lens6032292_1248216565grandmother-moonI have awakened to the unhappiness and the entitlement that comes with being human. It no longer serves my purpose to continue to allow such behaviors to be the driving forces in my decision making. I must envision a new way to walk in this life.

If forced to put words to a thought or idea behind what my personal vision is, what would I write of myself as a visionary? I had not before associated visionary in my own concept of self, but as a co-creator how could I not be?  I, first have to look at where I have been to see where I want to go. Also, since no one lives in a vacuum I need to look at where we are as a collective unconscious society and from that point the vision of a future that I chose to come here to bring into being can be detected, perhaps it is from knowing what we don’t want that one can find what is needed and even better, wanted.

I have noticed that there is an underlying violence permeating throughout our society. A violence that is born from fear, as all violence comes from.  I feel it when I’m driving. I sense it when I’m at the Wal-Mart or filling up my car at the gas station.  I hear it in the voices of the people that I work with, this sublime tension that seeps through the fibers of our existence. Perhaps, this is no new thing and only my awareness is keener or perhaps it is simply that this unrest has grown, as the discontentment of our collective experiences culminate into this violent backdrop that overlays all our interactions.  My concern is that this tension will be pulled and tightened to such a degree that it will eventually snap and then chaos will ensue. Again.

I have made a decision to put aside my focus on this human condition and instead focus on my own healing for it is my belief that in healing of the self the vibration is lifted which then can open pathways for others to follow suit., in their own personal healing path.

It recently came to my attention through a rather peculiar set of events,  that my main purpose must be for the blossoming of self. This is not a new concept but the rigors of life had clouded my vision, for I had known before that it is in this blossoming that the inner visionary is allowed to come forward. I had forgotten. The piece that I didn’t know is that this blossoming of self must occur without guilt of what that process will take or how it will unfold. This lack of information may have contributed to the starts and stops I have made in this blossoming. I have been stuck and gone backwards and then gotten unstuck and moved forwards. Lately, I seem to have stalled out and feel at a loss of which way to go and what I can do to unblock this path that lay before me that I cannot see but only know with a blind faith must be there. Moving forward free of guilt may very well hold the key to my blossoming.

I have sent up prayers with a commanding voice that I will accept the help that is available to me from my guides and ancestors in opening the doors that will lead me to this blossoming.  I have commanded that I will make this blossoming a priority without guilt or self-judgment.  I will attempt to document this journey through writing. If only for my own sake to know that I am committed and must have a space to go to be accountable. A wise woman once told me to:

“Blossom where you are. Don’t wait until you get where you think you want to go.”

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I heard a story once about a master and his student. The student approached his master asking him “Master, how did you get to be so wise?” The master solemnly nodded his head and replied “Ah, good question. I became wise by making good decisions.” The student thrilled to get such a straightforward answer from his usually ambiguous master went away to ponder his master’s words.  Some time passed and the student approached his master again and asked,  “Master, how did you learn to make good decisions?” The master beamed at his student and said. “Now that is the better question. I learned to make good decisions, by making bad decisions.” The master then closed his eyes and went back to meditating.

This story gives me hope that I may learn from the choices that I have made that have come from bad decisions and from the rubble that I create I may blossom into something better. I have made my share of bad decisions. I don’t know a person who hasn’t made a decision that later was regretted. To stay and wallow in the mistake will only create more havoc. The measure of a character comes when a person faces the mess and starts to clean it up. There are many ways to face the mess one creates: blame, denial, or take responsibility and deal with the consequences. I choose the later and this is where I find myself now.  It was fear that is at the root of most of my problems and it is fear that I will have to face to solve them too.

Fear, or in other words, lack of trust has been running me and I am sick of it being the underlying energy that influences my every decision. I must look at how my life force has been harnessed by fear and seek release. A thoroughbred running free is what my spirit longs for, yet fear keeps me tacked down. What if I truly believed that there were no obstacles? No lack and all things truly were possible. Is it my unbelief that keeps me stuck as I continue to make decisions that cause harm to others and myself?  Yes, most assuredly, yes. A simple answer to a complex problem is acceptable for there are times when I have complicated the simple, which thus created the complex problem, which can only be resolved by embracing the simplicity.  Which witch? The Good Witch or the Bad Witch, simple or complex, what is my choice to be? The Good Witch trusts in the flow of things and believes that when she is in need her needs will be granted. The Bad Witch is ruled by lack and must force or steal the red shoes back.  Surrender Dorothy. Surrender lack. Surrender attachments. Surrender to the flow.

