Reassured

Rules are made to be kept. That way we all know our place and some of the scary confusingness of the world goes away. I state this because I know it illusory, yet so want it to be true. I need to recognise the desire in order to let it go.

Jamie writes, I want to remind you to be especially gentle this week and beware falling into fights this week with people who ‘don’t get it’- don’t frustrate yourself, go slow. That is not quite how I experience it, atm. I don’t feel a huge change in my outlook. I have had a fillip from the workshop, doing emotionally charged things with supportive people, and feel reassured rather than hugely changed.

Based on “Pop Idol”, we played Victim Idol. Six of us went to the front and told our woes, and the one who got the biggest “Awwww” won. I came second equal, starting “I’m transsexual. No-one has suffered more than me” and ending curled in a foetal position. I was there, already: I would rather tell of my steps forward than my Great Sufferings; and the game reinforces the lesson. It is wonderful to laugh at it, a good lesson, a step forward. We have made Suffering our main currency. The Crucifixion is at the centre of every church, and martyrs are honoured.

As Jamie says, we have stuck old emotion which we have not properly digested from long ago. I became conscious on Sunday morning of my shame and resentment from babyhood: I felt I am all shame and resentment, and it is alright. Increasingly I feel my feelings as they occur. But the main problem remains my distress and perplexity at my current situation: what shall I do, now?

Also, six people in turn went to the front while we shouted our hatred and contempt at them, like baddies in a pantomime. They reported that this could be energising: they could reflect it back. The exercise needs held well, with clear boundaries and judgment that we can cope, so I respect Jamie for holding it. He offered us the chance of leaving for an early lunch. I found myself wanting to stand to shout, but that would have escalated. I shouted “Worthless”! or “You disgust me” repeatedly, and Paulina gave me the prize for “Die! Die! Die!” I realised I was shouting at myself. There is the judge and slave-driver. Such energy, if only I could get all my horses pulling in the same direction. Annik thought I had London energy rather than country energy.

There was a lovely shrub in the park, with large mature leaves off the stem beside a new stem of baby leaves. I had not seen this before.

Others have gone back to work, I slept at the Meeting house to save a taxi fare and today (Monday) have been to the supermarket then blogged and watched TV. I feel reassured that the Real Me (more on this later) is there, and it felt like confirmation of what I have known before rather than a huge new discovery.

I would have photographed more murals, but had other things to do.

COL; (c) Rosenstiel's; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Flirting

I met a woman I found very attractive, and flirted a bit, dropping my eyelashes. She’s rather more butch than average, obvs. As I passed her she murmured, “Nice frock”, and I shivered. We went for coffee. I noticed how many murals there are along Old Street. On the Youth centre, there’s one where two windows have been converted into shades for a huge face, and a history of the area in pictures. A little further on, there is the word “CREATE” in huge multicoloured letters, where she took a selfie of us. From the coffee shop, I looked out at this, mural

which took the energy of heraldry, and set it in motion. She’s a photographer.

-Do you want a picture from out there?
-No
-Oh, you want it in context.

We probably won’t even fbfnd, but it was nice. I told a lot of my story, heard a little of hers. We formed into groups of four, and I looked at a woman’s insincere smile. As I stared, she kept simpering, and the eyes were not smiling. At the end of the workshop, she told me she had seen the contempt in my eyes, which brought out her placatory smile. I have rarely had such an instant, harmful reaction to another person like that, a vicious spiral. We hugged, but could have connected more.

Jacyntha is an unusual name, but I thought there were two there. There was the petite woman slumped at the end of the front row, and then there was the energised woman flirting at the bearded man. God she pissed me off. She came in late on Sunday, arranged her stuff, sat down, settled down, called out “Sorree, guys-” loudly and not quite winsomely. I of course had been there for half an hour, the good little girl ready early (As I walked the quiet Sunday streets, two geese overhead pair-bonded, flying slowly and honking) a little rueful, or possibly hugely resentful, that my Good obeying of the rules wins me no points at all. At least I realise it does not.

I should pick up some tips from Jacyntha. What a glorious animal way of being. I suppress sexuality and imagine I am not particularly highly sexed, and find sex difficult and embarrassing (yes, I know) and think of it disapprovingly. I saw again that advert for Las Vegas tourism and disapproved. What do you think? Well, they thought it quite funny, and meeting people is good. Yet on Sunday I enjoyed flirting.

