The Heart of the Matter

Being back in New York, I was presented with the opportunity to confront several patterns that I have had running since childhood. Of the two main ones, there was the anger issue referred to in the previous post. The second pattern was an addiction to sweets.

As I saw the pattern repeating itself during this trip, I finally became motivated enough to deal with what I knew was inevitable – the feeling that was driving this addiction. It seems it was written into my script that this was the time to confront this feeling; to sit in it, feel it, notice it, and not do anything about it. So, as an actor on this stage, I did as the script said – I allowed the feeling to emerge from the shadows, and I simply felt it.

It is a very difficult feeling to describe, and the best I can do is that it was a gnawing emptiness, desperate to be filled. Then I observed the mind come in, and attempt to give me any and all reasons to fill this emptiness with something sweet. I was amazed at the unending litany of opportunistic, ingenious, and seemingly logical reasons why I should partake of something sweet at any particular time at all. Truly, I was amazed.

For as long as I can remember, I was listening and acting upon at least one of those reasons, in order to push away that empty feeling. Stuffing some sweet into my mouth would put this process off for the moment, for the day, for the year, for the lifetime. For some reason, this time, I didn’t act upon the impulse, and just noticed it. The feeling would actually pass pretty quickly. The thoughts would keep popping up, and the feeling would re-emerge along with those thoughts.

The first day of observation was very intense, the next day less so. I did partake of some  dessert during the next few days, but never without the awareness of this entire process. The sweets are hardly the point – it was the mechanism of the feeling and the accompanying thoughts that are the point. When I did partake, another set of thoughts would emerge, hammering on me for eating the sweet item. You can see that there is no winning that game. Pure genius!

Now that I’m back on Kauai, at least for a while, I am experiencing an absence of that empty feeling, which makes room for another, more powerful feeling to emerge in its place. Yesterday, I was washing dishes, listening to music, just sort of doing kitchen stuff, when I became aware of another feeling that I had only read about up to that moment.

For the first time in my 64 years, I was simply enjoying the miracle of being alive.

The Greatest Maze Ever

I’ve been noticing many of the childhood patterns coming up in the form of very long-held-in feelings. Though often too nebulous to name, I can name the feelings of anger, bitterness and resentment that have been arising. These feelings are accompanied by the desire to run away, as far and as fast as I can.

What I realize now is that by allowing myself to get angry, bitter, resentful, etc., I am allowing myself all the feelings I was never allowed to have while living here (New York) as a kid. As a result, I now see that it doesn’t matter what I feel; who I am never changes. Noticing these feelings is enough; I don’t have to do anything with them. This seems to allow them to pass on through.  Allowing the feelings seems like a much easier path than denying them. I’ve just had so much conditioning that says that feeling them is not allowed.

I already know that most of my thoughts are just so much BS, so I am seeing through Phase 1 of the Human Game pretty clearly now. There’s just something about us that NEVER changes, no matter what may be passing through.

Everything is allowed, there are no mistakes, everything simply is. We are. We are not separate from anything. The ingenuity of the Human Game is simply stunning. It has us convinced that we are a separate self, a self that is continually searching, searching for the sake of upholding its own illusory existence. It is the greatest maze ever created.

I was told that I would come to appreciate it, as opposed to resenting it, but I never dreamed that my appreciation would run so deep.

Notes From New York

My Mom had a fall shortly after my last post. So here I am in Rye, New York, six thousand or so miles from Kauai and my beautiful wife. However, knowing that all atoms are black holes, how far away am I really?

Having hit her head, my 92 year-old Mom was in serious condition for a few days, but fortunately is now recovering nicely. However, she is still quite confused, and has been seeing things that, well, let’s just say that I don’t see the same things she does. It’s kind of like a dream state, where she is reacting to and speaking of things that only she can see. Apparently this is a normal stage for someone with head trauma, and much of the time yesterday we were able to converse coherently.

We had a hilarious exchange yesterday. She was seeing a newspaper or a magazine hovering in the air in front of her, and she wanted me to move it closer so she could read it. I told her that I would if I could, but that I didn’t see it. After repeated attempts to get me to move this newspaper closer to her, attempts that met with no success, she stared at me and said, “When was the last time you got your eyes checked?” I loved that line and laughed, whereupon, she repeated her question, ending with, “I don’t think you are seeing very well. You need new glasses.” I’m still laughing over that one.

This is truly a situation in which I have no choice but to take each day as it comes. Planning is necessary, as some changes are in order, but these plans are to be taken lightly. My mind desires context and certainty, and there is none to be had.