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You You You /Me Me Me

Hah! So we will never know again who it is I refer to. I’m feeling mischievous, so Ok lets work with that! Let’s turn the essence of the questions I would like to know 180 degrees. What are my buttons now? What are those things which if you asked of me would bring me unstuck. You see I would really like to be able to manipulate your ego, bring you unstuck. I wonder how much ego you have left, if I have any influence over you and how you think or feel.  Do you know who you have become to me since you questioned for me who ‘you’ were? I don’t fully, I think I got to about 10 different people, mostly parodies and fantasies of the people I know then gave up, all illusions anyway so we will stick your label on them all and address you.

Of all the things you could say to me which are the ones which would illicit the biggest most uncontrolled egoic response. “I want you!” anything along the lines of “I could ravage you right now”, the response would be fear and delight, terror and excitement, would those strong emotions be lost to me soon?, I can feel them shed as I type this, I don’t know now if I would respond at all that way now. How would I respond now to a sexual advance? Amusement and curiosity I think would be closer. Come on, come on, What if you said….”Oh my goodness you are brilliant!” or “I can’t believe you are being so Goddamn stupid!” Oh right you say that all the time LOL. So what does it feel like lately, it no longer devastates me, mostly I look at what has been said and try and see what I am missing. What if you did say something complimentary, would it spin me out? I’d be happy, but I don’t think you could hit the euphoria button anymore with that, shame. Ha! not really. You have pulled the ‘I will not speak to you again’ card so I know that the regret and loss is manageable, how about “I’ll be arriving next Wednesday!” hahahha ok got me! That would put me in a spin.

My little boy played the perfect game with me today. He yelled ‘I love you’ in my face so I grinned manically, then he yelled ‘I hate you’ right in my face so I pouted and pretended to be sad, so he yelled ‘I love you’ again so I grinned. Now repeat for five minutes. The ‘power’ we pretended he had over the way I felt delighted him; it was funny to me too. It’s really just like this I thought of all the emotional tug o’ wars people play.

A death would unstick me, I’m pretty sure. Not worth thinking about until I need to otherwise just fantasizing for the sake of a drama.

The boys were watching the wrestling earlier, all the personal dynamics around me just seem like that. ‘I am the world’s greatest…..’ ‘Now! the world’s strongest man…’ ‘In the next match in one corner we have…..’ All of the greatest ego trips of mankind parodied on stage.

After witnessing another spectacular tantrum from my eldest son I remembered the language you have to use if you want to get that out of control. So the next day I demonstrated the words you have to use in your internal dialog to feel that way. Then I edited the ‘speech’ with less inflammatory words and we laughed at how impossible it is to lose your temper when you swap ‘Always’ and ‘Never’ for sometimes and ‘no one’ or ‘everyone’ for specifically the people you mean. So that ‘ No one understands me, I always miss out, he always gets what he wants, Everyone else gets to do it’. becomes ‘I dont feel understood by you sometimes, sometimes I have to miss out and he gets what he wants, there are times when other people get it and I don’t.’  From then on over the last few days as he began to work himself up, I challenged him watch your thinking! He could scarcely open his month without one of these words flying out. In the end with him crying and laughing at himself, I constructed an accurate description of the source of his frustration and suggested two plans of resolution. Today he came up to me and said there is another word I can add to that list, ‘cant’! he said if you say I haven’t yet been able to, its more true and doesn’t make you angry.  Yay! Little triumph, hope he remembers this, probably not, never mind, I’ll just keep it fun and true.

much love to you gorgeous.

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Awareness To Do List!

Abandon all hope of being validated by me!….it made me stop in my tracks. Yes yes of course was my reaction, I know enough to stop when told but I didnt understand why.

I know I have asked for validation, manipulated for it. But I never occurred to me that you would declare an absolute embargo on validation. Ok You will not validate flirtation, you will not validate flippancy, you will not validate cleverness but I guessed there would be some level that I would find where you would say that is of value, that is valid, be like that for me and we will get on fine.

Ok so I am slow to connect the dots….Any validation is strengthening my ego. It is the ego craving for validation, to be see as something of value, valid. And you say the ego, the personae the faces have no value to you. you are not interested in them.

Ok got it (for now at least) but …..

I must I think apply this to my husband too.

Yesterday he took me to lunch. I dont know if it has been 5 years or 8 years or more since he has done this. The lunch was a simple meal at a local cafe, but he asked me to just come and have lunch with him. Of course when we have been out with the kids doing something else we have sat at a cafe to feed the kids but I have suggested often over the years that while the boys were at school we could just meet for lunch as he seldom eats when the kids and I do at night. It had never happened. The conversation was light and comfortable we shared each others food etc, we went for a little wander to a furniture shop to see if we could find a little table for his Mum, then after as we past an adult shop, I made a cheeky comment so he dragged me in. (I couldnt find anything that interested me) but I am saying this because it was playful and affectionate and intimate. Remember last week he used my name for the first time in what seems like forever and it had such an impact on me after so long feeling shut off. You said he didnt do it to validate me, but …..

After so many years of not being validated by him, not being given any of his time, not feeling that affection …… I am sort of scared of losing myself in it. Wanting to do anything to get more of it….of taking my desire to be aware and authentic and honest and exchanging it for the desire to be validated, valued and cherished by him.

I am not scared of what I might do I am concerned about losing myself in why I do it. I am aware of the danger of his validation of me motivating my various faces to be more of the face he likes.

I’m struggling to find clarity with this, struggling to be honest in this. Their is a saboteur, some part of me that wants to pull away from the very intimacy that I crave from my husband. I am shaking. I fear falling in need with him again, (not falling in love because love is nothing like this pathology.) This fear makes me reactively pull up my most powerful ego face. The effort not to don its super confident, sassy, cheeky seductive personae and play it with you is leaving me raw and naked and vulnerable and insecure. I am afraid of my desire. BECAUSE I know that desire is not pure. Its not true. It is fear manifest as desire. That part of me wants to use you. Use you right now as a thing to pull my need for connection away from him. Help me prevent myself from hoping, wanting, expecting things to become different and then I can be happy. I am frightened of buying back into the illusion that he has the power to make it all better for me. I am frightened of handing back my power to him. Believing in this kind of power again. Believing in this fairy tale where someone outside of me can make me happy. You wont feed this illusion. It feels safe in some way that I know you will foist the responsibility back onto me, one part of this facade wants to use you as a mere distraction, some way of preventing another part of the facade holding onto that one addiction too tightly too unconsciously. The addiction to HIM making it all happily ever after…….

