Friday, October 27, 2006

I Kept Thinking...

I kept thinking that this feeling was supposed to point me toward something important about you. Or maybe something important about 'us'. Seems it was actually trying to get me to pay attention to something important about me.

I couldn't see it though. It was a fuzzy place in my vision, clouding things over and I couldn't see through it. I, who am normally so clear-sighted, so far-sighted, so guided by in-sight, couldn't see the obvious thing in front of me. Maybe it was visible to you? Maybe everyone else could see it? But it's been completely invisible to me 'till just now.

So yeah - you were right. This stuff is really all about me. But even knowing that logically, even when it should be completely obvious, I have been unable to see the obvious. The thing that made this visible now - finally - was my own vision of myself changing. So now all sorts of things are coming into focus. All sorts of things are coming into view.
And even so, you continue to be such a powerful mirror....

Godzilla vs. Mothra

The greatest battle between any two monsters is the battle of Godzilla vs. Mothra. If you don't know about this, then rent the DVD. They are fearsome and ridiculous monsters. Their battle is epic, and the story is classic.

The monster in my own life has been so much less obvious - invisible really. The biggest monster has been fear. That fear sits out there all by itself, terrified of being abandoned and left completely alone, holding on by the merest hint of a thread, grasping onto any handle it can find. It has had a life of its own, nourished by reality and fantasy and mistakes and confusion, and it has sucked the life out of so much that it has touched. And like any monster, even though it's invisible, its presence has been essentially destructive.

It has tried to protect me in its own horribly misguided and way too complicated way, getting in the middle of the most precious and intimate experiences and relationships, and pulling me away from my self-respect and natural dignity. I have abandonded good sense and my own values and virtues, twisting myself into knots to accomodate its demands, but I think I know how to work through this.

It isn't the force of beating it to death or denying its existence or even its reason for being. It is in being so fully present in the middle of my own life that I can actually take care of whatever this fear has tried to protect me from. And being honest and authentic, especially insomuch as concerns my heart room to fulfill its natural generous impulses without the artificial barriers this fear has required.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

G*d Would Never Love...

Christ Announces Hiring Of Associate Christ

The Onion

Christ Announces Hiring Of Associate Christ

JERUSALEM-Jesus announced Monday the hiring of Tacoma, WA customer-service supervisor Dean Smoler as Associate Christ.

The Guilt is Killing Me

Monday, October 23, 2006

Great Game

What are the rules? I said & she said, Do exactly what I want whenever I want, make no demands of me whatsoever & love me forever, no questions asked & I said, how do you win? & she said, you don't understand. I'm the only one who wins & then she laughed & clapped her hands. Isn't it a great game? she said.

(Brian Andreas,

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Wondering About Solitude

Is the need for privacy and space just an invention of Western culture and living, or something else? Are we so isolated in our experience that we can't bear others brushing up against us too closely for too long? Is it unfamiliar or truly unwanted? Unpleasant or unnecessary? I don't know that answer, but I know I need solitude in order to be with people. I can't do one easily without the other. But there are cultures and entire worlds where aloneness is unnatural, and billions accept, accomodate and embrace connectedness.

I have been too far on the side of being alone, building a city of fortresses for self preservation. Most of that is just feeling so damaged by the secrets I've been keeping, and the risk of exposure from anyone coming close. It's exhausting, this work of protecting the self. Now, my effort is to be receptive to healing. It is refreshing to feel the bracing wind of truth, and know that even our worst secrets lose their power in the telling.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Cast Iron Skillet

I awoke this morning with a feeling of great need, and was tempted to do what I always do, which is to pick up the cast iron skillet of my own will power and smack myself square in the head with it until that pesky feeling was knocked back into its usual hiding place.

But for some reason, this morning was different. I felt myself reach for the usual weapon of submission and didn't like its heaviness and the violence it would soon inflict. So I let it be.

And I just stayed curious about what I was feeling and why I had been so quick to reject it again and again and again. And why I was so certain those feelings were of real danger - of real consequence - so much so that they must be obliterated. And I've been watching them all day, finding that I must admit to myself many things I didn't believe or want to be true.

I feel so much better not starting my day doing voilence against myself. I feel so much better giving room to my thoughts and feelings, not trying to edit and censor them efore I even know what they are. I feel so much more human and being human feels so much better when I don't consider it some defective state of being.

I was asked the other day if I was ready to offer forgiveness to someone. My answer, in total and complete honesty, was that I didn't feel like forgiveness was necessary. I just simply understood how people can do the things they do, how mixed up and complicated being human can get, and that I am no different myself. So instead of me needing to forgive, I just simply understood. And there was forgiveness somehow for both of us in that.

Big Secrets, Big Consequences

I understand the recent spate of published memoirs, the human need to express and be acknowledged, even if that means revealing the darker side of the self. I understand the importance of the Catholic tradition of confession, of making secrets known and being told that forgiveness follows atonement. I understand the conversations of complete strangers where the most personal details become ordinary chit chat.

