Sunday, August 29, 2010
Sadly the words fall off the pages as I have lost my ability to focus. I keep having to read the same paragraphs over and over again and still can't retain anything. It's become much too frustrating. It's the same today with any forms I receive from the Government to fill out in order to receive what little is available to me.
I hope someday to recover the ability to read a good book or anything else for that matter. It's been a very interesting experience to say the least, of how PTSD has affected me and my brain function. PTSD is the Major Demon in my life today and I have yet to figure out to release myself from it's Bonds that are so debilitating.
I know that having a sense of Security is the answer since that would remove the underlying fear for my survival that is the contributor. I have lived in that state for 30 years. It's amazing I am still alive.....really!!!
~ Tutte ~
When you died,
I cried a tear and it dropped into the ocean.
If they ever find it I'll stop loving you.
~ Unknown Author ~
I don't grieve for Arch because the time of his death was perfect as his dreams of materializing them had come to a close. I grieve for myself because I miss him so much. Even after 15 years. He was the most unconditionally loving and supportive person I have ever had in my life. My Bestest Friend.
~ Tutte ~
Saturday, August 28, 2010
The Weekends are the worst on many levels. It was always family time througout my life regardless of all the changes that occured whether by relocations, relationships etc. They were a time of connection and for the last many years, I spend that time alone with my memories. It is not how I wish it to be...
~ Tutte ~
Entangled in the Weave of the Past by my friend Gun Legler
Your souls have chosen this particular way of the earth walk;
have chosen the beings you walk with;
have chosen the experiences you have had and are about to have;
all in preparation for soul growth.
In essence, you are choosing what is required of you to take the next
step that will push you just a little further.
Your soul is requiring this process.
Now, you can pretend at times that you don't hear it, or you don't see it or feel it.
The soul will continue on the path until you align with the truth
that this is indeed the best growth for your next piece on the path of travel and Light.
Whatever circumstance brings you to this place;
whatever person asks you to stretch a little further;
whatever relationship to whatever in your life asks you to go a little further --
examine it before you push it away,
because you are being brought exactly what is going to take you
to the next step toward growth on the spiritual journey.
~ Shirley Knapp & Nanette McLane ~
A quote I need to remind myself of daily. Tutte
Rampant thoughts of suicide have pervaded my thinking all day. Yet, I know it is not an option however tempting. There is still much for me to learn through my own despair and suffering.
Having been denied so many of the pleasure I took for granted most of my life, including the joy of food, I attempted tonight to see what gifts might be present that I have not been consciously aware of.
The is the 5th Anniversary of Katrina and I have watched some TV depicting the total devastation. The realization of what happened then and how it affected a multitude of people and how they had to cope with so many losses brought home the gift to me. I empathize on a much deeper level today then I did as it was occurring.
This week we have a catastrophy of major proportions in Pakistan affecting 20 million people and at least a 5th of the country under water and yet the Global Community doesn't seem to reach out in a way that is needed. I ask myself why? Is it due to Politics, War or the depleted Economy? Are people becoming over burdened with their charitable donations? This event is far worse than the Tsunami, the Haiti earthquake, Katrina, the Gulf Oil Spill combined and yet little help seems available. Why is no one having Fundraising Concerts etc.? The news seems to have been very slow in bringing the severity of this disaster to our full attention. I am stymied and confused. Hopefully an answer will be forthcoming. I know tonight as I watch a report on CNN by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, my heart bleeds. My perceived suffering is nothing in comparison. I feel a sense of shame and self-indulgence as I view the film clips of what is happening there.
I do believe my life's purpose is to learn Empathy and Compassion and it can only be done through personal experiences.
I am and always have been grateful that I have the ability to see the gift in anything negative. Usually in retrospect. The Universe has blessed me in that sense. It doesn't remove the pain from my own experience but it softens it somewhat knowing there is a purpose behind it. I will attempt to remember the next time suicide crosses my mind.
~ Tutte ~
What did you say?
