December 18, 2013
Cockroaches and Termites
We are remodeling my bathroom to put in a tub (!)...but as we tore out the old nasty shower stall and uprooted the flooring we found the pipes had been leaking for years... the old wall wood was riddled with termites... and under the flooring lived a colony of cockroaches... It got me to thinking about shadow.
We live in these rooms with beautiful exteriors, paneling and wallpaper, mirrors and shiny light fixtures... they appear bright and clean and the walls look strong until the shower stall peals away from the wall...Inside something has been eating away at this structure, something that scatters when the light is shone on it. Deep inside this dark dampness live creatures we have disowned, creatures we feel shame about having in our house because we associate them with filth and rot... God forbid someone should see one run across our kitchen floor…
Fear, like the water leak, creates these dark damp habitats for so many other things to thrive. Most fear is rooted in scarcity. Most of the unsavory emotions we have are rooted in fear. Jealousy is the fear of rejection, the fear of rejection is rooted in the fear of abandonment, being alone and unloved... Envy is the fear of scarcity, of believing you don't have enough... No one taught us how to deal with these emotions so we scoot them into dark places and we deny we have them... It all goes well until one creeps across your kitchen floor at a social gathering.
What do we do about these fears, about these emotions that inspire countless poems and dramas? We all have them. Because we are not supposed to, there is shame in exposing them and shame in asking for help. There is shame in not being the perfect parlor with fine wall paper and fancy drapes. This shame creates a world of butterflies, rainbows and lofty affirmations that are not grounded in reality. It creates an illusion of perfection that must be defended and managed at all costs. It creates a false sense of hierarchy over who is most spiritual.
We cannot evolve as a species until we can own our emotions and we cannot evolve spiritually until we can resist using someone else owning theirs as a platform for superiority. But sadly, this is the world most of us currently live in.
My bathroom is gutted right now.... looking at how to rebuild it without that leaking fear...