Awakening

 

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Sometimes, some of us perceive ourselves as being stuck in our current situation. We do all we can to change the external stuff, not realizing that it is really our perception, or way of thinking that needs changing.

We have discussed how our feelings and thoughts are not who we really are and I would like to discuss this further.

When you go beyond your thoughts and emotions, who are you? What lies back there?

For many people, including myself, working through past trauma and a messed up way of thinking/feeling, allowed me to shed the false sense of who I thought I was. I knew that there had to be more than life than being in mental, emotional and spiritual anguish and yet the thought occurred to me that when I finally did strip away all those thoughts/emotions…what would I be left with? At the time it didn’t matter. I just knew that it had to be better than where I was. Many people who experience profound pain ask themselves the deeper questions and begin to find their answers. I’m not saying that everyone who searches their spiritual path at one point experienced pain (Buddha lived in prosperity) but I think being in pain forces one to do anything to try and understand or go beyond it.

We are all told from a very young age, how to act, think or feel, which causes us to become limited in our beliefs about ourselves. We are taught by our external world that we are limited beings living in a box. Often times we are taught by people who themselves, have a limited understanding and belief about themselves and therefore, project that same belief unto you. When you hear someone say, ‘think outside the box”, this means to think outside your own limited way of understanding. It is not so easy to do initially when you don’t see that there is even a way of thinking outside the box. So we live within this confinement and over time, develop a false sense of things…including ourselves.

 

Meditation is one way to begin to think outside the box. Meditation is not about focus, or keeping all thoughts out of our awareness. It is about noticing that  thoughts are swimming around up there and not focusing or on those thoughts. Whether a mantra is used during meditation, or just watching your breath, when a thought enters your mind, change your focus back to the mantra or breath watching. During the practice, you will soon notice a gap…a space between your thoughts and something deeper. It’s a quiet space where there is nothing…no thought…and you realize at that moment that you were “aware”. This “awareness” is the conscious being who watches the thoughts…(you) The first time I touched this space, it was just for a split second, but in that flash, I experienced wholeness. A place where there is so much peace and bliss. And at that same time, I felt eternity. I knew what eternity felt like…a sense of limitlessness…and then I knew. I was a part of this vast Wholeness…or Consciousness…this is who I am…expansive. This place that I experienced was a feeling of wholeness, the One Conscious mind or the “Allness”…and I was a part of it. I was connected to it and everything and everyone around me. I’m a conscious being that was a part of a bigger Consciousness. It is as if we are all droplets in the vast ocean. Separate, and yet a part of the ocean and really, it is hard to separate out each drop in the ocean because it all seems to “blend together”.

This was the beginning of my awakening. The awakening is a process where a person realizes that they are no longer the limited person that they had perceived themselves to be. They begin to see that they go beyond just who they think they are, and see that they are a part of something so vast, so wonderful and so loving. It is an overwhelming feeling.

Over time, one can begin to strip away the falseness of who they think they are by tearing down many of the labels that had been placed on them…either by the external world or themselves. I mentioned meditation above but this is not the only way. Everyone has that inner voice or deeper/higher self that will guide them in the way that they should go. If you are sincere in wanting to know, you will be shown. There is a saying in the spiritual community: “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”. So however you decide to take this trek, trust that you will be guided.

…And once you’ve experienced the wholeness, there is no going back. You can not “un-know” what you now know and along with this, you begin to see that there isn’t really a “me” and a “you” but us…because we are ALL connected. If we all understood this, there would be no hatred, prejudice or wars. We are all in this together but each living separate lives having different experiences.

If we continue to believe what we believe with a limited understanding or perception, our understanding at that moment is unable to go beyond what we think we know. With expanded consciousness, we begin to break down the walls or confines of our beliefs by going beyond our own limited way of thinking. So in the beginning of our journey, it is important to keep an open mind…after all, our limited understanding up until that point hadn’t gotten us very far.

In conclusion, our thoughts and emotions are a part of our daily lives but it doesn’t describe who we are. We have to live with these thoughts/emotions daily but when we see that we are a part of something bigger, we begin to change the way we perceive life and everything in it. The implications of this awareness is astounding. It becomes easy to let go of our limited beliefs about ourselves and others because we now understand that we are limitless and many of the negative thoughts or emotions we had about ourselves begin to fall away.

I believe that more and more people are beginning to realize this in our present day. People are not so willing anymore to live within the confines of how the world tells them to live. They are beginning to break out of those small boxes where they have lived for so long.

Keep on trekking!

I am not what I feel

 

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My last post discussion was about how we are not our thoughts. Today I will be discussing our emotions.  What are emotions and where do they come from?

I really starting looking into this question when I realized that despite how good my life seemed to be, I still felt bad inside. I didn’t know why I would feel bad because nothing “externally” seemed to be causing me to feel the “mucks”. (In modern lingo…I still had “issues”).

