Monthly Archives: August 2013

ALICE AND LIMBO

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I have been in this space of not knowing for quite some months and have written about it under other titles. But both the figurative and literal aspects of the phenomenon are now really getting to me and I cannot waft lyrical about it anymore.

In short, limbo sucks. It doesn’t matter what form it takes. It is unsettling and exhausting. It can drain the life out of you if you aren’t careful. How I have managed to not run through the house screaming is a puzzle to me. I have felt like it at some point at least once every day – meditations not withstanding. And sometimes the harder I try to deal with it constructively, the wider and deeper the limbo gets. I am at sea in the proverbial boat-with-no-paddle. No flares, no horns, no flags, no radio. I feel like a speck of dust in a gale storm. And I have no voice. Or do I?

The scientific nature of limbo is a mystery. After all, its nature changes from person-to-person. I can’t say what it’s like for anyone else, but for me, limbo is like floating on nothing, in nothing. But knowing that there is someplace I have to go, if not where.  Yes, I know some philosophies would say that it is the journey not the destination that is important. I agree. But that being said, the metaphor of the boat without a paddle is very apt, and in that scenario, the journey isn’t happening. Nothing is happening except that I am getting seasick. And there is no one to hold my head when I start vomiting. Mommy, where are you?

Limbo will capture all of us from time to time between the hours of birth and death. It lasts an indeterminate amount of time each time – minutes, hours, days, months – and lets you go only when it is ready. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what you do while held captive. You can lie there and count the holes in the acoustical tile on the ceiling, or you can try to use your hands as oars to get moving. You can meditate to center yourself, or yell and thrash around, all at high volume. Limbo will hold you until it thinks you are ready to move on and the only comfort you will ever have during your captivity is the knowing that change is forever in motion. Nothing stays the same indefinitely. That has to be enough to keep you going. There is nothing else.

For me, this particular limbo has made me gain weight – I am an emotional eater – and it has caused me to retreat into myself more when I am among others. I have less to offer, or so it seems. Then why, I must ask myself, am I (finally!) sending my poetry to publishing houses now? Why have I (finally!) ordered a massage table to do my energy healing work now? Limbo, there is movement in spite of you. The survival instinct is alive and well and Alice writes to write another day. Amen.

 

ALICE AND BEING IN THE MOMENT

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I have studied different kinds of Buddhism and read many books, listened to lectures – and practiced.  I know that saying “I do not know”, is the doorway to all knowing. I understand that now is all I have and the past and future do not exist. I have felt myself in the flow of the Universe and its intention as well as my own and I have reaped the benefits of meditation. And yet, I find myself at odds with Eastern philosophy right now, struggling to “fix” things, to make goals and plans for tomorrow. The moment is eluding me, even as I rest in it.

The noise in my brain is the main cause. I am a prisoner of my own unending internal chatter – a looping monologue that goes over and over the same crap and will not be stilled. I realize that this is the ego screaming at me, and the harder I work at silencing it, the louder it gets. For the past couple of days my meditations have been full of noisy distractions and I have fought to bring myself back to center. I am not here. I feel myself over there and over there, but not here. And the ego is a petulant child, who demands attention and gets frightened when it does not get it. Ignoring the noise does not seem to be the answer. At least not for me right now.

Yet, I can take a step back from the din and become the observer. I can shape the looping monologue into clouds that drift peacefully across the screen of my mind and pass through me. I can let them go. For in truth, the struggle isn’t with my chatter, it is with my self. It is with the idea that I am separate from the Whole. The struggle is with the petulant child (ego) who is forever needy.  And its genesis was in an abusive childhood, which is now past and must be let go.

If I am to “be” in the moment, I must be vulnerable and naked and unafraid. The moment eludes me because of fear alone. That is the bottom line. The needy child is afraid of disappearing by merging with the idea of limitlessness.  No, with limitlessness itself. Not the idea of it. But as  a soul in a physical body, I am subject to the laws of the physical world (at least to a point) and must abide by them while I am in this body.  But, even in this body, I am also transcendent and can quiet the ego, through observance, and experience now fully.

So the resolution to my dilemma is simple: step back and observe. Stop struggling with the ego and accept it for what it is. Even love it. It is a part of me. It is the part of me that is propelled by fear, and it can be stilled and transcended through the act of extreme loving and acceptance. The moment can only elude me if I walk with eyes closed.

ALICE AND CONFUSION

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I thought I knew. I thought I knew what I wanted and where I was headed. I felt the anxiety of anticipation of big changes very imminent, and was excited and terrified all at once. Now it has all been called into question by a reputable Feng Shui astrologist with whom I had a session yesterday. She said that while she sees me in the city of my choice, now is not the time for movement. It is a time of centering and stability. She sees the move happening next January, with the next several months used for gathering myself and planning. And what I see is what little money I have left for the move being spent here on rent and utilities. I thought I had already gathered myself and planned. Now I am confused and I don’t like it.

