"Experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn. My God, you learn." C.S.Lewis
"What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing." Aristotle
We take it for granted, I think. Or perhaps we aren't fully conscious of it, this powerful thing inside us that gets us to move, to do. We think nothing of putting forth effort to give ourselves a drink of water. We feel thirst, we get up, we fill our cup, we drink.
When I was young, I pondered why it was I couldn't bring a desire, a dream I had inside me to manifest. I'm here, I'd say to self, so very (seemingly) far away from what I desire. I was at point A, and didn't know how to get to point C, which I at first mistakenly thought was Point B. I didn't know Point B was the middle ground, the proving ground, the ground I had trouble navigating. I'd take a step into point B, and at the first sign of resistance, I'd give up. What was that I just bumped into? It's too hard, I'd say, I can't do it. Or I'd fool myself into believing that the resistance was proof that it wasn't meant to be. As a result, I'd find myself falling into some quagmire of disappointment, self pity, etc. Of course, I didn't put those two together until much later. At the time, I didn't even know those emotions were connected with my failure to do, to follow through. Now, when I find myself feeling disappointed in self, I very quickly ask myself what it is I failed to follow through on, because I don't like feeling that way. The quicker I nip it in the bud, the quicker I get back to feeling better.
It didn't help that I was told, frequently, "If you can't do something right, don't do it at all." I heard those words as "Be perfect." The frustration and impatience I sensed from the person who said them didn't help either. Like I was expected to win the race as soon as my foot stepped out of the gates. Of course that confused me, and brought with it feelings of anger and resentment, which had the effect of evoking that famous stubborn streak that runs in our family, with me inwardly crossing my arms and thinking, "Mmmkay then, I won't do it at all!" So there I was, making like a tree and taking root, not budging, but who does that hurt in the end? Unfortunately, it took me years to finally see that it only hurt myself, taking that stance. Anyone outside me wasn't touched by it at all. In fact, they'd completely forgotten about it. How rude!
It wasn't until I began writing that I finally became fully aware of that troublesome Point B area. For the life of me, I could not understand why it was that I could not produce on paper, in writing, the words I heard and saw so perfectly in my head. It was so easy in there, falling nicely into place, but the very moment I moved to put it on paper, manifest what was inside me, Point B came into play, where I noticed my words suddenly making a bumpy journey through some sort of weird atmospheric interference. I hadn't yet experienced "the Zone," that place of flow, where we drop everything else but what we are doing, surrender, and lose ourselves in it, where the art of what we are doing virtually trips all over itself coming out of us. I didn't know that Point B was the place we had to enter first before manifestation, before reaching the flow of the Zone. I didn't know Point B was the birth canal to manifesting our desire, our art, our expression.
As babies we are given water and food to quench our thirst and hunger. Then one day we hear our parent say the most confusing words, "get it yourself." (I've often thought it might be better if, instead, parents said, "Give it to yourself." But that's me, and I suppose it's a question of semantics, but I wonder if it would give a different message, and lesson, to a child.) Anyway, there is one tiny moment when confusion reigns, and we are brought to a halt with how to fulfill our own desire for water. We might even have to ask what appears to be a stupid question, "Where are the cups?" Never having given ourselves water, we may not know the steps to quenching our own thirst. Yet once we learn, once we do it, the going gets easier, and we give ourselves water without a second thought.
Some desires, some dreams, appear bigger than others, and may take a period of time to grow into. As much as we long for the maturity of adulthood when we are 13, we must grow into it, and take the necessary steps to get there. It is a gray area indeed, and one in which we feel the sense of maturity coming, and with our young hearts yearning, full of impatience, if not disciplined, we can impulsively attempt to step into it out of time. Yet even that is a lesson in itself, and teaches us, through the doing, when to wait, when to go.
Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of when I created this blog. The road to here, this moment, has not been easy. I've stepped through a shit ton of gray area to bring what I have inside me to manifestation here. My roommates and I were discussing it yesterday, one of them pointing out that if not for him buying me batteries, I wouldn't have begun it when I did. The only thing getting in my way at the time, I thought, was I didn't have the money to buy batteries for my camera. He bought them for me, and I ran out of excuses.
At this blog's inception, I had a different idea, a different direction, one with pictures involved, a kind of before and after kind of thing, but I now realize the premise was the same. To others, with their eyes pinned solely on outcomes, and winning the race, (whatever that race is. I've not been real clear on the matter), it may appear I've not been successful in this endeavor. Yet I see this landmark as a success in it's own right, and am proud of myself for sticking with it, even through the times when adhering to it wasn't so easy, and didn't always appear practical. I've been doing it. Walking that gray area. And I find myself growing into, and experiencing myself in a whole new way, as this practice finds it's maturity.
And a funny thing happened on the way to the well, to give myself a cup of water...my thirst was already quenched when I got there, for I had made the move on the desire like it was already a done deal. Which it was. The fulfillment of it, the actual drink, was nothing more than stepping into what was already there, had always been there, waiting for me.