Friday, September 29
Woke with headache and heart burning.
Yesterday was actually pretty good. I felt OK when I woke up and had a great talk with Elizabeth. I was telling her about the painful session with Erica and she said she heard a core of strength in my voice. I told her about refusing to do anything to help myself, she said that was the real me asserting herself. It really surprised me. I thought I was bad for refusing — “weakling and coward” — but Lynelle, Erica, and Elizabeth have all praised me for my courage.
The painful session with Erica was last Tuesday, when I felt that I could not rescue myself, I had to be rescued by someone from outside. Erica did not say “I will rescue you,” or “You have to rescue yourself,” but she validated how I was feeling as “at the end of my resources.” She also made suggestions for things I could do to comfort myself, and I just refused to do them, feeling like a bad student who was refusing to do the assignment. I was imagining that I could do them and was just stubbornly refusing. The truth is that I was not able to do them, but I’m in denial of that because I can’t bear seeing that I’m truly helpless.
“Weakling and coward” were judgements I made of myself, mostly when I was disabled by depression, for a large part of my life.
I saw and told Elizabeth, that staying with the feeling of “at the end of my resources,” sitting down stubbornly, and refusing to move — no, I’m not refusing to move, not refusing to do something I could do, I’m acknowledging the truth, that I don’t have what it takes to go on, instead of saying “I’m fine.” In the past, when I’ve been defeated like that, I spend one or two days flat out on the bottom, and then something in me picks herself up and moves on. What I saw very clearly this time was that it’s a choice, but it’s not a conscious choice, it’s “something in me.” I realized it’s the “tough little drip that just won’t quit,” God bless her! She’s not the one that pushes me, she’s the one who keeps me going in the direction of healing. In The Feminine of History I say “there is an inner, dynamic thrust toward healing the split.” p85. It amazes me that the scientist in me didn’t ask for my evidence for that statement. I had learned from dream work and Jung’s ideas about how opposites can be reconciled. I haven’t thought of that in terms of myself, though I can see it in what happens to others. How hurt and damaged people, when offered needed information and an opportunity to heal, will do it. I see it in how Jack turned his life around with AA, I see it in the homies in LA, who take what Father Greg has to offer and run with it. Yesterday I realized that I have that thrust toward healing inside me and I can trust it. I don’t have to keep my nose to the grindstone.
One of the things I’ve been working on recently is the recognition that when I think or say “I’m fine,” I’m really in denial of how badly off I am.
“Keeping my nose to the grindstone.” The push I’ve felt all my life was to “prove that I deserve to live.” The times when I don’t feel that are when I’m unselfconscious because I’m teaching something I’m excited about like Astronomy or Circle Dance, or I’m engaged in a passionate conversation. I feel it most strongly when I’m just sitting, not doing anything at all. The times when I have been able to do that, sit quietly and just rest, are so rare that I can remember them.
I can trust that there’s someone in me who keeps going toward healing, love, compassion, greater consciousness. I can relax and let it happen. I can see that there are synchronicities that help me. I think of Elizabeth Goudge saying when you think you can’t go on, something or someone else steps in and gives you a burst of new strength. She says or means God is the one who steps in, but what I’m seeing now is that the Divine Force within me is the Tough Little Drip. I laugh and start to feel warm inside. The Tough Little Drip and God in a Sheet are God. Not some white bearded male sitting up on his thrown (sic!) above us running everything like a puppeteer. God is within us and constantly growing, reaching for health, love, peace, justice, all those good things.
What a huge relief! I can trust something in me. I don’t have to trust anything outside of me. I don’t have to wait for someone outside to rescue me. I may have to wait, patiently, for the correct action to appear.
I can trust myself. I can trust myself to know who is trustworthy and who isn’t, to wait for right action until I see it and then to do it. I can trust myself to recognize help when it comes.
The truth is that help can come both from outside and from inside. But when I was a baby I was truly helpless. Now, I may have to wait patiently, but help does come, either from inside or outside.