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My sleeve is soaked in salinated surrender

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Attrition

Not having a human being hold you once in a while is very damaging to the human psyche

I don’t know how I’m still alive

Between numb

I can’t sleep. The body wants rest. My back hurts. My brain lulls. The heart beats, fast.

I think it’s my meds? I think it’s my bed? Still adjusting to the new dosage and man I don’t know if I like it. My bed is too damn soft and yet it’s too much of a pain to take off this huge topper.

They’re renovating the apartments next to mine and they play this really loud obnoxious Mexican music. Looking outside it’s gloom and I’m on my way to work with an uneasy stomach.

I need to do my laundry.

Wake Up Retreat #4, 2019

Where do I begin.

I have recently been very closed off from my feelings and from my experience of life lately. Especially when going to Deer Park, I mentally prepped myself to be detached. Detachment is the same as attachment, just the opposite end of things. You forfeit one experience for the other. But I’m also just tired. I’m tired of feeling. Feeling is a lot. And I’m tired.

What do I say about this retreat. Overall it was nothing new. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But it just felt as I would expect. My life has changed, my practice has changed, what I want or desire and most importantly how I feel has changed. It had all the quintessential experiences of a retreat. But my ability to embrace them fully and experience them in a way that I had in the past, was not there. And can never be the same.

Learning to let that go is part of it, and learning to embrace and enjoy the experience in a healthy way is also part of it. Can I enjoy this non novel experience and still appreciate it for what I so valued when I first attended the retreat in 2016? That is the main challenge. Can I not be jaded? How do I authentically not be jaded when I am authentically jaded?

To me, it’s like, I go there, I feel happy, and then what? What’s next? I come home, and it is all gone. It is different. The people are gone. The environment is gone. You come back. I know this. I’ve done this three times before already. Yet this time the power of my suffering is so strong.

In writing this, I just don’t want to talk about it. I just don’t want to talk about this and that and feelings and perceptions and embracing and all that. I’m tired. I’m tired of looking at beautiful women and feeling lonely. I’m tired of looking at beautiful men and feeling lonely. I’m tired of making wonderful brief connections and having them fade away slowly over the months. I’m tired of having hope and being open to happiness, because the expectation of the fallout is more than enough to deter me. I’m tired of seeing other people’s accomplishments and thinking I’m a trash human being who deserves nothing.

The first two days I did not attend morning meditation or walking. I slept in and attended breakfast and then did working. I wasn’t keen on meeting new folks or being happy, just wanted to be with my closed off self. I wanted to spend time alone. I did not want to crave or run towards social interaction. In fact, it’s what I’ve been avoiding I think for the past couple of weeks. With all of that known, Deer Park never fails to open you up a little bit.

In between some songs, being hugged and loved by friends, smiles while walking, no phone use, chess in the tea room, joking around and running my mouth with Jabier and Amalija and Brandon, sneaking into an extra bed in the dorms with them + Diep and Sean and Andres, my heart did open some. It opened more than I wanted it to, and there was nothing I could do to fight it. Nor, did I want to. From walking out of orientation, the first one to leave, directly to bed, to smiling and hugging and allowing myself to feel connected to the community, Deer Park had run it’s course as it always does, even as I didn’t want it to when I first got there.

And again now I am back, having to practice what I preach. I don’t want to acknowledge and feel the things that normal society makes me feel and it is even stronger than before.

I just. There are things I want that I am tired of admitting to myself over and over again. I want to hide away from everyone and distract myself again and self medicate because I just don’t want to feel certain things. Am I okay? Not really but it’s okay that I’m not okay and I hate when people ask and I’m like yeah its whatever and people are like oh no im so sorry i hope you feel better well, It’s really not about feeling better. It’s just. I need to not be pressured so hard to be something else.

 

spaciousness

its very difficult to create the “spaciousness” that teachers talk about around my emotions

to simultaneously acknowledge their validity and to tell them they belong, while not buying into the stories they are telling me.

I’ve always bought into them, hard.

Help me to keep my money.

One skill divided

Have you ever been told to stifle your feelings? That when they come up, you are supposed to become stoic and unexpressive, to not give in to the sways of human emotion?

Have you ever been encouraged or given understanding and compassion for feeling your emotions and expressing yourself? Are you able to express yourself with others and be heard?

These are practices of pausing and feeling. But when we separate them, they are ineffective. We pause but we do not learn to feel, so we become numb and averse, letting things bottle up to explode later. When we feel but not pause, we become unhinged and reactive, unaware of the misperceptions in our sufferings.

We must learn to do both. Every one of us, to stop when we feel, and to allow ourselves to feel, and to stop again, and to continue to feel. Our emotions are a survival strategy not always well suited for the struggles of modern life. To live and love with the best clarity, we must build this clarity within ourselves.

Pause and feel, feel and pause.