On Pets Past, and Grief.

I saw the spot this morning, where Mr.Poppy’s litter tray always sat, where he would frequently be seen sitting, or cleaning. It’s now a place for a shopping basket and garden shoes.

I felt the pain of loss immediately, just as I feel it again writing this. The pain of loss and grief.

And thinking about Nigella’s future, about palliative care for her, exacerbates the experience.

Grief will pass.
Memories are important to keep alive.

I spent a lot of time with and around Nigella this morning. More thorough cleaning up than normal. I wanted to be around her space, wanted to connect with her as I’m not often around the house any more.

Connection heightens the thoughts of mortality and endings.

And while the pain hurts, it is a good thing to remember.

Pets as family.

The time you spend with them each day, loving, caring, and connecting. Particularly when the pet is a mammal, is an intelligent personality who seeks you out at times. It’s a very human thing, to care for animals, to seek solace in their company, and in their simple child-like understanding.

And so they are remembered, as they were our children. They were who we had together. They are reminders of happy times, of life together. They are meaning and love, as we were.

All things pass, in time.

Are the most precious memories, of those we cared for, of those we held as their life slipped away? For we carried them through their life, held them at the end, and cried together. We will soon cry together again, for one more time. Only once more.

Bittersweet memories.

May we always hold onto the joy that there was, the adventure, the fun and connection. This is all that makes us human.

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This Idea of Journey.

The thing is, most of the time I have no idea what I’m doing.

There’s certainly no devious plotting.
There’s no following the path in front of me, because I have no idea where I am and no idea where I’m going.

Mostly I just try to get through the day with as little damage as possible.

Yes I take any opportunity to brighten someone else’s day, because I care about other people.
I know what it’s like to feel alone, unloved, and to feel like you are not worth any effort from yourself or from others.

There is a deep dark loathing black hole down there, and most days I just want to keep myself as far from its reach as possible.

Plenty of days I fail to manage that.

Eventually, I take one little step forwards each day, to build up momentum and keep moving forwards.

How much do I care about you? That depends on the day, but generally quite a lot. The love you share with me is absorbed, added to and reflected back. My creation of original love is scarce, because of the energy it requires, and because of the emotional process required.

(W)here there is Greatness.

The message sent to me

“You already possess
everything necessary
to become great.”

Yes indeed. Right now, right here, just as I am.

Then followed the thoughts of darkness.
And I saw that all is in balance. It needs to be.

The darkness is simply another energy that contrasts the light. It can be used in different ways. It must be understood differently.

And I see that harnessing and managing the darkness has been difficult for me in the past because I didn’t have the skill-set or the understanding.

These are tools and techniques that can be learnt – if we are brave enough to discuss them openly.

Difficulties arise within the pain that typically accompanies the darkness. The pain of unmet life expectations, or the pain of confusion and perceived loneliness. These brief memories spring forth for me right now. And there is no pain within these memories, within this moment. For my understanding of life, and of myself, lets gentle awareness be in charge.

This entire reveal comes with a quiet calm, of knowing that the choice is mine every step of the way. That every thought, action, every motivation and decision, can propel me forwards – into the light, and greatness.

Have You Eaten (Enough)?

Munch munch munch. Feed the hungry body that craves something passing for sustenance. Shove the food in with purpose to satisfy desire. There is no pausing to appreciate the moment, nor to savour the experience, only a need to fill. A need to fill the body to pass off the soul as satisfied. 

And it doesn’t. Hollowness and emptiness sit hand in hand during this indulgence laid bare through its lack of mindfulness.

There are lessons here. And I vaguely sense their outline. But I’m too tired to make any sense from them. Too tired of feeding this ever hungriness that sits within me. 

The Ego is never satisfied. It only ever wants the attention, wants to win, wants to be the focus and the purpose. It wants and wants and wants.

So I will acknowledge that part of me for what it is. I will calmly turn my attention away from the brash forcefulness, towards the quiet part of me. The part that will accept all that I have, will accept all that there is around me and within me right now. The way that feeds my soul in a more lasting manner.

And I may sit here in the quiet for a while. But most likely I will just fall asleep and dream of days without confusion. Dream of straight forward days where clear communication begets an inner calm to all around me.

 ∞︎∞︎∞︎∞︎∞︎

[ My diary tells me yesterday was the fifth anniversary of starting this blog. I’m unsure these days whether that date was when I setup and posted my first story/poem, or if it is the date of my first (backdated) entry. Either way, I glance back and see five years of change, of growth. I am forever greatful to my friend H.C. who encouraged me to start this, and to the incredibly creative community who have supported me the whole journey so far. ]

The Horizon of Desire.

My desires feed a deep place inside
Not dark, for this shall be revealed with those who choose to ask, those who choose the closeness

Hunger grows and searches for equally matched desire
There is no boundary between physical and mental intimacy
I simply crave the deepest sharing and connection
And the decision to partake is valid only for the space the energy occupies

While relationships constantly change, acknowledgement and respect remain the vanguard of this new reality

My responsibility is to be better than we’ve ever been before
To set an example of the best a human can be

Deciding on true equality, true out-in-the-open honesty and integrity
This is to what I give my consent.

.

[ inspired by the words of Laurie Penny. ]

Comparisons.

