Where are the wins?
Where do you find the glints that keep hope and optimism alive?
The front door has been broken since the morning of my birthday. That means I use the garage door. In this weather, that means cold comes in and everything in there has frozen, down to the cans of beans, now mush, and the potatoes that rot when they melt.
I spent the last week taking care of my sister who had a broken car. That meant driving to get her on bad tires in the snow, terrifying, then having to take her to work at 5 AM. The car went all check engine and flashed the oil light. I calmed it with a quart, but it is clear from the driveway that tough ride hit a bump and is draining oil, the oil pan damaged.
My phone balance disappeared without warning. I wasn’t checking. Ouch.
I blew out the boots I have been wearing the last year and a half, $25 tall fleece boots that help with the damage to my feet, which cannot take being bare or fitting into even the gunboats I was able to buy in he past.
It’s been over two years living on a small stipend after my sister chose not to change the estate in the way my mother asked, leaving me diminished, after she struggled with the estate and chose to cut me out of the process because I just seemed too hard to engage.
I am used to taking care of other people while having no one there when I need them. I know how hard and repetitive my life is with no easy way out of the patterns and damage of a lifetime, damage I may have turned into smart guruness but which still has left me battered and broken.
Wounded healers may know how to keep their head above water, but the loneliness of a long lost tranny — this blog marks ten years at Thanksgiving — will wear you down, wear you out. People close to me are worn out too, wanting to help but also feeling the grinding challenges.
My gifts are many but their costs are huge. Getting out from behind the loss, finding healing and love that helps repair me more than all my smart words, well, that escapes.
Every loss is small, manageable, yes, but the effects are cumulative and horrible.
In the 1980s I used to ask “Where are the wins?”
Where are the small successes and rewards that replenish you, that give you something to focus on expanding, the wins that nourish hope for a better tomorrow if you just push through, work harder, keep going?
For me on this bleak, lonely and frigid February morning, I am left searching for dreams and possibilities that somehow, my relationship with the world can fundamentally change, away from being too hip and challenging for the room.
The essence of the hope required is simple: I need to believe that I have the wherewithal to pay the cost of that change, the vigour and endurance to tolerate the cost of rebuilding. How much do I have to put my own self on hold, how much do I have to get smaller, how much do I have to take just to get the connection and manifestation that I need?
I understand the options, as this blog clearly lays out, even if it is too massive and too intense for people to engage. Small, pragmatic hopes, tiny isolated wins, scraping for what you need is the only way to keep going and keep growing. Dreaming of huge and perfect is not useful; gleaning what nourishment is available is. The longest journey starts with a single step.
The dream of a far off city can be motivating, but every day is another struggle for survival against loss, the small cumulative losses that deplete, scar and weaken you. I scrape by, looking for the next morsel, always finding wisdom and strong reflections, almost never finding connection, nourishment and solace.
Living on the fringes, in the space beyond convention, has massive rewards, yes, but it also has a massive price. You can offer gifts of clarity and understanding, but those gifts are outside the normative, both valued and terrifying, connecting to the whole but isolating from the village.
Returning the gift is the hardest part of The Hero’s Journey, Campbell tells us, for if society wanted those jewels, they would already have them. I have gone too far to simply come back into the fold, modulating my vision into missionary messages that can be marketed as product to gain material wealth,
Others may find a nugget or two from me, especially after the pain in my still beating heart is released, and use them them to bring light back. More power to them. May they have the blessings of the universe.
Or my work may dry up, crumbling like old scrolls in a universe of too much information. I may vanish, just like so, so, so many other humans have before me.
This cold, dark morning, the wins feel immensely distant and immeasurably small. Maybe I can address the latest spate of losses, putting what I have left into the breach, but where, in the end are the wins? Where is the nourishment and embodied love that will reflect, nurture and maintain me?
I know; the answers are simple, I just need to get out of my head and go with the flow, taking what is available and being delighted with the small pleasures of life. I am missing the point, and the solutions that have worked for others would certainly work for me, because, after all, we are all fundamentally the same.
And, she said, we are all essentially different.
I am very clear on where the losses are.
Where, though, are the wins?