There is an unnecessary contempt for him. And the ego parts he is playing for me now. And resentment for the ego dramas he has played on my ego in the past. How silly is that! To generate the poison of hatred to bolster an unwanted illusion, worse the memory of that illusion!!

I have felt the temptation to seduce him. Understand I am delighted with any genuine loving impulse towards him that makes its way to a physical expression. I have no problems with that. But I am wary of the insecure little slut who decides to grab the reigns and reaffirm her prowess. I will not be inauthentic with myself anymore.

My reaction to use you as an object of my flirtation, it is contemptuous of you too. To play that role, that character, to make myself feel good is contemptuous of men. I have never seen the underlying hatred of men that comes with that face. It is beyond simply manipulative, it is an act of hatred and arrogance. The willingness of a man to be seduced does not excuse it, how can it be a source of true pleasure when the intent is not authentic. All it is, is the mutual ramification of falseness. A mutual strengthening of egos.

I know love, it has nothing to do with how nice or otherwise he is to me. It has nothing to do with who he is. It does not identify with the him-ness of him or anyone else. When I love it has no other, no someone, no focus. I cant honestly say I love any one person because thats not what love feels like to me. But the temptation to trade love for the euphoric intoxication of being wanted, validated, desired again……

I am becoming aware of the choice. I can often feel the intention to manipulate arise and I can pretty much guess that a fear of some description lies beneath it. I have been writing it, forcing myself to become conscious of it and accountable for it. I have asked you to witness this because it makes me feel even more accountable. I am experiencing awareness of many of these ego traits in relation to you because you haven’t given the predicted unconscious responses that I am used to.

Is the awareness of the intention to play a role enough? I am able now to say; I am struggling with a slut, hang on its hard for me to concentrate on what you are saying because this slutty insecurity wants to take over and play games, distract, detract or diminish this truth we are exploring. Will this disclosure alone be enough to dissolve the pattern? If not what else do I need to do???

I want to be spoon fed, coaxed, led. I want to play good girl, I am asking for validation again. Tell me what to do, I will do it and you will be proud of me and like me. Its another role, another role, role after role after role. Why bother swapping seductive slut for little good girl slut? Seducer is at least more fun to play, doesn’t ask you to play protector, leader, Daddy, she at least has balls and purpose.

I’m trying to find some way of being real without ANY roles and faces. Should I just shut up and bite my tongue, sit on my hands and be silent unless I am sure that the sluts are not in the drivers seat. Will I recognize it when they are every time? What else can I DO about this???

I need to practice being authentic with those who expect that from themselves and me. It must become a habit to be authentic so that not to be becomes a hair shirt. I must be vigilant, watch for the fear that is the precursor of the slut face. When the fear arises speak it. Give it a true form. Don’t let it don a personae to play out. The fears are for the moment real. I know they have no long lasting reality but denying them now is just another delusion.

I have fears perhaps they are all arising from the fear of non existence but right now they center around the fear of not being accepted, not being desired or wanted, not being enough, not being heard or seen for who I am, never feeling that someone else understands me, the fear of being surrounded by people who simply don’t connect at any meaningful level, being surrounded by people who simply want a face to reflect themselves back at them. The fear that even in  my most intimate relations I am simply a mirror for someone else’s ego. The fear of sacrificing my growing awareness for the hope of comforting my ego. These fears need to be heard otherwise they will continue to control the reigns.

Is being aware of the fears and the faces they don, voicing them and acknowledging them enough to have them fade away? That much alone has taken courage. Is still taking courage. Is the next step to dismiss them. Discard and consciously reject each face every time it arises? What would I need to do to resolve these fears beyond acknowledging them as they come up?

I need to have the courage to be authentic in every situation, with every one I meet, to deal with all people with the standard I am struggling to hold with you even though the cost of not doing so is the termination of this friendship. But with everyone else I am afraid that the opposite may be true. That to be authentic would cost the relationship. I am not there yet.

I realized as I wrote that earlier today that my old fear of being un accepted alone and unloved is now less than my fear of being a fake. I am scared to live the rest of my life as a bunch of ego compulsions. Just blindly crashing against other ego’s. I won’t stand by and let that occur. I need practice speaking to people who are authentic. Who can see an ego trip a mile away and won’t buy into it. In my life you are unique in that, I dearly value you for it….. Months ago you accused me of only bringing my vulnerability, that bit of me which I see as broken into this relationship. I think I am guilty of that again. I am worried that as I feel more confident I will be seen as arrogant, if I relax and become playful I will be perceived as being sexual if I discuss something without the raw wound feeling I am accused of being cerebral and fake. I am on guard against my ego, ‘this bit is broken, I am not being true here, I am at fault’ seems to be the only safe way to be open with you. I will get better at this, but for the moment I am awkward with it.

So what is at the top of my To Do list?

1. Don’t stuff up this opportunity to learn from you by indulging my ego.

2. Practice being authentic, honest and aware with my mentors.

3. Be aware of my ego faces. Continue to shine light on how when and why they show up.

4. Be more conscious of listening to everyone without needing to have a quick reply.

5. When the impulse arises to react to anyone with any one of the ego faces, pull the focus back to the heart meditation breath and wait.

This seems to be focused on what to do when the fear arises rather than addressing the source of the fear itself. Resolve the fear underlying this.

1. Remind myself I would rather be alone, than feel alone in a crowd of ‘friends’.

2. Practice letting myself be seen without ego faces.

3. Enjoy what is, let go of what could be and what was.

4. Apply  Who am I? to feeling fear. Who am I that is afraid? Rather than; I want to manipulate, why do I want to be manipulative? I am afraid, what am I afraid of? Where did the fear come from? Why is it still an issue? Is there more under this? What happens if I don’t act on this impulse? Does he need to know that I have this impulse? am I being dishonest if I don’t tell him? Am I asking him to buy into it either in reaction or as a rescuer by revealing it? What does he think of me now? etc etc etc Yup! Who am I? It is a much more destructive path.

Ok I have read my lists a couple of times and I am aware of a resistance to part of it. I have experienced warm feelings of intimacy through the rawness of this kind of disclosure and your acceptance of me despite it. I am being asked by you to conduct myself differently from now onward. To be stronger, more autonomous somehow. but… Who am I that is frightened of losing the intimacy?……

My teachers challenge.

