Running Naked in The Streets

July 30, 2021

It is a deliverance of self to break free from serving a life that doesn’t give us an inner autonomy. I recently experienced such a thing.  I delivered myself to myself, finally.  What that entails cannot be explained in simple terms.  It is a form of redemption that can only reign after we overstay our old worlds.  In pain. In deep sorrow.  Deep relentless inner captivity and outer servitude.  Oh friend, the hardest thing to know is that we can’t let ourselves out because most of us don’t know we are in captivity.  Until we feel a type of anguish that has no specific ache but comes over routinely and not triggered by actual events. A constant nag.  At first you can prolong your life in captivity without it getting in the way of your servitude.  But the longer the anguish takes place the more you start to look for the open windows.  You start to question some of your long term decisions about your life.  I learned that starting with those may feel like torture but they do provide a shortcut to your freedom deliverance.  In the beginning, your life will darken.  The room you occupied starts to appear for what it really is; a waiting room in disguise.  You will consider unlocking the doors but that thought may as well look like a wild bear as it is frightening to even consider.  Unlocking the doors comes with a loudness that rings through the halls of your world.  When you start the unlocking, it won’t be undisclosed or concealed from everyone else.  Freeing yourself from the outdated choices of your life feels like running naked in front of everyone you know.  That very thought takes you from unlocking the covert operation to forgetting where the door even is. You go through a period of denying the truth of your servitude.  Going back to the subterranean life is better than what this feels like.  And for what, you think?  What are you really fighting for?  Your haven is a non local place with no form at this point.  You can’t point at it and go there.  It is a formless thought and a repetitive anguish in your heart that comes out of nowhere and stays until you fall asleep.  While at the same time your outdated world calls on you with all the responsibilities of the life that was built under different times, and different yous.  A very different you built the world you occupy today.  Right about now you start to realize why it doesn’t feel good anymore.  The daily torment comes from living in someone else’s house, with someone else’s wishes and dreams. Unlocking the front door and leaving means the whole town will wake up to see you run out without any of your belongings. No clothes. No money. No respect. No understanding. No empathy. No validation. No cheering. No nodding. Nothing.  It is you and your new naked self, like a fugitive. A drifter. With no place to go.  When you start to consider this option, know that you are getting ready for your escape.  At this stage you are approaching your breaking point.  You start to chew over the two options, obsessively.  Stay in perpetual anguish or become a naked drifter.  When the naked drifter option starts to feel like not such a bad choice, you are probably in the worst emotional shape.  But one unexpected night, as if you were born to do this you unlock that loud door.  You wake everyone up with it as you step out of your old world ready for the life of a drifter.  Ready to sacrifice everything for your redemption.  But that’s it right here, the sacrifice is never as big as you think it will be.  There is a kind of bliss that your bones, your flesh, your being, your mind starts to feel pretty soon after the first mile or two in your journey.  You rejoice.  You go from a prisoner, to a drifter, to a divergent, to a place that has no locks.  Until it is time again for your next reentry.  Your next habitat.  But now you know, when that first daily anguish starts to set in, you are already late. Your old world has given birth to a new one, and the longer you stay back, the harder it is to run naked in the streets.           With many lives and even more reentries, Christina  PS. We are taking a short break from recording new podcast episodes for the month of August. But I highly recommend that you listen to the conversations you missed. Especially if you need help with unlocking that loud front door. LINK: http://www.dearlifepodcast.com/episodes