You were always instructed to smile
It was a woman’s way
Your smile is corrugated
You eyes sheathed in despair
You yearn for a rush of happiness
You wear your masks expertly
Until your hidden emotions bleed
You pace and pray to make them go away
But you cannot stay sane in this façade
White padded walls embrace you
Until your soul is cut in two
You finally speak
But no one listens to you
No light on the horizon
Only darkness that ties you down
You don nakedness
You plant your feet in a potted tree
Hoping to go back to a place, safe and serene
Instead on the cusp of losing your mind
You hear voices calling out
Telling you that they love you
You look all around for them
But remain alone in the padded room
Your mental illness you cannot control
It is the monster in your heart that wants to let go
You gather your strength above no other
To put another mask of sanity on your face
You play your façade expertly
And you are released for a time
Until you become a danger to yourself or others again
Where is your gratitude?
Just for today
You have been given multiple chances
Of a second chance at life
Remove the lock and key from your soul
Seek help and slowly let the pain come
Don’t let it drown you
Some memories have been taken away by God
Other’s have endured with his assistance
But what is wisdom and life without trial
Begin to forgive and begin to heal
Let the dragons come head on
With your family by your side
You are not alone
Speak your voice or ink your pen
But do not be a victim
To the demons inside
Take off your running shoes
Go barefoot in earth’s paradise
Walk to the ends of the Earth
And God will kiss your blisters away
You will no longer be despondent
No longer suffocating in your silence
You will remain on the path to freedom
Break from the constant
Begin to live again
Find the courage and the voice
To say goodbye to the old demons
The harmony in your heart is your life-giving force
A message to me
Friday, August 27, 2010
The World as we Experience it, is so full of conflict despite that fact that we live on this Magical Jewel of a Planet in the Universe. We are but specks of dust and yet are not in synchronization nor have any real awareness of it's fragility by our abuse. We are on the verge of destroying it. For What???? Ego, Religion, Greed, Power, Boundaries, Politics, Trade and the list goes on. I am too much of an Idealist to ever understand why we can't ever get along. I don't expect we ever will and it saddens me greatly. There is enough for everyone if we were fair and just. If we but could understand the power of Empathy and Compassion and the gifts that lies within those two words.
~ Tutte ~
Thursday, August 26, 2010
When I am in a great deal of pain and distress, I wish I could reach out a hand to my beloved for comfort. I have been left to deal with everything alone since his death. I guess I always have, even through the years of Arch's financial struggles and I kept trying to remain positive for both our sakes as he did. He WAS always there for me in all other areas whether in relationships or employment struggles.
However, it was often a very lonely place for me to be in. There was no one I could share with since I didn't wan't to diminsh him in any way even as I witnessed the threads unravelling as he became older and his struggles to stay afloat took a great toll on him and eventually led to his death.
It has always been in my character to put other's first. Not sure why but I suspect it had to do with the pain that was inflicted upon me as a child. It was then I came to realize, I never wanted to inflict pain on another. It was a Commitment I made at the age of 18 when I was spending my evenings in a small room without any stimulus and began thinking deeply about life and what I wanted to adopt as my personal philosophy.
It rarely served me well except to leave me guilt free and with a clear conscience. I approached all conflicts with the attitude that I had broad shoulder and could carry any burden and if you wanted to lay the blame for your errors at my feet, so be it. I could carry it. And I did. I knew I was being true to myself whether other's recognized it or not. Eventually I think others grew to learn how formidable I was. Eventually their respect grew and they backed off. There is a bully on every playground or someone who won't take responsibility, my sister being one of those, but eventually they have to back down because they know they can't win in their perceived battle. I have never had a need to battle or have the upper hand. It goes against my grain. All I want and have ever wanted is Peace.
I expect that is the priceless gift that most don't recognize is available to them. I wouldn't trade the peace of mind for any comfort that I might have had. It's difficult at times to put into perspective in the midst of suffering regardless of their source. But the True Nugget of Gold in all this is that because of having made that Choice, I have never felt Victimized. Just very hurt and disappointed in people. Also in the recognition of the true goodness, generosity, Empathy and Compassion that I have been the recipient of throughout my life. I have come to recognize that the bullies are those that need our love and compassion the most. They are indeed wounded souls.