Knowledgeable Me is an impostor. Clever Me is a fake. Smart Me is an arrogant self serving personae and a fake……….Where is my true authentic intelligent response? Where is the ‘I’ that can truly hear, not filter, dissect, evaluate, critique?? Who am I that CAN hear you? Who is she that stands between us???

As you speak to me I am unaware of the mind racing ahead drawing conclusions on vague ill-defined assumptions, searching back through my personal data base of experiences and knowledge to draw a parallel in my own life to discuss in return.  I have been unaware. I can see it looking back, when it is noticed that I am not listening I see that is what I am doing.

Increasingly I notice that it is such a common thing to be almost the normal trend in conversation. Two people telling stories and really only hearing the stories that they themselves tell, then leaving the conversation with a placated ego but feeling as disconnected as ever.

I’m not IN this….I’m not there….It’s words, it’s all spun from the ego, crap crap crap! It’s true I think, but I am not connected to it. she is there between me and the keyboard. I want to reach for you now to see the real me and pull me through this shell. You’ve been here I know you have. And you had no one to see you. No one who said to you “that face is an impostor. I dont care about that face, I wont speak to it!”. How did you see yourself? How did you learn to speak from the heart, hear the truth through the crap, layer after layer of ego?

How isolated did you feel? No wonder you became recluse. Who did you speak to? Who did you turn to? on those days and weeks when even the journal gave you no clarity or comfort.  I have you. I can type this and know that there is another living soul who can see me. Who might see the faint glimmer of something real through the dross and say that bit, those few moments there, that was real. AND I know you are right.

I can turn to my boys and chase them through the house and blow raspberries and tickle, hold and hug them and that is real. How long did you feel alone? Do you still feel alone?

I must frustrate the hell out of you. So close and yet so far. Not in the old cliche’ which I would once been tempted to play with but in the sense that in those few moments you reach out to be heard. Understood, SEEN and I disappear behind the smoke screen of personae and ego and roles that I have played. I dont even know whether for your own sake you would like to be heard. It is easy to assume that we all long to be heard, but there are no longer many assumptions I will make about you. I dont know whether you think “I will open up again today with an idea or feeling I have had and see if TODAY she will work to hear me rather than jump in with her own crap agenda. …..Nope, not today it seems…..” “its all talk, she runs this personae of the empathic, caring woman, it IS in her somewhere but all these asshole sluts have taken over” “shut the fuck up and hear some one else for a change,” ” you already know what you have to say” ……is this what it is like for you?

It is just odd lately. Seeing cracks in the masks people wear, when all I have been aware of in the past had been the masks. Is that true??? I had seen the cracks before I think, seen them but…..but now they interest me… it is the cracks which hold an instant of honesty. The tug at the corner of the mouth as a grown man accuses “how much effort have you or your husband made to really get to know me?” I felt the defensive justification and the placing the ‘blame’ back on him rise. Then I stopped myself. Literally wrestled the ego back and remained open as he took a baby step into looking at himself with me watching and softly listening. It lasted for such a brief instant, before it seemed that he realized his nakedness and begun to spin a story to hide behind.

I look around the coffee shop, previously had felt compassion for the people around me, there is something different now. There is so much grey in their faces, like a film of paper mache’ wrinkled and faded with lifes experiences. Only the babies seem to be real. I have been looking, I guess I think I should be able to see the  difference between all these people hiding as I am behind a wall of ego identities and someone who is really present, just in that moment, someone who is smelling the coffee and nothing more or less.  Maybe one day I will find it less and less tolerable to interact with these facades. Is this where you are now? Disenchanted (nice word) dis enchanted. It is an enchantment, a spell we all concede to be under, lets all believe in this illusion….are you disenchanted with the world of ego’s? Do you pick up an ego personae as you walk out your door to get groceries and throw it over your shoulders like a raincoat?? Tolerating only as much interaction with the egos of others as the rest of us would in a downpour?

Do you see any hope in me?

Do you tolerate the drudgery of reprimanding and correcting and making me aware of all the layers of shit in the hope that one day I will drop it? One day I will see it as you do? So that one day you may have a journeyman able to walk along side you? What’s in it for you?

What a shitty asshole slut question that is. How much ego fear underlies that? What is in it for you? What IS in it for you? Why would I assume that there would be an agenda? Why must there be a bargain with the devil. What price??? What price is friendship? What price honesty? Honesty paid poorly back with….vain…literally vain attempts at honesty. Truth repaid with opinions. Such a poor deal you made with me.

Fake, fake faces, familiar fake faces. Who am I? When you challenged one of my faces “the knowledgeable Me” it dropped to the ground and immediately I felt a scramble to pick up another mask that maybe you would like. If I don’t laugh at me, I’d cry. Literally grabbing and dropping characters to play for you. All the usual ones you have already declared your hatred for and I think I had grabbed and dropped three masks before I saw what I was doing and returned to the breath and quietened the panic. There was the intent formed just below the level of words or full consciousness ‘who can I be that he will like?’ That half erupted thought gave way to ‘who am I?’ …. Who am I? ….. I have not gone far enough…..Who am I?

Rude awakening

The; Who am I meditation creates a leaning back or falling gently back, trusting loving sensation. But I am dogged by my ego. It intrudes and corrupts and shields me from what is true, it separates and isolates in the illusion of making me acceptable and lovable.

I can see my ego at work sometimes. I am just beginning to see a separation between who I am and the faces and roles and images that are the manifestations of the ego I have constructed. But I have been pussy footing around with it. Not getting ruthless, not calling it for what it was, and making excuses, allowances, justifications for it. It is not who I am, it is an asshole in its arrogance and a slut in the way it subtly manipulates everyone it is in contact with. My Ego flailing for its life under even my embryonic awareness, allowed a glimpse of the extent to which it has insinuated itself through every human interaction, every loving connection I have.

Shocked and wounded I spat; “Who am I, that is not an asshole slut?”

Is she manifesting now? What are her strategies? I will shine light on every face she puts forward and disown them one by one.

She arises with a wicked smile, you are sport. You are the challenge and excitement and the vehicle through which she may test and try herself. You are therefore a thing an object an ‘other than’ person who can be used to give me what I want. She responds quickly to your requests because she wants the impression to be given that she respects and prioritizes you. She wants to be admired and respected and valued she wants your energy to feed into her that way. She would love to make you need her, want her.

