Lost

I got lost for a while. Real lost!

I don’t even know how it happened and didn’t realize quite how lost I was until I was alone again.

These past few months have seen some crazy shit come and go. I went from being an almost-40, married female to being an almost-40, separated female who, for the first time ever in her life, is doing absolutely everything on her own. But then I made a new friend and I allowed myself to get lost in that friendship. And I probably would have let it keep going but I got dropped. I still don’t understand it completely but here I am alone again, without friend whom I thought was more of a friend than apparently was, and trying to figure out who the hell I am, why I’m doing the things I’m doing, and how I’m going to keep moving forward.

This friendship I speak of has had a profound impact on my life but, in hindsight, my fertile mind took ideas that I loved and that resonated deeply with me, and turned them all into rules, rules that I believed only someone else knew how to act in accordance with. Every decision I was about to make I found myself checking in to make sure I was making the right choice. And most often I wasn’t. I started to become the second-guessing ninny that lies deep within me, petrified of being wrong, fearful that every wrong choice I make will leave me alone.

Being dropped as a friend, quite abruptly, was really painful for me, but looking back, it’s only made me stronger.

There isn’t one other person on this planet who can make my choices for me. I really have to sink into singularity and know that deep within I have an innate ability to choose the right things for me.

And what is most clear to me now is that there are no right ways or wrong ways, only different ways. I can search for someone to tell me how to do something only to turn around and find someone else who will tell me to do it the completely opposite way. Who’s right? Well, I guess we all are so long as we are choosing with our heart and doing what feels right. But beyond that, I also have to stand behind what I choose and I know I can confidently do that when there isn’t guilt, questioning, or condemnation.

Equally important to me is understanding that the choices I make aren’t concrete. If I make a choice and then learn something more about the choice I’m making and decide I should be doing something differently, well I can damn well change my mind. I just need to be aware and present in the faculty of my own mind when I decide. I need to ask myself why I’m making a choice and why it feels right to me. I need to strip away all the external factors and voices surrounding the choice I make and if, while alone, I can still, with all my heart, know that that is the choice I want and need to make, then I will.

I cannot make sense of so much that is taking shape right now. My life feels very messy and haphazard right now. I’m up and down. I’m good and bad. I’m vibrant and energetic and then I’m exhausted and done in. But overall, I have a very concrete image of who I am and where I want to be and as long as the image is there then that is what I see and rely on when I choose the direction of every aspect of my life. Is this action in alignment with who I am? If so, then I can accept that direction. If not, then I can just as easily reject that direction and move on.

I was lost. I’m still lost. But with each day, and with repetition, practice and fierce tenacity, I become a little more me and little less lost.

The Prison of Violence

Human nature, the ego, gravitates towards violence almost instinctively. I’m not talking about guns or physical violence here, though those are certainly concrete forms of violence.

No, what I’m talking about is the condition of the human spirit. The world identifies with self and in order to protect self it reacts. The fundamental reaction is to fight.

In the form of self, opposing forces exist. This is not an original or profound idea of mine. No, I would never claim such a thing. We are an ego-centric people. We fight to self-preserve – and self-preservation opposes loss – and opposition to loss breathes life into violence.

What’s interesting about this is that it is a very easy concept to understand, as a cosmic idea that is “out there.” We can easily identify it in others, too. But do we see this light of truth within ourselves? That is not so easy. And in the ignorance of this understanding, ego thrives and violence persists.

I am very slowly starting to break the chains on the confines of the darkness of self and letting the light of formlessness emerge. I exist regardless of any human interaction that presents itself in my life. But I will continue to exist in the pain of form-self if I allow non-acceptance, judgement and resistance to persist.

I don’t want to live in violence and hate any longer.

This all stems from an encounter with my parents last night. I arranged to have dinner with them. It’s been three weeks since I separated from my husband and I felt it was time to share with them what was going on. As a parent I know they worry. I didn’t feel an obligation to tell them, though. I just know that over the past few weeks I’ve revealed to people more about myself than I have ever before and it’s been a very freeing and liberating process for me. In coming out of hiding, I’m allowing the darkness of shame and secrecy to be exposed to the light.

I told them about their daughter who, on some level they know, but in many other ways they do not. I told them my husband is an alcoholic. I told them some of the deeply personal relational issues that exist in my marriage due to this. I told them about my own personal struggles with mental health issues. I told them that the eating disorder I’d developed when I was 18 years old never really “went away.” I told them I recently spent a year in a fairly extensive, out-patient eating disorder treatment program and that I am now over a year symptom-free. I didn’t hide anything. I laid it out there. And while I realize this is a lot for any parent to take in, the response was not what I expected. It was pretty flat. It was quite non-responsive and lacking in any sort of emotional empathy. The words came out of my mother’s mouth, “Well, you know we love you and support you. We will pray for you. And we will continue to pray for your husband. He needs lots of prayer right now.” But, they were just words. And then my dad (bless his heart) mumbled his way through some analogy about men being waffles and women being spaghetti. And that was it.

In all honesty, I didn’t think I had an idea of what sort of response I was going to get. But, I must have had some sort of hope or expectation because, afterwards, I felt disappointment. If I hadn’t been expecting something I couldn’t have possibly felt disappointment for not having received it.

