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A synthesis of learning

It has been the better part of a year since I blogged.  It has been a long time.

Over the course of the past year I have been on a self-directed educational experience through my inner self towards my higher self.  I have read over 60 different books this year (http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/7490210-laury-walkey?format=html&shelf=read) — some fiction but the majority are spiritually education based — that have all taught me something to add to my knowledge.  I am grateful for every book as it is a step removed from actually sitting in the presence of each of these teachers and learning from their wisdom.  Sometimes it would not be possible to literally sit at their feet so this is a wonderful gift of accessing their thoughts.

As the year comes to a close I am reflecting on the changes in my life over the past 12 months.  I have seen some wonderful changes, I have seen some of the darkest periods of my soul.  I experienced intense suffering when one relationship ended and the excitement of experiencing a new one to the frustration of not receiving what I need and want out of it and now not being sure what comes next.  I have felt what I thought was intense love but think now was merely an addiction to a person but now I feel a bigger love for people.  My relationship has given me calmness and I have learned patience.  We have no major “drama” except what I occasionally poke at when I’m feeling most vulnerable, frustrated and impatient.  He is always calm and forgiving but at the same time is indecisive under stress and has too many things on his plate so I feel like the last priority in his life.   I have a deep fondness and encompassing love for him but do not have the attachment or addiction.  I will be okay at the end of this relationship, whenever and however that happens.

My work has proved to be a blessing and a curse.  I have been transferred from doctor to doctor and experienced major drama because of it.  I was even transferred out-of-town for a period of time and considering making it a permanent move but my gut said that this was not a good decision and it proved to be accurate.  I am glad that I did not take the job but now am frustrated at where I am in my career.  I had another opportunity offered but which could not happen and I held on to make that happen when I perhaps could have moved on.  Increasing pressure, over work, stress and frustration in my current assignment has caused a “relapse” to my old stress-filled, panicked and depressed ways but I have been working on coming out of this pattern sooner than I would have done before.  Changes at work are starting to help at last although it’s frustrating that the situation had to get to a certain point before things could improve.  It’s the way of the current world that things have to fall apart before people will fix it rather than doing preventative measures in the first place.

I have continued to ponder my place in the world and what my role is in it.  I often considered what my life question is and what am I to learn and experience in order to address the need.  I have had struggles with my “wants” and what is needed of me.  I feel still a great longing for a partner and a family and when I am low I mourn the fact that I do not have this in my life.  Sometimes I think that there is no bigger or more important job than raising children and therefore God must have a much less important job for me to do.  Or that God doesn’t think I’m up to the task.  And sometimes I play with the thought that I was a parent in a past life and will be again in another so I’m getting this one off for good behavior!  LOL  I have found something of an alternative in that I have joined the Big Sisters and I have a Little Sister with whom I spend time and try to teach the things I would have taught my own children.  It was a long journey to get this match and there were things that frustrated progress in the beginning, but it is starting to make progress.  In some small way I can make a difference here.

Part of my education has been to determine that Life’s Question and the role I have in this world.  I am starting to consider that perhaps it is to be a healer and teacher, the proverbial “wise woman” (hope I don’t have to grow the warts to go along with the stereotypical witchy woman guise!).  As I read and learn I sometimes despair that thousands of wise people have come before me and therefore all the wise thoughts must have been thought already so what’s the point?  Like Alexander who wept when there were no more worlds left to conquer, I feel like the explorer with nothing to discover, the scientist who has classified everything.  But perhaps it’s like the doctor who keeps having to treat the same conditions over and over because people still keep doing the same things that cause the conditions and don’t change anything.  But I have learned from allowing myself to experience suffering that I want to alleviate suffering in others.  I have learned there is a big difference between pain which we all experience and suffering which is something we choose to experience.  Many people in pain do not suffer, they just experience pain.  And in order to alleviate suffering I had to know suffering of my own devising.  For it is so that one must know dark before you can appreciate light, hot before cold, sad before happy.  So in order to teach people how to heal from suffering I must have known suffering and empathy for their experience.  And I must learn how to be free from suffering myself before I can show others how to get to that same point.  All wise thoughts may have been thought, there may be no such thing as nine bars of original music left to compose so what is left is to synthesize these thoughts through each of our experiences and add our wisdom as we pass it on to those who come next.  Our job is to add to the collective knowledge not through flashy discoveries of new planets or a newly discovered pocket of a previously extinct species but through each of our own experiences and perceptions.  I have always said our obligation in life is to share what we know.  And I now know we must share that with love.  We must transcend what has held us back in the past and must “boldly go where no-one has gone before”.  By doing this we will discover our higher selves and experience our higher existence.

