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07 March 2016 @ 05:32 pm
letter to the editor  
the night after the the workshop i took in december, i had a series of disturbing realizations around some of my recent behaviors and what's been motivating them. it was the sort of stuff that can come up when you've spent a few days in intense shared introspection and it was in such a concentrated burst that i wasn't really able to manage it, that night or in the month of december.

at the time, i wrote down everything i could and put it away for a few weeks. so i could sit with these ideas in sacred space, attempt to contextualize them in the larger process of my life: so i wouldn't explode with a bunch of workshop-charged epiphanies all over the important people in my life, forcing them take responsibility for information that i've most certainly been praying for but was not expecting to land with the seal broken on my doorstep in the super sized costco bonus pack at eleven o'clock on a work night.

most of what i got related to the idea of resistance. this week, in a program i'm doing, i'm working with the idea of resistance. specifically, resistance as related to the grunt work of daily spiritual practice. so, yes, here i am, looking at my frantic december sixth scrawl and understanding that a lot of this goes back to the same place.

one of my realizations: when i share an experience with someone that feeds me spiritually, i will, sometimes almost immediately, turn around and punish myself for that. usually with social anxiety. even when i don't actively engage in self-sabotaging behavior (put my foot in my mouth, literally or figuratively, and i think i've gotten a little better about that over the years, or i've at least found more interpersonal connections with people who understand that awkward girl is awkward and prone to blurt out something totally stupid as she overthinks her desperate struggle to avoid blurting out something totally stupid) i will zero in on some interaction i had with this person that might be interpreted in a bad way and decide on no uncertain terms that is how the interaction has been interpreted and this amazing person with whom i shared this beautiful moment in ritual now thinks i am an embarrassment to her tradition if not the entire human race. even once i've managed to deflate the reactive element of that, when i think back over that beautiful moment, the social anxiety is what i remember. the social anxiety derails me from taking what i need from that moment into eternity. i've done this with more than matters of spirit. i've done it for as long as i can remember. i can't remember not doing it.

so! mission accomplished: i have resisted spiritual development with my fear of rejection.

rejection? it is loathsome. it is overwhelming. i hate being in that emotional space, either dealing with actual rejection or fearing the possibility of it. and yet, here i am, engaging in this complex psychological maneuver that allows rejection to overtake every aspect of my life, even when it is not happening, even in relation to experiences that could help me cope with rejection in a healthier way. resistance.

last week i wrote letters to my seeker about desire. this week, i am writing letters to my resistor about resistance. seeker told me, last week, that "resistance blocks out the labyrinth of desire." just as shame can be used as a means of understanding the things in which you take pride, resistance can be a tool used to better discern the shape of desire, and i am all about that.

"Oftentimes we resist that which we most deeply want, or that which will be of the greatest help to our life's intentions." - t. thorn coyle, "crafting a daily practice"

presented for you, then, behind the cut is today's thought experiment: a letter in dialog with my resistor. maybe some of it will sound familiar and maybe that will help you feel less alone. bear in mind that while i have felt all of these things, i am not feeling them all at once right at this moment. in fact, i'm feeling pretty good, right now. a large part of that is respecting my need to start work like this in sacred space, complete work like this in sacred space, and then follow up with a purification and self-care. going down too deep too fast and coming back up without taking appropriate precautions is a sure way to end up with the bends, if not the first time than surely most every time after that.

"i wish to commit to a daily spiritual practice."

but i am too good for that. that's for beginners. but i'm not good enough for that. that's only for people who know what they are doing. that's too much structure, i want my practice to be ecstatic, improvisational, intuitive, free to go wherever it needs to go, not herded into some total stranger's psychic factory farm. also i am thirsty. also i need to eat something. also i am sleepy. also i need to do this other thing i put off doing because a) i am a horrible person and b) i'm so completely paralyzed by the notion of structure. and i need to straighten up. as in straighten up and fly right, but also when was the last time i ran a vacuum through this room? this is outrageous. i need to release those belongings that no longer serve me. i need to get this clutter in order or i am a failure in every sense of the word. how can i ever fly with all this dead weight in my life?

surely i am killing myself slowly. also i need to buy things. i need to buy things that are better than the things i have. did you see how i couldn't write down the word 'buy' correctly just then? that has to mean something. that has to indicate i have some huge tremendous unimaginable problem with materialism that will dramatically impede if not entirely implode my spiritual progress. i mean, that must be it. that’s got to be why i’ve had so many problems. why do i have so many problems? i’ve had so many problems, dealt with so much trauma, had so many people in my life come out of the gate hating me for no apparent reason, unless it is apparent? apparent to everybody but me? what did i do in my last few incarnations? what the hell is wrong with me? unless it just means that i'm demonstrating symptoms of a horrible neurological disorder and that means i shouldn’t worry about structuring my practice because i'll be dead soon, anyway.

