I’ve wrapped my head around the idea that I have more work to do on myself as far as releasing the painful past of childhood. What I did not know was that there were layers to freedom. I got this thought from my own spirit as I was in conversation, meditation, or prayer with God (whatever you choose to call it is fine with me). I was venting that I just want to be free to enjoy and live out my full potential from here on out. I vented “I thought I was free! Who knew that there were so many layers to freedom!!!” And it hit me, “layers to freedom.” Like and onion.
Onions are just fine sitting in the produce section piled up on top of each other. But once you get them home and peel back a layer, you open up the strong smell that creates watery eyes without your consent or control. And so it is, with opening up old wounds that have never healed. Layers and layers of years have gone by. Years and years of masking the uncomfortable that manifest in mood swings, meanness, sadness, arrogance, nonchalant-ness and irritability for no apparent reason. Layers of hurt, embarrassment, inadequate feelings, and shame concealed by one thin layer.
When you have experienced some sort of trauma or continued drama, the emancipation of your soul may take a very long time. I don’t know if it can be sped up. I think maybe it can and I am going to find out if that is true. All week long the spiritual things from my daily devotions to meditation and wisdom from spiritual leaders have centered around freedom. Coincidence? No. I am calling this freedom in and that is why it is showing up. Even in numbers.
Sandhguru said, “Freedom requires courage.” I listened to one of his talks this week. It does require courage and I have taken some courageous steps in peeling back the layers. But, this step, requires “a whole heap” (as my Granny would say) of courage. I feel like I have to muster it up. Get up the nerve. Face it. Deal with it. Defeat it. I feel as if this will be the last barrier to my own freedom. I am tired. I am weary. I am ready. So maybe the speeding up the process is to DEAL with it HEAD ON knowing it’s going to get messy, become tiring, and hurt. But…I need my freedom. I need to live my FULL, UNCHAINED LIFE. I am ready to peel back every layer, chop the onions up and use them to flavor my life. God is my help, my strength, my source, and I feel as if I have not only God, but angels, my angel, and my ancestors on my side. I need all the help I can get. I need all the love I can receive. I may need many shoulders to cry on. But victory…victory is mine.
A few weeks ago I posted in a rheumatoid arthritis support group a tip on relaxation. One of the tips involved soaking in a tub to help relieve tension. And that is where the drama from the trauma began.
I define it as trauma because you must be experiencing some type of trauma that pushes you to release drama on unsuspecting strangers. Sadly, people that deal with you on a regular basis know you are about dramatization. They know that when they see you, you bring the drama. You see, in the comment section there were responses to my post like: I CANT SOAK IN THE TUB! HOW IS THAT RELAXING? I CAN GET IN BUT I CAN’T GET OUT. HUMPH, THAT IS SURE TO CREATE TENSION AND NOT RELAXATION. I AM TOO LARGE FOR A TUB. I HAVEN’T SAT IN A TUB FOR YEARS. NO WAY THIS CAN WORK. One lady even said to me I should have modified the post. I wanted to say, “Ma’am, I didn’t write the article. DUH. And you should have modified your thinking.” BUT…I respect my elders most of the time (because I don’t believe it’s okay to be 80 and say whatever you want to people). Also, the Spirit told me to be quiet. She’s traumatized by Rheumatoid and many other issues. This is her sadness, pain, hurt, gushing and lashing out.
Pause. When you see a post of something that you don’t like such as one that reads: “I love strawberries.” Do you hop on and respond: STRAWBERRIES ARE DISGUSTING. I HATE THEM. THEY ARE THE WORST FRUIT ON THE PLANET. CAN’T SEE HOW YOU EAT THOSE. Has it ever occurred to you, that post was not for you? I see people raving about things that are not for me. Unless I see a “what do you think?” I don’t bother UNLESS they are family or close friends. Many times, I don’t bother then. It’s one thing to say you don’t like berries or I am allergic but I wish I could eat them. It’s whole other thing to BASH and INSULT and have a total meltdown over nothing. A simple positive post or someone’s opinion over if they like pumpkin spice lattes (ugh).
Press play. I wonder did those people stop and think, I can do ALL of those other things except soak in the tub. Great article. No. They saw the ONE thing they couldn’t do and “went to town” about it. They didn’t think: “Gosh, I can follow all of these tips in the shower, in my shower chair, or however it is I get clean.” Nope. They honed in on what they could not do. The trauma of what I cannot do. The trauma of WHAT I USE TO be able to do.
