What is your "true north"?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Childofmine, Jul 10, 2015.

  1. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    One of Echo's posts made me think of this question in this way. What is it that we really and truly need in order to be happy? What is our highest and best hope and dream for ourselves? What puts us at peace inside, that single moment when we feel flush with goodness and happiness, and the feeling, that at least for that moment, all is right with the world? What is the right path for ourselves, personally?

    Here is a little more on true north: "Finding true north is essential for accurate navigation.Hence the metaphor. In life's journey we are often uncertain where we stand, where we are going and what is the right path for us personally. Knowing our true north would enable us to follow the right path."

    **********

    On this forum, we often talk about walking our own path, and our DCs having to walk their paths. Many of us found ourselves trying to walk our DCs path with them and for them, and we were completely off our own paths, in fact, we didn't even know we needed a path for ourselves, we were so completely caught up with trying to fix them, manage them...yes, control them...all with good intentions, so they would get straight and fly right.

    In learning that our path is our path, and their path is their path...and we all make our own paths ourselves...the question arises: What is our true north? What is the best path for us, that path that brings us wholeness and contentment and serenity and peace? Thinking about this and then working on it is one of the best tools we can use to turn our energy and our direction onto ourselves---which is where it should be---and let our adult children have the space and time and distance to do the same, if they will.

    More to come from me on this. I'm at a Richard Rohr conference this weekend, and I am going to frame my listening here around this question: What is my true north?

    I'll share more later. Warm hugs to every single Warrior on this forum. You inspire me, and I feel close to you all!
     
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  2. DoneDad

    DoneDad Active Member

    Enjoy the conference! Sounds like a great experience.
     
  3. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    I feel pleased that our conversation opened doors in your mind! I can't wait to hear what comes of this weekend.
    Although it took me a long time with Difficult Child, when the time came I was able to stop enabling, stop trying to control, because it SO OBVIOUSLY WASNT WORKING.
    I find it more difficult into more normal relationships because ingest intermittent reinforcement..sometimes they do what Insay!!! So I keep pushing, and Incan feel the resentment build on both sides.
    I want to work on that.
    And I think one of the major tools for that is working on my own wholeness, on my own joys, my own True North.
    Let's keep talking about this.
    Hugs to you my friend,
    Echo
     
  4. blackgnat

    blackgnat Active Member

    I have truly no idea what path is mine. I'm completely LOST and in a very bad head space.

    Last year I took early retirement. Didn't think that one through. Now I'm unemployed and broke. Lonely and depressed.

    I hope you find your way.
     
  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Great question.

    When my son was born my identity took on a new meaning, I was now ********'s mom. I remember at little league games, I was not known by name but ********'s mom. When things were going good in the early years I loved that, being know as *******'s mom but when my son started getting into trouble the "tone" of being *******'s mom changed, it went from "oh, you're ******'s mom" to "ooohhhhhhh, So YOU'RE *******'s mom" It wasn't hard to figure out that behind that "tone" was "you're the mom of the trouble maker, the one who skips school all the time, the one who got arrested, etc....."
    I felt so ashamed. What once used to fill me with joy now filled me with dread.
    I had to fix him, I had to make this right, after all that's what a "mom" is supposed to do, make everything ok for her child.

    I became so obsessed with trying to "fix" my son and his problems that I completely lost myself.
    As Echo said:
    For me, this took many years to come to the realization that everything I was doing to "help" was not.
    My detachment was a slow process and there were a few times that I got sucked back into the chaos of trying to "fix" or "rescue" him.

    As my detachment from him became easier I started to really think about MY life. I reflected back over all the years I spent focused on my son and started wondering how much of MY life had I missed. I thought about the things I used to do that brought me joy, things I stopped doing because I was so caught up in "helping" my son. Slowly, I started adding things back into my life and an amazing thing happened, I started to feel some joy returning. I started getting more involved in my church and doing volunteer work. My life started to make sense again, I finally had direction "my true north".

    I have a very full life that I truly enjoy. That is my hope for my son, that someday he too will be able find joy in his life.
     
