Thursday, April 7, 2016

reflections on life perspectives

One way I cope with spring snow is to use it as an opportunity to grow in spirit, a chance to practice choosing my perspective. 

I imagine life to be like a board game with people gathered all around.  I notice that players who have become totally invested in the game, who have given over their identity to their piece and forgotten that they are the player outside the game, become totally reactive when things don’t go the way they want.  If they land on a space that sends them back two spaces, they become enraged or depressed, or if they pass all the other pieces up, they go into ecstasy! 

On the other hand, players with a larger perspective, those who remember who they are outside their game piece, can participate and enjoy the game with a sense of “detachment.”   They may not like “losing one turn,” but the better the player, the more likely they can laugh about it because, from the larger perspective, they know they can use ALL their experiences on the board to “win” at a much larger “game” – one that brings not just temporary fun, but real joy that doesn’t go away!

As many wise teachers have suggested, “Whatever arises, love that!”

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Perceiving With New Eyes

In 2003 I wrote, "some things I want to think when interacting with another," and I took it to work with me to read when I needed reminding how I chose to see others (and myself!). This is it: 

This person before me now is my beloved brother/sister born of the same holy God/Source as myself. Like me they have chosen to forget the glorious perfection that they are to incarnate for the purpose of being able to experience, express and evolve. This choice is not always easy and is a gift of great love given to the whole, for we are all one body. 

As a human being in this world, this beloved person before me has forgotten Who They Really Are and lives in doubt of their incredible magnificience. She may have forgotten her beauty and feels ugly, forgotten his immeasurable value and feels worthless, forgotten her unlimited power and feels helpless, forgotten that his life is eternal and feels in danger of losing his life, forgotten her oneness with all that is and feels alone and isolated, forgotten his royal identity and feels like nobody special, forgotten her giftedness and feels incompetent, forgotten that his choices all lead Home and feels lost and afraid of failure, forgotten how totally loved and cherished she is and feels forgotten and unloved. 

I can understand, therefore, that, just like me, when this beloved person before me acts in ways that are not loving or kind it is only because they are in this state of forgetfulness. They believe they must compete to get the love and security they already have and work hard to become the worthy and valuable persons that they already are. They are suffering like a small child who has become immersed in a horror movie and believes the monsters are real and out to get him/her. Thus, when this beloved person before me attacks another or tries to make themselves invisible it is because they are afraid and believe they must defend themselves or be destroyed. They may try to appear bigger and better than another because they really feel small and helpless, or they may act small and helpless because they believe that going unnoticed is the only way to be safe. 

To be of service to this beloved person before me I will respect and care for their feelings. However, no matter how flawed they perceive themselves to be, I will choose to see their incredible beauty, their immeasurable value and worth, their unlimited power and strength, their unique giftedness, their God identity, their eternal connection with myself and all things, and their lovableness. 

God help me to not just know these things with my mind, but to truely perceive and experience them. Help me to see others as You see them and to love them as You love them that they might know again the wonder of Who They Really Are!

Later I added:

I make up all kinds of techniques, or games as I like to call them, to help me shift my perception from the “ordinary” way of looking at people (or anything else for that matter), to seeing them with “new eyes”. When I take the time to perceive others as holy extensions of the same Source as myself instead of as objects who may either satisfy or thwart my needs, I become more attentive, open and respectful. Instead of being critical and judgmental, I find myself listening with compassion and understanding. It feels really good!  Whoever said it is more fun to be loving than to be right, was right! Not only does it feel good to be the one extending love, but it feels good to the recipient. They may have expected annoyance, indifference, defensivness, anger, or counterattack, anything but being seen and heard and valued. This brings the relationship to a totally different level with unimagined possibilities for real communication and resolution of differences!

Loving people as I described earlier may sound like a real challenge, more an ideal than a reality, but I know that the better I get at it the more incredible my life becomes. I've had ecstatic kinds of experiences being what felt like a channel of pure love and once you get bitten by the bug there's no turning back. Being a source of love and healing becomes the "pearl of great price," the focus of desire. I used to think that the prayer of St. Francis of Asissi sounded like a difficult sacrifice (to be the source of comfort etc. rather than to be comforted). Now I see it as the most wonderfully selfish prayer I know. To be a giver there must be a reciever, and let me tell you it's a lot more FUN being in a place of wanting to give all than a place of needing to receive it (although the giving and receiving all becomes one thing anyway!).

