518: The Barbs

I can sense fear, well enough. It doesn’t come in needle form. It isn’t injected by an outside source. There is no fluid that enters through a prick or an invasive probing. Fear bypasses exterior layers, rooting from within, expanding and growing as seedlings do. And I am but host to the cyclic process.

For most of my days, I wasn’t aware of the fear inside. Even as I was always anxious and scared, I couldn’t readily identify my emotions of fright, basically because I was fright. Even as new fear entered, there was no obvious change inside of me. There was no alarm system in place. Fear was my normal. If there were trespasses against me, there was no way to tell, because I was already overcrowded inside; one more pair of prodding footsteps made no difference to a well-established colony of thousands. Ironically, in a state of fear-equilibrium, I felt perpetually balanced.

In regards to the fear I housed inside, I don’t know when I started to shift. It was sometime between the start of my public writings and the times I had delved deeply into spiritual studies. I’d been searching for answers. And something had clicked. Something inside of me. And in those moments the fear became recognizable. Wherein it had been invisible before, this fear now had a voice and had taken form. It arrived aware of itself, pushing up and growing in a making-room-for-more manner.

The fear was real then. It always had been, but now it was set outside the shadows and staring down at me. I could feel it everywhere, a monstrosity. I knew of it, too, as if an old familiar friend had reappeared for fellowship. Foe, he was, true, but more so a companion, in the way he meandered and made himself at home, opening and closing whatever compartment he fancied.

Seeing him move this way, amongst the others, amongst the piles of pain, in the conglomeration of fear, baffled me. A visibility granted where once there had been utter blindness, seemed miracle. In this way, fear itself, in manifestation, became an element of transformation. In this way, fear was part of my breaking and making.
With my new awareness my body was liken to a musical organ, each key being pounded in by some unknown trigger, and in response piping out this obnoxious vibration, the sounds penetrating my interior and leaching out of the exterior: a lost song let out into the open.

Wherein before I might have survived in a state of saturated fear, my stagnation birthed through a tangible blindness, here, in this new awareness of continual pounding, I could not live. In response to the discomfort my instinctual nature took over. And at a subconscious level I began the process of sorting through and categorizing the discomfort. Later, again, quite instinctually, I established a way to eradicate the unwanted tenants. I’d rely on my own body. Recognizing that I was contaminated by fear, I would remove each and every cause for pain, my body an informant, verbalizing through careful unspoken word.

It whispered its tellings,
listen, stomach would say, I am tight,
listen, heart would say, I am pounding,
listen, hands would say, I am clenched.

And from here, the whys came forth. Stomach was sad from the way the stranger had frowned. Heart was upset in the way the word ‘stupid’ reminded him of the past. Hands were scared by the loud boom of the car. And I listened. Day after day, I listened. Until, with much patience and practice, I began to hear less and less. Now, new spaces opened where none had existed before. Now when a stranger appeared, when he rooted himself in me, the fear was no longer cloaked by the masses. Now when the fear came, it came with a loud blow into an empty room. Now when fear arrived I knew immediately.

The tables had turned. Instead of housing the fears that had used me for room and board for decades, now I removed the newbies, the ones that had hitchhiked in hopes of permanent residency. Now I gathered the barbs and released them—their freedom, my freedom.

490: The Power of One

meeeee

I have undergone tremendous growth. The type of transitions wherein some unknown force pulls the fighting body whilst self is kicking and screaming and begging for retreat. In recent days, I have endured countless bombardments of self-esteem. Acts, which are best described as, infused with angst, confusion, and distaste. Each repeated occurrence brought on by events in which I, as self, directly submitted. As if I was, in a place of some higher part of being, orchestrating the mayhem to illustrate a lesson that a part of me had avoided, but in retrospect surely required.

In the previous days, I have been quite the proverbial doormat, I confess. Vacant, in respect to the manner in which I allowed and, I dare admit, sought out people to be a mirror to my attributes of self-doubt and self-loathing. As it was, I chose to partake in uncomfortable exchanges. I allowed my esteem to be penetrated by forces that weren’t for my benefit; at least, not beneficial in the short-term. (For in the scheme of life I am one who upholds that the self can render all happenings to blossom into some sort of benefit, even if minute in size. Just as the scale of emotional evaluation leans towards the element of intense agony, there on the other side is room for benefit always, or at least the feasible creation of benefit.)

As aforementioned, I was a doormat. I don’t know if I have always been such a symbolic representation of an open invitation to trample all over said self, or if this way of existing is something I adopted based on prior occurrences of heartache. I assume, and could likely prove, I was definitely a doormat of sorts, decades before this moment; yet, I believe, based on a collective history, in the past I had established a set of standards and ideal ways of treating myself beyond that era.