This trauma is VERY real. I know about it. I live it and if you keep on living, as the elders say, you will know it, too, in some shape, form, or fashion. Sometimes, I think about my life B.R. (Before Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease) and B.F. (Before Fibromyalgia) and MY GOD! I miss ALL of the things I could do. Even the simplest things. Sometimes I stay in those memories a little too long and I become sadden, blue, depressed, compressed…oppressed. And then I have to free myself from those thoughts with therapy, journaling, talking to a friend, or…THINKING ABOUT ALL OF THE THINGS I CAN STILL DO and even if I have to modify them or have help they still can be done! “Glory to God!” in somebody’s southern church goer voice (:-D). You can heal yourself, or get some help, from the trauma of what has happened to you, whatever it is. The trauma produces the drama and quite frankly, people get tired of it. We know you are hurt but, there is a more EXCELLENT way to deal with it and release it. It’s called prayer, meditation, yoga, sound baths, therapy, Yeshua, Yaweh, spirituality, your choice of religion, forgiveness, etc. It’s called reading a books about it. Going to your temple, church, mosque, and REALLY walking in your religion. Developing a relationship with your Creator. SOMETHING! Something other than bringing the drama, spreading the hate and hurt. Lashing out has cause your relationships to be severed or strained.
What can you do? Huh? THINK ON THOSE THINGS. Think on the things you can do! Those things are TRUE, too. Those things are lovely. Those things “are” admirable. Those things “are” excellent and praiseworthy. Think about such things!
Think about it for a minute. You define yourself as spiritual (insert your faith or belief or non-belief) but, deep down inside, you don’t like (or take issue with) certain groups of people. You don’t really like certain races. You may not HATE them or maybe secretly you do, once you clock out of your role as yogi, preacher, teacher, yoga instructor, therapist, reiki practitioner, massage therapists, etc. you are not doing your work with the right heart or mind. In the religious sector, YOU HAVE AN UNCLEAN HEART, THE WRONG SPIRIT (MIND, INTENTIONS) and the SPIRITUAL REALM, YOUR CHAKRAS ARE OUT OF ALIGNMENT, CLOUDY (HEART AND MIND/CROWN, THIRD EYE). So there is no way you are PRACTICING, SERVING, at your highest, purest, level.
Sit with that. Let that marinate. After you say, no not me. Think about it. Think about how you interact with other people that are different than you. Think about the things you say when a murder flashes across the evening news and it’s a different race than yours. What do you think and say out loud in your home when the people you dispense your gift to are not around. What about the conversations you have with your friends about other races? Even the small dismissive, subservient energy you give to servers at the Chinese restaurant or the Vietnamese workers at the nail shop. What about the eye rolls you give when Mexican children are being children in Target and acting out? What about the when you see a Black mom with 4 children at a store do you automatically assume she is single and the children have different fathers? Does that thought cross your mind ever when it’s a White woman at the grocery store with 4 kids? Surely, she must have a husband with a good job and she’s a stay at home mom. Kudos to her.
Even as a minority that practices some religion or spiritual gift. How do you feel, what do you say, how do you act towards those that white? When a cop takes off his or her uniform off and is ready for deep tissue massage what subtle energy is flowing through you? What run in, mistreatment, discrimination, wrong doing that you see, felt, have experienced first hand, are you projecting onto those standing in Mountain Pose as you look over your class, checking their form? When the white woman tries to interact with you after class, do you smile and give her the script, and say “I’ll let you know when we get together after class again”, but you say to yourself, “Nah. I know how “they” are.” As a minority speaking to a congregation, do impart only negative energy about a group of people? What stereotype do you speak to the people?
In short, we need to deal with these spots, wrinkles, blotches, remnants of dark energies, mountains size ignorance, present in our everyday walks of life and interaction with other people. I mean if you want to get CLEAR in your practice. If you want to reach a higher level of pure love and light. As my community says, “You need to check yourself.” You need to think about what you are thinking about when see or interact with other races. What did your parents, friends tell you that you assume to be true about ALL races? What type of thoughts (energies) rise up in you upon dealing with another race? Is it we know better than them? Poor African American or Asian? Is it automatically, “She is white. She thinks she knows my craft better than I do” when she gives you a tip or correction. These things ARE ENERGY that penetrate or float around your aura or being.
When you think it, ask yourself: WHY DID I THINK THAT? Correct yourself. Forgive yourself. Heal yourself.
When you feel it, ask yourself: WHY DO I FEEL THAT WAY ABOUT THIS PERSON IN FRONT OF ME? What interaction with someone else am I basing this on? Go within. Is it what you see on the news? Is it what you have experienced through out life? Forgive that person or at least recognize you haven’t that interaction with this person in front of you.
When you take an action towards another race based on the fact that they are not your race, ask yourself: Was that right to give them my money as if I didn’t want to touch their skin? Was it right for me to assume the Asian in my class understood better than the Mexican in my class? Why did I ask the White nurse after the Indian nurse told me my results? Why do I think this way? Why did I act this way? Correct your thinking. Correct your behavior. Forgive yourself. Heal Yourself.
Basically, get to the root of what you do, say, and think!
Whew. It’s work. You are spiritual. You are use to it.