Therapists couldn’t seem to answer my question when I asked them why I felt bad when everything seemed to be going well. The only answer I received was that I must be clinically depressed. It was suggested that maybe my sadness was “seasonal”, but upon further observation, I realized that my sadness didn’t seem to increase around certain time frames…or even certain events. What was triggering the mucks within me? The other explanation was that I had a “chemical imbalance”. I used to like this explanation better because then I knew that I could take some pills to change the whacked chemistry within my brain…but what was causing this imbalance? In the process of trying to find my answer, I’d say that one of the hardest things I had to do was to “sit” with the bad emotions…sadness, fear and all.  For so many years, I had become accustomed to fighting the emotions or trying desperately to distract myself somehow. Or force myself to feel something else. I decided to try and sit with my feelings without judging them…to “observe” what I was feeling. This was difficult at first because our analytical brain wants to figure it out and I found that I just couldn’t… There was no way out as far as I could see. That in itself became another tremendous fear…to feel as if you are immersed in the sadness/fear and feel that there isn’t  really anything you could do about it but to experience it. Initially, there was added sadness thinking that these emotions would resurface every now and again and there didn’t seem to be a way out except to accept them as a part of me. Then soon I started to look behind the emotion…what was the thought that was causing me to feel bad? Simple right? … no. If your “monkey chattering mind” is anything like my monkey mind, it takes a little bit of focus.

I began to see a pattern emerge. The bad feelings were usually a result of a negative thought I had about myself.  It could be something as simple as telling myself that I was no good. Looking for the specific thought behind that negative emotion isn’t always that obvious. It takes some work to recognize it and there are questions we can ask ourselves while we are thought hunting…questions like,  — when was the last time I felt this way? — when was the first time I felt this way?

In this process of remembering, we are trying to figure out the experience(s) that caused the thought and emotion. When we recognize the event, we realize then, that THAT particular event may have dictated our thoughts and emotions at one time…but they no longer need to be a part of our lives. When you’re doing the work of “undoing” the effects of trauma, it takes some time and when I realized just what I was dealing with, I was committed to letting go of the emotions that were preventing me from complete healing. An important lesson in this is to realize healing can be uncomfortable but it is a part of the process and accepting this is a huge step.  It also helps to have someone you feel safe to talk to when you’re going through the mucks. My safety guy is my husband. He just sits and listens to me.

With my relentless search for self acceptance and love, I knew that I was not my feelings, or emotions…that these were just experiences that I was having based on events in my life. I had come to realize that I was so much deeper than my thoughts or emotions…

My inner awakening continues…

 

 

 

We are NOT our thoughts.

 

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On the last entry, I talked about where thoughts come from and would like to expand our discussion on thoughts a little further.  Today I would like to discuss the underlying thoughts behind our negative emotions.

Until I realized that behind a negative emotion, lies the causing thought, there seemed no way for me to change my negative emotions. I just assumed that people feel what they feel when they feel it…not understanding that we can change how we feel by looking at the thought behind the emotion.  I am talking about the moments in my life (and maybe yours as well), when for no apparent reason, I would begin to feel bad, or sad, or fearful.  Outwardly, everything seemed to look good but on my insides, there would be profound sadness…and  fear.

It has been difficult for me, to say the least because for so long, I believed that my  negative emotions were a permanent part of me and the fear and sadness I’ve always felt would forever be there. When I first began my spiritual awakening, I believed that the knowledge I was gaining in my growing awareness would prevent me from having those negative emotions and yet, I was still having them. I do believe however, that for some people who are growing spiritually, acute and sudden transformations can take place and their negative thoughts and emotions are then “transmuted” automatically.  I am not one of those people and I used to ask myself why.  It seemed that my awareness/consciousness was expanding but this particular area of emotional and mental pain was something that I would first have to understand in order to transmute it.

I would have episodes of extreme sadness, sometimes mixed with fear (the mucks) come over me.  In the past, it would cause me such pain followed by a panic that these emotions would get worse. I would often try to fight the feelings or do something that I thought would distract me. I would hear myself telling myself that there should be no reason to be having an attack. Of course this made me feel worse. 

In the recent past, I have had several episodes of the mucks and while I was going through the horrible emotions, I tried to identify the thought behind the initial onset. It is never too late to see the initial thought behind the fear but in my experience, if I don’t “catch it” at the onset, the emotions will come and expand…then I’m immersed in the moment…so I’ll just have to let it ride. I have learned to sit with it, try not to judge it or attach a meaning to it.  It always passes.  I notice that if I worry that the feelings are going to get worse, they usually do.  This proved an important tidbit of knowledge for me.  I began to understand how powerful the mind is. If I can identify the thought behind the emotion while I’m beginning the spiral down, I can then transmute that particular negative thought and turn it around. For example, recently, I began feeling the mucks again and while it was still a “thought form” and not an emotion, I was able to change that thought into a positive one. I ended up telling myself that it was not necessary for me to have that thought at that moment. This sounds silly and so were my erratic emotions so I needed to find the reason or meaning behind it all. My reason for having the mucks may be that in my lifetime, I’d become so “used to” feeling bad that when things are going smoothly, I somehow “convince” myself that I haven’t had an episode for awhile so…it starts…talk about a self fulfilling prophecy.

