My friend, Dr Steven Farmer, has a phrase/question he likes to use during his workshop Q&A/check-in sessions. It's "What's workin' ya?" I always thought it was an information greeting, along the lines of "Where y'at?" or "Whazzup?"
So here I am, reading Eat, Pray, Love by Liz Gilbert, and I come across a passage where Liz is talking to a yogi master/monk at an ashram in India about a ritual that just bugs her. She hates it, and his reply (taking the position that it is still beneficial to her) is ".....especially because you are having such an extreme reaction to it. If something is rubbing so hard against you, you can be sure it's working on you."
Ahhh, what's workin' ya?
In my workshops, I have often shared a story on the trial of forgiveness in regards to relationships. When I was much younger, I was involved in an abusive relationship - physically, mentally and emotionally. The episodes were not frequent, but the consequences stayed with me for years. We discontinued the relationshp after about 4-5 years, but it was 30 years before I was done being mad at "him". It took 30 long years for me to ulitmately recognize that I was the one that needed to forgive myself for enabling the behavior that had continued in his family for generations, to forgive myself for sticking around and not taking action, and to forgive him for just doing what he learned growing up. For thirty years, I worked on healing that part of me. The first year after we split, I was mad every day. As time went by, the anger dissapated somewhat, but when that emotional button got pushed by some experience or some memory, it would gnaw at me for days.
And then one day, I was just over it. I couldn't tell you what happened, what enlightening experience occurred, if there was actually a specific ah-ha moment, or what. I just know that one day I realized I was no longer mad. I could think of "him" and what had occurred and be entirely neutral about the situation. There was no emotion involved - not love, not hate, not joy, not fear - just nothing. It was a bit like thinking of my 8th grade art teacher, whose name I don't remember. I don't even remember if it was a man or a woman. I just know I took the class, and learned how to sketch a fist.
So what's my point? What's working me?
I was released - let go - fired - from a job I loved. I am still not sure what happened. It was a shock at the time, and I guess it still is. Could I have done anything differently? What or who can I blame for the experience? This is what my mind works on....still.
Now it should be noted that the teaching that says "When one door closes, another is opens" is so true in this case. I am very happy to be unemployed and without responsibilities. It has given me the opportunity to be with my kids and grandkids, to write, to play, and to be free to do as I please each day. The Universe has provided me with resources to cover expenses without having to hold down a "job". I call myself "retired" (rather than unemployed) because given a choice, I would not go back to work - I would not change a thing. (Well, maybe I'd see to it that the temperatures in Seattle never dropped below 40 degrees, but that seems like a big manifestation for little ol' me to undertake right now.)
Yet still my mind is caught up in the drama of all that happened. Yes, everything worked out for the best. Yes, I am happier now than I have ever been. But why did it have to happen this way? And why do I care? THIS is what's workin' me! Why do I care?
I've put to use most all of the healing techniques I've learned over the years. I've cut cords. I've done ceremony. I've used crystals. I've used flower essences and aromatherapy. I've done soul retrieval. I've asked for answers through my dreams and in my journalling. You name it, I've probably tried it.
What I have learned through all of this is that there are always two or more sides to every story. The truth can be found in each version. I may be the star in "my drama" but I was not the star in my employer's story. I was a supporting cast member. I don't want "my story" to be a tragedy. I want it to be about overcoming obstacles and personal triumph over those personal tradegies. And this time, I don't want to take 30 years to reach that happily ever after conclusion. I am ready for this particular chapter to be over.
So blah, blah, blah, yada yada yada, what's working me here? Why the hell do I still fuss and fume about this particular story? Why do I care so much?
Then I came upon this line in Eat, Pray, Love. "Be a scientist of your own spiritual journey."
I am not sure what is really means, but it captured my attention. Is it to be organized, practical and documentary in my spiritual life? Are there specific steps we all have to take to enlightenment about things in life. Is it that you need the left brain and the right brain to be working together on all challenges?
"Letting go and letting God" is fabulous when you are deep in prayer or meditation but not so easy when ego is yakking away about the unfairness of it all.
"Dear God, please do not let it take 30 years for me to work this out. I'll be close to 90 by then. I don't want to go through this drama for that long. I need help now!"
My answer came immediately - "I'm here. I'm always here. Something is working you. Quit just asking the question, Why do I care? Start answering it. Take that step and find out. The answer is in your mind, just working to get out!"
Okay, okay, back to meditation and perhaps some traditional talk therapy......The issue is working me because it needs to be released to where ever it is that emotional crap goes once you've learned what you need to know. The answers are within, buried down somewhere. The methods used to dislodge them may be different for each of us, but getting the hurt and pain out, and releasing it is key for us all.
So what's workin' ya? Are you ready to put on your working gloves and start digging for your answers?