I am a teacher and a healer, I am the taught and the healed.  And so are you.

Guidance

Today I spent an hour and a half chatting with a local pastor about spiritual guidance.  It was wonderful to sit with someone and hear their point of view and what their religion can offer in that journey.  And it was helpful to be able to express what it is I feel I am seeking to someone who has experience in this from their own point of view as well as that of assisting others to find what they seek as well.  And I was reminded that basically Rome wasn’t built in a day so I can’t expect to not only undo a lifetime of unhappiness, recreate it and create a new life of happiness in a few months.  This is the journey of a lifetime which will take a lifetime to experience.  But I have committed to make that journey in whatever form it may take and THAT is the important thing!

I’m not seeking a religion to protect me nor am I trying to shoe-horn myself into any religion in this process.  I am seeking ways that resonate with me on my discovery of a oneness with God.  I accept that I will take bits and pieces of many religious thoughts and practices to make my own version of communion with my Higher Power and I believe that God will accept and appreciate my efforts.  I am unique so why shouldn’t my dialog be unique as well?  God made me the way I am so I know He will accept and celebrate my offering just as every mother does of their child’s offerings of love.  God has created me with strengths and lesser strengths and outright weaknesses for many reasons, this is all a part of His plan for me and the world.

I feel that the search I’ve made through life for a loving male figure and my anger, hurt and disappointment at never having found that to the degree I desire is really a metaphor for the loving figure of my Higher Power.  I am hopeful that once I have begun that connection I will receive the fulfillment that I feel I am missing and then I will be able to finally have wonderfully loving relationships with males in my life.  I’m blessed to have more male friends in my life and the platonic love of friendship is rewarding as well.

My constant prayer to God is to guide me on the path He has chosen for me, to grant me patience and acceptance, trust and faith and to show me the wisdom I seek, to allow me to be a gift to others, to allow me to love and be loved and to feel His presence with me always.

Quicksand

I feel like I’m in quicksand and I’m scared.

I’ve been working very hard on my growth this year and increasingly this past month. I think I’ve overdone it and need to back off for a bit. I feel like I’m going crazy.

I used to think that solitary contemplation would be just the thing I needed to fix my issues. Along with personal development, discovering a spiritual path, prayer and the reading of edifying literature. I had hoped that a retreat to my family’s home for Easter would be beneficial as well. However tonight I feel very fragile again which is something I’ve been trying to fix and avoid.

I did not get the reflective time I had been seeking which made me distracted with my family. I’ve been overtired and under the weather which has lowered my resistance. My family wanted to discuss the end of my friendship with a friend (it was also that person’s birthday this weekend) so that stirred up a lot of things for me. I’m still frustrated at my love life and with my attempts to create a relationship with God. And a situation with the family of a deceased friend has blurred the line between work and friendship. I broke down tonight, not a strong as I hoped I’d be.

I’ve been reading and praying and seeking advice and thinking so much. I’m getting oversaturated and confused, disappointed and lost. I feel like all I’ve done is cry my soul out when all I want to do is find peace and happiness. I feel disappointed and that I am a disappointment. I feel still stuck, like I’m never getting better, never worthy of getting what I want. I feel loose in the breeze, untethered and directionless and not in a good way. I’m helpless and losing hope. This relationship with God was supposed to make me feel better but I keep making the same mistakes. Am I no further ahead than before???