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The Brakeless Bike

July 23, 2021

Imagine that you had a bike with no brakes. You just used your feet when you had to slow it down. You never even questioned why your bike came without brakes, you just rode it. Figuring out along the way how to keep yourself safe. You lived your whole life with this bike and one day someone asked you to take theirs down the street for them. You would do them a favor. Without a thought in the world, you got on the bike and rode it. When it was time to slow down and stop, your hands naturally held on to the brakes feeling an unfamiliar ease, a kind of sudden freedom. You may even go as far as to say, you encountered the kind of slow motion, time standing still type of slowing down that feels like you are on a movie set. The wind blowing on your hair the right amount of air. You finally arrive at the spot your friend told you about and, as you are about to step off the bike, you sob. Right there on the street. Your friend sees you from afar and is rushing towards you, thinking that you fell and hurt yourself. ‘What is wrong?’ she asks. You don’t even know how to tell her you have never used brakes before in your life. How you scraped your feet on the asphalt every day for as long as you can remember. How you did not know how it felt to not have to.  You just realized that you lived life in a way that was harder than everyone else’s and you didn’t even know it. You thought everyone struggled the way you did, you thought everyone rode the bike the way you did, and that those handle brakes were just there for show. You did not know it was so that you could rest your feet on the pedals. So that you could keep safe when a car jumped in front of you. So that you could slow down without having to scrape every sole you ever owned. You gave the bike to your friend and just turned to walk back to yours. Thoughts swimming as if they are drowning in your head. You look at your feet and they are full of small sneaky rocks and sticky dust. You never had shiny shoes on them. As you approach the bike, you know what you have to do. But before you do, you tell yourself that it will take time to forgive the part of you who just survived without asking if there was a better way. The part of you that never wondered if everyone endured that same daily hardship. How you didn’t notice the shiny shoes everyone else had on but you. The day will come when forgiveness will set in. While you are finally riding the bike, you should have had all along. Your shoes are glimmering in the sunlight and you are enjoying the turns and twists of the road. You notice the wind in your hair. And you don’t have to carry wash clothes in your bag to care for the shoes. Sometimes there are parts in our lives that are really hard, but we never question them. We just find a way to get through them, never indulging in the possibility that we don’t have to work so hard, or live this way. Without questioning what is and what has always been, we miss the fancy handle brakes and the chance to have nice shoes. It may not be everything, but when we just get by in life with parts that don’t have to be so hard, then the things that do, feel even worse.  Recently, I realized that a hard part of my life didn’t need to be that hard. I was furious at myself for not knowing this sooner. For not knowing that I didn’t have to scrape the soles of my shoes. Oh my friend, what a lesson that was. It had me sitting staring out my backyard for a while. Remembering all the times I was scraping down the streets with a brakeless bike that I didn’t have to have. As I was staring, I knew that this moment of knowing was immeasurable. It felt like art. Like a Picasso showing up at my front door. I may have had scrapes at my feet and no shoes that looked decent, but I had learned a big lesson. It won’t be long now, you’ll see me strolling down the street with my brand new bike. I will be looking out for you. So we can ride together, with the perfect wind on our hair, and with the most shiniest pairs of shoes the world has ever seen. With bike rides for miles, Christina P.S. If you know someone who would benefit from Friday’s letter you can send them this link to subscribe: www.christinarasmussen.com/miab

