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For me this has been one of the most puzzling aspects of living. The need for assurance, reassurance, security, safety has had an iron grip on my decisions. If I am safe enough, if I can careful enough, I will not die. Ever.
How can I best move in the world in a way which will most clearly insure that I am not at risk? As my eyes scan the horizon, I am like a primitive, I am child like. I am like a surviver of old wars. Where is the danger? How do I blend in, stay in the centre of the herd, avoid catastrophe?
In actuality, most of the shattering, panic inducing damage has already been imprinted on my body and subconscious. The flack jacket of caution and indecision is thrown over a body already carrying broken bones, familial trauma and the woundings of childhood. The war I fear has already happened to me.
I have come to know that my urge to protect myself is actually quite silly. It is like having a phobia to clowns when you live in a circus. And yes 15 clowns can get in one tiny car.
So the issue of what particular decision I make precisely now has to be detached from perceived merit. If I do this thing, in the future I anticipate this particular reward.
I have come to see that kind of linear, protestant, constrained energy has not served me. I have come to see that I cannot anticipate which pulses I send out into the universe will eventually have an intended efficacy. How can I know what lessons I need to learn?
As I look back at 73 years of my life, I see that in the moment I frequently had no idea what I was experiencing, what I was going through. There was no way of judging if it could be assessed as a good thing, a neutral thing or a damaging experience ultimately.
The body itself is the greatest compass for travelling in the stormy confusions of stories we tell ourselves. The body reacts to that which is an assault on our well being. Always.
If the breath is present in a gentle, fulsome way; if the body is not releasing cortisol and adrenaline; if the body feels grounded and solid, there is no need to use the mind to assess anything. The mind is like the relative who shows up and repeatedly tells old stories. Everything becomes a mind worm.
If the body is excited and in love with the project, the ideas, the creation of a new experience, then the worthiness of moving into this new engagement will show itself eventually.
Knowing that the value of a situation cannot be understood by the mind is so much simpler. Only a deep engagement with the present allows full, complete trust.
As I stack stones one by one to create a garden wall, I feel the sun on my back. Overhead a fifty year old maple tree has green baby fists of leaf buds. Everywhere around me birds are telling one another stories. My body tells me peace. My mind has stopped assessing and just sleeps.