This description/poem I wrote describes this feeling:

I celebrate your gentle presence with me here now. 
Like the steady glow of a candle flame, 
you warm the darkness with your soft touch. 
When I let myself be with you - 
when I let myself feel your loving gaze upon me - 
I want to laugh at all my funny fears. 
I want to dance with abandon to 
the intoxicating music of life that is you. 
Filled with your song, I have no desire 
other than to sing in harmony with your many voices. 
Oh that my presence in this world can be an open channel 
pouring forth your sweet and tender love on all. 
Oh what a privilege, oh what heavenly joy! 
You are the source, you are life. 
There is nothing more I could ask than to be your vessel. 
Let it be me, dear God, let it be me. 
Today and always, 
Thank-you, God, thank-you.

A Catalyst for my Journey

One of the catalysts that supported my healing experiences was reading the Conversation With God books.  They provided a new way of thinking about God that helped me to feel safe existing - safe to be free!  And for someone with DID, that is HUGE!  I lost all interest in reading novels or watching TV or anything that didn't feed my incredible hunger for learning more and more.  The spiritual path  became my "pearl of great price" and I loved it!  Eventually I joined a group formed by CWG called Humanity's Team and this is a letter I came across that I wrote trying to explain the "New Spirituality." I want add that I had started a group for studying the CWG books, but as I read more and more books I changed the name of the CWG group to the New Spirituality Group, but then as I continued to read the mystics and such I came to realize that these ideas and experiences were ancient and ended up calling it the Spiritual Exploration Group!

Most of humanity has noticed that life in the world is no longer making sense or feeling good like it used to.  Something has changed.  Our problems have gotten so extreme that it has become obvious that our usual attempts to solve them are no longer working .  Confused and frightened, many people cry out for a return to the “good ole days,” rejecting anything that smacks of “new” or different from the past.  There are some eager and willing to engage the issues, but they continue to see the problems as they were understood in the past, only bigger.  Though well meaning and courageous, these people seek to fix that which is no longer working with the same  solutions, only jacked up.  Unfortunately, it’s like driving a car that gets stuck in the mud.  Though it seems that giving it more gas will take it forward, it just gets mired deeper in the rut.   

On the other hand, there are those who admit that they don’t have all the answers, but realize the old ways no longer work.  These people hear that “still, small voice within” that whispers, “It doesn’t have to be this way, there’s something more, something better, something you haven’t quite yet grasped!”  They seem to sense this journey we’re on doesn’t stop here and that we’re just passing through.  Their curiosity, as well as their faith in the ultimate goodness of God/Life, lead them to courageously look outside the box labeled reality and play with new possibilities.  With an open mind they explore different ways of looking at God and life, reading books, listening to new ideas and examining their beliefs. They stay connected to the wisdom in their hearts while sorting through this sea of information to see what works - what takes them where they want to go, and what doesn’t.  Such people are willing to risk a little to have it all!

These people have recognized that the kind of life we create is dependent upon the choices we make and that the choices we make are dependent upon two things, what we desire to experience, and what we believe about life, its source and destination.  Desire and belief, this is the seed out of which grows the life we choose to experience.  If the fruit of the plant, therefore, is not to our liking then we must look to the seed.  This seed is our spirituality. It is our deepest desires for peace and love and joy and freedom because that is the essence of what we are.  (Even when we appear to desire worldly wealth and power etc. it is only because we think they will bring us these experiences.)  This seed of spirituality also holds within it the answers we have given to the questions we have about God - what is God, what does God want, where does God reside, who does God talk to, and how are we related.  These are the questions that our religions have traditionally sought to answer for us based on their interpretations of the Masters.

Once upon a time, these traditional responses fit who we thought we were, but life has outgrown the definitions we have dressed it in for so long .  Science has provided new ways of understanding ourselves and our environment.  Technology has given us new opportunities for experience and connected us in ways never thought possible. We’ve come to “know too much” to be content with seeing ourselves and the world as we did in the past.  A child who rides a bike with training wheels may be content to stay within sight of home, but an adolescent with a license to drive will not.  It wouldn’t be healthy if we did.  To grow and expand our horizons is a natural and necessary part of life.  Just as the sun’s reflection on snow sparkles only when we move, our lives bring us joy only when we grow. 

