Sunday, June 29, 2008

is forgiveness an art form?

Forgiveness is a word that is bandied about by many in christian circles. Even many new age and secular philosophies espouse the virtues of forgiveness.

Can people genuinely forgive though?

Is it so that people don't really like to forgive a wrong done to them?

Human beings are flawed with a "me" brush that taints every aspect of their lives. It begins inside our hearts when we neglect to do what is right by others and seek to place ourselves into a superior position.

the majority of 'sin' is competition for a personal supremacy above all else.

when we are asked to forgive...we are being asked to forgo our notions of saving face amongst others. We are being asked to eliminate dishonesty, but first, with ourselves and admit our part in the story. Forgiveness asks us to be aware of our own part in the story and admit our own fault and weakness.

Forgiveness is probably the toughest thing for a human being anywhere. We can do all the surface appearances of forgiving someone, but unless there is a change of our own minds and hearts deep within, where we SEE our role and our position in the drama that has thus far unfolded, we cannot ever hope to have the well-springs of love and compassion fill us to the point where true forgiveness can occur.

Forgiveness is fully accepting our responsibility in life's tapestry. It is about accepting other people as having their own choices and responses to the things we do to them and not entering into a spirit of competition to build our ego above theirs.

Forgiveness is humility without manipulation or subjugation of our rights as people. It is not about allowing others to do wrong to us, but it is about letting them have their own motives and not trying to outdo them for the privilege of having "better than" motives.

We are not being above people when we forgive and if we are... it isn't forgiveness we are demonstrating but superiority out of a malevolent desire to beat them at morality games.

Forgiveness is completely and utterly simple when its done in truth and love. There is no rancour, no supplication, no manipulation, no strident moralism and no dishonesty...either with ones self or with the forgiven one.

Can we forget in our forgiving? No! I think people are too flawed for this kind of generosity. However, real forgiveness moves on from the past and does not focus on it but rebuilds a new starting point for growth where trust and a better kind of relationship can grow. It's certainly not about dredging up the past mistakes in a futile attempt to shame the other into noting how grand we have been to "forgive" them! It can be very hard to forget past wrongs even so.

The essential ingredients of forgiveness are:

1) Honesty. First with ourselves. The question we all must ask "Where have *I* been in the wrong on this?" This is a critical step; for when we are prepared to face our own dishonesty and forgive that which is wrong within ourselves, can we see the truth of another without the distortion of our misaligned emotional mirror.

2) Trust. Demonstrating trust in another person instills more than just confidence, it actually engenders Love. It isn't so much as giving someone a mere second chance, its a complete rubbing out of the mistake and a granting of a clean slate to start it all over one more time. To make mistakes is very human. If we understand this, we can allow trust to develop. If trust is taken away, then there can be no real forgiveness.

3) Love. Unconditional Love may be practically impossible to achieve for people, given our flaws and our very human weakness for self-aggrandizement. But still, aiming for 'Really Close To Unconditional Love', as we forgive one another, is possible when we give up trying to be Better Than and simply opt for Equal To.

Forgiveness is a kind of art form I guess. It's an artistic process though, more than the final painting. Forgiveness is a journey of the heart, mind and soul in tandem with each other. It is thought and heart simultaneously combining in a commitment based on a kind of love that goes beyond mere platitudes and familial understanding. It's the highest expression of the humble and the "meek", whom it is said will someday inherit the earth.

Getting over ourselves is the first hurdle to being able to forgive honestly, truthfully, with dignity, grace and good humour.

everyone's talking intentional

1. an act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result.
2. the end or object intended; purpose.
3. intentions,
a. purpose or attitude toward the effect of one's actions or conduct: a bungler with good intentions.
b. purpose or attitude with respect to marriage: Our friends are beginning to ask what our intentions are.
4. the act or fact of intending.
5. Logic.
a. Also called first intention, primary intention. reference by signs, concepts, etc., to concrete things, their properties, classes, or the relationships among them.
b. Also called second intention, secondary intention. reference to properties, classes, or the relationships among first intentions.
6. Surgery, Medicine/Medical. a manner or process of healing, as in the healing of a lesion or fracture without granulation (healing by first intention) or the healing of a wound by granulation after suppuration (healing by second intention).
7. meaning or significance: The intention of his words was clear.
8. the person or thing meant to benefit from a prayer or religious offering
1. done with intention or on purpose; intended: an intentional insult.
2. of or pertaining to intention or purpose.
3. Metaphysics.
a. pertaining to an appearance, phenomenon, or representation in the mind; phenomenal; representational.
b. pertaining to the capacity of the mind to refer to an existent or nonexistent object.
c. pointing beyond itself, as consciousness or a sign.


A lot of my blog reading and conversations, especially online over the course of the past two or three years, have had this strong theme of "being intentional" running through them. Not always at the forefront of conversations as an actual topic, but definitely as an underlying philosophy and concept.

It seems that many in the western world consider the logic of determination in ones life and living to be a value of great importance and a worthy aim.

Some bloggers call it by other names... such as "living consciously". Even I include the word "coherence" in my blog which I guess if you extrapolated would become "intentionality" in living ones life in the end.

What does it really mean though to be INTENTIONAL about life?

Life is an infinite number of decisions we make every day from what kinds of clothes we'll wear to whether or not to support a particular political or ethical concept. The highest value of all in our culture is the freedom to think and decide the destiny of our lives as we please.

But what does the philosophy of being intentional really mean here? Is it about the ego self making justifications for gratifying decisions that have nothing to do with the care and concern of others or the world around us?

No! I don't think so. In some cases yes but that's not the majority of bloggers out here. Most seem to park the label of "Intention" firmly in the camp of being careful about the decisions we make every day. About the consequences of our choices and how we choose to make our lives. I think a lot of us are hoping that we let go a little of the ego-centricity of choice and start thinking a little more globally. Many of us are looking for choices based on Love rather than economics or policy.

