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The dumbing down of #Emotion

Published September 21, 2013 by myagleny

Years ago, I came to the uncomfortable realisation that I had become numb. Somewhere along the line I had turned off the tap that had brought to me my feelings, emotions, intuitions and appropriate human reactions.  Somewhere, in amongst the dramas and traumas of a crazy life, I had decided I would be better off not to feel… anything.  I could still stub my toe and complain about it however, and much later I could give birth and be aware of excruciating physical pain ravaging my body, but to most things – good or bad – it would be as if I disappeared, to a place deep inside where nothing could touch me.

Why does a person shut off feeling?  In my case I believe it came as a small child when I was told that life was hard and unpleasant, and consisted of difficulties and penalties and punishment. ‘Real’ life was all about hard work, success or failure.  It was about marks on pieces of paper and regular reports from your betters, highlighting what was wrong and never what was right. Real life was a mountain of must dos and must do nots…  Freedom, peace and hugging trees were just a joke!  Never permitted, never valued, never even talked about except in terms of wackos, weirdos and drop outs…  Peace and Love were for drug addicts and wastrels – bad people who sponged off those who worked hard their whole lives. Good people like us work I was told, and work some more.  I believed the propaganda, all its lies and limitations, and part of me began to close down because I never wanted to feel the intensity of the sadness of it.

I was led to believe the connection I felt with Nature and Trees as a child was not ‘real’.  It was a fantasy that those who believed they were helping me, tried to squash.  They succeeded oh so easily, because a small child always wants to be loved, and if you do as you’re told and think as you’re told, you’re more likely to receive a kindly word.  Go against them and something is ‘wrong’ with you.  Even if you are never deliberately disobedient, only gently going about your business, if you have not bought into their world you must have chosen opposition, and therefore become the enemy in some form. Little children do not want to have enemies. They just want to have love.

As you grow up you become so used to numbness you no longer remember how it felt before.  You wonder in your quiet moments why you have to drink so much alcohol before life holds any joy at all.  You know you will be judged in the morning, told off, condemned and looked upon with disgust, but it’s still worth it just to feel something for a while. One too many and it’s over the top back into numbness again – but hey, that’s familiar territory.

When awareness comes, as it does in the end, all kinds of interesting things begin to happen.  It is as if every unasked question starts screaming for answers, and it hurts.  Every lie becomes blatant and raw. Every attempt at smothering the honesty of Life becomes a crime.  With awareness the Truth rushes in from all directions, and for years it literally took my breath away.  How could I have been so dumb?  How could I have believed such twisted pain and taken it as my own? Why did those who professed to care, persist in trying to poison me? 

Now I am in the middle of the great unfolding.  I allow things to come and go.  I am releasing the blame, and releasing the pain, and am continuing to feel more and more.  Now my love for the Natural World has free expression – I feel safe in the wild places.  I am connecting again.  Feeling means full expression of Self.  It is the only true way to live.  Without our emotions and intuitions we are shadows, half-alive…  It is the uniqueness of the human experience and the ability to express it fully that makes a Life.

I can do that.     

Am I a rock?

Published September 4, 2013 by myagleny

Today’s daily prompt from WordPress asks the question… ‘Am I a rock?’

Synchronistically, on this very day, I have attended the first session of a course for supporting Carers.  What is the connection between rocks and carers you might ask?  Well, a carer has to be a human rock of course.  They have to remain stalwart in a crisis, and just like a rock, stay anchored emotionally and physically to the environment in which they find themselves.  After all, you can’t have a nervous breakdown when the person you are caring for is also having a nervous breakdown.  You can’t go running off whenever you feel like it if the person you are caring for cannot cope with your absence for even 5 minutes.

I am a Carer, so am I a rock?  As always, the answer is down to interpretation, and  I am sure some of those nearest and dearest to me would say that on a good day I can be, while equally others would say “Are you kidding me?”

If a rock means someone you can rely on, who holds the fort, stays the same no matter what, never gets flustered or spun off, literally acts like rock in a stormy sea and survives whatever Mother Nature can throw at her, then surely that person must be superhuman or dead.   I am neither of these things… yet.  I am just a person, and as such likely to get caught out from time to time by some outrageous slings and arrows raining down from on high.

It seems to me, to be even a half effective rock, the key is to be mindful and aware of your place in space.  Try not to go wandering off in a mind-soup of thoughts of ‘if only’ and ‘it’s not fair’ and ‘why did this happen to me?’  Rocks don’t do this.  Rocks are fully present – they know where they are.  It is good medicine to ‘be like the rock’.  It’s a strength that is always present and we can call on it whenever the need arises – if we just remember.