The New Spirituality is an invitation to see God and life with fresh eyes.  It is not a new religion and it is not anti-religion.  If anything, it looks at what the Masters taught in the light of greater understanding and takes those teachings to a new level of expression.  We have always been given messengers asking us to become Who We Really Are, but few in history have comprehended and chosen that path.  Now it is time for us all.  I can imagine Jesus telling a parable about this time in history and calling it,  “The autistic child finally notices.”  I say this because many are beginning to realize that our experience in the world has been like that of an autistic child. We’ve been totally absorbed in our own small make-believe worlds, not understanding how to get our needs met and pounding our heads against the wall in frustration.  How can we expect to get to where we want to go, when we continue to experience ourselves as lost and alone - as powerless?   The autistic child’s loving parents (like God/Universe) have always been present, longing to satisfy its every desire.  They’ve even spent hours sitting with the child rocking and trying to be a part of it’s world so they can communicate their love (as those sent to remind us of the same), but the child has been oblivious - until now.  Imagine the parent’s incredible joy when that child begins to notice and respond to them and it’s real environment! That would be a great day of celebration! 

This is the goal of the New Spirituality, to bring us all into that joyful state of awareness that shows us we are all one and not alone.  It reminds us that, “We are powerful spiritual beings having a human experience and not helpless human beings having an occasional spiritual experience!”  It recognizes that the Truth lies within each individual and that even though it may be temporarily blocked, it is there to be experienced.  It announces that “there is enough” for all, and that once we realize who we are, we will no longer be afraid to share and the idea of scarcity will be a thing of the past.  It proclaims that there is only One God Source who who has no need to judge or condemn.  That nobody’s path to that Source is better than another’s - and that no person is superior to another.  It embraces love that knows no condition, freedom as the essence of life, and joy as our natural state of being  Finally, the New Spirituality celebrates “Life” as our most sacred trust and highest value and seeks to create a world in which humans live in peace, harmony and happiness! 

These are some of the “new” thoughts or concepts of the New Spirituality.  Unfortunately, many seekers stop right there - in their head.  They talk about the new concepts they’ve explored and quote the latest authors, but their way of being in the world does not reflect the ideas expressed. The idiom, “actions speak louder than words,” suggests that how we show up in life is the better indicator for what we truly believe and desire.  While expressing beliefs is important, unless they are embraced at levels deeper than the mind, they will not become the kind of beliefs that translate into action.  The power to create real change in the world depends not only on those ideas we profess, but whether we have integrated them into our lives where they influence our daily choices.  In the end, how we choose to show up announces what we truly believe and is what inspires others to follow our example - or not.  Mahatma Gandhi summed it up when he said, “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.”  

This process of translating our intellectual ideas into heart felt beliefs that manifest as a way of being in the world, usually takes time.  It involves living our lives day to day and interacting with the world as consciously as we can.  We must observe our thoughts, feelings and actions and ask ourselves if they are taking us where we say we want to go, given what we believe.  It takes practice and it takes gentle patience.  Change, no matter how much we desire it, can at times be very confusing and uncomfortable.  We are attempting to shift our perception of that which is most fundamental to our existence - our identity.  Who are we, why are we here, where did we come from, where are we going and what do we want?  This is no small matter!  Support from people of like mind is extremely helpful and that is where Humanity’s Team comes in!

Humanity’s Team is made up of people like you and me who, as I described earlier, have heard that “still, small voice within” whispering, “It doesn’t have to be this way, there’s something more, something better, something you haven’t quite yet grasped!”  They are the ones whose curiosity, as well as their faith in the ultimate goodness of God/Life, have led them to courageously look outside the box labeled reality and play with new possibilities.  They are not “know it alls” who look down on other people that see things differently.  They know that creation (and we are all creators and co-creators in the process of creating) depends on the wonder of diversity.  They also realize that diversity is “safe” because it is held together by the common bond of Life;  We are all one thing, one body, experiencing, expressing and evolving together like a changing jigsaw puzzle with many pieces whose separating lines are merely illusory.  

