On Fearlessness – Torn

I seem to have a current theme related to the notion of being torn apart and the idea of somehow having having seams that could rip.

I have no idea if other people can relate to that notion or visualize the feeling, but when I am in a state of disarray, it almost always comes with this notion of being torn apart or being faced with a precipice of some sort. A chasm within which my schism can fully evolve and dance with itself.

Some may call it duality. In the Shambhala Buddhist community that I grew up in, it was often referred to as the “Genuine Heart of Sadness”. That inherent longing that’s part of our human nature and is always present when we take the time to slow down and let it be. I no longer practice within that community because of a series of trauma-related incidents (there is a long history of abuse and sexual assault you can read about in this Walrus article). Still, I believe there is a lot of validity to many aspects of Buddhist teachings, including things like this:

The genuine heart of sadness comes from feeling that your nonexistent heart is full. You would like to spill your heart’s blood, give your heart to others. For the warrior, this experience of sad and tender heart is what gives birth to fearlessness. Conventionally, being fearless means that you are not afraid or that, if someone hits you, you will hit him back. However, we are not talking about that street-fighter level of fearlessness. Real fearlessness is the product of tenderness. It comes from letting the world tickle your heart, your raw and beautiful heart. You are willing to open up, without resistance or shyness, and face the world. You are willing to share your heart with others.

Fearlessness is such a difficult thing to understand, embrace, and live by. It requires putting ourselves in uncomfortable positions and really challenging ourselves. We need to push ourselves to understand that what we perceive to be real is actually the byproduct of years of conditioning, trauma, experiences, and so on so forth. Embracing fearlessness is a lifelong path and it takes time, dedication, and intent in order to practice is successfully.

My biggest practice of fearlessness revolves around trust. Trusting people, trusting myself, trusting the basic goodness in the world, and trusting that generally everything is and will be OK. So many situations arise where the black and white thinking of my brain creates a problem that doesn’t quite exist. At least not in the format I visualize it in. I project into my feelings of helplessness and expectations. When situations arise, as they often do, where I’m confronted with a sense of despair, I always feel torn.

Torn

gazing through windows
which side is
the one you’d wish to be on?
they say the grass
is always greener on the other side
but the grass here
is dying as the earth freezes

how can you know
where the grass
is greener
when you live
in a concrete jungle?

my patchwork
goes through phases
and fantasies
of worlds i don’t fully inhabit
privy to dirty laundry
aired only for the observant
it’s a whiff of something foul
like a sock stuffed
down my windpipe

a constant ache
period pains
on steroids in my soul
an incessant reconstruction
of broken chords
and weaker promises

how can i reconstruct
when my sandcastle
is constantly
washed away
by the tides of
misconceptions
and misspoken words

what does it mean
to do things
my way?
is there a highway
in the case that
one party can’t follow
off the beaten path?

my being
is here but not at all
all at once
an existence fraught
with whys and hows
i am desperate
to tear free
from the bindings and stitches
of my person

eons have passed
and yet differences
are but intellectualized
reasonings
that not even the
toughest lobster cracker
can shatter
to reveal the aching
pulsating
terrified thing
that is
your heart

Strange Times

Dear readers,

No matter where you may be in the world, chances are, we can currently relate to each other’s feelings.

Let’s be blunt: this shit is scary. I can personally admit that having a global pandemic, with the rampant fear-mongering and misinformation that has accompanied it, is, for many many reasons, as close to my living nightmare as any situation could get.

The world is grinding to a halt, and hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people will die worldwide. Millions of people will lose their jobs, and world economies as we know them may very well collapse. The list goes on… Many things are going to change, and the truth is that we don’t really know what the post-pandemic world is going to look like; many people have predictions, some more realistic than others, but right now we’re helplessly floating around in the giant sea of the unknown, and I know many of us feel totally and utterly lost.

I can’t speak for what will change in the upcoming months and years, but I can surmise that one very real thing won’t change: Us. Humans, living, breathing members of the Homo sapiens sapiens species. The inherent elements that bind us together as a species and have kept our societies running since the dawn of our era: love, compassion, understanding, passion, curiosity, solidarity, and all them incredible things that make us so unique.

We will continue loving one another, appreciating the little things in life, like the ring of someone’s laughter in our ears, the warmth that we feel in another’s smile, the burning desire when we hold our lover close. We will continue inspiring one another to keep on keeping on, to continue creating and appreciating art, music, creativity in whatever form it takes on for you. We will continue being present for those who matter the most in our lives, because that’s what life is really about, love and friendship, and partnership, and appreciation, and sharing all of those incredible things we so often struggle to put into words.

I, for one, will keep on creating and sharing my poetry and stories with the world because it’s my way of staying sane and keeping my life moving forward without giving into the total and utter panic that washes over me in waves.

You are not alone, we are not alone. We can weather this storm together, as societies, and as a species, and come out wiser on the other side. So let’s all take a moment to appreciate the little things and share some love (within reasonable social distancing measures, of course 😉).

And if you would like me to write a poem about a specific topic, or have a fun writing exercise you’d like to try with me, please shoot me an email at info@lilithember.com, and I will be happy to oblige. I will be writing from the comfort of my Love Nest, featured as the image of this article.

In love, lust, and solidarity,

Lilith. 🖤

Seule – for C

loneliness is like a bubble

sometimes all we need
is for it to pop, Pop, PoP!
like a kernel in the microwave

at first, inert,

it doesn’t look like much
then, from somewhere deep within
a heated force of overwhelming power
shines through and breaks the shell.

© 2019 Lilith Ember All Rights Reserved