Feeling guilt over the validity of my pain
Comparing my childhood story with yours

Yet I know this is no competition
And we each bear our own challenges
We each learn in our own ways

Why does comparison even come into it?

How do we accept this and grow?

Wanting life to be right and just, does not make it so

All we can do is live our own integrity

R U OK? Day 2017.

R U OK?

I saw the evidence in my social media feed. This annual day focussing on mental health had arrived again. Nobody was asking me directly, so I asked myself,
“aRe yoU OKay?”

And my response was a little uncertain, but mostly a “Yes.”
Maintaining a positive focus, one of my newer skills. 🙂

I’d been seeing memory posts in my social media feed, “on this day” from a year ago. And each day it didn’t look good. There was much pain 12 months ago. Mental anguish, also manifesting in physical illness. And I could see it so clearly now, looking back with experience, with compassion. Seeing clearly what was going on then.

And now, not wanting to look back too much. Not wanting to see so much pain, to be reminded of what I’d been through, because it’s still raw there, I’m still healing there.

But reflection is a good action. With a positive focus, it is helpful and enlightening. 

But it hasn’t been that way for most of my life. Only just realising that my self-improvement had often been a vehicle for self-admonishment. A finding-and-fixing attitude often fed a destructive force of self-criticism.

I presume that came from my father. His black and white attitude to right and wrong coupled with strict religious beliefs, was a recipe for harsh parenting that I learned early on. And now battle with today. Possibly the last haunting vestige of my past (well, that I have identified anyway) – (see what I did there?!)

So at the end of this year’s R U OK day, I know I’m in a far better mental place than previously. Far better than for many years. There are gaps, there is still work to do. I am learning to accept present me, be understanding with past me, be patient with future me, mostly just learning to be.

Falling into a Moment.

Today, is just as times before. When I feel the pain of another’s story, long after my ears have heard. When I remember back to my own journeys through the pain of chronic ill-health. And the mental anguish of being unable to function for days, weeks, months. The self-imposed stresses. The very real stress of maintaining a relationship whilst unable to maintain yourself. Being unable to work, unable to generate income, unable to meet deadlines.
Unable. Disable. Needing more enable, but those days were rare.
I have known defeat, suffering, struggle, and loss. Somehow I have found my way out of those depths and stand here today.

.

Pain reaches forwards
Up from the past
Clutching and dragging me
Back
Fearing all that
Now, as then

And I tell myself right now
These are emotional ghosts
They have no power over me
Except that which I give them.
Though I feel unsteady, unsafe
My comfort lies in others
Asking for help
Accepting supportive hands
Belief in my own inner strength.
These are my tools
With these now I survive
And prepare to thrive once more
This is my hope, my truth.

Without Judgement.


[ original photo by @xisarahix on instagram ]

Realising this morning that I’ve been sitting in fear these past weeks. 

I’ve been fighting it, resisting it, trying so hard to be right. 

Worrying about long-term relationships; about the new and subtly about the past. 

Through all the “what ifs” “shoulds” and “was I right?” I found a place this morning. A little bit of comfort, perhaps some resolution, and definitely a way forward from here. 

From 13th Century philosopher Rumi:
“Out beyond the ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing there is a field – I’ll meet you there.”

This is the place where I will sit down, to spend some time, to talk through my life with other humans. 

Because the biggest gift I can grant myself, and the biggest gift anyone else can give me right now, is to sit (with me) and consider my life so far – without judgement.

Advice You Never Asked For.

I admit I don’t know your full story. 

But I encourage you to write because of my own experiences of that being a hugely beneficial path to take. 

When I was depressed for years, 

frequently suicidal, for years

when writing was my only emotional outlet, I pushed through it all and eventually pushed out through all the hurt into something that was truly a little bit beautiful amidst the terrible darkness. 

It was on the advice of a dear friend I started blogging. Fear made me keep it anonymous. But what I met was a writing community that embraced me and encouraged me in every way. I found friends who taught me about understanding and grief, about strength and persistence, about discovery and perseverance.

And I am forever grateful for that experience. 

I see now how I pushed myself through the fear. Partly out of fear of the darkness, but mostly because ALWAYS inside me, no matter what other shit was going on, there was the tiniest spark of light that guided me onwards. Perhaps it was a genetic gift from my mother, of hope or optimism. Perhaps it was the repeated words of a few close friends who reminded me during those darkest times that it wouldn’t last, that life will get better, that I deserved better, that just hanging on for another minute is all I needed to do in the moment. 

How can I not be grateful for experiencing that genuine expression of love from people I’ve only known for a few years?!

And now it’s my time to shine for myself, and for others. It’s my time to pass on the love. To “pay it forward” to someone else. Not out of any duty, or karma, just because its who I am. Simple, honest, caring for other humans. (And because, well, in that place, there are new lessons for me too.)

So I don’t know what you want in your life, what your personal goals are. But I see you already caring for and discovering yourself in many ways. We all want to “be better” or perhaps just “feel better”. While that path is a very personal choice, I see you finding your way forwards already.

And I just want to encourage you to do, and to keep doing, whatever it takes to maintain forward momentum in your life.

I encourage you past the fears in whatever way it takes, because that is just the way forwards. 

Don’t be afraid. Just be who you need to be.

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[ feature/title image aerial photography of Mona Vale Beach, Australia, by Bo Le @safromabove ]