At this transitional time in history, the people of Humanity’s Team have come together seeking to become trained as conscious midwives able to assist this body that we are to give birth to a new experience and expression of life.   It is a time that brings us all the opportunity to choose and experience the peace, love, joy and freedom we have long desired, and to make “earth as it is in heaven”.  Humanity’s Team are those who have chosen nothing less than to “Be the Hope of Humanity!”  As God says on the final page of The New Revelations by Neale Donald Walsch, “Remember that the greatest tool you will ever have with which to create not only a new spirituality, but a whole new world, is your own life, lived.”

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Having Compassion for the Fearful and Resistant in Us

The Value of Spiritual Growth and the Courage Necessary for the Journey

Imagine being a blind person sitting on the couch in your livingroom.  How would you feel about the placement of the things in your house.  Would you feel comfortable having someone come in and move around the furniture or shift the location of the doorways?  Probably not.  My guess is that it would be very important to you for everything to stay in the same place that it had always been.  Any changes would probably leave you feeling lost and unsafe.

Now imagine being that same person on the couch, but that your sight has slowly begun to return!  Now how would you feel about the placement of those things in your house?  My guess is that the better your vision became, the more willing you would be to let your surroundings be altered.  You might even want to experiment yourself with more efficient or beautiful arrangements that enhanced your home. With sight, your sense of safety comes from within, and you no longer depend on the way things were placed in your external world. No longer afraid, you would be free to play with the possibilities!

This is a metaphor that describes the value of spiritual growth and development. The blind man represents the stage in our development  when we depend totally on our external rules and rituals to provide us with a sense of meaning and identity (not just religious ones…). We depend on the way things are “arranged” in our small world to make us feel safe and in control. If someone challenges our way of understanding life, we get angry and argumentative, self-righteous and intolerant. We desperately need to make the other wrong. And when we have to be (need to be) right, truth is really not the issue - fear is, the fear that our sense of reality, our truth, could collapse.  

Imagine such a personality to be built like a pyramid of coffee cups from the person’s unique beliefs and perceptions.  When confronted with different beliefs and ways of perceiving, it may feel as if one or more of the cups in the foundation of that pyramid is being jiggled, threatened.  This can be very scarey  because it feels as if the whole structure could topple, and with it, the person's sense of reality. That’s a very scary place to be in!!  In extreme cases, differences become such a threat to the person’s existence that they feel they must destroy the other (like the terrorists…). Of course, most of us don’t engage in physically destroying others…  but, we might attack ever so subtly at the mental or emotional level. And we’ve all been there at some time or another.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Doodle Progression: Rocks, driftwood, birchbark and feathers

Doodle Progression: Rocks, driftwood, birchbark and feathers

The next major nonverbal communication/hieroglyphics after the doodling that contributed to my healing was playing with rocks, driftwood, birchbark and feathers - but especially rocks. As I look back now, I realize that it was just another form of doodling...  This time the great need to express my unconscious experience had moved from the 2 dimensional and into the 3 dimensional world!  Perhaps this is a clue to my healing process... but then this didn't start happening till the last half of our stay in Hancock...

We had been transferredDoodle Progression: Rocks, driftwood, birchbark and feathers to Hancock in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, way up in the Keewanaw Peninsula that juts out into Lake Superior.  It was a university town embedded in the most amazing natural setting of hills, forests and shoreline - and covered with rocks of all kinds!  And for a nature loving girl who had lived most her life in metropolitan areas of big cities, it was heaven!

We were there for 11 years and for much of it, I was in pretty bad shape.  On top of all my ongoing inner struggles and fragmentation, I was entering, unprepared, into the experience of the empty nest.  Our daughter was on her own and our son had stayed downstate (with my full support) to finish his last two years of high school - 10 hours away...  I didn't realize what a shock that would be for me and I slipped into such a deep depression the Drs. decided to give me electroshock treatments.  I guess it worked temporarily because my husband said that when I got out of the hospital the uncontrollable sobbing had stopped and that I didn't even remember being depressed!  But then... after having my brain fried, I didn't remember much of anything...  I have no memory of what I felt, but for a while, Gene said, I smiled!

During that first half of our stay in Hancock, I was tried on all kinds of psychiatric medications to keep me out of DID hospitals (including one in Baltimore, Maryland) and from killing myself.  The effect of the heavy duty meds was to deaden me to the point of not being able to get off the couch!  It was horrible, but what else could they do.  At least I was deeply committed to going weekly to therapy - 2 hours drive away!  And at that point, I couldn't drive myself because there was no telling what might happen or where I might end up!  Kudos for my dear husband who drove and stayed with me through it all!

