Sometimes I wonder what the alternate universe- double/other half of me is up to. Perhaps I cross their mind, and we both wonder if we will always be so lonely without each other. I wonder if I am the root, and they are the branches, or if it is the other way around. I wonder if they feel what I do, when I do, or if they feel the polar opposite. I can reach out to this other half of me in my sleep sometimes, but only when we both reach for the center. It’s all about the center. It’s all about the balance…the tension….the balance and the tension.
As I was trying to lucid dream last night an image formed in my mind…about being so alone. It has occurred to me that I have no support network, no safety net. It’s like walking a tight rope across a bottomless canyon, in very poor lighting.
When you have a safety net, and people that you can count on to help you out, it’s like walking that tight rope, but with a lot of other ropes around you, all going to the same center. If you lose sight of your rope, or just get thrown off balance for whatever reason, it’s easy to just step on someone else’s rope for a step or two until you’re back on your feet, balanced on your own rope. You can literally lean on others for a time.
A funny thing happens in this case, and as any child that has ever tried to balance in heights knows, it is easier to stay balanced on your rope when there is a net below you. Something about that illusion of safety makes it easier to step with confidence. When you have that safety net, you know it’s not the end of the world if you misstep, so it is that much easier to take that first step. Failure is just a little glitch before you hop back up and try again.
However, when you are alone, and feeling so alone in the world that you have no net, no other ropes around you, you may question where everyone else is…are you even on the right rope? Maybe there was a memo somewhere that you missed.
When you are trying to walk that tight rope, with no net, all of a sudden the danger of it seems to become more apparent. What to others may be a thrilling adventure, with small risk of real harm, becomes to the loner a real threat to life. That canyon is now darker and deeper and full of unknowns. Suddenly you feel like you are higher up than you actually are. The fear of the situation can easily take hold and send a person into panic at the thought of the one misstep that could literally kill them.
When you are all alone up there, just trying to take that first step can seem impossible. It takes a lot of talking yourself up and talking yourself down to get the courage to just move…just to take that first scary step. Then you either fall or you find balance.
You might think that once you get the hang of it, each step would be easier, but that’s not actually the case. The thing is, is that the further out you go, the scarier it becomes. There is a point of no return. Once you get so far out on that dark and sketchy rope you feel the fear of being so far from, what at least felt like, solid ground. If you lose your balance out there, you are fucked. There is no one else there to let you step on their rope for a sec. there is no net below you…just a free fall into the dark, scary unknown.
So while everyone else surrounded by friends and family might tell you how not bad it is, and “Don’t worry, everything will be okay”, you know that they have no idea what it’s really like. You know what it means to only have yourself to count on. You know how dangerous the plight is. You know how hard it is to try to struggle back up out of that dark cavern just to hop back up on that lonely ass fucking rope. Just to try again. Just to have the same people who are already past half way to where they’re going look back and tell you that it will all be fine. Easy for them to say.
But the thing is, it’s all about the tension and the balance. If your rope is strung to tight, (you are wound too tight) it’s too damn bouncy and every step you take threatens to throw you right off like a kicking colt. But, if you are too laid back and don’t have enough tension on your rope, you’ll be wobbling all over the place and you’ll never be able to get your balance.
The trick is in knowing yourself.
How much tension do you require? So many people are afraid of being overwhelmed, so they get too slack. Others still are afraid of losing control, so they pull their rope too tight because they think that that will leave no room for error, but it really just means that when the universe throws something at them they have to either catch that shit or watch it hit their rope and fling them off into the canyon. No one really likes having to catch shit for stuff, but then again, no one really likes having things thrown at them either. Life’s not fair.
As for the balance, that I think is the same for almost everyone. Find your center. Let it grow. The bigger your center is, the easier it is to balance. As tempting as if may be to have some fun flying around the edges, is it better to stay still in the center than spinning around the outside trying to get back in. When you’re alone on that tight rope wire, remember that balance is possible…and stillness helps. There is no need to hurry, no need to flail your arms about wildly, or to over-think each step. Remain flexible—bend your knees. Feel the rope, test the tension…adjust the tension before you take that first step. (It’s way easier to tighten or slack when you’re not on it)! Feel yourself. Are you ready? Or are you panicking? Can you breathe easily, or are you shaking? Don’t try to balance on a tight rope if you’re shaking! It does seem like there is some rush…like, the world around you is on fire and you have to get across that damn canyon immediately or you will surely die. But, you’re not going to get across that damn canyon if you are freaking out, so go ahead and take a big calming breath before making your move.
Going through this world alone, trying to fine tune the levels of tension I need, and balancing them has not been easy. I cannot count the times that I felt stuck on a slippery rope over a dark canyon, wondering where I took a wrong turn. (I was headed to the beach, why is this damn canyon in my way)! I cannot count the times that I have fallen, all the way down to the muck at the bottom, and had to blindly crawl my way back up. That is not easy. In fact, I think it would be easier to actually crawl up a dark canyon with no ropes.
I think about suicide all the time. This year I think there were all of 4 whole days that it didn’t cross my mind. I’ve heard a lot about it just being a long cold winter, and “it will get better”. But that is just not the case. Yes, the sunshine and warmth will help, but that just makes it easier to see the rope ahead of me, and to see what is down there if I fall. The light does not make me new friends. The warmth does not give me a safety net. I am still counting on me, and only me. I am alone in this world, and no matter how hard I try to connect with others, it’s just not there. So I wonder about my other-me. I think this person is on the other side of the canyon…trying to meet me in the middle. I think that’s what we’re all trying to do. Trying to build that bridge, to make that connection. I think that she alone understands the depths of my being, because she is it. I think that she longs for me too, and wonders about me, wondering about her. Of course, maybe I’m just delusional. That’s always a possibility.