clearskies, bluewater

Insights, reflections and creative imaginings for our awakening world

The thin rope between emotional states


Balancing between the old life and the new is big work, dear Readers. I don’t know how many of you are feeling somewhat the same, but if you are, I have total empathy for you. There are several things I could choose to write about this evening, as my life now is full of so many impressions and thoughts and ideas within the course of a day. But tonight I find myself wavering yet again, even as I am walking along that dangerously thin rope bridge which hangs so high above the vast, bottomless abyss of the unknown below me.

Denmark pulls at my heartstrings again tonight, calling me to remember moments there when I was happy, when Danish was in my ears, all around me, and even though it nearly constantly frustrated me with its difficult intonation and impossible pronunciation, I grew to love it in some strange sort of love-hate-love relationship. Three years and more of living in any foreign country has got to rub off on a person, after all, and those Danes got under my skin in a particularly fond way, I admit. I miss my friends there, and the kids that I taught at the little school. Of course you all know that I miss that man who remains there,even as I am now thousands of miles away on another continent. The other night I wrote that I was ‘way beyond self-help books by now,’ — well, I guess that was not entirely the truth.

What I meant by saying that is, that reading books and hearing phrases and even listening to others telling the ways to overcome one’s neuroses and issues and stuckness is all well and good, but until I take the words and make them my own reality and truth, they remain just nice words on the page.

walking_alone_by_pix_cel-d4pky45In other words, I can tell myself that Today is a New Day! Be in the present moment, don’t live in the past or the future. Be mindful. Remember to breathe. Let go of the past. Focus on what I want now for my life. Go beyond the little me, embrace the Divine Me! And so on and so forth, til the cows come home. But. What I am learning, every single day, in a hundred small ways, and a few big ones, is that I simply HAVE to honor where I am at NOW: in Each Moment of my life. Some moments I am really so fine, smiling, embracing the divine me, walking along, even singing a tune for no particular reason other than I feel glad. And then, at other moments, some trigger will get tripped, and the next thing I know, I am in pieces again. This is not the same as wallowing in self-pity for long periods of time, or anything like that. Perhaps I am finally comprehending the Buddhist exhortation to simply Be what you are Now. Whatever that is. If you feel angry, Be the anger. If you feel sad, Be the sadness. Don’t push away the emotions as they rise up, instead allow them to come, feel them completely, and then let them dissipate again. I am finding that this is the most useful method for dealing with all these emotional states I find myself in. Those old masters definitely knew their stuff.

Recently I read a highly enjoyable and wise novel, called The Humans, by Matt Haig. It is the story of a being from a faraway planet, which is based purely on mathematics and logic, who comes to Earth to fulfill a certain mission. This book is screamingly funny, and also poignant and very, well, human. Haig is a master at showing ourselves our human frailties and absurdities. One thing that has stuck with me from it, is that he (the otherworldly being) makes the observation that on Earth, everything is apparently a Test of one kind or another. The being cannot go anywhere or do anything or meet anyone, without being tested in some strange way. I really am in agreement with him about this. In some very real ways, Life on Earth truly is a whole series of tests and quizzes, designed to see if a person can jump through enough hoops and perform enough tricks well enough to ‘pass’ and so go on to the next level. Kind of like one of those computer games that are so popular, where the player must go through all sorts of dangers and enemies, in order to proceed to the next level. Trouble is, we really have no idea what actually exists on the next level, although it is a good bet there will be more of the same, only even trickier, once we get there.What a tiring game this thing called human existence is, all too often.

I watched a fascinating Youtube video the other night, by a man named Matt Kahn. Regardless of what you might think of him, he certainly made some salient points about human nature and the reason for being alive. At one point, he told the audience, so calmly and clearly, that our lives are really all about learning How To Live. That we actually do not really know how to live, and so we are here to learn how to do it. I have pondered this statement, and I agree with him. Our overall mission here is to learn How to Live as a human being. After so many lifetimes, you would think that we would have figured it out by now. But no. For I believe that if we had, life would not be nearly so difficult. Or confusing. Or painful. Or would it?

Related:  (the Divine Plan by Matt Kahn, worth watching!)


Author: SingingBones

When we sing over the bones, we are calling the wild nature, the instinctive soul back, singing it alive again. To live with our wildness intact, is the greatest gift a woman can give herself. "It is the holy poetry and singing we are after." C.P. Estes

8 thoughts on “The thin rope between emotional states

  1. On the subject of learning to live, a friend of mine said recently, “It seems the best thing is to be happy in your own skin.” I think truly mastering that would open the door to everything else. Maybe.

    I can empathize with your mixed feelings about Denmark, and of course about “the man who remains there.” I still feel that mix regarding Korea. Maybe I’ll go visit next year and experience it newly.

    Be well…


    • Hi Loma, thanks for your comments. I agree with what your friend said, about learning to be happy with oneself first. It is a day by day process now.

      It is exciting that you are considering a trip to Korea! I suppose your son being abroad helps with that decision too….It is so interesting for me to be in Denver now, after so many years away… sometimes old memories come up, but as you write, mostly I am experiencing it newly, and very positively. the idea of
      right timing is a key theme in life now. with love, Leigh


  2. Hi. The idea of ‘being’ the moment has always appealed to me and worked for me. Once when something bad happened to me, lots of people advised me to push it to the side and not think about it. Instead, I thought about it from every angle I could and afterward, I felt more in control and ready to turn myself to other things. Life is so weird. It can be so happy. But I find as life goes on it becomes a jumble of many feelings. All these, the glad and the sad, come like old friends to visit from time to time. I can’t say I always welcome them, but they are at least familiar. I wonder if you are planning to teach here? I am sure your students miss you as you seemed to have an affinity for teaching them. Jane


    • Hi Jane! Happy new year to you! thanks for reading and your comments. I agree about Life being so weird… and ironic and crazy-beautiful too. I so know exactly what you mean about experiencing all the emotions and that they are old friends, or at least familiar.
      As for teaching, the answer is yes! I have gotten a little beginning as a tutor for an after-school literacy program for elementary students who struggle with reading, so soon I will be able to be with children again and helping them learn better skills with English. I am excited about this!

      Jane, I thought about you and your work-in-progress with the novel today…. I hope it continues to go well! hugs, Leigh


  3. Learning to live, yes, …and the biggest thing we have to learn to to see and experience the world and ourselves as a unified WHOLE, not from the perspective of a separate being. Read THE MORE BEAUTIFUL WORLD OUR HEARTS KNOW IS POSSIBLE…Charles Eisenstein makes a compelling argument that this “mistake” is behind all our so-called problems….


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