Searching

“I did things I did not understand for reasons I could not begin to explain just to be in motion, to be trying to do something, change something in a world I wanted desperately to make over but could not imagine for myself.” 

Dorothy Allison, Trash: Stories

Lately, I’ve been absorbed in books. In them I’ve found some very good teachers.

There’s a problem with all this, though. It’s very difficult to read and write at the same time. Through a haze of guilt, I felt it was more important for me to continue to read.

I found the more I read the more I felt I was piecing together parts of a mystery novel. Bit by bit I was beginning to gain insight and figure things out. The interesting thing–unlike those other page turning thrillers I’d read, the enigma at the center of this story was me.

As I read I began to see ways I could begin to solve the unknowns in my life. From past work I knew it would take patience. From a very young age, I’d mastered the skill of creative busyness. It was the way I escaped so I could block out and not question what was happening in my small world.

As I whirled through my life, years and years of life events I found too painful or confusing were simply filed away for later. As long as I stayed busy, they stayed in their little files.

Now I am no longer busy enough to keep those files stacked up and safely closed. Little mental nudges caused the stacks to slide and all those carefully filed pages began to spill out. My filing system was failing. I knew I could not refile it all. I also understood in order to live my life fully I’d have to confront my past–file by file.

This year of awareness is showing me life lessons don’t always come in order.

Maybe I’ve needed my own adult experiences to help guide my journey back. Maybe I needed to have the maturity to understand so I won’t get caught up in making judgements. Maybe I needed to fight all the battles I’ve fought so I realize I have the courage to move through my doubts and fears.

Maybe I needed to know–really know–I was ready.

“We can be walking around in this world, with bits and pieces of our souls scattered in different time loops and space cracks. You feel like you are always looking for yourself, because you actually are always looking for yourself! You’re always looking for those bits and pieces of you. You’ve got to sit down and remember where you left them at. You’ve got to quiet the noise and go back to those loops in time and cracks in space that you forgot about and you need to understand yourself in those moments, and embrace yourself. And maybe even embrace those who were around you, with you. That’s how you get those pieces back, that’s how you sew them back into you.” 

C. JoyBell C.

I am..

B…simply being.

~Peace~

Thank you, Kimberlee Salimeno, for letting me use your beautiful photo. I love and cherish you. 

Self Work

The greatest hazard of all, losing one’s self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss—an arm, a leg, money, a wife, etc.—is sure to be noticed. 

-Soren Kierkegaard

I’ve been doing what I call “self work” for most of my adult life. I’ve been fortunate to find the right teachers at the right time. Not only have I had excellent teachers, I had the added benefit of traveling with like-minded seekers who are now some of  my closest friends.

Looking back, some of these connections seem miraculous. From a last-minute decision to attend a non-credit class to reconnecting with old friends via Facebook to finding an obscure book standing upright on the shelf at the small local library, I am learning more about myself as the stream of teachers flow in.

That little obscure book has been sitting beside me for days now–I’ve delayed opening it–I’m not sure why. Maybe the title was a trigger: Unworthy, How to Stop Hating Yourself, by Anneli Rufus.

I began reading it today. That little uneasiness I felt was warranted. This author has much to share with me and I bet she has some insight for you as well.

Below are some of the notes I made today.  The words “self hate” may sound strong to you–as Ms. Rufus says, “Maybe I no longer hate myself–I just don’t like myself much.” Whatever terminology feels best to you, Anneli speaks honestly to those of us who feel or who have ever felt unworthy.

“We the afflicted, we who hate ourselves, need to know that thinking, actions, and feeling come easily to those with self-respect; that these seemingly simple processes–thinking, acting, and feeling, thus including hope and love–are monumentally different for us, requiring twice as much effort on our part as other as others have to expand. For us, even a simple task–dressing, ordering food in restaurants–means thinking, over thinking, unthinking, striding through thick waves of shame, dread and fear. That sound ludicrously like an act of courage.”

“For more than forty years I believed that I was not all there. For more than forty years I did not understand that I WAS there but someone else had made me believe I was not all there.” 

“Start here: You are astounding just for being human, merely for belonging to this species that is capable of language, laughter, creativity, and love. With just one hand you can soothe a child, play a tune, or stitch a wound. With just one eye, you could signal warning or friendship, read the entire contents of a library, or find your way out of the woods. And your brain is the Universe’s greatest creation.”

I hope these snippets stir up your curiosity about what I will share tomorrow and what we can learn together.

“The only way to make a spoilt machine work again is to break it down, work on its inner system and fix it again. Screw out the bolts of your life, examine and work on yourself, fix your life again and get going.” 

Israelmore Ayivor

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace be with you~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Flip Side

Affirmations are our mental vitamins, providing the supplementary positive thoughts we need to balance the barrage of negative events and thoughts we experience daily.” 

Tia Walker, The Inspired Caregiver: Finding Joy While Caring for Those You Love

I talked about the power of words yesterday, giving examples from my life. Bringing these stories back is difficult at times–

We all have stories in our past that caused us pain. I’ve worked hard to dodge my stories for most of my life. I buried them, thinking they’d dissolve over time and just fade away. For me, once my mind was free to focus on me instead of my career, those memories stirred. I no longer had my work buffers in place. The rumblings of those long dormant memories grew stronger, bolder, and more persistent. They’ve refused to quiet.

My heart told me I was ready to search for the real me. My teachers began to appear in forms of old friends, articles, and books. I knew it was time for me to share the more difficult stories. I needed to do that so I could let them go–flip things around so I was using them to move forward instead of them using me to pull me back.

I share to give hope to those who are experiencing or have had similar struggles. I hope my words give insight to those who recognize some of their own behaviors. We are here on this journey together to support each other–easing the rough spots while sharing our experiences and knowledge.

“You are here, alive and awake and for whatever reasons you have fought your battles, it’s time to start focusing on what strengths pulled you up when the entire world had knocked you down. 

That’s where the virtue in self grows.” 

Nikki Rowe

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~

Again, I am privileged to have another amazing photographer willing to share his talent with me. Thank you, Brian Gustafson, for allowing me to use your photo with my blog post today. It is a visual image of what my inner turmoil feels like at times. You can view more of Brian’s work by following the link below: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/briangustafson.html

 Please note, no re-use of this photo without permission from the photographer.