Thing is... we can be as intentional about life as we like but life is also ACCIDENTAL and so therefore is Love. And Hope. And Faith.

These things can blindside us or sneak up on us when we least expect them.

Intentional is a lofty aim of the human psyche and a worthy one indeed. But I reckon we should never discount that life is very much about the Accidental too.

Accidental life isn't about being unaware of what is happening around us but it is being open and available to the surprises! So, in the midst of planning to live a certain way and be a certain way or intend a kind of life that is evolved and conscious and aware...we need to also risk allowing the accidental into our lives as well.

Jealousy, anger, strife, unemployment, hatred, dishonour et al: All these things constitute life as well. They're not welcome sure! But they exist, and while I'm not suggesting we warmly embrace them as ideals to aspire to, we do need to be careful we don't beat our higher moral selves over the head too much when they sneakily intrude on our good intentions.

Intentional living can imply we want the perfect life! We want to keep rising above and above and above into the realm of the gods - always climbing the consciousness tower of babel in our pursuit to be worthy and unsullied.

That kind of intentional won't work. It starts from a false imperative anyway... the ego Self, which is always about "ME FIRST!". Being intentional isn't about climbing some psychological or spiritual ladder of the personal best.

Being intentional is about being open to life and aware of all its vicissitudes and about not holding the bee stings we get sometimes against anyone else, but asking ourselves why we had our hand in that particular beehive in the first place! It's about learning the truth behind our own motives and emotional responses. It's about wanting to seek love and understanding not just for ourselves but for the people we hardly bear to think about every single day. It's about forgiveness and the welcoming of Joy into the lives of everyone. Because we ALL matter.

The accident of life is that we didn't have a choice to arrive here. Who's intention was it? Gods or our parents or a combo of both - and that's cool. The other accident of life is that life is an accident of nature every single we so take for granted we forget that it is indeed a pure bloody amazing miracle it even exists at all. What we attempt to DO with this accident is the journey of thought that does most of our philosophical heads in.

Maybe being intentional isn't the purpose we need to seek. Maybe... we need to just lighten up and love life for what it is...even the ugly bits. Maybe we need to not try so hard to be so flaming LOGICAL about everything in our lives and allow a few accidents spice things up a bit and make us more interesting...make LIFE more interesting. We can't put life in a road rut. Life will go on around us...we put ourselves into a road rut.

Yeah? You can choose the road rut if you want to but don't be so naive to think that by your being "intentional" in not choosing that're actually just choosing another different set of road ruts a few latitudes over! :) Sometimes life asks us to travel a particular set of road ruts for a reason we can't figure out until we get there. Life's sneaky like that.


Saturday, June 28, 2008

Labels as coffins or spring-boards

Interesting observation today.

How do you define the stuff in your life? Not only in the physical realm but also in the concepts, ideas, images, stories, and imaginative processes you contain inside your head?

For me, the process of labelling or naming concepts seems to be an important strategy in helping me achieve coherence and full comprehension of the thing.

If something such as an idea or a relationship is too vast in its scope, it becomes overwhelmingly difficult to describe simply and usefully. It begins to lack coherence and for me, begins to become unwieldy and totally incomprehensible.

If there is one thing I have learned recently...I have a hard time with anything that is incomprehensible! If it doesn't make sense to me, I either ignore it completely or else, enter into a sort of emotional/intellectual guerrilla warfare with it!

The process of naming things I've talked about here before. It seems to be a strong value of mine - to be able to name something in such a way that builds in the full meaning and therefore...coherence; understanding and recognition etc.

The trick to this though is to ensure that the labels are not coffins!

By this I mean that that which we name or label does not become so confining in its definition that the original idea and concept dies, leaving a mere title for nothing much at all.

The labelling process...especially for ideas...needs to have a kind of built in mutability in it that allows the idea behind the label to grow, morph and develop freely. The label then becomes not just a name but a living identity for the idea!

Just like when we name our babies...we believe those names will be with them for life. The child grows with their name and their name defines them but it should never confine them. It's important, as a parent, to choose a name that serves the child into their old age and acts as a spring-board to a life-time of growth. Only really dumb parents give children the sorts of idiotic names that can potentially and severely limit a child's growth and joy as a person...but that depends on the child too in the end.

The thing is...the words we use to call our stuff... not only defines the stuff but also grows the stuff, unless we label it in such a way that effectively kills it!

I hadn't realised until now just how important the process of naming/labelling is to the human least to mine anyway.

To define or confine? That is the question!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

For Soj... one pair of butterfly wings.

[Photo taken by Soj himself in a butterfly enclosure in Costa Rica awhile ago. Thanks Soj].

Soj in Second Life was "pissed" because I hadn't really described the process of my metamorphosis from being an entirely angst ridden, self-absorbed trauma addict to the bright, shiny, hyper-happy butterfly I'd sort of presented myself as being in my last post.

To be entirely truthful...I am not fully emerged from the chrysalis yet. I have my "moments" where I regress into that seething pile of frustrating, angry "I'm NOT TO BLAME" ardour.

But in the interests of balance...I AM making headway on my emotional state and there are more bright moments now than depressing dark ones.

metamorphosing ones inner child from lonely, self-abused, emotionally bankrupt urchin with a penchant for blaming everyone and everything for her ills and woes to gregarious, open, honest and assuredly confident and integrated adult who takes full responsibility for her emotional state is not an easy job.

To squeeze ones emotional body out of the hard, crusty unforgiving cocoon of ones own making is neither comfortable or even a comforting prospect really. It seems so very much easier to remain inside where its dark and safe and lonely and you don't have to take any responsibility for anything because you're effectively stuck anyway.

