Out of the Insanity

Eye of God

Eye of God

“Within the context of an attempt by another to discredit and harm my Being, I seek resolution within my self and only my self.”


You can not control crazy.
And, if crazy is rolling your way, you can not seek resolution or peace with the crazy-maker.
It is an impossible task that will end up harming you further.
You must stand firm in your own sense of self and take the power that you would normally put towards the other person and use it to keep your sense of self intact.
That is a worthy use of your time and energy.

On the Edge of Darkness

Soul Fighter

Soul Fighter

In Your innocent Light, you
touched the skirt of Darkness

and now you know
and now you understand

to a depth only Experience
can bear

and came away aware

Your Soul touched Darkness
And now You Light the Perimeter.

I wrote this because, as we all sometimes do with things in our lives, I was questioning how I became to be a stepmom to children whose own mother treats them (in my mind) with such cold indifference.

And, I realized, after helping my stepson so much as of late, and he would say “But no one would believe me.” I kept saying, “I do. I do believe you.” And he asked why.

Suddenly, internally, I realized why I could believe him- I had “touched the skirt” of his mother’s darkness. I KNEW because I had experienced her coldness, blatant disregard and belittling.

So, now I stand with my little ol’ innocent Light – on the border of darkness, marking the perimeter so my stepchildren may be able to see what is good, normal, and right.

I do not want to make less of anyone’s experience with “darkness” in life. BUt perhaps by having your own Light brush up against that Darkness, you will safely mark the border for others.

The Power of “Not Good Enough” Girl

Angel Carrying Sun

Angel Carrying Sun

I have an alter ego. I used to say I was secretly a “bad-ass rocker chick”, until I mentioned it to my family. After they stopped laughing, they said the only other career they thought I could have is as a librarian. I am not sure they were too hopeful even with that.

I met my other alter ego recently. We have been having a very busy summer. I will do three trips in 8 weeks, I am teaching 3 classes, and am beginning a new consulting opportunity. In the midst, we are building a new home and attempting to sell our current one.

Our realtor called the other day and said some agents were saying our home was too cluttered. You see, I had been packing and had nowhere to put the boxes.

I was mortified. I chastised myself- “Our house is not selling because you made it too cluttered, even after they said to remove the clutter. What were you thinking? You should have had the house cleaner.”

As I walked under the shade tree to my car at work that day, I met her, my alter ego, “Not Good Enough” (NGE) girl.

“NGE” girl has been with me my entire life. In deep conversations with friends, I would literally say, ” I wish I were good enough.” Good enough at what? My answer would have been “Life in general.”

“NGE” Girl is unstoppable. She was created, in her mind, to save the world. She was first going to save my mother (who was suicidal for part of my childhood). Step two, even better, was that she was going to make my mother happy.

She would do everything in her powers, and still it would NOT be enough. Thus “NGE” Girl was born.

I had not “seen” her for some time until that day. It amazed me (and perhaps you can relate) how rabid, intense, and cut-throat that internal voice of my “failure” was. My house was “not good enough” and by extension neither was I.

I don’t think I am the only woman who lives with such a voice. I think there are many, many “NGE” Girls out there.

“NGE” Girls are always striving, always perfecting, in an attempt to “be enough”.

I like to change things around and find my power, if you will. In any event in which I am lost, I picture an infinity loop with me in the center. I send my energy out, and the goal is for it to turn that corner and return to me, completing the cycle.

I put the energy of “NGE” Girl out there- how could I get that energy back?

I believe each contains its opposite- so what power could I gain from “NGE” Girl?

“NGE” Girl is first and foremost- unstoppable. It may not always be the healthiest approach, but She truly believes She can and will do it all.

“NGE” Girl is driven. She has “failed” so many times, failure does not even register with her, She keeps going.

“NGE” Girl is smart, wicked- smart. She has to be. If She is going to save herself and the world, She will watch, She will learn and She will begin to anticipate.

“NGE” Girl is compassionate. Having been belittled and “not enough” her entire life, She knows an underdog when She sees one and has no problem being a champion of its cause.

“NGE” Girl is fearless. She has already lost a lot and still She is willing to risk more.

“NGE” Girl is aware. She is tried her entire life to “make it right”. It has been her passion to live to her highest potential. It may not be recognized by others but She know “good enough” is there and she refuses to settle.