With practice, I know that we can all change our minds to change our life. It take practice and in the practicing of turning our thoughts around, we become better at it.  

Our minds and our thoughts are very powerful.  If we can convince ourselves to think negatively and bring about negative circumstances, we can also think positively and bring about good thoughts.

 

With Love, My Journey in Spirit.

 

Thoughts

 

Hi everyone!

On my last blog entry, I was discussing our thoughts and where they come from.  Some of the feedback I got back were from people who seemed confused. So I would like to clarify what I was trying to convey in this entry.

THOUGHTS:

On any given day, we can have up to 60,000 thoughts.  We use our thoughts to plan out our day for example, and in this sense, these are constructive thoughts.  Many of them however, are just random thoughts that come and go.  Have you ever asked yourself where these thoughts come from? Believe it or not, our thoughts do not come from our brains. Thoughts are originated from outside our bodies! 

Scientists can hook you up to a scanner and measure your thought “frequencies”.  Thought frequencies (or energy) can be measured, but are not located specifically in our brains.  Our brains are just the central processing units that decode the stimuli which we receive via our 5 senses: seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting. There is an energy field or electro-magnetic field which exists outside and around our bodies. Another way to look at it, the sum of all our experiences, ideas and opinions about any particular thing, lie within this energy field as thought forms. There is also the “collective mind or collective consciousness” or the place-(out there)-which exists, the sum of everyone’s  thoughts or ideas. (We will discuss consciousness more in a later entry).

With babies, they are also receiving stimuli from their 5 senses but do not have any “thoughts” about what they perceive.  This comes later with maturing cognition (the ability to perceive, know and become aware). As we grow and have increased life experiences, the thoughts (and feelings) about these events lie within our energy field as “thought frequencies” and we develop “opinions” about each new experience based on our past experiences. For example, if a small child tries to touch a neighbor’s cute dog for the first time and gets bitten, the child may develop a “thought” that all dogs bite. The next time this child sees a dog, he/she may think that it will be another negative experience based on what the first experience was. Respectively, we also pick up thoughts from those around us. This is what I call “adopting” thoughts of others. 

Many people will sometimes be going about their day and all of a sudden a random thought will enter into their minds and they may wonder to themselves, “where did THAT thought come from?” It came from the “collective thought, or mind”. Because thoughts are energy or, frequencies, we often pick up an idea or thought that was not originally ours. People who can do this consciously are considered psychic or telepathic.

So to summarize, our thoughts/ideas lie within an energy field outside of us which gets built up over time. Sometimes, random thoughts will pop into our heads that do not seem to fit the context of what we may be thinking at the immediate moment… These thoughts may be our own or those of others.

On the next entry, I would like to discuss negative thoughts that seem to repeat themselves over and over again in our minds which often generates bad feelings. 

…continued

Don’t push it down anymore

 

I have to be honest with you all and let you know that despite how my perception about life and myself have changed, that doesn’t mean that I no longer have sadness.  There are moments where I still have incredible sadness.  I feel sad for that little girl long ago who was at the mercy of that hateful individual; that little girl who would have to carry the pain with her until it became too much for her to bear.  That little girl would have to endure much more pain and circumstances in her life until she realized that maybe life wasn’t really supposed to be this bad.  

In my spiritual journey, I realize that the negative experiences I’ve had have been an opportunity for me to grow.  In fact, every negative situation can be looked at as such.  We can change our lives by changing our perception and see it as an opportunity for growth, or we can remain victims.  When I made a conscious decision to heal, I knew that I would have to take out all the pain that I had pushed deep inside me and deal with it.  For many years, I knew that I still carried the pain but had gotten so used to not looking at it. When those scary emotions would resurface, I’d try even harder to ignore it. I’d tell myself to “get a grip” or “snap out of it”, and admonish myself for having those scared feelings when I knew that I wasn’t that little girl living in that abusive environment any longer. Growing up, sis and I had become experts at hiding what was really going on within us.  We were not allowed to express any emotions so pushing our feelings down deeper was something we were good at.

Every emotion we’ve experienced lies deep within our subconscious mind…every one of them.  Our emotions stem from our thought patterns that have formed around each life experience…negative and positive.  Those negative emotions that we are too afraid to look at sit dormant deep within our psyche and will raise it’s ugly head every now and again.  As long as we chose to not look at them, they will keep coming back up.  Just as we can “relive” an exciting period in our lives such as a marriage or a birth of a child, we “feel” all the accompanying emotions. We also relive the negative ones…but for those of you who have had trauma, know that reliving a positive experience from the past often does not just pop up into your mind.  You are usually “recalling” the experience by choice…but the negative emotions will sometimes pop up suddenly without warning and leave you questioning the reason for that particular emotion’s sudden appearance.  It is your “emotional body’s” (psyche)  way of telling you that it still needs to be dealt with.  (I will discuss emotional bodies later). 