It goes back to my first shame. I am feminine, yielding, and thought that completely Wrong. I felt the weight of it: I felt I was just a mass of shame and resentment. Clare said, “I think we all are”. Not as much as me, surely? Jamie, leading the workshop, said we are like a piece of paper screwed up into a ball, and at these workshops we unpick ourselves a bit- a metaphor I have long found meaningful- “and then show each other the creases”. Oh flip. Yes, I do. Compulsively. And the creases are not the interesting bit.

A woman married a Catholic, and when she was told of the church’s funny ways the group leader said she wanted her husband to have a vasectomy. My informer opposed this, saying she agreed with the church. No: you oppose the vasectomy because of self-determination, the church opposes it for self-abnegation. One has sex for ones spouse, for reproduction, for the church, for God, but never for pleasure or for self- which is the only reason for it.

coffee shop

Essence Process

Menis Yousry, the most empathetic person I have ever met, showed me something at the heart of me which I have been running from all my life, and so gave me self-respect for the first time. That was in November. Another group did the Foundation earlier this month, and fill Facebook with delight and wonder, and write of the emotional rollercoaster thereafter. I want to create this in my every-day life.

Menis gives complete acceptance and is wonderfully perceptive. He helps us untangle the problems which have been besetting us forever. He helps us forgive our shame and guilt. He leads the group so that we are all supporting the person sharing. This brings us together: it feels a wonderful close bond. Yet I do not foresee forming any lasting friendships with this group, and that is OK: they are far away, and of different backgrounds, and there are lively stimulating human beings nearby.

That line “What do you want the others here not to know about you?” is a way into self-absolving, yet that by itself even in a group of Quakers might just be dangerous and ineffective. I have my shames, still. The ones I brought up then are not shameful for me. Possibly that I do not know them, and will not see them again, helps us into this completely supportive way of being together.

Others besides Menis can create this atmosphere. He does it particularly well. Counselling works, an hour a week, though I like the intensity of five days.

Perhaps I cannot create this in ordinary life. I have retreated for my personal growth for years. It always feels that I see further from the mountain-top, but when I return to the valley I never lose all which I had seen. Each time I retreat, I see more clearly.

I maintain my self-acceptance through affirmations, mirror exercises, and meditation including metta. I have not meditated for some time. I fear it and avoid it, yet when I did so this evening it felt good. It does me good when I do it. But the heart of the Essence experience which I value is the acceptance of others: as a social being, it does me good.

I wondered, when with Community Building in Britain, whether the acceptance of each other depended on being with a group one did not know before, and would not know after. When we sought to do things together, suddenly the disagreements we had, and the judgments on how effectual another was, mattered. I don’t think it an absolute barrier, but when we work together in the long term it is a continual effort to create that acceptance.

I have not seen Terry for nine months. I told him “I have self-respect for the first time” and he said I had always seemed to have self-respect.

Alyosha becomes a Saint

Alyosha stood gazing; suddenly he fell to the ground, as though stunned.

He did not know why he was embracing the earth, he could not explain to himself why it was that he wanted to kiss it with such abandon… something as firm and immutable as the vault of heaven was entering his soul. An idea seemed to be taking possession of his mind- and it would be for his whole life and for eternity. He fell to the ground a weak adolescent, but when he rose to his feet he was a hardened warrior for life, and he felt and recognised this in a flash of ecstasy.

Alyosha the saint, saving the soul of Ilya the dying boy, balances Smerdyakov the devil. Farcical events surround the death of his teacher, Starets Zosima- if he were a real saint, the superstitious monks claim his body would have the odour of sanctity, so finding an odour of putrefaction disturbs or delights them. Then he has a vision of Zosima, called to the wedding at Cana, inviting him, “Let us drink the new wine of great happiness”. Then he has this moment, where his life changes.

MaĂ®tre Karlsson, listening repeatedly to the voicemail declaration of Love from Pierre, recorded just before he was shot dead, is ripe for a bit of character development. Perhaps she will cease her rebellion against her father’s values, and find her own. Though she could just make lots of money working for the rich.

I am ripe for a bit of character development too.

 ♥♥♥

I think of these things as spiritual growth moments, though “life lessons” is perhaps a better model. There is no need to bring in spiritual-mystic ideas, and while the lesson may come in a moment of apparent revelation, I still need to make it real in my life. I have come so far already. I have come to know my own character, and slowly and patiently I did the work of self-acceptance- fighting it has only harmed me. Then with Menis Yousry‘s help, I found it Good.

This turns my world upside down. Almost all I did was designed to protect me from my world, and it just gets in my way. I actively shut out observations of other people, as they would read me and despise me and condemn me, with all the fervour and enthusiasm of my own inner critic. But that is not so.

