Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Battle Of Wills

“The battle is over and I lost.” All day I’ve been thinking about what I want to write. There are so many things that occurred to me but in the kitchen just now I realized all I can do is be honest. While this blog is all about how I see a new world developing, ultimately it takes the form of sharing my personal journey, my personal transformation, in the hopes it will spark something within someone else.

So the battle is over and I lost. What do I mean by that? I mean since birth I’ve pushed and prodded myself to be a certain way – more patient, more perfect, more brave, more serene – and I really thought I could do that for myself. I really thought I could take charge of my problems and make myself something different. I thought I could make myself less obsessive. That I could take away my character defects.

The form has changed over the years. It started with meditation, thinking I could meditate it away. “If only I meditated more then I would be less crazy.” Well that didn’t work because as soon as I opened my eyes all the crazy came rushing back. Then I thought I could say affirmations and make myself different. And it worked to a degree, albeit slowly. And then I wanted it to go faster so I started EFT and that helped as well. And then I wanted to go even faster and started listening to Abraham Hicks and forcing myself to feel better by imagining what it would be like if I were more serene, if I were to have everything I wanted. I forgot one very important thing: there’s also a power outside of me.

Call it God, call it higher power, call it the Universe, call it whatever. It’s there. I know some people don’t believe in that sort of thing, and that’s cool, but honestly, some things are magical and mysterious and it sure as heck ain’t me.

I’ve made peace with the fact my will will never be done. If I’m lucky it will line up with my higher power’s, but ultimately my higher power gets the last word. I’ve made peace with the fact I can’t think myself out of problems, that I can’t make myself be something that I’m not. That try as hard as I might, I can’t force myself to be less obsessive, or more patient, or less fearful. There has to be something bigger than me to handle all of that. It’s only by the grace of God that I’m able to have a reprieve.

I guess this is me giving everything to my higher power, including my thoughts. Not just my life and how it works out, not just the external things. But all of me, mind, body, and soul. I am turning over all the crazy that is within me, all the obsession, all the compulsion, all the ugly things I’d rather not examine. I’m giving everything I have to my higher power because you know? I will never win. I will never be able to do those things for myself. I will never be able to cure myself of my afflictions without the grace of an eternal, loving presence. I just won’t. The battle is over and I lost.

I dream of a world where we know it’s safe to open ourselves up to a power greater than ourselves. A world where we allow our higher power to come in and relieve us of our afflictions. A world where we recognize we are only able to do what we can do through the grace of God. A world where we surrender ourselves completely to an eternal loving presence in body, mind and soul.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Feel Dem Feelings!

I know this is kind of gross, so don’t say I didn’t warn you, but my body’s response to pretty much everything is to throw up. Too tired? Throw up! Fearful? Throw up! Anxious? Throw up! Overstimulated? Throw up! You get the picture. (Some of you have even been witness to this phenomenon.) Why am I bringing this up? Because normally I try to suppress the nausea. Normally I try to do everything in my power to keep from vomiting – lying down, running my hand under cold water, EFT, affirmations, falun dafa. I try to do everything except let myself express what my body wants to express.

On Sunday I felt the urge to throw up. For the first time ever I said, “Go ahead. If you have to throw up, you have to throw up. It’s not pleasant but you’ve done it before.” That one act changed everything. That one act uncapped a lid I’ve been clamping shut for a really long time.

Since then I’ve been feeling all the emotions I’ve been suppressing. All the anger, all the sadness, all the despair. I’ve been feeling the anxiety, the worry, the everything I wasn’t allowing myself to feel. By giving myself permission to throw up, thereby permission to no longer hold back, I unleashed a flood of emotions. It has been quite a purge. I felt anger, sadness and despair all in the course of a few hours. Then all my anxiety. Then all my guilt for things I perceived I did wrong during the year. Holy guacamole batman, it’s been intense.

Normally I hold back and suppress my emotions. I wait to cry until I’m alone. I hold my anger in until I get to my apartment. I keep it bottled up until I perceive it’s safe to feel. And you know? Sometimes I don’t even allow the full expression of the emotion. Lately I’ve been using new tools so I don’t even have to feel those feelings. “I feel bad! I want to feel better! Time to do some EFT!” or affirmations or listen to Abraham Hicks. Anything but feel dem feelings.