When she is caught on the back foot she will play victim, defenseless, innocent, she aims to embarrass you with your own brutality. She calls upon your chivalry to make it feel to you that you are being hurtful unnecessarily. Very very occasionally she will attack overtly. Cross the line and she rises up. She feels ‘superior’, self righteous, contemptuous. She will denigrate and dominate with fury.

All of it comes from seeing you as ‘other’.

The asshole slut objectifies people.

I’m scared to approach this; it feels like once you start picking everything will unravel. The ugly stuff is easy; of course I want to disown that part of me which is parasitic; The need for sexual validation, the superior attitude, the arrogance…but… there are subtleties I did not expect to see. Aspects which people like. Aspects that I use in my personality because they make people like me.

I can see now that even the way that I concede ‘you are right’ has been insensitive. My seemingly thoughtful replies are arrogant, even when I am admitting my faults there is an agenda. My focus is on your opinion of me. How are you seeing me?

Why should I care? ….Why is every interaction put through that filter??? ….Am I seen as kind??? Do you see me as ‘deep’ ???

Ok so I can see the value in dropping the ‘Do you think I am desirable? Do you think I’m clever? Do you see me as insightful??’ but then I baulk….

I can feel the agenda over and over. If I am truly aware its like I can scarcely type ‘Hi, how are you?’ without wondering ‘Do you think I am thoughtful? or compassionate. How am I coming across???’

Even when I felt warm and kind and open and almost child like in my innocence with you, you questioned that and it shone a harsh light on it and just barely under the surface was the shattered illusion that you might see me as sweet, nice, kind. Whether I am or not is neither here nor there. I am always occupied with how I appear to be.

My mother in law has just moved in today. In my own moments I am ok with it. but even typing this I wonder how I am going to be perceived. My parents are proud of their daughter and acknowledge that I am acting from love not duty. My husband has relaxed for the first time in months, I sense appreciation from him.  The family is relieved that their Mum is now is a safe quiet environment and they can all go back to chasing after their own aspirations, I’m the ‘hero’ the compassionate one the one that Does have the time, Will make the space for her.  So all of this is gratifying my ego. I can see it getting pumped up full of itself. It is pathetic… I am pathetic…. It objectifies her…. This woman is no witless victim…. this situation is a tragedy of her own ego’s making. But she is a soul within a frail and vulnerable failing body, with a frightened ego, feeling rejected by the family who she has dedicated her life to. The family of her eldest son. Her consolation is a place in my home…… Again ‘pity me’ she does not choose this place, I am second best. I could scream at myself…WHY THE FUCK DOES IT MATTER?????

Even now I hear myself think;’ How  can I continue to express myself with her here? ‘How can I continue to push myself further into this crap when I need to negotiate around her needs too?’ ‘How can I strip away at my ego when I may need as much of it as I  can wrap around me?’… its fear … fear …fear of what??? DISAPPROVAL. judgement. wrap a bit more ego superiority around me so that the criticisms that I expect don’t touch me….wrap a bit more ‘nice girl’, ‘the good daughter in law ‘ personae around me to keep the …… keep the …..keep the WHAT out?? what am I protecting myself from… why do I need the personae? Who gives a fuck if you or anyone thinks I’m nice? or kind or ANYTHING? who gives a shit what label you choose to stick on me EVERY SINGLE LABEL IS ANOTHER FACE OF THE ASSHOLE SLUT!!!

Some are just more subtle than others, just a bit more slippery.

I am singing Mary Magdalenes song from Jesus christ superstar. especially the lyric ‘try not to turn on to things that upset you, dont you know everythings alright…..let the world turn without you tonight’…..

There are lots of slippery little melodramas that just as they get a bit of traction in my mind this song pops up and they dissipate.

Hubby is suffering a load of indignation and outrage at his brothers family and it is so easy to jump on that boat. So easy to paint his Mum as a victim, mistreated blah blah. But this confines her to that box. Frankly I understand my sister in laws fear of losing her husband, her hurt and frustration and need to look after her husband in her own way, without the ‘help’ of his mother. She is just a bit spineless and never took the help when it was offered, chose to play the martyr and self sacrificing one. But then she did take advantage of 25 years of free baby sitting and in house cook and cleaner and now the old woman is just another burden she cant cope with. So I can see how she is now being painted as the bitch.

A year ago I dont think I would have coped at all with the idea of my mother in law coming to live here. Today I sit with it and I cant really find any emotion. I don’t feel blocked, it is not as though I would try and spin a cover story to put a benevolent foot forward to impress you (or myself) for that matter. Secretly I think you would be more impressed with a gritty expression of inner turmoil. Ha!

The strongest thing I can feel is “I wont have that” in response to the feeling that this old woman feels unwanted, a burden to her family.

My instincts right now are to soothe and bring comfort. Its very maternal. It is extending around my husband and his Mum and to a less extent the extended family. I dont know how many times this morning I have said “its alright…. I have got it…. Its fine Darling…. Its all ok…. I’ve got it under control… dont worry, it will all be good” but it is not just words. That is how I feel inside. I hear my voice an octave lower, I hear it soothing, settling all the frazzled nerve endings. But I dont think I am manipulating…..I can see that it would serve my purpose to have things calm down but I dont think I am being Machiavellian about it.

Perhaps when everyone else’s ego’s have settled back into their routine lives I may have an ego tantrum, Maybe a ‘this is my house’ spat. I wouldn’t put it past me. we will see.

OK one place I did see the asshole slut raise her wicked head was yesterday, when confronted by my eldest son’s obnoxious back answering. I will put a stop to that because it is inappropriate for him to treat me rudely however there was an intensity to the way I reprimanded him, which was there as a response to the anticipation of her coming to live here. I did not wish to be seen and judged by her as a mother of disrespectful children….Oh the irony here….the internal chat was ‘I will not be seen to be disrespected in my own home.’

