436: Lessons Learned: What Ails Me

pinit super power

I have been depleted for two weeks, utterly exhausted, in pain, and unable to do much of anything, beyond a few simple errands. But that’s okay.

My life is a process. I am a process. And I firmly believe, despite my intense moments of pure panic and doomsday fear of my singular obliteration, that all is unfolding as it is meant to be.

I have had a lot of time to think, and over-think.

The thing is, with so much time to think, my mind tends to go into overdrive. I try to find all types of creative ways to preoccupy my brain, but it does its thing regardless. I sketched, I wrote poetry, I wrote a post or two (I think), I discovered how to make posters with my original photography and quotes, I watched a bunch of movies, or at least the first thirty-minutes of a lot of movies. I had a hard time focusing. My body wanted to move—to walk, to get out, to accomplish something, part of my body at least.

I got rather forlorn and lost in myself. Biologically this is caused, I gather, from the fluctuating hormones from PMDD. Physically, I hurt from what is most likely the result of my childish (as in spanking it) short term memory, in which I forget I have various muscle ‘conditions’ and quite frankly act like a dang super athletic hero, when I ought be seriously sitting on the sidelines.

I tend to forget I have limitations. Seems to be my area of expertise: overlooking limitations.

And… when it comes to my body, it’s not advantageous to overlook feasible limitations.

I have to learn to listen to this part of me, and I am finding I am a wee bit stubborn.

I keep thinking something will change. That if I just look hard enough, try hard enough, and just BE hard enough, (in that place of letting-go-zen-di-ness), that I will transform. That this physical pain will dismiss itself, and I can run and leap and charge forward like a little girl reborn, without repercussions.

The truth is: It’s time to let go of who I want to be and time to embrace who I am.

I am disabled.

I have had free parking (courtesy of the blue handicap plaque) for four years now. I have been unable to work more than part time for 12 years now. I have scoured literature on every disease, affliction, and illness known to man, and though I have developed practical theories on why I am the way I am, in regards to my pain ailments, I have not solved anything. Today, after thousands and thousands of research hours, and attempts at various regiments, restrictions, and so on, I am no closer to discovering an avenue of reprieve, than I was over a decade ago.

Deep breath.

I am coming to grips with this today. I am mourning. I am realizing that it is really time to throw in the towel. I can choose to spend my next decade focusing on a cure and an explanation, or I can choose to focus on the life I do have. I am not giving in. Not in the least. And I can’t promise I am giving the search up, but I do know that I am shedding attachment. And discarding of some lie I have enchanted my spirit with that preaches: I am not enough.

I am enough. I am not my pain. I am not my condition. I am not anything that has a name or label. I can’t be defined. And I am not inadequate, flawed, made wrong, or damaged. I just AM. I want to drill that into me. I want to tell myself again and again I just AM.

I have had enough. Enough tears. Enough struggles. Enough puzzle solving. In all my efforts, that I know aren’t wasted, but definitely over-drawn, I have collected more and more diagnosis, theories, and questions than a singular being ever needs in one life time. And all for what? To find out I am at square one, back on the couch, unable to proceed with a ‘normal’ life.

This is my normal.

I need to digest that like chocolate. I need to let it melt into my mouth—melt into me.

I need to hear it. I need to accept that I am okay with where I am at and to stop fighting. I have fought my entire life over one thing or another, trying to make better, to find the escape, to find the peace, to find the remedy.

My sickness, or ailment, of phantom quest, whatever I choose to call it, is a symbolic representation of my spiritual hunger, that need I have for answers and truth.

I thought I had let go enough to accept the flow of life, to be that stream. I know I have in many areas. But my health seems to have taken over my brain-processing like a singular-minded dictator. Getting better is pretty much all I can think about. It’s all I can do. I am over powered by this innate drive to fix and solve.

And I am rebelling. It is time.

This is as good as it gets. Right now, at this very moment, for you and for me. And if I can’t be happy exactly where I am sitting, whatever my circumstances be, then life will continue to be a rollercoaster.

Oh, how I want to blame the fixers of the world. Try this. Try that. Do this, it helped me. Have you done this?

Oh, how I want to blame the complainers of the world. Always me. Poor me. That’s me, too. It’s so terrible. I wish I was dead.

Oh, how I want to blame the proclaimers of the world. Just change your energetic vibration. Just visualize your reality. Create yourself in wholeness. Illness is illusion.

Oh, how I want to blame the coaches of the world. Just be strong. Life could be so much harder. You have so much to be thankful for. It’s not that bad. Toughen up, girly.

Oh, how I want to blame God. Why did you do this to me, Lord? Why me? Should I be better? Should I try harder? Is this punishment? Is this my fault?

Oh, how I want to blame the past me. Karma. It must be karma. Come to kick me in the butt. I must have done something right. I mean I have had a lot of accomplishments and love in life. But man, I must have really screwed up somewhere.

Oh, how I want to blame the concept of normal. Why can’t I be like her? Does she understand how hard this is? She takes her health for granted? She has no idea what suffering is?

