I loved how you used the word “observatory” as an adjective. Standard English would be “observational”, but you added root and suffix together in a way I instantly understood. I admire it like my nephew, as a toddler, using “goed” for “went”. Your command of the language is excellent, but the word you use would be called an error: I would celebrate your skill, but fear others might mock your usage. I love your drive.
He is right to say, spiritual growth should not be a great fight. We work hard at it, because we value it, but that hard work does not always produce the growth. I do not traumatise myself in the name of growth. Rather, old traumas came to me.
I sat in Meeting on Wednesday and Steve ministered on our silent waiting in Love for the word of God. But I was in the depths of my trauma, thinking of how my inner gaslighter had bullied me as worthless, except for what I could achieve, and useless, unable to match its impossible standards. Those implacable, impossible demands broke me into my current inactivity, which is the best evidence I have of my worthlessness and uselessness. Now Steve’s ministry, heard as “This is what proper Quakers should be doing” made me more miserable. It was more grist for the inner judge. It was so hard to bring the judge into consciousness: when unconscious, its judgments had seemed simply reality. So it made me suicidal.
So I spoke that I was wrestling with my trauma. After, one prayed for me, my Friend who is psychotic and my Friend who is sectioned, and I thought, I am in good company. Another admired my ability to be open and vulnerable. One reminded me of God’s love for me.
When I was in work, I was trapped by that inner judge. This was unbearable and traumatic for me. So I fled it and numb the pain, and facing the pain, admitting the pain of it, is part of my healing. My path to healing is through the old trauma, admitting how it still affects me.
Then I shared about this on Saturday. I thought of my share for an hour before. I thought I would project the judge’s judgment onto the group; and thinking this, realised they might have a multitude of reactions, but not the complete contempt of the judge. I thought of what I might say. I was heard and acknowledged: not by everyone, perhaps, but by enough.
Then in Meeting on Sunday I sat with a blissful sense of being loved and accepted- by my own inner light, and perhaps by other people too. Friends ministered their sources of joy. One read a poem about joy. Neil, of Jewish heritage, ministered on the light of the Menorah in the temple being produced by crushing olives for oil: through trauma comes light.
I see how the drive for perfection can make people achieve great things. Mine broke me because it was set too high, but I love it in others. I wanted to be perfect because I wanted to be invulnerable, but now my vulnerability, which I feel in cool chakras on my wrists, delights me. Through vulnerability I open and receive. And I can see and delight in another’s penetrating drive.