In 1995, I had a conversation in which I found out that I was wanting to publish a book because “it would prove that I deserved to live, even though my parents were disappointed in me.” I was so horrified to see that that was my motivation for writing every day, it felt like some huge chunk of the energy that kept me going had fallen into the sea. I thought I might even stop writing, but I didn’t, I continued to write every day. But I did stop typing my journal into the computer. When I started typing again, in 2000, it was just to record the guidance passages. Gradually I typed up more and in 2003 I started putting much more from my life. Now I type up about half of what I write.
In 2003 I went back and read all the handwritten journals from 1995 to when I started putting them in the computer again. I found some amazing stuff, in particular a long entry from 1996 (before medication, before Somatic Experiencing) when I was trying to write something that would help me hold on. It’s a long entry.
Wednesday, July 2, 2003
Found a passage in June of ‘96, when I was in the pit of despair & trying to find things to help me hold on.
June 3, 1996
I tried praying again last night, even though I have no sense of any beings out there to pray to. I keep calling, but no one appears. Mostly attempts at prayer feel like desperate pleas for help to an unhearing Void. I keep praying because I don’t know what else to do.
I’m recognizing once again that my basic fear is that nothing will change if I don’t make conscious efforts to make it change, and I don’t know what to do. Actually, that’s not entirely true. I am making conscious efforts: to exercise, to do continuum and yoga, but I don’t know if they will actually “work”, that is if they will ever result in feeling better.
I’ve been trying to not focus on feeling better, but on asking myself what is worth doing even if I don’t feel better. I think Neskaya is worth doing, even if I am building for a future that may never happen, it’s still worth doing. And certainly it’s an action toward creating the sort of world I want to live in. As for myself, if the soul is immortal, then I hope I’m building in some character traits that will be useful to the next person who emerges out of this particular soul. Otherwise, all this suffering will be really meaningless.
Then I get angry at myself for referring to this life as “all this suffering”. Other people envy me, would like to have my life. Yes, but they see only the externals, they certainly wouldn’t want to have my insides. What good is it to have a loving husband and a lot of money and a beautiful house if I can’t enjoy them? I don’t know how to answer that question.
I remind myself of what Eleanor said the other day. She was terrified about her therapist and I was having my usual hard time. I took her back to her apartment, and when it was time to go I could hardly bear to leave her. I hugged her again, with tears in my eyes, saying “I don’t understand why we keep on going, when it’s so hard and painful — what’s the point?” She said “I keep going by thinking that God needs our help. When we don’t give up, and don’t kill ourselves, then that’s refusing to allow the darkness to take over.” I haven’t got her words quite right, but it was something like that. I got the sense that even when we fail to win any kind of victory, just refusing to be defeated is some help in the battle — assuming that there really is a battle of the forces of light against the forces of darkness.
I had an insight, a while back, that consciousness, consciously holding a vision, was a kind of strange attractor that could — not control the chaotic forces of life — but direct them in some way, or at least move them closer to the desired outcome. So therefore, holding on to a vision is important, even if there aren’t any “good feelings” or any hope that the desired outcome could manifest. I’d feel better if I were more in touch with my own vision. What do I want? I want to feel connected to my life, engaged in it, involved with it. I want to have some sense that my daily activities are meaningful even if I don’t know what that meaning is. I want to feel my rootedness in the divine, so I can move from a place of peace and wisdom instead of fear. I want to feel connected to my friends, and to be able to support them to the best of my ability. What about my creativity, the books I was going to write? I guess what I want is to offer my creative gifts to the Great Powers of the Universe to be used as and when they see fit. And I would also like to have some sense that those Great Powers are — what? I hate to say “good” or “beneficent”, that seems too limiting, as though the Great Powers were concerned with my material security and happiness, as though the Great Powers were constrained by human ideas of “good” — when I know they can be wild and unpredictable and demanding of larger visions, bigger efforts than would be consistent with “security” or “happiness”. I think I want to be reassured that the Great Powers are not blind, unintelligent, malicious, mean, but that they are tending toward some vision of greatness, wholeness, divinity, some dazzling truth or beauty or compassion that would call forth my reverence and willingness to sacrifice my health or happiness or life for such a cause. When have I ever had that sense, of a Universe big enough, spiritual enough, to enlarge my soul and lift me out of my petty concerns? I can’t think of anything recent, but I know there are times written in my journal. I think of thunder and wind and fire, and the hands of God, at the time of Fiona’s death. I think of the “blazing and storm-shattered” maples at Kripalu and my sense of wanting it all, wanting a whole life, both the glory and the pain. But mostly my experience of the universe is that it’s at best unhelpful, at worst malicious, that it’s set me some hard and difficult assignment, refused to give me help with it or even make it clear what the assignment is, it has some expectation of me that I keep failing to fulfill, it’s just waiting to punish me badly for every mistake and sneer at my attempts to do something “good”, to make something “beautiful”. Well, I see that I’m not describing the Universe at all, but my childhood experience of Mom & Dad, where I kept failing to satisfy their expectation, and got no help or guidance at all, just sneers and invalidation when I ran into trouble. I can’t believe that the Universe is like this. Surely the One who made daffodils is capable of more compassion and support than that. It seems like I’ve got so entirely caught in the world conditioned by my parents that I’ve completely lost my sense of some bigger wider universe, where compassion and support and abundance are available, and especially support for being one’s “big self”, living one’s big life, really using and living out of one’s creative power and strength. I see how afraid I am of being punished and abandoned if I dare to live out of my real power. Gosh that makes me mad! I see why my advice to Alice showed up in my dream — I too am being restricted by my parents’ “post-hypnotic” suggestion to live the kind of life that would have made them comfortable, not the kind of life my soul is capable of.
It makes me mad that I have to keep coming to this insight over and over. I stopped thinking of the fear states as being related to infancy with my mother because a) if that was really it, they should have stopped with the realization, b) I’m wrong to blame my spiritual failures on Mom, c) I’m tired and bored with the whole thing, d) Valerie Hunt says the fear comes from soul problems stemming from past lifetimes not from childhood trauma in this one. But the truth is, going over the whole thing in detail again again, writing down exactly what the fear feels like and then seeing how it matches my childhood, results in me feeling much less fearful, much more stable, seeing beyond the shoulders of my parents’ shadows to the possibility of a real Universe, big enough, wild enough, creative enough, compassionate enough, to meet my Soul’s need.
I suppose it’s possible that the fear and the disorientation right now are so great because I’m refusing to do anything at all any more to placate those angry childhood gods. I think the full collapse came when I stopped typing up my journals, when I gave up the hope that I would one day publish a book that would “justify my life.” If I ever had published “Written in Blood” it would have made my parents very unhappy, so I was unable to see that it still represented an achievement that is acceptable in their world. For some reason I don’t see building Neskaya as an “achievement” or a “justification for my life”, though I am sure, to many people looking from the outside, it would be just as much that as publishing a book. But it’s not, I think because the motivation had nothing to do with “justifying my life”, but rather with needing the right sort of place to do these activities that are of spiritual importance to me, so much importance that I am willing to sacrifice some amount of comfort in living and my future security in order to build it. (Added later) YES, DAMMIT, and isn’t that courage? Instead I put myself down (my father’s internalized voice) for being foolish.