If I can observe others and begin to see who they are, I might not need to push them away.

 ♥♥♥

I cannot see these lessons properly before they happen, but

I am going to die

may be useful to consider. I want to survive, so I hide myself away, as the world is too painful. No, I do not want to meet people, they are all horrible. But mere survival is just dull, death before my time.

I know that the world is beautiful and abundant. I know it is good to see things positively. I know that people are doing our best under difficult circumstances, even if sometimes we can be cruel.

All this leads me to consider, well, what would I like to do? Might it be possible?

What do I want?

Jawlensky, mystic head, third profile

Quantum leap

Degas woman seated by a vase of flowers

A woman seated, detailIt seemed that my spiritual growth came in Rebirth moments, and I could give their dates. I Awoke on 14 February 1999. On x July 2001 I came to value my feelings. On 1 July 2011 I turned to Positivity from Negativity. That no longer fits. I have always been positive, and I remain negative. I may have seen a spiritual lesson, but the work still has to be done. Perhaps, we are always learning the same lessons throughout life: I must ask my wise nonagenarian friend.

One moment still feels like a great liberation. When I was about nine, I wept, and my mother looked on uncomprehending; and until September 2010 I would have told you of that with my original outrage and resentment, ending SHE DIDN’T UNDERSTAND! And suddenly that changed, and I understood. Oh, right, she didn’t understand. It was liberating.

It remains remarkable to me that anyone could fail to make a connection and not be ridiculous, disgusting, useless, worthless, moronically unfit. That is why I have my intelligence that others remark upon, but which I find hard to recognise. And I could permit that one failure to understand in her, which had hurt me so much I still felt the hurt 35 years later. So I could accept all her lapses from the Perfection we demanded of each other. I was freed to respect and love her.

And I had loved her since, just after her death, I picked on two beautiful loving memories to be my special memories of her; and before. Steps forward at the pace I can manage, and suddenly turning a corner and finding a new vista ahead, make the journey seem worthwhile.

In conversation, two stories from work came to mind, and I told them, and I was surprised and ashamed that I was still upset about them, because I should have processed that emotion by now, and let it go; and frightened, because I am stuck, and my reaction to these old stories is part of my stuckness. What causes it? Changes in hormone dose?

The Quaker meeting is a good place to process things like this acid reflux experience. What tools do I have to deal with it? That “forgiveness” of my mother- forgiveness seems the wrong word, posthumous reconciliation is better. Forgiveness of self is a useful tool to develop. Sometimes I make connections later, which I did not make at the time. This does not mean I am useless and fuckwitted, necessarily. If I can untangle the feeling that I should have done better from resentment at wrongs in The World or The System- for these are memories of injustice which I wanted to correct and could not- then I can accept myself.

I need to deal with my feelings about the world and injustice, as well- but disentangling them from my feelings about my own capacity is necessary. One thing at a time.

How did I do? As well as I could have, at the time. Breathe.

In the silence of meeting I became emotional, and the process made me feel good. No, not a Rebirth or Awakening, but the patient work of taking that step forward feels good. Keep taking the steps.

Taking the gloves off

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f5/Madame_de_Bonni%C3%A8res.jpg/783px-Madame_de_Bonni%C3%A8res.jpgThe Thameslink train stops at Blackfriars station. There is blue plastic stuff covering up something- work in progress, probably- but through it- gosh! That’s the Thames. A station on a bridge over the river! How cool is that?

Thameslink has not been operating long. Now, I can go down two levels at St Pancras to the new Thameslink platform straight from the Swanston train, and-

yes, I know, not everyone finds railway stuff fascinating. But Will, a Cockney, did not know of it. Victoria was the station for Brighton as far as he knew.

You leant your head against that instrument as if it were alive, I said to the young man in the bright red coat.
-It is, just about, he says.
-Yes, I know, I play the piano.

His friend plays keyboards, and often rags him about not having to cart his own instrument everywhere.

There were two toddlers on the train who wanted to go and look at the baby. No matter how young the child, they always love playing the adult to a younger child. “Yes”, says the mother, “and at their age there aren’t that many children they can do that with”.
-They’re changing the nappy,” says one girl, happily. More than I really wanted to know.

