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Weakness and Fear

“When people are least sure, they are often most dogmatic.”  — J.K. Galbraith

Weakness and fear make me defensive and dogmatic (adhering strictly to something).  I often find myself becoming strident and aggressive without any apparent reason.  I insult my acquaintances, hurt my friends, and even frighten the neighbor’s children.   In that moment, I may feel I am being strong and assertive, and yet the effects are just the opposite of what I had intended.  I am hurting, and so I lash out and wound others.

What am I hiding?  Why am I feeling threatened, vulnerable and weak?  I usually strike out when hiding my needs and fears.  I think that, if I attack, maybe I won’t need to let anyone in.  I start to make-up in my mind that if I let people in, they won’t love me; I feel unworthy and shameful.

I have come to find out however, that it is the strong that are tolerant and charitable and forgiving.  As I continue to grow in confidence and strength, I will find that I too am able to be flexible, patient and open with others.  I am striving to be strong, open, tolerant and loving.

The Terrible Beast and Me

 

 

“The terrible beast that no one may understand, came to my side, and put down his head in love.”     – Louise Rogan

 

There are times when it seems easier to give in to despair than to fight my way out of it.  I’m learning that the trick is to catch myself before I become so depressed that I’m incapable of acting.  For starters, I can ask, “What am I feeling? Am I angry, sad, resentful or feeling sorry for myself?”  There usually is real pain beneath my despair – pain that must be expressed so that I can let go of it.

I can also take good care of myself.  I can eat right, get some exercise, get out of the house more and seek kind and understanding people.  Talking through what’s bothering me and asking for what I need are good antidotes to despair.  Most of all, I can reach out for the consolation and strength of the Universe.

I may feel unworthy or hopeless and too tired to even care.  I may believe that nothing matters.  But things do matter.  I matter.  Life matters.  I don’t have to keep struggling with despair and depression alone.  I am grateful for this spark of hope within me that can never die.  Things will get better.

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Solitude

 

“Lift us, we pray thee, to thy presence, where we may be still and know that thou art God” – Book of Common Prayer

Sometimes, it’s as though I’m in the center of a bustling city, and then decide to leave. As I travel toward the more peaceful suburbs, there are fewer and fewer people. Finally, the city is behind me, and I’m alone. And since I can’t live in two places at once, I enjoy the pleasure of solitude by visiting the suburbs and pay the price of loneliness.

It’s the same when I leave behind the noise of my own thoughts and travel inward. By traveling inward, I’m referring to meditation and times when I just listen to myself; to listen to what my inner voice may be telling me. It takes courage to face solitude, a courage which the Universe gives to me only when I want to find what I can’t find when I’m surrounded by people or even just with my partner. Peace, inspiration, rejuvenation, nurturing, enlightenment, and strength – these are just a few of the gifts of solitude.

Beyond the loneliness, and the longing for others, I find the satisfaction of my company and the company of the Universe. I need these as much as I need the company of other people, and so I always seem to receive what I need to take the risks of solitude. You will too. There is nothing to fear in solitude. We may feel alone, but we never are.

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I Am a Vessel Containing Life

vessel-of-life

“What is the deepest loss you have suffered?  If drinking is bitter, change yourself to wine… And if the earthly no longer knows your name, whisper to the silent earth: I’m flowing.  To the flashing water say: I am.”  — Rilke

It’s not that I want the Universe to change everything about me or remake me to perfection. (OK, maybe I do). It’s not that I wish I was other than who I am, some days I even like who I am.  It’s more that I want to have faith in myself, a deep-down, constant faith that steadies me.  I want to have roots deep in the earth, not fragile roots of glass.

Strong and deep roots are made of self-esteem, hope, love, willingness, humility and faith.  My longing to be grounded in life may take the form of wishing I was not afflicted by defects of character, but that’s a cover-up for the deeper things I truly want.

Working on one’s self by undertaking an effort toward personal growth reorganizes one’s personalities, indeed one’s very soul, around new, spiritual principles.  We stay, to some degree, dysfunctional or defective and always will be, yet that doesn’t prevent us from possessing faith in ourselves and the courage to keep growing.

