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My dearest companions (poem)

Updated: Jan 24, 2023

Written on retreat in Boone, North Carolina on November 4th, 2022

Why am I writing this? Some need for validation and being heard? Or maybe something deeper, more fundamental. I look within and find the most basic of words.

Move. Act. Think. Speak. In essence, do something.

What is this programming? What is the goal? I know this restless feeling. It’s very familiar and has been here for a long time. Moving with no purpose, thinking for the sake of thinking.

But is it so? Could it really be for no reason at all?

The body speaks and gives up its aim. It yearns for safety, and distraction is its way.

Be distracted, do something, it says, in order to be safe and survive.

But I’m so tired of this. I just want to stop and be free, calm, peace. Is this not in the cards? Maybe it’s not possible in this lifetime or the next. Maybe I just can’t be free, so what’s the point of trying. If only there was a way through, I would cross it. But I can’t, no matter how hard I try, maybe because I’m the problem. I tried, but I just can’t. Despair, misery. Hopeless doubt. Peace is ever elusive.

So I sit in this space between the two yearnings. Allowing both. Be distracted to be safe, but stop to be free. Both programs feel like me, and I embrace them as innocent but misguided helpers. Now there is room. Now there is solace. Now, perhaps, there is a chance for freedom.

But wait. There’s more.

Another helper joins in. This one is particularly strong, and any sense of solace is now gone. Panic, terror, nothing but this primal need to exist. What if I disappear completely? Maybe let’s talk about that buzzing sound over there or something equally exciting. Distraction my old friend is here again to save the day.

Looking again.

Words pop in.

I need to be in control, otherwise game over. No more me. No more life. Only death, the unknown, and it seems this will be forever so. Dissolving, gone.

If only this wasn’t the case, I’d be free. If only I could control this. So, do something, do something, do something. It’s as if doing something protects against dissolving completely, disappearing into the void.

A deep yearning arises, the need to just disappear completely.

Just do it. Jump in. Freedom is here. I can taste it.

But I can’t. I just can’t. I’m afraid. I need to struggle, move, be useful, be purposeful. Be enough. Then I’ll be safe. And that is what will finally set me free.

Is it really so? The body tingles with release, currents of emotion pouring through and releasing long held contractions that felt like me, gone, as the words are noticed and allowed.

I need to dissolve, to die, to be free — and — keep going, survive, to be free?

So freedom is the goal of both sides pushing against each other? Is it really freedom all the way down? I thought it was turtles, or maybe just freedom loving turtles.

I welcome all these parts of me, innocent, misguided, freedom loving helpers. Constantly wrestling with each other, aiming to bring about peace and freedom but only furthering the divide

Thank you to my dearest companions

Thank you shame, for giving me a sense of control and protecting me from the vulnerability of feeling rejected and unloved.

Thanks you despair, for your gift of longing for truth and release.

Thank you doubt, for needing certainty above all else and protecting me from the helplessness of the unknown.

Thank you hopelessness, for showing me the importance of truly giving up.

Above all, Thank you fear and helplessness, for trying to keep me safe and protected so that I can live and be free. For fueling the constant struggle to survive, despite there being no need.

Welcome. Have a seat. Stay as long as you need. We will do this often, every moment, until it doesn’t feel like a doing anymore.

Just hanging out with my friends, my self, in the unknown, which no longer feels like anything at all.

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1 Comment

Clint Groves
Clint Groves
Nov 13, 2022

Outstanding. I was awaiting this since you told me you wrote it. I really needed this perspective shift nudge today.

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