File:Pierre-Auguste Renoir - Children on the Seashore, Guernsey - Google Art Project.jpgThe child had wailed to have its nappy changed, and a few minutes later is wailing for some other reason. The most distressing sound there is, I understand, we are all programmed that way- and I listen to it with my happiness undimmed. Imagine, to have trauma repeated many times daily, that awful succession of needs you cannot satisfy except by wailing- imagine the abandoned misery of the wailing- Thank God we don’t remember it!
Perhaps we do-

And there were the two women: getting on, one said “I’m glad I can face the direction of travel, as I won’t be sick now” and I said “I’m glad you’re facing the direction of travel too”. They grinned, and got out their respective phones to check the Textstorm and emails. Only briefly, they did start chatting to each other eventually. A man pointed out that if the train crashes into something, those facing the rear have the spring of the seat to take the shock- though you would also have me thrust forward onto your face over the table.

This morning, on the seafront at Brighton in bright sun and strong wind- too strong for a dinghy, but I would have loved to be on the lone yacht tacking into the wind out there- I saw a man with headphones, and thought-

Why should you walk through the field in gloves,
O fat white woman whom nobody loves?
The grass is as soft as the breast of doves
and shivering sweet to the touch
Why should you walk through the fields in gloves,
Missing so much, and so much?

So I am taking the gloves off. My thought yesterday was, http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e2/Pierre-Auguste_Renoir_-_Boating_Couple_%28said_to_be_Aline_Charigot_and_Renoir%29_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg/627px-Pierre-Auguste_Renoir_-_Boating_Couple_%28said_to_be_Aline_Charigot_and_Renoir%29_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

I want to value my fragility

and this feels like-

No, not a pupation, but a step forward. A useful lesson. My sensitivity is a gift and a burden, one I have so resented, and I want to stop kicking against the goads. So- value it, perhaps even use it!- perhaps later. Baby steps. “Fragility”- a bad thing, a dangerous thing for me, Shadow, something to deny-

something to acknowledge.

I had a new appreciation for that Lowry I saw at the Lowry Centre, after seeing the sea today, the swell crashing on the beach, the colour of it; and I thought with friends in this place I am Happy. That is the first time I have used that tag in 620 posts!

12 12 12

12:12:12 is the day of alignment with all 12 dimensions of the Universe, and is the 12th initiatory gateway to higher consciousness

On this day we’ll receive a series of ‘Illumination Waves’ coming onto the planet, flooding the earth with high energies and activating the crystalline structure in our bodies, allowing us to hold more light in our cells. A new cycle of evolution now begins for planet earth, humanity and the cosmos!

Then, in the 9 days from 12-12-12 to 12-21-12, veils will begin to lift for all who wish to experience higher realms of consciousness and the 5th dimensional new earth paradigm.

Wishing you all magic and miracles on this spectacular day, and in the 9 days to come!

From Facebook.

I had hoped to get dressed today, but I am in bed with the cold. Monday I got the train home, went to the supermarket and put credit on the tokens for the gas and electricity meters- I am one of those, it appears, who cannot be trusted to pay for utilities by direct debit- though I got to the station and thought of just collapsing into a taxi. Good job I did not, as I have food for the week in, and should not freeze in darkness. Tuesday, I got up, though did not get dressed. Today I have just got up to get breakfast then lunch- missing the sacred moment of 12.12 on 12 12 12- and eaten in bed. Never mind, shortly it is 12.12 somewhere in mid-Atlantic, I could pray at that moment. Or not.

Oh wow! A Lao Tzu quote!

However new-agey the person quoting, Lao Tzu or Rumi are always worth reading, whether in full poems or in short phrases. I want to take all the value I may from the “Specialness” of this day. No, I do not believe we are aligning with the Galactic Centre, or even that today is particularly special in the ongoing spiritual revolution befalling humanity right now. But, what good could seeing it as special do me? I am retreated to my bedroom, my old ways of being in the World completely stripped away, ineffectual in an absolute sense-

And from this place I shall Rise 

like a Phoenix, my true self

at last liberated!

she ranted.

It is strange that in 2012, as the Global Financial Crisis deepens, inequality increases, people like me with unremarkable transferable work skills and an unremarkable degree get less money because there are so many of us, with few ideas of what we all could be doing, apocalyptic ideas flourish, at least on my Facebook news feed, and even with some of my karate friends, as well as the Personal growth fbfnds. The quintessentially British chain Boots the Chemist is bought up, its head office relocated to Switzerland so it can avoid UK Corporation tax, just like Starbucks does. Verily, I need those spiritual advances: be conscious and accepting of my own feelings, be strong in my own convictions, seek my own true good rather than to follow the rules, acceptance, valuing, gratitude and clear-sightedness.

 

 

Growth points?