Oh, how I want to blame the invisibility. No one can see this pain. No one can understand. I am so alone and isolated, forlorn, forgotten, un-important and lost.

Oh, how I want to blame everything and everyone, but me.

I have a choice today. I can join anyone I am blaming. I can blame them or become them (minus God) or I can start to be ME.

I can start relishing life for what I can do, and not blaming life for what I cannot do.

I can begin by pointing the finger at self, and then softly point the finger away to a space of emptiness. For no one and nothing is to blame. And just as there is no blame, there is no hidden promise of discovery to what ails me. What ails me cannot be relieved through attachment. Just as in my spiritual quest, I understand what ails me can only be relieved through letting go.

So today, I am letting go.

I am releasing this clinging-need to make myself whole and healed. I am accepting I already am whole and healed. I am accepting that the latest advice, tip, or cure isn’t for me. Nothing is out there. And if it is, this nothing, this something morphed from nothing, will find me when I am ready. I have to trust in the higher plan. In the course. In the miracle. I have to believe that this is as good as it gets, and be happy in this moment. For life is only this moment.

sam's hair

435: My Purpose

sam 2013

Writing gives me my purpose and is my form of service—my way of feeling alive and connected to the love that is YOU.

I give to give. I don’t give for attention, praise, or to receive love. I just give.

I don’t give to persuade, prove a point, or convince. I don’t give to expose, debate, or irritate.
I just give.

It’s a hard concept for some to understand that of giving just to give, a hard concept for some to trust and believe.

I think if more people gave of self, expecting nothing in return, we’d have a lot more space in prisons, hospitals, and psychiatry wards. I think if people just started sharing and serving, not for fame, fortune, esteem, or recognition, (or number of followers), then the world would be a much brighter place.

Too often I see people helping in hopes of payment—spoken or unspoken.

My deal is easy and clear. I love you. Take it or leave it.

I have been paid more than I ever hoped to be paid in a life time, through authentic love-filled giving.

Because of YOU, I smile a lot. And I am taking that smile with me beyond this moment. That’s enough. More than enough.

~Sam (Everyday Aspergers)

pin up ordinary

434: In This Way I Be

sam in glasses

It’s hard to find the center of me. I tend to swing from one extreme to the next. Sometimes becoming my own captain and other times my own martyr. I can be undeniably strong and passionate in one moment, and the next, fallen, some lost child too ashamed to face the world.

I am hard on myself. I push myself. I know no other way of being. On the days I seem to blend in, another ghost in the world, not making my mark, or mistakes, or anything beyond normalcy, are the days I have drawn out of my reserves. I have taken out from somewhere the stockpile of self-esteem, self-worth, and self-love, bottled from the days of reprieve, and, in attempt to function, drenched myself in the overflow of me. I can walk in the world that way: as a form of former self, reclaimed and reopened.

If I do not, if I cannot find the reserves, I simply cannot be, and I must sink away into another world of creation, imagination, and slumber. I can sit aimlessly this way, repeating the same tasks, haunted by the same thoughts, and wondering where I am. In these moments, I am frightened into stillness, because the part of me I thought I was is no longer.

In some ways, every few hours, I seem to awaken to a new self, the other discarded and bottled, filed in the stream of somewhere else. And in many ways, I have to find the pieces I was to make sense of what I have become. I sit as a fisherman, hooked by my own hook, flaying about in search of something gone, something broken. It is me, I find, again and again, but no one I recognize. And I fail myself in this way, turning about trying to bring back myself from where I went and what I’ve done.

There are so many of me at times, it seems the universe is alive within, and I am but the essence of what has already happened. I am my past and barely my present. My future unattainable. I cannot explain the dynamics more than to say I am awake and aware of the process, but rendered entirely helpless. For some reason I have escaped again from something I know not what of, to become someone I do not recognize, and to sit in wonderment of where I am.

To exist in a state outside my own isolation requires the assembly of a massive team of onlookers. Not the people or the public, by the interior eyes on the walls inside of me. There is a team there of limitless resource; each expert a supporter of thought, and each thought an assembly line to the experts. I move and breathe in awareness of the inside of my own self. I question and conquer my surroundings and my very existence.

I am in a heightened state of being and, thusly so, in a physically exhausted state from the bombardment of awareness. I take in everything and everyone, beyond the surface, dividing and multiplying conclusions and theories. I take in even the process of the taking, analyzing the way in which my mind works, as it’s churning. Slipping beyond just being to being within the within.

The energy required to merely exist, outside the elements of rest and retreat, is the same energy required to fuel a giant battleship. I can float well enough, at the mercy of the elements, and definitely sink without assistance, but to move and continue to move, I must tap into the reservoir of self. I must find a section, a team, a group meandering about me, and rein them in, to teach them to teach me the ways. To remind me of how to move and what to contribute. To remind me of what not to say, and how to save myself, when what is spoken has gone too far.

I watch me, and I want to tell the others, outside of me, that this is not me. That on another day I will be entirely different. That each day I live I am renewed and born again. That what is seen is not me and what I see is not them.