After I calmed down I realized I can rationally find a lesson in the things that have happened. I’ve been able to apologize and ask for forgiveness even when all I wanted to do was backpeddle out of a sticky circumstance and avoid the blame. I recognized that I sometimes seek assurance from the wrong person that I didn’t do anything wrong instead of fixing the mistake directly. I learned to be a better person even when I’ve been terribly hurt by someone and still share good wishes. I’ve begun to question if it’s finally time for a career change. I learned that I have a lot to learn and I can’t rush it. I’ve learned I can’t rush God’s Plan for me: he’s been kind enough to give me the small things like little monetary abundances, the good male platonic friends I’ve wanted and many other gifts but I can’t force Him to give me what I want most. I still don’t understand why I apparently have to experience all these lessons in advance whereas most everyone else gets “on-the-job-training” by learning from relationships. I’m not sure why whenever I ask about my Main Request the roads seem to lead back to a door I just closed. Is this my own directional wishful thinking or truly God’s Plan? Does God have an ironic sense of humor or am I delusional? Am I really having a dialog with God or have I gone crackers?

It’s clear that I’ve pushed myself to a limit or even beyond it this weekend. Emotionally, physically, spiritually, ethically. I’m in dangerous territory and I need to back off a bit. I have some spiritual commitments this week but after that I need a hiatus.

Please pray for me.

On my way home from a weekend away, I stopped at a local mall for a drink and a quick look in a bookstore but ended up getting take-out lunch in the food court even though I really didn’t feel like having anything. On my way out of the parking lot there was a guy with a sign at the intersection asking for help as he was homeless. I don’t usually give in to these types of things but as I drove past I remembered a time when a friend and I had gone to the same food chain for lunch and he bought food for a fellow outside who was down on his luck. I turned around and went back but it seemed that the fellow had gone. I turned around and was going to carry on my trip when I saw him again with a different sign. As he walked by I gave him my lunch. He thanked me and as I drove away I saw him eating the sandwich. It felt like I had had a message to do that kindness today.

What Does God Want?

What do you think He wants?

I’m starting to hear

I’ve been talking to God for a while now and using this as a means to try to figure out things in my life.  I’ve heard that others have been lucky enough to have an actual dialog with God and I was curious as to the form this would take.  And would I ever be lucky enough to experience that as well?

I’ve experienced the abundance aspect of asking of God/the Universe for things such as a free coffee.  I’ve asked for busy workdays or a happy surprise, the sorts of  things that might manifest in anyone’s day, really.  Until yesterday.

Yesterday I was driving on my way to the family farm for Easter holiday weekend and it came to my mind that my former friend’s birthday was Saturday.  I asked God whether or not I should send birthday wishes even though I had ended the friendship.  A few minutes later I passed a vehicle which seemed to be exactly like their work vehicle and though I cannot be sure if it was even them in the truck as it’s a company vehicle, it felt like that was a message for me.  Then this morning when I woke up I asked God again if this was a good idea.  When I turned on my phone I got three reminders that it was their birthday today … even though I had only programmed it into my phone once when I first put them into my contact list.  Okay, God, I think I’ve got the message! LOL  I did send a simple Happy Birthday and received a nice acknowledgement and thank you in return.  I’m glad I listened even though I was worried at how our friendship ended that that could have meant I’d get an unkind response.  But instead I now have a kind interaction to remember instead of the acrimonious one from before.

I don’t know what happens next as only God knows what He has in store for me.  Maybe he wanted me to have a happier ending, maybe he wanted me to try again, maybe…  It’s too soon for me to consider reconciling for the friendship we had is dead and so is the love I had for that person.  They are no longer the person I fell in love with and I’m no longer the person who fell in love with them.  IF we are meant to be in each others’ lives at all, we will have to form another kind of friendship, new from that moment. 

Yet that the relationship falls apart does not mean the relationship has ended. Sometimes things need to fall apart for things to truly fall together for the first time.” — Neale Donald Walsch, What God Wants
 
IF that is what God and I want.  We’ll have to talk more about that.

Sometimes it feels like God’s greatest gifts go to someone else.

