Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Bleed [the Furnace] to Love Her

Earlier today I fretted over my mental progress a bit.  I'm trying to bring the light of consciousness to my inner world, and get to the bottom of my moods and behaviors.  Most things I am working through have roots in my childhood.  Trauma is a funny thing.  Okay, no, actually, it's not at all, but it is odd.  Even after the trauma itself is over it leaves a residue that you need to scrub off of your psyche, I guess you could say.  I'm elbow deep and scrubbing, but I think I need steel wool or something sometimes.  I've been trying to understand my triggers better and I'm shining a spot light on things that have been hidden in darkness for years, but the healing process doesn't work unless you FEEL the past so it can be released. The purpose of a feeling is to be felt. How mad do you get when somebody ignores you? Think of how pissed off repressed and suppressed feelings can get. 

I feel as though most times I am running on empty, so what am I actually running on? Fumes? Old energies are mostly what fuels me; old patterns, thoughts, habits, and behaviors have me locked into their vicious cycle of negative regurgitation.  That's fuel made from past trauma. I am resisting, but what am I resisting? What I'm denying are mere memories, but it's not the memories themselves being denied but rather the emotions tied to those memories. All of these things have me fighting against the current of Life, but in truth resistance is futile if you wish to avoid suffering. I'm learning to change my fuel, reboot my system. It's a process...and quite the journey. I listened to Concrete Blonde's song Bloodletting earlier today and thought 'That's what I'm talking about!' That was foreshadowing. I need an emotional bloodletting. I need to release all of the pent up feelings that never were granted expression. I need to bleed out my demons. You can deny feelings all you want, but they will be felt EVENTUALLY on your terms or on theirs. I'd rather it be on my terms.

I can't help but be consumed with my healing and awakening. This is a precious period of time in my life that will NOT be repeated, and I feel I need to enjoy the journey, for lack of a better phrase. I was a victim this morning again, but by dinner time I was my own hero. We ran out of fuel earlier today, but had 5 gallons in a jug on the back porch. I successfully heaved the full jug up and got the kerosene into the fuel tank. For the furnace to work, though, I needed to bleed the line, which is something I have never done before. I've seen it done a number of times, but seeing and doing are very different experiences.

After getting instructions via the phone from my husband I made my first attempt. The furnace kicked on but shut off again. I obviously hadn't bled it right, but was getting too frustrated being in the middle of my yacking, incessant toddler and my instructing husband on the line. I declared I would figure it out and hung up the phone. I did just that. Fuel spraying out of your furnace can be a little intimidating, but after a few failed attempts, I figured out where I went wrong. Three soda bottles later and I had successfully bled the furnace properly. Celie and I high fived and cheered as the blower kicked on and started to heat our home again. I was proud of myself, and the sound of the furnace brought a real sense of accomplishment. I can now bleed a furnace. It might not be a huge accomplishment, but it's more than some men can do...and that's the truth!

This, of course, is a metaphor. When you run out of fuel, you can end up sucking air, running on fumes, if you will. You can put all of the fuel you want into your tank, but the furnace won't work until you bleed the air out of the lines....ALL of the air. I can pour all the fuel I want in my tank, but I need to clear my lines before any changes I make will be lasting.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Celebration and Crucifixion

My wonderful Easter Lily still blooms as I write this. I'm inhaling its lovely fragrance with every in breath and there are still three buds left to open.  I intentionally picked one that had no open flowers when I bought it last Wednesday.  We've been watching it bloom and it just gets prettier and more fragrant with each passing day.  Each flower is a new celebration, and that is truly the gift that keeps on giving!

This past week has been one of celebration and today it continues with Earth Day! First it was holy week and we were presented with all of the biblical tales on TV. I watched Mary, Mother of Jesus last Thursday, mostly for the portrayal of Jesus by one Mr. Christian Bale, but was moved more by the mother of Christ instead. Moved to tears, actually, but that was nothing compared to what followed.

UP, which stands for Uplifting entertainment, is the network I caught the holy week shows on...ironically. Mary, Mother of Jesus was followed by an encore showing of The Passion of The Christ. I had already seen this Mel Gibson take on the crucifixion story, but decided to watch it again, since it was holy week and all. Cry me a river, and I honestly did. It's worse than when I watch Titanic. I understand the 'need' for the depiction of violence in this story, but I can barely make it through it. So, I sat there while my kid slept next to me watching The Passion of The Christ in honor of Easter, which seems odd, but you can't really depict the life of Jesus without dealing with that whole crucifixion thing. Sadly, it's what made Jesus memorable to many. What did Jesus do? He simply loved people and spread the awareness of that love and for that he was violently murdered. Talk about insult to injury. Basically he threatened the life of The Ego. He was attempting to wake up the world, but most of the unconscious masses enjoy their slumber. "Forgive them, father, for they know not what they do!" They really don't.

Wednesday I had therapy and bought myself an Easter Lily. Thursday night I wept for Jesus and read The Drama of The Gifted Child, then on Good Friday I made some ribs on the grill and welcomed my husband home proper. Easter came and went. Sunday was also our twin nieces' birthday (which also happened to be 4/20). Now today is Earth Day! Crucifixion and celebration, I guess they go hand in hand? Bunnies and eggs, crosses and lilies. We celebrate the renewal of life and welcome the flowering gifts of spring. We have survived the fruitless days of winter and are eager to once again grow towards the light. Fertility and the continuity of life, that's what we celebrate when the Easter lilies bloom. After the holiday has passed, my lily continues to bloom and surrounds me with sweet fragrance and for that I am grateful. Happy Earth Day!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April Showers and the Death of Ego

I can't believe April is half over already.  Time is flying and I feel as though I'm in slow motion.  Maybe it's just the Cabin Fever leaving my body via the colon??  We find relief in the warm weather allowing outside play and the stress relief it brings, but it has been raining this week and today it snowed.  I have been letting the dirt build up while reading. 