If you WANT to be a have to want give birth to that idea.

You have to accept you HAVE grown emotional wings inside that tight, claustrophobic hull you're wearing so proudly and that those wings need light in order to be made ready for flight.

Butterflies that emerge from their shell probably don't necessarily choose to leave it's just that they simply outgrow it and must therefore break their way out to get air, breathe and spread their wings with relief. The process isn't pretty, and nor, I guess, is it especially comfortable for the butterfly, but it gets done nonetheless. The unforeseen and unknown possibilities are always better than the known and all too familiar confines of self-restricting anger and resentment.

Even when we confine ourselves inside emotional chrysalises, we grow!

It's a strange thing yeah? That we can grow even when we refuse to realise or want it. Most of our lives as human beings is spent in thinking we are owed something by the world. We think in terms of ourselves being always right and everyone else being sadly mistaken about that fact. We approach from the position of defensive aggression , from a place of mistrust and miserly control of our internal emotional resources.

I know this because I see myself do it everyday. I hate being made to look as little as I believe myself to be I give everyone else the responsibility of making me look better than I feel I am.

We all do this. It's not unique to me. It's a human tragedy of infinite proportions. We all hate being made to look as inferior as we actually believe ourselves to be, so we accuse, blame, assault, get angry with and argue with anyone who dares imply we're not as cool as we think we ought to be.

When we give up fighting with our INNER bean and love it without puffing it up with false pride or beating it over the virtual head with patronising platitudes, we actually stop trying to protect ourselves and we can begin to love other people just because....we love reciprocation or validation required.

That's a metamorphisis!

As I said...I have quite a ways to go though to get to this point. It's happening and in time I won't need to be so self-absorbed because I'll just be myself... reciprocation or validation required. I be butterfly.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Everyone is afraid of something.

I noticed this yesterday on a walk around town. I smiled at people because I felt happy and content with my life as it currently stands. The angst is dissolving and I'm moving back into a space of open-hearted joy for the world at large. (I can hear a collective sigh of relief from everyone who has endured my self-obsessed woes of the past few months)

As I smiled at people in a spirit of collective "We're-all-in-this-together" camaraderie, it fascinated me to note that for many people... it simply scared them! I could SENSE the depths of their confusion and fear, the instant a stranger - me - gave them recognition and encouragement in my acknowledgment of them.

If you look someone in the eye and accept them just as they come with no defensive strategies of your own standing by in readiness, it's amazing how people can react to that. Only one person grinned back at me in that reciprocated spirit of "Yeah! I hear you!" acceptance.

The rest shifted their eyes uncomfortably away from mine and their body posture was instantly guarded and defensive. I could almost hear them thinking "What does SHE want from me?" clanging in the back of their minds. Their discomfort made me ache for them. How sad it is to be so defensive and guarded against the people around you because you mistrust every motive and attitude they present to you.

Perhaps I sound a tad arrogant in saying that. It wasn't that I was feeling patronizing or superior to these dear people I'd never met was just that I wanted to express the heart of burgeoning joy I am beginning to feel within myself. That feeling of being centred and undeterred by emotional forces within. I wanted to smile. I guess I wanted the world to smile back and when it didn't I was astonished to see how much fear is really out there.

I didn't take offence that the world did not smile back in full measure today. The observation I made, showed me clearly that the world really does indeed, need Love.

A genuine love which is accepting of the truth about people without demanding that the self be gratified or vindicated.

Too much of this life is about The Self. The universal lie is that we believe ourselves to be of so little value that we have to puff ourselves up so we can assuage our own self-condemnation. We do this by blaming everyone and everything - but ourselves - for everything else we think, say and do. (Much of this is of course explained in much greater depth in the book I am currently reading, "Bonds that Make us Free". You can see it in the box in the top right corner of my blog page)

It's a tough lesson though. I am being awakened to the deep flaws of my very character and discovering the extent of my total self-absorption which I've been indulging for many years.

The steps to change won't perhaps happen overnight but the journey towards being more loving, gentle, patient, kind and genuine with people is a quest of such great importance and power for change in the world, I'm willing to do what it takes to make these changes happen.

The irony being that this process is NOT about me at all! It's about LOVE. It's about HOPE and it's about FAITH that others are deserving of so much more from me than I need to get from them. It's a lesson in compassion, patience, forthright acknowledgment of their significance and meaning, and yes! Forgiveness. The greatest discoveries of hope and happiness come from losing our notions of Self and then allow the light from others shine their truth on us.

People are valuable. We, all of us, are our own worst enemy in relationships. When we lose the desire to be proven "better than" and let the light of others show us their truth, we can simply love them and be exactly ourselves toward them without having to try.

Love is the natural quality and quantity that comes from knowing the truth.

Monday, June 16, 2008

catalyst blink moment

You can learn a LOT in the briefest of moments.

I had a revelation hit me about a behaviour I was doing just from reading a junk email today! It hit me like the proverbial tonne of bricks that what it was saying was exactly what I'd been doing wrong in some of my relationships.

Sometimes, you will "hear" wisdom come at you from everywhere but you never really "get" it. You try and try and try to understand what it is that is blocking you from getting what you want and still you keep going around in circles wondering where the light switch is. People are shouting the answers to you but you have cotton wool stuffed into your psychological ears and can't hear a thing they are telling you. Logic and intelligence tell you all the theory but you simply cannot make it gel with what you are really feeling emotionally. You feel like you are in a maze without a ball of string.

Then one day...when you least expect it...and WHERE you least expect get this resounding THUMP inside your head and you KNOW what the problem has been. Your logic and your emotions suddenly create synergy and you know and see what has been eluding you for so long!

For me, my thumping great catalyst blink moment came in the form of a junk email newsletter I get sometimes. I sometimes read these if the headline is intriguing enough. I won't elaborate on what it said, but just that the message was enough to finally help me SEE what I had been misunderstanding for so long.

