Fire

Fire reminds me of all that is most full of light

Of the heat that comes with love

And passion for a fully lived life

And as I watch fire flames

Lick the air

Throwing their flying sparks skyward

I remember how it felt for us

In our unbridled moments

Of carefree spontaneity

To taste the joy of love

For there is something in the heart aflame

That has the power

To cast the demons

Of fear and loneliness

Away

If only for a while

And for a time

All those years ago

We tasted that grace

As the fire of light and love

Danced between us

These are the memories

I will hold close to me

The broken dreams

The hurt and screams

Well I will let them

Fall through space

And fade away

I was not the same person then

The fire had not yet burned me clean

So now if I feel myself

Comforted by the role I take

Of guardian to the flames

Maybe there will come a way

Some day

To taste the heat of fire

Between us

To partake once again

Of the passion joy and freedom

Of its mystical

Intensity

At dusk

At dusk

Your absence reminds me

How much I long for your presence

There is this only encroaching dark

As the day says goodbye

With apricot light

Tinging the edges of a grey blue horizon

And this is the time of day

My soul most aches

For the comfort of shared intimacies

And I long for just one night

To share a meal

And listen as each of us reveals

Closely guarded secrets

Is my hope all in vain

When you tell me just to trust

Will my heart be broken again

(These are just some fears I entertain)

But then in a moment of clarity

I remember

Everything will be okay

I have the strength to sustain

This lonely dusk

If I only find a way

To reach for comfort

And even though you are 12,000 miles away

It is at dusk

That your absence

Makes me miss

And long for your presence

The most

Before we parted

I keep a lock of your hair

Close to my heart

It reminds me of the peace I felt

Watching your long tresses cascade

Over sheets of satin

And of how it felt to hold you close

On those passionate nights

We made the very most of love

And now that we have parted

And you have found your rest

The only recompense I find

Exists so deep within my mind

In memories of the tenderness

We shared

As I ache with the remembering

Of the dark beauty of it all

And recall

How glad you made my heart

On those long winter nights

We shared

Before we parted

Let your heart have wings

Listen to the wind

It might have secrets to whisper to you

That cannot get through

As you pull your overcoat

Tighter and tighter around you

Respond to that inner tug

And joyful rising

Of fire and light

That you sense

When you gaze upon a bird in flight

And remember how it once felt to be

Airborne

And even though so much of the time

This heavy weight of gravity

Is felt

Do not forget to allow your soul

A place to dream

Or open your vision

To crazy wild imagining

Allow your spirit a place to sing

Let your longing have wings

Surrender yourself

To explore the freedom

And simple pure delight

Of your soul in flight

Out on the wide horizon

Pursuing its wild imagining

Suppression, expression or transmutation? : Letting go

I had the intuitive message to get to the bookshop today. It was one of those cold sunless morning in which the desire to walk was totally absent and Jasper seemed reluctant to follow me out into the wintery day. I had seen a book of poetry I wanted to buy (as I like to support writers… God knows it is hard enough to get published let alone sell books of poetry with so much poetry published online these days.) At the same time in the bookshop whilst browsing I came across a book on letting go which just struck me as a case of pure synchronicity because last night I got some bad news and I started to get stressed and upset as I noticed I was in resistance. And its is interesting because in the book Letting Go : The Pathway of Surrender, David Hawkins speaks of how much suppressed and projected emotion drives our culture and flight into attack, defence, conquest or war.

Hawkins claims letting emotions out isn’t necessarily the best way forward, either as a lot of the time if it just magnifies the feelings and discourages us from letting them go or moving through them or even acknowledging their deeper roots which would, in the long run, be far more beneficial for our life, health, sanity and relationships.

I had felt that letting go shift and change of perception move through me last night when I began to laugh at the situation going on between Scott and I. Its been just over a year now of trying to meet and being blocked in some way and I have constantly had to fight demons of doubt and belief along the way to the point now all I feel I can really do for peace of mind is to surrender. We have met yet another block and last night I started to get stressed again as I noticed I was in resistance. Being able to have a good laugh about it made me feel a lot better and then I realised I could just let go to find peace. PHEW!!!

Hawkins has an interesting take on stress which he claims is influenced by the degree of accumulated pressure we feel personally from our repressed or suppressed feelings. So someone carrying a lot of anger is going to get triggered into frustration a lot, someone full of fear will react fearfully to events and much of these reactions will be driven by core beliefs, and the stories or meanings we make of things (along with the backlog of suppressed or repressed emotion) and that’s definitely not saying anything new that anyone here does not already know, however we can often lose sight of this when we get trapped in the midst of a trigger reaction.

