This week I started posting pieces of my story in discussion groups....
In the dark ages before Windows, I found myself trapped in a mindset of religious dogma. For years I had created this self-made prison, believing myself to be righteous and enlightened. It is a longer story, of how my life travelled from metaphysical moorings to being adrift in a self-made prison ship of fundamentalist, evangelical Christianity.
The crux of the story, though, is my self-made escape from the prison. A key that opened my prison door was guided imagery, which deepened the experiential relationship between the awareness which meets the world and the guardian of the heart, my inner knowing and wisdom....
Pain and fear can weigh heavily on a person, and sometimes the stress is overwhelming ~ but, the inextinguishable inner spark is there to rise up into a flame against the darkness.
So many times I have experienced this on my life journey. Now I have a means to keep the flame alive, even if it has diminished to a flicker ~ a way to always fans the flicker back into a flame. It dissolves hurt and constriction at least for the time within the meditation, and the experience grows deeper and more real with each practice. I am also finding ways to re-activate it throughout my day.
All my life, as long as I can remember, I have loved the language of symbolism.
Even before I could speak the word 'symbol', something inside me resonated with the symbols of the Catholic Mass.
I left the Church in my teens, and dove deeply into a worldview of the metaphysical and occult. One entrance was Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism, where at fifteen I chanted Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo to a Gohonzon in darkened incense filled rooms, with lighted candles and brass gongs. While propagating for Nichiren Shoshu on the streets of my Colorado home town, I encountered the writings of T. Lobsang Rampa, author of fourteen books including 'The Third Eye.' When I was editor of my high school literary magazine, Myriad, I wrote to the publisher for permission to use excerpts, and got a letter from Rampa, which was the beginning of an on-going correspondence between us.
When I was 21, shortly after my dear younger brother died when the car he was driving was hit head-on by that of a drunk driver, my sorrow led me to spend every penny on a flight to Oahu, and one week of intensive one-on-one training in a mystery school called the Institute of Cosmic Wisdom. I'd recently moved from Maine to Oklahoma City in the States, for a job with a church, and became involved with a remarkable woman.
Our summer romance led me eventually into a dogmatic mindset of fundamentalist, evangelical Christianity, and I started questioning the conflicting teachings under the umbrella of metaphysics. It took six years to transition from metaphysics to church dogma, but by then I was entrenched, and fanatical.
While still in that self-made prison of religion, I bought and studied an encyclopedia of symbolism written from an occult perspective. So, my attraction towards symbolism was strong. After freeing myself from religious beliefs, using a key of guided imagery, my experience with the very real and effectual realm of symbolic language deepened.
One powerful symbol is the cup or chalice. What are all the different ways you have experienced this symbol in your life?
When entering the world of symbolism and metaphor in a guided visualization, it is the feeling I bring to the imagery which makes it real, and effective. In this sequence from the 'One Light Meditation', drinking from the cup of my constrictions gives me power over them, allowing the energy of love to flow more freely in me.
'.... Exhale up slowly, moving the One Light from your heart space, back up to the Eye of Ra, feeling it expand into the elixir field. Inhale the One Light, from the elixir field, through the Eye of Ra, into the sphere around your heart. Feel the One Light filling that sphere. Exhale the One Light from your heart sphere, out to your body, radiating every cell with the Present Moment Light. Inhale the Chi of your body with the One Light, back into the sphere around your heart. Enter that space, and see a figure standing, the guardian of your heart, your inner knowing and wisdom.
Exhale slowly, lower your head, radiate your light energies, and hold both hands, palms up, in front of your chest, to receive. Feel the guardian place into your hands, a cup filled with liquid, charged with the energies of your constrictions.
Drink down the liquid, then move the cup to the hands on the area of your heart, pull it out, move your cupped hands to your mouth, and breathe the One Light into your hands, knowing that your constrictions are seen by your Third Eye. Say and feel, 'I surrender my constrictions to the One Light....'' ~ from Movement One
To All The NT Wives Who Are Struggling,
I know you haven’t been yourself lately.
I see it in the way your eyes no longer carry the light the way they used to, their color faded; like an old photograph that once held a cherished memory, now lost.
Your frown lines have deepened, they outnumber the lines of laughter that once etched the sides of your face, back when your joyful smile would reach that far, back when your shoulders were straight and the weight of your tiredness didn’t pull you down.
You love your Aspie husband, I know you do.
But this is hard.
And you are tired. So damn tired.
And maybe this is what adds to the tiredness; the guilt that you shouldn’t feel this way. You wonder if you’re the only wife out there who feels so isolated, so alone, so exhausted. Or do they all have these villages you hear of; support networks of family and friends who help ease their stress, while you wake up each morning and wonder how you will get through another day on your own?
There was a world you used to belong to, and you grieve it. It’s there in front of you, every day, on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – there, in the radiant faces of other women as they go about their social lives, their holidays, gym classes, dates, promotions. You wonder how, in a world so connected by social media, you are left feeling so goddamn disconnected from it all.
Surrounded by your husband, noise, clutter, you find yourself lonelier than ever. But it’s not a loneliness from being alone. It’s a loneliness that comes from being so far from yourself, so far from who you once were. You don’t even know who that is anymore. You feel as though you’ve traded your whole identity to be the wife of an Aspie man. Sacrificed your entire life to care for him and your children. This is all you know now. This is all your life has become.
And you miss the woman you once were, and the life you once had.
You long for your independence, your spontaneity, your carefree. For road trips and dinner dates and live music and nights out in the city. For beach days and lazy Sundays in bed and to read a book, uninterrupted. Drained, you yearn for the things that bring nurture to your tired body and soul as you force yourself through another day on the scarce remnants of what you have left to give.
Around you, other wives appear cool, unflustered; they’ve got this. You wonder if they catch a glimpse of the defeat in your eyes before you look the other way, if they can sense the effort it takes to simply place one foot in front of the other.
I know this is hard. But take heart, beautiful.
It won’t always be this way. It won’t always be so hard. Days will get easier. There will be more moments to be still, to breathe, more moments to laugh again. There will be more moments where you can reach inside and find the misplaced pieces of the woman you used to be, and the days will begin to feel less lonely as you journey back to your own heart.
I know you think the way you struggle makes you a failure. That because of this, you fall short and aren’t enough. Don’t believe these lies. Be gentle on your heart, for every day you face the hardest job, alone, and you make it through. No matter how hard, you don’t give up. You show up, and continue to do the best with what you have. And some days that may not seem like enough.
But every day, you continue to love.
And that will always be more than enough.
I know this is hard. But for now, this is all you need to know.
This too shall pass.
And when you close your eyes tonight, write those words on the back of your eyelids, and watch as they fall away beneath your skin and seep into your bloodstream where they will reach your heart and kiss it with the hope that will get you through your tomorrows.
You may not feel it today, but I promise you, my love – you’ve got this.
(Rewrite of Kathy Parker’s blog post: https://lessonslearnedinlife.com/dear-mother-who-is-struggling/?fbclid=IwAR1VNFNLN9VIclK31Kll8Z1LKai1cz3QNonMkU36kO_nqBq3nAYSGoDa9ms)