Suffice it to say that NOW I have even more work to do on my personal development to learn from this kick up the arse and never repeat it again.

A part of me is deliriously happy that I have clarity at last...and another part of me is shaking in its boots as to what this is really going to mean to have to change it.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Bass me to joy Porcupine Tree

I went for a big long walk today to re-centre the soul.

In the past few weeks, I've tended to just take my body and the ever present voice in my head on these walks, processing lots of thoughts in the "quiet" of nature.

I realised not long ago that this process, whilst important for me initially, was beginning to literally do my head in.

My thinking ranges over the world of idea and impression, presumption, assumption, possibility and consequence and of course is tainted by large doses of emotion. I see things from every possible angle from superlative fantasies (both romantic and despairing) to down right, roll the eyes WTF! I feel things and think about feeling them and feel again as a result of the thoughts. My head is a very full place :)

I am very much inclined to waaaaay over think stuff! (or as my friend D. says...that I tend to "over smart" stuff).

I have taken to listening to music on my walks again as a result. For seems to leach my soul of its basest fears and releases them into the sound. It soothes me in ways I can barely describe in words. Within microseconds, that black ooze in the soul which can corrupt the merest hint of joy into a pile of decay, is gone. With music to act as the surgeons scalpel, the black ooze is released and joy is free to explode - with relief - into the expansive space left clear by sounds pull.

It takes a specific kind of music to do this I think. It depends on the nature of those needs deep in the soul as to which kind of sound can do that leaching therein. However, that bass and that hard drive of the drums, the harmonic vibe of music that has a deep, grungy, power seems to exorcise deep fear from inside of me and thus lift me out of the blackest of moods. It is the music that speaks deepest to my souls need for joy.

Today Porcupine Tree took the dark inside of me and blew it to smithereens in under 8kms! *grin*

I listened to In Absentia on the ipod and had it up LOUD enough to fill my head with the soothing bass and beats of this awesomely versatile band.

Oh man! It was sooo bloody cool! Every track, as different as could be from any other, totally rocked me to the core! I was in walk heaven today. (You really HAVE to admire that bass line though...every track has the most awesomely tight bass/drum thing going on).

On first listen, some might think that PT is a bit depressing and slightly to the left of "really weird". It does have a certain amount of goth/geek factor to it. But, I LIKE that stuff! I like my music to be deep, powerful, heavy, grungy, experimental, metallic, bassy, with a rhythmically infused drive to it! *grin*

Music that is created and played for itself and not necessarily for the pop mainstream that EVERYONE listens to without thinking about, is music that appeals to me, simply because it is created for the sheer joy of the sound and not for any marketing hyped business propaganda.

Oh but I thank you Porcupine Tree for this amazing sound today! What a fabulous walk I have had and I owe it to the spirit of the music in my head that I felt so happy and JOYFUL as I listened to it.

Music speaks a language of the spirit. We've packaged it, into the pop mainstream much like we've packaged sex as a false promise for potential fulfillment in the commodities of our age. But music is a spiritual thing and as such, deserves to be treated with respect and honour just because it is what it is.

Just like Faith in God is just what it is ... even without having to be branded or packaged by a church's desire get kick backs from it... music is just what it is, the highest creative expression of the human soul! Some bands do music because they believe in it and for no other reason than its beautiful and good to believe in it.

Porcupine Tree imprint their music with their sheer love of it - and it shows. Today, their gift to the world lifted me, inspired me and refreshed my very soul.

Thanks boys (and thanks to your women, behind you, who inspire you to create this stuff in the first place! :) )

Saturday, June 14, 2008


This catchy song from a few years back suddenly popped into my head today ..I looked up the lyrics and for the first time...even with all the airplay this song used to receive... they MEANT a very great deal to me for this particular time in my life.

...I'm not going to explain why. Just read them and if they resonate with you for your much the better :)

Just for the record... Kryptonite is sometimes used to replace the words "Achilles heel" for a fatal weakness in a person. Sometimes love can be the greatest weakness of all.

Kryptonite by 3 Doors Down

I took a walk around the world
To ease my troubled mind
I left my body laying somewhere
In the sands of time
But I watched the world float
To the dark side of the moon

I feel there is nothing I can do, yeah

I watched the world float
To the dark side of the moon
After all I knew it had to be
Something to do with you
I really don’t mind what happens now and then
As long as you’ll be my friend at the end

If I go crazy then will you still
Call me Superman
If I’m alive and well, will you be
There a-holding my hand
I’ll keep you by my side
With my superhuman might

You called me strong, you called me weak,
But still your secrets I will keep
You took for granted all the times
I never let you down
You stumbled in and bumped your head,
If not for me then you'd be dead
I picked you up and put you back
On solid ground

If I go crazy then will you still
Call me Superman
If I’m alive and well,
Will you be there a-holding my hand
I’ll keep you by my side
With my superhuman might

If I go crazy then will you still
Call me Superman
If I’m alive and well, will you be there
Holding my hand
I’ll keep you by my side
With my superhuman might

If I go crazy then will you still
Call me Superman
If I'm alive and well,
Will you be there a-holding my hand
I'll keep you by my side
With my superhuman might

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Red and yellow and pink and green.....


I have seen a mental rainbow or two these past few days :)

The Rainbow has always been a kind of "totem" for me. Once long ago, I was in a music ministry team called Rainbow of Promise and we travelled through the mid-west USA and south east India.

It was a crucible experience for me that time. I left Australia a "girl" and came back a very different woman as a result.

During those difficult months on that team, I always felt the "Hand of God" being present in my life and supporting me and the evidence of that was I believed, in the simple acknowledgment of his grace through the rainbow symbol.