Somehow in the midst of all the craziness, I found my way to the shores of Lake Superior and reconnected with my love of nature.  The sand and sea, the rocks and driftwood, the birch bark and feathers, they all called to me and became my close friends. Especially the rocks!   Each beach had a different variety and they were all so beautiful, so lovely to hold.  I didn’t know what kind they were, nor did I care.  It was the colors and shapes that took my breath away.  Each held a mystery, leaving me in awe to wonder why the black rocks had red circles in them or why the green ones were so rare.  To me, they were precious gems and I felt absolutely amazed that I could take my pick. Sitting in their midst, I felt so rich, so blessed!

Before long I was obsessively hand picking specific pebbles and rocks, driftwood, birchbark and feathers to take home.  First I filled my pockets, then bags and buckets, and finally, on occasion, I brought a sled for the larger ones!  Of course I felt guilty removing the objects from their natural habitat. So first I spoke aloud my desire to mother nature and asked permission to remove the objects and then I expressed my deep gratitude.  I felt my motives were understood and had been blessed.  However, if for any reason a rock fell out of my hand, I would assume it did not want to go and I left it.

Why did I feel such a driving need to collect them?  I don't know.  Seeing how I was dissociated, I experienced myself as in a dream, disconnected from the world and perhaps because they were of nature, physical expressions of God, they helped me to ground myself in the physical world.  And they were "safe," they needed nothing from me.  But for whatever the reason, I took them home and used them to decorate, and - to create...  Once again, as with the pen and pencil, I "doodled" my unconscious experience automatically - without knowing where it was going or why.

The following are not the greatest pictures, but at least I thought to take a few and record this particular creation.

This is a corner of the living room (and the curtains are not ours :-)) The creation began at the far right with a wooden sculpture I had, surrounded by rocks with a shamanic picture on the wall behind it. The creation extends beyond the far right and turned into a children's area.  Pictures of that part are  at the end of this grouping.

This is a collection of the rocks I had painted and glued to a wood slab.  The individual painted rocks at that time were stuck to the out facing wall in the above picture around the corner from the wood sculpture.  They were placed around a poster of a Native American woman.

This was in the corner of the back wall and beneath a little table.  This area under the table with its driftwood and feathers  reminded me of a funeral pyre.  Plus there is a driftwood "creature" (Egore) guarding the front.

This is the top of the table with a resin angel that I had, surrounded by a variety of candles and candle holders.  Above is a feather painting our son had given his dad.

This is a knick knack shelf above the table.  There are 2 brass plates I had painted kachinas on, various animal statues and shells I had, and on the left was a large piece of birch bark that I had glued various beach finds on.  On the right, I had hung the giant pinecone my husband and I had found out west on our honeymoon.

This is a combination of pictures showing that area up closer.

This is the next area with a flow of rocks leading to a turquoise "pool" (made from those beads that turn into a gel when water is added, plus coloring), and then continues beyond to one of those mexican fireplaces.  I used whatever I had on hand - "found stuff."  I also had little statues of Native American spirit children placed here and there and the plaque in the front had Aztec symbols? on it.  Souvenirs given to me. 

This is the next area, the center where I sat and burned incense in holders I made from sticks and bark.  My favorite piece was the driftwood tree root in the back where I had painted each root section with a different design and color.  The next 3 pictures are close ups of that.

This picture was taken at another time and shows the whole thing.
OK.  I'm done for now! I'll just have to finish my descriptions for this another time. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

More doodles from my inner nightmare

I finally went to my Apple computer guy and he showed me how to get into my photos.  So I downloaded a few more doodles and paired them with some journal writings from the years of suffering.  I think it is important to show what it was like for me before my healing experiences as well as after.  The difference is extreme.  The years of suffering, however, certainly contributed to my growth and prepared me for helping others as a counselor.  As a "wounded healer," I can understand the suffering of others and have empathy and compassion for them in a way I wouldn't have without my own difficult journey...  Only one writing below was actually written in response to the picture I had just drawn (while riding in the car) and that is "The Voyeur."