I feel cerebral, contemplative, I don’t feel much intensity today. I don’t feel that I can get to the guts of anything today.    I don’t know if there is more guts to get to…

These are the days when I want to use you. These are the times when I look to you for emotional excitement, drama, to push me beyond this quiet, flat, time. I recognize that once I would have looked to flirt, but more recently like just now I would love to jump on a chat line and have you stir up something. Something from deeper within me, connect me with something I can’t see in myself… push me beyond where I can go myself. The temptation is to be in some way provocative. The meaning is less overtly sexual than once but it is the same drive. As if looking around me there is not enough melodrama, ego tragedies, a need for someone(me) to play hero etc etc but it has no intensity for me. I am watching this feeling of wanting to be challenged by you. Wanting to compete against you, disagree with you, get my ass chewed, fight with you and perhaps come to an exhausted and satisfied realization of something. I want you to take me places I have never been within myself. There is a nice little bit of asshole slut for you. Oh god thats nasty. How more profoundly and corruptly could a person be used?   I’m sorry….

Ruthless

Ruthless.

My intimate stranger,

an internet ranger.

See behind the unseen,

Find my wisdom unspoken.

Know me beyond words,

reveal my heart untouched.

Slash and burn

each precious vanity.

Severe illusions with

your disemboweling truths.

Don’t pity me

My ruthless angel.

Nothing of value

Is being destroyed.

Just the tender constructs

of my mind.

The meeting

The meeting “Hello Sunshine! mmmm. That smells brilliant,” I said as she opened the door to let me in. “How are you?” her question was meant and as I answered “good” her amber eyes searched mine gently but penetratingly as she checked for herself, satisfied with my response she led me in. I nodded to Ganesh as I passed by him, guarding the entrance, and glanced out the giant window wall to acknowledge the view of the distant mountain over the ramshackle assortment of cottages and apartment buildings. She really did remind me of sunshine I thought as I followed her into the kitchen watching the swing of her polished rope plait and noticing the tiny clink of a toe ring on the tiled floor. The flat was gloriously decorated, hand painted batik, textured richly fabrics, scattered kilm. It was so warm and comforting, it reminded me of a womb… A womb with a view… I smiled at the old joke. Then caught myself. Thinking. Thinking. “What needs doing?” I asked and popped the potted cyclamen on the servery admiring there deep blood red petals, “Candies for the Bear” I explained as I placed them on a shelf out of the way. ‘You will spoil him’ she warned in jest as she threw me a teatowel. We were calmly busy for a while, putting the finishing touches on the meal and tidying up then I felt a great swooping bear hug grab me from behind. I laughed and leant into the warmth of the embrace, wiggled around in his arms to face him and closed my eyes as I felt his lips against my forehead. I breathed him in, deeply appreciating his presence in my life. ‘So what is the mystery? I know something is up!’ She just smiled at me , ‘You’ll see soon enough’, ‘Oh come on, not fair!’ I whined, doing a good impression of anyone of my kids. ‘I’ve found someone that I thought you should meet, I told him that you are only here for a short stay so he agreed to have lunch with us today, OK?’. Oooh she was up to something, I looked at Bear, he seemed amused but no more in the picture than I was. What to do? We got on with setting the plates and watching the breath. It was easy to do in this company. Just stay in the moment, noticing, living, being present in this sacred moment. I felt buoyant, calm and loving. Not loving towards anyone in particular, just loving…. Then I noticed a tension, an excitement, an adrenaline surge. Anticipation! He had arrived I could feel his intention, he had placed his focus on this place and the hairs on my neck prickled, my tummy felt nervous, I couldn’t stand still. ‘He’s here, who is he??’ I blurted I could hear almost a panic in my voice. I instinctively moved to behind the couch facing the door, then caught myself. Pulled my focus back to the breath, breath…..breath…breath… ‘Who is this reacting to an energy?’ I asked myself. I got a feel for that self, observed her… ’but….Who is watching her, Who am I?’ and relocated myself back in my centre, observing. Noticed the breath deepen and become even again just as the door was opened and our guest entered. His presence swept the room, it filled it, and somehow suddenly everything felt possible. I watched him hug them warmly with a massive smile. I moved towards him hoping that years of behaving ‘appropriately’ would serve me now. ‘Grace, this is Serpent’ Estelle introduced us, ‘It’s a pleasure to meet you at last’ his voice rumbled in a tone that I felt through my chest more than heard, his recognition of me literally swept me of my feet. ‘At last? What did he mean? What has he heard of me? What is he expecting? Will I meet that expectation?’ the internal dialogue raced ahead of me. ‘Hi!’ I managed, reasonably calmly, for goodness sake breathe, I admonished myself. He reached both hands out to mine, in an odd but comfortable greeting we looked into each others eyes. OOOH God help me, that falling feeling you get. Timeless, boundless, wow. The seductress in me moved in to wrestle control from the awe struck school girl who had been caught in his gaze. I watched her rise to the surface and just had to laugh at myself, What is that now, 30 years I’ve been playing that part? It would be embarrassing if I cared more what people thought of me. Ah but now I was watching again, breathe….mmmm but she does know how to walk I noticed with amusement at myself as I led the way to the table. The table talk started light and casual with basic introductions… he was called Serpent to represent Gods gift of knowledge to man and the subsequent responsibility man held from that moment on to be an active co creator of the universe we now found ourselves in…. then Estelle guided the chat to what was clearly the purpose of this meeting; Serpent has established an amazing, empowerment strategy, it aims to break the chain of inherited poverty. Poverty of the mind, and spirit as well as financial hardship. She declared with a tone of awe and respect that was momentarily disconcerting . ‘The enlightened gift’. ‘When I became Enlightened’ he explained, ‘initially I wanted nothing more. Everything was as It should be, suffering was the path, joy was the path, meditation was the path…. I understood that every one would reach their own enlightenment in time, and time was only an illusion useful only in the confines of this space time…. I knew that there were 84,000 paths to enlightenment and each would find their way to truth inevitably… I lived in quiet bliss….’ As he spoke, my heart reached out for this experience, longing, hoping, hoping I guess to pick up the resonance of that energy, the essence of enlightenment, that it may somehow guide me closer to that state. ‘Then with time’ he continued, his energy becoming more highly charged as he began to describe his vision, ‘I saw a great need for an altruistic outreach program…. connecting the disenfranchised western youth….. disillusioned with the chronic exposure to materialism and poverty of spirit….. with the material and physical needs of spiritually rich places such as this….., places that lack in the basic infrastructure which would facilitate a lifting of the local standard of living……’ As he described the intricacies of his grand vision, how every participant would become enriched on so many levels I could feel myself wanting to be involved. I could see myself looking for a way to make this happen, to be a part of this wonderful new potential for humanity. I could see how limited my life was through his eyes and how much more I could be. I began to desire a greater expression of my potential, I wanted to be more, do more, express more, experience this, be a part of this big picture, this dream of Utopia……I could feel myself reaching outside myself to touch and to live this magnificent new world and I knew….I knew for sure in that instant that I was not speaking to an enlightened man. Bless her, Estelle saw the penny drop. She ran interference for me while I escaped ‘for a breath of air on the balcony’… ‘it’s a lot to take in’ she purred to him, ‘ I think she is a little overwhelmed by it all’ she excused my exit, I don’t know how she got away with it but perhaps he was used to having people be ‘overwhelmed’ by him. I was half aware of his leaving, the confidence in his voice as he reassured himself that I would come on board with the program in time, and aware of Estelles platitudes to him as she led him to the door, I still cant believe she got away with that act, it was masterfully done. Breathe……breathe…..breathe…I told myself. ’Focus on the mountain’ Bear said gently as he sat down beside me. ‘and at some point you are going to have to let one of those breaths out!’ he put his hand on my back and after another half gasp in I let the breath go. I started to shake, my jaw just shuddered, my shoulders shook, my legs wobbled so hard I crumpled to the floor, I began to giggle, then laugh so hard I cried and shook. I looked up at him to explain, but it was too ridiculous, there were no words for it… I gave in to the hysteria of that moment and rode it out. Finally I got a calm breath in, and spluttered it out in another wave of giggles. Another calm breath and wave of giggles then I returned to breathing. ‘Who is this person trapped in the ridiculous? I asked myself. I am. Who am I ? I asked again and found myself observing again. And calm. ‘When you can, without the giggles’ he smiled ‘I want you to tell me what happened, there is no point in chasing ghosts around the temple, speak them, make them concrete, then you can clear them out quietly, you grok?’  and we watched the sun go down behind the glorious mountain turning the sky to reds and purples. As I was ready to talk Bear asked ‘Was Serpent an enlightened man?’ I shook my head, no. Bear nodded, what do you think he is then, a charlatan? I barely whispered the answer, no. ‘I think he truly believes himself to be enlightened….he is charismatic and has a powerful insightful vision for what may be possible…. I hope he is able to manifest his plan, it is certainly worthwhile…’began to rambled on a bit, ‘But he is not enlightened?’ Bear pulled me into focus. I shook my head and looked for him for approval, dumb really as Bear hadn’t fallen for that one in years. ‘What was the give away?’ he asked me ‘Desire’ that’s the answer in a nutshell I thought as it began to take shape in my mind. ‘Only an enlightened man can teach enlightenment, and an enlightened man cant help but teach enlightenment…. An enlightened man embodies the state of enlightenment and draws each person they connect with towards the state of enlightenment…. It cant be any other way.’ I declared ‘Of course each person has a different receptivity and readiness for it…’ I began to ramble a bit. ‘So desire! Was the give away was it?’ he said with a teasing smile and a raised eyebrow, ‘Tell me about that’. I punched him gently on the arm as I sat up straight to face him intent now. ‘Ok, the first level of desire we could of predicted with me in response to any guy with that level of energy’, I said with a dismissive flick of my hand. ‘Given’ he grinned back, which deserved another punch but I was on a roll. ‘but then as he started to describe his vision I became dissatisfied with myself, with my little life, I started to long for something outside of myself, I began reaching out, wanting, needing to be part of something bigger, more worthwhile, more significant than myself. I started to invest in the illusion of duality! do you get it!?’  ‘mmmm I get it,’ he said as he reached over and kissed my nose as he got up, ‘watch the mountain and breathe, I’ll make you a cuppa’.