According to Hawkins doing exercises or meditation to release muscles already tight from stress or trigger reactions often misses the point, in that we are then dealing with the symptom or result of stress rather than what caused us to react in the first place, the repressed feelings of anger, fear, guilt, shame or other negative beliefs that got provoked in the circumstance.

Reading this book today has reminded me that I am only just lately getting some kind of insight into the suppressed feelings that underlie my own reactions to things. Guilt and fear are two of the repressed emotions driving reactions that I have been becoming more aware of lately. And reacting on repressed feelings we haven’t been able to admit to, understand, acknowledge or contain often ends badly for us. Not to mention that the majority of the world doesn’t care what happened to us in the past and probably doesn’t deserve to be dumped with what we are on the run from or have repressed or suppressed inside ourselves and may then tend to project unconsciously.

According to Hawking the rationalising mind is well versed in projecting true causes outside of ourselves onto others. It personally doesn’t feel great when this happens to us and we may not be fully aware ourselves when we are doing it. I was listening to a programme on the power of apology today and it said a true apology doesn’t contain the word ‘but’. I am really sorry I hit you ‘but’.. I was having a bad day, got hit a lot as a child, cant contain my frustration, fear and anger very well.

And its not only so called ‘negative’ or challenging feelings we repress, according to Hawkins repression of love that may want to move forward may be the cause of more heart attacks than we realise. Fear of loss which drives love can lead us too, to extreme reactions and difficulty with letting our loved one go, something I know I have done a lot of in my own life before I became more aware of old losses that have been driving me along with their associated feelings.

We also tend to project what we experience. I got a bit of a shock last night to realise how much sadness and melancholy I actually project on current situations and so it was helpful today to read the following :

The person with a lot of repressed grief will unconsciously create sad events in life, the fearful person precipitates frightening experiences, the angry person becomes surrounded by infuriating circumstance, and the prideful person is constantly being insulted.

And according to Hawkins the vibrational charge of feelings is emitted by our aura and can be felt by those who are sensitive, emotion is stored as emotional charge in cells something I have experienced multiple times on awakening when stored shock/fear/guilt/trauma or grief energy has been activated the previous day. Add to this that traumatic events keep us wired up with vibrational charge and we in the end can become both receptive transmitters and absorbers of similar energies. Thus trauma sadly often attracts yet more trauma towards us if we don’t practice emotional vibration release work.

Because emotions emit a vibrational energy field, they affect and determine the people who are in our lives. Life events become influenced by our repressed and suppressed emotions on the psychic level. ..(anger attracts anger, just as) “love promotes love.”

Letting go involves being aware of a feeling, letting it come up, staying with it and letting it run its course without wanting to make it different or do anything about it. It means simply to let the feeling be there and to focus on letting out the energy behind it. The first step is to allow yourself to have the feeling without resisting it, venting it, fearing it, condemning ir, or moralising about it. It means to drop judgement and to see that it is just a feeling. The technique is to be with the feeling and surrender all efforts to modify it in any way. Let go of wanting to resist the feeling. It is resistance that keeps the feeling going. When you give up resisting or trying to modify the feeling, it will shift to the next feeling and be accompanied by a lighter sensation. A feeling that is not resisted will disappear so the energy behind it dissipates.

It is important as we practice letting go of feelings or moving through them via this process that we also notice and ignore associated thoughts.

Thoughts are endless and self reinforcing and they only breed more thoughts. Thoughts are merely rationalisations of the mind to try and explain the presence of the feeling. The real reason for the feeling is the accumulated pressure behind feelings that is forcing it… into the present moment. The thoughts or external events are only excuses made up by the mind.

Letting the thoughts go and just allowing the feelings to move leads to a state of surrender…..

To be surrendered means to have no strong emotions about a thing. “It’s okay if it happens, and it’s okay if it doesn’t.” When we are free, there is a letting go of attachments. We can enjoy a thing, but we don’t have need of it for our happiness. There is a progressive diminishing of all dependence upon anything or anyone outside of ourselves (we can then) “be in the world, but not of it.”

Feelings may continue to arise as we begin to process them since we may have stored so many over such a long period, but in time we become aware that we have feeling but there is a basic part of us that is not our feeling, we can learn to watch feelings arise and pass away just like storm clouds, we become more aware of ‘the changeless witness’ rather than identifying and remaining so strongly bound to experience. We come close to the real Self too, that lies behind feelings, less a ‘victim’ or ‘hostage’ to feelings, we become progressively less identified with the passing feelings and thoughts and more in tune with our underlying Self that witnesses the ongoing dance and movement of feeling/thoughts.