Words... I just can't seem to find words to communicate.  Why?  I feel so helpless and alone.  What am I doing wrong?  I need others and try to reach out, but too often I come away disappointed and more alone.  I find myself avoiding people and our confusing conversations.  Their empty words stick in my ears like antiseptic cottonballs, and their presence, like an unwanted sedative, numbs my awareness and blots out my existence...  And yet I am desperate in my search for real words with real meaning.
    Perhaps there are none...  Perhaps there is no "real"...  or perhaps it's just me.  Maybe human beings like myself don't have the capacity to reach what is "real".  Sometimes it seems that we are like insects atop a plate of glass, able to see, but not touch the world of "real" below.  Prevented from immersing ourselves in a real existence, we content ourselves with sliding across the surface (or clawing in vain at the impenetrable glass) of our pretend real world.

    So why struggle to communicate anyway?  Why does it feel so important and what could be the purpose?  Is it meant to connect us to other human beings like the sticks in tinkertoys?  Or is it just a necessary, but meaningless means of energy release?  All the stuff in my head keeps piling up until I feel I shall explode - and the only way out is through words!  The problem is, it's like trying to slide circle pegs into triangular slots.  They just don't fit!   

There is always so much going on in my head - so much to say that I can't say anything…  There are times when this experience becomes especially intense.  It feels as if a door in my mind is flung open, allowing the winds of infinity to come howling through. Unequipped and unable to comprehend it all, I experience chaos and meaninglessness.  I am sucked into a whirlwind of utter confusion, helpless with despair.  I can't describe the terror.

And yet, there is something more… a kind of excitement and curiosity.  I feel somehow that if the door were closed and locked, I would die of suffocation or at least stagnate and rot away inside.  For if nothing else, this wind brings fresh air and new energy.  Perhaps the problem lies not in the “wind,” but in my inability to understand and accommodate it.  Perhaps I just need better mental “lungs” to process and control the experience.  Perhaps… but then how does one develop such a capacity? 

    I can't write and I can't draw - I just don't know how!  I've never been taught and I don't feel prepared.  I need instruction - classes in history, art, math, mythology, science, literature and psychology.  But even if I had the education and knew what I was doing, what could I possibly have to say?  
    There's too much to say so I don't say anything (still the pressure at my temples strain to hold something in).  All around and deep within life whispers with urgency (but my ears are filled with heavy air and they ring and ring).   Voices cry out, "See me, hear me - experience me!" (and I back away screaming silently to myself).  Awareness threatens to rearrange the furniture (and I am afraid).  Even so, electrical impulses charge into my arm demanding that I act (but it is dead and heavy - I can only twitch)...
    Still I cannot escape!  Every everywhere are poems and paintings crying out - longing to be heard!  But it is too late, my ear is broke and I cannot respond.  Slowly the blood of what might have been trickles down my window falling into a puddle of defeat...
    Hide, hide, shh, be quiet.  Cook, clean, scream, cry - Besides, what would be the purpose?

My head is all stuffed up with sadness and my thoughts are incoherent…  The other day it occurred to me that thought should be like the yolk of an egg fried sunny side up, but that my thoughts, instead, seem scrambled - no center or focus, just a mass of competing confusion.  But even that description seems to fall short.. It's more like a fried egg hardly cooked but cut up and bleeding - with yolk running everywhere and dripping over into a pool of nothingness.

The Voyeur
Like the mysterious and secretive sea, her inner world teems with exotic life and unrealized potentialites.  And like those ocean depths, her existence lies submerged in darkness, embedded deep within recesses, untouched and beyond time.  All that remains as proof of their reality is a shell, a desperate attempt to camoflage the secret of her fearful presence.

This delicate armor shelters the fragile life inside.  It protects her from the harsh concrete world and its' seductive illusions of light and warmth.  For her, "life out there" appears as a dream from another dimension  - it may be watched from a safe distance, but neither felt nor embraced.  "Life out there" is like a ship at sea passing over the surface of her experience.  It passes indifferent to the passion play taking place below, and disappears into the vapors of deception.

“I feel so terribly distant and disconnected...It seems as if when I was created the life force injected into this physical body somehow missed the vein.  Like an air bubble, it has become trapped in existence, imprisoned in this body and in this world.  Unable to grasp the flowing, rhythmic beat of life, it is condemned to wander aimless and alone.  Without direction or purpose, it seeks only to be released and relieved of the pain and confusion it must bear in silence...”