I was challenged by a trusted and ruthless friend and mentor: ‘You are Not listening!’ he said, over and over until the words were drummed into my head. I thought I was listening, I argued and defended and stated that I had heard. I believed that  I had empathized with the struggle and triumph of our friend.

But I hadn’t…. Finally I saw that I had seen only myself in their shoes, I hadn’t seen them. I felt for them as I would have felt for myself in their place. I projected my ego all over them, my issues, my limitations, my desires and hopes. I have been unable to see or hear for so long that I fought to remain blind and deaf.

He forced me to look honestly at myself. There are so many falsehoods wrapped around me, I have held them close like old friends to shield me from being hurt by life. But the shield keeps everything away, leaving me disconnected and separate from everyone else. They keep at bay the pain of fear, rejection and anger but they also block the hope of true intimacy with others. They have left me craving, lost and alone…. I am numbed while behind these shields, disconnected and lonely.
Confronted with making a pledge of allegiance to my heart, to the true self within, to the divine void, I balked.

I couldn’t even hear what it was I was being asked to do. But, but, but my mind stalled “I cant, I, I , I cant”, my mind span wildly but could not get a grip on what it was I was resisting.

I felt profoundly heavy hearted. I grieved, not understanding what it was I felt I was losing. I sat for hours numb, blank, no fight left in me and not enough energy to try and push through.

I couldn’t face my friends without feeling like a hypocrite. So I faced them feeling like a hypocrite, feeling remorse, shamed and hurt. I knew I didn’t want to defend this anymore, but I didn’t know how to change, didn’t feel the courage to change.

I was so disheartened to think of those false friends, the ones that had let me feel confident and valued. I could even as I spoke to my mentor, feel myself trying to exclude or excuse some of them. Wanting to be free of this pain but with their protection intact. I wanted to maintain the image of kindness and helpfulness. I know it is not kindness in its pure form that is false but my desire to be seen as kind. I took comfort in feeling kind and helpful, because it gave me something of value to others.

I have been listening and seeing those around me through a veil. I am veiled from them by wanting those around me to see me as a kind and helpful person. I had built a career on that image.

The densest and most isolating veil I need to drop, is playing at sexual desire, seduction and flirtation, these were always first to be wrapped around me when I felt most worthless or vulnerable. Often I would feel desperate for someone to connect with me, it seemed that generating sexual desire could bridge  the space between us.  It felt safer to play that flirtatous role than to be seen for my self. The irony is that the energy poured into that character I played could not reach me. It left me still isolated and alone.

Even logic, knowledge, anger, arrogance and snobbishness have been allies. Tools I used to manipulate and control the people around me. I am still scared to let them go. To stand free and naked of these false projections of myself. To risk rejection of my true self.

