I gave my first dharma talk today, the substance of which was:
“Hello, fear. I hear you. Thank you for your input. Now please eff off.”
Okay, so that’s a bit of an overstatement. It wasn’t really a dharma talk in the formal sense of sitting on a cushion (zafu?) in front of a bunch of other people on cushions (zafus) expounding brilliantly on the fleetingness of emotions and how they rise and fall and come and go like a teenager’s erection.
(On second thought, I should never do a proper dharma talk…)
A and I were training in the aerial studio this afternoon, she for a circus audition on the silks and me for a lyra competition. She’d sprained her ankle several weeks prior and was none too enthused about a particular drop in the audition routine that ends in an ankle hang. It wouldn’t have put improper pressure or torque on her sprain site, and she’d done it slowly several times without a problem, but seriously: who wants to drop several feet and catch themselves by their ankles if one ankle is still tender?
(This is the drop, but not A:)
She was afraid.
I know what it’s like to be afraid, but I’m the first one in the class to do any drop, any hang, or anything involving plummeting to the floor. I’ll be the first one to jump off a cliff, out of a plane, or into a dumpster from several stories high. Somehow I developed the ability to push fears aside and do crazy things before I had the chance to think them through. (This has not served me well in some parts of my life, but adrenaline I can do really fucking well.) Something in me learned to say: “Thank you but no thank you, dickwad. I’m doing this.”
So when A perched twisted atop the silks, miming letting go but stopping herself each time before admitting, “I’m scared!”… what else was there to do? How many times have I called up a therapist or a friend afraid that I wouldn’t last the night, that I’d self-injure, that I’d break, that I’d fail? How many times have I faced anger or fear or grief and had to shove it aside, needed someone to tell me that it wouldn’t last? She didn’t trust herself in that brief moment, so someone had to trust her first.
“Yup, that’s fear. It’s just an emotion, temporary. Nod to it, thank it for it’s input, and then let it go. Or tell it to fuck off. It’s not needed here.”
And she dropped, and it was magnificent.
And for the first time in at least a week, I was happy that I was alive simply so someone else could push away fear just one time.
… that story wasn’t very sarcastic. Or caustic. Or misanthropic. Though, I did reach my imaginary post quota of saying “fuck” three times.
Forgive me? I’m still riding my happy wave. Grumpy pisser that I am, I love seeing someone accomplish a feat through fear, especially if I could help. If they can push aside their fears, maybe someday I’ll push aside mine.
For the Love of Metta,
P.S. I’m already a bit afraid that no one will like this post and consequently me because I wasn’t as sarcastic and wry as I normally am. (“I hear you, fear. I see you, BPD. Thank you for your input. Now please fuck off. And keep going until you’ve made it back ’round so I can bitchsmack you again.”)