Obviously, we can’t go back into the past and change our circumstances, but we can go back in our mind and relive any experience and change our emotions by visual healing.  One of my healing methods is a meditation where in my mind, I go back into time and sit with that scared little girl and hold her in my arms.  I tell her that I know it is hard to understand all the “whys” now, but that when she is older, she will understand.  I tell her that I love her and she is so precious and when I tell her this, I can slowly feel her broken heart grasping on to the idea that she is loved.  I tell her that her future is bright with lots of love and that the compassion that this little girl will have in her heart when she’s older will surpass the pain that she has ever felt in her past.  She doesn’t understand this at first because she still doesn’t know exactly what compassion is…she’s never really experienced it from others but she has the sense that the feeling she is experiences at this very moment while being hugged, might be compassion.  This little girl doesn’t really know what to make of this message that she is receiving from this woman but she senses it to be true somehow.  It’s kind of a deep knowing that this little girl has always had. The woman tells her that she once felt exactly as this little girl does now.  The little girl wants to cry and she does…in the arms of this woman who comforts her, wipes her tears and tells her that she is her Guardian Angel.  The woman tells the little girl that whenever she feels scared, she can go within and imagine that she is again sitting with this woman who always offers her love and comfort.

A big part of the healing process is to feel those pangs of pain and be ok with it. It’s the natural process of healing. One has to expect that when they decide to heal, it is going to take some time and those emotions will rise up again.  Healing is not about feeling wonderful all the time…but understanding your feelings, working through them until you realize that they can’t do you any harm.  The harm has already been inflicted.  It is much like a physical scar that appears after any injury.  Some scars are larger than others depending upon the injury itself.  With some unsightly bigger physical scars, those scars can sometimes be injected with medicines that can diminish their size. Emotional scars that are unseen but felt however, must be injected with love to diminish their impact.  Of course we always feel better knowing that we are being loved by others but the love that’s needed for healing is “self love” and the visual healing method above is one way of doing this…getting from a place of self loathing, to self love.

…continued

 

Love vs. fear

 

We’ve all heard that we must forgive others.  It is not for their benefit but for ours.  This sounds great and all but how does one manage to really forgive another?  Where do you start and how do you convince your heart or get your heart to actually forgive someone?  The head says to forgive and we know that that’s what’s needing to be achieved but the heart forgiving is another thing.

I know there have been many times when someone has said “I’m sorry…please forgive me”, I have been able to do so.  Usually in those cases, the infraction was minor…maybe it was something that they said they would do but when the time came to do it, they forgot.  Later they would realize that they had forgotten and apologize.  In these cases, it’s usually easy to overlook the infraction but when it is something big like child abuse or any thing hurtful that was deliberately inflicted on to another person…how do you let go of the anger and forgive?

It took me quite a bit of time to get to the point of total forgiveness.  I needed to understand the what’s and why’s of it.  For example: why did my Mom deliberately set out to hurt me?  What was she trying to do? When I finally understood, the forgiveness came quite easily and then I was able to look upon her with such pity and compassion.

I understood that she probably had a difficult childhood herself and much like many child abusers, the abusers have often been abused themselves so they continue this cycle on to their children. This is also true of domestic violence. The abusers were not able to break the cycle…but what of the people who intentionally hurt others? Much like my personal situation, there were many times when my Mom intentionally did things to hurt me…then I understood…fear.

There are two primary emotions a person harbors within themselves and those are love and fear.  The love that a person has is not so much the love that they feel towards others but for themselves.  Not coming from the ego mind but the deeper self, loving one self means that they know and believe that they are “lovable”.  When you lack self love, fear becomes the primary emotion because without self love, these people are threatened in every aspect of their lives.  They’re afraid of being abandoned, afraid of losing something/someone that they perceive as “theirs”.  They feel fear in every corner of their lives and don’t even know it.  

In my situation, I came to understand that my Mom was, and still is extremely fearful.  During my childhood, She was afraid of losing the affections of her husband to her daughters.  She was also threatened by my sis and I because she saw that our Dad loved us (when we were first adopted).  Not understanding that the love that Dad had for us was different than the love that he had for her, this was becoming a huge problem for her.  She saw herself as ugly and unloveable and this reached it’s peak when my sis and I started changing into young women.  Because of this fear, she lashed out at us in every possible way to try and make herself feel better.  The ironic thing is when a person is hateful in their acts, they appear “ugly” on the outside just by nature of their actions.  I’m sure some of you know or have known someone who appears extremely beautiful or handsome on the outside and yet their mean and hateful  actions or attitude seem to negate that beauty altogether.

