Monday, December 16, 2013

Don't Use Writing To Get Love - Or Anything Else

Heart on Fire, Austin TX
I have been haunted lately by one of Natalie Goldberg's classic mantras:

Don't use writing to get love.

A few weeks ago I got a reminder on yet another even-more-subtle level, that I can't use teaching - nay, anything - to get love, either.
I don't know about you, but I can use just about anything to try and get love.

I am not talking about consciously seeking acceptance or being wanted. I am talking deep, deep down in crevice, corner, inner-child seeking love missile. Empty whole in belly quality. I think I have taken care of it but then I get stressed out and LO! this issue is still there.

What does it look like when I use writing/creativity/personality/work/achievement/meditation to get love?
It looks like seeking. It feels like clinging. It feels loaded, and deeply draining. It feels not-as-fulfilling as it used to, though that, too, can be a trap. It feels like I want something that I think is there and yet, and yet - I don't have it. 

Again, it is subtle, barely recognizable, but when I crashed and broke down a couple of weeks ago, underneath I knew it was more than just my schedule - more than trying to teach a full set of in-person classes and online classes after two weekends in a row of being in residency in Toronto.
It was something else, and a hint was when I said, as a parting comment to my Toronto writing students:

"You have my heart. My wife wants it back."

I wasn't kidding. That was a sweetheart group, and I gave my heart willingly.

But. I give everything. I give all. A peer/colleague of mine remarked that when she used to give all, people just wanted more. Now that she gives a more measured amount - for her own survival's sake as well as for the health of her students - they actually respect her more and don't ask for more than she gives.
I know it is time to change course, again, to come around this particular bend, and see if I can unlock some of the energy that is deeply tense in me, clinging to the understanding that I have to be good in order to be loved. Even more deeply: that I am not already good. Only work, only good works, will get me goodness. Only that goodness will get me love.

I am deeply loved and I deeply love many others. I know this. Just about every part of me knows this. Except her. Sweet, shy, scared shitless mini Mimi who is a bottomless pit, what is called in Buddhism a hungry ghost, who can never get enough love. She's doing a lot better than ever in the past, but sometimes she takes over the wheel when I get stressed. It's time to re-train my driver, meditate more, listen to my intuition and connect with all that deep love.

When I remember I am good enough, and it is already there, then I stop using anything to get more love.

1 comment:

  1. This is absolutely fantastic, Miriam! Right/write on... Kristina