She seemed to have everything I want in life.  She was blessed with a partner, a family, a lovely home.  I have not.  What is it like to have your partner look in your eyes and say “I love you” for the first time?  I don’t know; I’m still waiting.  What is it like to have your partner make a committment to have a life with you?  I don’t know; I’m still waiting.  What is it like to find out you’re expecting your first child and for the two of you to hold it in your arms for the first time?  I don’t know; I’m still waiting.  How about your next child and the next…? Still waiting…  Buying your home, seeing your children grow, developing your family?  I don’t know.  Still waiting.

And then one day everything changes and she has a new partner.  The one I wished I could have had, the one I loved.  I should hate her.

But I don’t.

Instead I am feeling very angry with God for giving everything I’ve asked for to someone else and leaving me to still wait for the same things. I want to scream at her and at God that she had it all and I’m stuck waiting. She got to have the beautiful joys of living life while I’ve spent nights crying myself to sleep, longing for the same things.  She got to transition from one relationship to the next and won the heart of the man I had fallen in love with.  It is said that good things come to those who wait and I am told often how I will receive what I need and deserve from God but it feels unfair and unkind that I have waited all my 38 years for this and still haven’t received it.  I’ve thought that it was because I haven’t made enough of the changes I need to make yet and so I’ve been working hard at making those changes in my life.  And then I wonder just how horrible a person I must be not to have that chance to get what others have who have never made any improvements in their lives.  My mother has always said that people seem to have a different expectation of me than they do of other people, they accept less from those people but always demand more of me.  I sometimes wonder if that means God has something different planned for me.  I could accept that if I knew what and why.

But then that isn’t really faith, is it?

Growth struggle

I have never been accused of being the most patient person in the world.  I am certainly much more patient than I used to be when I was younger but I still suffer from this trait now.  And sometimes as I work on my growth I find the impatience with progress to be a killer.

I know in my mind that real progress takes time and wisdom and knowledge don’t appear overnight.  However I am guilty of the struggle with frustration and anger at myself for not getting “better” faster, for God or the Universe for not bringing me the good things I ask for.  I’m delighted and grateful when I receive the “small” things I’ve asked for and received:  I’ve asked for the gift of a coffee or a tea, I’ve asked for a busy and productive day at work, I’ve asked for good friendship with males to come into my life, I’ve asked for meetings with friends and an increase in my abundance (especially outside of payday! LOL).  And I’ve received all those things and more lately.  And I am truly grateful for it.  But then I find myself slipping a bit out of this place and being that frustrated and angry that I don’t receive what I really desire the most.  I understand it’s taking time and maybe I’m not quite ready yet for it to happen but sometimes I wish God/Universe would just say clearly to me to stop asking for it because I’m not going to get it and here is WHY.  Or, yes, you’re going to get it and here is WHEN so stop pestering!!!  I feel bad to think this way as it occludes the wonderful things I have been receiving but I can only think of it as me falling out of the good habit I’m trying to develop of attracting good things and back into the old habit of being a frustrated victim of circumstance.

I can’t help but think, however, that God/Universe is withholding this thing from me for a reason.  And this makes me feel manipulated if this is the case.  And that makes me feel grumpy with God/Universe (there, I said it!).  I’ve been told recently by people that basically I’m being saved for something bigger than the thing I want.  I’ve been told that I’m the kind of person who in a hundred years people will remember me for what I’ve done and contributed, learned and taught from here on.  And I’ve been told by a woman close to her God that she sees my angel’s wings and it’s not a platitude that she gave me out of comfort but her honest truth and I can do nothing else but believe her earnest and heartfelt words.  She believes I have something to contribute now as a single individual to the world and I have to hope she is right.

The love of my friends in my life is indescribable to me.  Their support through my ups and downs, my “crazy” moments, my sad moments and through my depression and my journey, their lack of judgment and their never-ending hugs have healed so much even when I thought it wasn’t enough.  It far outweighs the loss of a few people who have not, even though their loss has caused me more agony than I thought I could bear.  I have borne it with the faith my friends have shown me.

I still wish for a hint about the status of my request to God/Universe if They are listening… (hint, hint) 😉

My deconstruction

Tonight I finished reading Abbot Christopher Jamison’s book Finding Happiness.  I feel as though my entire being has been ripped out to my core.  I have never known this stark of a feeling before.  I have known emotional agony but never this kind of feeling.