Regardless, in the last days I reverted back to a time that is best described as reclusively in a state of self-admonishment, isolation, degradation, and grasping. Think desperate.

I reminded myself, whilst observing my actions and behaviors during the last month, of the person I was that lived during a time period where I lacked all grains of self-esteem and self-worth. A time when I pleaded for my cause of worthiness, while simultaneously drowning in a self-inflicted pool of disbelief of my delegated case. My self was lost. I was lost. And I forgot who and what I was.

Most recently, I found myself here, in the laps of proving and searching for validation of who I was for weeks, one after the other, fixating on a person to provide a valid representation of my worth. It was ridiculous to view my actions from afar, as observer twice removed with her palm smacking into her forehead. Undoubtedly, through it all, the houndings of surrendered esteem boggled and brazened my mind.

During these ordeals, I kept myself honest, explaining to my significant other what was happening, and exploring the shadow aspects of myself that were surfacing. My journey was a reliving of sorts, the trespassing into that of the last of the baggage of my past. A torrential place where I’d had hovelled up close to anyone for any cause, in order to attempt to feel alive and loved, a time period where if I were to be beast my tail would have been quivering between my legs and my voice quaking for attention. In these days of long ago and now more recent, I sought to be lifted by another person, to be recognized and celebrated, to be adored, and to furthermore be adorned.

The repercussions of my recent travelings cannot be explained in-depth, as the process entailed an exterior and interior part of this self, so greatly complex and unsubstantiated, that any evidence excavated and presented formidably here would fall short. That is to say that in an attempt, even in the greatest attempt, to explain what has transpired, I would be omitting far more than I was telling, not out of purposeful intention, but out of the incapacity to scribe what has no words: an experience beyond me.

I was submitted, by my purposeful actions, though much torture; again, not by any one source, or even by many, but by a collaboration of events transpired as a result of my higher-self renderings and doings.

In the end, if there be end, as I stand here now, I am much shattered and broken out of the shell of the past, reborn anew into a distinct stronger self. I have been granted ample means in which to review my behavior and ample paths in which to take said happenings and graduate myself from a degree of shame and regret to a higher plane of reasoning and vast understanding.

I am donned in gratefulness for the renderings by said higher power. Yet, in all truthfulness, I cannot and will not omit the aspect of feeling tremendous relief over the passings of such days. I am glad to be back home, if home be the word. For though I am much more grounded and made aware of my circumstances and previous choices, the place in which I landed, where I rest in this moment, feels unfamiliar and unexplored. As if I had been transported from a state of much confusion to a state of much clarity, only during the process of the journeying, the earth in which I previously stood had been altered and replanted with indigenous bearings, yet unknown to self.

483: The Void

Somewhere out there you are lonely. I see you. I feel you.
You have this compassionate void within, a great abyss, massive in girth and depth.
There is no end to it: your beacon home.
You grasp at straws, at significant concrete ideas, thoughts, and concepts, even people, in an attempt to understand this absence, this missing, this grand emptiness.
So grand is your space of void that you long to fill it with whatever comes.
Sometimes the comings are tragic, sometimes wild, sometimes fulfilling, sometimes long-lasting, but they always dissipate.
You are left with memories slathered in pain, no matter the causation. You are left abandoned to yourself and your doings, in a state of query and mishap, shaken and made awake. Further awake.
This happens again and again, this searching out with your great capacity, an opening of self to what is there.
You take into you this, this substance, whatever the measure.
And you embrace it there, in your deepest self, twisting and turning the angles, figuring out in your limitation what could be, and forgetting what is.
There is a dichotomy inside of you, in which you love yourself, the innate you, yet also punish yourself for false failings.
You long to be someone else, as you embrace who you are.
Deep within you honor and respect your light, your goodness.
But beyond that you become confused in this world, isolated, alone, burdened.
This is your journey, and my journey, lost in a way, and found just the same.
There exists an ache so substantial that you live to alleviate the agony.
Day in and day out such intense longing.
We mistake this longing for love, for future hope, for him or her, for this or that.
The craving is the loving search for source, for truth, for light.
And in here we bathe.
Reach not for what is there, but for what is within, and your answers remain, as always, readily attainable.
Turn not to another, for the other is not the way.
You are this ‘way’ in your effervescent glow.
I cannot remove such suffering, even as I try ten-fold to release myself.
The suffering stays, and only grows greater.
What I can do is speak my voice, my truth, and seek harbor in the safety of awakened awareness.
I can go to the core of self and bring up what is there beyond the mask.
This is your calling, too. This is the void.
To embrace yourself fully in all your perceived failings. To love yourself in completion, and in turn give to the world what you have found within your being.
Purge, die, renew your essence, and give back your true light.
I wait for you on the other side, my burden heavy, my heart pierced, my enemy awake.
I wait and wait and wait, until a thousand deaths fall upon me.
And then I shall rise, with us in the horizon, with us in the rising sun.
You are my answer and I am yours.
We must awaken to the dream that is us, and begin to live the dream that is now.

468: Extremes lead to Happiness

I center naturally and instinctually by going to extremes. I tend to make huge changes in radical fashion with haste. This is my way.

The change is dynamic, akin to a wildfire brought on by drought—drought of the spirit, the psyche, the body, etc. As humans, we all naturally address and confront the need for change when we feel we can no longer tolerate the state we are experiencing. There gets to be a point where the energy spent to maintain a constant place of discomfort is more exhausting than the energy required to take steps towards change.

I know my mind well enough to recognize that when I instigate change, I become partially blinded to the past. I have the tendency to drop all of what I was a part of in order to move on. Only to return, once recovered in a state of balance, to pick up some of the pieces. There is no doubt that when I am undergoing transition, I become increasingly more stubborn about maintaining any pieces or parts that resemble or bring up what I am, in essence, escaping. I move on, but I don’t move on with casualness or a sense of ease, and I certainly don’t move on without shaking up my world a bit.

When I reach the point of misery about anything, I don’t like to sit in it. I don’t like to take an extended amount of effort and time to weigh all my options either. I don’t take months to make up my mind. And I generally know when it’s time to move on. And I do. This isn’t to say I don’t logically theorize and contemplate my options. I just do things at hyper-speed, partially when I am asleep and partially when I am awake. I am continually processing and digesting ideas. I have some sort of back burner in my brain where I can place unfinished ideas and decisions, and the mental items simmer there until they reach a boil. And then, with a splatter, the conclusions spill over in my mind. And then I know. So perhaps it seems like I am moving quickly or not taking a lot of time to process, but truly I have been contemplating and theorizing beyond the realms of obvious observation.

I reached an extreme point of discomfort about a month ago. I’d gone through a very traumatic, life-changing illness that left me clinging to fear. I jumped full force into some old habits, kind of jumped back a couple of decades into over-obsessive behavior, codependent tendencies, withdrawal from life, and more. Part of this was definitely biological, as my body recovered from lack of nutrients. Part of it was my psyche recovering from the drama that had been my life.

I found myself having magnified obsessive compulsive behaviors. I justified this by claiming I was self-soothing and self-stemming; and most of my brain believed me. I know now that my actions were a necessary part of my healing process. Cognitively and emotionally, and even physically, I didn’t have the strength to be strong. I didn’t have the strength to do much of anything. So I retreated. I retreated into my home, into my self, and into my mind. Until there finally came a day where I’d had enough of me. I started to disgust myself. Not in a low-self-worth-way, but in a what-the-heck-am-I-doing-way? It was time for change.

Within a minute, I’d had enough. And within another minute, I knew what to do to affect change. I knew what action to take, because part of me had already been planning and deciding (on the back burner), without my conscious recognition.

A part of me had already contemplated that with my recent trauma my online interaction had become way out of balance in comparison to the rest of my life. For months I had partaken in obsessive image/quote searching and posting, obsessive researching and searching for songs and song lyrics, obsessive observation of others’ postings on a social network site, obsessive analysis of my own thoughts, obsessive dependency on certain friendships, and the obsessive need to check and recheck patterns, messages, and comments on various venues online. To justify my obsessive behaviors, I had convinced myself I was a hermit afraid to go out of the house and that the only solution was online interaction.

I had swung my pendulum of self-balance to the far right. And I was close to swinging right out of the “sane” arena. I knew by observing my own emotional state, I’d hit a sort of bottom. I knew I needed to clean up my act.

With this realization came some tough decisions. I had to let go of a lot I’d been holding onto. I had to let go of what I thought was keeping me afloat. This action of release required much courage on my part. However, I’d reached that point of personal discomfort where the angst outweighed the fear of change.

My immediate decisions and actions surprised some. I dropped almost everything. I made changes literally overnight. With life changes came various states of emotional pain. I went through a mourning period of missing my ‘old’ ways. I went through a state of not understanding my own identity. I went through self-doubt about my own choices. But the pain quickly passed and the reward was clarity of mind and a renewed sense of energy.

