Saturday, December 12, 2009

Defense Systems

Have you ever noticed the barbs on a cactus? It amazes me sometimes how such a beautiful plant can have such sharp barbs! I wonder if Roses are in the cactus family? Sometimes in life the most beautiful things have to have the sharpest defenses, I guess. I remember being a child and having to create within myself a defense system to deal with violent aspects of my home and school. I didn't like having to do that, but it was a necessary just to survive it all.

So then we have to look at what the medicine teachings of this must be. I think sometimes it is human nature to pick at the beautiful things and people in life. It must make us feel very big and important to be able to destroy something beautiful, otherwise, why would we do it? I think that we have to look at what truly motivates us to be destructive. What are we accomplishing in the destruction? Are we feeling threatened? What can we do to allow ourselves to be defended without constantly being defensive? Where do we feel safe to just have room to grow and be our big and beautiful selves?

I think another medicine that the spirit of the cactus brings to us is the knowledge that life can indeed be filled with a bunch of pricks. And when we encounter them, we really need to glove up so that we don't get poked too much. I call it "donning my best 'Kill Bill' outfit". That way we are impervious to harm and won't be setting ourselves up for attack. One look and the adversary pulls away in utter fear! Take that! Ha!

Some cacti are edible. This shows us that even from the most prickly of circumstances we can glean personal nourishment. The trick is to know which prickly circumstance is promoting nourishment and which is not. Then we can respond appropriately.

Blessed Be

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Renee said...

This reminds of a story that I heard once a long time ago. It was about a squash that had a band of leather tied around it. The band of leather was tightened more and more each day. After days of this pressure the squash was cut open to reveal that the flesh had adapted in the most interesting way. The flesh that was subject to the pressure that become fibrous and thick. Isn't it interesting that humans also become hardened when put on constant and increasing pressure??

Marion said...

"The trick is to know which prickly circumstance is promoting nourishment and which is not." Sometimes I'm well into the prickly patch before I discover it really does not nourish.

Super, super post...Thank you!

Trent Deerhorn said...

Now we know why we don't like being squashed in our lives! And yes, I am also usually in the prickly patch way before I realize it!