As I sit by my open window, a soft breeze blows the white gossamer curtain and birds sing sweetly, a beautiful Sunday morning full of possibilities.  I enjoy the quiet. Indian flute music floats through my house as my children lie sleeping, a rarity. My thought is: well, this could all end badly, and I sip a cup of coffee and smile tersely at my own darkness on this bright morning.

My life must change. This cannot be the way of it. I feel like I am on a moving walkway, like the ones found in airports and other such places, and I’m walking against the track making little headway and expending tremendous amounts of energy just to hang on to my place. What if I just let go and turned around and went in the direction that is moving me and go where it takes me, and if I don’t like it I can keep out a weary eye for the next opportunity to switch paths. Is this the way of making good decisions and becoming full of wisdom and peace with one’s life? Yes, the master says so.

Fear, or in other words lack of trust. I am tired of it running me. I am sick of it being the underlying energy that influences my direction. I must look at the things that have been harnessed by fear and seek release. A thoroughbred running free is what my spirit longs for yet fear keeps me tacked down. What if I truly believed that there were no obstacles? No lack and all things were possible. Is it my unbelief that keeps me stuck? Probably, most likely but that seems an incomplete analysis of the thing.

A simple answer to a complex problem is acceptable for there are times when I have complicated the simple, which thus created the complex problem, which can only be resolved by embracing the simplicity. Which witch? The Good Witch or the Bad Witch. Simple or complex? What is my choice to be? The Good Witch trusts in the flow of things and believes that when she is in need her needs will be granted. The Bad Witch is ruled by lack and must force or steal the red shoes back.

Surrender Dorothy. Surrender lack. Surrender attachments. Surrender to the flow. Simple but not easy. Damn, now where are those red shoes? Oh yeah, they were here all along.

They say follow your passion and you will be successful. How do they define success? Is it defined as being able to be financially and fiscally responsible and independent? Or, is it more about an ethereal soul happiness that defines success for them who are they who say follow your passion and you will be successful. Ideally, it would be a combination of both and I would also add that success is to create a life that is uniquely one’s own imprint.

I saw an interesting film the other night, Coco before Chanel, a French film about the early life and times of Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, who took the name Coco after a brief stint as a cabaret singer. She had a natural instinct about fashion and it was in direct opposition of the fashion of the day, which consisted of corseted dresses and heavily adorned hats. Her simplicity and elegance stood firm against what was the accepted feminine display of fashion. She followed her passion and with a little help from wealthy patrons she built her empire beginning with her millenary shop and moved into haute couture. Thanks to Coco, we now have the little black dress and Chanel No. 5 neither of which have fallen out of fashion, since they were first introduced in the mid 1920’s.

Clearly, this kind of passion had created a life that would not have been, had that passion been dismissed, or worse shut down completely. Instead, this passion of Coco’s was followed, and fiercely followed, at that. This film was visually beautiful and it left me with the overwhelming thought: “what is my passion?” Does everyone have the same kind of persistent passion that Coco had? Or does some frivolous God deal pass out passion willy-nilly? Lately, I have felt bereft and adrift in the world, but honestly I have felt lost most of my life so, nothing new with that. Yet,  I have discovered more of my voice, beliefs, mores, my likes and dislikes, as I have journeyed on the path to be free from fear, which is the murderer of passion and among other things. Perhaps, I am a little closer to that nebulus elixir called passion. It is truly an adventure to be had as I discover more about myself. I have come to believe that I am fashioned this way, and that I am right on schedule – for something,  still yet to be determined.

This week I will graduate with my undergraduate degree. I’ll graduate magna cum laude with a BA in Communication. This is a very important moment in my life. I promised myself twenty-five years ago, when I left school and ran away to New Orleans to become a writer that one day, I would return to school and finish my education.  I hoped my promise wasn’t hollow, as so many of my promises back then were just that, hollow, but I kept my word and that feels good.

Six years ago, my youngest child started kindergarten and I thought it’s my turn. There is more to me than, just being a mother.  I felt an urgent pulling and prodding within me and it felt like I’d jump right out of my skin. That’s generally how change comes to me, it is uncomfortable and it turns me inside out. Now, as I prepare for my commencement later this week I wonder, what next? Funny word, commencement so, I thought I’d look it up to see if I really knew what it meant. There are two definitions listed, the first is, a beginning or start and the second, a ceremony in which degrees or diplomas are conferred on graduating students. Both definitions imply a beginning and an end, and both apply to this time of my life.