~ Tutte ~
Since last weekend's unexpected and venomous letters, I have been in a whirlpool of emotions. Resulting in a major PTSD attack. The previous one occurred 7 months ago when I received 2 similar letters also unprovoked and unjustified from the same person. I felt I was making some headway towards peace, trying to keep the demon away by having removed myself. What always surprises me is how it affects my body. My stomach aside from the knots and constant butterflies has become quite violent in it's reaction. That is easier to deal with then what occurs in my mouth. The dryness in my mouth and tongue was caused by my first major PTSD attack and once again it has returned with full force. It's so distressing and hard to describe to anyone. It's a constant, unrelenting irritation that nothing will sooth and drives me to distraction. It's very difficult to focus on anything else.
I have been wounded to the core knowing that I am so hated and without understanding what I have done to cause it. Thank God I don't let it affect how I feel about myself. I know who I am and will never allow it to impact me to the extent that I will accept it personally but the self-hatred of another projected onto to me. Regardless, it REALLY HURTS. Since I live in isolation, I have no one to debrief with and that makes it very difficult. So my thoughts for the moment are on a treadmill trying to come up with explanations. This is when I am so grateful I have read extensively on psychology, etc, so that I recognize that I am dealing with a person who has a Personality Disorder. I think I know what it is but won't give it a label. However it does help me realize that I am dealing with a unique personality and as anyone with a disease it makes it easier to forgive. It just takes time to put it into the background once again and practice forgiveness. I have been going through this exercise my entire life and it's become very wearisome.
I will inlude a picture of my nemesis without naming that person. I am the little one in the middle. My oldest sister died at 27. Who is left?
Suffice to say that she has and still does have the ability to put on the best mask for the public. It is only those of us in her family who have seen both sides of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
I could needless to say, write chapters on my experiences with her and someday maybe I will but not in this venue. Just had such a need to vent tonight. Perhaps this is the replacement for all the tears I suppressed this week. I don't know why I can't cry. Have stuffed them for too long I expect.
~ Tutte ~
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Sleep, blessed sleep desert me not
But let your tender hands caress my eyes,
And all my aching body steep
in they luxurious paradise.
Sleep, blessed sleep be my guide,
Through semi-conscious shadows steer,
And all thoughts and cares of wakeful hours,
May slow but surely disappear.
~ Archie Langford ~
I know I will go to bed much less stressed out as compared to last night. I did take a sleeping pill and it worked magic. They are addictive and don't want to go down that path. I spent the day reflecting and finding avenues of letting go of negative emotions and I succeded somewhat. The sting is gone as in the past and I will be able to move forward. Probably because I took actions to remove this person from having such a negative power over me and the peace I so strive for. Sometimes Blood Bonds must be servered. I did that in the past for 6 years and during that period I found my own voice and strength for the first time. I won't allow that to be kidnapped from me again by some one else's perverted need at my expense.
~ Tutte ~
Depending on the choice of subject matter and our interests, reading can bring forth all types of impressions and responses. In my youth, I was fascinated with the most Macabre then moved towards Crime and Courtroom Dramas and eventually ended up with anything that would enhance my understanding on a Spiritual level and was Mind Expanding.
Eventually to the topic of Death & Dying and what happens when it occurs and afterwards. I had a stack of books on the subject on my night table and my husband would often tell me they were too Morbid.
I was involved volunteering with Hospice at the time, sitting with a dying young woman and little did I know that the information I gleaned from all that reading would provide me with so much help as my husband unexpectedly was diagnosed with Stomach Cancer and in the dying process. Four short months to adjust to it all. I wrote 4 Jounals during that period to provide with me with means to express myself. I was 50 and totally unprepared for the devastation emotionally. Reading provides tools but only expeirience can provide long term wisdom.
The wealth of information I had gleaned provided me the attitude I needed to cope, adjust and to makes his final days the most Peaceful and filled with Love. It was the gift I was able to provide for both of us. He died peacefully at home and pain free thank God. We should all be able to provide that when possible. Had I not been involved with Hospice for years, I would have been competlely unprepared. No one ever is regardless.
The last book I read was 'Memoirs of a Geisha' and I haven't been able to read since and if I could, not sure what my subject matter would be today. Probably Biographies about Overcoming Life's Challenges. I know there are countless on the topic and would undoubtedly inspire me. I just need a chair and a reading lamp for that to happen. Hope it will. I feel I am getting ready to read once again. I need inspiration. What I am able to create for myself is wearing thin.
