Unexpected Aftermath

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Burn.

This hurricane has stirred up a lot. Anxieties about future hurricanes after such strong ones this early in the season. Dust and other pollutants. Emotions.

Flying by Night

I won’t look at the next “interesting” tropical waves heading this way, at least not for a couple more days. Please, I need a break from the media frenzy! And I’ll take something for my allergy-induced headache and keep working on cleaning up the yards and taking down the protective X’s on the windows.

But it’s the unexpected emotions I have to deal with right now. Something about the force of Mother Nature and the age-old Man vs  Nature  theme—in which Man should almost always rightfully lose,  regardless of how Man’s winning makes for a good story. Such mighty  forces whirling through the air and the realization of the essentials of  Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and wham, you start looking at what’s important in your life. You also spend some time reflecting on where you are in life and whether you’re happy with it.

Back home, tired, mostly done with the cleanup and just waiting for an insurance adjustor to pass judgment on the viability of the roof, I’m extremely thankful to have electricity and air conditioning in the heat and humidity. And I’m glad that I took the time to cut the prettiest blooms from my rose garden so I could enjoy them instead of raking up wind-beaten petals from the grass. A half-dozen vases  of roses I grew myself fill the kitchen countertop and a couple of  altars,  including the one where a black candle burns for a friend of mine who needed a little boost of protection.

I keep looking at the roses, inhaling their scent, and feeling a little bittersweet after the excitement of the hurricane. My garden’s a little skimpier now, but inside the house, it’s warmly lit and pretty with the flowers everywhere. Still, I’m wondering if the  successes  I’d  been  hoping  for  have  all  stalled  out.  Life moves so fast sometimes, and yet, some of  the things I most want don’t seem to take root and grow. Projects and relation- ships are the focus of my own emotional cyclone. Some of them simply can’t be, no matter how much I favor them. I just haven’t let go of them and, even though I know it’s just going to hurt more the longer I wait, I’m still reluctant.

I have to stop wishing other people and beloved projects into  my life. If they’re meant to be there, they will be. I can’t make those  decisions for them. Looks like I’m not even supposed  to  invite  them  to  do  so,  based  on  what  I’ve  just learned about myself.

In my efforts to clear out all my issues and make room for  good  relationships—both  personal  and  artistic—I  have spent  far  too  many  nights  looking  at  personality  profiles  in hopes of understanding myself  better, shedding the dysfunctions I grew up with, and healing from bad  relationships and broken dreams. I don’t want to haul baggage into future  relationships, and there’s still something somewhere I must address before I can move on. So I look at Myers-Briggs, astrology, psycho-geometrics,  and a host of other tools to examine my psychological make-up. Personality? I’ve got lots of them. Whether I’m an INFJ or a squiggle or a double Pisces with five Aquarian planets, each one shows me a slightly different facet to examine and clear out.

In the past month, I’ve discovered two new models that interest me. Robert Camp’s Cards of Destiny are most closely related to astrology but has some Tarot and numerology elements as well. I’ve found it to be as dead-on as my favorite astrologer and Tarot readers. Of course, I’m right now enduring under the “sacrifice” card, so maybe that explains the constant tests of the past month or so. Maybe it is finally time to sacrifice that project I’ve wanted for years to do and admit that it’ll never see the light of publication, no matter how much I’ve lusted after  it in my heart and for how many years. Maybe it’s time, too, to throw away my cell phone and stop talking to faces I’ll never again see in person. Maybe I’ll just throw that sucker on top of my little black candle bonfire and disconnect myself from further pain.

The other model that has offered some interesting in- sights is the Human Design where “science meets magick.” In my continuing hermitage, my journey toward self-discovery, this one hits hard and close to bone like no other profiling system has. According to this model, I’m a “projector.” Apparently, I’m a wonderful guide and teacher for other people. I strategize and come up with terrific ideas that almost never fail for others. No one questions the value of my brainstorming for other people. I use my intellect, my logic, my analysis—my ideas work so well for others.

For me, for decisions for my own life, I’m not supposed to plan and use my head, according to the model. I’m supposed to go with my gut, rely on my emotions. You know, all the big no-no’s I’ve heard all my life.  After all, my strategizing works wonders for friends, co-workers, even strangers who chat it up at the salad bar. I’m an idea-a-minute when it comes to helping other people find solutions and I’m a damned good counselor, all using logic and analysis.

And yet for me, the same attempts are more likely to fail. Every time I use my logic and analysis to plan for my own life, it fails. If I initiate a relationship, I’m left disappointed be- cause if I do the inviting, I’m always dismissed or ignored. Ac- cording to this model.

So is it true? Yes.

Definitely in my artistic career, every time I tried to write something “for the market” or whatever suited the editors at the time instead  of waiting for their invitation or going after the book of my heart.

Certainly in my relationships. I think back now on the love affairs and friendships I initiated and how I ended up disappointed and sometimes bitter and how hard I’m trying to let go of that baggage now. Maybe it was because they didn’t like a woman taking the initiative. Maybe it was because I was too caring about their hurts and fears and I made things too easy for them so they didn’t have to work at a relationship. Maybe they just never were really all that interested in the first place. Maybe I made really bad choices and picked men who weren’t available, emotionally or otherwise, whether I knew it or not at the time.

I’m not sure why, except that the one common factor was that I invited them all into my life. I don’t think any of them really invited me into their lives and never really let me in. I had only a small part of them whereas they had all of me and willingly.

According to the model, I’m supposed to be patient (ha!) and wait to be invited into someone’s life. It goes against what I want to do,  to  make life happen and go after what I want. It feels passive and forgotten and thrown away to have to wait for someone else’s whim. Then  again, my invitations ex- tended to others haven’t worked and I’ve ended up feeling the futility of the situation, something exceptionally hard for the girl who doesn’t generally give up.

But giving up is something I have to figure out how to do. I have to stop doing the inviting. No more extending invitations or extending myself, according to this model. If someone’s invested enough in the possibility of a relationship to want to be in my life, then I’ll receive his invitation. If he’s not interested enough to invite me in, then there’s no point anyway.

I’d like to ignore the model, but it’s eating at me. My heart seems set on the impossible these days, and every time I take the initiative  and reach for the phone, all I can think is, what the hell am I doing to myself?

Be it men I adore or editors I ponder, I can no longer bear the  silences. My hurricane-frayed nerves are tired of the trickle of communication.

I’m shutting off my phone.