As I wrote, I think there are many “NGE” Girls out there. We may have been overtly told or subjectively referenced that we are “not enough”.

But that “not enough” has carried a potential of Power within It. May every “NGE” Girl not only learn to use that Power, but come to acknowledge it!

The Profound Act of Negating the Negations

Wrapped in Illusion

Wrapped in Illusion

People are inspired to write for many reasons. I realized last evening, one of the most profound reasons may be to “negate the negations”.

I am paraphrasing a quote by Joan Miro, but the resonance stands.

Too many have grown up or are currently living in situations in which their sense of personhood, their hopes, their dreams, their attempts at love and living are constantly negated.

They are belittled, misunderstood, bullied, ignored, and manipulated.

And, yet, the Spirit somehow remains strong and steadfast. It takes root and refuses to stop its own growth in the face of such negativity.

It finds a way to express and expand, and frequently, in this forum, it chooses the act of writing to “negate the negations”.

In the act of writing and creating, the Spirit finds a profound, actual, physical form of counteracting what others have attempted to lay upon it.

The stories are told, the truths are realized, the negations are negated by the profound act of creation.

Never doubt the power of your writing to find your truth. Some require this balance point in life more than others. 🙂

Protecting Yourself by Liking Yourself

Stepping Into

Stepping Into

I often wonder what pushes us forward in life. What transforms us? What stimulates our movement from an abusive relationship or toxic behaviors (by others or those we lay upon ourselves)?

And I think it begins with one thought inside of us – we begin to like ourselves. We begin to like ourselves enough to say “No” to things that hurt, belittle, injure, or limit us.

This initial liking may be but a small sliver, but it is enough for the magic to begin. It begins to serve as a reference for what will and what will not be allowed in our lives.

And in this liking of ourselves, we establish a sense of value within ourselves. And like anything of value, we begin to understand that we are worth protecting. So we leave harmful situations or if we can not leave, we begin to take measure both big and small to protect our value.

I do this in many ways throughout my life. The jewelry I wear and the colors I wear each day have symbolic meaning to me. No one else needs to know that if I am wearing yellow that I am working on the third chakra and my sense of self.

I also set up animal totems all throughout my home. Until recently, I had been on a reptilian trend (try finding that in a home decorating magazine 🙂 ). If you ever need to call up protective energy in your life, reptiles will show you the way. I also have statues of Kali in a windows facing outwards to protect against negative thoughts and energy.

Energetically, the possibilities are endless in how we may bolster our spirits and protect the energy we encounter. Jewelry, colors, totems, figurines may all speak to us in their unique qay.

Finally this thinking lead to the creation of the little figure up top. It’s supposed to be a hedgehog. I know nothing about hedgehogs, other than they began showing up in my dreams.

I looked up hedgehog symbolism and was confronted with a picture of one and a quote by Martha Graham – “You are unique, and if that is not fulfilled, then something has been lost.”

I was struck by this quote. We are unique and we have something to fulfill- which extends way beyond any limitations and control brought on by others or limitations we put upon ourselves by harmful behaviors and thoughts.

As I read further, hedgehogs are associated with the spanning rays of the sun. (it made me think of my image. I always create first and then learn what the image may symbolize). But the hedgehog is a nocturnal creature.

I liked this image. We often represent much more strength and power then we ever give ourselves credit for. If the tiny little hedgehog can live in the night and still represent the sun in its unique way, then certainly you and I can find it within ourselves to find our own unique representation of life.

“Like yourself” – that is the message I get from all of this. I see a little hedgehog in the image, colorfully displayed, heading with some uncertainty to the overwhelming rays of light. And I would like to say, “You are going to be o.k.”

Here Comes the Goddess…

Goddess

Goddess

Here comes the Goddess.

Many, too many, prayers
she has heard to end the night

So she comes a-calling
and a-carrying

Upon her beautiful head
to each a bit of Light.

——-
I have had to turn my prayers around as of late and shake them upside down. I used to pray, really I did, for the Goddess or God to swoop into my life to make things better.

As I have prayed to the Goddess to end the darkness, She answered me, “Kim, I can only do this if I first bring the Light.”

So my prayers have turned around and darkness is not mentioned. I pray that the Light enters and I picture the Goddess traveling across Heaven and Earth to bring me a piece of this gift.

