Peace : today’s reflections

Peace exists in this quiet space in the present moment when my busy mind stops to have a rest and stops panicking itself. I just read a heartfelt post written by someone, touching on the negative kinds of thoughts allowed into one’s mind and how they give us no rest. Now I do not advocate a false positivity, God knows a lot of trauma goes down in the world, we have all seen our fair share of it, me more than anyone but I also know the power of my mind to create even more angst and the times my inner restlessness urges me away from peace into toxic rumination and then towards unnecessary actions taken out of non-peace.

In many ways we are a doing culture. We seem to have forgotten how to simply be. I see people suffering deeply as their busy relatives have no time for them, they are caught up in chasing that next thing or achievement and that’s all well and good but when it leaves no time to stop and think about how your neighbor or mother, or son or daughter or aunt is, what is it all for? I don’t know, maybe I just think this way due to aging these days. I seem to be able to sustain my life with minimal contact from others because I have my beautiful dog who is a companion, but sadly not a human one..

Then there is the disturbance other disturbed humans bring to our lives out of their own trauma. I made a friend recently but she is a Jehovah’s Witness and every time she calls she preachs scripture to me. I do not deny there is wisdom in the Bible but there is also a lot of nonsense too, and to be honest I am more a fan of the simple grounded teachings of Jesus or the Buddha such as those from the Gnostic gospels or Pali texts which speak of inner knowing as a path to God rather than the following of dogma and scripture. (Sorry if this offends some readers : your path is yours and I respect that and I do enjoy some of the Bible.)

I get her concern for the state of things and the way we are treating the planet.. It may be true that those who hurt the earth will in time be ‘punished’ and sadly man’s restlessness and greed may destroy parts of nature and the ecological balance for sure. I do believe there is also a natural law or state of homeostasis or dynamic balance that man cannot over ride for too long and I guess this is what she was getting at, its just I am not too much of a fan of ‘punishment.’ I was not surprised to learn on Thursday that this person’s father was an abusive alcoholic who preached to her and obviously passed the wounding down.. My friend is a truly good person and I care for her but the conversation on Thursday sent me a bit demented to be honest.. It was just so good when it ended and I could finally rest in the silence and then go to therapy and down load it all with Katina, my therapist.

I am also now getting to the point of needing to leave my trauma in the past where it belongs.. I do not want to keep going over it, though I notice movies of stuff do still start to play in my head around critical anniversaries.. Yesterday would have been my 27th anniversary if my marriage had survived sobriety.. I was married for 11 years and I could not help but go back in time to the beautiful service we had in 1993. I remembered how after the church ceremony ( a simple affair with only 40 guests) we walked to the pier at McMahon’s point as light rain began to fall carrying champagne glasses to have our photos taken. ( I was still drinking then and would have another 7 weeks of drinking before getting sober at my first AA meeting on 6 December of that year.) I thought too of the deep melancholy that fell upon me on the wedding night.. after family went their separate ways.. I had so much to live through and will always be grateful for those 11 years Jonathan and I had together, most especially those early sober years. They years 1993 to 1998 were particularly happy and trauma free.

Sad I could not leave my past in my past from then.. The pain began to emerge around 1999 and I sought therapy then. The ancestral stuff also began to lay a claim on me around the Saturn Pluto opposition of 2001 and that bought me back home to Australia after a dream about a spiral staircase and the walls closing in that sucked me back into a vortex and stopped me moving forward. At that stage I had done the first few months of the Center for Psychological Astrology’s diploma course and my grief was opening up big time.. And so we came home and things feel apart and I fell into the Underworld from 2006 onwards until very very recently when I have finally been feeling the dark side lay less of a claim upon me.

My family and personal trauma kept me living in a liminal world for many years.. I have just watched the final season of the US drama series The Affair which centers around the trauma of loss and its terrible impact upon a young woman called Alison. In an interview with the writer Sarah Treem that appears on the DVD edition she discusses how Alison also lives in this place of liminality, hovering between life and death.. In the end her own trauma attracts someone also traumatised, with terrible and tragic consequences.. In the end the ocean of death claims Alison, the power of her loss and trauma is just too strong, and it is just as she in on the brink of moving into a new pattern something devastating happens.. such is the powerful downward spiral of loss. And the issue of who we bond with or seek help from when succumbing to the deluge will dictate whether we rise or fall, being sucked under again by its powerful death like hold.

For me I like to think the claim of the rough oceans of trauma are not quiet as powerful in their hold upon me as they were. I get times of the deepest dark loneliness opening up these tend to fade and recede as I know what to do to pull myself out when I need to and stop the suck of death or anti life talk.. .. I invest in life every day now in the most positive of ways but some days are still hard. Anyway even if, just like today, its a windswept run and play at the oval with Jasper followed by a coffee in a spot that puts me close to life and other people I listen when I feel I need to be around signs of positive life energy and living..but I do not deny sadness when it comes either.

I also know that peace often comes for me in the silence.. Here in the silence I am affirmed by ‘the watcher’ that part of me I talked over in therapy with Kat on Thursday, the part of me that was whole enough not to be obliterated in trauma. Kat said to me that healing is only problematic when we lose access to the observer self and that it not only about dissociation.

There is a force that holds and loves us through the dark and the pain. Carl Jung called in the Self with a big S. He believed this Self sends us dreams and symbols and signs, he believed it could be a witness to both the Godly as well as the demonic aspects in the Universe, ourselves and others. It is only possession of the Self by split off death dealing or demonic parts (grown stronger in power when we push painful feelings of rage and hate and sadness away) that makes life become problematic.. And in trauma we may bond to those forces in others, or at least a destructive side that has a lot of hidden power over us due to the power of the repetition compulsion…Archetypal energy has great power and we need a loving Self that can partake of it while not being completely possessed if that makes any sense..

It is in the moments of quiet and peace we often gain insight, in a way that is sometimes harder when the loud voices of other opinions drown our own out. This is at least what I believe in. If there is a force of God then I believe it is a force of both love and creation as well as destruction but only of forms and we are each a spark of this. In this life we get to dance and float within a sea of energies and if we are lucky we are able to find the containing force of peace and love that in living deep within us, as well as the entire Universe is able to hold together all of our disparate warring parts, feelings, reactions and experiences and unify them in the oneness. Death then loses its power over us for a time, as life and living becomes possible again in the aftermath of pain, loss, abandonment or trauma.. In time we learn to ride the waves and even float as we become more trusting of our power to open, contain and flow within the Universal stream.

“All the gods, all the heavens, all the hells, are within you.”

Joseph Campbell

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