“Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us.” Karlfried Gras von Durkheim
I went to get a haircut the other day. I picked a relatively random place and just walked in. It wasn’t anyplace fancy, it was a basic barber shop. The kind of place where you sit down and wait for your turn.
There were two asian women cutting hair. One was working on a little boy who’d decided to try to cut his own hair and she was doing her best to resurrect what was possible after an eight year old took a beard trimmer to his hairline.
I watched as his hair got shorter and shorter thinking to myself, I guess he’ll learn his lesson and not pull a stunt like that again… I was trying to remember if I’d done that and could almost feel the intensity in the lesson that he was learning as his face got red. I made up that he was experiencing a cocktail of shame, fear, frustration, and confusion.
His dad started getting his hair cut by the other woman and his younger sister was walking up and down the seating area playing and doing normal, healthy childhood stuff.
The stimulation started to wear on me. The language barrier, the young boy having a head on collision with reality, the young girl stepping on my toes as she moved in and out of my bubble.
The internal dialogue started getting pretty loud in my head and the debate got heated;
“PULL IT TOGETHER!”
“What’s wrong with you?”
“They’re just kids, doing kid stuff.”
“Are you serious? This is what’s going to unravel you?”
“You face deep grief and sit with “real” problems.”
You get it, maybe you’ve been there.
Then I sit down to get my hair cut and my own frustration starts to come to a precipice. I feel inside myself that I want something secific with my hair and I’m invested. I’ve been growing my hair out for the last six to eight months and it’s just starting to behave from the curl that I have.
“If you cut it more than just an 1/8 to a 1/4 of an inch the sides will get curly and stick straight out.”, I tell the woman.
I show her pictures.
I start to feel like this big, impending, good or bad outcome, dependent on the result. I explain again “exactly” what I want and where. I can tell you that I’m embarrassed to tell you this and I can feel some sense of ridiculousness with my attachment.
She starts to cut my hair and immediately takes off about 3/4 of an inch off each side. She compares and combs it around and does it again. I’m in shock. And then again. I feel an intensity rumbling up inside me. The sensation is driving me to act, to DO something. DO SOMETHING NOW!!!
Can I intervene between my bodies sensations and recognizing that none of this is really that big of a deal? Can I lead my thoughts back to my priorities? My real priorities and not that my hair looks right, not all the bullshit stories about needing it to look professional for my clients, not stylish for my international trips to wherever my next vacation takes me.
I simply pulled the plug on the haircut, conducted an intervention on the haircut, leave the barbershop, and I’m literally laughing within a few minutes. This hasn’t always been the case and it still may not be at certain points in the future.
Here’s the flip side of the coin… the world, at times, has been falling down around me and I’m cool as shit. Not even breathing hard. Why? Because I’m numb. Some major experience around love or grief that would have me swimming in intense sensations and I don’t feel a thing. I came to realize that at times when I should feel a lot less, I actually feel too much and at times when I should feel more, I feel far too little.
When I’m sad for loss or termination of something important I want to feel that and when I’m in traffic and someone swerves in front of me I want to keep my shit together, not the other way around. When grief shows up meet it there and hang out all night until the sun comes up, let it wash over you, this is living life to the fullest. Go into that fire over and over and over.
But when something like your significant other frustrates you don’t be weak and yell over something that really isn’t that big of a deal.
When/where in your life do you still feel too little?
What has been the negative impact of this?
When/where in your life do you feel too much?
What has been the negative impact of this?