What Now? Holding Center in the Eye of the Storm
Times are uncertain. If you just knew the answer, then you could proceed. Then you wouldn't be so fearful.
Perhaps everything is in pieces. Nothing is finished. Things are crumbling all around you. Nothing's the way you thought it would be. If only it wasn't so, you'd feel more complete, more whole, and you'd look like you have it all together. Then you'd really feel at ease.
If you could just manifest the solution your agenda demands, then you wouldn't feel so discombobulated, in poverty, pissed off, disappointed, fractured, out of control, frantic, stressed, blameful and hurt. If you just knew that things would return to normalcy soon, then you could get a good night's sleep. Then you would feel so much better. You'd be able to cope. You could relax. Then you could be happy.
If only your pain would miraculously disappear, then you'd be at peace. If only things were OTHERWISE, more COMFORTABLE ~ like the way you think you need them to be, then you could feel like you are living an authentic, spiritual life, where apparently bliss, like juicy, ripe fruit, is abundantly growing on trees reserved for the content souls on the path.
But here is the problem ~ if you cannot find a way to keep your heart in the game of uncertainty, to keep your head above water during turbulent times, you will shut down and drown in an ocean of fear. You will stay a prisoner to your anger, bitterness, confusion and resentment. Time and again, you will buckle under the pressure of life's mysterious, confusing conditions.
If you can't stay in the game, you will be triggered every time life does not cooperate to provide the answer you want to hear upon demand. You will get bent out of shape by your own fabricated agenda that is not based in reality. You might even cave under the pressure of it all by running ~ medicating with substances, punishing someone else with blame, or harming yourself with unconscious, destructive behaviors.
And you will never learn to sit with uncertainty or confront your dependency on NEEDING TO KNOW.
Rihanna, in her brilliant video, What Now, speaks of her uncertainty of love, of not knowing ANYTHING at this point in her life. She sings:
Whatever it is, it feels like its laughing at me through the glass of a two sided mirror.
Whatever it is, it's just laughing at me. And I just want to scream,
What now? I just can't figure it out.
What now? I guess I'll just wait it out. What Now? Please tell me.
....I can't even get the emotions to come out. Dry as a bone, but I just want to shout,
What now? I don't know oh oh oh...
Writhing, jerking, holding her head in her torment and frustration, she is up against the wall of the concrete, asking What Now? Her garments are alternately black and white, suggesting she needs an answer, Yes or No and nothing in between. She is up against the concrete reality of black and white itself ~ she finds herself imprisoned within it, the holes in its imperfect and unstable structure having been patched over by rickety plywood.
The mood within this depiction suggests that at least a little bit of light is being projected through much darkness, caused by the fact that her own insight desperately needs to penetrate her unconscious process to come to an answer and disassemble this confining structure. Back and forth she moves between dimensions of the soul's abysmal blankness and the mysterious, dank shadows of life.
A black cross on a leather strap is bound in a trinity, wound three times around her throat in a choker. The pendant is suspended between her clavicles and over the thymus gland ~ the seat of sublimation. Black is the color of The Primordial, and the fact that the cross is black and its strap used as a choker suggests a binding of personal expression. Perhaps its presence signifies that a vast Unknown Power is enforcing conditions that only It can unbind. She doesn't know it yet, but surely she is being asked to relinquish something immensely painful which demands a great sacrifice ~ perhaps the biggest one of her life ~ her sense of being in control over forces that are dominating her.
She reaches upwards and her chest lifts skyward, as if she were begging to be lifted above her suffering, as if her inner demons can be exorcised by the supernatural Powers That Be. Pride and rage is confronted as two lions engage in aggressive battle. Her skin crawls beneath her intolerable, wretched torment and uncertainty, depicted as images of skittering insects.
She covers her face and then closes her eyes to en~vision a different kind of reality.
She is brought to her knees. She is being bent over backwards and she falls as if she were being seized by a great force. A bolt of lightning cracks through the atmosphere. Energy rushes through a void-like tunnel lined with beacons. Brackish, misty clouds swiftly converge and cross one another. A glowing ball of white is stationed in the bleak wilderness, burning through the stark trees.
