I have been once more all over the map this week. Well not literally. I have been flitting between teaching, training, and events. Last weekend was the Victory of Light Expo. It was my first official book signing event. It was strange not to be working in the Tomstones booth. I got a chance to walk around and speak with many people and share in the collective feeling of loss. I didn't know that so many people even knew who I was. I got a lot of hugs, and I ate too much sushi (another great tradition that shall continue in memoriam).
The past few years have brought such a change in my social world. It has been one of losses but also of tremendous gains. When I rebranded this blog over three years back I started it with a post about respect. For most of my life respect is something I did not have. My life had pretty much thrown me as many different shades of disrespect as you can imagine. Now this post is not a pity party, I simply bring up my near constant experience of disrespect to contrast with how I feel things are now. It still feels somewhat like a dream that people actually want to come listen to me speak. I've gone from being barely able to have a class of three people to averaging a dozen or more. When I presented at meditation groups or other circles in years past it was always a very small turnout. Now I tend to fill a room. I am not saying this to brag, but to convey how amazed I am. I can't say just how grateful I am for this turn of events. I have to pinch myself to remind myself how lucky I am that people would actually want to spend time with me. My voice which was ridiculed for my entire adolescence people actually compliment me on now.
The Wheel of Fortune has turned, and from the outside it can seem like I am suddenly without effort riding high. What most don't see is how long I spent being ground down on the bottom of the wheel, nor how many people delighted in kicking me as I crawled trying to stand up. There were very few who showed me kindness and respect when I was low. I remember a kindness for a long time. I remember those who saw something good in me when I couldn't. I remember you, and I will give a good turn of the wheel for you when I can. I don't respond to every positive comment I get online, but I want you to know that I do appreciate them. To the haters, I have to say you make me feel more important because you spend your time trying to bring me down, so if you must keep at it. To those that chose to kick me when I'm down I remember you as well, but luckily for you I am too busy building my life to waste time on you. (Not that I wouldn't hold the door for Karma cause I totally would).
So what does this meandering between the self being bashed and being celebrated mean? Well in the grand scheme it probably means nothing. We're told over and over we shouldn't care what others think of us. However, unless we're sociopaths we can't help but care about it. It would be more accurate to say we shouldn't care what certain people think of us. We're always going to worry about how we appear to those we love and care for. We are social beings as well as individuals. The challenge in life is managing the balance between what is good for the individual and what is good for the group. There will be times when the wheel will grind you down, but the wheel always turns and a new set of opportunities and challenges present themselves. The whole of nature is full of turning wheels: the cycle of the seasons, day and night, growth and decay. As those wheels turn around us we are also spun around the wheels of our society and culture. Still in the center of those wheels is another wheel. It can be directed by those wheels around it or it can and sometimes will change directions spinning in counterpoint to the larger wheels. That wheel is you and your journey. It can move with the wheels of circumstance in harmony or discord, but there are times in life where it can spin and change the wheels whirling around it. For around all those wheels is the great wheel, the wheel of spirit and from that wheel we were all forged.
So how does this affect you? I assure you that you are in the middle of several wheels right now as you read this. The season you are in, the time of your life, your standing in society, and your personal relationships all are creating forces that place demands on you. The question you must ask is if you are riding the wheels or are they riding you? Some wheels you just have move with others can be respun, stopped or even broken. Do you know which way your own personal wheel is spinning? Do you see the path it wants to take? What happens if you start to look for the other wheels that can help spin you around to get where you want to go? What if you could see the point on the cycle of turns where you could get off the less than merry go round? We are each a wheel within many other wheels and if we all decided to we could change the way the wheels of the world spin. Some wheels will help you others will crush you, but what if you could choose which wheels you stepped onto?
Peace and Blessings,