I am now able to put a name to so many of the feelings and outcomes in my life that I couldn’t acknowledge before.  Naming them makes them real.  And in naming them and understanding them in the gentle and loving way that Abbot Christopher writes of them has made me realize that I am normal, I am human.  Just like everyone else, just like those people who pursue a life-long spiritual quest via their chosen religion.  We all make the same mistakes and we all get up and try again.  And when people in my life have cast stones at me for my failings they have failed to see that we are both human, we both make mistakes and we both can become better people if we only decide to make that choice.

Although I am experiencing a starkness I’ve never known before I am not cold or empty or hopeless.  I am able to see with better clarity.  I’m experiencing a lot of emotional turmoil today as I go through this process, dealing with deep and fundamental feelings.  It has put my energy out of balance and made me angry and frustrated at the wrong people sometimes.  And it’s uncomfortable and I don’t like it.  But I am not dead inside, I am not empty — more “cleared out”, like a room that has been emptied of the old furniture in readiness for the installation of the new.  I am far from finished my clearing out process but the room is getting bare, ready to be swept clean and filled again with bright, new furnishings for the future.

I can do this.

Spiritual awakening

Tonight I have had an amazing experience of spiritual awakening and enlightenment.   I went to the library to collect a book on hold and was drawn to the section on religion after having watched the documentary on the observation of silence.  I picked a couple of books on Christian meditation and was making my way out when I went down the large print aisle and by happenstance found a book by Abbots Christopher Jamison, the monk who presented the documentary I had just watched!  The book is Finding Happiness: Monastic Steps for Everyday Life.  I’ve been reading the introductory chapters while laying on the sofa this evening and began to truly understand the path to inner happiness and fulfillment in life.  I’ve often thought that this much wisdom should be found in Eastern philosophies and religions and sometimes struggled with connecting fully with these concepts as presented in these books.  But today reading this book on a Western philosophy and tradition I finally made those connections, much to my great joy.  I found myself filled with gratitude to the point of tears and then was filled with gut-busting laughter at the realization that I am just like everyone else and everyone else is just like me.  I finally found a sense of belonging, that I am not an outsider or outcast as I have felt myself to be my entire life.  I discovered that I am normal, I have normal, human thoughts and feelings and understanding when I read of the struggles of Abbot Christopher with adjusting to his life’s path as a Benedictine monk.  I understood that the path to wisdom is individualistic and common amongst all humans.  We all have the capability to get there, it’s merely our level of desire and committment to the cause that determines if we ever will.

My eyes and mind have been opened in surprising yet reassuring ways today.  I feel more clarity and understanding.  I’ve been told that I spend too much time analyzing things, however I do not have the kind of mind that can blindly accept on faith; I need to understand before I can put my belief into something.  I analyze in order to understand.  And through analysis I often have to experience a number of conflicting emotions, however this is a crucial part to understanding and my growth.

I find in the evenings and on the weekends when I have no plans that I spend a lot of my time in reflection and pursuit of knowledge anyway, so it is natural that I have devoted such energies to this part of my life.  I feel as though a number of large walls have come down for me over the past few months and I feel this is due in large part to my decision to pursue the hypnotherapy.  I am much more open to new ideas and am much more resolved to finally address my issues and make a lasting cure for them.  I’ve been criticized for breaking off that dear friendship of mine and for “avoiding” enlightenment, however I believe that it is rather a case where I had to remove a distraction in order to FIND my enlightenment.  That friendship was standing in the way of my growth in the direction I needed to go so I had to make a decision for my personal good.  I’ve been criticized as well for suggesting that perhaps the Bible can be seen as a book of life wisdom, a book of advice from the ages, words of experience and have been told that it is outdated and has no place in today’s world.  I’ve yet to read the book, however I prefer to look at is as still relevant for good advice stands the test of time.

Someone told me recently that I have quite quickly achieved a higher spiritual plane than I had previously had which is a testament that I must be doing something right after all.  Yay me!