When you finally admit the inadmissible to yourself, it’s just a matter of degrees between that and telling others. And when secrets unleash their hold over you, the exhilaration, the lightness of suddenly being free, makes you want to tell everyone. Maybe we live in such confessional times because we live in such dark times, and the one thing in common is that we are all hiding our shameful secrets. And maybe the most inspirational thing out there is seeing someone else become free of a burden you yourself are shouldering and never thought you could be free of.

It is one thing to confess your sins to G*d, and quite another to admit them to a human being. Lyle Lovett has a great song, which goes like this:

God Will Lyrics

Who keeps on trusting you
When you've been cheating
And spending your nights on the town
And who keeps on saying that he still wants you
When you're through running around
And who keeps on loving you
When you've been lying
Saying things ain't what they seem
God does
But I don't
God will
But I won't
And that's the difference
Between God and me

So who says he'll forgive you
And says that he'll miss you
And dream of your sweet memory
God does
But I don't
God will
But I won't
And that's the difference
Between God and me

So confessions to G*d…that’s the easy stuff. To admit and acknowledge it first to yourself and then to G*d. But to say things out loud, to another human being means to admit them into shared reality, and to open oneself up to judgment, criticism, rejection, pity, scorn…it’s the point where, in acknowledging the self, you realize you might be separating from everyone and everything that has supported you in your secrecy. Big secrets, big consequences, big changes.

But the alternative is a killer. It requires that you reject yourself under the harshest kind of judgment, in favor of the warm embrace, or at least not the outright rejection, of those who mean something to you. And maybe this is why I love so much. It’s a place where people finally say all the things they won’t admit anywhere else. And you can almost hear the sigh of relief as they finally tell their secret, even though it’s anonymously.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


So I went to Border's Books last night after an emotionally exhausting couple of hours wrestling with some ghosts from the past. I was looking for something that wasn't available, so stopped to check out the astrology section. A guy was sitting on the window sill reading through books and started talking to me.

Turns out he knows astrology. And he knows himself amazingly well. And he knows a lot about all kinds of energy. And he did a great job with insight into my chart too. Turns out he was just the exact right person to show up at the exact right time in the most unexpected place. We talked for over an hour, just the most interesting, in-depth and deeply personal kind of stuff I looooooooove!

So - thanks Umar for the great company. I love finding friends in what appear to be complete strangers.

Fractal Magic

I love fractal images. There's an intensity and depth that just fascinates me in a way most other images don't. I can't say I understand the math/science behind them well, but I love what it produces.

Seeking Deeper Connections...

Wow - this one goes without me saying anything....
(click on image to enlarge for better reading)

Monday, October 16, 2006

A Perfect Moment

A moment of charmed happiness at Coolangatta Beach on the Gold Coast of Australia.

Sexual Healing

It is time to reclaim my sexuality. It has been orphaned for far too long, floating around, untethered and unavailable. Such a big chunk of who I am - so much color and light and warmth and creativity - has been circling around me looking for a place to land.

Sexual energy is the creative force - the generative force - behind all things. And whatever possibility lies within has been hidden from me because I have ignored its existence, completely rejecting even the thought of it. Whenever, wherever it has appeared in my life, it has seemed to be a cyclone, immense in proportion, potentially swallowing up everything in some inevitable cataclysmic disaster. Melodramatic perhaps, but truly my sense of it. I have developed amazing finesse at deflecting anything sexual whether in the abstract, the casual or (especially) the deeply personal.

I would like to say that I have spiritualized my own sexuality, but I haven't. I have simply abandoned it, rejecting it and especially rejecting my body in so far as it being a vehicle for sexual attention or expression. And all the stuff that got cut-off, locked-out and ignored in the process has suddenly shown up and is demanding attention.

Very early on I was happy to simply let go of the notion of myself connected with or interested in sex in any way. It wasn't some noble sacrifice - it was just the easier choice. Most folks think of celibacy as a discipline beyond their capacity. For me, it just simplified relationships in the exact way I needed simplicity. And I love that simplicity; I don't know that I'll ever want to abandon its beauty and ease, and all its wonderful gifts. It still offers me a sense of safety and protection that I treasure, and opportunities for meaning in relationship so much richer and deeper than sex can offer.

But I know now that I want all of who I am residing in one place, where I can explore and own every piece of myself. Whatever I do with my sexuality, whatever choices I want to make, cannot be made until I reclaim myself. I can't make choices about what isn't mine. So making choices requires healing, healing requires wholeness, and wholeness requires belonging - of every part of me...what I like and don't, what I admit and won't, what's safe and scary, what I accept and reject. And that seems to be the overriding requirement at the moment...healing.

Sexual healing too, I guess. Ironically. Sexual healing of one who practices celibacy. Now that's some great irony!

Lonely Every Single Day

I love this website. The secrets shared are amazing, powerful, thought-provoking...
This is not a card I sent, but it so makes one stop and think. How many people carry this secret around with them?

Is this you?