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  6. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    Ah the conference today was...incredible. So many practical truths were articulated. I will share some of them tomorrow.

    This is all so much bigger than all of us. There are great lessons to be learned here that are far beyond what one person or two persons choose for their lives. It is a true gift for it all to be lifted up and out of the current moment or situation.

    There is so much hope ahead for each of us.
     
  7. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I enjoy Richard Rohr. I learned of him through your postings here, COM. The Conference would be an amazing event to be part of. I am happy for you that you are attending, and am looking forward to hearing what you have learned.

    Trust. That elusive thing that we enter into that tells us all is well, whatever is happening.

    That would be True North, for me.

    To believe we are enough, and more than enough, for whatever comes or does not come for us, next. There is freedom in that kind of letting go. (There is letting go out of desperation. There is letting go out of defiance and anger. And there is another kind of letting go that is not really letting go at all and yet, it is. That is letting go before we latch on; letting go into Eckhart's Now, maybe.

    That would be trust.

    Awake, aware, present. Understanding we are human, all of us (animals, too ~ for me, that is true). We do what we can; we do what is in front of us to do and rest assured others will do what is there for them to do, too. There is a kind of peace in that; there is a kind of peace in knowing that is probably true. Know how I know that?

    Mr. Rogers.

    :O)

    I thought I would put that in just in case anyone thinks I am going all esoteric on us, here.

    Mr. Rogers is supposed to have said something to the effect that, when bad things happen, we should not despair because if we look for them, we will see the helpers.

    And this is true.

    ***

    For me, everything I was so sure I thought I knew is changing. I am in such a state of flux that I can hardly believe I ever believed I knew anything at all. I am discovering that the events that found me fulfilled and completed in the life I created as an adult had to do with what I did not have in my dysfunctional childhood. I was reacting to, and have spent my life creating, the safety and cleanliness and smooth stability I did not have.

    Imagine my surprise when the terrible things that happened to all of us happened anyway.

    I still love the feeling that all is quiet and well-run. The difference now would be that I am of more interest to myself than just to create those beautiful things having to do with loving, or with the scents and colors of home. Legitimacy, for me in this time, is to be found elsewhere. In my curiosity, maybe. Recognizing and then, choosing to come free of my "shoulds" continues to be an amazing experience.

    I am excited.

    Here is a tip for anyone entertaining. All we need to remember on the day of the event is: Set the table. Clean the toilet.

    Someone told me that once; guests are going to notice the table setting and whether the bathroom is clean.

    I used to like to know those kinds of things.

    Now, I am happiest just as the sun begins to brighten. Not at dawn, but those hushed moments just before. I am only myself then, not some version of a better self working and working to accomplish something that has to do with being happily safe, or with stability or even, decency.

    Or any particular thing at all.

    I have heard that described as getting out of our own way.

    ***

    There was a time when I loved being responsible for those things I was responsible for. I love that I did that. There was a time when I loved yellow gingham for morning place settings. I loved it. It made me so happy to be the mom ~ and to be the grandma, too. I kept trying to be that person, kept trying to create and celebrate that life, no matter what the kids were doing or how bad it got.

    That was a correct response. I see the strength in the family D H and I created. We are still somehow functioning, are somehow pulling our ways through it.

    I was so sad and hurt when we lost that vision, when we lost those dreams we were coming true right before our eyes.

    ***

    So, the answer to what is True North would be that it changes, as we all change. Flexibility would be True North. Savoring the moment we are in, sitting with the feelings right up close without letting the feelings matter because they are come of the past. And living our lives, tasting and savoring or spitting the bitter things out...those things are in the now. Acceptance without condemning ourselves for our situations. How the capacity to do that would free us, would change and strengthen us! I remember how certain I was that responsibility for what happened to all of us was somehow my shortcoming. I wish I had devoted that time when I was so desperate to find the answer to...almost anything else, really. The answer was not there where I was looking for it. It never was there. But when I look back, and when I see what I did with those questions, I admire my courage. I sort of revel in having learned all these things that I have found to be true about me.