Perhaps more than anything I have wanted to be seen as loving. To be loving is pure. But acting, while any part of me wants to be seen as loving, that is the worst corruption.

I crave affection and attention, by being affectionate and attentive with my friends I was trying to fullfill my own needs. Until it became so obvious that I had not been attentive. Not attentive to their needs but to my own projection onto them. I didn’t see them, I didn’t hear them. I only saw only my own warped reflection, distorted through the layers of falseness I had wrapped around me.

My dear  ruthless mentor was right these falsehoods have huddled around me, shielding me from others but in doing so they have prevented a deeper intimacy and have left me profoundly alone. This hurt.

My friend and my mentor saw me. Stood and witnessed me. They did not reach out to rescue me, nor to give affection which is what I always thought would help, to sooth and comfort. It turns out that I didn’t need to hear ‘its alright, you are a wonderful person we love you’. I would have bet my life on it only a day before that those words were that I needed to hear. They simply said ‘you are feeling a lot of unnecessary shame!,’ then agreed that I was finally walking a path of truth.

Unnecessary Shame!  I never realized how closely I wrapped this around me. Shame , guilt, regret, I have dragged them around with me and held them close. I guess in the hope that they would shield me from making the same mistakes. They dont, they are just weight. An unnecessary burden.

How could anyone offer me comfort without feeding the energy straight into the false beliefs I had about myself? Better to be brutal, ruthless, unrelenting in the hope that the veil of falseness between us be pierced. Until I am stripped of the need to be perceived as something, I cannot feel the intimacy with others which I feel is my natural state.

It is a dangerous and isolating illusion I have played with; I will play this role for you so that you accept me. Because as soon as those terms are agreed on then you cannot be accepting of the true me but my falseness and I am destined to be alone.

My hesitancy in pledging allegiance to my heart, my truth is due to the old allegiances I am entangled with.  I need freedom from them to even see or feel the allegiance to my heart. I am trying now to find a true resonance with the voice of my heart.

I have been asking the question; ‘Who am I?’, not as idle speculation but as Ramana Maharishi describes it. As a way of re- identifying with my true self, my heart, with the divine. It is a path to enlightenment. It is the path of my heart.
I will not make a life changing vow to myself in haste. But the resistance to it is falling away. There is nothing of value in these falsehoods and illusions. Do I have the courage then to trust my true self and pledge myself to the path of my heart.

Ok right up front I am constantly scared that the only way for me to feel content, happy, and to really move into my fullest potential is to separate my life from my husband. I don’t know if this is the case but even considering it makes me back away from asking the question. What would it take to make me truly happy?

My primary responsibility beyond keeping myself safe and well is to ensure the security and well-being of my kids. Despite his faults as both a partner and father I strongly believe that the boys are better off with him living with us. My fear is that within the constraints of this family unit will I be able to grow?

Whenever I feel the process of spiritual growth and understanding and connection with others I feel profoundly happy, often exhilarated.

However because the connections with other men on an energetic level often lead me into sexually compromising situations he has been profoundly injured by my journey of self exploration. Struggling with this desire for growth and connection and its seemingly inevitable  entanglement with the sexual energies of the men who join me has led me to maintain a degree of secrecy or discretion with him or to attempt to shut down this part of myself. I can’t just share with him openly any insights I may have. Anything on this topic is met with sarcasm shielding him from the hurt I have inflicted on him. So the cycle of secrecy,shame , guilt, mistrust, suspicion, sarcasm,anger and fear, spins again.

I dearly wish that one day I considered my husband to be my most intimate journeyman.

It is unrealistic to think that I may declare to him the extraordinarily romantic way that I perceive the natural world when I am in contact with another man. Or the profound intimacy and rawness I connect with when talking with you. Or even the depth of loving support shared b/w JP and myself, but how can I feel truly close and trusting of him and able to share my journey when to do so would be a source of immense fear and pain and betrayal to him?

I can’t allow my definition of happy to depend on my husband changing. So I am left with myself.

I am unhappy with the hiding and secrecy. I know that he is unable to face anymore of this kind of pain. I don’t believe that I can stagnate my spiritual awareness and exploration without consequences. I don’t think I can progress and experience my life to its fullest without the catalysts of other people who are similarly on the journey of the soul. So I am torn.

To be happy, I must develop a sense of confidence in my own integrity. A confidence that becomes a tangible unspoken dynamic in my life with him.

A sense that I can experience all the energies and emotions then choose compassionately and wisely how I respond to them. This self-awareness and trust I hope may allow him the space to let go his anger and fear and allow the depth in our relationship that I dream is possible.

A friend asked;

I’ve been thinking of this a lot.  I want to ask you.  Do you really think you’re doing your sons any favors by hanging around in a mutually spiteful, guilt-filled and unhappy relationship?  What do you think its teaching them to see you and him looking at each other and speaking to each other the way you do?  Think about it.  Is it better than what “might” happen if you really rock the boat?

I grew up through the 80s and 90s when half the kids I knew came from divorced parents.  Mostly they turn out as well as non-divorced parents. Moreover, when forced to live with people who don’t like being around each other, that’s also hell on the kids, sometimes more so and certainly as bad as a divorce can be.

Like I said the other night.  It seems that you’re both probably tired of living like this.  I think one or the other of you is going to have to drop all the anger and hurt and attachment to the past.  Either the other will join in on the action and you’ll find something new together, or the relationship will end.  The other option is of course to just keep doing like you’ve been doing them, but is that good for ANYBODY involved?

I’ve been over this myself a lot. I wondered if I stayed with my husband out of fear or guilt or obligation. I have seen that I can welcome love into my life with relative ease and I am confident that if I left him that I wouldn’t be lonely or alone. I know that any settlement would leave me able to look after the boys and myself and I am able to earn an income one way or another. There is a sense of obligation to try my utmost to create stability for the boys and I sincerely believe that having Daddy and Mummy at home is the best option where possible. But there is more to this than that.

I put myself through a little fantasy experiment a few days ago. I imagined winning a stupid amount of money in the lotto and there being a really open discussion about how I would like to spend the rest of my life . I imagined that both a wonderful soulful friend and my husband had an understanding with me that they would allow me to choose and that it was totally up to me. They were both in an energy of support whether I lived by myself stayed with him or moved to be in this new fantasy life.