Rocks crumble in the end, but it is usually a slow process, dignified and invisible …  Until then, the rock is refuge and stability in difficult times.  Never knock the rock.

#Loss #Love and Remembering

Published August 24, 2013 by myagleny

When we lose someone, or something that holds great importance for us, it leaves a yawning gap in our lives.  But where exactly is this gap?  Newtonian physics would not be able to find it and actually show us the location of this empty space, and a Doctor would not be able to fill it or fix it with a bandage, although she might suggest the numbing qualities of another mind bender. The gap doesn’t exist in a material sense, but we feel it all the same.  It is like a bottomless pit that floats in and out of our awareness, lost in time somewhere, but the pain of its presence we feel right now.  Sometimes it is almost as if we can see into it – the gap, the pit – and the heartbreak is there is no light within. What can we do?

It seems we have to get bigger.  Much bigger.  We have to move beyond the ‘little me’ and begin to see a timeless, endless divinity that works ceaselessly and effortlessly.  The way out of suffering is to move out, in all directions and in all ways.  If we expand beyond the terrors of our mortality and inevitable losses, we begin to see the magic and motion of life playing out in everything we say and everything we do. Our lives become purposeful – not in worldly ways we have been taught hold the greatest value, like our ability to build empires and corporations – but in the subtle realms of love and compassion for all things.  It is here that our Truth unfolds.  Here is where our reason for living reveals itself.

Why do we have to feel pain?  Because we can. Through the pain in our life experiences, our true nature has the opportunity to show itself.  If we acknowledge our fears – the losses and the sorrows – and take from them the gifts that really are there if we put down our weapons and allow – Life/God/The Universe comes joyfully tumbling into everything, and it is as if our thoughts and words and deeds become charged with a gentle power, so great it creates new worlds in every moment.

When we forget our connection to all life, we feel small, isolated and alone.  We feel like victims – tiny, suffering and helpless.  This is not who we are – not really.  We have the power of choice in every moment, and when we choose to remember we are all things in all ways, our yawning, painful gaps fill in with love and kindness, and we are complete.

We are human, and it is inevitable that we will experience loss in life, but when we feel it, and feel it we will, we can also choose to be healed by remembering our connection to divinity, and invite in the greatest force in all the Universe…

Love.  Image

Working through the flood

Published August 15, 2013 by myagleny

It’s so very nice to feel calm, peaceful and at ease tonight.  For weeks, if not months, I have had something rattling away in the back of my mind. Like an electrical appliance that runs 24/7, there has been a kind of hum in my head that has never gone away. This hum is my internal list of ‘must dos’, ‘have tos’ and ‘should dos’.  It was a long list.  The kind of list that has no end, because every day whatever gets ticked off two more get put in its place.  

Yesterday I had a meltdown.  As some folks say, ‘I lost it’, whatever ‘it’ is.  I realised I was never going to get ‘it’ done, and the path I was choosing was bringing me closer and closer towards a maelstrom of even more ‘must dos’, ‘have tos’ and ‘should dos’… and if I didn’t call a halt to the whole crazy episode, I could see the life I say I want, moving further and further away.  

If I said I cried a flood last night, I would not be exaggerating – not too much anyway. I think I went into a kind of shock too, because I became very cold and my whole body shook.  I stopped sobbing in the end and tried to go to bed, but there was no sleep to be had.  My thinking mind was not interested in giving up it’s supremacy to the unconscious.  I was wide awake.  At 3.30am I found myself in the garden, sitting on a bench, wrapped in my bear coat with the hood over my head.  At least out here I was not ticking myself off for not being asleep.

In the early hours of the morning the garden is strangely still – save for the silent (to my ears at least) fluttering of bats, that circle round the lamp posts hoovering up insects as they go.  Nothing looks real – it looks fabricated – not like a real garden at all.  It looks almost two dimensional, somewhat like a child’s cut out.  

I sat and pondered my situation.  In the garden everything listens politely without judgment.  I sat and let the answers happen.  I asked for the Truth to be shown to me, and didn’t add any caveats.  I have come to the conclusion that there is no point in shying away from Universal Truth.  We are all the Universal Truth after all, and in all honesty cannot hide from ourselves – not really. 

Tonight I will sleep…  I am at ease.  I am content.  

