29 March 2010

The Garden

I'm on this very strange winding road. It is a path through a garden. The garden is a mix of wild plants growing freely and flowers and trees lovingly sculpted into organised beauty.

My path is earth. It has steps from time to time, moulded into the earthen path. Every now and again they're spaced quite close together.I might think I'm going up one step, and it turns out I'm climbing 7, before leveling out again.

The Path is winding, I rarely see a turn before I get to it. It gradually moves upwards.

The path has a few dips here and there, a couple of streams to cross. In the beginning there where quite a few big mud pools, and a roaring river or two.

Just now someone would tell me something, and up I go three stairs at a time. turning left and right and left again, speeding along without even realising where it's taking me.

Then I go through a slow meander with no real incline, and no stairs, and I can look around me restfully and appreciate the beauty.

Nature is not all beauty though. It is also dark and scary at night. In a big scary Forrest it's hard to appreciate the simplicity of nature, when you hear scary sounds, and can't see where you're going. The sun rises again and you realise you where scared of your own heartbeat. There's nothing to harm you. I realise I have my own light, and can decide how brightly it needs to shine.

I think I have moved up high enough to start seeing glimpses of the whole garden from this height whenever there is a break in the trees.

The Garden feels larger than I can imagine. I love those twists and turns. It's never boring. I like the others on the path with me. They sometimes help me up a stair or two, or tell me it might be time for a rest.

I'm never alone. I feel the energy that never left or came.

26 March 2010

The Final Word on the religion thing

Hopefully this will be my last post on that little debacle.

After spending the last week since my last post coming to terms with all that was botherin gme I think I have made peace.

I asked advice elsewhere, and based on the responses I got etc, I came to the following conclusions ( Copied from the topic here )

So one of the (new agey) things I often do is try to look for reason where it's not obvious.

As per my original post I started discussing this confrontation here, more to get some insight into my own issues around this, than to get people to agree with me.

All of the stories made me realise at first that YAY I am not alone. Being alone really kind of sucks, especially when it makes you doubt yourself.

Then I realised A Yeah I can give her back whatever she's sending my way ( but that very soon turned stale, and I don't think any of this was about that for me. Yes it hooked into a nice little adrenaline rush, but it's short term and not so nice. I like being nice, Most of the time.

I then got hit with the ton of bricks. Lanee was definitely wrong when she said she thinks I'm past Arrogance. ( ok she did tell me , me thinking I'm not is just another belief thing and I am creating it by believing it) But the realisation around my (boring) fear of rejection came very organically, and very strangely, and i do believe very validly.It was a true insight into me. I don't get them as often as I think I do.

Friday things where still in a bit of a holding pattern, impass, regarding the whole Facebook religious fight/e-war. I was not at any point to let it go, even though I wanted to. So when my brother sent me a message on Fb saying he is contributing from a religious point of view, and his wife did too, my immediate gut reaction was. SHit, more rejection. I love my Sister in Law. She's like a real sister to me, and she's even been supportive of me taking on this friend of theirs, so it was so hard to swallow.

I read what you said Geraldine, and I though, No.. It's time to grow up and face this head on Elaine. No more self pitying. Deal with it.

So I sent her a message. I lay it all out there. I have never gone out of my way to explain to anyone HOW different my beliefs where to theirs. I never went out and told them exactly what I am NOT. I an Not a Christian.

In my family and the way we're brought up it's like a BIG swear word. It's just not done. WHat I have been doing in the past, is avoiding the issue, consentrating on the similarities in our beliefs, and ignoring the rest.

This whole event in it's entirety forced me to not only be honest with myself about my own issues, but to actually say the words. To spell it out. ( Maybe I was trying to thereby force her and my brother into rejecting me, I don't know) but the results where more than I could have asked for.

I spent friday afternoon with a migrain. I slept, I couldn't wake up. My body didn't want to give my mind anymore chance to go back and forth. My brain just couldn't handle it anymore.