I have had times over the past year when I imagined that I had learned life lessons: that I do not need to be accepted as female, but am entitled to courtesy; that I can be my vulnerable self, rather than hiding in my shell; that I need to trust myself and the world, rather than be in fear; that I did not trust my feelings, but if I could, then I can mitigate the anger and fear I feel as a reaction to those feelings; that I need to forgive myself, all my decisions and the situation I have reached. How am I getting on with them?

I first got out of my shell in February 1999, my spiritual awakening. I still struggle with that.

Of course knowing that these practices are necessary does not mean that I may drop into them immediately and habitually. It is a year since I started blogging, thinking that I could see being transsexual as a blessing and that that was Pupating; and one main reason for writing here is to self-examine in public, to try and learn these lessons and take them into my heart, so I may face the World better. The great blessing was seeing how negative I was, and deciding to be positive, and that has worked through in other lessons since, including these. It has helped me to see how great my difficulties were.

I spend a lot of time switched off, watching telly or playing on blogs, and that is OK.

I think now I can say

This, here, now, is a good place to be

rather than “This has been a good place to be”, lashing myself with Oughts.

I still wrestle with thinking and feeling. I am female, and so I feel that I need to express myself female, and I was born with testicles, so I still passionately want to make intellectual sense of that, and can’t. Or, I still have a Why Me resentment of it, I have not yet accepted that so difficult part of my own self. Though now it is my non-acceptance, rather than the World’s, here, now, that makes it so difficult for me. I spend more time in that situation I call Presence, primarily in my senses and aware of what is around me, and having thought that simply wonderful and a Spiritual Way, am exploring its value and the value of other ways of being, and how they might fit together. That is good and necessary work.

On Spiritual healing: with no-one to practise on, I do on myself, and feel the heat in my hands. Others may think me irrational or unChristian, but it feels right to me. On Karate, I watched the boxing in the Olympics with interest- how does he move his feet, how does he move around the ring? Before, I have found it disgusting. On blogging, I find I can make headlines italic, but not in other fonts, and when they appear in “top posts” the html tag is spelled out.

File:Buenos Aires-Plaza Congreso-Pensador de Rodin.jpgA year ago, I wrote in my diary, “It is blessing to be transsexual. It is blessing to be me” and today, Monday 13th, I wrote

It is Blessing to be as feminine as I am,
to have the depth of sensibility I have,
even while being born with testicles.

Is this any different? Am I merely ruminating?

I think I am going deeper, working out the consequences, freeing myself at the right pace from the self-rejection and self-loathing. I really am two people (at least), the feminine response and the terrified suppression. I think I make progress, and if at the moment that blue text feels like a statement of faith which I need to grow to accept even though it is so strongly foreshadowed in what I wrote a year ago, this is the process I want to go through, now.

Damned and saved

I’m sure his opinion of me didn’t change very much and he remained entirely unconscious of my being, as well as largely delusional about his own, but my new found confidence in myself, and my egoless respect for his right to simply be did bring about an unexpected change and, crucially, an easing in the anxiety I had always felt in my dealings with him.

From The Rivendale Review. I find the story inspiring and illuminating, but how many of us, do you think, are like that? Delusional, or aware?

I have been conscious of healing and maturing since February 1999. “Spiritual journey” and “spiritual growth” are other useful metaphors. Around that time I read Scott Peck’s work, who posited four stages: selfish and amoral; rule-observing; intellectual- working things out for onesself; and spiritual. The first time I read of his stage four, I did not

understand it at all; the second time, I thought I did, and decided that meant I had progressed, though Peck says that his “stage four” is only the beginning. I also read “Awareness” by Anthony de Mello, and got the idea of becoming awake, which at the time I linked to being aware of the spiritual journey and now link to BrenĂ© Brown’s “Vulnerability”. The “Saved” might be the people on the journey, or might be all of us: we heal and grow whether we are aware of it or not.

And yet, I am still groping towards seeing other people rather than projecting onto them. Perhaps this is impossible, perhaps one can only see in another what one can admit in onesself; so it helps to be able to admit the diversity and variety in onesself, in order to see others better. And I think that I do react badly to that in other people which I deny in myself- in any case it is all about me, but insofar as I can accept myself, I can see and accept others better.

Such a long path, this healing. How many are on the path? How many are further on it than I am?

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Within the process of living, we are meant to heal our energies, to make them more strong and more expansive.

From Omni Vision. So much mysticism on the web! Ordinary blogs which I happen across teach me. I almost see things as Omni Vision does: my difference remains my agnosticism of spiritual reality. My perceptions are valid, but I distrust any doctrine or dogma explaining them. And so I could follow OV’s prescriptions as valuable, even if convinced of Atheistic materialism.