Trascendental

The future is Now!

What happened, moved me. It didn’t keep me.

Only I could allow myself to remain there, but the Now is not immobile.

An event moved me, transcended me. I don’t want it back – it doesn’t exist Now. The event was organic and flowing and beautiful. It cannot be duplicated. To want for what was would only trap me.

Say yes to what Is and keep moving – there is more ahead. Yes, it’s unknown but the only way to reveal the future is to stay in the Now and let it, watch it, unfold.

Cutlery

As Eckhart Tolle so prophetically said, “Your mind is an instrument, a tool. It is there to be used for a specific task, and when the task is completed, you lay it down.”

If my mind is an instrument, then all my individual thoughts are the cutlery – cutlery that gets used for specific purposes – and that should go back in the drawer when finished with.

The problem is, I haven’t been putting my cutlery back. I’ve been putting them, all dirty, into a big giant sac, which is now, at the age of 39, overflowing and stinking and causing me physical pain because it’s too heavy to carry.

It’s time to put the cutlery back in the drawer, put it away. This isn’t to ignore it. No, not at all! As I take each utensil out, I must acknowledge it, admit that it exists in my tactile fingers, and put it back.

Whatever it was used for served a purpose at that time, but not now. Not anymore! It gets cleaned and can be used again. I cannot enjoy the present taste of new food by using a dirty fork. The new food would be tainted by the stench and decay of the old. New would blend with old and the pleasure of the new, the now, would never be fully experienced.

It’s time. It stinks too badly to ignore the mess anymore. I open the sac and oh, yup, I see…

  • There’s the bloody mess of  a spoon that ripped my heart out when my mom left us when I was 8 years old. I didn’t see it coming. The extraction of love and security from my young, innocent body left a gaping hole which would become a gateway for fear and insecurity and doubt to breed and fester. There was no love left. At that age, I got all my love from my parents, my mom, but instead of continuing to feed me, the love was ripped away from me to feed someone else.
  • And there’s that pistol-whip of a knife that slashed me across my face when a young boy looked me deep in my eyes and said, “You’re ugly.” I already felt it – I was unlovable anyway and ugly isn’t loved.

Knife joined spoon in my pain sac and the weight began to accumulate.

  • There’s the fork that stabbed me multiple times all over my body when my sister yelled at me and told me I was a fat, lazy slob and that it was no wonder I had no friends.
  • There’s the other knife that spread me out to nothingness and allowed anyone to fuck me. I don’t know who I am but I am an empty vessel. You can fill me to take any form you want – I will let you so you will love me. I’ll be whatever you want me to be.
  • There’s another spoon. Oh yes, that’s a messy one! That’s the one that gouged out my voice and left me unable to express myself. I’ve been so afraid to speak because, once I do, you will know who I am and will push me away. I don’t contain anything that is lovable. Instead, I began observing and watching and made my own ideas of what others wanted. I became a mime acting in ways that I thought others wanted. I won’t dare vocalize but look, I can act that way too if that’s what it will take for you to love me and accept me. Sometimes it worked – but never for long.
  • Fuck! There’s the serving spoon, the one that hollowed out everything left inside me, scraped me down to the skin. It emptied me completely for the first man to tell me he loved me and and committed to staying with me. I am empty now and I can fill myself with all that  you want. I am your wife, I am yours. But filling myself with only him and his pain body left me aching and starving for more.

Always empty. Always pretending.

  • Oh, and here’s one that was just recently tossed in my sac. It’s another spoon that took some more of myself out in order to let another person in. I took too much of myself out, again.

It’s cleaning time!

My utensils have been used as destructive implements – not by others – but by me. When I am hurt and rejected it’s because in some way, often sometimes and sometimes often and always in ways unknown to me at the time, I’ve created space for it by using the old, stanky stash of cutlery.

Spoons create holes and empty spaces. Knives create slashes of anger and contempt. Forks create puncture wounds that allow self-hate to seep in and love to leak out.

I am a weak and oscillating energy force flopping back and forth. I can’t keep anything in. I am not firm in self.