And I will pray she does the same for you in your darkest times.

What is Worse- Anger or Indifference?

Empty

Empty

Sometimes the most scary (and liberating) times are when you move from anger and frustration to indifference. Anger keeps you hooked. Indifference can mean you are off the hook and have no intention of re-engaging.

Please Note- My Indifference
For years- you spoke- and said my anger scared you most.

And I believed you- proving what fools we both may be.

For it has never been my anger which has spooked a soul-
only my indifference

And now you will duly note the difference- and I will finally set myself free.

Explanation: This writing and image refers to a very specific scenario in my family dynamic. I realize on a larger scale indifference is much more frightening than anger. Anger pushes one to action. Indifference allows one to not care.

The Power in Moving from Victim to Victor….

This weekend our dog was attacked by another dog. I was walking my dog at the time and I had him on a leash. The other dog escaped from his fenced area and attacked my dog from behind. At first, I thought my dog had escaped being wounded. Time would show me otherwise. Once I got him home and checked him out, I realized he was bleeding from a wound on his left side. (He is now healing very well 🙂 He is a yellow Lab. Is there any creature more loving and friendly? I think not.)

At this point, I decided to call the police. (Yes, we live in that small of a town. 🙂 ). It was also at this point that I made the completely unconscious decision to enter what I now refer to as “victim dissociation mode”. For those who have experienced trauma and abuse, the response is not that uncommon.

For me, the response involves responding, projecting, anticipating, controlling, and caring for everyone BUT myself and in this case- my injured dog. See, if you have experienced abuse, one way you learn to survive is to control everything you can, while at the same time, dissociating from yourself because the pain is too great.

So, on this day, I spent time worrying about the following: the police officers who had to handle a “dog issue”, which in my mind, I created the scenario that this was a nuisance in regards to their use of time. I was also worried that one officer seemed very quiet and perhaps I had upset him. I then worried about saying I wanted the owners of the dog to be ticketed, because, my goodness..what if they were unable to afford the ticket? Next, I spent time worrying that I needed to get my dog to the vet. The vet was closing at 2:00 and I could not get there until 2:00. Now, I had the guilt of making the vet stay late. (None of this was based on the vet’s response, by the way. This was ALL coming from me.) While at the vet, the police officers had a follow-up call for me and now I was upset this was taking up more of their day- on such a “small issue”. Again, they did not convey this to me, it was everything I was telling myself.

You may be asking, as I have begun to ask myself- where was my anger? My dog was attacked from behind! Where was my fear? Buried deep, deep inside. Where was my overwhelming concern for myself and what I witnessed? Nowhere to be found. What about my dog? I placed him in the same category as me- I felt I could “manage” his suffering and thus not be bothering anyone with my fearful concerns for him.

And that is what happens in victim mentality. You become numb to your own reality because it is “easier” and too frightening to confront what is actually happening- events of which you have NO control that are causing you pain. And so you let your mind fly away on fantasies and projections, worrying about others, when your utmost, number one concern should be yourself.

I learned something about myself on this day. I learned how much I STILL dissociate. I learned how, when I am unable to worry for myself, I distort and project my worries on to others. I learned that I desperately want to control and prevent bad things from happening, because I get all turned around in my mind and think the bad things that are happening are somehow my fault and if I were just smart enough, or good enough, I could stop them.

But, that is the “victim” part of this story. I also learned even in the midst of trauma I can be the victor. I took care of my dog. I got him to safety. I saw his wound and got him help. I protected others in the area by informing and then dealing with the police officers. I was smart enough to reach out to friends who helped me find a vet who was open on Saturday and willing to help me with my dog. And I got my dog to the vet in time and he is healing fine.

And unlike the victim stories that spew and churn in my mind, the above are the FACTS of what happened. I helped my dog, I protected him and myself, removed us from a dangerous situation and got us help. There is not one thing “victim-like” in those acts.

As victims, we can not control what is done to us (or has been done in the past). That is the “victim” portion of our lives. However, we can transform and transcend and not stay immersed in the energy of victimhood. We can emerge as the victor of our own lives.

