Archives for posts with tag: personas

REFLECTIONS

If equal affection cannot be,

Let the more loving one be me.

-W. H. Auden

I wanted to stop today’s post with these 2 lines from W.H. Auden and not write another thought. The truth of 12 simple words makes me weep with the despair of knowing that I have been that desperate person, the one who loves more, the one who loves too much. I weep with the despair of knowing that I have begged for love from a man who was somewhat indifferent towards me. Because I was so desperate, so full of need and longing for love, I was easy prey for a man who wanted a relationship that required very little emotional investment from him. And now I’m going to say it…HE DID NOT LOVE ME. He did not love me. That was not love. Words of love may have been spoken, but those words lacked the accompaniment of heartfelt emotion.

To elaborate on the lengths to which I went to elicit even a modicum of love, first from my Father, and then from my husband, makes me sad beyond what I think I can endure. I don’t want to believe I am THAT woman…the one everyone knows should not stand by her man, but does. But I am that woman.

For the past 12 hours I have argued with myself. One voice says,”Just don’t bother writing. The Other Woman Blog is just some whiny, crazy rant – just get on with it, your life is good, you are so well provided for, don’t upset the apple cart, you can do whatever you want and go wherever you want …so go out, enjoy the day, forget about opening wounds.” This voice is countered by a second voice that says, “How many more years do you want to waste, clinging to the fantasy that one day he will love you. Yes you have lived a life that was materially privileged, but it was emotionally bereft. You have not been loved and this makes you unhappy, being loved is more important than you think!”

I’ve become…

Dr. Dolittle’s PushMe-PullYou

This animal’s going nowhere…and neither will I unless I allow myself to acknowledge the truth and feel the ensuing pain. On the right, I attempt to stifle the grief I feel from a loveless marriage, desperately clinging to the very thing that hurts me… my loveless marriage. On the left I want to transform, have hope, believe I can find love. I cringe in recognition when I observe a child  seeking solace from the very parent that moments before delivered a slap… this parent being their sole source of comfort. When I was broken hearted on discovering my husband’s affair, I cried on his shoulder, seeking consolation from him, the perpetrator. He was my everything, my ‘other half’, my soul mate, my best friend! I had opened my heart to no one else, he had all of me.

At 10, I shut down my feelings in an act of desperation, born out of emotional negligence. Although clothed, fed and educated, my parents were at a loss when it came to love. My sensitive, intuitive nature didn’t suit the authoritarian, patriarchal motif of my home. I was lonely and in need of someone to help me understand the incomprehensible attitudes and behaviour of my parental unit. The pressure of family pride forced me to present only the persona of a happy, successful child. The discrepancy between the turmoil in my heart and my happy child persona was unbearable.  I contemplated suicide on a dark wintery night. Cup in hand I walked down the stairs to our cold, dank basement, planning to end my intolerable life. Staring at the poisonous bleach bottle, I wanted to end my life. Fear of the searing pain of bleach stopped me, not the belief that anything in my life would change. I walked back upstairs, sharing my ordeal with no one. In order to cope with this injury to my soul, I became an automaton, closed to my heart’s desires, closed to my intuition. I embraced the known. I became a great student, an obedient child, and then a materialistic adult.

ASPIRATIONS FOR WEEK 12 of 52

Changing from Sisyphus to Hope

I was drawn to admitting the tyranny of my Father in Week 8, Changing from Suppression to Communication, because my left shoulder began to ache. 4 weeks later my shoulder is back to normal. Now, this gives me hope that I am on the right path.Further proof… I just returned from my Rheumatologist, who calls me The Poster Child for Arthritis, because I am now a picture of health. No longer am I anemic, with minuscule platelets, high cholesterol, inflammation, poor vision and a malfunctioning thyroid.

The symptom I do have though is a crazy itchy irritation in my eyes. They are red, runny and I feel like scratching them out of my head. Of course I have asked myself the obvious question, “What don’t I want to see?” After writing in a painstakingly slow manner in today’s post, it is becoming apparent, even to me.

Am I going to be Sisyphus, and continue to roll the burden of a loveless marriage up the hill again, knowing the outcome will be the same?  Or am I going to be Hope and let that burden roll down the hill, once and for all time. The momentum of such a great burden will result in a downward speed that will see that burden buried, deep in the soil, for ever.

The Burden of Sisyphus

On the weekend, I attended a Workshop with my Herbalist, Annette Bossert. She gave me the opportunity to enact the death of my loveless marriage. I carried the largest boulder I could manage, around a lake. This boulder symbolized my burden of living without love. It weighed me down, kept me off balance, took so much of my energy. The only emotion in this encounter, came from me. The rock was cold and indifferent. Eventually I had enough and hurled my burden as far as I could, deep into the lake. The grief  from this death came in shoulder heaving waves. Once my crying subsided, I could see the beauty of nature, the camaraderie of friends and the lightness in my step.

I then gathered up symbols of hope…red berries to symbolize my hope for passion, a bluebell to symbolize my hope that I bloom into The Other Woman, purple tufts from a thistle to symbolize my hope for wisdom, a heart rock to symbolize my hope for love, and in the centre a wise Hag, my Elder, who will guide me from the darkness of grief to the light of hope for new beginnings.

So for week 12 of 52, I will no longer be Sisyphus, carrying the endless burden of a loveless marriage. Instead I will be Hope, whose name means confident expectation, having a firm belief in things that are unclear or unknown!

Symbols of Hope

REFLECTIONS

I had a eureka moment this morning as I sat down to write. Maybe this new thought has been obvious to everyone but me! The Other Woman energy that I am trying to find this year is not ‘out there’ somewhere.

