You all know the term,'spooning', allowing and encouraging your body to curve, mold and encase another's so that they become warm nooks & crannies for each of your limbs. Your forehead fitted into the nape, the smell of the pheromones that intoxicate you. The other's heartbeat lulling you and your responding lips to sleep. Becoming familiar extensions of each other. Having lived together side by side, job-free, breathing the same summer air 24 hours a day for 76 days spooning...well the untethering is brutal. It is reminiscent of a phantom limb that you insist is there, when it is not.
With many of our creative, over-active imaginations who knows how long or if it was ever there to begin with.
You know that bubble gum effect of our hearts and noisy minds; webbed, stretched, fibrous, gummy, sticky residue of emotions pulling off. Especially when you were fooled into believing you were both working to understand this phenomenal bond... Every image, every selfie, every memory has you both smiling cheek to cheek. Pulling off the gum of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine is by far one of the hardest habit reversals we ever face. Especially the inside voice and thoughts that person was a receptor for, when you have no other confidante.
When you love big and hard you are like, Atlas holding that love, that world, that dream, high up over your head, so high, so high, so high that when your arms can't bear the weight any longer and you bring them down you are shocked to see - your love never came down with you.
Now in Puerto Rico, and probably quite a few other places in the world, we have a saying that you can remove a nail with another nail. Some of us disconnect from lovers in our lives by giving that love away to someone new. In fact some say you can't give romantic love to the new without taking it away from the old. Just look at the premise of the new film, My Old Lady with Maggie Smith and Kevin Kline. Some of us disconnect by substituting one human vessel with another. And if you are alone in struggling with the habit reversal and your partner is not, the chances are that your partner has moved on by doing just that. Especially if they have verbalized the desire to be with others to you often or have even admitted as much.
These toxic heart things would be difficult for anyone no matter how tempered and resilient. Now fast-forward to the world becoming too big, too alienated, too spiritual-less, too screen-addicted, too lonely. Fear, fear of world crisis, fear of being female, fear of being alone, growing old, fear of living. Anxiety cases growing astronomically globally and more of us experiencing panic attacks than ever before. What do you do?As creatives this is especially difficult. No need for an art history lesson and the revelations between creativity, love and madness.
You'll hear so many suggestions. 'Love yourself', 'Find yourself' as though feeling like you won't survive this love means you don't love yourself. Of course you love yourself, if you didn't how else could you have come to love truer with as much forgiveness, dedication, loyalty, ferocity, and faith-driven persistence not letting go too easy. Those who love themselves are the one's working to hold it together, forgiving lies- once, twice, being made a fool and holding love up over their heads.
Don't misunderstand me, there are definitely many of us who do not love themselves. In fact, I would venture to say they are often the one's 'at war with love' stringing us along, vacillating, not sure of what they want, using you here, not wanting you there, being inconsiderate of you and what you do, breaking hearts like irresponsible bulls in china shops. They are the ones who need to be told to go find themselves, love themselves, and learn to be whole and present before trying to make a life with someone.
So what do you do? You'll close up, clam up, sleep, cry, cry while you sleep, walk lots of walks, cry while you walk, and lock yourself up. When it feels like weeks have gone by and you are still in a state of raw pain you'll hear the words 'meds' and imagine the hospital gown and the cold flush of a tranquilizer shot soothing you into slumber. And for some this may be the way, especially when anti-depressant prescriptions are so readily dispersed. But for me the question was how to heal without intervention.
That has become my determination.
And I would like to share this journey with other creatives hurting - so no one has to feel as alone and misunderstood as I have, even while you know the one true thing you loved has left you, staged your reality, and is giving all the beauty you bestowed upon their brow away to another.
First I would like to start with sharing tactics that have been helping me in my next few blog posts, things like how to write, draw, paint when you have no drive. How to use routines and healthy habits to create and maintain habit reversal. That doesn't mean I'm no longer waking up at 3, 4 or 5 am with heart racing realizing in hyper-speed that my life as I knew it and my dreams have been radically altered. I am still in mourning of the living- but the process has picked up momentum, and I have slowly reclaimed my mind and find myself laughing more than crying, or have less and less moments in which I am pestered and plagued by fixated thoughts & replays of betrayals.And as you look at the sketchbook page above, I'd like to offer a different way of seeing it- as opposed to soul-gutted. You see being able to truly LOVE couldn't possibly be pain free. And that is not necessarily a bad thing.
Buddhism, 5th century brain science, has the Buddha enduring suffering and it was that very poison turned to medicine the brought him to enlightenment. Now I KNOW THAT IS EASIER SAID THAN DONE and the how as I learn it is what I want to share.
As a young Buddhist recently articulated, it weren't for cellular muscles ripping/tearing when you work out we wouldn't grow stronger- the 'tear' of a muscle the two major ways are that contractile proteins (actin & myosin) are damaged which is ESSENTIAL part of synthesis for making the muscle mass grow. And for those of us creatives especially the sculptors, you know the often powerful result of putting a material through stress like hammering heated metal into form to forge a beautiful sword. Perhaps my sketch is recognizing the essential pain of being CAPABLE of loving empathically and truly.
So for too long I have been seeing myself as the rumi quote -
'The friend comes into my body Looking for the center, unable to find it, Draws a blade and strikes anywhere'This is me perceiving myself as wounded and scarred by someone I trusted. Though that may actually be - it has also given way to scarification that has made me tougher, clearer, stronger, and in awe of what I am capable of resurrecting from. Many who misunderstand Buddhism believe that it encourages no earthly attachments. It's not the case we will have desire and we will have attachments - it is the ability to affect the mind so as not to be GUTTED by the suffering of those attachments that leads to enlightenment and the suffering is essential to obtaining the transcendence.
Instead I want to share this quote: