Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Magnetic Poles Switching Inside

This experience of discovering the benign meningioma, struggling to get ready for it to go, having it removed and then recovering from its absence has been quite a process. For years leading up to the discovery of this tumor, I really was in quite a struggle to understand how my life had gotten so far off course from my dreams, and I had ascertained lots of bits of information about the past, and ideas of how to get back to what I had a will for really pursuing, but I couldn't quite put it together. As I write this, I can see that perhaps my journey is unique, maybe other people can get a grasp onto things much more easily. On the other hand, I also wonder if other people who run into these sort of monumental physical, emotional and mental challenges might be able to use what I've discovered on their own quests, so I'll share a particularly surprising part of this story...

The Sun XIX
A child's mind invents many future potentials, and sifts them as she grows. She sends them out looking for approval, and doesn't realize that approval often comes to the thing she's least interested in. She pursues the least interested future with all her energy because ultimately she desires the approval. The potentials she deeply loves, the ones that involve her so completely that time passes without her knowledge, get branded as distractions from the things she ought to do and so they're put on a shelf display in her head as evidence of bad habits.

At some point in adulthood the shelf falls apart and suddenly those future potentials start a mess in the mind. They play hide in seek with her as it dawns on her that her lack of happiness has something to do with the fact they've gone missing. There are marvelous books by worthy authors that help her find them (CG Jung, Oriah Mountain Dreamer, Julia Cameron, Paul Ferrini, Leo Buscalia, M. Scott Peck MD, off the top of my head). Classes are taken, and yet even when one piece is found and put back on the shelf, others are lost. Therefore, a great swath of time goes to piecework while still giving the most time to those things that get some approval. The battle to actually take some discovery off the shelves of life and to wear them and live in them is already known to gain disapproval, and that is not something she desires.

Because approval has become so important, she is even likely to surround herself with echoing voices of friendships that agree with the approved choices, and that in turn leaves all of those shelved selves exposed to further disapproval. The internal battlefield between the bits of desired denials and the framework of desired approval leaves her frustrated with even having another potential at times, or frustrated with her approving friends and family because they don't see her true desires as worthwhile, except perhaps as a hobby. When the secretly loved potentials make unplanned exposures, her urge to quickly finish them and get them off her mind can lead to self-exhaustion and frizzle-frazzlement.

Am I making any sense?

Last post, I talked a bit about rebellion, and this story I'm outlining is a further exposure of the wrestling I've been doing for almost all my life. For some reason now that I have a flow of water again around the part of my brain that puts things in order, I am able to see that the approval/disapproval war is an old, old habit. I also have the sense that I may actually be experiencing a reversal of that order. Now, I recognize everything that I'm supposed to do for approval from many who have been a lifetime around me, and I am feeling disgusted by it, by my own former behavior, and finding that I simply cannot condone allowing it to remain in the limelight. It comes up daily, moment to moment. As if the magnetic poles of the order within me have switched, my strongest desire is to bring out all of those uncommitted desires and let them be experienced for the rest of my life, whether or not I'm ultimately understood. In turn the modes of operation that attain some sense of comprehension from much of my family  and some of my old friends are being boxed and labeled with things like "taking care of external perfectionism," "the right diet," "beliefs that have nothing to do with me," "rising to expectations," and "buying artificial pleasures."

Meanwhile, as I dust off desires that have been hidden away everyday, more potentials appear. It is as if I've landed on the island of misfit toys and they're all so happy to have me. These desires are not all quite working yet, and I'm not but partially developed on most of them, so I have the sense of practice and experiment. It isn't that I haven't tried all of them once or even often, but simply that now instead of killing myself to get something done and out of the way, I sense I have the opportunity to see what unfolds over time, and that as part of my healing doing it little by little is essential.

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