~ Tutte ~
I do believe it is our Life's Purpose to Create and Manifest Peace. To take full responsibility for our Actions and Reactions but especially our Attitude. Suffering from PTSD has added an enourmous burden to the process along with many gifts of Enlightenment.
~ Tutte ~
I am on the verge of another major anxiety attack tonight as I received another poisonous letter from my Nemesis. Totally unwarranted as usual and so filled with hatred, judgments and misperceptions. This has been happening all my life and have tried to practice tolerance and forgiveness and denying myself the temptation to retaliate. Should I go down that path, I would not be able to live with myself.
I have become wise enough over the years to realize that what she projects towards me is really a reflection of herself. So glad I do because it makes me very aware what a wounded soul she really is. She must have so much self-loathing inside. That saddens me more than what she does to me and why I have continued to forgive her and reach out. It's difficult for me to come to terms with having a family member who is so totally lacking of Empathy and Compassion. I wonder what happened to her in childhood or even before that to create this type of person? I will never receive an answer I expect.
I just hope I can let it go once again so I can have enough peace of mind to fall asleep. If not, I will take a sleeping pill. Have only done that once before.
~ Tutte ~
Saturday, August 21, 2010
It's bedtime once again and I have such resistance. I don't want to go there even though I will find a temporary escape. The mood and environment although mine is somewhat better is very similar to what I have now. For too many years, I have had to sleep with either the TV or the Radio on in order to distract myself from my own thoughts that cause such Anxiety. This is not a way to go to sleep. I DON'T want to Wake up to the Nightmare of my Existence. It's no longer Life. Existence is all that is left to me except for what I create in my own way. Bits and pieces of this and that. No purpose, no meaning. No options in terms of my choices. I know others would think I have some but they aren't living in my heart and mind. Nor have ever walked in my shoes for the last 30 years.
In my earlier life, regardless of where I lived, I always went to bed with a good book. Can't do that any longer as I am not able to concentrate, have no reading light and find no subjects of interest as I don't find any comfort in escaping into someone's else's world of fantasies. No doubt there are a lot of Biographies that would capture and inspire me but this environment is just not conducive. Nor can I watch Movies. I so wish this could change but no idea how to make it happen. I seem so totally blocked and stuck. I need a lightning bolt to strike I think. It's one of reasons I have isolated myself. I just don't want to be reminded of what once was that no longer exists and I can't dream of creating. I have a multitude of wishes and dreams but no means to make them happen. How does one overcome that?
Perhaps just a cozy bedroom would help. The following picture shows what I would like to reproduce on a minor level. This was my favorite bedroom and the one I created after Arch died and I had to move. I loved this room because the early morning sun streamed through my window and at night I had a view out on to the patio and the sound of the small water feature that was running and I found so soothing.
Notice the bookcase filled with my favorite books. One of many bookcases throughout my home. Both my husband and I were avid readers. I have given away 100's of boxes of books to Charities thoughout my countless moves. More are to come with the next move. Always a painful exercise since I have treasurd them all.
The wall of my favorite family photos.
What I viewed outside my patio door. What can replace that today? NOTHING in this place except the constant Noise and Ongoing Stress. I expected it to be a very peacful space living next to an old forest at the end of a cul'd'sac but the noise level reminds me of living in the heart of a major city. The last time I experienced anything like it was when I was living downtown Montreal. Totally shocked me when I discovered my misperception. Had I known, I would never have moved in here. I was looking for peace and quiet as I was in the throws of the most difficult physical pain I had ever had to deal with. Alone! I thought I was making the best decision but it turned out to be the worst EVER which now leaves me doubting any future decisions. I so desperately want and need to move but have no idea of the How, the Where or the Means to pay for it. It's a huge cunundrum for me today. I thankfully, no longer have the same physical problems as before but I am getting older and no longer physically sound due to years of disabilty and immobility. My options now continue to become more limited according to my decreased income that I can barely survive on. It's Existence and nothing more as I have mentioned countless times. On that level what is Life for? It must have a deeper purpose. Spirituality is the only answer for me. Whether that is true or not will only be discovered in another lifetime I suspect. It might even become for challenging as a Diamond is only created through Fire and a Pearl by Irritants. It's a Process and one must accept that, however difficult.