Have I been looking beyond me, as a continuation of a pattern established in dressing myself in ‘parent sanctioned’ personas throughout my developing life as a child? What came into my consciousness today, from the grace of the Universe, is the joyous feeling that I can stop trying to become some externalized vision of perfection that is created from a conglomeration of parental and cultural constructs. Naturally my femininity felt contained as I attempted to reflect the various faces of others’ ideal feminine. I’ve tried on Virtuous Vera and Alluring Alicia as a teen;  followed by Intellectual Inga during university semesters and once the summer break came, I tried on Sporty Sue or Fun Farrah. This seemed natural to me as a youth. Where else would I learn which behaviours are acceptable, which careers are worthy and which lifestyles are to be coveted, if not from my parents and my surrounding culture?   Of course I knew the sentiment behind the 70’s “Free to Be You and Me” movement, and if asked, I would have said, without irony or disingenuousness, “I am Virtuous Vera, Allring Alicia, Sporty Sue and Fun Farrah!” I did not have the knowledge that I was using other people’s reality as my reference point.

So I continued this pattern of personality and behavioural acquisition into my adult years.

In my efforts to find and keep a man, I’ve tried to be as thin as Twiggy, as full figured as Marilyn, as good a cook as Julia Child, as wonderful a home decorator as Martha Stewart, as conversationally engaging and informed as Christiane Amanpour, as athletic as Dorothy Hamill, and as funny as Gilda Radner. ..and all of this simultaneously! Sadly, this isn’t even the entire list. There was also the pressure from the Woman’s Movement, where I felt I had failed if I had not achieved a perfect balance between excelling in my career and raising my children. And ‘raising’,  meant my  children must experience as rich an environment as was provided by a ‘stay-at-home’ Mom.

Of course I never came close to achieving the level of competency any of these women attained, but the surprising part is, I continued to try. I felt an internal pressure to be as successful as a dizzying array of highly accomplished women.

 

As I ponder these images, another thought occurs to me! I realize I would never have expected Gilda, for example, to be a culinary marvel, nor a first rate figure skater, nor a news anchor. Nor would I have thought she should even attempt to be anything but who she truly was! So why did I expect these Super Woman feats of myself? Why did I feel I was failing at being a woman, if I wasn’t a conglomerate of many successful women??

So now I am giving myself the opportunity to reference my own soul to create within me, the woman I was born to be…a truer me… to allow my unique inner self to flourish! The conflict I have felt between my inner self and the external, created self should, in time,  cease to exist. A major recalibration is needed, as I have felt an unease with my judgements on what parts of me are good or bad and what actions are right or wrong. So to actually believe my body can shift energetically, I had to examine my underlying beliefs about how our universe operates, the Universe which includes my shoulder and my concept of me. This segues nicely into Week 9 of 52 of  The Other Woman.

ASPIRATIONS FOR WEEK 9 OF 52

CHANGING FROM NEWTONIAN TO QUANTUM PHYSICS

Last week’s post on finding a resolution to my shoulder pain, gave me an opportunity to compare two very different views of our world’s physical structure. I have been an adherent to Newtonian Mechanics, where all of the Universe, including my body, is part of a massive mechanical system of solid, discrete objects. The chair I sit on is as separate from my physical body as I am from my computer and as all three of these entities are from you. This immutable or fixed view gave me the belief that all phenomena in my life(including the nebulousness of pain or consciousness), were the direct result of observable and measurable interactions between these separate, mechanical parts. My perception of reality is that everything exists in 3-dimentions, time is linear, and every object is separate from every other object. My heart, kidneys and lungs, or shoulder, for example, have predictable, discrete ‘functions’ so when a part breaks down, a doctor with a patch kit is brought in to fix it, thus restoring this perception. But what if this is only how we have learned to perceive our Universe, because this is how schools teach Science…the world is broken into parts. Doctors learn about the body by taking it apart, but Scientists know this is an extremely outdated and limited perception.

Mending My Shoulder Newtonian Physics Style

1.Visit Rheumatologist – get anti-inflammatory pills and pain killers because of the belief that my shoulder is a discrete joint in my body, unrelated to me, the person.

This method may give my shoulder relief, leading me to believe it is repaired, but there is not a doctor around who can help me with an abstract issue like personal transformation, and that’s what I think I need  to truly relieve the pain. Because I believe my shoulder pain comes from the burden of carrying around the expectations of the patriarchal father, I know mere pain relief will not do any thing but mask the underlying issue. This leads me to Quantum Physics!

Just like the best things in life, the theory behind Quantum Physics evolved when Scientists where trying to prove its opposite…serendipity at its finest. So as scientists were looking for the smallest, most elemental and discrete building blocks of the Universe in support of Newton’s Theory, they instead discovered that this theory is hogwash…meaningless…The Universe appears to be an undivided whole…a dynamic web of interconnected and inseparable energy patterns…a unified field. This means that matter or solids as I call them, are just ‘slowed down’ forms of energy, not separate, independent, discrete parts. Logically, there is no such thing as a part. I am not separated into parts, nor am I part of a whole…I am the whole. You are the whole. 

My shoulder is not a discrete joint to be healed separately from the rest of my body and my experiences. This belief gives me hope that transformation awaits me!

Mending My Shoulder Quantum Physics Style

1.Visit Annette, my Herbalist, who has spent years trying to pry me away from my Newtonian stance, into a belief of Oneness. In a room of people we connect physically because the air we breathe out becomes the air others breathe in… an example of how we are all The Whole as we sit separately on our chairs.

2.Visit my Myofascial Release Therapist, Maneesha Madan, who believes that the fascia is a very complex 3-dimensional structure binding all of the body together…more like the unified field theory of Quantum Physics than the particle theory of Newtonian Physics.

This was a long, hard post, but it is Labour Day!

So for Week 9 of 52, I will remember that any transformation is possible, as I am the Whole, not a part of The Whole.

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