I missed her SMS and phoned her saturday. WOW what a conversation. We discussed the Bible, we discussed religion, we discussed the fact that we had more similarities in essence, than we cared about in terminology, or ideology. It was the most mindblowing discussion.

Later sat I saw one of my few "like-minded" friends, and also told her all I had been going through, so I got the oppertunity to have a sounding board for all of these things running through my head.

Sat night my husband's sister came around. Now she has in the past told me we believe in different God's so I don't talk religion with her. But surprisingly enough she's also accepted that even though we have different belief systems, we do have a lot of similarities in philosophy. We had an intense discussion without once having to use terminology.

Sunday we had another social event at our house. By this time it was all sorted for me, and I was able to have fun, joke with myself and get over myself.

The thing is by yesterday, the fanatic I posted about was still eagerly awaiting my newest response to her challenge, but I had gotten to where I needed to be. I know that when it came to religion and especially the people around me, and how it influenced our relationships, I had been avoiding so many things for so long, I think it was just time I had to be myself. Set myself free, and realise I could still have very interesting learning experiences from those in my life, especially when we believed in such different ways. So I have no need to continue on with the "e-war"

19 March 2010

Feeling like such a baby

I've gone from feeling like an excited puppy dog this morning to feeling like a big self pitying baby this afternoon.

Most of my thought processes are still consumed with the religion thing. I've been making some headway in discovering what my big friggin problem is.

1. I feel lonely. I don't personally know many people, who are currently in my life, with the same or even similar beliefs. I belong to online communities ( where I'm really too new to fit in) I have friends who have different beliefs but never give me a hard time about mine. Then I have friends who have different beliefs with who I don't even need to go into the beliefs thing.

2. I'm scared of rejection. I guess this is a very human thing. Very normal. We all want to belong. We want to be accepted for who we are. We need to be appreciated, and be allowed to express ourselves without judgment by those who we care about.

I'm scared that the more I am myself the more I open myself to rejection. When I hide that part of myself, which is my spiritual beliefs I am hiding a big reason for the light inside of me. So I am hiding a big part of who I really am.

I don't want to hide it, in order to make others feel more comfortable. I don't want to hide it for fear of being judged and rejected. So obviously my only option is to get used to the rejection or the judgment.

I've also decided I need to spend more time finding like minded individuals. Not just online, but also in RL.

What's hard for me is I'm not hardcore anything. I'm not Hard Core New Age, or pagan, or whatever else there is. I'm not extremely into crystal healing, or herbal remedies, or aliens, or psychics, or Tarots or "The Secret" or whatever all. I find little bits and pieces in everything which resonates with me, and those I hold onto.

I even have little bits and pieces out of Christianity, that resonates with me, and which I hold onto. I'm not a Christian though. If I had to write that on my Facebook status, I wonder how many "concerned" phone calls I would get.

I wonder how many descussions I would have to have where it feels like I am hitting my head against the wall.

I wonder who would say anything to my face, and which ones would rather just whisper behind my back.

I don't need this to bother me, I should not allow it to affect me, but in the interest of being completely honest with myself, and you...the 2 people reading this. I have to admit. It does bother me. Why? Because I am tired of feeling alone.

I am tired of feeling alone and not very well understood. I am tired of not being part of something bigger than myself, and not feeling accepted. I need to feel some Love. Acceptance.

I know I am not always right, but I am on my own path. There is nothing I read or hear, which I accept as truth. It either resonates with me, and after thinking and reading more about it I would decide it doesn't, or it does.

Well this was my attempt at sorting out the crap in my head. I might decide to just delete this tomorrow....just kidding

17 March 2010

Feeling so unsettled

After my last post this is still continuing. I am being baited into fanatically religious arguments that are completely pointless. I know the power lies with me to end it, so I have taken solid steps, by breaking off contact with the person who is doing the baiting.

I'm still feeling excessively yukky about it though. Trying to figure out what is causing this feeling

1. I reckon there's frustration because I lack the ability to get my point across. But on the other hand there is no attempt at understanding from the Point of View of fanaticism, so I shouldn't be surprised. I'm not surprised though I am frustrated.

2. I feel uncomfortable that I share a world, and a group of friends /family where these kinds of believes thrive, and if you have an opposing POV you are described as a heretic or Blasphemer.
- I guess my my problem here is not easily solved as it is a fact that beliefs differ. I'm just constantly angered by the fact that people would much rather point out the differences than look for the similarities.

3. I just don't know how to think about this anymore, and if I should just ignore it.

I'm probably missing the bigger picture. I have dared to challenge someone's beliefs. They obviously hold it very high in their lives, so what else can I expect other than the retaliation and the attempt at them trying to preserve their beliefs to themselves.

I guess if you need that as a beacon in your life then you will fight tooth and nail to hold onto what you think is true, and deny any possibility that it might not be. The other part that grates me is even now, when debating an issue like this I constantly question my Own beliefs. I constantly look for validation. I constantly try and think of it from another perspective.

15 March 2010

Fanaticism, Dogma, and Conspiracy Theories

Last week I happened to hit my head repeatedly against this wall. I guess I find it hard to shut up and not give my opinion when someone publicly announces something as irresponsible as " Did you know that Human rights are against the 10 Commandments?"

"uhmmm No!"

I pointed out to said person, on Facebook that maybe it's a good idea to first look at what Human rights are, before so quickly accepting what some kind of zealot so irresponsibly utters. Of Course she came back with a 100 contradictory "facts" based on conspiracy theories and dogma.

I attempted to still get my point across, respectfully, and be the bringer of an opposing Point of View. I did it Rationally and calmly and respectfully, and after a few of her Fanatical friends joined I could feel the word "satanist" hovering in the background of their thoughts.

It seems they all belong to a branch of the seventh day Adventist church which preaches Conspiracy theories as fact, and watch DVD's etc confirming it. No one questions anything or tries to find validation for anything, because the "church" said it's true then obviously it has to be truth.

The Church decides on it's "only" interpretation from the bible that could possibly make sense, then of course it Has to be the truth. ( sarcasm, for those who don't get it)

What happened to using your own head. Asking the hard questions, making up your own mind, and finding your own validation.

I guess it is a useless battle to fight. Most religious people I know are very well balanced, can think for themselves, and do ask the hard questions. I just don't know why I seem to all of a sudden be surrounded by those who are so Fanatical they would probably drink the cool-aid if the church said to do it.

I feel pain for those people. I feel pain because I know that their lives and their experiences are just as valid as mine, I feel pain because according to what I believe I was obviously also there a couple of lives ago, and I guess I recognise that pain.

The pain of needing someone to tell you what is right and what is wrong and be your light in the dark scary world, where all along, your light is inside yourself, and most of the Darkness created by yourself.

I wish there was anything I could say or do to let them know it's not so dark and evil outside, or inside. I also know that it is mostly futile, and so I am able to move on and not get bogged down in the frustration those kind of debates cause me.

Yay for spiritual evolution, and never having to go back and do that again. And hurray for being able to have a discussion about it, without being killed or jailed, and Viva Human Rights, for giving me freedom to choose.

I wish I could remove this person from my friends list, as she's really not a friend. Unfortunately she is the wife of my brother's best friend, someone I have publicly defended in the past, but obviously didn't know very well. I am always surprised at the extend to which someone like her, who really has everything, beauty, a husband who can provide so she doesn't have to work, financial security, 3 beautiful kids, can suffer so greatly from a lack of self esteem.

I've decided to hide her status though, so I don't have to feel the need to answer any of her zealous posts, and she doesn't feel the need to put my brother in the middle of our debates, which she obviously takes a lot more personally than I mean.

09 March 2010

Feeling Concerned and Powerless

I'm very concerned about Lanee. She sent me a letter in November, and she sounded sad but okay. Her son Michael passed away 11 October 2009. He was her companion and her twin essence, and I don't think she is handling things very well.