I knew I had truly forgiven my Mom for everything she had done to me, when I no longer felt that one day I hoped that she would be punished for her actions.  Today I pray that she will one day find peace and love within herself…but she probably won’t.  Some people are so deep in their fear and unable to see any love at all…even from the people that actually did or do love them…they’re blinded by their own fear.

Dad’s situation is quite different. There is still a part of me that can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that my Dad came from a good, hardworking, middle class Christian family with good values and yet he behaved in a manner that suggests otherwise.  I know that he tried.  He tried very hard when my sis and I were young to have many talks with my Mom.  To try and sooth her fears…try to explain to her in the best way that he could, that he loved her and he also loved us.  After many years of trying with no results, he eventually gave up the fight and became just like her.  In a sense, being in the midst of all the darkness which surrounded our family and our home, he eventually lost his light and succumbed to the darkness as well.  

Forgiving does not necessarily mean forgetting…and not forgetting does not mean that one is constantly harping on what happened to cause the hurt.  Most people would agree that it’s impossible to forget and that’s ok…it just means that when the you remember the incidents that have cause pain, it no longer carries any charge.  There is no emotional charge attached to any particular incident because it has been “discharged” with compassion.

…continued

 

What’s it all for anyway?

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor most of my life, I have asked myself…”why”?  Not so much “why me” but why?  Why do people suffer?  Why is there pain?  Why are some people so cruel?  Why am I the way I am?  What’s it all for anyway?  There was a moment once when I was still married to my ex husband and he had been having problems with his car.  It seemed that there was one thing after another that needed fixing.  He finally got it all working out alright when he got a flat tire.  This frustrated him and I remember him asking me: “why is this happening to me?”  I remember thinking to myself first of all, that it was a flat tire…and I also thought, why not you?  Everyone has “stuff” that happens to them at one time or another.  No one is immune from…life.

In retrospect, I understand that during my childhood, it’s not as if I could have changed the situation.  Any child that is at the mercy of the adult abuser IS a victim but as I gradually became a young adult, I chose not to be a victim of my circumstances.  I had much sadness within me for years but despite this, I wanted to make the best of the situation.  I see now how much I’ve grown to understand so much.  

Despite the lack of love growing up, I do know what love is…I know love by having experienced the opposite…hate and cruelty.  By this contrast, I understand love.  I know compassion.  Witnessing and being the focus of someone else’s cruel intentions, I feel compassion towards others.  So by taking a negative experience, I chose to use it to try and understand.  It is easy to know what the meaning of each of the words; love, compassion, cruelty and hatred are…we all know the definitions but to have actually experienced the negatives, I understand and appreciate the positives.  It does seem like a backwards way to learn something, but it is still a way to learn.

We have heard many times that our feelings are a “choice”.  Maybe we didn’t choose the negative things that happened in our lives but we have a choice on how these things will impact us.

Today, I feel that there are so many people who decide to fall into the victim role of their negative experiences.  It is so much easier to point our fingers at another person and say that it is THEIR fault.  “You made me this way”.  This may be true initially but no one holds a gun to anyone’s head and tells them that for the rest of their lives, they will be bitter, angry and mean to everyone around them.  Your feelings are YOUR feelings.  If this were not true, how then would we expect the perpetrator to change the emotions within us?  It is the same as expecting someone else to make us happy.  That is a tall order to fill…no one outside of ourselves can do this.  When we take responsibility for our own emotions (regardless of what they may be) only then can we grow Spiritually from any experience.  This may be difficult.  One must decide to become responsible for ALL aspects of themselves.    

The first step for myself was to acknowledge that all those terrible things happened to me in my past.  Yes…it happened, it was awful, it hurt me, it made me sad, it made me feel angry and hateful towards my parents.  I felt lost, insecure and I felt as if there was no sense of safety and security anywhere.  What was difficult for me was to really take a look at how each of those incidences made me feel.  Half the time, the feelings were so ugly inside of me that I couldn’t even identify or label those emotions.  They were just a big wad of jumbled up “bad” feelings.  It’s hard to know where to begin unraveling all those yucky feelings and try to identify them…and I found that that was not important, but more importantly, to heal as a whole.  I remember telling my therapist once that if I likened my bad feelings as colors, the mix of colors were the darkest, murkiest colors you could imagine all mixed together creating the deepest, ugliest, darkest black that you could imagine.  