Yet, I am made to believe all is real and all is as is, and that what I am, in my limited projection filtered through a limited perception, is me in totality. Nothing is further from the truth. I am not as the world makes me to be. And neither is the stranger before me.

And so I walk awake and exhausted, pretending to move through a game in which there is no end, with a limited fuel burning its way to empty. In this way I am made to bleed. Drip by drip, losing all I have collected in hopes of survival. Until the next day, when I find myself unable to move, unable to begin to navigate the ways, to begin to have the strength to even look for the start. It is then I retreat and fold into myself, wanting to stop all the signs that point in various directions to various phantom truths.

It is then I feel the loneliness, in my awaking, in the knowing of only belonging for a short while, without even being there fully, without even knowing how to be there. It is then I feel the loneliness of knowing the pendulum has moved again. The part of me once filled with eagerness and anticipation, with the desire to try and triumph, left at the sidelines forgotten. I can’t explain where I go or why I go. I only know I go. And in this way I am made. In this way I be.

433: Five Ways

marcelle in lightFive Ways

1. I recognize that I am okay in who I am and where I am. I recognize I am okay in where I am going. That everything is unfolding as it should. There is no rush. There is no destination. Only now. This moment. This breath. I breathe in the essence of the world. Taking in the ingredients of millions of breathers before me. I am one with the universe and the world is safe.

2. I recognize I am changing every moment. Each thought, each stimulation, each person, each encounter, affects me at a molecular and spiritual level. I am no longer who I am within a second that passes. Beyond change, I am nothing. I am that which transforms and rejuvenates. The entirety of me working together to live and breathe. I am enough in that I am like the all. Interconnected in my being. I exist. And in my existence, I strive. Not for goal or need; yet simply as an intricate and important part of the whole. I am completely renewed each moment I am.

3. I allow myself to experience emotions. As the observer, I step back and watch. I move in recognition. I speak in recognition. I think in recognition. But I do not attempt to control, counter, or interrupt. I allow myself to be as the river, flowing in a natural state along the stream of consciousness. I remove all judgment and unchain the bondage of should, could, and what if. I release the pain and suffering, and breathe in the constant joy. In my silence, I rejuvenate. In my stillness, I grow. In my grief, I embrace opportunity. No emotion is punished. And likewise, I am not chastised for simply being. I am aware. I am continuing to prosper in awareness and recognition. The rest is unnecessary. In awareness all avenues are opened, all veins of love moving at full capacity. I am all that I am and nothing less or more. Nothing is in need of repair or evaluation. All that I am is already enough.

4. I allow myself to feel attached. I am attached to substances, to dreams, to places, to goals. I am attached to others’ evaluations, opinions, emotions, and energy. I am attached to beliefs and perceptions. I am part of the whole, and in being so, I am part of everything. I am attached, yet I do not need to cling to the attachment. In recognizing the attachment, I can watch, as I move in the motion of need and want. I can watch as I cling, and watch as I attempt to let go. I can see myself in tears, in struggle, and in the illusion of triumph. I can glimpse the happiness attached to substance and the sorrow attached to absence. I let the joy move past the now and into eternity. I am neither an empty vessel nor a net that traps. I can hold nothing, as I am already over-filled with love. Everything I am is plenitude and freedom. There is nothing outside of my own understanding of self that can satisfy me. Everything and everyone is fleeting. All that I need is already within. The light of me is serenity, peace, and gratitude. The light of me is complete love.

5. I release fear. Emotions are a part of my being. All emotions are okay. Fear is okay. Fear is my teacher and at times a protector. Fear reminds me of who I am and where I have been. Fear instructs me of the inner workings of my mind. There is a mutual relationship between what I feel as fear and what my body communicates to the whole. Each part of me responds to anxiety and discomfort. Sometimes I sit in pain. Sometimes I rise out of pain. In everything there is release. I am like the seasons, the tides, and the nature of the living world. I bloom and I wither. It is natural and expected. When fear comes I approach him without caution or dread. When fear comes I answer his calling. I welcome his company. I let him move through me, to penetrate my being, to whisper to the rest of what he seeks. And then, in union we release. Together, hand-in-hand, we walk out of the shadow. In the darkness I have learned, and in the light we are formed as one. My friend. My darling companion. In loving him. In loving all in completion, all turns to light.

432: The Unwanted

sam in sun

Hairline tainted with curly white-grey wires
Seagull poop unleashed

This isn’t anything beautiful or fantastic
Or so it’s told
A babe to some
An old hen to the lot
Perception
Substantiated indoctrination

Shifting form
Impossible to sort
Sagginess found amongst the previous un-saggable 
Swallowed in marshmallow
Excavated
Sunken
Zig-zagging sinkholes

Face etched
As dune-buggy trails
Stamped in mosaic sponge-prints
Tinged in weathered-tan
Eyes, expressive sorrow
Subdued and wiped out

Strung up in unfamiliarity
An accordion without the potentiality for tune
Ears of gorging fleshiness 
Uninvited mole sprouts
Mouth, pursed in cavernous echoes
Semi-circles of broken radio waves