She visited with her other son in Tennessee for awhile, so I sent her a long letter, actually 2, as I take so long to send it I wrote another. I posted it to Tennessee in early Feb, I think, and now got another, very despondent letter from her, from NJ, where it doesn't seem she got my letter at all.

I have this knot in my stomach. Since receiving her letter in November ( one of the triggers for my spiritual re-awakening) I have been thinking of her constantly. For the first time in years I had this overwhelming urge to see her again, and this fear that she will be passing on soon as well.

She's 75, so by no means a spring chicken, and it sounds like she is so tired of this life. I can so identify with being tired with life, but I don't want her to go anywhere.

I might not see her, but just knowing she is in this world has been one thing that has saved me so many times.I want her to meet Arno and I want her to meet Caitlin. She can't go yet. There's so much I want to do with her. I sometimes hate this physical reality.

Wow It's been hot

Eish it's been seriously Hot in Cape Town the last few weeks, culminating in Yesterday where it was about 42C (108F)in the area I live and work. Luckily I have air conditioning at work, but nothing at home, of course, and I was very concerned for poor Cait the whole day.

How glorious this morning to see rain, and hear thunder. It's still a bit muggy inside, but outside it's cooling down lovely.

I'm feeling better. I had such an awesome weekend. We spent Saturday shopping, and then a good friend and her significant other (one of the few people Arno actually likes, and wants to spend time with) came over for a braai.

We had a fantastic time. There was drink and merriment. Kids had fun playing/annoying each other, and I got to let my hair down for a change.

How awesome to have friends with whom you know you can just be yourself. No reason to worry that you might offend them, as they do know you better than that.

Well I had a bit much to drink, and had a terrible hangover Sunday morning, but got over it quite quickly. Then we spent Sunday afternoon with family, around the pool, and just generally having a good time. Except for Arno.

I have no idea why he makes up his mind to NOT have a good time when it comes to spending time with my family. Sometimes I think, if only he'd just let his guard down a little, and allow the fun, he'd be so much better off. It's like he decides before hand everything will be crap.

Okay he wasn't keen to go in the first place, and usually I would just leave him, but this was someone's birthday and I thought it appropriate that he go. Well he refused to swim ( It was darn hot) He sat there grumpy and complaining, and even left halfway to go home and get Caitlin's hat ( we live around the corner) stayed away for about an hour, and then as soon as we finished eating insisted on leaving.

Caitlin was having a great time. My cousin's were there and her second cousin's are all ranging from age 3 to 6, and she was having so much fun. He tried to force her to get out of the pool and get dressed, with no persuasion at all, just force. This didn't work very well so eventually I told him to just go home, I'd get a ride with my dad.

I refused to allow his grumpy mood to affect my fantastic day, and I spent quality time with Caitlin in the pool. I just wish it didn't have to be that way.

If it was only like that occasionally or for a specific reason, I guess I could still bear it, but it is such a bad habit of his, and mostly I struggle to deal with it. How can I feel close to someone when they refuse to even try to pretend to have fun when I do? No wonder I am constantly feeling tired/stressed/drained. It's hard work to carry on and enjoy life when your partner insists on making everything gloomy.

So while I am happy and strong I don't let it affect me. But when I am not so happy and not so strong it affects me badly. I still don't see a solution.

05 March 2010

No Happily ever after

I'm struggling. Quite subtly. It's there though. Everything I've wanted in the past couple of months has come to me. I have been blessed beyond belief. Caitlin is in the school I wanted her to be,and she is quite happy there. My husband got a job ( albeit not perfect) and he also passed his learners License.

The company I work for has been struggling the last 2 years, but it seems business is picking up.

So why in HELL am I not happy, extatic and walking around with a stupid grin on my face.

Why am I bouncing between frustrated, angry, tired, and sad? This isn't normal is it? It's not right?

Yes I have exams looming for which I've not studied much,but I still have 2 months, and I am struggling to spend time on persuing my spiritual studies, but every day is a spiritual study in itself. I have been trying so hard to allow a flow in my life. To not hold on to issues, but there is one big issue I can't help but hold onto.

My Marriage.