Chasing Absolution for Sins Unknown

When I was much younger, I was bulimic. It was an addiction to an idea of who I should be – who I could be, if I was just willing to throw up enough to satisfy my hunger and yet not get fat. But it didn’t ever work. Because the kind of eating you do when you’re bulimic isn’t about filling any kind of normal hunger, and then you just throw it all up, so you’re always hungry anyway.

The hunger that the binging is supposed to fill is the emptiness of feeling…unworthy, ugly, inadequate, disgusting, unattractive…all the tragic things of female adolescence. It’s just the externalization of a whirling pit of endlessly awful feeling. The urgent feeling that you MUST find a place to throw up the donuts before they turn into actual calories…a gas station bathroom, an empty lot, a plastic bag…any place where you can get a second alone to perform this hideous ritual of sticking your finger down your throat, hence negating every bite you’ve just taken.

It’s really a purification ritual – the absolution of eating what is clearly forbidden for girls wanting to be lovely and slender and attractive and desirable and worthy of attention from any boy. It is the duty of every young woman to at least try to be this, and the throwing up is the penance for failing. Maybe you ate the donuts because you wanted them, but it can’t stay that way. They must be banished before your disobedience is known.

And so I continued this way for years, ‘till I went off to college, and decided I didn’t care about the boys anyway. That wasn’t really true, but the price of what I thought was required was too high for me. And I tried to make it so much easier and just care about the girls instead who seemed to care about different stuff, but that didn’t work for me at all…since I didn’t care about the girls that way. And then I ‘found G*d’. It was one of those profound moments of spiritual intoxication – a moment of transformation in a second, where my heart melted and truly I felt something new awaken inside. But it’s not quite that simple.

The thing is, I was still that same person who felt that throwing up was an understandable response to trying to be a perfect girl. And I just transferred my hopes for perfection to my spiritual life. I wasn’t required anymore to have a perfect body – my body didn’t matter suddenly at all. And that was a relief. But now the emphasis was on spiritual perfection…the perfecting of the self, and this was even harder. No shortcuts with this either. Bulimia had never worked to make me the perfect girl – I wasn’t even close to slim or slender all those years when I was throwing up, let alone any other kind of perfect.

You can mostly hide throwing up, but this was even harder to hide – this spiritual imperfection. It was visible to me and everyone else. The scowl of impatience, the laugh too loud and too long, the desires that aren’t supposed to be there… The list of the ways I’m not yet perfect is long and pretty typical of most folks I know, but my diligent effort was to overcome those imperfections.

And as before, I tried to accomplish that transformation with force. I worked so hard to force myself into a mold, making myself fit as best I could, and disowning all the stuff that I couldn’t squeeze into the box. I pretended it wasn’t there, and after a while, I got numb to the pain of this violence I did against myself. I got used to being angry and resentful and awkward and unhappy, thinking this was the price of spiritual effort, spiritual perfection.

I got used to thinking that others knew me better than I knew myself, that G*d had perhaps shown them something about me that I couldn’t yet see. So I trusted everyone else more than I trusted myself, and put myself in situations that weren’t bad, but such an awkward fit. I thought of giving up my sense of fun and freedom as a spiritual sacrifice – some kind of holy surrender. But it wasn’t. It was just another way to try to create a structure that would give me a sense of worth and dignity and value. And from time to time, I’d wake up and realize that the life I’d created didn’t fit, but it seemed still such a good alternative to the mess I made of things on my own that it seemed like the best choice.

My mantra in all this was “I don’t care.” Not about anyone or anything, including much about myself. “I don’t care.” Easy to walk away from everyone and everything when you don’t care. “I don’t care.” And I have walked away. In every way one can walk away, I have. Literally. Just picking up and leaving everyone and everything behind, without a second thought. Proud of myself really for embodying the virtue of detachment. “I don’t care.”

But that’s not true really. I do care. A lot. I care about so many things, and people too, and most of all these days, I care about myself. I care that my heart heals and that I can actually love people without being overwhelmed by the fear that swallowed me up for so long. I care that my life means something. I care that the creative voice inside me finds _expression. I care that I connect with other people and we are both better for it. I care that my kitty is well loved until her last breath. I care that my family and friends know what they mean to me. I care that my relationship with G*d isn’t an idea or a philosophy, but an actual relationship. I care about all sorts of things. And the more I care, the less I can continue forcing myself into a little box that has no room for me.

For a time I needed to walls of that box to protect me and give me structure that I couldn’t build for myself. I needed the vision of others to show me who I was or could be. I needed someone else’s hope because I didn’t have it myself. But I’ve grown out of that space, and instead of comfortable numbness, there’s just pain and discomfort. And now I know that pain and discomfort are not the hallmarks of spiritual perfection, holy sacrifice or divine effort. Pain and discomfort are a good indication that something is wrong.

I don’t have all this worked out yet, but I’ve got a crowbar and at least enough courage to have been extricating myself from this latest box in which I entombed myself.

Why Can't I Be Normal