March 22, 2015

Guides to the God of My Understanding

Today I take inspiration from Iyanla Vanzant's sharing on God's Postulates. Sharing them, using simple words, is my exercise for healing over this next "number" of days:

Truth 1:  God (the Divine) is the one power that governs life, mind and Spirit.  (Not me! Not my mom.)

Truth 2: Every living thing is a unique expression of God's identity.

Truth 3: "We have nothing but time," and will be continually offered opportunities to repeat and re-create in our lives.

Truth 4:  "God does not punish us." No, we don't need any help in using guilt and fear to do this ourselves.

Truth 5: "There is Divine order to everything in life."  I am exactly where I need to be, at any given time.  (Especially when I don't believe it.)

Truth 6:  "Life is the unfolding of experiences designed"  to bring my awareness to natural (impersonal) laws at work in the world around me. 

Truth 7:  "God does not bless people."   I receive grace (abundance, peace, joy, well-being and love) as a function of what I feel, believe about life, and myself in relation to the Divine.

Truth 8:  My life is a reflection of choices, conscious or unconscious. When I do not recognize my choices, I live on automatic pilot, aka "default."

Truth 9:  "Everyone is born to fulfill a divine purpose." I have everything I will ever need to fulfill that purpose.  

First things first for me today, is to realize I have been given these truths to help me correct the mistruths I have been carrying this past several months.  

Now, to live with these in mind and heart--to become unstuck.  

And thank you, Vyanla

March 20, 2015

If it isn't one thing, it's me momma

I seek reconciliation with my mom, and yet, I have, in her mind, betrayed her and taken advantage of her, by getting in touch with my dad's relatives this past nine months.
And she doesn't even know that I visited with both of his last remaining siblings and sense nothing wrong with them!
I am experiencing the 'pit' because I have given my mom a bit too much power to judge me, now, and oh is she using ugly language. It is toxic.
Her story about me may be true for her, but it hurts me. And that, alone, is a reason to turn this one over to my HP.
I need to stop thinking I need to convince her I am good person. Damn at my advancing age, you would think I would be over this! But it is another layer of the onion.
I either need to cry or laugh! Ah for laughter. When I picture my phone, saying "Blocked caller," I find the urge to let it stay blocked, not pick it up. But when I do catch it or return the called to mom (and dad's) unlisted number, there is always this sense that "this call" might be the last. What if it reveals the miracle? Uh huh.  Or I might hear the God of my understanding speaking to me with compassion.  

March 18, 2015

Remember who you are...

 This was posted a while ago on Ming's blog. It seemed timely to share it here, with you today. God knows I needed the reminder!

Sitting on my Hands

Today, I saw someone I respect very much, say that sometimes all he can do is sit on his hands.

I can see how I started to bring myself down to self-humiliation. It did indeed begin with how I "assimilated" the news of the measles outbreak in SoCal.  (I won't try to share my viewpoints here, though I do think that without some unvaccinated people in our human populations we simply cannot understand how a healthy immune system truly operates. At the very least, we don't have a control group with which we can assess the natural state of our immune systems vis a vis brain health, asthma rates, and auto-immune disorders.  I say this as a person with some scientific literacy).

 At any rate, regardless of what I have just said, the origins of my shame come from my first "take" on the measles break-out, and how poorly I took it when others chose to invalidate all "non-vaccers" and said they "hoped" I had vaccinated my son, and told me I was wrong wrong wrong simply because I questioned.  Even selfishness was implied.  Even though our son is fully-vaccinated today, it was not always so.  Once I experienced my shame, I wanted to make sure all my friends still liked me.  Well, they did. But I did not like me. And so I began to sit on my hands, and I still am. 

What does this tell me about myself? Wow, that I really care about what other think about me.  That seems to matter much more than feeling good about myself. 

This time of humiliation, is one in which I have sat on my hands.  What an expression for a writing-oriented person to use! I can still sit on my hands, and share with you all. I thank you for your tolerance!

Smiling, Smitty

February 24, 2015

A Poem About Most Unwelcome Teacher

  • First, I am powerless over emotional teachers.
  • My best teacher is anxiety.
  • I would like to be able to write lyrical poems about this teacher
  • The funnier, the better, because when anxiety has me in its grip it is so serious. Blah. But since I am not in a creative place, I will start with 

February 20, 2015

Calling it by its Name: Shame

I can see, more clearly now, how I have struggled with shame this past few weeks. I can trace it back to my concern at having a different "take" on the measles break-out  in SoCal.

I obsessed, first, trying to read up more about how the immune system 'might really' work, but many of the sources that made sense to me, had been heavily discredited.

Then some other things contributed to an over-all feeling of anxiety. A number of public events have been underway (planned by our faith fellowship) this week.   I have the sense that I may not be the only one feeling some awkwardness about our small numbers.

Yep, I feel guilt. And guilt turned to shame, as I realize whatever skills I have at making small talk have gone out the window~

One day, I pray I can change out some of what I tell myself when I am under stress!  Because my Inner Critic is having a  great old time telling me how inadequate I am!

I decided yesterday, to name what I was feeling.  Shame.  I would love it if John Bradshaw's book were a bit more gentle in its advice. I seem to have opened up to the hardest part of the book, where he tells you how to stop shame spirals.

I know now that when I am in a hard place with my shame, that I have a hard time focusing on positive action.

What helped me last night, was to share a bit with my husband, in just a few words. It also helped to reach out to a friend, and talk last night (though I probably talked too long).  And I was actually pretty reasonable and peaceful when I spoke to her. I am also being kind to myself and taking the edge off when the fear/shame are the worst. Yes, medications.  I took one just to be sure I could take the edge off. I also tried breathing more deeply and this helped me.

I trust my HP to guide me in self-care and use the tools I am given.  For now, I am glad I had the tools I needed last night. Talking slowly, listening, being part of conversation, all were good for me last night.

February 9, 2015

Seeking my Mentor, Penelope

My writing teacher sent us out to identify a mentor whose writing life we might model ourselves after.  This was to be an opportunity to find a writer with an internet presence if possible.  (She did say that if our role model was a recluse, without an internet platform that would make the assignment easy).  

An obvious choice would have been Melody Beattie, but instead someone else came startlingly to mind:   Penelope Niven. Last year I fell in love with her memoir, Swimming Lessons.  In it I learned that she began publishing books rather late in life  (not much younger than I am now).

I went googling straight away to see if I might find a way to follow Penelope, hoping to take a peek at her path.    She'd already inspired me with her memoir, and I suspected she had more big plans in the works. Maybe her focus would rub off on me.   Or maybe even one day I'd ask her to blurb the book I aspire to write? 

So how did she get started?  "Penelope Niven was a high school English teacher, nearing 40, when she began work on a biography of Carl Sandburg. She had never written a book before. She didn’t have a Ph.D. in literature and hadn’t even been that familiar with Sandburg’s work.But the volume she produced 14 years later, “Carl Sandburg: A Biography”(1991), was ground breaking and helped revive interest in a nearly forgotten poet, Lincoln biographer and literary folk hero of his time."

I was happy to find her shining smile and elegant gray coif pictured at the top of her webpage:

But the print below her picture told me of her writing landmarks, achievements and honorary degrees-- in the past tense. Niven had passed last August of an aneurism, the day before my mom's birthday.

I tell myself coincidences are God's way of being anonymous. But does her death mean that I must give up on her as a “mentor” or role model?