change · growth · letting go · sacrifice · surrender

the sacrificial bull

I’d written some in the blog “The Hero’s Journey” in January, when
we’d been asked in a workshop what part of a particular mythological journey we
were on. It was the story of the Minotaur, but it begins years before with his father, or
maybe even grandfather? Can’t remember.
The part that I identified with in the story was when the
hero (one of them) asks to be crowned king by Poseidon, the sea god. The god
agrees to make him king, but only if he will sacrifice this gorgeous white bull
Poseidon gives to him. The hero, thinking, sure of course, anything, says No
problem. And he becomes king.
Problem is, he becomes attached to the white bull, perhaps
even falls in love with it, I can’t remember. But he refuses to sacrifice the
bull, and instead sacrifices 100 goats to appease the god.
The god is not appeased. And ruin falls on generations of
his family, including on the poor not of this world/not of that Minotaur.
I’d written then that I felt like I was at the point in the
journey when I’m being asked to sacrifice the bull, but instead have been
sacrificing a litany of goats. There were a few things I had in mind as being
“the bull,” something I wasn’t ready to give up, and instead would twist myself
into a mental and emotional pretzel to keep, thereby “sacrificing goats.” But
the gods have not been appeased, the bull remains, and I am plagued.
This morning, while writing my Morning Pages, I was struck
by an awful thought. A thought so harrowing, I gasped aloud, “No.” Not this.
I was talking with a friend last night after class, and she
is looking to move from her house with 7 roommates, to a more manageable house
with 4, perhaps. She told me how much she’s looking to spend, how much
she pays now, and that went in my mental hopper.
So, this morning, when writing, when the thought came to me
that perhaps I ought to get a room in a house with other people – I was struck
aghast. This cannot be my bull. My apartment, with afternoon sunlight, big enough,
where people come and say, It’s perfect for you. No, not this.
I was so terrified of the idea of giving this place up for
money, to sacrifice this small little studio for a room in a house with
roommates that I actually started to tear a little in desperation.
What this did, then, was show me that giving up this housing
situation would be another goat. It is not the housing I need to give up, it is
the staying small. It is my refusal to put myself out there. And perhaps, I
have hit a bottom when this option has become my best thinking’s best resort.
I began to write in the pages that I am willing – I am
willing to give up my hiding. To work, to earn, to share my gifts, to stop
staying small. I am willing to be big to save this apartment from my own hari
kari.
Whether that’s the lesson of this or not, I don’t know. But
I do know that I am not at all willing to give this apartment up at the moment.
For all I have to say about Oakland, etc., I live in a wonderful neighborhood,
close to my communities of choice, and as conveniently located as possible. My apartment
itself has become a part of my skin, taking on the tone and tenor of my inner
changes – dressed in the swag of my current expression. Not this.
Staying small, hiding, refusing to take the action that will
really help me move forward (i.e. really putting on the damned workshop I’ve
been working on for a year), not believing in myself and my abilities — these are my bull. The familiar but horrifically
painful and consequence-producing patterns of my contracted, constricted behavior is my bull.
The apartment is not. I still do leave it up to the Invisible
Sky Faerie, but faced with the option of giving up this seriously not that
expensive apartment, I’m becoming willing to sacrifice my bull. I am becoming willing to Go Big, and Go Home.

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