Ancient stained gloves
Bulging rivers
Rough, un-smoothable, un-delightful
Burden
The body twisted in remarkable: Ouch!
The legs—something in between marked and disrupted
Unloved art
Blue prints dipped in unadorned mayhem

The toes, a sideways march
Trapped in gravity’s game
Crooked plump hooks of uncertainty
The sum of parts
Equally fallen

Expiration date pounding
The youth in denial, gained
Burdened by way of birth
Preached the inevitable
Bathed
In deterioration

In awe
Touched by the ways of preachers
Blinded to thy own spectacular glow
Inched away from the truth
Set beyond
The endless beauty

Alive
Alive, proclaim
Vanquished from the entrapment of reward
Based love

Away with worldly ways
The wish
Blowing as the dandelion seed
Pierced into the unfounded ground
Of the unwanted

431: Confessions of an Aspie Girl

Confessions of an Aspie Girl

1. I hate getting up in the morning. Why? It’s not that I don’t have the ability to like the day. I just don’t want to have to get up and do it all over again. I mean I just did the exact same thing the day before, e.g, shower, brush teeth, choose clothes, discard clothes, choose different clothes, stress about my food intake, wonder if coffee is good for me, stress over my next step—and man was it fricken exhausting! No one, well most people, has the slightest clue how much energy I exert just to be. I mean when I hear the words “be in the moment” and “stay present,” I am already thinking RUN! For me, being is like running up hill sideways with my eyes crisscrossed and my feet bound in piercing Velcro, while my arms are flapping to the beat of someone else’s heartbeat and I’m trying to recite the alphabet backwards. By the first hour of thinking and mundane activity, I am smashed. Surfer-punched smack off her surfboard and pounded into the rocks. Theme music in the background: WIPED OUT. And then, lucky me, if I conquer the day, at least a portion of the day, say 18.984 percent, then I get to retreat to the couch that has a permanent dent from my lounging hours, where I try to rest but end up, for the trillionth time, in some complex dialogue with a part of myself that really never learned to shut her mouth.

2. I like people but they bug me. Actually, I adore lots and lots of people, but I see way too much. I see past the nuances and suggestions and idioms and babble, and I grow so weary. I am thinking and pondering about approximately one hundred things and tangents compared to each singular concept another brings up in conversation. I am distracted by the webbing-style of my brain that largely resembles a graphic organizer big corporations use to plot out their schematics for the next decade. Trying to listen to a conversation in completion is an impossibility, unless I am in my Zen moment and steadily repeating each word said by my acquaintance back to myself and staring off with a peaceful tranquil demeanor. Even then, I am reviewing the rules of active listening and trying to recall at least a page of my Buddhist teachings. In the silence, I am baffled by all that my senses are taking in. I leap and run all over in my head, dissecting the molecular bits of a person. So much to chew off and digest that I am actually considering the act of investing in a pair of dark glasses—so dark I can’t see—so that at least one sense is blocked. Then I only have to deal with the distraction of the bombardment of various noises, odors, textures, and bodily sensations. At least with glasses I won’t be ice-skating about in thought regarding visual vomit, about to fall on my butt and shatter the ice, whilst distracted by the idiotic protruding mole on someone’s face reaching out and wanting to form a conversation with me. “Hi I am mole. I am big. I used to have a hair in me like a witch, but it was plucked out. Do you wonder why hairs grow faster on moles? Maybe you should Google it? What are the signs of irregular moles again? For a mole, I look healthy. Still ugly, though. I would have removed me. How much does it cost? I wonder if I have a soul, and where I would go if you burn me off. Hey, maybe you should listen to what the person who owns my face is saying.”

3. Forming thoughts hurts, but forming sentences is far worse. I connect rules to words. Yes, each word is alive and a willing or non-willing participant. Some words deserve center stage, depending on my mood, and some words…well they deserve the dank of a dark dungeon. I couldn’t say the word ‘vagina,’ until I was in my early-forties—which was another life time ago, because as you know I am effectually 39 forever. And words like fu** and other connotations that suggest what my boys were watching two spiders (likely) do on our window last night (interesting..couldn’t tell if they were eating each other or enjoying themselves) still makes me feel like I am in a library with my hair in a bun wearing a prudish ruffled blouse. Think Mary in the altered life of George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life. If you haven’t seen the movie, that really is the hugest mistake in your life. In constructing thoughts I run into constant roadblocks and detours. Case in point, my steering off the road to discuss a movie you should have watched twenty times by now, if you have an ounce of good taste in your bones. See how I judged you? That’s what I do with words. Is this one too provocative? Is this the best word choice? How does that word feel? He feels too fat, too heavy, too mundane, too cliché-like, too over-used, and so on. It’s not about perfection. The process is more akin to picking out the ground I want to walk on. The soles of my feet know that some foundations feel better than others. I mean I’d take clean laminate flooring over ten-year old carpet any day, and I’d much rather risk the residue on green grass then the debris on concrete, while shoeless. And I’ve gone off on tangent again, visualizing all the ways in which my feet can travel, and all the dangers flesh faces.

