Daddy and I had a bed and bath time routine that worked quite nicely for you when you were a young baby. You and I would have a bath together. You would play with the bubbles and the bath toys while I sang songs to you. When it was time to get out, your Daddy would lift you up high above his head and you would giggle madly before he whisked you into the lounge room to oil and dress you. It was around this time every evening that a television show called ‘Get Smart’ would be on. A comedy series from the 1960’s, it is based on a secret agent called Maxwell Smart. Max works for an agency called CONTROL and any nemesis he goes up against usually works for an organisation named KAOS.
In the series, Max and anyone who worked for CONTROL were viewed as the ‘good guys’. KAOS was taking care of all the bad stuff. It was an interesting reflection of what was deemed good and bad. To have control, to see and experience life in an ordered fashion, is good. To be immersed in chaos is bad because without control, well, anything could happen!
If we live our lives in a managed, regulated and disciplined manner then we can create the illusion of security. What we are really doing is manipulating and limiting our experiences and therefore, ourselves.
“What is discipline? Discipline means creating an order within you. As you are, you are a chaos.” – Osho
Yet, if chaos is our natural state, why are we so afraid?
American writer Terence McKenna said; “Chaos is what we’ve lost touch with. This is why it is given a bad name. It is feared by the dominant archetype of our world, which is Ego, which clenches because its existence is defined in terms of control”
So you see, when we are allowing the ego to determine our lives, there will always be an aspect of control involved. Whether you are controlling yourself or attempting to control other people or circumstances, it will usually be short-lived. Most people who find themselves struggling to control bigger issues in their lives, decide to micro-manage one particular area that they feel confident enough to dominate. It may be the food you eat and you may embark on a diet. It might be finances, taking them by the reigns to tighten the budget, counting every dollar that goes in and out of your bank account. Others may cling and clutch to a relationship that may be well past its due date.
People will work harder, run faster, and take on more projects. There are many ways to try and avoid chaos.
One morning after I had put you down for a morning sleep, I stood quietly and observed our lounge room and kitchen. Toys were scattered across the rug. You had emptied the entire contents of the cookware cupboard. Turmeric had been upended on the floor of the pantry. In a saucepan under the table I discovered some grapes with bite marks and a dried out piece of cheese. As I bent down to begin picking some of these things up, I stopped myself. I decided instead to sit on the lounge and just be with the chaos. I was amazed at how confronting it was to begin with as I turned off my auto pilot whose only desire was to restore order as soon as possible.
I realised how much I unconsciously went through my days wanting to put things into place. I didn’t have the deep respect for disorder that I have now.
As a younger woman I sought out discord and turmoil as a way of rebelling against order. Yet it was orchestrated disarray. The pandemonium was of my own making so it was not the natural chaos of my true nature. Through the years that I have been unlearning everything, I touched the place in which only a holy mess exists. I saw its beauty and felt its liberation but those pesky neural pathways and ingrained patterns allowed me to forget again as I sought to make sense of my world. To give it structure and a framework within which I could operate securely. A space where I believed I could foresee anything coming. That is the most naïve and disillusioned state that anyone can live in. Chaos is the ultimate truth and control a myth which we have bought into.
I want to thank you Seamus for helping me lovingly embrace chaos. To remember its powerful reality. Chaos will bring you home to the present moment. It will clarify and focus you where you need to be.
I usually write on the days you are with Nanny and I can tap away at the keyboard uninterrupted. Today you are home and you have come in to me at the computer desk several times. I could have seen those times as interruptions but in actual fact, you were spotlighting the now. As you picked through my cashews with sticky fingers and showed me your bare feet after pulling your socks off, I felt so much love for you. Those moments are precious reflections of feracity.
May your life be filled with chaos in its purest form. Look to nature where you will find an organised chaos that is divinely perfect. Welcome it darling and you will become the eye of the storm, where you will find a peace and calm that control and order can only mimic.
“In chaos, there is fertility”- Anaïs Nin