In the old testament, Noah was given the sign of the rainbow after a cataclysmic flood that destroyed pretty much everything except him and a few odd bods he had with him in his big boat. The sign was God saying "Never again, will I destroy the earth like this...I promise".

In time, the rainbow has taken on a kind of "new age" significance in that it promises Hope and Restoration after crises and turmoil. I kind of took it for that back in those days, as a symbol of being cared for by a force bigger than myself despite the stormy physical and emotional seas I was riding at the time.

Any time I saw a representation or the real thing, [aka a Rainbow], be it a pattern on a shower curtain to the incredible phenomenon itself in the sky, it soothed me and calmed me in a very spiritually significant way. It acted like an anchor for my spirit and to this day the rainbow, as a symbol, still holds deep personal significance for me.

A rainbow is actually a circular prism effect. The water in the atmosphere acts as a prism for light to pass through, refracting the white light spectrum we see with the naked eye into its component coloured parts. The light is split, in effect, into the actual essence and character of its constituent parts. In effect, a rainbow is the ultimate "team" phenomenon; individual distinct and very DIFFERENT colours combining into a whole to create a singular light. Wouldn't be great if most teams were like this? :)

There was a time before my team experience overseas, when I flew a glider into a double circular set of rainbows; one inside the other and perfect, beautiful, fully prismatic circles at around 2000 metres height thereabouts. It was a very powerful and moving experience and one I have never forgotten. So, when I did get onto the team called...Rainbow of Promise...the synchronicity of that effect and the name was too great to ignore as mere ...well...coincidence :)

And remembering back even further into my past, I recall a time when as a very young girl, my little sister and I would sing the Rainbow Song as a "round" over and over and over together. I always loved doing that with her. (Red and Yellow and Pink and green....)

This past few months, I've not seen a lot of rainbows in my life. Not even too many representations of one. I wonder why that is?

I've not really looked for them so maybe I just haven't noticed them as I did back in my 20's when they were such a powerful motif for me.

I've felt rather bereft too as a result. TERRIBLY confused and often totally lacking any kind of Hope that reassures and soothes...just blind emotional alleyways one after another. It's been a very depressing few months.

The cosmos has shifted this past week. It's like a cool breeze is licking its virgin tendrils around my toes and I can feel a change in the wind about to occur.

Still! There are no rainbows present to soothe or charm me into a sense of Divine Security...but even so, I still feel "something" is happening for the better. I feel lighter and less morose and less like I am being contained inside a bubble of despair.

Exorcising ones demons is a painful process and I tend to flog at myself with a series of high intensity cat-o'-nines too. Treating my inner child with respect and compassion is never easy for me as I so emphatically believe that child is so undeserving of so much. That perspective IS changing! I AM better than that. If God can choose who is the LEAST of the least....then am I not deserving? Yes! I am.

Life is changing in ways I can barely begin to understand and because I am so ruthlessly into being able to understand and KNOW what is going on in my world, here then and in time to come...this very thing freaks me out even more than emotional angst and in-the-moment pain. I have a love/hate fear of change. I enjoy the variety change brings but I like to be in control of the surprises all the same. It's quite the conundrum to be like this. I hate not knowing anything and if things blind-side me it sends me spinning out of control like the proverbial top!

This time though, it feels like the changes are ringing in fresh hopes and dreams. It is now time for me to grow in new directions and behaviours, ideas and philosophies. It is now time for me to experience the Rainbow that IS Life and not simply observe the rainbow symbol as a token reminder of Gods grace, separate and distinct from my moments.

Now its time to live it.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

a mind full of absolutes

I think in absolutes.

Either/Or is one of the ingredients that mixes into my thinking patterns like base colour into tinted paint.

My head lives either side of the present... sometimes in the past....predominately in the future.

Either/Or Thinking loves the future and sinks its barbed little fangs into it like it was a vampire drinking blue-blooded royalty.

When I imagine the future, I imagine any given Either/Or combination of possibilities. Usually such that I guarantee, almost inevitably, of castrating any chances for joy or happiness. I expect to BE disappointed because Either/Or Thinking ensures that there are no other viable alternatives to consider. When I do get joy or happiness, I treat them like windfalls in a lottery rather than a given right of the human condition. Absolute Joy is a rare commodity that is only rarely received and even less often warranted or deserved.

Oh I seek Joy! Absolutely I seek joy and happiness. I set up all manner of scenario's for the future potential of obtaining joy and happiness from within the confines of my mind. I set up such vivid scenes of incredible and outstanding success as to ensure absolute dismal failure in achieving them because they are simply so unrealistic and presumptuous that they are mere fantasy! I am so very often disappointed they never turn out like I had "hoped".

The full play of life's spectrum of events is totally out of my control - but does that stop me from seeking to control it? No way! I will have MY way or not at all. MY way is the way that guarantees I will get what I actually expect and what I actually expect is that nothing will actually go "my way".

As much as I want it all... there is a side of me that absolutely believes I won't get any at all.

On the face of things, this thinking seems totally stupid and unnecessary. I do wonder though, how many people harbour such thought processing deep in the recesses of their mind. How many human beings subject themselves to massive doses of potential disappointment because they already set themselves up for it in the way they think about things.

Either/Or thinking isn't helpful most of the time. Sure! There are possibly occasions when going through all the avenues of consideration for making a sound choice is definitely wise. However, Either/Or Thinking must be reigned in if one is to learn how to just let the present be itself for no other reason that its here right now.

Failure might be a perverse sort of companion but its a consistent one and rarely lets you down if you allow it.

Thing is... is it actually possible for people to think in anything BUT Either/Or Absolutes? I don't actually know. People don't generally talk about the theory of mind from their own perspective much do they?