~ Tutte ~
Friday, August 20, 2010
I held you softly
As you slept
I held you gently
As you wept
I held you tightly
As you screamed
I stroked your hair
As you dreamed
I wiped the tears
That would not dry
I cried the tears
You would not cry
I took the demons
In your head
And made them
I will forever be
By your side
Don't turn me away
I am not your Pride
I am not your Pity
I am not your Sorrow
I am here Today
I am your Tomorrow
~ Helen ~
I find comfort in those words.
~ Tutte ~
There is always a light of Hope to focus on during the moments when the despair dissipates momentarily. As it does for me eventually after I awaken with the blackest thoughts possible. I HATE waking up. Why I have to spend hours talking myself into a lighter train of thought and do a complete switch. Often it provokes a lot of Anxiety which affects me physically so two things to deal with. It's so difficult and energy sapping. Wish it wouldn't happen. No doubt my dreams have a lot to do with it since I always wake up in the middle of a dream when I have been so active/interactive and creative. The rest of my day can never compare to the activities I have in that realm.
~ Tutte ~
Of your dreams
No longer bears fruits
Listen to the blossom of silence
Hear the vastness of the still ocean
Feel the peace of no leaves in the breeze
Touch the freedom of no illusions
And see that your signature
Reveals not a face or a name
As the climax lacks thunder
For divine light is gentle
And the silence
~ Ilidio Fernandes ~
Nothing can beat the smell of dew and flowers and the odor that comes out of the earth when the sun goes down.
Or stars of morning, dew-drops which the sun Impearls on every leaf and every flower.
Both were my two most favorite times of the day. The early morning with the freshness and smells. The sunset hours with the long shadows that cast such a magical light. In fact both did and I was out to enjoy at every oportunity. I miss that immensely and I grieve this as they sustained me during other periods of profound stress. But always in my own gardens.
~ Tutte ~
Thursday, August 19, 2010
What is it really but a moment of experience to be either enjoyed or rejected. Depending on the circumstance, interactions, relationships and perceptions (based in a multitude of factors) it will leave a different impact. And be remembered with a different Tag. (a PC term today)
Yet, it has such a profound impact on our personal history, character development and maturity. I know we all have a different perception in our minds of how it manifests itself. For some a linear line and for other's a clock. I view the year as a clock with Jan 1st at 6. and the years as linear with the arrow always pointing to the left towards the future. I am sure it is different for everyone and I have no idea why mine is what it is. Really makes no difference in the big scheme of things. However, I am sure it is a conundrum for Physicists and Astronemers who are trying to figure out the Universe and how it all began and by what. I don't expect they ever will, somethings are just beyond the capability of the human mind.
All experiments and hypothesis are based on the limited capacity to ask the right questions. Science is based on proving the question was the correct one. It all boils down to building blocks that will probably take as long as it took for the Universe to be created but undoubtedly, a fascinating field and when there seem to be an explanation, we are all intrigued, whether we believe it or not.
Science IMO, can only take us so far depending on the questions we ask. Somewhat like the Internet on a much greater scale. There are probably answers to most of ours, if we knew the question and answers we are seeking. Have certainly found many. The Web today has become the Avenue for all answers regardless of our Intentions, Political/Religious points of view etc. etc. etc. There is, as we all recognize today, the potential for Good or Evil. It, whether anyone wants to recognize it as such, has become 'Big Brother' or if you are believer in the Bible Prophecies, the Mark of the Beast.
I remember having a conversation with a girlfriend in the early 60's talking about what could be the Mark of the Beast as was described to us in Church.
The first computers were just coming on the scene but I remember vividly the moment that I said to her, that without knowing what the future had in store, this new technology would provide all the means. Little did I know at the time, that 40 years later, we are getting much closer to that prophecy. Our privacy and anonimity is being slowly eroded as we are being fed lies of fear and a need for security.
I don't take the Bible literaly today although I did for the first 35 years of my life. I focus on the message of Christ today as is espoused by so many other spritual writings that are intended to provide us with the wisdom of how to live and love ourselves and our neighbours.
I could write so much around this area but enough has been said for tonight. Just had to get it off my chest.
~ Tutte ~
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
I leave a Rose of Love every day on the wall of memories. In my world, I could never call it a Wailing Wall. It is experienced as a time for joyful reflection upon on those who are gone, whom I have loved profoundly and have blessed my life. I Honour Them All. They are the people who have enriched my life and gave it meaning and purpose. The strength to carry on. I will be forever grateful.