I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, but the other reason I’ve been suppressing anger/sadness/despair, is according to Abraham Hicks, when you feel those things you’re the furthest from getting what you want. When you feel hopeful that’s when you’re really close to getting what you desire. So what have I been doing? I’ve been working myself into a hopeful state! I want what I want immediately so let’s do everything in my power to Make. It. Happen! No really. Even though despair came up I would say to myself, “No, no, no, it’s not true. You’ll get what you want. Focus on how good it will feel when it arrives.” People, the depths of my controlling nature, I tell you. Looking at it in another way, my level of determination is astounding. I mean seriously. I’ll do absolutely anything to get what I want.

Anyway, those feelings were not getting expressed, but they were still there. Emotions are a form of energy and energy wants to move. It’s the nature of energy. By burying them I caused myself to want to throw up because they have to get out somehow.

You might be thinking, “That’s great Rebekah. Thanks for sharing. Why do I care?” Maybe you don’t, or won’t. All I can tell you is I’d much rather feel pissed off in the moment rather than months later when it comes out in a tsunami. Because seriously? The emotional purge I’ve gone through this week? It’s left me feeling strung out like a heroin junkie.

Lastly, even as I felt the lowest, deepest, darkest pits of emotion, I also felt relief. Relief that I could finally let go of everything I’d been holding onto. Relief I no longer had to suppress my feelings for fear of how others would react, or how the Universe would respond. Relief because I felt wiped clean of all the emotional gunk clogging up my system. Relief because I was free.

I dream of a world where we all feel our feelings as they come up, regardless of whether the setting is “appropriate” or not. I dream of world where we know it’s safe to feel the entire spectrum of our emotions. A world where we let the emotional energy move and flow. A world where we allow ourselves to experience the relief that comes from expression.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

It Gets Better

If you don’t know about it, in response to recent suicides by LGBT youth, columnist Dan Savage launched a project called It Gets Better for people to upload videos talking about how life gets better, how life is worth living. That if you’re LGBT, or even just identify as queer, life will not always be hard. That good things are waiting for you and to hang around for them.

Here’s Dan Savage’s video:

Here’s a video from Chaz Bono, Sunny Bono and Cher’s kid:

Can I just say I love this exists? I love the progress we have made in the world that hundreds of people will upload videos onto YouTube talking about how Life Gets Better. How the dark moments don’t last forever. How we all find love and happiness. How no one can keep us down because we are destined to fly.

I love this is playing out on the national stage. That people are less afraid to be true to themselves, to let themselves shine. Is it happening as quickly as I would like? Of course not. (I mean, come on, have you met me?) But the point is it’s happening. It’s happening. All the things we want are taking place. And that is a beautiful thing.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Needs, Wants, Desires

"I need it. I have to have it. I want it, why can’t you give it to me?" That’s how I feel this week. An upwelling urge of “this must be in my life.” I feel like I’m pleading my case to God/the Universe/Brahma trying to make Him understand why it’s important for me to get what I want.

"You see God, it’s not a matter of want, it’s a matter of need and that makes all the difference. Need trumps want, dontcha know?"

Abraham Hicks says, “We found that to be the case with your mother. If you pleaded a really needy case, sometimes she’d give up the goods.” (If you want to hear more of what Abraham has to say on neediness, you can go here.)

Dear Father In The Clouds, isn’t it the same with you? If I tell you what I need and why I need it, will you also give up the goods? Somehow, weirdly, the answer is no. (And doesn’t that just blow?) The only way I can describe why that’s the case is to liken neediness to desperation. I wrote about this before, but as a freshman in college at UNC I was desperate for friends and I had the worst time making any. When people smell the desperation on you they stay far, far away. It’s probably the same with the Universe. When you are desperate and needy the energy just isn’t flowing. I don’t think God says, “Rebekah, you cannot have what you want,” because I don’t think God is Santa Claus, but I will say there is something to the law of attraction and the energy I’m putting out.

If what I want is beautiful and wholesome and flowing how does feeling needy, desperate and clingy make me a match to what I want? It doesn’t. I think for a long time I’ve equated need with want, but in truth they’re not the same. Wants and desires are natural. They are what keep us propelling forward and moving through life. They are what dictate progress and expansion.

Last week a friend of mine said he reached a point where he was without desire and he stood still for an hour because he didn’t know what to do next. He was practically paralyzed because he didn’t have a desire to do anything. I think it’s a poignant example of how desires are a good thing. It’s fine for me to want something, in fact, it’s expected. The need though? The desperate clingy feeling that goes along with it? That’s unnecessary.