4. Life is fricken scary! Life doesn’t come with a guidebook or rulebook or anything, and all these grownups are trying to figure out what direction to go, what to say, how to be, what to do, and are pointing fingers this way and that, and sporadically jumping from one idea to the next, clinging to this hope, and then moments or decades later, another hope. And it confuses the heck out of me. Tears me open like an over-exposed vulnerable fish with her guts hanging out and seagulls hankering about for a ripe piece. I know enough to know I know nothing, and to watch all this chaos wobbling about like those weeble-wobble toys that don’t fall down, but get overwhelming annoying in their inability to go anywhere and do anything but remain stagnant, gets to the very bone of me. I feel nibbled upon and broken. I don’t want to be told what to do or how to be, but at the same time I want some almighty guru, higher-power, or at least Mother Nature’s henchman, to come down and point the real way. I am tired of people reinventing the right way and the wrong way, and proclaiming who is good and who is bad, and telling me what I can and cannot do, down to how I parent, who I spend time with, what I spend time doing, and worse what I spend time ingesting spiritually and mentally and physically. In truth, at times, I think humanity has reached an all-time low! I mean people have left the concrete physical examples of how to act and now are needling past the skin of others and dictating, preaching, and insinuating with sour-coated good intentions how people should form thoughts! I mean talk about instilling further fear. Seems like a diabolical plan to me: I know how to really inject terror. Teach people how their thoughts are bad. I mean, it’s not enough to teach them that they are bad, wrong, flawed, broken and in need of repair. Let’s indoctrinate them with how they are innately wired wrong in that their actual thoughts are imperfect! What a grand plan!”

5. I don’t know what I believe in. I just don’t anymore. I have read and processed way too much. As a child I used to pray every-night in an OCD manner: “Dear God, God bless my mom and dad, my cousins and aunts and uncles, my friends, and my enemies, and everyone I can think of. And please include everyone I can’t think of or am not remembering. I love them too, but I can’t remember them, but they are still important. Please include them. And if I am forgetting anyone else, please watch over them. And bless me too, and my animals and all the people I love and know and who love me and who don’t love me and who don’t know me…..” To cover all my bases, I asked Jesus into my heart when I was a young teenager, primarily because I was sleeping with a rosary around my neck with the lights on every night and warding of demons that were haunting me in my sleep. And primarily because life sucked so much in its confusion, unpredictability, and lack of security that I needed the Big Guy to come in and stand at the door to my heart. At least that way, when the aches of the world pounded on me, I had something/someone, imagined or not, to push back. Now, I have taken in so much clutter from the world that I am left confused and spinning. I have a natural instinctual desire to accept everyone and everything, to be open to forgiveness, to believe in others, and to love. So many religions don’t fit me; that is to say, if the religion was a substance it would feel, if ingested, as shards of glass, and, if worn, like an over-sized sixty-pound cloak of fur of which the shepherd of my flock had forgotten to shave. I just don’t know anymore, and strongly think we need an Aspie prophet to develop a new religion, that’s not called a religion, of course. Because religion is one of those words that munches at my eardrums.

6. Everything is alive. Geeze, I am so tired of caring about things. I mean things, literal things. Like when I go to discard of the peel of the potato. Crap, I am thinking, if I put this in the garbage he will likely end up in the landfill. He would much prefer to be in the compost pile where he is then able to turn into something else and nurture my future garden. I wouldn’t want to be in a landfill. You see, I have this natural tendency to apply my own emotions and experience to inanimate objects. And if you think that is bad, I also do this to most people and animals. I assume, from some part of my being (if I be) that others see and experience the world as me, even though I logically know they don’t. I still get caught up in the thoughts that my pain is another’s pain and that my agony is another’s. This adds some huge chains of ultra-super-charged responsibility onto moi! I mean, I hold the responsibility of the world. I am King Kong demolishing cities of insects, grass blades and potential habitats of living creatures when I partake on a stroll. I am a cruel demi-god slicing and dicing vegetables that I now know might have their own semblance of consciousness in the way they move and retreat from danger. I am this judge and controller of destiny: Off to the landfill for you onion skin! The truth is I know this is all nonsense. Until I read spiritual practices or ‘hippy’ life rules that actually reinforce my way of thinking, albeit at a much less complex and less mortifying degree. I know, I need a pill or a stiff drink, or something stiff, (yes, that’s sexual humor that makes me blush, but nonetheless a truism), to distract me from the cavernous rivers forging through my brain. I can see all the NTs out there (Neuro-typicals) shaking their heads and thinking, “Man, she thinks way too much. Just relax and chill.” If only! Like I choose to be this way. Like with my high intelligence I haven’t researched and entertained a thousand-plus techniques and manners in which to stop myself. I can’t help it. There is this black-and-white movie actor in my mind, with a hunchback and greasy black hair and spikey crooked teeth and pale, unattractive skin, (with a large distracting mole), screeching: It’s Alive!

