May 1st, 2001

Fortitude in Snow

A Full Body Prostration of the Heart

Some days you just can't win.

Today was one of those days. I tried and tried to rationalize myself into and around my silly little head, and all I got was a sore head. And yet, I keep going back for more; masochistic, aren't I?

See, there's this little fantasy that's been buzzing around at the back of my brain, and I *know* it's not good for me. I see it, and can logically and rationally say that if it materialized, it would NOT be good for me. And yet, I want it, and I continue to want it (because, since WHEN do emotions behave in a rational manner?) , and am even disappointed that it isn't happening. Damn, my emotions are like a whining, whimpering child. It's as though I crave this slow poison, and I know it will eat my insides bit by bit, but I still want it nonetheless. And I have to continue to say "No" to it, even though I don't want to, but I know I need to.

And, in the buddhist doctrine I have studied, when we want to express our complete recognition of our helplessness, and submission, we perform a Full Body Prostration. It begins with a bow, with hands folded. It moves into a kneeling position, then one bends over, laying one's forehead to the ground, with arms outstretched, and palms up. It's a physical gesture to say "I am powerless and I surrender; I am unable to control this, so I acknowledge my complete lack of control, and my submission to it."

And this is what I find myself needing to do right now. I cannot control this situation, and try as I might to continue to live in a "right" manner, I find myself wanting *not* to. I find myself wanting something that I *know* is not good for me, and would not be good for me in the immediate future. But I want it, and I want it *NOW* and a part of me is disappointed and petualnt when I don't get it. And yes, I keep saying that it is a *very* good thing that God does not give me everything I ask or wish for, because not all of it is good for me. And wow, is that the case.

But the question remains: why do I continue to want it, and crave it, when I know it is bad for me?

The real question that lies beneath the first is this: Why is that situation so enticing? What is its "payoff" for me?

And the answer that comes is one I don't like to look at: the payoff is my diving into something so completely that my consciousness of self is consumed in the situation, and, subsequently, I don't have to/won't look at my self and my own life. Simple escapism, nothing more. Well, I *could* rationalize and say that love and connection with another do come into play, but hells, that's a rationalization. And since it's based almost entirely on a fantasy, it has no real foundation in reality. And apparently, neither do I. *sigh*

I know I'm being vague here, so please forgive me. I just needed to hash this one out, and am not quite able to do it yet with specifics. Let's just say that it involves my heart, and some motives that I would *like* to be honorable, but (if I'm really honest) really aren't. They are base. No matter how I dress them up, they are still base. :-P I'd like to be a high-falutin' moralist, and say that my actions are governed by my integrity, but the stark honest truth is that my actions (or lack thereof) are governed in part by my fear, and in part by my choosing not to suffer a consequence. So, I'm a rational coward? Maybe so. But the desires are still there, and they still govern my fantasy. And apparently, they still govern my emotions, too.

Look, see.... my feet of clay melt when they get wet. Damn.

And I struggle with this thing that would not be a problem in another locale, among other friends. Yet, here it is as immovable as the Great Wall. I am powerless, and I must submit. So I find myself envisioning Full Body Prostrations.... but doing them with my mind and my spirit.... and especially with my heart -- that unruly, nearly-ungovernable thing that leads me off in so many different directions.

I am powerless; this is not in my hands, and my continuing to worry about it, and wish about it, and long for it when I know it will do me harm, is hurting me. So, I bow before the Great Is. I perform a Full Body Prostration of the Heart, and I pray for peace and enlightenment.

Sometimes that's all I can do. But I never recognize how much it really is until after the time for it has passed. So, would somebody please remind me a few weeks from now about this....please? Just so that I can remember, this time?

For now, I am laying face down on the floor of my mind, with my heart in my hands, hoping that Love will teach me what I most need to know.