As a poet from the age of 12, I have long been aware of – and a bit proud of – my affinity and long-term relationship with melancholy & longing.
These were my best friends through so many decades of my life.
One of the reasons I loved singer-songwriter’s music so much was that it was also infused and lit from within – with melancholy and longing.
From as early as I can remember, I knew that my job was to write – to paint with words – all the emotional terrains that we experience as humans; especially the unwelcomed, unwanted, unloved emotions.
To paint with words, the describe in sense-details the inexpressible emotions in the inner sanctum of a person’s heart – an impossible task, yet my task.
I dedicated decades to this craft and exploration.
I poured myself into this with abandon and absolute focus, though it was always a secret mission.
Whenever I did tell anyone of this calling, they often said things like,
“Okay, but how will you make a living? What’s the pragmatic application of this? What difference does it make? What do you do for fun?”
So I learned to not mention it much, and to do all the things on the surface that everyone required of me; work for a living, yada yada, but all that was a distraction and cover, until I could get back to my real work, exploring, observing, describing, writing all the poetry inside a heart and mind.
Later in life, I would see other women who had done all this but without the cover. They hadn’t hidden what they were doing. They were supported in it. By doing their mission out front, the people who could get what she was doing came forward, and stood by her. She had buffers and support while those other questions, that felt so invaliding to me, were asked, and together they incorporated the questions and the answers. That was not my path.
Sometime before the turn of the century, I was sitting at my desk one day when a thought occurred to me.
“Do I have the capacity and ability to be happy, to be loved, to have things go right for a prolonged time?”
I did not know the answer, but based on my experience, it didn’t seem likely.
I had had a number of tragic, difficult, traumatic events in my life, and mostly had not found a lot of real help with comprehending and getting seniority – not just not being whipped by them, survival, but mastery, wisdom, competence - with any of them.
But I had used them all to turn into a very well-endowed spiritual warrior, healer and energy reader, often known as psychic; not a fortune telling type, but a soul reader type.
Because so many things that had happened in my life were so difficult, I felt marked, damaged, possibly broken or incomplete, therefore ashamed and guilty.
All of these thoughts, determinations, conclusions and judgements meant, to me, that I had to hide all this, “until I got it all worked out,” and I had to so all that alone.
So many people’s specialty is the outside, the presentation, the polish and the extroverted face of things.
That is not my specialty.
My specialty is the interior, the back corner, behind the closet door, the hidden, resisted and “ignored”, a kind of hyper-resistance common in our culture.
I stopped listening to all my most beloved, consoling music.
It was like losing my oldest friends; the one’s I had been the most vulnerable with, and had spent the most time with; in whose company I had been shaped, molded and with whose ideals and values, I had bonded.
I started listening to Irish music, but the words were full of lamentation, loss, sadness, so I switched to Irish instrumental music. They even have a class of tunes with that lamentation built in. I found the Airs to be too gay and happy, sometimes, but at least none of it had much meaning for me.
All of it felt a bit shallow and interchangeable. That’s when I realized that repetition is how relationships, and meaning, are built.
I made a point of listening to music that had no emotional depth for me, to give me a chance to rewire my mental and emotional habit patterns.
I missed the immediate depth of recall, place, faces, experiences that came with the first 3 chords of a song, but I knew all of that was my past, and I wanted my future to be different.
For me to travel to the undiscovered country of going to bed smiling and waking up laughing, I had to change who I thought and said I was, and to do that, I needed new music, new art, new activities, new ways of spending my time, new stories of who I thought I was, and who and what I identified with and as.
All of this corresponded with the death of live radio – radio programmed by personalities, with their tastes, styles and no bean-counter doing the programming. The death of radio has been a huge contribution to the new isolation and loneliness of the modern age.
Shared experience is how we build friendships, bonds and community.
So many songs were like dear friends to me. I had devoted hours to learning the lyrics, learning to sing them, studying every nuance and inflection of the singer’s voice, read the liner notes cover to cover, more than once.
I poured hours of shared emotion and camaraderie with these individual songs, writers, albums.
They were as near to me as the air I breathed into my lungs, but I related to them, identified with and as them, more than most people in my life.
As I began to dedication myself to cultivating the ability to be happy, I saw how my identifying with the lyrics and songs I loved courted the melancholy, and challenged the capacity and ability to carefree or contented or happy.
Everything in my early life had been about resistance – resistance to being shunned, rejected, hurt, as well as resistance to being included with people I didn’t like or agree with. Resistance of what I thought you thought of me, of my looks, intelligence or potential.
Back when I was young, tall, blonde and blue, I got angry when guys liked me mostly for how I looked. It was clear that they could not see me, but only the skinny blonde with blue eyes. Infuriating.
Later, I got upset when my guy mostly liked me for my mind, and acted like my looks weren’t much, which is when I realized – I resisted being liked for my looks, I resisted being liked for my mind, so what was it okay to like me for? I did not have an answer for a very long time.
In the end, I came to see that I resisted every aspect of myself. I left no stone unturned, no bit of me un-plucked-at, and this bore a bitter drink – self-loathing, which turned out to have been my drug of choice for years.
Within a couple of years after this I began a training program that used ancient Egyptian mystery school techniques to teach modern people how to use the rest of our Selves – the part not captured by a camera necessarily, and not allowed to exist by the Time-Warner version of what a person is.
With the tools and techniques for healing that I learned in the mystery school, I started a daily
practice of self-healing, releasing energies, releasing others, oaths and energies that weren’t mine after all and/or were no longer for my greater good.
I didn’t start a fad of healing as much as I found my way of life – healing, releasing, liberating, enjoying, all on the road to havingness.
This havingness is not to be confused with consumerism and avarice.
Havingness is full. Full of appreciation, delectable, savoring, sated, satisfied, replete.
Havingness can be the fullness of a spoonful of rice, or a banquet table full of delicacies.
Havingness is not about quantity but about quality - fully receiving What Is.
There is a famous line about you can’t serve two masters.
I found in a million micro choices that you cannot be devoted to sadness, loss, melancholy, and loneliness and have a full life no matter what.
You can’t enjoy and savor all that is, if you’re more loyal to the past, or what’s gone, or what’s missing.
be that attuned to what’s missing, you have to blot out and miss a whole lot of What Is right in front of you.
Having found the language of how I am my body-spirit work, I have found the everything I was always looking for. It brings me the people, places and things that compliment and enrich my life, every day, as I comprehend and move as infinite being in this fantastic, fabulous body. And I love getting to share this with so many amazing, fantastic beings.
Thank you for your time & helpful comments.