7. I don’t like me, but I love me. Yes, this is a concept similar to when you have a relative you can’t stand to be around, and would never choose as a friend, and wish wasn’t born into your clan, or at the least you weren’t born into the clan, but you have this unfounded instinctual love that keeps pulling you in because she or he (why don’t we have a non-gender word yet?) is your blood. But it’s different, because I would choose me as a friend, and I do like to be around me, and I kind of think I am super cool at times. So that’s not a super good example. But I like it anyhow. A better example might be when you love your dog, but she does stuff that really messes up your sense of serenity; I don’t know, no names given; but let’s say she piddles when she is anxious, or brings in dead surprises through the doggy door, or digs up to find moles and comes in all muddy and tracks footprints through the house, or smells like last-week’s garbage left out in one-hundred degree weather, and you are way too tired and/or preoccupied to want to, yet, again, deal with the fluffy ball of love’s annoyances. That’s more like it—how it feels to live with me—like I am my own best friend who annoys me too no end at times, but at the end of the day is so warm and cuddly and loyal that I can’t help but overlook all the perceived failings and flaws and pain-in-the-butt doings. So really, let’s erase the first sentence of this paragraph, at least from our memories, kind of like our self-worth has been erased from our memories by big-business, and let’s pretend the first sentence reads: I love myself like I love my dog. I like to pretend.

8. I like my inner world more than my outer world. It’s safe in my head, for the most part. Well, not really, especially when I am looping, spinning, panicking, or feel like this time I am REALLY dying. Feel my heartbeat! But still, with all the slippery slopes, it still feels better than what’s outside of me. I don’t like all the judgment out in the world. I don’t like second-guessing; I don’t like first-guessing; or tenth-guessing. I just wish we all wore our hearts, integrity, and love on our sleeves. I wish that our individual attributes and way of being were accepted and that people were loved just for being. I wish that I lived in a forest with elves (nice ones) and fairies (nice ones) and that the whole world was peaceful. But at the same time, I understand the inner-workings of yin and yang and how opposites serve to accentuate the other, so that pleasure is pleasure, and happiness is happiness. I understand that in order to appreciate more of me and more of another, I am molded and chiseled. I understand to walk in this world in gratitude that I had to experience having less. I know these as truisms, at least truisms of this age. And I too know the concept of balance, acceptance, serenity, surrender, faith and trust. It’s just hard. Because so much of what I see is in contradiction to what is spoken and demonstrated in the world. At least in my mind I know what to expect, even if it’s chaos, even if it’s torture, it is predictable pain: not unexpected hurts inflicted on me by a society I have yet to understand. At least in my mind there are moments of intense fantasy that take me to another place, less filled with misfortune and misgivings. At least, inside of me, I can find the perfection, the love, the guidance, and the hope that the world keeps trying to dismiss and/or take away. I like it inside of me, curled up with the warm puppy, despite the smell, the responsibility, the duty. At least inside, the burden of the world isn’t leaning up against me, and I can hear the tender reassurance of a loving heart.

430: I am Here

After more than two months, I finally feel the artistic part of me returning. It was a long, dry summer, even in the humid damp northwest, without my creative peace.

Today I woke up motivated to figure out how to record my voice. I haven’t perfected the process yet; it seems in life I always come super close to accomplishing something but that there is always a sliver of ‘flaw.’

I’ve noticed these flaws in my paintings, my writing, my poetry. I’ve noticed these flaws in the way I see myself and in the way I see the world. It seems I move through the world in thought and action, in voice and speech, in whatever I do, just slightly off, just slightly flawed. But I have come to a comfortable place through my flaw-like ways.

I have redressed and renamed this word and concept called flaw. I have built him into something desirable, worthy, and lovable.

He is me. And I am him.

I am flawed and I am brilliant because of my flaw-worthiness.
I am fantastic in all the ways I am not exact.
I create in an unusual manner with odd utensils and peculiar techniques, the features super big and the images somewhat askew.
But I create, and I create from the heart—a heart I recognize as pure, untouched and still whole.
I am me in all I do.
I am honest and rich with imagination.
I am spectacular in my unlimited ability to share and over-share, again and again.
I am magnificent in the way I can untangle the images in my mind and bleed them out into a formidable string of comprehensible parts.
I like how my mind is despite the lingering doubts, the trials and the tribulations.
I like that I am authentic—authentically silly, authentically child-like, authentically caring.
I like that I understand the depths of myself.
Even though I remain a mystery, I can still feel the endlessness and eternity that is me.
I can still feel.
And that is a gift.
To feel in this intensity and not walk blinded and lost.
Yes, I am a befuddled mess at times.
Often I am slipping into some stream of goopy mind-trap.
But I am a glorious befuddled mess.
I am interesting.
I am profoundly wise.
I am beautiful in the way I chisel away at myself wanting and longing to find the pieces beneath and wishing to do away with the unneeded weight and debris.
I am rude. I am mean. I am a poophead at times.
And that’s me, too.
This embraceable mess of me.
I hug myself.
I hug the supercilious parts, the extreme parts, the worrying parts, the merrymaking parts, even the parts that sit and panic about the time, about the wasting of the day, about the rules that I am forgetting, misplacing, or seemingly never learned.
I squeeze me into the goodness I am.
Holding me in the light of love.
Yes, I am a failure.
Yes, I am success.
I redress these words, too.
Yes, I am everything at once and nothing combined.
I am infinitely shifting and changing and transforming.
Reborn again and again into myself, and still so very much the same as I was decades before.
I can still see me there.
Still see me here.
This little girl with her heart of gold.
I see her hopes and dreams.
I see her innocence.
There is nothing wrong with me.
Absolutely nothing.
I just refused to grow up to the ways of the world.
I refused to lose a part of myself that is truth.
I refused to let go of me.
I am still me.
And I am glad.