    So that is my answer: Flexibility, awareness, acceptance. Presence. Attention to both positive and negative change; openness to what a thing might be or to what it may develop into, instead of a compulsion to fit our stories into some more "acceptable" reality.

    Curiosity. That would be a component of True North. Maybe curiosity is True North, and these other things I have posted about are simply tools along the way.

    Goals and a schedule for achieving them or marking progress, but not agendas.

    It is interesting to me that everything that mattered to that young mom I was is gone. I don't even know whether that is good or bad. I suspect it is a loss in the sense that my children ~ that all of our children who fell into addiction or found themselves hounded by mental illness ~ seem not to have contributed what they might have. At times though, especially when I talk to my daughter at any depth, I wonder whether this mixing of people of different races and mental status and socioeconomic status is itself the miracle.

    I don't know.

    Cedar

    I see my grands living lives "my" grands should never have even seen close up. I don't like that this is so for them. We have too many grands (6) to have taken them in and raised them without seriously cramping our irresponsible retiree lifestyle.

    True.

    We picked to play, to forge ahead, instead of taking our grands.

    Here is a secret you already know: I would have taken them. D H? Not a chance.

    I don't know who was right or wrong about that.
     
  8. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    I've been thinking about this very thing. I recall reading a book by Martha Beck years ago, discussing these very things that was very good. Will look up R. Rhor!!! I suspect, many folks in their 50s do an evaluation of sorts of their lives and I'm more or less doing this. For me, I think, my difficult child DID help to send me in some sort of tailspin with reference to clearly understanding myself, my goals in life...my purpose, understanding what makes me happy. But, for me, it was the horrible combination of having a difficult child and health problems. I have lupus and other crummy stuff and the combination was a very difficult one two punch. In high school and college and right after college, I knew what I wanted,was an excellent planner, handled emergencies well, had clear focus...blah blah blah. But, with all the overwhelming detours, I lost focus. And this went on so long, too long...that I had trouble finding myself and although better, still do struggle at times. I've learned to be my own advocate with reference to my health. I've learned to let 99% of difficult child's stuff go...(detachment). I've learned to be happy EVEN with these extraordinary difficult things in the background, like disappointment and extreme physical pain. In fact, I've even encountered weird jealousy from other women because I think it baffles them when I appear happy and they know that I have a difficult child and they are aware that I've been sick. Some don't believe me...and that's always weird. But, no matter. Especially on days I feel well...man o man, do I enjoy them to the very max of my ability. And this summer, I'm traveling etc. with a literal suitcase of medications. Why? Because I enjoy traveling, and I'm not going to be frightened. Good food, true friends, pain free days, travel...I do enjoy certain things and I am so happy and appreciative of them. Perhaps being happy (responsibly) is what it's about in the end. :) :) :) Enjoy the conference!
     
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    Last edited: Jul 11, 2015
  9. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    I am thinking maybe I will get a tattoo that says 'True North' on my hand, or wrist, where I will see it all the time, so I can remember to focus on that one true thing. True North. Maybe a compass. Or the North Star.
     
  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    My life purpose, is to love others, but from a position of psychic independence that I have never before had. Because unless I do this, I will never really be able to love others fully, if my happiness depends upon the serenity of somebody else. Other people deserve to decide their own moods. To insist they be happy for me is to love them less.

    My make-up is to be somebody that sacrifices herself for others. Until recently I have never really known another way to be.

    For a long time in my life I lived distant from my Mother. I thought I had created my own life. I did so incompletely. What I had, I had only if I was far from her. If I was close to her and she was distressed, I lost it all. I feel a real sadness now because of this. I loved my Mother, only learning how much too late. If I had known a way to love without sacrificing myself we could have had a relationship throughout our lives. Neither one of us knew how to be different. The same is now true with my son.

    My true north is to become whole in myself. To be a mother and to love as an independent person. To make choices consciously and deliberately with respect to those I love, independent of the knee-jerk response to stop the distress of someone else.

