Log in my Eye

My husband called me today. He never calls me. He didn’t have anything to talk about, he just wanted to say hi.

I asked him how he’s doing. He thinks he’s getting worse.

I asked him what he’s going to do about it. He doesn’t know.

So this is where I want to take this blog post to the topics of co-dependency and “tough love” for addicts; I’ve got a lot to say right now. But for some reason I’m stopped and Matthew 7:3 comes to mind:

Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?

If I continue to write about him and the atrocities of alcoholism, I get to continue playing the blame game and pretending I’m either the victor or the victim, whatever suits my needs.

Ego wins again!

Originally, I wanted to write about how easy it would be to feed his need for love and support because I know very well how to do that, but how necessary it is to stay detached in order to not inadvertently feed the addiction.

It all seemed well-meaning and innocent, it really did. But this voice, this ominous power pointing inward, I can’t not take notice.

What is it in me that is causing this? I’m not entirely sure even still.

The more I look at my original want to theorize and observe and make note of him and the addiction, the more it seems to boil down to judgement. In one way or another all I’m doing is passing judgement.

I think about the Law of Cause and Effect. Every thought, which is the level of cause, has a respective effect which, in turn, becomes the cause of new action which then produces a new effect.

I talk about him, I judge him. In turn I make myself a victim of his actions. This creates fear and new judgments which in turn cause new fears and new judgments, and on and on it goes.

It’s a never ending spiral cascading into all of humanity – unless the level of thought changes.

Who am I in spite of his drinking? Still me. Not much changes.

I can still love. I can forgive. I am sorry for perpetuating the judgement.

Fear Not

I attended a conference today. It was on something of personal interest to me so it was my choice to attend. I was under no obligation to go.

Yet, in true form, my anxiety level was high today. Normally I would attend such an event with others but today I was going it alone.

I drove in silence pondering the anxiety arising within. Why do I get so anxious and nervous? Why am I so afraid? Well, I’m afraid of judgement, of being judged.

And then it dawned on me. My fear of judgement is essentially an unfair judgement, on my part, of others and the world at large. I’m already making judgments that others will judge me and hate me and be mean to me.

Fear is not a sad and helpless state at all. It’s mean, really mean. Fear is self-directed hate. And if the hate is rooted inside then it’s really no wonder that the manifestations in my world come in the form of hate and judgement.

I’m living and acting and behaving in ways that align with a fundamental belief that I am no good, that I am somehow, in some way, a separate entity that needs to defend her place in this world. Yet nothing could be further from the truth if I’m viewing the world through the lens of true love.

Fear exists only to serve the desires of the ego. Does fear exist in love? No, it can’t. It can only exist in the absence of love.

It certainly is in my programming to view the world as a scary and dangerous place, void of love. But, if God is love and God is omnipresent, then wouldn’t it stand to reason that love is in me and I am love as well?

As the Bible says in Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you.”

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.