Years ago when in my twenties, I left New Jersey and a controlling Greek father behind, and drove, with a college boyfriend, to a small midwest town named Iron River, Wisconsin.
We lived for almost a year in a small cabin type home in the woods, along with another young couple. What could be more exciting and new?
What started out as just a vacation ended up being more. I worked at the local fishing pole factory, since jobs there were scarce. My days involved wrapping wire around fishing poles, and inadvertently inhaling solvent based glue without proper ventilation. (Back in the early 70’s).
After work each day, a few of us would go to the local bar, chow down on their home-made soup, and play billiards. I actually got pretty good at it, and even bought my own collapsible cue stick. I even enjoyed the nickname, “Wisconsin Slim!”
What can I say, big fish….small pond!
So, after some pool and commiserating with the locals, I would head home, and take out my guitar, take it easy, get dinner going with the others, and enjoy some intimacy with the man I was on this adventure with.
Winter came fast and temperatures dropped to an arctic thirty to sixty below zero on the average. Going outside required serious layering and care in preventing frostbite. We used snowmobiles to get around the snow-covered landscape. The sky at night was blazing with more stars than I ever knew existed! I even got to witness the Aurora Borealis.
Today I wouldn’t last a day in that environment. Both physically and emotionally! But there is something about that past, something I wished I could recapture. Was it passion? A carefreeness that transcended the environmental challenges? On a certain level, I was living, I was experiencing life, but the passion I felt was more about relationships, my late-budding sexuality, with an infusion of drama.
However, there is something there I miss. Maybe it was the ability of my young body to adapt easily to different and often imperfect environments. When I think of the time and energy I have spent in the last few years trying to make my environments less stressful, because of my growing sensitivities. Back then I was exposed to all kinds of pollutants, chemicals, cigarette smoke, not to mention the people and their special brand of toxins and imbalances. And, I was very much asleep.
I feel the irony, and now I can fully appreciate the expression, “Youth is wasted on the young.“
My passion, for the most part, was from outside myself, whether it was a job, career, relationships, even drama was a form of passion, igniting emotions that made me feel alive. Sure, I enjoyed being the artist and musician, and I did express my soul through those forms, but the rest of the time, I was deeply entrenched in the story.
Now, in this awakening, and embodied enlightenment, so many of us have for the most part moved beyond the drama, and find ourselves feeling passionless. Wondering where it went. Hoping it will come in soon so we can feel alive. If we were more healthy, had more energy, and if we were more financially abundant, we then could truly enjoy life. Or if the right job came along that suited more of who we are now. Or even the right relationships or partnerships. Someone to enjoy and share who we are.
And absolutely, as the human, we deserve anything that we consider important to our joy. But we are discovering that our joy, the true joy that we gave permission to finally feel, does not reside in any of those things. Because looking back, I had all of those things, the health, the relationships, the careers, money, but I was not really feeling the full joy that is my birthright. I was troubled. I was confused. I was deep into distractions.
HAPPINESS IS WITHIN, BUT WE CAN’T DO WITHOUT
In spite of being pummeled with the adage that happiness is within, we also know that we need certain physical conditions in order to want to stay here in the physical. But by now we also know that enlightenment isn’t just about being an improved human…better health, more money, more opportunities.
So we have gained a great deal of wisdom in this process. Including the wisdom to not get entangled in or distracted by our old story. By our mind trying to convince us that it, and only it knows what’s best for us. We are discovering that there is a new relationship forming between the beautiful, conditioned, limited human and the beautiful eternal, limitless self. And that, although they are polar opposites, like any relationship, there is a period of time needed to get to know each other, and there needs to be a mutual trust and respect.
It’s taken me a while, but I have discovered that my soul’s joy is not diminished by a less than perfect environment or a less than healthy body. I have discovered that I can tap into my soul’s joy and carefreeness and confidence, regardless of imperfect circumstances in my life. What I am feeling more seems to be a passion for life, just for being alive, for being here. Even when I am not ‘doing’ anything in particular. But it does seem to involve allowing myself to feel the sensual nature of life. At times it blows me away. My mind didn’t quite know what to do with it, so I would tend to push that joy aside, only allowing it for short periods of time. But those times are increasing. That’s the trust growing.
And as I reflect on the past few years, I have moved beyond the depression. I have never felt more lighthearted. Things that used to bring me down don’t affect me like before. Others trying to wield power or guilt onto me, or emotional abuse…well, they are no longer in my experience. So much of my mind’s fears and concerns, while still there, are becoming more background. Physically, the chronic fatigue has been gone for almost five years now. My body has shed the extra weight on its own, without any dieting or exercise…in fact these days I am pretty sedentary and I don’t deprive myself of my treats. I still have some physical issues that are uncomfortable, some which trouble and sometimes scare me. I still have sensitivities to the environment. But I know that it’s just a matter of time before they too come into balance. And if they don’t I am not going to let that stop me, as best as I can, from experiencing the joy that is my birthright. As long as I am here on the planet, I want to feel my true passion.
Enjoy, To Fall In Love Again, from Simply Divine
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