I spent my time with Erica talking about the good things that I’ve been doing spontaneously: taking apart the puzzle that’s been there for three months, playing music that I haven’t listened to for years, starting to meditate regularly, being able to work on the patches alone, seeing that I can create a good life for myself at Kendal.
Work on the patches for the Grandmother Ceremony has somehow helped me integrate the pieces of my life. Something else that’s been happening deep down inside. As I created the patches, and placed them in relationship, I saw how they interconnected.
The strangest thing of all is looking in the mirror and seeing an attractive person.
I told Erica about the pattern that Francis Weller talked about: insight —> endurance —> action. Now, as I look back, I see that, more than a year ago, I had a series of insights beginning with “my depression is not my fault.” Another major one was seeing that I am a good person. It’s very odd how it just appeared one day, as a solid knowing. I never actually thought of myself as a bad person, I said things like “Nobody ever loved me and nobody ever will.” I thought of myself as “worthless and rotten,” thought I “never do anything right.” I believed that I didn’t deserve to live. But the truth is that I never did anything mean to anybody. Part of this new understanding might have been because of looking back and seeing that I have no regrets, that all the things I did that were not very wise were done because I didn’t have enough information.
I think this process began long ago, with Elizabeth’s letter about my “commitment,” “vision,” and “generosity.” My first reaction was that it wasn’t true but the scientist in me presented evidence for all three. Then there was Jalaja’s letter in response to a post, where she talks about “the depths to which you are journeying” and my “passion, devotion, creativity, and sweetness.” These words struck me so powerfully as an exact description of myself, that I could not deny or disappear them.
All of these understandings were pretty solid, but a little bit disappointing in that I didn’t feel any better. I wanted to feel warm and relaxed, connected and sharing, and instead I felt scared, frozen, or empty. I’ve been through months — well really it’s years — years of feeling depressed and miserable, and trying to push it away. Then years of trying to “be with” the difficult feelings with both success and failure. This last year the grief work showed me that most of my pain was not about me at all, but was about the painful things that are happening in the world I love.
The long stretch of what Francis called “endurance” was this period after the positive intellectual insights. It was a long hard time of trying to hang out with painful and confusing feelings. Working as hard as I could to just be with, and bring compassion to, almost unbearably painful feelings. Actually those feelings were unbearable to the baby I was, which is why she got traumatized. To be able to feel them now I need the support of my therapist.
Then, suddenly, action. I’m acting in new ways. Not thinking about them first but just doing them. Thank You!