This rotation around the sun is nearing its end but the spiral continues. We can not forget that it continues–this is our hope.
The artist Louise Bourgeois once said, “The spiral – I love the spiral – represents control and freedom.” As we spiral into the new year what is it that we are hiding or denying? What parts of us are we shamefully ignoring or bitterly destroying? This year I thought a lot about pain and attempted to let go of that pain. I discovered you can not let go of pain, it will always be there. So one must go deeper into understanding it instead. This is a sensitive space that must not be treated with more harshness and anger but instead with gentleness. This is not an easy thing to do as it requires one to be present and in flow with their various personas and concepts of the self, even the scariest of them.
It is so fitting that Louise Bourgeois’s love of spirals was revealed to her through her personal exploration of pain and anger, “It is a twist. As a child, after washing tapestries in the river, I would turn and twist and wring them. . . Later I would dream of my father’s mistress. I would do it in my dreams by wringing her neck. The spiral – I love the spiral – represents control and freedom.” There she was, face to face with her own pain–exploring it and sharing the sentiment openly, not covered up with shame, not judged and beaten down with anger. The reality is that in relationship with anyone including with the self there is a push and a pull, and I am curious to know what makes up the push and pull. What propels the spiral and keeps it going?
The repetition is actually a gift, as it gives us the chance to observe ourselves overtime. Each time an emotion–anger, sadness, fear arches, it is the moment to get to understand them further. To take them by the hand, sit down with them, peer into their eyes and begin asking questions, gently and softly. Getting to know these parts of oneself is a way of getting to understand humanity. Yes, this too is a part of my pattern and way of reacting, just as I have seen it in others. Yes, I have this feeling and how have I been seduced by it? How does this control me? and, can I understand my friend, my enemy, my family, my neighbor by understanding these parts of the self? This honesty is how I want to go forward into the new year and I believe it is in this exploration of these truths and devotion to this practice that one develops their ability to open, and accept things–as it is. Not to ignore, hide or deny but to open, reveal and receive–I have an inkling that this is how we build the capacity to change.
Here’s to understanding the push and pulls of life!