Acknowledging and accepting what happened is the first step to letting go.    Realizing that I had no control over the situation while I was a child and learn to let it go.  Accepting myself just the way I was.  Easier said than done.  It’s not as if I could smash all of my pain into a box and drop the box in the ocean and say goodbye.  Emotions are not something tangible…like dropping a rock into the ocean.  These emotions were within my entire being.  It sometimes felt that it had consumed me and lurked within every cell in my body, …pain, anguish, anger, loathing and fear.  Talking about my feelings helped.  Find someone that you trust and then spill your guts…

My “letting go” reminded me of the whole grieving process proposed by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in her 1969 book “On Death and Dying”.  There are 5 stages of this process: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally, acceptance.  There is no particular order as we each go through this differently.  My whole adult life seems to have been to work through each of these stages until I finally reached acceptance.  This is when the healing for me really began.  The realization that I could not change the past or present actions of others but that I could only change myself…my perspective.  Depression for me came before the anger and when I felt angry, I was angry at -them- and somehow found that I could deal with the anger better than the depression.  When I was in the anger stage, I felt justified in feeling it.  I would talk it out, or exercise and feel better.  In the depression stage, it just hurt…and I didn’t understand why but  came to understand that during the depression stage, I was just hanging on to the pain but when  the hurt and sadness turned into anger, I was able to work on it.  

We live in a society where we are told to ignore our feelings.  We have to act rationally, behave in a manner that conforms to society, or to the way our parents want us to behave.  We’re taught to shove down our feelings, bury them and never mind your feelings…just do what you’re supposed to do…do what you’re told.  However…our feelings ARE important!  We are all sentient (feeling) beings and acknowledging and getting to know your feelings and what they mean to you is needed on our Spiritual journey.  Our emotions are our guides.  When our feelings get “all jumbled up and confused”, there’s some work to do.  

As I’m typing this, I feel like I’m rambling on but I’m being truthful and honest.  There really isn’t an easy way to heal.   Healing should make us feel better, but not in the beginning… which seems contradictory.  To heal means to acknowledge and FEEL the pain…understand yourself, be ok with yourself and all that you feel…and it’s OK…

One of the many things that helped me to heal was to realize that the people who had inflicted such pain in my life were hurting too…and I will talk more about this on my next blog.

…continued 

Looking for God

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I was pleasantly surprised after coming back from rehab that I really didn’t have the urge to drink.  I thought about it often however, especially around the time when I would start to cook dinner.  In my drinking career, this was what I called my “witching hour”.  This was the time that I started to drink…while cooking, through dinner, after dinner while watching a movie. (I rarely finished a movie before passing out).  For awhile, a recovering person needs to stay away from those things that used to “trigger” the desire to drink.  Happily, I told my husband that I could not cook for awhile.    We would do take out or each person would just fix something on their own.  I also needed to stay away from the friends that I used to hang out with when I was drinking.  I stayed away from those restaurants that I used to frequent as well.

There is a funny quote from Frank Sinatra…(another alcoholic) “I feel sorry for people who don’t drink.  When they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day”.  I used to laugh at this quote in my drinking days…I agreed with him.  What I had forgotten was how good one feels on the morning they wake up when they’re NOT hung over.  What an amazing feeling!  To have energy all day and want to actually go and do things.

However, I was still struggling with my “Higher Power”.  I hadn’t found it yet.  I desperately wanted to find my God.  While in rehab, it seems that we were sort of “borrowing” the Higher Power of the rehab center and holding each other up by encouraging those around us…but after coming home, I had to find it on my own.  My old concept of God was no longer working for me.  I knew deep within me that MY God was not a punishing one.  He wasn’t going to send me to hell because I was born a sinner and needed to repent for this.  So I began to pray…whole heartedly.  My prayer was basically asking to find the truth…not the truth of the world, or the truth of the churches I had been to in the past—but a deep fundamental truth that we all have.  For along time, I was still looking for my Higher Power…”out there” somewhere.

From the moment that I truly started seeking the truth, I was led in directions where the answer/truth would come forth.  My husband and I were lead to take a Transcendental meditation class and began meditation twice daily.  At first it seemed like there were 101 voices in my head all talking at the same time.  (Maybe my psychiatrist who diagnosed me as schizophrenic was right!–see “Journey backwards-20-Diagnosis) It took awhile to be ok with these voices swirling around in my head.  Just to acknowledge their presence and let them go…Eventually, those loud voices seem to move to the background and in the forefront,  I noticed a quiet, still presence within me.  A presence there that I knew had always been…just observing.  Hey! This was the “I” in me.  I got excited…and as soon as I was aware that I was excited, the “me”, or “ego” came forward and I lost touch with the “I”.  

With meditation, it is not a “place” that one is goes to because that “place” is already within each of us.  It is a state of mind…a quiet stillness that is just there.  It is the “being” in the human.  That “being” that is in all of us that is the observer.  When we sit quiet enough…and without any expectation, you will feel your “being”.  It is such a wonderful feeling of calm, stillness and peace.  

I was lead to read certain books which I soaked up like a sponge.  I knew I had stumbled upon something immensely valuable.  Everything I read…and continue to read, resonated with my hungry soul.  As J.R. Seydel says, “If you want to know the truth, all you have to do is…ask”.