But things are changing.

My cutlery will no longer be used as weaponry. Instead, I shall use them to feed myself in beautiful, nourishing ways, care for them, and then return them to their sacred drawer until I need to feed again.

Core Workout

I’m human. Really human. And so, I’m easily distracted. I’m starting to use my distraction now though instead of it using me. It’s becoming my “weight” that I’m using to strengthen my core. And I’m not talking about my abs. No, I’m talking about my core Being.

What I’m starting to understand is that being present isn’t about being blissfully happy and peaceful 24/7. Well, let me re-phrase – being present isn’t about making myself be blissfully happy and peaceful 24/7.

Therein lies my foundational problem. I’m trying too hard. And in all my effort to find this happiness and peace, I’ve been missing it entirely.

In trying to be present I’ve been, in stark opposition, practicing mindlessness. I’ve been attempting to reach a future state of Being – but anything that has yet to be is anything but presence.

I started to bear witness to my ignorance yesterday. My morning cup of Eckhart taught me that there are three modalities of awakened doing:

  1. Acceptance
  2. Enjoyment
  3. Enthusiasm

I focus on the first one for now because that is what is resonating with me. Eckhart says about Acceptance:

Whatever you cannot enjoy doing, you can at least accept that it is what you have to do. Acceptance means: For now, this is what this situation, this moment, requires me to do, and so I do it willingly…Performing an act in the state of acceptance means you are at peace while you do it. That peace is a subtle energy vibration which then flows into what you do.

I realize I have not been very accepting of very much in my world:

  • When sitting at work doing repetitive, boring tasks my mind wanders and I start to look for the distraction. I search the Internet for something interesting, I go talk to someone, I reach for the Blackberry. Total avoidance!
  • When driving home in traffic, I turn on the music, I watch other people. I start to fall into self and judgement. Why can’t this guy drive? What will I eat for dinner? What am I going to do tonight?
  • What am I going to do tonight? (this thought carries on from the previous one) I guess I’ll eat dinner and have a glass of wine. I’ll watch TV. I’ll clean a bit and then maybe I’ll go for a walk. Everything is focused on future events yet when I get to that time – that time to eat, to watch, to walk – I’m already a million steps ahead of it – and so, I may perform the acts but I’m lost in yonder and never enjoying the state of present Being.

Everything is sheer distraction!

Yesterday, I made a concerted effort to focus. And, lo and behold, things started to fall into place. I had hundreds of contracts at work I had to get through and I went through each one  as though it was the first one I was seeing. And that was the whole jist of my day. When I started to look forward I brought myself back and I truly found that acceptance of the now was more peaceful than the hope of the unknown future.

Now that I know what my weight load is, I can make use of it to strengthen my core.

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.

A Whole New Level of Selfish

I thought I was a pretty good person, a decent individual. I consider myself a giver with an open heart. I would much rather tend to the needs of others than satisfy my own comforts.

It turns out though that I might just be a horribly selfish human being. And the worst part is that not only am I selfish, but completely ignorant to it.

Until now. I’m starting to see glimpses of the horror that lies at the root of unconsciousness. And it’s me.

Recently, a friend had said something to me that hurt. You can read about it in my People Like You post. It pierced my heart. I didn’t respond to it right away because my first instinct was to fly off the handle. So I sat with it and rolled it around in my head for a while and then I blogged about it. I thought I had found comfort and closure. That was not the case.

The words still weren’t sitting well with me. Something was still stinging. So, my next logical step was to email my friend and explain how what he had said hurt me and that perhaps we could discuss it.

The response I got was anything but kind. There was a lot of finger pointing. You this, you that. How dare I judge him. He, or so I thought, had turned the whole thing around and put the blame back on me. What the hell???

Without disclosing all the gory details of his email, one poignant note was that he said that I had allowed my pain body to read way too much into his “people like you” comment and that I had been consumed with what I thought was his judgment of me, whereas instead, it had been me judging him.