Voice Recording
Poem at Belly of a Star blog

429: The Pool of Oughts

I have been living through a familiar dread—one that I have carried with me my entire life.

A major part of my predicament is in the stringing of my thoughts—in the way my mind instinctually expands off one concept onto another. At times I seem to be thinking, or at minimum existing, at multiple levels. Not in a psychedelic way; yet, in a very definite effectual state in which I am neither here nor there, but everywhere. There aren’t any lights or awakenings, but there exists this extremeness of a structure or building, as if I were a skyscraper itself expanding out in exponential infeasible directions beyond the view of the naked eye. And here, I slip simultaneously beyond what I am able to see and into the place of invisibility.

I recognize I am absent, with my faraway stare. I recognize I have lost my leash to the rest of self. I see from beyond that I am standing outside of where I am, holding a string to the other place of where the rest of me exists; my body in most ways remaining a shell.

In life as in fiction, I can be watching a scene play out, and at the same instant be analyzing the characters’ personalities, the actors’ personalities, the screen writer’s purpose, the landscape, the environment and feasible psychological ramifications of the spoken words and actions of the people. My mind seems spider-like in its ways, capable of reaching out in a potentially infinite array of directions, with its spindly legs sprouting and spurning in fanatical rupture. The rhythmic zeal moves from abstract to concrete, and I am swept up in the weaving of a thousand stitching legs—the legs themselves as streams pouring out of a waterfall, each spawning another waterfall. Picture after picture. Image after image dripping down in a thousand ways. All of this birthed into a whirlpool of thought that is neither disorganize or organized, but collected in the same manner in which one would forge food for the winter or build a nest for safety. Here is where everything is.

In sitting to do or think of anything, I am sitting as the aching spider, as the legs, as the fountains, as the streams, as the nest. Some large living machine pulsating with connections. I can sense this happening, as I am thinking about thinking about thinking. I take an elevator in thought or jump through the illusion of self that is in actuality the mirrors set upon mirrors—each image further, smaller, deeper, but just as real and just as exact.

I don’t actually see a spider and legs, and the rest, but I feel this movement as such; where if I had to describe the pulsating chains of me, this is as close as I could come. But in truth there isn’t anything I can follow or find, just this sense of substantial never ending depth akin to the collective pool of unconsciousness or perhaps liken to a life-size mold where self enters to be reinvented again and again.

Here in this space of no space, I meander through the chambers that hold the record of all experience, shifting through the files and bringing up into the light that which has yet to be discovered: a scaffolding mechanism reviewing what has been, what will be, and where I ought be.

The trouble begins, need I say trouble, when I open the files of ‘ought.’ There is where the stinging nettle comes, with the burning so distracting that all else falls down. The ‘ought’ files take over. For some reason or another, my essence absorbs the rules, regulations, how-tos, structure, system of being, and so on. I don’t know why, and it hurts to try to figure out the why of why I need to know the whys. I just do.

And in so being immersed in the ‘ought’ files, I get lost. I become over-expanded, swelled, and pressurized. A sponge in a pool expansive and foreboding, each movement of thought yet another burden onto self. Here in the pool of ‘oughts’ I become confused, primarily because there exists contradiction beyond contradiction. One school of thought against the other. One way of being beyond the other. Each standing in line shouting to be heard. Here is a room that has too many choices and too many directions. Too much depth. For a child as I be, I become mesmerized and trapped in the gooey notions of ‘ought.’ I begin deciphering each segment, each crumb, reaching the same conclusion continually: That all is an illusion and all is not.

I stand there ashamed of my own being for not being who I ‘ought’ to be. As I stand there, too, erect in self proclaiming who I am. I stand there crying in the confusion. And I sink there too, the strokes of my arms useless, as I wade through the muck of nonsense.

I become useless onto myself with so many options that lead to either dead ends or the opposite or the contradictory voice of a mass of many; the ‘oughts’ tie up the whole of the machine into a ball of inability. Motionless enters. I remain trapped, focusing and refocusing on what is evidentially lies or mistruths. I hear the echoes of the all. The ways in which the ‘wrongness’ hurts the masses. The ways in which we are each silently tormented in our minds by the rules established by the ones who are equally predispositioned to torment. It becomes a jumble of confusion and mayhem; something far beyond the enchantment of mystery and far closer to the bowels of a bleak twisted jail yard.