I look around and everything looks the same, sounds the same, smells the same, but somehow I thought I would be different. Instead, I just feel indifferent and mostly, aaahh, mournful. Everything passes and with each passing there comes a mourning period. Usually, I skip over that icky stuff and move onto “next, please.” Next, is mourning. I know it sounds absurd here I am writing about a celebratory time in my life and I’m mournful! I’m a mournful celebrant.

This is confusing so, bear with me as I try and sort it out. Although, this may be completely mundane drivel I must own the truth that there is sadness in me. This sadness is barren, isolated and well, lonely. Perhaps, it is normal. Perhaps, I am maladjusted and I don’t know how to embrace the good things in my life so; I have to make them sad and that way I can feel. Now, that is just too depressing a thought, but there it is.

When my children come to me and worry about what they will be when they grow up I cheerily tell them, “Pursue what you want to do and, the doors will open up for you.” Do I believe these words can I apply to me too? While I was writing this all down my beautiful daughter came to me with such a question and without hesitation I quoted the above wisdom to her.

She asked, “Did you come up with that yourself?”

I replied, “ yes.”

She said “just now?”

I said, “yes, just this minute I said it for the first time.

She said, “That’s good, you should write it down.”

So I did. I guess I’ll go with it and see what happens. After all, I am going to graduate with honors. I pursued it and the doors opened.  Now, I don’t feel so mournful. I feel hopeful.

For over 40 years, South Africa was governed by the most notorious system of racial domination since Nazi Germany. When it finally collapsed those who had upheld the apartheid rule wanted to be pardoned. In a compromise, a Truth and Reconciliation Council (TRC) was formed in order to bring a nation healing and unity.

Amnesty would be granted in exchange for the truth.  Seven thousand came forward seeking amnesty. They came for different reasons. Some came forward who were already convicted of crimes hoping to be pardoned, some sought amnesty for crimes that were not yet made known and hoped to avoid persecution, and some came forward to seek forgiveness.

In the final days of apartheid violence escalated but one woman, Amy Biehl,  a white US student’s death made headlines all around the world. I remember hearing about it and was very saddened by the story. More surprising to me was the response of Amy’s family, which I well remember but was reminded when I saw the documentary “Long night’s journey into day.”

Amy’s mother, Linda Biehl says of the response that she and Amy’s father, Peter had to Amy’s tragic death: “You have no concept until something happens what your attitude will be.”  It was because of what Amy had been doing in South Africa fighting against apartheid and how she talked about it that influenced her parents’ response to her death.

In order to honor Amy, her parents aligned themselves with the work that she had come to South Africa to do to-help stop apartheid. This gave her parents a purpose that helped to heal, not only themselves but, also, the men who killed her, along with many others who bore witness to this extraordinary event.

In a letter that Amy Biehl wrote to the editor of the local paper before her death that was read by her father at the amnesty hearing were these words: The most important vehicle towards reconciliation is open and honest dialogue, this is what the TRC – truth and reconciliation council is all about.

To see the men who sat and listened to Amy’s mother and father give them forgiveness in such an open and loving way made it evident to me that the possibility for love and healing can be truly far-reaching.

The example of forgiveness and embracing community by the Biehls, during a tragedy had a profound effect on me. If they can forgive the unthinkable, then who am I to hold onto my grudges?

During my twenties, I walked around with a rather large chip on my shoulder.  I trusted no one and I believed in the value of an eye for an eye. I was bitter and felt entitled to make anyone, especially men, suffer for all my pain.  As a child, I had endured some very difficult abusive situations that scarred me deeply. My shadow was the dominating force during this period in my life. Rage fueled my spirit and I was self will run riot.

The above description is hard for me to swallow, as I am much different than I use to be. I am no longer vengeful. I believe that that huge chip on my shoulder has been removed. These things didn’t happen without me doing a lot of really difficult work. I needed to face who I was, how I got there, and then, what I was going to do about it. First, I had to define for myself what kind of person I wanted to be, out in the world. Second, I had to take some very specific actions, and third, I have had to continue to walk on this new path that I have forged. It is here that one can get stuck. Walking the talk, so to speak, is where the rubber meets the road and it’s no cake walk either.

Perfectionism haunts my every step of the way. I am constantly checking myself. Are my motives ulterior, harmful, selfish, or self-seeking? I can beat myself up with this continuous self-analysis.  Although, I believe it is imperative that I continue to keep myself on track, perfectionism, as defined by Carl Jung, can pervade the shadow aspect of our personality. It can actually be the destructive force that keeps us away from the very goal that perfectionism would define, as perfect.

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