Thursday, October 2, 2014

Force of Nature

"She breezes in, emotional genie. You can't keep her in a bottle. She'll touch your soul, even when you're sleeping. And when you're awake, just let her in. She's a force of nature. She's a keeper of the heart. She's a lighthouse for the weary. But this world is tearing her apart."

--From "Force of Nature" by Linda Marks

I know I have a lot of energy,whether you call it passion or joie d'vivre. And I am grateful I have ways to direct it positively to make a difference in the world--be it working with individuals, couples or groups as a mind-body psychotherapist, or as a singer or leader or organizer or human being walking the face of the planet. When I was a kid, people often told me I was "intense." I couldn't tell if that was an insult or a compliment.

When the speaker seemed scared or intimidated by me, then I felt it was more of a distancing comment or way to "other" me, separating me from other people. And that never felt very good. In my adult years, the word "intense" has been replaced by another term, "force of nature." Once again, it has been a mixed term, maybe an insult from some and a compliment from others.

I have done a lot of introspective reflection on both of these terms, "intense" and "force of nature." Who likes to feel different, distanced or "othered?" Yet, if I tried to focus more on the energy and life force both terms embody, I have felt more peace and less alone. When a light is very bright, we say it is "intense." Could it be that the light of my heart and spirit are just very bright, and people react to that kind of intensity?

And forces of nature have a profound, often undying directed power. Might I have the capacity to direct my life energy and my heart's power in a way that has a profound impact, often positive? When I turn to nature for my images and understanding, they are often more compassionate and complete than when I look at people's reactions in the context of what is familiar in our human world.

Is the sun not a force of nature or the rain? And aren't sunlight and water necessary to sustain life? Is the wind not a force of nature? And doesn't a sail boat rely on this force to move about the water?

If my intensity enlightens, me and others, and sheds needed light on the subject, especially when I or anyone I care about is moving through the dark, might that not be a gift rather than a curse? Being emotionally embodied, deeply reflective and introspective and actively engaged in projects out in the world, may actually all be good things. And if others feel their boats get rocked by my presence, might it be a gentle wave that keeps things flowing, rather than a scary hurricane?

Might we all not benefit from connecting with the light we are capable of shining in the dark corners of the world? And might our lives not flow better and more fluidly if we can find the part of us that is connected to the natural world and its rhythms? Maybe being a force of nature isn't so bad after all.

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