I am myself here, still. Uncorrupted, unmoved, but nonetheless made into something I don’t want to be. I am crying on the inside while strong on the outside. And then I am strong more so in the depths of self and made weak on the outer layers. I am bathed in this place of non-discrepancy, baptized in a sense by the very alive confusion. Drowned too, unable to breathe, and then spat out, left as naked and brought back to this place I am now. Here. Present. Aware. Alive.

I go through this in a way so swift and abstract, yet so expansive in distance and very real, that I cannot help but to be altered, existing as this being reborn and reborn again, through the loud shattering chaos that the world whispers as truth.

428: Impermanence

Impermanence.

I understand the word. I feel the word. I live the word. I am hyper aware of impermanence. It is all around me. The constant changing elements of water, the river that is never the same once visited again. I understand all is in continuum. Nothing ever stops and nothing ever stays. I think I have understood this since I was a small child. I think that understanding such complex concepts at a young age added to my anxiety.

Perhaps this is when I began to cling to my imagination deeper and deeper, and began to learn how to survive. I was a fledgling set out to fly far too early. Someone unadjusted to the world at large made to be a part of something she did not understand and did not want to understand. I hid in my very own nightmares, determined to fight off demons in an arena I created, untouched by the outside.

I jumped fence after fence, leaping from robbers and ‘bad guys.’ I protected my mother from the giant waves coming at us as I clung to the ocean cliffs for life. I ward off monsters pulling me down the bed.

It was impossible to live in the present. Entirely impossible. To feel everything at once would have been liken to an internal combustion. I would have exploded, in one way or another. Instead I locked everything inside and I made promises. I promised to grow up to be a good person, to be a good mommy, and to make a difference in the world. I turned my terrible angst into hope. I set goals. I set conditions. And I made order out of the chaos.

Eventually my goals were reached. I’d done everything I’d ever wanted. My life was set. Every single one. And there I sat, not too long ago, lost. For what was I to do when everything I’d set to do had been reached?

I understood myself and the dynamics of my life. I understood the deepest of religious thoughts and philosophies. I understood my journey and all that had transpired. At least to the greatest degree possible for the person I was.

Had I been a different person years ago…oh so it seemed. Had I been made new week after week, waking up to a person I did not know or recognize? Indeed. I was transformed from the inside out. The dreams, prophetic and enriched with symbolism, came. The painting, the drawing, the poetry, the intense unbearable passion. I was wrapped up in this whirlwind I could not control. I was swept away by the beauty. I was floating. I was where I thought I would remain.

Only I was drowning. I was suffering in a rigidness and extremeness. I was stuck again. I lost myself in a way I didn’t know way possible. I flew up to the ceiling of my own life in a bubble of my own. Everything and everyone seemed a burden but my God. I was able to love, yes, unconditionally, but I wasn’t able to be. I wasn’t there. I was lost in yet another formed self.

I was reformed into something I was not. At least it seems that way through the eyes of retrospection. But what if that was who I am? What if at that moment that was me in completion: this lost heroine found to her own self. I do not know. I only know I was drifting. I was floating. I was no longer grounded. Nothing was that had been before, and all seemed lost and found at once.

It was my new escape. I know this in looking back. But I never would know it then. I’d transported into another place and into another state of being to survive. What was I surviving? This place.

I’d set new rules upon myself: to not fixate, to stay in the present, to be of service, to love unconditionally, to forgive everyone, to release anger. All beneficial rules. All effective measures. Except I wrapped myself in barbwire. I literally took the fencing that had always caged me in—the fence of rules, regulations, and must-do’s—and then made the fencing my very skin. I took my self and made myself the rigidness. I bleed for the world. Or so I thought.

But I was really bleeding for me. I was finally coming to the cuffing of self—to the last prison—the last restrictions of soul. I was making myself believe that through effort, sacrifice, and obeying I would at last be free. That through service, I would at last have found the answer.

I didn’t realize that I no longer need to suffer to be the light.
I didn’t realize that I no longer have to search to find who I already am.
I didn’t realize that the very impermanence that haunted me as a youth, was the same impermanence that would pull me through.

I went on my knees. I curled on the floor and I wept. For through everything, I believed I still hadn’t sacrificed enough. I believed I had to be tortured to heal the world. I believed if I wasn’t bled out I couldn’t survive. I thought, without reason, that to live was to die a thousand deaths.

I begged for reprieve, for change, for retreat. And it came.

The waves of trials. The turmoil of emotions. The constant moving of my foundation. Everything bubbled up and exploded as hot molten. Everything splattered and spilled and spat—hot liquid pain. And the landscape reformed burying me in the process. Momentarily, unable to breathe or float or be, I dug through the debris. I suffered then, but in a different way.

I suffered through finding where I’d last left myself. And I found me. Somewhat buried, too. But not as deep. Just set out as a shell beside the shadows where I moved; hidden beneath the very darkness I carried. An invisibleness that formed into shape with each of my worries and woes. I found me there then, or what remained of me, all withered and severed. And I remembered that I had this funny way of finding places to go while leaving the rest of me behind. I had to have been there, I supposed, in this place of no place, while the other slipped on my suit of being. I had to be there and rest, beyond the structure of the illusion of our world, so I could awaken to me again and behold the lands ruptured and renewed