In a matter of months, much arcane knowledge has been revealed to me.  In addition, all the hurts of the past and issues with people that I had carried…were gone.  I saw and understood how my twisted ego had caused my perception to become warped…which has caused me such pain in the past.  My perceptions about people, places and things began to change.  I could look at an individual and see their light behind their ego.  I could accept any situation regardless of how it turned out and see it as perfect.  To know that the Universe works exactly as it should.  To accept people just the way they are and not feel the need to change them in any way.

From this point on in this blog, I will be discussing all things arcane.  Things of Spirit and how we can be full of joy and peace by “choosing it”.

Blessings to You All out there!

…continued

 

 

Rehab for my mind

 

My sister informed me that my Dad was now in hospice.  Despite how my parents had treated her in the past, she decided to fly down and do what she could do for my Dad in his last days.  She went to see him and told me that my Dad asked if I knew that he was in hospice.  She told him that I knew.  (Sis told me about 2 weeks prior to her flying down to see him)  My Dad expressed to sis that he wished he could see me but figured that it was not going to happen and began to cry.  

I sat with this image in my mind of my Dad crying and It made me feel sad.  I didn’t react right away but waited a few days to make sure that going to see him was what I really wanted to do.  A part of me wanted to see/say goodbye to him one last time but the other part of me thought that there was no point.  I felt that I had worked through years of torment and sadness that I had been carrying…thinking that I was “no good” in the eyes of my parents.  I had come to the point (read last blog–“No approval…ever”)  where I felt that I had gone through all the stages of grief and truly let my parents go but I asked myself if I would be ok with NOT seeing or saying what I had to say to my Dad before he passed away.  I knew I had to go see him one last time.  I went to see him and we both just hugged each other.  My Dad cried but I didn’t.  I told him that I was going off to rehab to face my drinking issue.  I asked him if he felt “ready to go” and he said yes.  I also told him that I know he did the best he could with my sis and I growing up and that I loved him.  This visit was not about confronting him about any past issues or hurts but to just tell him that I loved him.  It was about letting go and saying farewell.  I visited for about an hour and as I left, I knew in my heart that it was the last time I would see him.

I flew to rehab and did the 28 day stay.  I learned so much in this institution.  You could tell by looking at all my fellow addictees; which ones were there by choice, who was there to appease their family members and who was there by court order.  I was there by choice.  I had made a decision to heal myself of my past and all the pain I had been carrying around.  I learned so much about addictive behavior, what addiction looks like in the brain, the thought process behind the addiction but mostly, I learned about myself.

I came back home and started my Spiritual Journey.  In the meantime, my Dad’s funeral came and went and I did not attend.  I knew that the body they were lying in the ground was not him anymore.  I felt his presence around me for awhile after his passing and truly believed that he was happy and at peace…but as for myself, this would mark the beginning of “My Journey in Spirit”…

…continued

 

34. No Approval…ever

 

I am happily married now and things are going wonderfully.  We continue to entertain frequently and my parents were always at these get togethers.  My drinking is beginning to escalate at this point in my life for what seems to be no other reason than having a good time. (This is what I believed at the time)

In the last several months, my daughters have run for our local teen pageants and I was coerced to run for Mrs. Hawaii.  These were fun, yet time consuming events.  These state run pageants require one to obtain “sponsors” or donations from sponsors that help with the expenses of being involved in a pageant.  We did get many sponsors and many of our friends bought tickets to the big final event.  My parents weren’t one of them.  The explanation that was given to us was that they had no interest in coming to these events as they thought it was a way for us to “show off”.  My Dad also said that he thought it was a waste of time.  I guess I wasn’t surprised.  I was the only contestant who’s parents were not there and my daughter’s were the only ones who’s grandparents were not present.  They also did not come for my daughter’s high school graduation.  I guess they thought this was a waste of time too.

My sister was still living in Alaska at this time and we spoke every once in a while.  I had not seen her for about 6 years so I was excited to learn that she was coming to Hawaii for a vacation with her guy friend.  She didn’t tell my parents that she was going to be coming because we thought we would surprise them once she got here.  Once my sis was settled in, we made a schedule of her daily events and one of the events that we planned was to have a get together of some of our childhood friends and our parents.  My sister was excited to give my folks a call to tell them that she was here and that we were having a get together.  I heard my sis on the phone talking to my Mom and then she became quite.  I looked over to see that she was no longer on the phone and was now crying.  She was crying because my Mom had told her that she did not want to see her because it would make her feel “funny”.  It was no secret that our Mom had been against my sister’s “lifestyle”.  Her lifestyle being that she had found a boyfriend on an online chat room.  I let my sister cry for a bit and then I realized that I had been rejected in a similar manner by my parents all these years but somehow witnessing this happen to my sister really hit me hard.  It was almost as if I had learned to accept that my parents would reject me automatically  but seeing them reject my sister really brought it home for me.  It was at that moment that I decided…or rather…knew that my sis and I had never been considered their daughters.  That all these years of me trying to get their love and approval had been a big waste of time.  At that moment, I knew that I didn’t want to try anymore. 