    The costs of continuing as I am are potentially grave. Particularly for my son.

    If I died now, I would have lived a good enough life. But the thing is my son has too much control over my psyche. I think it weakens him. My son thinks he can govern with his feelings. His feelings have become the most powerful thing about him. Through his bad feelings, his moods, he dominates me. His depression, his anger...rather than competencies...he uses to manipulate others and to achieve ends. For myself and for my son, I want to change this.

    My true north is gaining freedom for my spirit and of heart. To hold as important the listening to my own voice of sadness and of need, to value my own happiness and contentment equally to those I love.

    If my son is sad, lost or unstable, I feel lost too. And I wake up feeling dread; that there is no good thing in life and there is nothing that will change this for me. Until he feels better.

    When he feels better, I feel better. Until he does, I am as if dead to myself.

    And I wait for a sleeping beauty kiss. That is what I call it lately.

    In this way of living I am as if on life support. Dependent 100 percent upon the life support delivered by invisible tubes and machines, in the form of some signal that my son is doing better and is okay.

    In this way of living, I have two options only:
    --I tether myself to my son, providing for him in the ways he wants and feels he needs, and suffer with him.
    --Or, I do not. I respond to my failure to sacrifice myself for my son by depriving myself completely of any possibility of living richly, completely, productively. I cut myself off from life. And I go to bed.

    I had in my life what I thought was my path. I achieved beyond my own and others' expectations. I became productive and focused. I became self-confident and I banished a lot of self-doubt. I found a good man who loves me. I found talents and interests and meaning.

    For sure, I want M in my life as long as we want each other. But what I have achieved so far in my life is not my true path.

    I want to free myself, to no longer be conjoined to the feelings of others who I love.

    I have learned in these past couple of years that while I distanced myself from my Mother nearly all of my adult life, I never separated from her.

    My mother was a forceful, demanding and self-centered woman. I was a vulnerable, sensitive child who needed her. As a small child I learned that my life depended upon subordinating myself and my needs to hers.

    My mother governed with her emotions. Her emotions controlled my life. I learned to live life in response to her emotions.

    As she was dying I fell apart if she was angry. I felt it was my fault and believed the solution was in me, was my responsibility. I responded to her suffering by completely dedicating myself to her. I did the right thing for the wrong reason.

    I have learned that the distance between us that I created for my whole adult life was nothing but that. It changed nothing except to remove me from her, so that I did not respond to triggers. Nothing in my psychic makeup had changed.

    I am still the same as I was as a child. Utterly and completely connected to the emotions of another who calls the shots, whose feelings I allow to govern me.

    Except that now it is my son whose voice triggers the self-sacrificial impulse in me.

    My true north is this: To love others. And to function as an independent person. Independent of my son's suffering but not indifferent to it. To choose my responses to my son based good sense, not rote response that is pathological.

    As I write this I see I keep typing the same thing over and over again, just different words to say the same thing. Any identity or autonomy I think I may have evaporates if I think that person I love the mostsuffers. First this was my Mother. Now it is my son.

    For me detachment parenting will never work unless I address the reality that has governed my life since it began: If I feel the distress of somebody I love, I cannot feel OK, until I subordinate myself completely to saving them. Only complete self-sacrifice is the permitted response, the full dedication to the other of my energy, space and time.

    I learned this at my mother's knee.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2015
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I believe I was born to be a mother. I loved babies even when I was still little more than one and mothering was a joy for me, even during the hard times. I wanted the white picket fence mentality and got it with my second husband.

    The honest to God most important things to me...my true Norths...are peace and serenity in my world and the love of those so very immportant to me. I also feel I was put on earth to help others and did the helping kid thing already (it sometimes worked for me and sometimes did not, but it was what I feel I was meant to do). Now I like helping desperate animals. I have learned to love my kids without controlling them and to be fully mindful w hen they need me to be yet to stay detached from their problems and to listen rather than lecture.I have come so very far from when I first posted here. It has been a long trip, following that North star. But I did not ever think I couldn't find happiness, at least not after I married my second husband, the love of my life.