The Bait and Switch Game of Love and Abuse

As I posted earlier this week, I have had a small awakening of how abuse and love can become mixed up in the mind of those of us who have suffered abuse. Abusers do a great job of tieing together the two ideas of love and abuse in our minds.
We become disoriented and we can not separate out what is love and what is abuse. We learn early on that if we are to get “love” at all, the price we must play is to suffer abuse.
The game is rigged in the abuser’s favor. They switch out abuse for love and love for abuse. Below is a poem that expresses what it feels like to experience this bait and switch, and the confusion which results.

Bait And Switch of Love and Abuse

Let us play the game
Of shells,
I bet my life
And the wager lacks

Play known as “Thimblerig”-
Appropriately-
Away to keep one under
Your thumb

We reverse the stakes
I must choose to avoid
The shell which contains
What lurks underneath

My point and
Touch and your flip
Of the shell will unleash
That which I fear

The shell you use
To cover and hide your
Abuse of me-
Now you see it, now you don’t

Look-it, look-it
See right here,
Hand swipes and wipes
The board clean

Now you see it, now you don’t.

I become confused, sweaty,
Startled, my eyes of
Prey have lost sight
Of your subtle signs

Now, I know I am
In trouble.
I should have watched,
Should have waited
With an intensity to save my life.

My guard slips and now
I don’t know under
Which shell hides that god-damn
Abuse.

You are good, you are fast.
Your hands switch, play, and switch
Again. And you will blame
Me for not keeping track.

Breath rate elevates,
The stress response,
Your shills move in,
Pressuring me to choose.

What if I choose wrong?
What if I pick and under
Shell number 3 lays the trigger
that frees your wrath?

All because I chose wrong
And god-damn it,
I did not watch for the
Proper signs!

I do not know what you want
Me to do. I look at you
with desperate eyes. “Help me”
I force into my mind.

You glance up with
Wicked smile on that cold,
Stone face, assured
You will win

You rigged the game
Long ago – and tell
Me I need not fear
to make a choice.

For you see, you
Lean in and whisper
To me, “It’s not abuse,
it’s love. Now choose!”

Being Patient…When Your Mind Changes Before Your Life Changes

The Color Purple

The Color Purple

The other day I was reading John Berger’s book How Does the Impulse To Draw Something Begin? He writes about trying to draw a particular set of plums hanging from a particular tree. He notes a snail sitting by these plums. Berger must leave his drawings for a bit and when he returns, he is worried he may not find the same plums in all the trees.

He looks and looks, and then notices the snail, marking his place. The snail had slightly changed positions, though. But, as Berger writes, he did not change his “whereabouts” or location. He was still near the plums of choice, although the snail had been moving along, at a snail’s pace.

And this made me think of my life and the process of change. When we come to certain realizations in our lives- i.e. that our partner is abusive, our parents are crazy, that everything is NOT our fault- we can feel a desperate need upon this awareness for everything to change. We want the relationship over- Now. We want our parents out of our lives- Now.

It’s as if, in my mind, I think, “Well, I have been blessed with this wonderful awareness, now everything should change due to my new-found understanding.”

As you know, life does not work like this. We, like the snail, first change position by changing our minds and awareness. Sometimes, though, the more outwardly changes, such a changing to a new whereabout (new relationships, better boundaries with parents,etc.) are much slower in ripening.

That is o.k. though. Like the snail, coming to a new awareness is a change in position, even if everything on the surface does not immediately change. I guess what I am saying is, don’t lose heart. Change will happen because you set it in motion. Believe that you are supported as you continue to push for the betterment of yourself and this world.

Location

John Berger wrote of hand-fuls of plums
in a tree-ful garden

Colors captured him, although artists
Too frequently praised for the reciprocal

A snail became placeholder for Berger, as he penned
sketches of leaves, plums, and artistic visions

What page may contain the beauty of these sun-fruits?
Colors of such depth, we taste them.

A snail, working at a snail’s pace,
marked Berger’s work of perfection- the plums of choice

Until the snail moved. Oozing along,
as one imagines snails do.

The snail changed position, within
the same location, which Berger termed “whereabout”.

Berger would claim he was not lost, but rather found,
as the snail did not change whereabouts, only position.

You see, the snail clung to the prized
Fruits of an artist’s fruit-ful vision

But this is God’s way, isn’t it?
We think we are lost until we are found.

Grace comes in many forms, even white snail shells,
as God keeps our whereabouts, while we change position.

Slowly, slowly the snail seeks and we shall follow suit
trusting a change in position leads to ripened fruit.