In truth, all I need I already have. On a mundane level I have food to eat, a place to sleep, water to drink, and a supportive community. I’m set. On a spiritual level I am already whole and complete and perfect. My needs are taken care of. Wants, well, those are an entirely different beast.

It’s ok to have wants. It’s perfectly natural. But you know? I don’t need my wants to manifest. I don’t have to plead my case to God to grant my wishes. Instead I can say, “It would be nice to have X.” It feels good to fantasize about those things, trusting if they’re meant to be, they’ll happen. To know all that stuff has its own timeline and can’t be rushed. To also acknowledge I am where I am and where I am is alright. To stay in the place of gratitude and appreciation for my life as it is, not as I wish it to be.

I dream of world where we separate needs and wants. Where we acknowledge all we need we already have. That we are fulfilled by all that is already given to us. I dream of a world where we fantasize about our wants, recognizing neediness doesn’t make them come any faster. A world where love where we are and are eager to experience what’s next.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Past Come To Life

Right now my mind is whirling. It's filled with visions of past people and situations. Of old friends, favorite teachers and former crushes. I'm mulling over my past self -- who I was was and what I did. Last night was my eight year high school reunion (yes, eight year. It's a small school and they combined classes from 1997-2002). Talk about a time warp. It's a trip to see yourself in the eyes of another while you try to convince them in the span of five minutes you aren't the same. That you are no longer that girl who lacks perspective, who gets so trapped in the details of life she doesn't see the big picture. But of course to them you'll always be the person who wore a yellow tanktop over a plaid shirt for tacky day.

I remarked to a friend of mine it's weird to go from seeing certain people every day for years to all of a sudden not at all and then suddenly to see them again. I'm still tripping out this morning because my mind likes to reconcile the past with the present. To put together past selves with current realities. It's like a puzzle -- in high school you were this person and today you're this person. Maybe it's the journalist in me but I want to know the story. How did it all happen? How did you end up doing what you're doing? I think I'm also still tripping out about my reunion because I'm not satisfied. I don't know the stories. I don't know the progressions from the past to the present. All I have are past selves and now current selves with no idea what happened in between. Perhaps though it doesn't matter.

As I wrote about last week (and many times before), all there is is now. All there is is here. This moment in time as I sit on my bed typing on a borrowed laptop so old the wireless card is external. My mind likes to latch onto the past and mull it over but really the past matters only so much as I let it. It matters only as much as I allow it to shape the now. Of course there are consequences for every action and those consequences are still playing out, but me? My person? I get to decide moment by moment who I am and how my life will work. As Louise Hay says, "The point of of power is always in the now." It doesn't really matter who I was and what I did because I'm dealing with the now. The person I am today. The person who writes a weekly blog in the hopes her own struggles and insights will help others on their path of self-realization.

I may never know how my peers got to where they are and that's ok. Because they're here now. They're nurses and actors and stay-at-home moms. They're photographers and lawyers and teachers. All the trappings of what they're doing pale in comparison to who they are. To their essence. I already know their essence, just as I know my own essence. We are all love incarnate. Divine beings in human form. Therefore I know them already. Even with eight year gaps and stories in between we still know one another. Because their essence remains unchanged. When I dip into all that is I recognize that. I no longer feel the pain of separation or the rupture of an abrupt goodbye. Because I am you and you are me. When I feel sadness it's because I've forgotten that. Forgotten who I really am and where I come from, and I don't mean Wichita, Kan. There are no goodbyes because how do you say goodbye to yourself? Even when you lose yourself you'll eventually find you again. It's inevitable.

We are always connected to each other and that will not change. No matter what happens in the physical realm, in the spiritual realm we are all one. So the fact I didn't get to say goodbye to some folks, or that others didn't attend the reunion, doesn't ultimately matter. Time goes on and things in the physical world unfold but really we are eternal creatures. Outer appearances change but we remain the same.

I dream of a world where we recognize we are all connected at all times. A world where we understand "goodbye" is just a word because separation is an illusion. A world where we recognize our essence is what matters above all else. Above what we're doing and how we got there. I dream of a world where we see ourselves for who we are really are: spiritual beings having a human experience.

Another world is not only possible, it's probable.