    As long as I have peace and love, I've got my true North. I'm easy to please. Gawd, hope I don't sound like an old hippie ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2015
  12. plymouthmom

    plymouthmom New Member

    I love the true north concept and radical acceptance. I too have gotten lost. For so many years the focus of my life was on my son. Now as I refocus ir is hard to figure out my path. I have been single for many years and I would really like a relationship. It was not possible with all the crisis situations that I was so involved in with my son. I would like to make more friends and do activities with a group of fun people. Also I was depressed and anxious for such a long time that it really held me back. Working through acceptance of what is is the only thing that has truly helped me.
     
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  13. Many of us found ourselves trying to walk our DCs path with them and for them, and we were completely off our own paths, in fact, we didn't even know we needed a path for ourselves, we were so completely caught up with trying to fix them, manage them...yes, control them...all with good intentions, so they would get straight and fly right.


    What you describe here COM is exactly how i lived my life, doing everything guided by what was best for my son and putting my needs last. Only within the last year have been able to focus on things that are meaningful to me, and i hope to continue doing regardless of what Difficult Child chooses to do.
     
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  14. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    This thread is way more helpful than i first guessed. Thanks for starting it. Copa, your post resonated so strongly with me...it changed my breathing.
     
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  15. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I want to answer this question now for the second time.

    My first attempt focused upon what I need to do in order to be a separate person. It did not address what I need to do to be complete.

    At this point peace inside comes when my son is content and safe. This is the truth. My first post addressed the goal to gain some control over my psyche, to not be so dependent upon my son's state over which I have little or no control.

    This exercise is hard for me. I know what my destiny would have been if as I child I could have followed my dreams and my gifts. What gave me contentment and happiness and meaning then were Art and movement.

    My childhood was hard. Things happened to me that put what I loved out of my reach. I became somebody else. The person I became was driven more by my wounds, and what I lacked as a child. Not by gifts or hopes or happiness.

    I was meant to be an Artist. I was almost born creating. Visual arts and music were my life's blood. Had I been a strong enough child emotionally and had support I would have been a dancer. I loved to move.

    Instead, for much of my life I had a great deal of shame about my body. For a time I would not go out on the street because I did not want to be seen.

    My creative impulse and my motivation I turned to academia and the human services field. This served me but was not my true purpose.

    About 12 years ago I took a long time out from my career and I dedicated myself to becoming a dancer. After that I took Art classes and found my heart there.

    If I think only of myself my true north is to study and produce as an Artist. A visual artist, and dancer and maybe writing. I want to be productive the rest of my life.

    I need to dance. I know that sounds kind of dumb on one level. While I came close to achieving professional competency there is virtually no chance of performing at my age. But it really does not matter to me what the result is.

    I could say that by dancing and creating I would be defying the past by taking control of my own destiny. And that would be true.

    The thing is this: I am not just me. My life has been what it has been. Like for many of us, my life and I has been both broken and sad and in other ways triumphant and meaningful. While I may not have fulfilled my true destiny I am content with who I became.

    I have gratitude now because I have a relationship where I am cared for as never before in my life. In my work I make relationship with others to help them better know who they are and what they need. This gives me meaning, purpose and contentment.

    Looked at this way in my life I have traveled true north. I have made for myself much of what I lacked as a child. I know where I need to go next.

    Doing the work to be a truly separate person. Dedicating myself to achieving a true voice through Art. Recovering joy in my body through movement.

    I am looking forward to COM's further postings on true north, so that I can further refine mine.
     
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  16. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    My true north isn’t being a mother. I know that. Maybe it never was, even in those days when I was pregnant and full of love and hope.

    My true north these days is about peace, about having nothing to keep me awake at night. That’s the measure for me now, a compass direction that tells me if I’m travelling in the right direction. Did I sleep last night?
     
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  17. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    I wanted to share some of the notes I took at the conference this weekend. A lot of these ideas are applicable to the conversations we have on this forum all the time.