I'm day by day working my way through Sarah Ban Breathnach's Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy.  I've got all year for that one, but I also am working on Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth.  I bought this book years ago along with The Power of Now, which I read, although I never made it onto A New Earth.  I watch Super Soul Sunday on OWN mostly every week, and Oprah is now reairing her discussions with Eckhart Tolle week by week, chapter by chapter.  I thought it an opportune time to finally read the book!  So I am enjoying that.  It's like being in a book club.  Being able to watch Eckhart discuss each chapter as I go is insightful and I've been learning a lot about the Ego and its desire to thrive.  Interestingly enough, Ego has been a running theme as of late. 

I'm also reading Healing the Addictive Personality by Dr. Lee Jampolsky with my friend who is now over a year clean from heroin.  The Addictive Personality applies to many aspects of your life, including behavioral patterns and relationships.  Addiction doesn't just apply to addicts.  Many people would be surprised at how much they could benefit from this book because, as the author even states at one point, you could replace Addictive Personality with 'Ego'.  It's all Ego based, like this mad mad world we live in.  Everyone should read this book.  Everyone has an Ego they could work on. 

Ego is the culprit.  The Ego and its thriving pain body.  The victim mentality that I swore to give up as I burnt it away on a slip of paper on our Christmas tree after Turkey Party---it's rooted in Ego.  Having a big ego doesn't always mean you feel superior to people.  If you feel inferior, that is still your ego.  It thrives on pain, negative emotions and thoughts.  It's an invisible force in control of most human interactions, and therein lies the problem. 

We found a dead bird on the patio two Sunday's ago and I thought, 'What a terrible omen!'  After looking up its symbolism for shits and giggles, I found it doesn't have to be.  It can represent the death of a person, but also the death of a relationship or even a belief...a way of thinking.  On that Super Soul Sunday, especially after taking in the happenings that evening brought, I decided the dead bird, that poor creature that dove head first into my patio table, to me....was indeed the death of Ego.  Here's to the shift.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Yen for Sweet Solitude

The blueberries balance the tea bean buzz,
I'm driven by chances, I'm driven by was.
Compelled to sit silently just before midnight,
Searching for something not found in the daylight.

Coffee and pancakes, a simplified yen,
I sip at my mud and forget about when,
I found strength in failure and knew no success,
I came out with more when I needed less.

I go out walkin' searching for truth,
In the late night hours, after I've fallen through,
The hole in my heart when I've hit the floor,
I hunger for solitude and the sweetness of yore.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Spring Time: Pruning for Growth

Today Celie and I spent some time outside.  This is the first I've been out to really examine winter's damage.  I spent most of my time gathering garbage out of the woods that the bear drug off, and hauling scrap wood leftover from last fall's bathroom remodel onto the fire I made.  I gathered up broken glass and ceramics, I raked up junk and filth.  Our burn pile needs sifted through something awful;  somehow we acquired a good amount of glass and tin on it for recycling everything that we do and it's maddening.  It's a mess. I plan on working my way through, getting to the bottom of it, I guess you could say.  Just another thing on the list. 

I also pruned my roses, which is something I actually should have done before winter came, but I didn't get to it.  So, I get to do it now and pray that there will be regrowth??  This is actually what was mostly on my mind as I gathered, sorted, burnt and pruned.  I tossed things on the fire that once were new and exciting. I tossed pieces of my old bathroom wall into the licking flames, and watched as it ate them up. Isn't it funny how we prune off and rid ourselves of the past year every spring and don't think twice about it, but when it comes to aspects of ourselves we are ridding ourselves of we often stop short? Behaviors and beliefs that don't move us forward, those should be tossed out with last year's garbage on the Spring Fire.

Often we are blind to how attached we are to things. Maybe we're deluded? Are we addicted or attached? That's probably just a matter of semantics. We probably are pretty attached to things we're addicted to and likewise, addicted to some things we are attached to. So what is so hard about letting go, especially when letting go will promote new growth? I mean, that's the concept of Spring, right? (It's a metaphor!) If it's in our best interest, why can it be so hard to do ourselves this solid, and better ourselves? That's a loaded question. There are many reasons.

Cutting the canes of my rose bushes got me thinking of my own dead limbs and stalks. What pieces of me have dried out and shriveled up over the winter? What pieces of me need to be cut order for me to grow better? I'm incredibly sentimental, almost to a flaw. You can't be sentimental if you want to rid yourself of toxic behaviors or relationships. You need to be ruthless with your trimming. You cut back until you get past the dead parts. You need to trust that you will see new growth.

Letting go has never been my strong point, even though I work hard at it. Therapy and the whole recovery road has forced me to analyze my behavior and relationships. Like the roses, we need to prune ourselves periodically if we want to grow stronger. Like the roses, the power of Spring can bring us back to life, but not until we throw our garbage on the fire and cut ourselves back. The hardest part is deciding which ends are dead or draining, and which ones still have the potential for new growth.