Ignorance is Bliss... until it isn't.
Reclaim Your Bliss by Understanding the Blessing.
A funny thing happened when I got to the hardware store…
My mission was to find 2 brass screws to hang something outside. “Simple enough,” one would say…
And then I got to the hardware store. Mind you, menopause brain has moved in, complete with a heaping layer of fog that blankets every nook and cranny of the gray matter nestled within the bones of my skull. I am a fisherman in training as I cast a wide net for words that I am sure are right on the tip of my tongue, or relatively close by if I err on the positive... I exasperate myself most of the time, hopefully humoring others the rest of the time - they laugh - or maybe they’re just being polite.
There I am, in the hardware store, amid endless rows of screws and nails, feeling like a bumbling idiot when this kind looking man (we assume he’s kind) comes over to assist. I should have known it was heading south when he began with “ma’am.” Excuse me, but when did I become a “ma’am?” I think I am 28… and if I do my math right, 55 minus something is indeed 28! I take after my grandmother. She was 39 for nearly 60 years!
Abbott and Costello –
Him: “Ma’am, can I help you?” Me: “Yes, that would be great. I need 2 brass screws for this piece of artwork that I am hanging outside.” Him: “Wood?” Me: “No, brass."
Him: “Wood?” Me: “No, brass… to fit in these little holes…” of course I must elaborate and show him exactly what I need because clearly, he hasn’t heard a word I’ve said! Him: “Wood or concrete?” I’m sure a glazed yet irritated look has settled nicely on my face… Him: “Ma’am, where are you hanging this?” Me: “Outside” I know I’ve said this before, but who can really remember what they’ve said seconds after they said it?
The tension was quite palpable. If someone didn’t say something useful soon, screws that already felt loose would surely fly! My prayer was answered as he took a noticeable breath, releasing his own irritation, and went on to explain a bit more about nails and screws, the birds and the bees, men and women, indoor/outdoor, reference points, perspective… a lot got covered in that hardware store.
that Glazed Look
I am no stranger to the glazed look, not as sweet as the donut, but poignant and pointed just the same; in the direction of misunderstanding, confusion, lack of knowledge, of wanting something to be a certain way and learning otherwise.
I’ve witnessed that look many times over the years as I try to gently remind people that there is usually more to the creation of their pain than just the physical – that the places, faces and events that have fashioned and molded their life have also created the circumstances that have led them to this time of concern.
The conversation is not meant to infuse a layer of spiritual guilt on the one before me - it is a way of reminding us that the story of creation, worldly or individual, is as magical and powerful as anyone could imagine, and possibly even simpler than they might have understood.
That things happen to us is one level of understanding; to know that things happen for us is to awaken to something greater than ourselves.
To us –
An Outward Journey
When we live through the lens of something happening to us (me), seeds of doubt spread like wildfire, their roots anchoring ever deeper within our psyche, creating a whirlpool of uncertainty.
We are immersed in a rich combination of emotions that give voice to those places where we feel the least secure. The edges of shock and dismay are softened by the reward of attention and tissues, warm hugs, and often much needed support from our community. Our strength to keep going is drawn from the people around us.
There is much to be gained from this perspective: we can heal the wounds of alone and lonely, answer a myriad of questions around enough (are we enough or is there enough of whatever we’re longing for), or learn to receive more willingly. The temptation to live solely from this vantage point, to become passive, or to bathe in the waters of blame, is enormous.
For us –
An Inner Journey
To embrace the idea that the universe is always conspiring on our behalf is a large and wondrous idea. To consider that each symptom, disease, or project we encounter has the potential to awaken our spirit may be even bigger, especially when the diagnosis or label appears to have dire consequences.
When we give ourselves permission to find meaning for the challenges we deem senseless and unnecessary, we have grabbed the hand of what we might describe as the unknowable, and in that instant, the journey begins.
When we embrace an inner journey such as this, it’s like a breath of fresh air; the perfect wind comes along, lifting our sails and we're off!
We acknowledge being led by something greater than ourselves.
We learn to speak a new language, exploring the far reaches of our own spiritual nature.
We play with the concepts of synchronicity, partnership, and trust.
We connect to our internal power and allow our knowing to surface. Our strength spills forth from within as we remember that we possess the ability to withstand, endure, innovate, and create, drawing toward us everything we need to rise ever higher.
It’s a spectacular and magical process that reminds us how alive and vibrant we really are.
Where We Live
Our biography demonstrates where we tend to live - to us, for us, or somewhere in between. Our biology highlights that living space because the body always initiates the conversation we may be too scared to have, nudging us toward the steps we may be too afraid to take, encouraging us not to become strangers in our own lives.
No matter where we are on the spectrum, there is much creative living to be done; clarifying moments where we decide what we’ll lean into for greater understanding and awareness of our place and purpose within our own life. We always have the choice to surrender a way of doing and living to experience a new way of being and within this action is a freshly written narrative waiting to be lived.
With each level of awakening comes the process of understanding and the glazed look of confusion dissipates; new knowledge - a knowing - this is the truest path of healing regardless of how symptoms present…
"I am honored and delighted to walk it with you… and so it goes, spacious and gracious…" - Dr. Lauren
(P.S. – once I got the right tools, the artwork literally hung itself! It might be upside down, but it's hung.)
ⓒ Dr. Lauren Nappen Please share these words of wisdom with the author included.
Dr. Lauren Nappen