I have been very much content and at peace now. I have adapted ways of being that have proven beneficial to my sense of serenity and wellness. I have made adjustments to my routine and to my thinking-patterns. Mostly, I have decided to be courageous, to stop being a victim to my own self and thought processes, and to take risks daily. I am being all I can be through changes in the way I talk, the way I carry my body, the way I choose to spend my days and nights. I am not doing this with any inkling of self-punishment, self-cohersion or ‘must/should’ voices. I just am.

I reached that life-altering point where enough was enough. I was ready. Ready to take control of my life by releasing all of what was weighing me down and causing affliction to spirit. I embraced physical movement (walking, cleaning, leaving the house), social interactions, and the desire to become free of anxiety. I immersed myself in comedy, live entertainment and the rekindling and building of friendships. I put all the energy I’d been using towards obsessive online behavior into a plan: obsessively escaping obsessiveness.

In essence, along with my ability to obsess, I took all of my character traits, and put them to work for my betterment. I roped in my acute focus and keen intelligence, and used my attributes to produce purposeful and powerful self-metamorphis. In a way, I faked it until I made it. I tricked my own self into being happy, and I didn’t give me a choice. I used the inherent tools that had once imprisoned me to free myself from the constricts of mental-affliction. I decided I was done. And I was.

My whole life I have had the capacity to be the best at whatever I choose to be. So why not be the best at being content?

Present day I have maintained a state of equilibrium. Now I am ready to go back to retrieve parts of what I freely let go of for self-survival. I can dip my foot back into some of my old behaviors without going overboard into self-abuse. I am taking away some of the rigid rules I established of what I could and could not do when I first instigated change.

I don’t think I am a miracle worker; I do know I am a hard worker. I am also optimistic and hopeful. I carry a strong faith in people and in the world. I see the good. I always have and always will. I see the good in me now. I think because I have never given up on myself, through all the trials and tribulations I have encountered, that I shall also never give up on others. I know the capacity we carry for growth.

I forgive myself entirely for trespasses into discomfort. I forgive myself entirely for the lessons I learn and relearn. I am a constant student. I accept where I am. I suspect I will swing on the pendulum again, far to the left or right; and I suspect I will return, right where I am: Happy.

*********
I am the stillness
The gentle breeze asleep
Before the dawn
Beneath the night
Attuned destiny
Unraveled
Ribboned time undone
A cousin to history
The ancient scholar
Atop the mountain high
Who calls out
To awaken the calm
I am
Without choice
Adrift
In the wake of absence
Falling before reaching
Into the whistle of forgotten
A melody harmonized
Within the intricate lining
Of our conjoined souls
~ Sam

467: Enough

A month ago I said the word: Enough.

And that was that.

I was done with living in fear of leaving the house and meeting people. I was done with looping and fixating and anxiety. I was done with not honoring my light and soul. Done with the whispers of still needing improvement or further self-analysis.

I don’t know how it happened, or why it happened, but it did. I kind of just shifted. Bing-Bang-Bam, and with my declaration of ENOUGH, I was reborn.

I know part of the transformation was from the shift of my self-perception. As I have said before, if I were standing in a room full of people who had had contact with me, and I asked each individual to stand on a soapbox and describe who I was, with certainty each and every person would have their own varying opinion of me, viewpoints based on the day he or she met me, the content, my mood, his or her mood, the circumstances, the timing, the longevity of communication, and on and on and on. Each person would not only have a differing opinion of me based on his or her own perception (a perception based on environment, upbringing, attachments, biases, judgements, spiritual belief system, food intake, hormones, etc.) but he or she would no doubt have a different opinion a year or two later, perhaps more complex, modified, or embellished, but nonetheless differing.

Through writing, I learned that praise is just the same as criticism. That each comes from a bias source. That neither is good or bad, right or wrong, true or false. It took others’ constant feedback to get me to this point of self-acceptance. Now, with the new found awareness of others’ perceptions not being the basis of my identity, I am able to continually let go of attachments to others’ opinions in all of my relationships.

I recognize I just am. And in this “AM-ness” I am just fine.

I’ve recently gotten to that deep, deep, penetrating place of fear-relinquish. I don’t regret a thing. Not one moment of this experience, or upcoming experiences, or anything. This is as it is. I love myself and if I need to forgive me, then I forgive myself for being human. It’s simple. I don’t attach to others’ opinions and I don’t attach to my own thoughts of me. And I don’t let anything fester or linger. I just release.