“Create in me a clean heart, Oh Creator, and renew in me the right spirit.”-(Psalms 51:10a)
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the river of life” (Proverbs 4:23)
“The heart is the place where we live our passions. It is frail and easily broken, but wonderfully resilient. There is no point in trying to deceive the heart. It depends upon our honesty for its survival.” – Leo Buscaglia
“It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come.” – Dalai Lama
“Culture of the mind must be subservient to the heart.” – Mahatma Gandhi
“In our deepest moments of struggle, frustration, fear, and confusion, we are being called upon to reach in and touch our hearts. Then, we will know what to do, what to say, how to be. What is right is always in our deepest heart of hearts. It is from the deepest part of our hearts that we are capable of reaching out and touching another human being. It is, after all, one heart touching another heart.” – Roberta Sage Hamilton
Before I saw this quote the other day, I received a phone call from someone and they were telling me about something very important they misplaced. This person misplaces numerous things on a regular basis. As I began to try to have a conversation about them needing to slow down, pay attention, which is something even strangers have said to them, they did what they usually do to me and a few others they don’t “seem” to value much, they got offensive.
I continued to make my case in a non-threatening, caring way and I got off the phone. I almost became irritated. I almost took it personal, but I remembered what I have been drilling in my head for the past year, “It’ not me, it’s them.” “They have the problem. I can honestly say I didn’t do anything wrong. I am going to continue with my pleasant morning.” Sometimes it is personal. Sometimes it’s not. You just have to know when and decide what your response will be. I read this quote over and over until something else stood out, “compulsion to react.” I’ve been compulsively reacting to this person’s madness, with madness, ever since I realized I was old enough to do so. I reacted with madness and anger because that is all I knew. It is what I was taught to do by this person. (I didn’t even know that until therapy). You hurt me with words, I hurt you with words. Especially, since no one can stop me or I can’t be punished for talking back. In that moment when the person became defensive, I could have became offensive, but I didn’t. I didn’t compulsively react. THIS IS SOMETHING I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO PRACTICE and it was effective that day for me. In other attempts, this person would get more and more belligerent and obnoxious. And I would explode!
As I navigate this complex family dynamic, with more knowledge and practice, I hope to gain for myself the peace I have so rightly deserve from childhood until the present moment. I hope to be able to not compulsively respond, not take it all personal, to rightly respond, to insist on my boundaries, to protect my peace, and to not beat myself if I don’t “always” get it right (another burden placed on me by the same authoritative figure).
Yesterday I enjoyed a beautiful wedding ceremony of my nephew and his girlfriend officiated by his father (my brother). Everything was simply was beautiful. I love short and sweet ceremonies and that is exactly what it was. However, as my heart was happy to be there, something occurred the 15-20 minute ride that changed my mood completely. Even though I fought to keep my mood high all the way to the bitter end, the bitter person won that round. I had to sit in the car to get myself together and force a smile.
I looked at the selfie I took and thought about a forced smile. There I am decked in costume jewelry, fabulous sparkly heels, and a fur trimmed wrapped and reeling with anger at the person sitting a few seats down that acts as if they have done nothing wrong. As the ceremony proceeded I was happy to see my nephews come down the aisle and to see many of my family members I don’t get to see often. For those few moments of socializing, my mood and heart was lifted. But then it was time to get back in the car with the person and their behavior persisted. When they said they wanted to go out for dinner, my heart sank. I would have to spend more time with craziness. I sat there the whole time trying to remain silent or indulge in small talk with others at the table. I tried to laugh with others.
When I finally did drop off the person, I thought I may find some peace. But no, another person in the car continued the criticism and we had words. For the first time since a time I can’t even remember, I had to go for a ride in my car alone. This for me means I reached my limit in composure and before I do or say anything I regret, I need distance. I need to get in my car and say everything that I REALLY wish I could say, but if I did it would DAMAGE the person in such a way it may not be reparable. In my car ride, I can say what I truly want to say and say what I truly want to do. In the car ride, there is no judgement. There are no interruptions or no one telling me what “Thus said the Lord” except the Lord and the Lord (God, The Creator, The Divine ) is just there being a sounding board. Allowing me to “get it all out, let it all out” profanity included. There is no ZEN, no YOGA, no MEDITATION, no 10 deep breaths needed. There is the beating of the steering wheel, the tossing of a sweater, the throwing of a purse (in which I will have to pick up the contents later). Yes, the DO GOODER, the GOODY TWO SHOES. the PREACHER’S DAUGHTER (titles in which people assign to you with obligations, morals, and rules they make up basically assigning you to perfection) is a real human being just like you. Yes, she has anger issues that she has mastered on many levels but also reaches a boiling point. She also believe that anger should be acknowledge and all that comes with it. It should be understood as perfectly normal and not to be stuffed down into the fibers of your being.
I don’t like it when I have to force a smile. I don’t always like it when I have to restrain myself. But in the course of the night, in my bed, searching that app for a meditation or talk that would help me to settle down, I discovered a talk that should be a TEDTALK about anger. It blew my mind! And I have decided to do a series of blogs on it. Can’t wait to share.