|Road to Punta Allen|
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller
This has always been a secret shame for me. I grew up with girls and boys who went to Europe to find themselves when college was not doing the trick. I could never afford such a trip, and spent my time finding myself in pool halls and rave clubs of Las Vegas. I read once that one only travels as far as their mind allows them. I am still not quite sure that I believe this statement. I have always felt that my experience was not as complete and not as whole, as the friends I knew who gained knowledge of themselves through their time in hostels or on train trips in Ireland.
This sense of inadequacy still rears it's ugly head every once in a while. Two weeks ago I attended a book reading about Burning Man, ayahuasca, and healers of the world. I listened to the author share his experience about connecting with God and his guides, slaying his ancestral demons, and meeting aliens at Burning Man. Sitting on the concrete floor of a Mission District art house, surrounded by searchers and dreamers, I felt not a sense of belonging, but rather a screaming sense of inadequacy. The atoms of my mind were screaming, Why are you here? You are a fake. These people have seen the world, the farthest you have travelled is in your own mind, on your therapists' couch.
My heart became so heavy with shame that I left this reading in a hurry, after buying the book. Deep in my heart, I know I am not inadequate; however, my mind has a habit of winning these insane arguments of insecurity and self-loathing. Most interesting about this whole story - and the reason I share it now- is that I left the Mission District art house and went to a bar. To find myself. To settle my mind down. To drink a glass of wine.
That wine tasted good. More importantly, it felt good. It turned my sense of inadequacy into a sense of self righteousness and gave me an ability to project my feelings of inadequacy back onto the author and his aliens who triggered it. By 1/2 of the glass, I was feeling haughtily superior to all those who had made a trek similar to that man. I robustly stated, I was "keeping it real" by seeing god in the faces of the dying, and he is using plant medicine to see aliens and goblins. By the time the glass was gone, I was a virtual Madonna. Transference has never felt so good. Thankfully for me, my dear friend Gabby, listened to my ramblings, and then led me home. The taste had been ignited, however, so a second glass of wine was had at home. In the days that followed, realistic pictures of this situation came to me in flashes. Feeling inadequate leads to overwhelming desire to medicate. Medication feels good, I want more - and more often than not, I have more. And so goes my relationship with alcohol.
So I only made it 59 days without a drink. But I am back on the wagon again. This experiment started out as an experiment in self-control, but has turned into so much more. I am learning about how my mind and heart work together, and sometimes this is not with my best interest as the goal. That night, I saw that when when my ego is hurt, or the old tapes of inadequacy are playing at volume 10 in my mind, my heart reacts by looking for something to quell this sense of sadness or fear. The fastest way I have learned to stop the pain is to throw some alcohol on it, to make it less wounding. I can't even say I blame myself for that. One only does what they know. As I stated 2 months ago, I am still intent on finding new ways to heal these old wounds, however. Next time my mind walks down the inadequacy path, I plan on sitting with it and feeling it completely, instead of running into the arms of the nearest Pinot. Perhaps it will take me to some new sweet spot in my heart, my own tropical island, where my guides and my goddesses have always lived, cheering me on, loving me because the path I follow is not inadequate, but only mine and unique, and they have just been waiting for me to join them.
|Where the goddesses, gods, and my guides await|