I'd give my back teeth to be able to spend just five minutes inside the present moment and not keeping leaping ahead into the future with a possibility or imagined flight of fancy! I'd give my left arm for the mental clarity to give Either/Or Thinking the flick and accept that wonderful Que Sera Sera thing... What will be, will be... without second guessing what exactly, I would like that "will be" to turn out like.

Dreaming about the possibilities beyond now can really suck some days. It'd be nice just for once, to merely accept the Right Here/Right Now simply for what it is and let it have its own space inside my head.

Sadly...that's apparently not absolute enough for me. I find little drama in a now that doesn't either disappoint or send me into heaven absolutely.

Man! I am such a loser at this In the Moment stuff! *sigh*

I guess I might just have to accept that I will probably be always... absolutely war with Either/Or Thinking inside my disastrously convoluted mind!

Friday, June 06, 2008

go smell the coffee

Back some time ago I had a journey/dreaming experience with a dear friend of mine. She led me through a process of going "inside" my imagination and just allowing the imagery to come up. I was asked to describe and express what I was seeing to her verbally.

This form of lucid dreaming is a type of meditative process that helps you to explore the layers of your subconscious and is probably just a little bit "out there" for most people.

It was a fun experience for me though and I enjoyed my journey "dream" very much.

One of the 'animals' that came into my mind was a wonderful badger. He was taciturn, a little curt, stubborn but wise, and very cute! He even wore a little jacket such as the characters in a Beatrix Potter storybook picture might wear.

He was also a coffee addict (I did mention this is like dreaming didn't I?) and drank powerfully strong black coffee - with three sugars - in a bowl as his snout made drinking from a cup a bit awkward. I can remember laughing at him over this, it did seem a little surreal to see a badger in a jacket sitting at a table inside a hollow tree drinking overly sweet black coffee after all.

I "saw" him slurp up the strong brew with relish. He looked at me over the rim of his bowl and told me I was to "Go smell the coffee mi". It was not a "get lost" kind of statement, it was in fact a command of some kind to actually go smell coffee!

I have no idea what it means.

To this day I have not yet smelled the particular sense of actual real coffee he was referring to (or I believe he was referring to). Oh! I have smelled ordinary coffee more or less but I haven't yet smelled that distinctive, strong, pure essence of whole coffee beans that pleases and assaults the nose with such intensity and insistence. I haven't actually smelled that smell in a very long time but I can recall it vaguely like its a faded photograph of the olfactory album of scents I have experienced.

Bat and I tried going to a couple of coffee shops one day but none of them were even close to the scent I "knew" I was supposed to smell. I still haven't smelled it.

I'm not exactly sure what will happen if I do smell that smell. Will the sun burst forth with a loud trumpeting sound and declare the Heavens are about to welcome me home?

Or is it that some subtle shift in The Matrix will change my life forever?

I've not drunk coffee myself since I was approximately 15 years old. Coffee flavors and coffee itself, as a beverage, leaves me entirely cold. I'm a tea drinker if you please. Pure tea or herbal at that with no milk or sugar or even a dash of lemon (although that is tolerable of course).

Coffee is this huge world business that I am sure, is the equivalent to the diamond trade! Good coffee is in enormous demand around the western world and now consumers are also demanding that that same "good" coffee come from ethical, ecologically sound and morally organised business enterprises. Well....we live in hope that consumers are demanding this anyway!

So... I was thinking about Badger today and am still perplexed as to why I am to "Go smell the coffee". I've not really tried that hard to find that particular smell (and I believe I will know it when I do smell it), but I wonder, if its not some harbinger inside my subconscious mind of something else too.

There were other things I was asked to do by this strange character inside my personal Dreaming too. He was insistent on a couple of other do with understanding "The seasons" ( THERE is a metaphysical circus if ever there was one :))... and something about me becoming "free" to express myself exactly how I pleased.

The subconscious mind is a powerful thing and also extremely mysterious. I love that about the human condition, that no matter how well we think we know ourselves - there are always layers and layers of other stuff lurking below the surface of ourselves, to discover and learn.

So anyway, that coffee thing has me completely stumped to this day. I will keep you posted if I actually ever do get around to smelling it. :)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

so where to now?

baby baby steps.

Going to be a bit Pollyanna now and just fake it til I make it etc.

Positive thoughts and all that.

1) Get a job!

2) Go out!

3) Meet new people!

4) Get a haircut and new clothes (well 2nd hand "new" clothes I guess from the thrift shops of course).

5) Think about NOW instead of THEN either backwards or forwards.

6) Believe in the wonderful possibilities that exist right here and now that are already mine and already available and already excellent.

7) Let go of the angst and just let it all flow as it will down the river of life. No more fighting, no more wrestling with the currents... just let it all go in peace.

Back to those job applications then I guess :)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The great year of Letting Go

If you expect to be disappointed, you'll never be disappointed

Author: Me.

This is the big year of shedding more than just externals. It seems this long and winding year is also about shedding some very deep internal things.

Like a reptile literally shedding a too tight skin, this year (or two) is proving to be one where I am having to slough off a very great deal more than past relationships and lifestyles. It seems that God is making me shed a lot of unconscious beliefs I have had about how life works and how, in particular, the Future - ergo Hope - works!

That quote I made up (well...I think I made it up at least)... its been my internal driving theme for a very very very long time and I did not even realise it.

I HATE being disappointed so to avoid it at all possible costs, I actually MAKE myself be disappointed because that is so much easier than having hopes potentially dashed anyway. You can be entirely justified "right" in every thing you are sure of, if you bet on being disappointed and have it proven so.

When things actually go "right" for you... it's a nice surprise but you can dismiss them as mere coincidences anyway. You don't really deserve nice things happening, that's just an illusion. Reality is much more dark and horrid than that.

Disappointment is an easy deal. You just have to believe you don't deserve and/or won't get something in life and voila! You got it! You can now be smug and self-righteous because you were RIGHT! Life IS massively unfair! So there! I can PROVE it!

