The Briar Patch

Getting caught in here can be quite yucky

Getting caught in here can be quite yucky

Back from a stunning trip to Ashland in oh so many ways. We saw a world premiere of a new play “Equivocation” by Bill Cain, that was one of the best pieces of theatre that I have seen in years. If it comes to a theatre near you, rush to see it.

As I settle into my house and awake from my bed and turn my music on and sit down at my computer with a cup of my favorite tea, I am grateful as always for the wonderful life I have. A life where I get to go away on wonderful adventures and return to a home that I love and that loves me. A life where I am dedicated to and love the work I do and the world I am part of and look forward to many new and interesting twists and turns on the path in front of me. A life where I have an incredible partner with whom I can mix it up and love it up with the best of them and who I know will always be there and who knows I will always be there. This is a life to be grateful for.

I find mySelf very filled with gratitude and appreciation for my life and yet there is this part of me that is a little sad and confused by a pattern that I get caught in that is very reminiscent of old patterns that were dominated by that old tap root of “i’m not enough”. The pattern goes something like this. I am with my beloved Karen, we are getting ready to make a break from one part of our life and move into another part, ie. getting ready to leave for Ashland for a week, and things between us get sticky and yucky. We’re walking along quite normally and innocently and all of a sudden we’re in the middle of a thick briar patch and everything we seem to do gets us more tangled up, we want to get out, each in our own way and we end up tolerating and winding ourselves up more and more in the brambles. After what seems like miserably spent hours of this, one of us pops into a different place and says the magic words that have the brambles unwrap themselves. We lick our wounds for a bit and carefully avoid going back into the brambles again and then we are out the other side and healthy, to the place we wanted to be all along and wondering what the heck happened to get us in that briar patch again. Then we move along our merry way, having a grand time in Ashland, laughing, loving, sharing, and enjoying everything we are doing, no briars anywhere to be found. The last play finishes and we are in the car headed home and there, on Highway 5 about 20 miles out of Ashland, is that big ole briar patch again extending almost all the way back to San Francisco. As we drive the brambles start to wrap themselves around us and catch us up and get us all caught up in old patterns and behaviors that we both thought that we were well past and here they are again at the edge of pain and looking for a way out and yet trapped in the thorns rolling down the highway at 75 miles an hour. Again, something happens as we pull out of a traffic jam and onto some back roads where we somehow, mysteriously, start freeing ourselves from the pricklers. As we get closer to home we begin to return to ourselves, again very care-fully and concerned lest we should start inviting those thorny vines to start wrapping us up again. Eventually we are returned and recognizing that we never stopped loving each other during all that yucky and prickly ride. We also resolve to really dig into the pattern and learn how not to set ourselves up for the briar patch again.

And yet there is this hopelessness that also exists in both of us, I think, that this briar patch is always right there ready to grab us and take us down. The more and more conscious I become, and the more I clean out my cellar of all the old tap root issues and track down the tendrils of that tap root that seem to reach out into so many areas of my life, the more mysterious this one is to me. The more I seem not to be able to locate and stalk down this nasty thorny yucky tendril that makes for some not fun times with my incredible partner. I set mySelf on the path of stalking that one down for mySelf and pray for Karen to do the same, so that we can come and go from the transitions in our lives without fear of the brambles. I recognize the need even in the way I am talking about this to do this work. Even as I write about it here I can feel the reaction prayer rather then the creation prayer. With a reaction prayer I will keep creating the cause of the reaction over and over again in my life. So let me try it again: I will stalk down and excavate any tendrils of my tap root that are connected to these tangled conversations I get into with Karen and pull them up and lovingly bury them so that I can be free of any old limiting patterns or beliefs that may drive these situations and then rewrite the story of who I Am and who we are with out those tendrils in place. There I just had a deep sigh of satisfaction with that reframe. Time to get a cup of tea and start stalking.

4 responses to “The Briar Patch

  1. Bravo!! **insert sounds of clapping** Captivating! Beautifully written! Thank you for sharing! I felt it, could relate and appreciate your consciousness in articulating this pattern. And when you figure this one out, please be sure to share…


  2. Not sure that this is clear dear Henry but what comes up for me is perhaps now that you have become more conscious around the strategies you used to go unconscious and avoid the pain, now you are in a place to really root out what is there, rather than resorting to suppressing the pain. Wow, what an opportunity.

  3. Hi Henry. Here’s another perspective for you from the world of Anusara Yoga. What if the pulsation of bouncing from the bliss of simply being into the thorniness of human messiness and back again is exactly how things are supposed to be? (is this not what it is to be human?) Is it not true that those dark and thorny moments are exactly what allow us to appreciate the times of deep connection and sudden clarity? In this world view we can let go of the need to beat ourselves up when shit happens and be truly grateful when the clouds clear.

    With deep respect for you and your beloved,

  4. Hi Henry,
    Thanks for sharing – I enjoyed reading.
    Here is my perspective:
    To be able to get into these ‘briar patches’ AND return recognizing the pattern and that you never stopped loving each other – that is what I would call being conscious and having an amazingly strong and loving relationship.
    with love

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