I felt deeply hurt. I wanted to cry. I wanted to point fingers and accuse them of being heartless and loveless. I wanted to be mean and hurt them because they were hurting me. Why don’t they love me? Don’t they see the strength in me for having endured so much? Why don’t they care about me? This isn’t the reaction of people who love their child! What is wrong with them? Some parents they are! No wonder I had so many emotional issues growing up! My sister and I commiserated, our family is fucked!

I felt hot at the moment but refrained from reaction to it. It didn’t diminish the sting at the time but I knew a violent reaction would only beget a more violent response.

And there it is – the prison of violence! Violence begets violence. We reap what we sow.

It’s so natural for ego to present itself in situations like these and that’s why it’s so important to accept the existence of ego, of self – to accept it – but not judge it or resist it. No, I had to feel the pain through this one. And the pain is no one’s fault.

My initial gut reaction to defend myself  was my ego attempting to feed. My ego had created stories of expectation – expectation for things that, through external forces, can never be filled. The stories the ego writes are all fiction. It tells me no one loves me. It tells me no one cares for me. It tells me I am right and everyone else is wrong. It drives me to protect and defend – to protect and defend with hostility and blame and violence.

And I am choosing to not trap myself in this prison anymore.  Our ego-filled world knows violence instinctively. But, love? Unconditional love and the consciousness of light and the understanding of one-ness and am-ness and is-ness – it sounds so beautiful but is not a naturally comfortable place for the ego to be. But with practice, it can become just as natural a response.

If we can all start to practice love and consciousness, then because we are all one, the collective strength of that love and light will overpower the darkness.

Touch

Joyful and happy,
A sweet little girl,
Smiling and hopping,
Bouncing her curls.

Freckles and smiles,
Covered her face,
A soul full of innocence,
Then taken in haste.

Abandoned and frightened,
Lost and alone,
A dark empty heart,
And a soul full of stone.

Her body abandoned,
Left empty and cold,
Warmth and love were desired,
But starvation took hold.

Then hunger took over,
Desperate to fill,
The dark empty hole,
That invaded her still.

Food became love,
And self filled with shame,
Light turned to dark,
And emptiness came.

No one took notice,
She was slipping away,
But she wanted to be loved,
She wanted to stay.

Then out of no where,
A hand did out reach,
She extended hers also,
Hearts started to beat.

Lightness flowed over,
Her body of black,
Sensations of love,
Were all coming back.

The hunger was lifting,
And filling with air,
A lightness ensued,
By a body touched bare.

Tingles and shivers,
Were felt once again,
Excitement and joy,
Were replacing the pain.

Love is so varied,
And can take many forms,
Touch and compassion,
Are calming my storms.

~ by edstarver

Starving for Security

I recently acquired a new friend. It’s a “he” and I like him very much. He’s a little eccentric but so interesting and unique. I enjoy listening to his thoughts and opinions and ideas. He’s a lovely, caring person with a special energy about him. His recent presence in my life has created this sense of joy and anticipation and bounce in me. I haven’t felt like this in a long, long, long time. I have this smile on my face that I can’t seem to get rid of. I feel happiness. I feel weightless.

I feel weightless.

I feel weightless and I’ve lost my appetite. I don’t want to eat. My stomach isn’t hungry. I know I need to eat something – I’m feeding recovery from an eating disorder. The food I touch now though scares me a little. I don’t want it. I don’t want to eat. I’m afraid. Tiny whispers float over me, it’s the voice of ED. Food, eating – it will change everything but I want time to stand still.

Something beautiful has entered my life and I don’t want it to go. I want to stay locked in this feeling. I’m not sure why this person has been drawn to me or why he wants to spend time with me but I fear he will go. I fear this joy and happiness will be lost.

I feel an internal shift. What began as a mutual and effortless relationship is slowly evolving into something that I am personally responsible for. I need to maintain whatever it is that brought this person in to my life.

I don’t know what it is that drew him to me but I know one thing for sure – if I eat, I will change. I get this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when food is placed before me. It’s the root of all evil. I want to be small and fragile. I don’t want to be invasive; I want to be small enough to handle. I want to be cared for and loved. I don’t want to need. This is going to hurt like hell when he leaves and it will be my fault.

A nerve is being hit right now. I’m a little shaky as I type this and the tears are starting to well. Years are rewinding in my head at lightning speed. I’m brought back to the age of seven and begin sifting and sorting through the next 11 years.

Abandonment, loneliness, disapproval, isolation, criticism. I spent 11 years experiencing these things. No one wanted me.

I lost 40 pounds when I was 18. Everyone noticed. Boys liked it, others worried. Either way, I was transported to the forefront. What euphoria! There’s nothing greater than being special and now it was my responsibility to keep myself special.

I was too big to care for before so I had to keep myself as small as possible, to not be a burden that would be too big for others to carry. The only way I knew how though was through my manipulation and use of food. If I eat, I will change.

I’m feeling this way all over again and it’s scary. I could go either way here but I’m a little bit stronger now. I don’t want the fear of abandonment to get a grip on me. Abandonment is always a possibility and not one that I can control. I’m trying to to accept that feeling now, that feeling of loss. It’s shameful though to me, to acquire something and then lose it. My fault, my fault, my fault.

Whoever the “you” may be…I want to please you. I want you to be proud of me. I don’t want to disappoint you. I don’t want you to leave me. What can I do so that you won’t leave?

Sometimes, one can do nothing to prevent loss.