Daily Prompt: Moved to Tears

Published August 11, 2013 by myagleny

Daily Prompt: Moved to Tears
On most days something will happen to bring tears to my eyes… It might be a piece of music or the clouds drifting peacefully at sunset, or the faces of my grandchildren when they see me. Usually the tears are ‘good’ones and fall easily because of beauty or grace. But sometimes – as just now – they are acid tears. They hurt and sting my eyes and refuse to flow, burning as they form – hot and unforgiving. It is as if they want to cause to my skin the pain I’m feeling in my heart.
I am SO disappointed… disappointed and frustrated. I am angry and bitter and wanting to rip out my chest. I want to shake those I love, and tell them to leave me the hell alone because I can’t prop them up anymore. I can’t do this daily grind anymore! I am sick and tired of being strong and wise and expected to keep it all together. Nothing I try ever works, money eludes me whatever I do, and I hate the voice in my head that tells me life is hopeless and that I am fooling myself.
These are not ‘good’ tears. These tears are from the deepest recesses of my heart – and they hurt.

Musing on Motherhood…

Published August 1, 2013 by myagleny

Walking in the evening sun just now, it came to me that if I had chosen to live a life that experienced many facets of motherhood, I think I could say that’s exactly what I’ve done!

I’ve been a young mother and an old mother, a mother married to the father of my children, and a mother married to the stepfather of my children.  I’ve been a single mother for many long and lonely years, and a mother too scared to ever try again. I’ve had a child with cancer and a child who tested me beyond my limits with the power of their personality and anger, and I’ve had a child with autism who taught me how to live and love again.  I’ve parented a child with chronic fatigue and depression, a child involved with drugs and teenage pregnancy, and I’ve been there when my child was attacked by their father, and had to run away in the night to start all over again.

Sometimes I think it’s a miracle I’m not insane, but then again I think perhaps I am – a little. Sometimes I’m glad for it all because the experiences have made me who I am and I know without them I would only be a fraction of the person I am now. Sometimes, when I feel sorry for myself, I wish none of it had ever happened, and that my life had been as it once was; that I’d kept my well paid job in London and drifted into middle age, childless and wealthy, with nothing but time and money on my hands…

But mostly I forget about it all…  I go about my day, and to the best of my ability appreciate what I have.  I take care of business… and only sometimes, when the sun is setting and evening casts its long and thoughtful shadows through the woods, do I remember such things, and wonder…   

#Glasgow tower blocks and the impermanence of all

Published May 6, 2013 by myagleny

Watching the two second demolition of a Glasgow tower block, as it succumbed to the inevitability of its controlled explosive execution, carried far more emotion than I would have expected. A woman talking after the event reminded me that this was not for her, just an eyesore, or a pile of concrete cancer slowly decaying, it was a valuable part of her life.

People she knew and loved had lived in this stack of flats, piled one on top of the other in a mid-20th century attempt to provide accommodation at a time when the nation was bankrupt and there was no money for quality housing.  Within this high-rise concrete theatre, their stories entangled and threaded together making up an essential section of the fabric of time and space in this place.  The woman had lived there too with her parents who no longer live in this world, and all had worked together to create a unique energy that represented a path from which she, and others, had come. It was the source of her story.  For her, as the building gave itself up, the memories stored within the crumbling walls were released in a two second blast that shocked her – and it is no surprise.

Monuments, gravestones, buildings… all represent the past.  Old friends, old deeds and old actions we do not want to forget are tied up ‘forever’ in a form we believe holds permanence.  It gives us a sense of security – of knowing what went before.  Like anchors into the past we cherish the tug they give us when life rocks the boat.  We think we are safe having these ties to what has gone before.

But is this true?  Ties restrict.  Ties bind.  Ties are in direct opposition to freedom. Ties may feel like a safety net, but they are also what keeps us in chains.  What we think of as a permanence really carries no guarantees at all… nothing in this world is forever.  We may not want to believe it, but what we lash ourselves to is already changing, already falling away – everything is moving into and out of form in a constant dance, and if we are not free to join this dance we suffer and shuffle about instead, held back by the weight of memories of a past that no longer exists. 

Better to let it go.  Say goodbye and move on.  Holding on to old things means regret, resentment, sadness, melancholy, wistfulness, even anger.  There is nothing to be gained from living in the past.

With the falling of the tower block and the release of all the energy, perhaps the woman from Glasgow will find her life a little lighter now, perhaps she will dance a little more too – who knows?