~ Tutte ~
I never answer my phone. Both the Answering Machine and Ringer on the phone are turned off. I rarely get a call except from Marketers and since my sleeping pattern is all over the map, I don't want to be interrupted when I finally fall asleep. However, late this afternoon, I saw the light flickering so picked up the receiver. It was my Best girlfriend wanting to know how I was doing. I so rarely speak and discovered once I began, I was overcome by a flow of tears that was so unexpected that I could barely speak. I only cry when someone asks how I am doing (even at my GP's office, & so embarrassing) and perhaps why I don't want to talk. Just can't stand the way the tears make me feel. I suppose because I spend all my waking hours suppressing all my feelings for fear of going totally insane. I have spent the last 30 years STUFFING them down. I went into an Anxiety attack afterwards although there wasn't anything to upset me about our conversation. I love her immensely and appreciate her constant concern and support. Why can't I react normally anymore is the question?
~ Tutte ~
This image reminds me of how simple our lives were for those of us who have become senior citizens. Our toys were minimal but our imagination was ever expanding and we had to come up with ideas of how to entertain ourselves without any of the High Tech stuff that the children of today are so reliant upon. They have become participators versus creators. I think they have been cheated from self-exploration and I wonder what is in their future? No doubt their creativity will be generated by ideas and experiences that I can't begin to imagine and a huge generation gap is occurring. The human mind is always seeking new avenues. I am quite content with the fact that I won't be around long enough to see what happens. It frightens me on many levels.
~ Tutte ~
Oh, how I wish this has been my experience but it isn't and it saddens me to the bone. I need her but she doesn't need me and I can't bridge the gap regardless of how many times I have tried throughout my life. I expect I never will. A tremendous loss which I am aware of but she isn't. We are the only two who share similar memories of our childhood years before we immigrated to Canada and the entire family we were so familiar with. I have a great need to revisit those but she obviously doesn't. Not yet anyway. Perhaps someday and then it might be too late.
~ Tutte ~
The above image brought back so many memories of the beginning of my lifelong addiction to cigarettes.
I think I was 12 or 13 and had an older girlfriend who smoked and introduced me. The first time I tried it on my own was when I was babysitting for a neighbour. Don't think I finished it before I had to upchuck in their bathroom. Yet and stupidly, I was stubborn and continued to persevere until I mastered the art and it no longer made me sick. Back then, everyone smoked including my father.
He had a cigarette holder, smoked a non-filter cigarette and down so far it would burn his fingers before he would put it out. Yet, I managed to find his butts and with the help of the cigarette holder, smoke what was left by inserting the 1/3 of an inch leftover. As my mother cleaned the ashtrays and didn't smoke, she obviously didn't question why there were no butts left. Thank God.
One night I was sitting in my bedroom window on the second floor having a smoke around midnight when I flicked the butt out the window attempting to get it beyond the slanted roof below that covered the porch. Sadly the trajectory was too powerful so instead of falling on the lawn, it landed on the hood of the brand new 1957 white Chevrolet. I knew I couldn't let it stay there so rushed downstairs, past my Dad sitting at the kitchen table and outside. I managed to get there in time before it left a burn or mark. My Dad with a surprised look on his face, asked me what I was doing when I returned. I lied and told him that I had forgotten to put my bike in the shed. It was brand new and a gift from my beloved grandfather in Denmark. He accepted that lie.
I didn't have the money to buy smokes so I would save up my milk money for school, 35 cents in those days and enough to buy a package. Of course I couldn't bring them home for fear of discovery so I found a flagpole in a garden of a vacant home that had a little hollow at the bottom and that is where I hid them. It worked just fine unless it rained for a day or three and then when I went to retrieve them, they were brown and near disintegration. I recovered what I could and smoked it with my Dad's cigarette holder.
The picture reminds me of a Saturday when the family had been invited to visit some friends in Montreal for dinner and I pretended to me sick so I didn't have to go. The reason was that I wanted to join with my first boyfriend down by the lakeshore so we could sit and smoke. We did. Oh what joy on many levels.