I hadn’t had words for the “people like you” comment so you can be sure I had no where near coherent words for this.

— blankness —

I’ve spent the last few days thinking not only about this particular “people like you” thing and his email but also about this whole pain body thing. And while I know he would say I’m thinking about it too much and giving it more life to breath, I need to define it – for myself. That is, at least for now, how I need to grow in my understanding of this.

And, the more I think about all of this, I do believe he is absolutely right. He had never, in all of our personal encounters, given me one reason to judge him as bad or as someone who would hurt me. He has, in all honesty, always shown me love and kindness and focus. Yet, my pain body was making up stories based on my past emotional traumas and so, in turn, I was judging him as bad and hurtful. How unfair is that to put that role on somebody who has never once performed it?

The pain body is an entity that wants to live and so, it started feeding. And I kept feeding it because I didn’t even know it lived. Until now.

But the pain still sits there and while I know it exists now I can’t quite find the root of it. I can feel it and I follow it through my body and straight into my heart and the pit of my stomach but knowledge of it doesn’t do anything to lessen the pain.

I went for a long, long walk tonight. It’s an amazing form of meditation for me – I am actually able to find immersion in presence during walks. And often, like today, realizations come to light and I begin to understand.

The pain comes when something feels so good in my life. My pain body tells me that all people will leave me and will hurt me (because I’ve experienced it). So I try to make them stay. It’s a pattern of mine to lose myself in someone else’s ideas and ideals just so that they’ll stay. It can be constricting and suffocating. You like fishing? I’ll fish with you. You like cars? I’ll like cars with you. You want to become a monk? I’ll follow you into solitude. I’ll do whatever you want…just don’t leave me. But the inevitability of it is that everyone will always leave at some point and what’s left will always be me. And, somehow, I need to find a way to be enough.

But how? How do I become enough? By ending the selfishness. It sounds absurd but hear me out…or at least hear Eckhart Tolle out:

Whatever you think the world is withholding from you, you are withholding from the world.

And this is exactly how I am being judgmental and selfish. My emotional traumas spin falsehoods and cast blame making me expel distrust and judgement and insecurity out into the world. Isn’t it true that we reap what we sow? So wouldn’t it make sense that if I’m sowing blame and judgement that that is what I will end up reaping?

What is it that I truly want? I want love. I want freedom. I want joy. If those are the things that I truly, truly want then that is what I must start giving to the world, unconditionally.

The abundance of this is astounding to me. I’ve been so selfish – and I’m sorry…I didn’t know.

Presence

Have you ever had an experience that was so incredible, so amazing, so beautiful, so extraordinary, that after it was over it was all you could think about? You felt consumed by the past (remembering and recounting the experience) and anguished by the future (fearful that such an experience will never happen again).

I have – and now I question it. Why would such a pleasing and pleasurable experience cause such discord in my life?

And herein lies the problem of the mind. It wanders, it wants, it is human and it lusts. It wants so badly.

I’m reading The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I need to quote something from it because it has come to me to think about at just the right time in my life.

Love, joy, and peace are deep states of Being…As such, they have no opposite. This is because they arise from beyond the mind. Emotions, on the other hand, being part of the dualistic mind, are subject to the law of opposites. This simply means that you cannot have good without bad. So in the unenlightened, mind-identified condition, what is sometimes wrongly called joy is the usually short-lived pleasure side of the continuously alternating pain/pleasure cycle. Pleasure is always derived from something outside you, whereas joy arises from within. The very thing that gives you pleasure today will give you pain tomorrow, or it will leave you, so its absence will give you pain. And what is often referred to as love may be pleasurable and exciting for a while, but it is an addictive clinging, an extremely needy condition that can turn into its opposite at the flick of a switch.

It goes on with more beautifully insightful details but I will stop there.

It is here that I recognize the power of being present in the here and now. I cannot return to the past and I cannot take hold of a future that has yet to happen. And, most importantly, I cannot control it.

All I have is right now, this very moment, and I must surrender to the experience of presence.

Nothing else is needed.