Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Five Elements and Imbalance

Tonight was my second meditation and philosophy class.  Once again, I enjoyed it.  This time, we talked about the five elements and how they are expressed both positively and negatively in our lives.  Well, more accurately, how they function when in balance vs. when they are imbalanced.  We also spoke about how every individual has a primary constitution, and a secondary and tertiary one and so on.  For me, my primary constitution is water, followed by fire, followed by wood.  I would say earth is next, followed by metal most likely.

With water, fear is the imbalance.  Particularly fear that one is not powerful enough.  In fire, it is the belief that love is not safe and/or that the person doesn't have control.  With wood, a belief that life is not fair.  Earth believes it is not nourished enough.  With metal, it is a belief that nothing of value can be held on to, or an inability to let go.

During our brief meditation practice this evening, we contemplated on our primary element and what it might mean for us.  I had the image of my water element always wanting to speed up and move faster, to warm up and prevent itself from freezing.  The image of boiling water came to mind, and also of rapids or moving very randomly and rapidly over rocks.  I had an "ah ha!" moment, in which I put together that my primary fear has been about not being powerful enough to win the love and appreciation of others.  I believe that in order to be loved and cared about, I need to be impressive and productive (or powerful, in other words!)

To this end, I have striven my whole life to be educated and productive, trying to provide to others an array of activities, thoughts, space and products that they would appreciate, and therefore love me for.  For my parents, I wanted to prove I was worthy enough of their love by being a good student and being smart.  I also tried to boast my creativity with writing and drawing.  Anything that was impressive to them was good enough for me, because it was a brief moment in which I was appreciated by them instead of ignored or disciplined.  Really, I have kept up this same strategy my whole life, using my mind, artistic skills and ability to manage tens of complicated and demanding tasks at once to gain the affection of those around me.  This includes even the opening of my studio, which I must admit I was very reluctant to do at first for fear that I couldn't pull it off and it would then become a testament to my lack of ability and power - a disappointment that I could never recover from in the eyes of my husband and friends and family.

This is the primary belief and fear that plagues me: that I am not powerful enough to pull this all off, and I need to do so or else nobody will love me.  It's funny, because usually I don't equate my thoughts or emotions with a need to be powerful, and I actually consciously don't even want to be powerful, I mostly want to be left alone and not have to do so much all the time!  But I think that the dislike of being in the spotlight and feeling like I need to do so much shows it up just as much as when I actively want to be more powerful.  The things we struggle against turn up again and again simply because we pay them so much attention.

Then I get angry about having to do so much for everyone, and how I have locked myself into doing so through needing to be so impressive or whatever it is I am trying to prove. I get ticked off that now I am expected to keep it up by everyone around me.  They expect it because I have made it easy for them to expect it - it is what I do!  Or, they might not even expect me to keep providing and doing all of the things I do, and it could be all in my mind.  Either way, this is wood imbalance.

From there, it is the earth imbalance of not being nourished enough, which is where I have been feeling the last several months. I have no energy left, I am tired and desperate for some nourishing.  Rabbit's speech from last night was about this fear of having nothing left for myself and everyone around me begging for the scraps of what I have already used up.  This must be where I lead myself to with all of this off-kilter beliefs.

Metal imbalance saying that nothing valuable can be held onto is relevant as well, because I became so exhausted and hurt that I was ready to just give up on everything - my marriage, my family, my friends, my business, and just watch it all collapse into nothing.  With no energy left, I was numb and pretty much OK with that if it had to happen, which in my mind it did.  Interesting insights!

So now, I have a belief to watch out for, which is that in order to be loved I have to be impressive and able to provide entertainment, insight, beauty and healing to everyone all the time.  These things are what I consider to be powerful, so I guess I really have feared not being powerful enough.  I'll keep my eyes open and I am sure I will see it crop up all the time.  For now - bed.

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