I was eventually discovered when my Dad found a cigarette butt in the toilet that hadn't flushed properly. At that time I was 15 and working. He asked me directly if I smoked and I said yes. His response was, "You are working and earning your own money, so I will allow you to smoke." That was not what I had expected but profoundly relieved that I didn't have to sneak around or lie anymore. I had to in other areas but that was one less.
~ Tutte ~
Monday, August 16, 2010
I was a Student many years ago but I have always retained the following paragraphs from "The Characteristics of God's Teachers" as a guidepost and could explain my circumstances if it is indeed the Truth. Initially I thought I had learnt it all and have since realized all my experiences have been tiny stepping stones. I am still in process and this could take lifetimes.
A. Development of Trust
First, they must go through what might be called "a period of undoing." This need not be painful, but it usually is so experienced. It seems as if things are being taken away, and it is rarely understood initially that their lack of value is merely being recognized. How can lack of value be perceived unless the perceiver is in a position where he must see things in a different light? He is not yet at a point at which he can make the shift entirely internally. And so the plan will sometimes call for changes in what seem to be external circumstances. These changes are always helpful. When the teacher of God has learned that much, he goes on to the second stage.
Next, the teacher of God must go through "a period of sorting out." This is always somewhat difficult because, having learned that the changes in his life are always helpful, he must now decide all things on the basis of whether they increase the helpfulness or hamper it. He will find that many, if not most of the things he valued before will merely hinder his ability to transfer what he has learned to new situations as they arise. Because he has valued what is really valueless, he will not generalize the lesson for fear of loss and sacrifice. It takes great learning to understand that all things, events, encounters and circumstances are helpful. It is only to the extent to which they are helpful that any degree of reality should be accorded them in this world of illusion. The word "value" can apply to nothing else.
The third stage through which the teacher of God must go can be called "a period of relinquishment." If this is interpreted as giving up the desirable, it will engender enormous conflict. Few teachers of God escape this distress entirely. There is, however, no point in sorting out the valuable from the valueless unless the next obvious step is taken. Therefore, the period of overlap is apt to be one in which the teacher of God feels called upon to sacrifice his own best interests on behalf of truth. He has not realized as yet how wholly impossible such a demand would be. He can learn this only as he actually does give up the valueless. Through this, he learns that where he anticipated grief, he finds a happy lightheartedness instead; where he thought something was asked of him, he finds a gift bestowed on him.
Now comes "a period of settling down." This is a quiet time, in which the teacher of God rests a while in reasonable peace. Now he consolidates his learning. Now he begins to see the transfer value of what he has learned. Its potential is literally staggering, and the teacher of God is now at the point in his progress at which he sees in it his whole way out. "Give up what you do not want, and keep what you do." How simple is the obvious! And how easy to do! The teacher of God needs this period of respite. He has not yet come as far as he thinks. Yet when he is ready to go on, he goes with mighty companions beside him. Now he rests a while, and gathers them before going on. He will not go on from here alone.
The next stage is indeed "a period of unsettling." Now must the teacher of God understand that he did not really know what was valuable and what was valueless. All that he really learned so far was that he did not want the valueless, and that he did want the valuable. Yet his own sorting out was meaningless in teaching him the difference. The idea of sacrifice, so central to his own thought system, had made it impossible for him to judge. He thought he learned willingness, but now he sees that he does not know what the willingness is for. And now he must attain a state that may remain impossible to reach for a long, long time. He must learn to lay all judgment aside, and ask only what he really wants in every circumstance. Were not each step in this direction so heavily reinforced, it would be hard indeed!
And finally, there is "a period of achievement." It is here that learning is consolidated. Now what was seen as merely shadows before become solid gains, to be counted on in all "emergencies" as well as tranquil times. Indeed, the tranquility is their result; the outcome of honest learning, consistency of thought and full transfer. This is the stage of real peace, for here is Heaven's state fully reflected. From here, the way to Heaven is open and easy. In fact, it is here. Who would "go" anywhere, if peace of mind is already complete? And who would seek to change tranquility for something more desirable? What could be more desirable than this?
The entire story of how this Course came into being is a fascinating one and as a skeptic I don't buy it hook line and sinker. However, it is the book on Spirituality that resonates the most with me. It's a major intellectual and ego challenge to say the least.
~ Tutte ~