We are all vessels containing life.  We are vessels that have been shattered and mended, and will endure.

Better To Bend Than Break

 

 

There’s an old fable about the competition between the reed and the oak during a gale storm.  As the wind howled, the oak boasted, while the reed said nothing.  The wind became a tempest, and the reed bent down flexibly to the ground.  The oak fell, uprooted.

THE OAK AND THE REED

On the bank of a river grew a tall Oak Tree.
It stood with its roots firm in the ground,
and its head high in the air, and said to itself:

“How strong I am! Nothing shall make
me bow. I look down upon all the other trees.”

But one day there was a storm. The terri-
ble unseen wind came and struck the proud
Oak. Crash! went the trunk, down came all
the beautiful branches, and the Tree fell into
the river. As the water carried it away, it
passed by a Reed that grew on the bank.
The little Reed stood up tall and slender, and
looked at the poor broken Tree.

“O Reed,” said the Tree, “how did it happen
that you were not broken down and spoiled
when the wind came? You are so little and
weak, and I was so strong and proud.”

“Ah! poor Tree,” said the Reed, “that is
just the reason that the wind did not hurt me.
I bent low until it had gone by, but you stood
stiff, and tried to stop it on its way. No one
can stop the wind. It must go where it is sent,
but it will not hurt those who are not proud
and stubborn.”

It is better to yield – bend when logic demands it, or break [be destroyed] by pride.

Sometimes we seem strong but we are just being stubborn.  We become rigid in our moral positions and don’t even try to understand the problems of those around us.  We like to be thought of as uncompromising and tough.

Maybe we’re frightened.  Perhaps we fear that if we even start to compromise we will be lost; on sign of weakness and the dam will burst and we’ll be up to our old tricks again.

Don’t confuse rigidity with true strength.  To be strong we need to be tolerant, responsive, and gentle.  We need to be strong in a loving, flexible, human way.  This is a central part of one’s personal growth.

Interpreting the Runes ~ Uruz (Ur), Manhood, Womanhood, Strength, The Wild Ox


Uruz ~ Ur ~ Strength ~ Manhood ~ Womanhood ~ The Wild Ox

Uruz

The Rune of terminations and new beginnings, drawing Uruz indicates that the life you have been living has outgrown its form.  That form must die so that new energy can be released in a new form.  This is a Rune of passage and, as such,part of the Cycle of Initiation.

Positive growth and change, however, may involve a descent into darkness as part of the cycle of perpetual renewal.  As in nature, this progression consists of five aspects: death, decay, fertilization, gestation, and rebirth.  Events occurring now may well prompt you to undergo a death within yourself.  Since self-change is never coerced, we are always free to resist, remain mindful that the new life is always greater than the old.

Prepare then, for opportunity disguised as loss.  It could involve the loss of someone of something to which you have an intense emotional bond, and through which you are living a part of your life, a part that must now be retrieved so you can live it out for yourself. In some way, that bond is being severed, a relationship radically changed, a way of life coming to an end.  Seek among the ashes and discover a new perspective and new strength.

The ancient symbol for Uruz was the aurochs, a wild ox.  When the wild ox was domesticated, an incredibly difficult task, it could transport heavy loads.  Learn to adapt yourself to the demands of such a creative time.  Firm principles attach to this Rune.  At the same time humility is called for, since in order to rule you must learn how to serve.  Uruz puts you on notice that your souls and the Universe support the new growth.

Without ears to hear and eyes to see, you may fail to take advantage of the moment.  The result could well be an opportunity missed or the weakening of your position.  I may seem that your own strength is being used against you.

Uruz Reversed

For some, Uruz Reversed will serve to alert, offering clues in the form of minor failures and disappointments. For others, those more deeply unconscious or unaware, it may provide a hard jolt.  Reversed, this Rune calls for serious thought about the quality of your relationship to your Self.

Take heart: Consider the constant cycling of death and rebirth, the endless going and return.  Everything we experience has a beginning, middle and an end, and is followed by a new beginning.  Therefore, do not draw back from the passage into darkness: When in deep water, become divers.