I don’t buy into others’ emotions or perceptions of reality. Their truth is about as real as my truth. And I know what my truth is: constant transformation. In no way am I the same person I was ten years ago. Some of her opinions and judgments would make me blush and giggle now. And in no way will I be the same person I am now ten years from now. With this knowing, I’d rather spare the future me embarrassment by not clinging onto anything significant, whether that be an opinion, conclusion, thought, concept or so-called ‘truth.’ I just would rather be, without the chains of having to act in any way, except in the process of releasing.

It’s a form of Buddhism, I practice. But it’s also a form of Christ-love, of human kindness, of radical self-acceptance that leads to love of others, and much more. I am not naming anything I am experiencing, not placing a label on what is happening. And in attempting to describe where I am at, through the limitation of words, I contradict myself.

Enough said of this or that.

At this moment I am thankful for the gift of the relief of constant self-analysis, self-focus, self-betterment, and self-evaluation. I am thankful for the clarity of mind and joy I feel.

There are a few things I am doing that I believe are contributing to my well-being.

1. I do become what I focus on. I have the ability to ‘perfect’ anything I give my time to. I have succeeded at being a teacher, a nanny, a poet, a writer, and an advocate. When I focus on Aspergers, I become the best “aspergers” possible. With this reckoning, I realize if I have the ability to become what I focus on, then why not focus on being a person who is anxiety-free, joy-filled, and no longer dependent on cyclic-thinking and depressive thoughts? I refocus my attention. I pull my train of thought away from who I was and how to ‘fix’ me, and shift gears. I decide to be free of Aspergers. And somehow, in many ways, I am.

2. I am doing things that scare me. I thought for some time, if I just avoided all that scared me, I would feel safer and better. But that’s not what happened. Instead, I became engrossed in my own time, my own thoughts, and forgot how to get out. Now I go almost every day to someplace that is ‘scary.’ I challenge my own fears. And I relish in the accomplishment of not only surviving but enjoying myself. I refuse to evaluate my social behavior. I refuse to worry about what others think of me. I just embrace who I am and in return love everyone around me. I try not to judge anyone, especially not myself. This is a pleasing place to be. Last night I went to a night club, approached a stranger I’d never met, asked if I could sit with her, and we became instant friends. I embraced her for who she was, and in no time we were up and dancing to the Brazilian music. I hadn’t danced in public in over ten years. And I wasn’t embarrassed (or intoxicated), the noise of the room didn’t bother me, and the strangers all about didn’t cause me to feel uneasy. I just was happy. I just let myself be happy.

3. I decided I wanted to increase my ease of mind naturally. I stopped all forms of gluten. I am walking almost daily. I decreased my sugar intake. I am taking certain supplements, under doctor’s supervision, in high-doses. I am getting plenty of rest. I do walking meditation. I read spiritual texts. I listen to music and sing loudly. I laugh a lot. I am surrounding myself with performing arts venues. I have attended stand-up comedy, live comedy theater productions, live music performances, poetry readings, and other venues. I am also drinking black tea twice a day to keep up my energy and increase my mood. I take no medications, eat healthy, and surround myself with positive people.

4. I am trying many new things and a variety of things. I am not focusing on one area of my life. I am not fixating on one event or one thing. I am exploring multiple avenues. I am going to pubs, to Happy Hours, and to other social gatherings. I am joining things I have thought about joining for years. I am doing things I have wanted to do for years. I am being daring, adventurous, and free. I am allowing myself to be happy over and over.

5. I thought before, if I left my calendar free, I would feel better. But that didn’t happen; it made things worse. I would worry about the one thing I had to do for the week. I would have that dread. But I also would have that extreme isolation of being at home so much. And because I was at home so much, I spent a large amount of time on the computer. I am sensitive to others’ energy. I know this. And because I was spending so much time on the computer, primarily social network sites, I was picking up on others’ emotions. I was lacking social interactions in the flesh, and I was becoming more and more lost in myself. I now believe I need to be out. It it good for me: the fresh air, connecting with other people, laughing with friends, exploring, learning, stimulating my mind, getting out of my own brain. Nothing has been better than jam-packing my calendar. I wake up excited about the days’ events. I have something to look forward to. I have purpose. I have fun. I am like a kid again. And I don’t get tired. Before if I did one thing, I was zapped of energy and tried all day. But now I am recharged, rejuvenated, enlightened, carefree. I am choosing to be this way. I am choosing to focus on the happy adventure and not the exhaustion. If I am tired, I take a little nap, or some more tea, or more supplements, or rebalance my diet, or walk. Basically, I have gotten to the point in my life where I refuse to be a victim anymore. I have a right, just as much as anyone, to be content and full of joy. I have a right to live. I have a right to finally live.