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The 15 Year Walk

July 16, 2021

A few weeks ago, I had a dream that when we die; we return to experience the exact life again.  We meet the same people, make the same mistakes, occupy the same story. I put it aside, reflecting that it was a strange dream. Further attaching to my belief that If we do return, we live a different life than the one we just had. I let it be. But a few days ago, I stumbled upon a book called Einstein Dreams by Alan Lightman. As soon as I opened to the first few pages, it was as if he was describing the dream I had. It was kind of eerie for me to read it. The novel was first published in 1992. It started out like this. “Suppose time is a circle, bending back on itself. The world repeats itself, precisely, endlessly. For the most part, people do not know they will live their lives over. In a world in which time is a circle, every handshake, every kiss, every birth, every word will be repeated precisely.” Sitting at the kitchen counter shaking my head, remembering my dream and re-reading the words in the novel. Do you suppose there is a world where we relive everything a million times? In the Einstein Dreams Novel, every chapter imagines a new conception of time. People existing in different worlds experiencing time in ways unfathomable to us.  “There is a place where time stands still. Raindrops hang motionless in air. Pendulums of clocks float mid swing… As a traveler approaches this place from any direction, he moves more and more slowly. His heartbeats grow farther apart, his breathing slackens, his temperature drops, his thoughts diminish, until he reaches dead center and stops. For this is the center of time… The loved one will never take his arms from where they are now, will never give back the bracelet of memories, will never journey far from his lover, will never place himself in danger in self-sacrifice, will never fall in love with someone else, will never lose the passion of this instant time.” Are you breathing? I forgot to breathe for a few seconds when I was reading this paragraph. He then continues this unparalleled writing journey with these words. “Those not quite at dead center do indeed move, but at the pace of glaciers. A brush of the hair might take a year, a kiss might take a thousand. While a smile is returned, seasons pass in the outer world. While a child is hugged, bridges rise. While a goodbye is said, cities crumble and forgotten.” This is what happens when we remember someone we lost a long time ago. We freeze time. Even though that is not what Alan meant with his breathless book, this is the only thing we can do inside the linear time world we are living in. The only way to freeze an embrace is by remembering it. The only way to stop time is by stepping into it with your mind and climbing inside the memory.  I can only imagine the liberties that people who have not visited the province of death make, about time standing still inside the realm of grief.  Here is how time stands in mine. On July 21st, it will be 15 years since the father of my children and my first husband left our linear time world. As I approach July 21st each year, I go on a walk.  The walk is invisible, and it happens simultaneously in everyday life. I may be doing the dishes, talking to a friend, writing to you, but the walk continues.  I am wandering towards the last few days of his life and I freeze time. During the walk I see my house, the kids young. I see him ageless and not noticing I had arrived from the future. He smiles. He nods. 15 years have passed. I am weathered. I have a perpetual silence that seeks me everywhere.  He is running around with the girls. He doesn’t know that in a few days, it will all be over. Nobody knows. Even though we were instructed to prepare. We never did. He stops at the grocery store during his last regular day. He does the mundane tasks that we perform when life appears as if it will go on endlessly. I now realize the air was a little thinner that day in the parking lot as we walked out to take that last ride home. My walk goes from there to him giving the kids a bath, and reading them a story in Danish. They sing together. Then I make it to the earlier years. It seems like I am running when I am there. It is a faster pace. But I can still remember everything. The birth of the girls. Our youth. The travels. The notion of assuming we could live forever. That is when I walk back to today, 15 years later. I didn’t know then how long the future was. How much life he was going to miss out on. Here time is linear, 15 years seems like a really long time, but for you, I expect for you it is like in Alan’s book. Time is experienced in every way, slow, frozen, circular, and you get to visit us whenever you want. For that, I am sure. When I take my walks to find you, I bet you visit with my future self while I visit with your past self. We meet there. Don’t we? In the intersection of time. One last thing before I go. The girls are doing well. You would be proud. Thank you for sending Eric. He is as you said he would be.  With many more unseen walks ahead, Christina

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The Field of Ghostly Winds

July 9, 2021

I have been changing things up in my life lately and I was reminded of the extreme discomfort change brings along with it.  It feels like you are standing in the middle of a field with high winds coming at you from all directions. The winds are like loud voices screaming at you to get off the field.  Expectations. Beliefs. Doubts. Old self.  The Past. The Future.   Everything is coming at you.  You are scared you will blow away.  And as you are holding on for dear life you wished you never made it to the field.  No wonder change is so hard to choose.  The moment you start changing things it brings in a storm to keep you inside.  But did you notice something?  Someone is missing from the wind blowers.  Look at your feet. I’ll give you one guess.  Who do you think is keeping you standing there, holding your feet in place in the midst of 75 mph wind?  The present.  The only reason why you even went to the field. You wanted to give yourself a happier present.  But you see the past and the future are strong wind blowers and why the present always struggles. The past has done it for so long that it can create quite the hurricane.  The future is temperamental and unpredictable, you never quite see it coming.  The present is always younger than the past and too slow for the future.  Now you see where the wind picks up speed, and why it feels impossible to stand on that field long enough so your present changes.  But I am writing this letter to you today to remind you of something you may have forgotten. The present does have something the others don’t. It is the only real thing on that field of winds.  The past is gone and the future hasn’t arrived yet. The longer you make it out there, the stronger the present becomes.  The longer you stand inside the wind, the wind lessens.  The present starts to grow in all directions, past and future.  The past gets added to, and the future is being rewritten.  By now the wind is more of a strong breeze which lets you enjoy the present a little more.  I don’t know why it took me so long to take care of my today more than my tomorrow.  Why I considered the past to be more important than the present.  As you can imagine I have a lot of explaining to do, but my present and I have been having a lot of great conversations lately and I am making amends and righting all the wrongs.  I hope you take a chance on that field of ghostly winds too, you and your present are stronger than you think.    With a breeze, Christina

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