Friday, August 21
I went in to Karen feeling lost. I said “I don’t know what to do with my life” and saw it stretching grey before me. Karen was very fierce “Your dancing, your art, your writing…” She said I had been forced to be hypervigilant as a child, and it was still there, built into my cells and nervous system. That’s why I’m constantly looking to see if things are OK, to see if something’s gone wrong, to see if something’s getting better. She said I needed to stop evaluating, needed to stop comparing things to the past. That I needed to get that I was OK in the present moment. At one point, while I was seeing myself as defective and discouraged, she said “It’s not your fault.” Of course! I’m blaming myself for being discouraged as though it were my fault. That helped. So I’ve started telling myself “I’m OK, just as I am, in this moment.” I said it all the way home, and all through the dancing.
I came out of Karen’s office feeling like just as I was, I was doing the Will of God. I heard a huge, quiet, resounding “yes.” Maybe I have grandiose expectations for what “doing the will of God” would look like. On the “days of grace” I didn’t do anything different, I just felt OK with how I was, and accepted everything that happened. They felt magical at the time, they were truly “grace,” not something I made happen. I accept that I can’t make it happen again. I see that my practice: of being in the present as best I can, and accepting everything as best I can, whether or not I feel good about it, or even OK or content, is what I am called to do. “We are not called to be successful but to be faithful.” When I feel discouraged or depressed or despairing, I can do my best to accept it.
I see that I’ve given up healing — “all better now” — as a goal. That has left me bereft, as I felt bereft when I saw that my motive for writing was “to prove that I deserve to live.” So I’ve been puzzling over whether to keep seeing Erica if I’m no longer trying to heal. But I can’t imagine stopping. I love her. The work we’re doing together is meaningful even if it never gets anywhere. Besides, I can’t not do it, just as I couldn’t stop writing.
The song in my head is “And he will raise you up on eagle’s wings, bear you on the breath of dawn, make you to shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of his hands.”
Saturday, August 22
I visited Barbara and we talked about “attachment.” Barbara brought up the idea that one could be attached to depression. That scared me. I think of how hard I’ve worked, and how the “days of grace” don’t last. I remember my father saying “You just want to be miserable.” The idea that I go back to it because it’s comfortable. I don’t know what to do with this. I realize as I’m writing this that I don’t find depression comfortable, I find the days of grace comfortable.
I am profoundly discouraged. I look at all the clutter I want to get rid of. It seems like an impossible task but I’ve been able to chip away at it with Christia’s help. I guess that’s the best I can do. Keep chipping away. Be in the present as best I can. Try to accept whatever comes.
Sunday, August 23
Feeling OK this morning. Just as I am, I’m OK right now. Very grateful for hot tea. Reading Richard Rohr on the twelve steps (I’m taking the book with me to Rowe) and I had a sudden flash of something — it felt like an enormous liberation — it was something about how God loved my faults as well as my strengths — but that doesn’t verbalize it adequately. Maybe it was an experience of God loving all of me. Gives me hope to keep going.
Later in the day:
Hope. From the momentary flash of god’s love even though I’m not perfect, and also, even though I’ve given up the goal of healing — I’ll always be wounded, just as an alcoholic is always an alcoholic — but I can practice being in the present, and accepting what comes my way.
Did I say that I realized that since all my prayers to God to use me, to guide me to do his/her/its/their will, have brought no response, other than the occasional “You’re doing it now,” — all this had left me disappointed, because unconsciously I had the expectation that “doing god’s will” would look a lot bigger than that. I told Barbara “That’s ego.” I’m glad, and a bit amused, to see this.
Monday, August 24
I’m seeing that my goal of “getting healthy” and “having a life,” was arrogant and I need to let it go. The days of grace were just that, gifts that I hadn’t earned and couldn’t make happen.
To be grateful for today: speaking my truth in Grief Group. Good food. Glad to have people around so I haven’t felt lonely or depressed or anxious.
“Humbly asked God…” I am humble when I ask God to “bless and keep” Mocha, Lynelle, Daria, etc. I know it might not turn out the way I want it to. But I haven’t asked for healing for myself, I’ve been trying to get there by my own hard work.
Tuesday, August 25
Question to ask of soul, turned into a dialogue. Is what I am doing now what I should be doing? Is the way I am living helping me open to grace? It is not what you do in the physical realm, but how you do it that opens to grace. Let go of the outcome.
Walking outside, looking for objects that might be my soul talking to me. The message I got was that I could totally trust my inner knowing — of what to take, what not to take even tho it drew my eyes, when to stop. I made a small grouping of things at the north end of the table.
How I allow myself to be guided by Inner Voice will open me to grace.
Wednesday, August 26
I was 73 years old yesterday. Did not confess to the others or sit at the birthday table. My best gift: that Inner Voice and Divine Process are one. And that my wounds are my joy because they were the source of the good energy I brought into the world. My life is not two lives: the wounded one struggling, the creative one bursting out when she can, but one life: the creative one transforms the wounding.
In family group I shared about how we can choose what to do with our wounds. We can hurt others, or we can work to process our wounds. The work is long and hard. We may never heal the wounds completely, but through the process of working with them, we can create much beauty, good energy, healing and meaning.
Added later (September 1) after some thought and a conversation. I’m not going to give up working on healing, I am giving up the goal of healing completely (“all better now”). I think I had the assumption that I couldn’t “have a life” without healing completely. No. I have a life right now, and I will continue to work on healing.