Thomm Quackenbush, author


I got an email from a friend this morning. Technically this afternoon, but who are we in cyber space to question such things as "time"? He has been calling me for days and every time the phone rings I don't answer. Its not that I don't want to, in fact I want to connect desperately but I am not sure I remember how in some ways. This is not the point, however.

The last line of his email was "forgive." When I first read this I thought it was an apology for something, though I didn't understand what the indiscretion was. Then, five minutes later I realized he was telling me to forgive myself.

I am not good at this and it is the work I am supposed to be doing. Another beautiful person in my life asked me if I was forgiving myself my actions and I told him that I wasn't sure because I genuinely didn't know what that felt like exactly. That I can always forgive others but to allow that feeling for myself was not something I knew how to do. So what is this forgiveness? I think its allowing ourselves to feel our own imperfect humanity both in our actions and in our thoughts. I remember people telling me when I was younger that I could think whatever I wanted I just couldn't act on all those thoughts. That those things in my head were sacred and that therefore I shouldn't judge myself on the thoughts. I do not worry about those things in my head, my head is not my action and it is easy to forgive thoughts. I am not in control of the things in my head and so I can watch them pass, acknowledge them and move on. So where then is it that this forgiveness cannot occur?

It is the forgiveness of actions. The thought that while I can't control my thinking I can control my body and as an athlete I am supposed to be good at that. I am always aware of my body in space because I am so used to knowing its movements, its connections and disconnections. So then, it is poor choice in action that results in this unforgiving mess. There are things that one is supposed to do or not supposed to do and I am doing all of those wrong. (No- prurient listener you do not get to know the details... Suffice it to say that there are actions one should take and actions one should not.) How does one sit in one's body, in one's skin after you have destroyed something? Whether that something be trust, secrets, skin, body, blood or efforts? This I do not know and it is the lesson I am trying to learn. Well, in all truth I am trying to learn it when it suits me. When this lesson is too hard I abandon it and then there is the guilt, the lack of forgiveness when I return to it, tail between my legs.

I am shying away from the hard work. This is supposed to be hard and I am the only one who can do it. I alone am responsible for my actions and the reactions to them and I am the only one who can manifest change. I am not doing the work because right now the step prior to the work is the one I'm missing.

If I am the only one who can do this work then where and how am I connected to others? Others who I have abandoned, ignored and pushed away and who have in turn abandoned me. So alone I am left to do this work, to grow into something more and even though I am taking myself apart piece by piece and line by line there has to be something more. Its just a matter of doing the work, committing to the work and not running so hard alone... because right now I am running as fast as I can.

Emily is a strong woman fighting against her body and soul to earn her wings. She is or has been a nationally ranked blackbelt in Tae Kwon Do, a two time inducteee to the Martial Arts Hall of Fame, an animal control officer, a graduate student, and a groovy person.

Stars in the Daytime
Stars in the Daytime

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Works by Thomm Quackenbush


Find What You Love and Let It Kill You by Thomm Quackenbush
Pagan Standard Times: Essays on the Craft by Thomm Quackenbush
A Creature Was Stirring: A Twisted Christmas Anthology by Thomm Quackenbush
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