Perhaps I would do exactly the same things, and they would change from a cage to a springboard. I am growing and changing, and it is wonderful. Eliot:
The highest treason
to do the right thing for the wrong reason
Monday, I felt low. Sunday was so good. Monday was just back to the living room. I did not affirm myself, much, on Monday: I could not say it. In the evening, I knelt in my ritual space and affirmed, and my tears flowed. I thought,
When I affirm myself
I am in a space where I am real
If my emotions are too scary
I cannot go to that real space.
I have spent 11 Christmases in a row in Cardiff, and this year neither of us wanted that. I arranged somewhere else with someone else, and on Tuesday we decided to cancel as she was ill. It was not a potential date, just a friend, and we never discussed it, only emailed and messaged, to arrange and then to cancel.
What do I want? is on my mind. Interesting job? Greater income? Not particularly, actually. I do not discern any particular such desire in me.
I want heart-connection, real deep human connection.
In the evening I told H Christmas had fallen through, and she said immediately come to Cardiff, and I said No.
On Wednesday, I awoke in a strange place. It is a beautiful day. I could get the bus in to Swanston to get food, or just have what I have in the house. Perhaps if I tidied and cleaned a bit the house would be pleasanter: I have not tidied or cleaned my living room this month. And yet, I don’t actually need to get out of bed today, I don’t need to clean my teeth, I don’t even need to eat.
I have been doing things because they are sensible, or because they are conventionally accounted worthwhile, fun, whatever. It is just a slog. It is misery. If I tidy my room because I am ashamed that others might see it as it is, that is horrible. If I tidy it because I want to-
I decide to do what I want. I will not do anything without a desire for that thing itself, divorced from shame, or what would people think, or anything like that.
In the shower, I consider what to wear- warm old clothes to slob about the house in? Though I am not going out, I decide to wear a dress and put on make up, because I want to.
These are small things, instantly achievable, carrying no risk expense or difficulty. It feels revolutionary. It also feels all or nothing: do I want this? I will not do it unless I want to. I wrote in my diary a new line of affirmation:
I am Abigail.
I am worthy of life.
I know what I want, and I take steps to achieve it.
I WILL NOT DO ANYTHING because
it is sensible
I rationally assent to it
it is conventional, or what people do
it is what my wise loving friend advises
UNLESS I WANT TO.
I want to try things, to see if I like them.
I want Human connection
I value my want.
I was in a state of high excitement writing these things, like a fire with flames leaping up the chimney; now it is quieter, the coals glow, warming me.
This changes the way I see having withdrawn to my living room: part of it has always been shame at giving up and retreating. Now it is pride and quiet satisfaction, as it was the way I saw to look after myself. It was what I wanted. I move on from last week: from the biggest things in my life, I move on to all things.
Hello, Clare! One day I shall have to come to Cardiff and introduce myself in person. For now I shall enjoy my occasional visits via your blog.
As it happens, I am in a very similar space today. I am revisiting an exercise I once employed and found very useful. It is a daily application of Deepak Chopra’s Seven Spiritual Secrets of Success, one per day, Sunday through Saturday each week. Todays law is the law of Dharma (http://www.chopra.com/the-law-of-dharma-or-purpose-in-life) , and it relates very much to your blog theme of what we do and why.
Chopra proposes three areas of focus for the day:
Your comment about tidying the living room really resonated, because I had just written this in my own personal journal (redacted):
• Things I love to do: Organize Spaces to Promote Calm and Creativity – Expressed in my home & my work spaces, including reorg of office supplies & conference room resources + planning & design of NEW BHIS website & SharePoint infostructure
• How I can use my talents to serve or help today: Tidy my home and prepare some creative spaces (e.g. cooking!) / project setups (e.g. painting tomorrow!)
Have a lovely day arranging your activies and your spaces – both physical and digital – to suit your divine self!
I am in Northamptonshire now. The change of attitude makes such a difference, from habit or shame or convention to a desire to nurture self and others. The work becomes life-giving.
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