and what if i have cancer again? people with cancer can't have a daily spiritual practice. they don't have enough time to start from scratch like that and anyway i let myself get sick, possibly because i didn't have enough discipline before and now it is too late. it is too late. i am too old. i'm too set in my disorganized ways. you can't fundamentally change who you are, you are who you are, that's it, and i am a you who does not do well with structure. anyway god hates me. anyway my soulmate didn't want me, not even as a friend, so why do i think god herself would want anything to do with me? this is silly. this is selfish. this is crazy. this is getting on other people's nerves. what if someone hears me? what if someone figures out what i'm doing? what if i get exposed, flushed into the light, what if people hate me because they think i am evil?

what if i am evil? what if i am too emotionally damaged to have a daily spiritual practice? what if i'm simply spiraling in on myself in a dangerous way, destroying the people i love? what if i am making myself crazy? what if i’m already crazy? i know i’m already crazy, but what if i realize something that i don't want to realize? what if working on my spirituality on a deeper level means ending my relationship with ben? what if it alienates my family? what if i don't realize anything, just sit here chanting at candles and feeling ridiculous, feeling nothing but ridiculous, ridiculous and nothing for the rest of my life and then that is it, i'm dead, it's over, what a waste. i'm not feeling anything. i don't feel anything. i never feel anything but disappointment and anxiety. i hate this. i want this to be over. how much longer do i have to do this for? i'm just going to tolerate this for now, i'm not going to invest myself, i'm just going to get it done, because anything more than that will only serve to disappoint. nothing happens. nothing changes. my magic doesn't work.

i'm lonely and old and sad. i'm lonely. also crazy. i'm not doing this right. i need to reread the instructions. i need to interrupt any faint trickle of flow i might be feeling to make sure i am doing it right. i already did something like this. i don't need to do it again. what could i do to augment this? how can i make it more meaningful? wait until it's a better phase of the moon? buy candles in a different color? wait for the eclipse? wait for the astrology? wait until nightfall?

i'm not a morning person. i am not a morning person.

why does this kind of stuff always need to happen in the morning? shoot, i overslept, i'll do it when i get back. whoops, i forgot, now there's too much else to do. whoops, i overslept again. maybe i should wait and try again next week. yeah, i should do this next week instead. i'll have a fresh start, then. i’ll be less tired, then. i’ll be a better person, then. hey, i want to watch my program. hey, i haven't checked my email for three minutes. hey, let's see what's going on with facebook because apparently i'd rather feel facebook-lonely than spiritual-self-examination-lonely. it’s taking so long to do this. there's so much more to explain. i need to go into more depth. i don't have the time or resources to do this the way i want to do it. i don’t have the language. i can’t spell that word. i’m not sure what the word i’m looking for is and everything i am doing stops cold until i figure out this word that may not actually exist, holy shit, that is what that word actually means? you mean i’ve been using that word wrong as long as i’ve been using it? holy shit, am i stupid or something?

no, because, i need to start, i need to stop, i need to lose weight, i need to pull back my hair, i need to get a haircut, i need to put lotion on my hands, i need to be strong, i need to urinate, i need to refill the oil diffuser, i need to deal with that candle that’s doing something weird, i need to check the mail, i need to take an ibuprofen, i can’t breath out of the right side of my face, when was the last time i took a decongestant, and haven’t i ever noticed how every person who starts out loving me ultimately stops in a way that is angry and bitter and what else can that mean but that i am a selfish narcissistic sociopath who will stop at nothing to get her way? and here i am, at it again. there is something horribly wrong with me. there is something horribly wrong with me and i can’t feel it. i won't feel it. i'm not feeling it today.

god, no, i can't do another self-examination triggered mood spiral right now, i can’t take the crying. hey, what was that noise outside? should i stop everything and research the significance of that? because that felt like a sign, might that have been a sign? a sign telling me i am exempt from having to deal with a fucking daily spiritual practice? perfect, you know, it needs to be perfect, make it perfect, perfect or
mood: hmmmm
music: dark muse - the haunting (extended)
selva oscura: good night feedanonymousblack on March 7th, 2016 11:09 pm (UTC)
and because if you've made it this far, you're going to need it:

light_stringlight_string on March 8th, 2016 12:51 am (UTC)
I'm feeling you. Just wanted to let you know. I'm too exhausted to say much else. But I appreciate and love you and these words, yes even the troubling ones. Love.