What is green, two inches long, covers the ground and is full of cement?
The answer is grass. I just put the cement in to make it harder.
While that is a schoolkid joke, there is wisdom in the koan.
I was reading the website of a rural life coach who lives up north. She was burbling on about her successes, being fired from the bank, finding a new job, then finally starting to do the coaching she had trained for. She found a place for an office, then saw an unfulfilled need from other artist tenants, someone to run their computer presence, and that is going well. She rejected one house and another one opened up, perfect and good.
She has manifested a new job, a new house, a new job, attracting success her own beliefs, creating a life she wants.
It can’t be that simple, part of me says. What about life, the universe and everything? There is so much resistance and challenge, so many forces of fear and dismissal.
Her desires are simple and conventional, yes. She is very clear on what she wants, nice and mainstream.
But she is building a good life for herself and her family, finding ways to help others and get the rewards that satisfy both her spirit and her bank account.
Why can’t owning my own life be that simple? Is it just because I put in cement to make it harder?
My resistance to simple and easy is not in the world. It is inside of me. It is the result of my experience and my vision.
That doesn’t mean it is not real. My experience as a very smart person who grew up with two Aspergers parents and was challenged to find a way to put their own trans nature in context is very different than the experience of a sweet gal growing up in a small town. My life created a body of work that does hold some value, even if that value isn’t at all mainstream or conventional.
Grass, though, doesn’t grow lush and strong when it is poured full of cement.
I carry something of value that comes from how I stand out of the normative, but holding on to that means I have trouble getting what I need from the normative world. Letting go of it, though, means devaluing my life experience.
Any support system that doesn’t understand, affirm and value the truths and lessons of my experience is going to just distress me. I may know that I need to put those old bits down to move into a new, simpler life, but that isn’t the same as being asked to just throw them away as just so much junk.
One powerful thing about recovery meetings is the ability to come and share the truths that we had to put in the trunk to get on with a more balanced life. In that space, we can unpack the trunk a bit, pulling out the old stories and have them really heard. We can listen to the stories of others that keep out life in context, both how far we have come and how much that truth still resonates within us, even if it isn’t revealed in our everyday life.
I look for others who can hold my story with grace and dignity before encouraging me to move on and create new ones.
In my experience, this is a very hard thing to find. Most people can easily tell me what I need to release, but they don’t have the texture to know and value why I hold it in the first place.
Letting go of the cement that makes it harder is important to me. Devaluing and rejecting that hardness, though, is not the way I can move forward.
Life is that simple, yes. It is also that hard. That’s why we each need support to keep those pieces in context.