    ***Our Higher Power is closer to us than our very breath.
    ***What our Higher Power created is all good. All of it.
    ***We are people who see in duality. Good/bad. Either/or. Black/white. We create a problem when we choose a side. Comparing one thing to another. The more we can change that thinking...and become more non-dual people, seeing the grays in all things and stopping the comparison, the better off we will be.

    ***A truly compassionate person has at his or her foundation a basic belief in the goodness of human nature.
    ***Do you have a foundational mistrust of humanity?
    ***Transformation (our goal) is always an inside job, taking place completely inside us.
    ***Are you happy? Are you free? What makes you free?
    ***Our Higher Power is praising a foundational openness in people that is grounded in: this world is good, this foundation is for me and on my side, I'm not alone, It's going to be okay, Because our Higher Power is good and cares enough to do good for me, I am good.
    ***I am not the doer. Someone else is doing the doing.
    ***The purpose of silence, stillness and solitude is to allow contemplation and to give us time and space to find out that we are loved. Then, we can learn that we don't have to seek love in all of the "other places."
    ***We need stillness. Stillness teaches us to stop. We need to wait. We need to learn how to wait.
    ***We will receive the gift of who we are through contemplation. We will learn how to "patch up" our own lives ourselves. Recovery takes a long, long time. It is the hardest work.
    ***Make peace with yourself. The patches---where the bad spots are---are what makes us beautiful and accessible.
    ***We have to: lament, confess and dismantle our own false center.
    ***..."When we come to the end of ourselves...then, our Higher Power can do something for us."
    ***Through great love or great suffering, transformation occurs.
    ***Freedom and the ability to see comes from surrender and truth.
    ***Do you want to see? Do you want to know? Do you want to be transformed?
    ***We need something certain. We need the "really real." We are on a search for something that will make all of "this" make sense. If we don't find the "really real" we will substitute something else.
    ***We all have to grow up and deal with failure, uncertainty and humility.
    ***In order to be transformed, our present comfort level has to fall apart.
    ***When the false self has nothing else to hold on to, that is when our Higher Power can step in to save us.

    Things to think on.
     
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  18. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Reading Tanya's post, I am beginning to think that True North might be Joy, choosing Joy, and the turning away from psychic pain.

    This definition makes true north accessible to anybody, anytime, anywhere. And becomes a choice requiring no path, no condition.

    I could choose Joy this second by listening to music that I love, by reading something that inspires me, by playing with my animals, by laughing with my partner. By prayer. I could write a love letter to my son.

    If I choose to do this over and over again throughout the day, after many days i have become a joyful person with a joyful life. Who knew?

    But then I think about it, and such a life might be considered shallow and self-centered. It might even be corrupt. Life needs purpose too. Adding purpose into the mix complicates things. Purpose is so value-laden. So easily manipulated, by culture or parents or others. There has to be something that precedes purpose.

    Purpose can be manipulated culturally. Cultures designate high status or desirable purposes for which their young may aspire. When I was young I determined that the roads to happiness for me were education and a profession. That became my purpose as a young adult.

    I believe that there must be an over-arching meaning to life to give it real purpose and meaning. Maybe this is a judgment. But this is what I believe.

    Preceding purpose there must be values. COM posts that we need to strive to not fall into opposites or to comparisons. This to me means to think of something absolute. That is complete unto itself.

    For believers that would be G-d. Or goodness. Or love. Truth. Beauty. These are absolutes that are not reducible or corruptible. At least if we work at it.

    I am on my 3rd try now on True North. I will reflect some more on COM's post to see if I get farther.

    Thank you COM. Is there a right answer?
     
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    Last edited: Jul 14, 2015
  19. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thank you COM for this provocative post. I have been giving it considerable thought since you first posted it.

    I read and listen to Eckhart Tolle quite often. He is a good guide for me through life's forrest where I can easily get tangled in the thick growth. Many of the statements you've mentioned COM are similar to what I am practicing now too. Recently in his book, A New Earth, I read this, "Opening myself to the emerging consciousness and bringing its light into the world is the primary purpose of my life." That really resonated with me and I thought, 'yes, that is it, that's what my life is about.'