No, I have not given my life’s choices over to this woman who, BTW, is very intuitive and super sweet. But as I have been having second and third thoughts about moving at all, she has confirmed for me that “limbo” is where I need to be right now. No movement. Just centering.  And she didn’t really answer my questions. Rather, she gave me parameters with which to frame them. On the up side she sees me meeting someone during November-December. The bottom line though, is that I still have to figure all this out myself and I feel stuck. But she is telling me that “stuck” is where I need to be for the moment. Aaaaaaargh! I hate limbo. I am a decider by nature. Being in this place of not knowing may be very zen but it is not particularly comfy. Fuck zen; my brain is mush.

Meanwhile, life goes on as if nothing has changed and really, so far, nothing has. But all the signs I am getting point to radical change and very soon. Like NOW. So what does it all mean? Am I just looking in the wrong place for the answers – that being outside myself? I meditate on this every day and my meditations are deep and intense. I try to go with the flow and stay placid, but I cannot help feeling that I am avoiding something.  Change is already happening. I am just not in the moment enough to feel it. 

Confusion is confusing, and limbo does not preclude movement of some kind. If stillness is where I need to be, then let it be. Just like John Lennon said. “Let it be.” I can do that, even if a bit unwillingly. Even if I am not controlling things, I still make the choices. And the choices will define me – not my hands on the reins. 

ALICE AND THE ANGELS

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I have been meditating as usual, every day, and asking the Universe for some answers and signs as to what is best for me right now.  My dreams are confusing, so if the answers are coming in symbols I need a symbologist to help me decipher the code. Nothing is making sense. I am at a loss and feeling very stuck.

Three days ago I did a guided meditation about faith – which for me implies surrender – and at least five angels appeared to me during the session. Five angels and two of my dearest friends who are dead. I have never felt as loved as I did during this meditation and wept the entire time. Jesus took my hands in his. Angel wings enfolded me. I felt safe, protected and guided. And so very loved. It was an amazing meditation experience. A real gift.

But I am still not seeing answers anywhere. I feel like I am on high alert for them, but so far…nothing that I can discern. Perhaps what I need to do is to stop looking for them and allow them to manifest. I must trust my intuition now as never before if I am to find answers to lifelong questions. What am I here to do? Where should I be living? If I feel my life’s purpose is to heal others, why am I not doing it? The answers are not hiding under a rock in my backyard. It’s not that simple, nor is it concrete.

Meanwhile, I continue my meditations, longing for that experience of being surrounded by love and protection to happen again. But it has not. Certain people are a constant, and yesterday there was one angel present, but not the same as before. One must allow a meditation to unfold and just be in it – not force it.

Perhaps the intuitive I contacted today, who is going to do a reading with me in a few days, may be able to help me figure things out.  But for now, I think I must bask in the love I felt those few days ago and, let it wash through me over and over again, and remember always that I was touched by the Divine in a very special way.

ALICE, GUILT, AND FORGIVENESS

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I feel guilty about a lot of shit. I feel guilty for not helping my sister more when my father was dying and putting her in the position of calling me on it after I had promised I would be there for her. I feel guilty that I didn’t tell my cousin, who jumped to her death, that I loved her the last time we spoke – something I always did at the end of every phone call.  I feel guilty for not having talked to one of my dearest friends in all the world for at least a month before he died, because it was too difficult to  hear him so out of it.  And I even feel guilty about my mother’s misery and depression.  I was a thorn in her side because I wasn’t “normal”.  I thought her sorrow was my fault.  I feel guilty for feeling jealous of certain people in my life, though I never deliberately harmed anyone. I feel guilty for being angry with some friends and family who I thought had wronged me. I have allowed guilt to eat me alive.

And as for forgiveness, I always believed that it was something I had to do for others.  I believed that feeling guilty was my due punishment and that forgiving others would be my redemption.  I thought if I could bring myself to forgive my parents I would feel lighter somehow, released from a kind of prison. But I was wrong. That was part of the equation but not all of it. I have to forgive myself. It’s not anyone else. It’s me.

It’s so hard – self-forgiveness – and for me it’s almost as if my punishment has become so familiar as to be a comfort. I am more comfortable beating myself up with guilt than loving myself with forgiveness.  I don’t believe I deserve my own compassion.  I am so programmed to think that everything is my fault and I struggle with that programming. Is that just one big ego trip? To think I am responsible for others?

If I am honest with myself, the answer has to be yes. I think I am supposed to be better, less given to human frailties than everyone else.  How supremely arrogant! But how do I stop this guilt that is eroding me and embrace the act of self-forgiveness? Don’t I deserve at least that which I feel I owe others?

Forgiving myself is what will save me – finally. Forgiving myself will be my freedom. Forgiving myself will be my self-acceptance. Forgiving myself will mean I have looked in my own eyes and said “You’re okay.”  Isn’t that the real definition of redemption?