I don't think I am experiencing depression as a means of superficial rebellion or simple resistance to feeling good - It's not like the calm silence of a pleasant summer evening suddenly being disturbed by the squealing tires of some mischievious teenager looking for attention.  Rather, I feel this depression, this discomfort goes much deeper...
    Actually, when I think about it, it is like a disturbance in an otherwise peaceful night.  However, the depression points to something deeper and more frightening.  This disturbance is more like the piercing shriek of a wild animal in a nearby jungle than squealing tires… It is a shriek that causes the villagers in their warm, cozy little huts to stop whatever they are doing and listen; a shriek that makes them shake with fear because it makes them aware of the world outside their tiny circles of light...
    This kind of disturbance shocks and reminds the villagers that just beyond the silent door is a dark and vast world, teeming with life and shrouded in mysteries - a very powerful world that presses in on their flimsy walls.  And at those moments they recognize the illusions they have built around themselves to create a false sense of security...  Then they realize how very small and vulnerable their circle of light really is and how frail their existence.

Then I started imagining the little girl in the picture growing up and  removing the snakes teeth and taming it.  I went downstairs to my art room to look at it and pretty soon I started seeing all kinds of stuff in the picture.  It was my “Garden of Eden” with dead , vegetationless mountains, a smoldering volacano, an apple pierced and bleeding tears, and the Tree of Life sunk in boiling  quicksand/lava.  The only road out is blocked. The pink (feminine?) blob above her of the thoughts and feelings that make up her personality is fragmented and confused, floating in a background of dark blue sky (masculine?) And at the top of the picture is a window into the other world where God’s eye watches and my arms reach out for help.

I then started seeing the replication of symbols in the other pictures hanging, along with  religious themes and symbols of a raging, all powerful masculine and a wounded weeping feminine.  I took a couple pictures upstairs and showed Gene (who had finally gotten up) and started talking about them and got even more insights.  For example, I associated money with my father (his obsession and what devoured him) and the snake is green and wrapped around the spear like a dollar sign!  I’ve said that green represented poison and money certainly seemed like an addiction and a poison for him!

I feel so drained from all the self loathing.  I want so terribly bad just to be able to like myself - to not always feel so embarressed and ashamed and angry that I exist...

In my head I see a picture of myself -  A woman lying on the floor, starved and lifeless.  Her bones are broken, and she is bruised, cut up, and bleeding.  She is crumpled silence bearly breathing.

There is no way this woman can even raise herself, (much less pick herself up).  And certainly anybody who tried would only inflict more pain, more agony...  No, nothing less than the compassionate tears and gentle touch of God himself could soothe such hopelessness...

Then I thought to myself, “If only she could be roused enough to cry - If only she could cry... But such a cry would make one sick and vomit to hear -  For such a cry would be like the wail of a mother at Dachau watching her baby tossed in the air and shot.

Frustration on the Journey

This morning I came across an old journey entry written in 2004 that reflects my experience of coming down the mountain of "ecstatic experiences and bliss" into everyday life.  Of course, I loved the mountain top experiences, but I needed to come down, integrate them and live them in the world.  I had soooo much to learn (still do!)!  As the experiences receded, I felt abandoned, as if I did something wrong and was being rejected (which shows how much I did not understand!).  I felt hurt, angry and confused...

June 28, 04  

Like a tightly closed Daisy bud, my spirit feels trapped - suffocated by the incessant word games in my mind.  Forever analyzing and defining, my thoughts distance me from heart felt experience and understanding.  Why do I trust the compulsively constructed word buildings in my head over the effortless and natural flow of joining?  I can hear the delicate flower petals buried deep within me crying out,  “Come sun and warm me, burn away all resistance and open me so that I might receive your glory!”  

Oh great tripper of locks, greaser of hinges rusted shut, free me!  Come, Holy Spirit, come, and break down the barriers of my self imposed prison.  Lead me into the unbounded playground that You created for knowing You!  I long for Your joy and tire of watching from a distance, safe within my puny definitions.  Melt the plated windows of my small experience where I gaze out to see the wind blow, but never feel its caress.  

Please wake me - right here, right now, in this spot, among these lovely earth forms that are You and I.  Dissolve the tenacles of doubt and distrust that keep me enslaved to rigid rules born of a fearful mind - and free me!  Teach my senses, once again, to become paths of holy communion with You - that I might remember who I am and sing my soul song once again...