidence of the beginning and the frailty and flailing and I felt a jolt and a stupidly silly epiphany that the truth is not in the superficial, the perfectly formed beauty without flaws. It was the flaws themselves, the very things that make us vulnerable and sad and thoughtful, the cracks, as Leonard Cohen sings in Anthem,
'Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget
your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That's how the
light gets in. '
That IS how the light gets in. Where is the joy in flawless perfection, where is the relatable truth of our commonality, where is the warmth and comfort of the cold, austere and rare? How much have I or you overlooked because we're looking for perfect and rare and untroubling and easy when the deepest beauty and joy is the brokenness. This is the source of our strength should we recognize and embrace it and realize that, THAT is our beauty and our perfect offering to the world, to Spirit and to ourselves.