Coyote Campfire


I went looking for Wildey again.

I had been going around and around inside myself, trying to answer some questions inside and not really getting anywhere but spun in circles. I was getting almost terminally frustrated, wondering what in the heck was up with all this RESISTANCE in my system.

By now I knew how much it helps me to just ask him questions. Not because he answers them, necessarily – actually he seldom does. But because forming the question and asking it clearly is the thing. Once I do that, the answer seems to kind of lay itself out in front of me. 

But the funny thing is, I have to ask him, or someone, the question. 

This is weird, but it doesn’t seem to be enough, to just think it to myself. Somehow, if I don’t speak it out loud, the question itself is able to slither through the cracks and become kind of wispy. I guess you’d have to say, unless I speak it out loud, I get to keep on believing my own BS inside…which does not always serve me, you know what I mean?

Unless I speak the question, there’s no way to get a hold of it and get a real answer. If there’s any inclination in me to avoid the subject, to not find the answer, just thinking it without speaking it will give the advantage to the part of me that doesn’t really want to know. 

I am fully aware there’s a part of me that needs to look like it’s doing the work, but doesn’t really want the answer.  No judgment here – sometimes it’s just not ready yet. But it feels like sometimes admitting the answer to myself is just too dangerous. 

Maybe I can’t risk asking a question if either asking the question or finding the answer blows up my world.

And maybe it’s even simpler than that. Perhaps, given the level of self judgment I am quite capable of, I just need a kinder person than me to mediate for myself.

And that’s fine. I can work with all of this, once I see it.

But I do know, when I hear myself speak the words, that enough of my system has decided we’re OK to go there, that apparently we have and we will, me, myself and I. I wanted to know and now enough of me is ready to hear, so the question has come out. The conversations will be had. The consequences will be faced and lived through.

When I ask a question or make a statement out loud, it’s a solid thing. The question has edges and starts and finishes and doesn’t just peter out to nothing. I can tell when I’ve answered it, and when I haven’t – and most important, I can see the places and times where I thought I had answered it, but hadn’t, really. 

Hadn’t been clear with myself. Times and places and situations where I had been, in short, fooling myself. Dancing around some truth that was ready to be faced and seen. 

When I own these, and do something different, I have really taken back some real power. I have made the choice to not let myself off the hook, but to face the answer, look myself in the face, and say, “OK. Now what?”

I think this is called acceptance, and I feel like it is the start of every real journey.

Wow. So here’s a moment. I was ready to go looking for Wildey, but I think this time I have answered my own question. The resistance is that through whatever is happening, I am about to have to face something more real about myself and my situation than I have been ready to face up until now. And it scares the shit out of me. And I’m ready. Unless I’m not, and that’s OK too. At least I know what’s up.

Which reminds me of a conversation Wil and I had when the boys were very small. 

He was doing a lot of traveling for our business and I was staying home, handling family stuff and the business management. Which was fine while he was gone. But the night he first came home, the shit always seemed to hit the fan. 

We had this pattern: Where I was hoping he would pick up some slack, play with the kids, do SOMETHING to help, instead he would kind of collapse on the couch (metaphorical of course because we did not have a couch) and all of a sudden it seemed like I had three children instead of two.

So eventually I could not stand it any longer. My resentment was growing and I was over it, so I had to say something. 

What ensued was actually pretty remarkable. We didn’t fight, but he did push back, (which was both of  our equivalent of fighting) and said, “What do you think, I’m on some kind of joy ride when I’m out there? I am so tired of traveling, so tired of being away from home, so tired of working all the time, so tired of restaurant food, I just want to be home and have a home cooked dinner and just enjoy my family.”

And I said, “Me too. I’m tired and I want the same thing.”

I can’t totally re-create the conversation, but here’s the gist of what we arrived at: The simple realization that this was just a hard moment. It was always going to be a hard moment. We just needed to get through it, so we agreed to each just take away our expectations of that first evening. I would quit expecting immediate relief, and he would quit expecting to completely collapse. 

And the amazing thing was that although this was not a solution that fixed the problem of me not having help or him not getting to collapse, it took the resentment out. It took the expectation out. It took any guilt out. It just let it ne what it was, which was a hard moment. The solution was that we could live through it together. We became a team again and it was OK. The problem was not the hard moment. The problem was our mutual expectation that it would not be that way.

At least we knew what was up. We both had the same information. No one was holding back, and we were a team again.

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