Not a pretty belief is it?

The depths of my cynicism amaze even me at times. I have honestly and almost completely believed for a long time now that there is only Hope in the inevitable denial of wishes and dreams. I even push away good things like love because its just easier to believe it has already let me down than face the responsibility of actually accepting it for what it is right NOW!

If someone offered you chocolate but you believed they were trying to poison you, do you still take it?

I do. I eat it too expecting to be hurt but I still take it because I tend to believe its unlikely I'll get nice non-poisonous chocolates anywhere else!

I may wish for beautiful things to happen to me but I don't take those wishes seriously or even act on them. My intentions are about being disabused of having the good stuff in life.


This skin is so tight it suffocates. Time to re-think, re-learn and re-do my entire approach to living.

This is the really stupid dichotomy inside of me in regards to Hope. I long for and wish for and think about having and wanting beautiful things to happen to me. Then I immediately set myself up for complete and absolute disappointment. I either deliberately set the bar too high into the realm of illusion and fantasy or I just simply believe its never going to happen TO ME!

Anything is possible ...even the tough stuff - the stuff I don't really want. That Anything is Possible also INCLUDES good stuff happening too and I have to understand NOW. I have to also understand that that good stuff IS allowable, possible AND permissible FOR ME.

Belief in the possible means accepting that things could go either way. It means that I have to grow up a bit (a lot?) and accept that things can be good or bad - or anywhere in between - and merely allow them to happen in the time they are there.

I'm a lover not a fighter, but I seem to be endlessly fighting with myself instead of just Letting Go of the fight within and going with whatever IS right now.

My new purpose is to learn how to allow ALL possibilities, good and bad, love and abandonment, to happen if and when they will and keep joy and hope alive through any of them. Life IS beautiful if you allow it to be so. The shitty stuff just reminds us what its worth.

This is me. I am Michelle. I have love to bring to the table. It's not up to you (or me) to question how or why or when. It just is and it will be definitely okay.

Let Go and Let God!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

a truth enough to believe in - a story

Out of the fog came the mysterious shape-shifter.

He looked at me and his cornflower blue eyes stared into mine and knew my soul. I felt the shiver of his knowing me as if I'd been unwrapped and bared to all the world.
Then with a baleful smile, he turned and disappeared back into the mists beckoning me to follow.

Mesmerised and completely, idiotically, unaware, I stepped into those mists and found myself completely alone. Sometimes a hand, his hand, would appear out of the clouds to beckon me to follow in this direction or that. But, mostly I had to fumble about and find my way on all fours, crawling along the damp, muddy ground trying desperately to find his trail. I couldn't keep up with him.

I found a small mossy, cairn and clung to it, exhausted and isolated in the swirling white, wet fog. The mists cleared a little and there was the soft warmth of gentle sunshine around me.

He came and looked at me again and burned his eyes into the very core of my being. He knew me but would not touch me. I felt safety in him but he was impossible to know and to reach. He was always just enough out of my reach that I could not cling to him and let him lead me out of the mists that surrounded the cairn - and me. It seemed he needed me to find my own way out.

Resentment and hurt welled up in my chest and I screamed. The air mollified the sound from my throat and made it seem like an angry shriek rather than the painful ache I was feeling.

Then he spoke to me in a voice that sounded like it belonged before time itself. I realised he'd been speaking to me all along, encouraging me and cajoling me to keep searching for my true direction, but I had not heard him for the cacophany of fear inside my head whilst I was groping for safety in that white sea of air.

He asked me if I knew the Truth. I said I did. He said to prove it! I tried and failed. I did not know the Truth at all. He said you have to believe that you can part the mists and see a clear path ahead of you. It's just "There". It is available. But I couldn't and I wouldn't believe him. How can one part mists with Belief? He asked me what I believed and I told him I believed in the impossible which would never be possible. He told me as gently as he could that I merely wished and did not allow for my wishes to become true.

I sat down beside the cairn I'd been clinging and crying into and felt his words sink into my heart like pebbles.

If what I wanted to escape the mists and see him clearly then why did I not merely wish and believe that it was possible?

It's a scientific fact that mists cannot be willed into submission, I told myself. I cannot will mists to defy the laws of nature. I can wish for all I'm worth but I will be disappointed always because that's the nature of the world I live in!

He smiled and said "It's not my world" and I looked at him and he turned and parted the mists with a sweep of his hand and I could see the path laid out bare as clear as if sunlight dripped from every blade of grass and stone.

"Where do you want to go?" He asked me gently.

"Where does that path go?" I asked back with admiration and hope.

He smiled yet again but with a sadness in his eyes. "If you cannot see what you want to see at the end of that path Mia, you will never discover your truth". With that he turned and left me alone again and the mists swirled back across the path he'd made visible and I was again left alone and gasping for clarity and focus.

I wanted to follow him. Desperately, I lurched into the soupy clouds and stumbled and fell, not knowing which direction was which except down. I crawled again along the ground, shedding skin and bleeding from my body and my heart at the futility and stupidity of it all.

I could hear his voice saying "I'm here Mia" but I could not tell where it was coming from and how far away he was. It was overwhelming. I felt completely alone despite his calling and encouragements. There didn't seem to be any point in continuing. I couldn't find myself out of the mists at all. They enveloped me as well as any prison. I refused to accept that merely wishing for them to go away was possible. I had no magic in me. Not like him! He was all magic and light, direction and unassailable wisdom. I wanted all of it - what he had but did not once believe I could ever come close to what he offered.

I stood up and willed myself to believe that I could part the mists and see a clear path ahead. But as I passed my hand across the soupy opaque wall of cloud, I felt ridiculous and inert. The mist stayed as solid as it ever did. I did not believe I could shift it as much as I wished it so.