Her perspective fragments as a flock of birds flee from a barren tree, each one darting away in a different direction. An explosion made by laser light blows open a hole in the confines of the psyche, causing projectiles of collateral damage to fly forward in time. A tower is being pounded by extreme gale force winds, threatening to rip the shingles right off the roof.
In her white dress, she is purely naked to her process. At times she is stoic, numb, defiant, fed up, anguished, impatient, angry at herself, vulnerable and receptive. She appears in two black dresses, one of them the style of the dominatrix who wants control over something that is impossible to control ~ the Unknown. The sheer black bottom exposes her legs and reasserts that the veil of her own willfulness dictates its own restriction, for she cannot escape the un~escapable. Despite her efforts to shake it off, dreamy, specter-like fabrications of her own creation manifest, gesticulate and linger.
At least she is being moved. At least she is feeling something powerful. At least she knows that she doesn't know. At least she's IN IT. She can't run. She's boxed in. She cannot fight these feelings. She has no control. She is being eaten alive. And she knows it.
There is no way out right now. Despite the intimation, until she receives illumination, it is simply not time for the answer to materialize. She finds that no answer, miracle cure, resolution ~ no redemption from Above arrives from a savior "out there," meaning no quick and unearned rescue can make it all better right now. Hence, she must face herself.
She gently claws at the air, tearing at the veils with sharply pointed, white talons, her primitive instinct beginning to temper itself. Then, she does the best thing she can do ~ she decides to corner herself. She pushes to face her imperfect parameters with nowhere to go but deeper inward.
The song teaches that we all feel lost sometimes ~ we all get shipwrecked. We will, if we are lucky, weather times of excruciating pain.
Perhaps the answers will not come through our small minds, but by the grace of a much higher one. Until such time as solutions are provided, it helps to gain the resilience to live through dark and stormy nights. If not, when the shit hits the fan and the tower's shingles are being ripped off the roof, we will have no real inner shelter. If we don't find an inner Way, we will always be running for cover.
We must confront unconsciousness tendencies. We must see that the only way out is through. We must seek our own power and look to the higher Self for guidance. We must learn to trust that when we feel trapped in the abject darkness and we've done all that can be humanly done, that sometimes the darkness is fruitful and often the answer will arrive from a higher Source when the time is right for the soul.
The reality is, life is messy, and it is when you are sinking in the midst of the stink and the muck of it that you find out what you are made of. You discover your hidden resources.
During hellish times, you get to see if you are really at peace or if your peace only depends on things going well.
The truth is, sometimes there is no super~good, right answer. The Wisdom Path is about seeing that the only center you can hold during times of chaos and uncertainty exists in your courageous attempt to witness your feelings, to remain conscious no matter the uncertain, messy, infuriating circumstances of life. Wisdom requires that you stick with your inner process while all around you seemingly precious things are being destroyed. Wisdom helps you to willingly enter the calm Eye of The Storm so that with clarity and insight you can soulfully navigate turmoil, hold center and witness the unexplainable, shocking, fierce and sometimes violent manifestations of fate.
Perhaps you are coming to the realization that some things are meant to crumble. Perhaps you have noticed that any attempts to control things, to keep them the same, to make them all neat and clean and wrapped with a bow only lasts a few weeks before they begin to dissolve again.
Maybe it's time to let them go. Maybe it's ok if they decay. Maybe you can't hold on, keep it alive or control your way out of anything this time. Maybe your soul wants to shatter an old image so you can be something amazingly new, something exceptional and far greater than the agenda you think you want to project.
If the only way you can feel at ease and happy is when everything in your life is nice and easy and comfortable, then you have no real peace. You have no real comfort.
If you cannot ride through difficult times without running from yourself and the issues at hand, you will never see that life's mysteries are filled with possibility. You will never believe that you can truly stay awake after the tower of your life is struck by a bolt of lightening, sending its bricks irreparably tumbling in every direction. You will never believe that despite any catastrophe, your life can be built anew.
I say it's time for the Bangs to begin! Bring on the inner electrical storm! Whooooosh....Let the winds howl! Let the Divining rod appear out of the blue in a sudden flash to shake you out of your slumber, to shake down and disassemble anything that is standing in the way of absolute wakefulness!
Paula Dianne Upton's book, Signs of Infinity: Keys to Awaken the Soul is
available on Amazon.com and Createspace. It is a book for all serious seekers of the path of enlightenment and Divine love.