Something happened to my heart that day.  It wasn’t anger but more of a deep inner resolve that I had done all I could do and I would try no more.  I was done.  I saw at that moment how much I had tried in vain to get them to love us and see that we were worthy of them having adopted us.  I also felt that I no longer “owed” them anything.  From the time sis and I were able to understand, they had told us how lucky we were to have been adopted.  That if it had not been for them, we would still be starving and probably living on the streets of Korea somewhere.  They honestly believed that because of their noble actions of adopting two lost wayward, homeless girls, that sis and I should feel “beholden” to them.  

All my anger, frustration, sadness, feelings of inadequacy and feeling “less than”…disappeared at that very moment.  

Some time prior to this, my parents had asked my husband and I to be their “Power of attorney’s” for when their time came and I had agreed.  After this last incident with my folks and my sister,  I did not call them for a year and a half.  In the past when there had been some sort of disagreement or falling out, I was always the one to reach out to them.  They never, ever called me.  I knew that they would not call me and I also knew that I was done trying to reach out to them… I’d probably never speak to them again and I was ok with that.  

 

Several months had gone by and I received an email from my Dad saying that I had been “released” as their POA and that they had asked my paternal cousin “S” to take over the responsibilities.  I had actually forgotten my prior obligation to them and I was relieved that they had found someone else.  If you haven’t figured them out by now, they did not release me as POA because they thought that I wouldn’t fulfill my role, (because I would have)…they released me to continue to try and make a point…that they didn’t need me and I could just be pushed aside and discarded as they had always done.  Dad had also signed off on that email with his first and last name instead of -Dad-.  I refused to be a part of their sick, twisted games of calling them back and trying to get back in their good graces.  My email response back to them was that I was sure that my cousin S had their best interest at heart and that she would make an excellent POA.

My sis and I continued to correspond and she called me to let me know that my Dad had been diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer.  The primary emotion I felt at that time was that I knew he had a long road ahead of him and in my mind, any type of cancer is awful but the inability to breath with lung cancer has got to be one of the worst.  In the meantime, my cousin (the POA) called me from Minnesota where she lives and told me that she would be coming to the Islands to work out all the details for my Dad.  She asked me if I wanted to be involved with any of these details and I told her that I did not.  Up until that point, my folks had told all of our relatives what bad daughters we had turned out to be.  That we had no gratitude for having been adopted.  “S” had no idea what the truth had really been all these years.  I did not feel like explaining everything to “S” and so when I told her that I had no interest in being a part of my Dad’s battle with cancer, I’m sure what she had been told by my folks was confirmed with my attitude.  All “S” knew was that my parents had struggled with us girls all these years.  It was not the time to explain anything to “S” about it.

I was continuing to drink and loving every moment of it.  I was what some people would call a “functional alcoholic”.  I would look forward to coming home at the end of the work day to have my glass…or several glasses of wine but I was beginning to prefer vodka.  It got me there quicker.  It got me quicker to that place of happy feelings…that electric energy feeling one gets with drinking alcohol.  Sometimes I would drink on my way home from work in the car.  Heck, why not?  After all, traffic here is bad and it takes over an hour and a half to drive 25 miles.  I was able to keep this behavior a secret from my husband for quite a while.  I would drink in the car, feel relaxed, then share a bottle of wine with my husband.  After we both had that first glass of wine from our shared bottle, he couldn’t figure out how and why I had gotten so plastered from just one glass.  I told myself during my drinking career that after everything I had been through in my miserable life, I deserved to relax the way I wanted to at the end of each day.  I wanted to just drink, then go to sleep.  I did not want to deal with any of the issues that lay deep within me.  I told myself that I drank because I immensely disliked my stepdaughter.  I also disliked her Father whom I felt was spoiling her.  It seemed to me that there was such a lack of discipline.  I remember asking myself distinctly, “why the hell should -she- have a loving, doting Father who would do anything for her when I didn’t?  Who the heck does she think she is?”  I swirled this question around in my head for quite a few weeks until I realized that her relationship with her Dad was a normal one…and that it was such a major contrast to the relationship I had with my Dad.  I hated that fact.  This was the first inkling of the deeper issues that lied beneath me.

I was going about my day and getting my daily exercise and thinking to myself that I would do whatever I could to stay looking young.  I had become a certified laser technician after my nursing career and have had some laser treatments done on my face in the past.  I was contemplating having more work done when a little voice inside my head said: “That’s great!…what are you going to do for your insides?”  At the time, I did not know where that voice was coming from but it was soft, firm and very loving.  It was more of a powerful suggestion than any kind of demand.  Shortly after this little voice, I made up my mind to heal.  I didn’t know how this was going to happen but knew that quitting the drink would be the first step to my healing process.

Off to rehab I went…

…continued