Suddenly he was there in front of me again. He looked at me as if I were a child and shook his head at me with the deepest love written all over his magical face.

"You need to simply believe you are worthy of what you wish for Mia. Find it in your heart to accept things as they are and then reach for what you think is not possible. Open yourself to the wonders of having that right here and now. It's already in your hand dear one. Just believe it is true for you".

I didn't understand. I couldn't grasp how to do what he asked of me. Nothing wished for is EVER possible surely? Wishes are for fairy tales and dreams! They're not reality. This fog is reality. I am stuck in this fog and I am lost and alone and lonely and afraid! That is reality. How does believing in mere wishes make that change? I shall be disappointed for sure!

The thoughts tumbled from my lips like a waterfall and he simply shook his head and turned yet again to disappear into the mist. "We'll try one more time shall we?" he said as his back retreated and disappeared.

"NO!" I screamed at him. I did not want to be left alone again. I needed him to give me hope and security and to show me how he did that trick of making the mists part like that. I couldn't do it but I knew he was capable of anything and I wanted him close at my side so I would be safe and secure.

Silence like a blanket enshrouded me. His voice was gone and I could not hear him calling to me. I was truly alone. Either I had to believe in what I really wanted or I was doomed to crawl along the soggy ground for an age square ten.

A tiny desire rolled into my heart like a seed. I observed it and noted it. It was small but it was strong and full of life. I let the seed germinate and sprout. With all my courage I stood and summoned that desire to burst forth into a fully grown bush alive with promise in its leaves.

I want to be free.

I tested this wish to see if I truly knew that it was what I wanted and what I believed I would have in this moment.

I passed my hand across the mists and the beginnings of a path opened up before me. The sunshine seemed to be smiling as I stepped onto it. I was still alone but now I could move forward.

The man in the mists eluded me even so. I could not hear his voice and nor would he appear again to me. I believed he wouldn't so I asked for another seed to roll into my heart. On that seed, I wished that I might know that man again and with a certainty I did not know was in me before, I believed that I would.

And it was so.


Monday, June 02, 2008

Kiss me! Then make me a map.

Kiss me out of the bearded barley
Nightly, beside the green, green grass
Swing, swing, swing the spinning step
You wear those shoes and I will wear that dress.


Oh, kiss me beneath the milky twilight
Lead me out on the moonlit floor
Lift your open hand
Strike up the band and make the fireflies dance
Silver moon's sparkling
So kiss me

Kiss me down by the broken tree house
Swing me upon its hanging tire
Bring, bring, bring your flowered hat
We'll take the trail marked on your father's map

[Chorus (repeat)]

Sixpence None the Richer

One of my favourite "silly" pop songs of the past decade.

Apart from the lovely romantic feel to this song I have taken a different view of it today.

"We'll take the trail marked on your father's map" is an interesting line.

I need maps.

Maps give me a great deal of security and comfort. Just like a compass that always points north... a map shows you what to expect on the journey. It provides signposts before you even reach them and grants you a virtual overview, so to speak, of the future landscape and terrain you are about to travel.

Maps give you a detailed concept of the outcomes you want. They provide incredible security in letting you know 1) where you currently are and 2) where you need to be.

I have always loved Maps. Old maps and new. I love the sense of secure perspective they give.

Currently I am without a map of my future. It has left me reeling and very lost indeed. I have struggled with enormous fears this past month or two and daily feel bereft of many things including a perspective on where I currently am in life and where I need to go.

Fear has me wandering an emotional landscape like none I have ever encountered before. I hardly know who I am and I know even less about where I want to go in life.

Separation from everything you took for granted is a big deal. I tossed aside the map I'd been using as it was getting me nowhere at all.

The thing though with maps is that its all well and good to have one, but you need to also know which way is up on the map. The top of the map has to point due North if you're going to get anywhere close to an accurate perspective on the lay of the land in front of you. A map twisted on a hunch that somewhere might be North isn't going to get you to where you want to go. Maps need to be grounded in some kind of fact in order to be accurately used to best effect.

Now it looks like I actually have to create my own map from scratch. I didn't expect this and am terrified of the prospect. I'm clinging to certain things for all I'm worth so I don't have to too. It's one thing to appreciate maps made for you - its quite another to actually articulate and quantify the landscape itself into a map of your own. I don't really know where to begin.

So I guess I need to climb a psychological tree or two first and survey the landscape of my future from a new perspective. I need to get some pointers about the immediate surroundings - my immediate future - that I can use as my starting position.

Once I get a clear view of my immediate arena of focus, I can get to know it so I don't get lost again and I can keep coming back to this space as a kind of Home-base, venturing further out as I get courage and stability back into my sense of self again.

This isn't stuff based on Hope at all - its about as pragmatic as anyone can get when they are feeling all at sea and emotionally spent. I've wrung more tears from my aching soul this past month than I can ever recall doing these past 20 + years. I've been challenged into facing some of my deepest and darkest flaws. I've been bitterly angry - more than I care to admit. I have begged and pleaded to God to make it stop and help me Let it Go and still I can't seem to do that successfully.

And I have learned that inside this human-shaped frame called 'Michelle'...there lies a heart so passionate and intensely alive with the need to Love that I demand no less from others.

That passion and that focus needs direction now. It needs its own map. Only I can make that map for me. I am about as shit scared as you could be about it but ...I cannot remain inconsolably lost for much longer or I shall surely die inside the very heart of me. The very last thing I want to be is to be cynical, bitter, lonely and permanently afraid to ever love again.

I dearly would that someone COULD come along and kiss me and make me a map so I don't have to do this myself, but... that seems about as "silly" and as romantically lovely as the song - which means I probably wouldn't buy that actually happening as being true at all.

It's time I climbed a tree and took a look around to see exactly where I am.