    I believe, for many of us who have emerged from a difficult background and/or have had to deal with difficult children are in some ways blessed. I know it sounds absurd from almost any vantage point, but on the other hand, it is exactly my particular background of mental illness and what that brought to my life and the journey my daughter took my on......that opened up doors and gave me opportunities that I would not have had if I had lived a more "typical" and perhaps "normal" life.

    Early on, at 12 years old, I began my path of searching for meaning, for answers, for some kind of tool to understand what was going on in my family. I didn't know any other 12 year olds doing that. They were in happy, safe, "normal" environments, no need to look further. But, for me, there was a strong and unrelenting deep desire to "know" to "understand" to make sense.......to be connected, to belong, to feel something within that would awaken my humanness, my spirit......somewhere along the line, I realized that something is love. Not necessarily love between a man and a woman, or a parent and a child.......although, it can certainly be that.......love within oneself that radiates out.....

    For many years that was my true north, to be that love that radiates out........BUT, the part that I missed and the piece that is necessary to get that love ignited, is......love of self. It took a long time for me to get that. Without that, it just doesn't work.

    My family and my daughter put me on the road to learn that. Interestingly, those other 12 year olds who lived safe and happy childhoods, ended up knowing as little as I did about love of self......seems it is a common human problem, not based on unhappy childhoods.

    Seems when it all falls apart, that is when we can find out who we really are. Some of us, like those here, take the express.......the fast track to opening our hearts......... but, first, our hearts are broken.

    Once broken though, we have a choice.......we can mend them with our own self love. Not dependent on someone or something else. We are that powerful, that brilliant, that amazing.......we can mend our broken selves, our broken hearts......we can become whole.....we can heal......

    The search for myself took me on many, many interesting and sometimes perilous adventures........and within each one, I ran right into myself......over and over.......But the icing on the cake was the journey with my daughter........letting go of her and detaching and allowing and accepting and refraining and surrendering.......and all the other things we do here.......lead me straight into that place I always thought was my true north, but this time, I showed up too. I was part of it too. Love. Love is my true north. For me, well, the only game in town really.

    When I put that in my compass along with the deep knowledge that I too am loved.......then my course is always the right one....

    And, being human, I forget all of this fairly regularly.......so I listen to my Tolle CD's, read my books, meditate.....I keep on practicing.......
     
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  20. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This very much interests me.

    I have been falling apart repeatedly for the past 2 and a half years, when I could not cope with my my mother's process of dying. And thereafter, when losing her meant I had to face that I had lost any chance of having her as the Mother that I had needed her to be. I felt at the time that I had lost everything that I had needed. And had not known it. That any sense I had of my life as lived well, had been a lie.

    My grief almost destroyed me and I am still rebuilding myself. Perhaps it is more apt to say that the person I was in fact was destroyed.

    Since those horrible times I have thought, erroneously, that I had left the breaking behind me, and I was finally better, fixed, and functional to be felled again. Back to bed. Back to broken. Again and again and again.

    My son, suffering and flailing became another force that I could not withstand. Adding to the chorus of brokenness within me.

    I have lived for almost 2 years barely functioning, compared to my normal way of living.

    I judge myself very, very harshly. I feel sad and sometimes afraid that I will never again function as I had.

    So if I consider this in the context of COM's post the kernel of the thing is to not compare. That comparing past and present, good or bad functioning. notions of self as broken or fixed, are not useful. Nor is in or out of bed.

    Each of these is a trap. And I fall in. Or a test, that over and over I fail.

    If I think about Recovering's words, the key, perhaps, is listening and paying attention. And soothing and caring and believing.

    Perhaps the solution for me is in choosing different verbs.

    No more judging, no more trying, no more doing or fearing.

    Inviting into my life verbs like recovering, and becoming and honoring.

    Turn this whole business on its' head.

    I am in bed because I am recovering and honoring. I am listening and soothing and caring and believing. That is my work and I will do it as long as I need to and want to.

    In any way I want. So There.
     
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