It's never been happily ever after. We jumped into this commitment with everything, and it felt so right from the start. We've had our up's and downs, but usually a good fight could sort it out. I was always sure of our love, and our comradeship.

We've moved apart and moved closer again, it was always a wave.

For the last almost 4 years it's been pretty much one way though. There are so many factors involved, but every time I remind myself of them it seems like silly excuses. Something my husband is brilliant at. He always has at least 3 or 4 excuses ready for everything.

He takes every suggestion as a personal attack, and it has gotten to the point where I'm too scared to really even talk to him about anything that's bothering me.

We've moved apart, we're growing more and more apart everyday, and sometimes I wonder if our time is past.

I made a commitment to see this relationship through and do what I need to do in order to make it work. Is my constant sadness around it worth it though?

I can not picture my life, without him in it. I can not picture myself with any other man. I can picture it alone.

The last time I had a heart to heart with him around issues that upset me, and make me sad, I thought he was listening. I believed he understood, and I hoped he would try and put in a little bit of effort to help me to help us.

Nothing's changed. Or else I am already so switched off towards him I am not recognising the change.

I'm actually starting to consider that I might be the biggest problem in our relationship. I've built an emotional wall. I've withdrawn. I'm too serious, and I'm too hurt to try again. I'm too tired, and too frustrated.

We have the option of therapy now, but I couldn't even get myself to discuss this with him, because I'm too scared of his reaction.

He's a good man. He's a good father. He does a lot for me. Right now we're two friends sharing a house though. There's nothing at all more than a cordial relationship. No comradeship, no romance, nothing. Should I rather accept this as good enough and not want more?

I told a friend, last weekend that I still love him deeply. She asked me, does he still love me and I was kind of shocked when I realised I can't answer this with certainty. I just don't know.

01 March 2010

Crash Boom Bang

The sound of me hitting Low. I could not stay awake yesterday. Firstly I can never sleep soundly past 8 on a weekend morning. That's the time my 3 year old wakes up at the latest, and she never allows me to sleep later, so when I first dragged one eyelid from the other at 12pm on Sunday I knew something was wrong.

Physically it is impossible for me to sleep that deeply that long. I wrote it off to having a few drinks the night before, but I did not feel hungover in the slightest, I just felt physically drained. I still do.

I dragged myself to the couch downstairs, attempted to keep my eyes open, and failed miserably. 4 drinks don't do this to me. I spent most of the day in and out of naps on the couch. I attempted to force myself to get up and play with Caitlin but my neck could barely keep my head up. Luckily I seem to have a very patient, and forgiving husband, who kept Caitlin busy and also completed the household tasks.

Eventually he made dinner, we ate. I tried to force myself to bath Caitlin but I couldn't even walk up the stairs. I had to get her out of the bath and dress her, and it was excruciating. I almost fell asleep with her on her bed. Eventually I dragged myself out of there, forced myself to shower and pack her lunch, and fell on my own bed exhausted.

I read a bit and fell asleep at the normal bed time for me. I had a bad night though, tossing and turning. So by this morning I felt like I hadn't slept at all.

I even had a low blood pressure episode when I got up this morning, but managed to get everything done I had to. I feel slightly better than yesterday, but still physically drained.

Now in order for this to be a Bipolar kind of Low, that means I was coming down from up high.

Since last week Wednesday I have been very frustrated and angry, so was that a hypo manic episode? I've been googling symptoms, and irritability is one of them. I just thought it was my hormones.

Saturday I was doing a bit of the "life of the party" thing and I did have a little warning bell go off in my head, but I still thought, nah I'm fine. So I guess maybe it was. It would have to be for me to hit such a physical low, wouldn't it?

Mentally I'm okay, just tired. Thoughts dragging and not really willing to do much. Late Sat night I went out with a friend. The 4 drinks didn't affect me much, physically, but mentally I also started dragging, so maybe it was a combination of factors.

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, but it very rarely kicks me in a low by itself.

So now I'm just hoping it passes swiftly and I get to go back to a nice level normal.