Stupid and arrogant I know, I knew it at that time too but I wanted to feel which way I truly wanted to go, when money and security was not an issue and where He was prepared to let go of me without the usual hatred and anger and where there was instantly a loving pair of arms to fall into.

I still wanted to be with my husband. I feel really deep within myself that my journey is one of self-love. That despite his anger and rejection I am to learn to hold myself. Feeling joyous love with no attachment to anyone and independent of a mans approval is my journey.

As a side effect I think that he may drop his anger as this strength develops. At least I am learning to let go my feeling responsible for and guilt ridden by it. I have seen reflected in my communications with other people how I would eventually recreate the same dynamic of frustration and tension with any man I became deeply involved with.

What I have seen  recently is that my guilt feeds his anger so much. My guilt opens me to being raped energetically by his anger. That letting go of guilt and developing a trust in my own integrity is healing. It works almost instantly. I have been able to sit in the evenings with him for the last few nights and my hands switch on and radiate instantly my heart opens and I just bliss out and soak him in it. Nothing else is happening but this is different. I am curious and hopeful where this goes.

I still feel jumpy when I am on-line with you guys but I am just trying to let go of that feeling and not feel so much like this HAS to be kept secret. It is of such value to me that I am frightened to make it an issue with him. Because I am still unsure of my own integrity with this in both the nature and depth of the intimacy I share and because my feelings  have been…. shall we say volatile!?  I continue to hide the frequency and depth of these on-line chats. I am pretty sure that in time this will no longer be an issue. I think eventually a middle ground will be found.

Also for whatever it is worth when I kiss him it turns me on! When he does look at me gently I melt.

Even when he is busy and irritated if I take a few minutes and breathe I can find my own center and love and it is not hard for me to find compassion and kindness for him if not love in that moment.

I am NOT being damaged in this relationship, hurt yes, but my fundamental core is loving and open. There is hope my dear friend. Thankyou for being part of this journey. much love always.

Seeing the void.

Twenty years ago I was sat curled up on a pile of cushions in the corner of the therapists office. A rough, red tapestry cushion pulled against my chest, my knees pulled up and my arms wrapped around it as I faced and described for the first time the source of my fear. When I looked within, when I just sat in stillness and looked inside myself asking; Who am I? What makes me do this? What is beneath these compulsive destructive feelings?

I saw the truth, I saw a beautiful and frightening truth but had never been given a framework or understanding for what I felt and saw. I remember the devastating hurt and fear as I described the inside of an infinite, black coal bucket which sat at the core of who I was. It could never be filled, no matter how many men wanted me, no matter how successful my career became, no matter how much stuff I bought, this was an infinite, dark void. The compulsions to gain sexual attention, to be admired by my patients to collect beautiful things and to travel to exciting places were distractions which for a while allowed me to avoid acknowledging the darkness within. I wish that somehow I could reach back in time and tell her the significance and beauty behind the truth of the void.

I struggled for years with this knowledge with the attempts to fill the emptiness. Disguise it, hide from it, deny it. I received energetic healing, Reiki, spiritual counselling, safe wonderful massage.( To allow myself to be touched and yet to feel safe aaahh! so healing) but to some extent these also became a distraction. Learning about the chakras, auras and spirit world became just somewhere else to channel my energy and focus, some way of feeling busy and proactive in my spiritual journey yet maintaining a ‘safe’ distance from the inner void.

Eventually I became pregnant and was given a respite. In pregnancy I felt fulfilled. When I looked within I had life! Perhaps this was after all what I had been longing for. Perhaps this would fill that aching need for the deeper connection and meaning I had chased in all those superficial ways. The euphoric birth of Jay, his perfect pink roundness, the texture of his skin, he needed me absolutely, breast feeding delighted me, for two years I slumbered.

One day I awoke, my sexual desires, my desire to expand, explore, discover, rebel. My ability to think clearly, my curiosity and the perception of life as a journey of the soul all awoke together. It just hadn’t felt important while Jay was really little, yet with each passing month the void inside became more apparent. I fell pregnant with Rik and returned to the slumber of motherhood. Twelve years passed and the cycle repeated itself again for E and then for Hugh. My youngest is now three and I am awakened and confronted again with the pull of the void.

I felt just a few months ago a need, that profound longing and again part of me was scared. I was awakening and this time I knew that I did not want another pregnancy. I felt the ache, the frustration, the aloneness which nothing could fill and I sat with it.

I reached out to my mentor and teacher and through talking to him discovered that I didn’t want a Guru, someone who I could give over my power to and would have all the answers for me. I didn’t need a healer to fix this. I wanted ’ journeymen’ it was as close a word as I could find. I wanted to find just a few friends who knew that they were on a journey of the soul, were courageously following their path and would honestly and openly share there experiences with me and allow me a space to share mine.

The universe conspired to immediately put in motion the events which led to me meeting three such wonderful journeymen. (It is now time that I ask the universe to strengthen my network of journeywomen! This is happening as I type this I can feel it!)

‘Honesty is the cure for loneliness.’ This simple little truth came to me and created such momentum in my growth. It is absolutely true the more profoundly and intimately honest you are, the more you will find in common with every other soul on this planet. I opened up to my greatest wound, the flaw at the heart and guts of my being and revealed that which I had lived in fear of confronting or even acknowledging.

He invited me to read his journal, his description of the dark night of the soul. We discussed it, the purpose of such a dark night, the depth revealed by it, how universal this crisis of faith is. The pain that arises in fear of surrender to it. The confrontation with the inner void. How those who had not only faced it but allowed themselves to fall into it, who had practiced looking within and had let go the struggle of control were ‘deep’, soulful, insightful, calm….

What is it then this empty, infinite, insatiable ‘coal bucket’? What do I call that inner void I have been too scared to face? It is the divine void! It is my sacred potential. It is the source of all that I choose to manifest. It is where I can draw inspiration, love and connection from, it is my connection to the divine. It is the source of creation within me.

Of course it is infinite! Of course it cannot be filled by petty desires and acquisitions! This is perhaps the ultimate heresy and the ultimate truth; The only way to connect with the divine is to look into the void within.

My poor ego still struggles with this. It takes courage, determination and practice I am noticing to continue the discipline, trusting that I can sit with my breath and allow it to take me there. To take me into the Divine Void. These are the first steps in this journey. It is a source of wonder and delight the journey within has begun!