Love’s devotion

I may never know

How how it feels to touch your hand

And this is why now

I am letting go

Do not get me wrong

I am not giving up on us

Or on love

In fact

As I let go

More and more and more love

Floods into my heart

As I feel the sweetest surrender

With falling tears

God only knows what you are going through

And why the powers are failing

To bring me to you

But this much I know

I want to love

And trust

Because to fight and rage

Reduces everything within me to dust

And here in the mellow sweetness

Of acknowledging how much I love

And long for you

Is an amazing healing

That is freeing

Even if it never results

In us meeting

For I realised something last night

True love can never be destroyed

By any war

Or sabotaging power

And the heart that goes on beating

Cannot refuse to love

The one who we have chosen

As the truest deepest

Container of

Our love’s devotion.

Invisible light

Under the cloak of night

I will send you invisible light

When your heart is breaking

Under the weight of the task

That keeps us apart

Because no separation

Can ever block the flow of love

That runs from my heart to yours

For you are my destiny

And my heart is powerless

To do anything else

But love you

Tenderly

Ineffectual

The astrologer said

Saturn Mars

Is the father who barred

The way to self expression

So here is my lesson

To look for all the ways

Messages absorbed

Blocked me from

Light, strength, life and power

There were years and years and years

That I withstood the rain shower

Which bespoke

The obliteration of tears

And all of my energy

And joy was stolen

As I digested your powerful

No!

The way was barred

And the earth was scorched

Leaving only burnt out remanents

Of a former self

That I have been engaged upon

Long long years of recollecting

And as much as my soul desires

To sing its happy song

Perhaps the long drawn out lament

Of my suffering will be the necessary

Tune that precedes

A love song to the sun and moon

For when light was eclipsed

You stole my brightness

Covering me over with dust

And I don’t want to be

Just rust more

I want to even this mixed up score

Of ineffectual dismay

You bid me play

The helpless role I found myself trapped inside

Even years and years and years

After you went away

How you got to here!

It may be hard to understand

How you got to here

Especially when

Constant confusion doubt and fear

Are your ever present companions

But truly all of this was meant to be

And you will never ever ever

Find a way to be free

If you turn your back upon the self

Full of fire and hell bent

On resurrecting itself

From beneath

A layer of concrete

Dumped on a vivid soul

Who scared to death

The living ghosts

Who so long ago

Severed

Heart from head

Cleaving

Common hyper controlled sense

From wild and free

Creative imagining

And so if it hurts to feel the quake

That fills your whole being

While individuality shakes

The façade crumbling it to pieces

As your shattered soul aches

Well maybe my friend you need to bear the brunt

Of this tear away

For there are complex reasons

You got to here

And your soul will never find the way

To give them over

To reveal a truth complete

Till you uncover their

Shouting

From underneath

Piles and piles and piles

Of hyper rationality

Concrete

Learning how to love

Maybe some of us have a lot of learning to go through around love. Maybe at times we miss each other on this path of seeking love or seeking to love. Some of us may have got to associated a desire for love with hurt, mistreatment or frustration. We may not have understood how our own parents struggled to be loving when they lacked tools or had other matters that were more pressing to attend to.

I had a lovely conversation with a family friend yesterday whose father left Holland in 1938 with my father. Uncle Piet was her father and he was my God father a man I adored in childhood because he was so happy and fun, unlike my own father who was often pretty self preoccupied authoritarian and serious. I remember every time Uncle Piet would visit us he would say as soon as he came in the door and saw me. “holy smoke, you’ve grown” I was a gangly tall kid who shot up rapidly and was often teased having constant struggles to find clothes that fit my long body and shoes that fit my long, long narrow feet.

Uncle Piet and his wife were the ones to take me in after my mother remarried within a month of me returning to Australia 2 and a half years after my father died of stomach cancer. Uncle Piet was pretty upset with the way my Mum abandoned me and later in life before he died he cut Mum out of his life, I was to learn in later years as he found out about my entering sobriety that he lost his own mother when young. Later in life his family tried to have him diagnosed with dementia because he was expressing anger, after years and years and years of being the nice accommodating guy he got fed up. He was more like a father to me than my own father and he was able to give me insights into the forces that drove my Dad I would never have got from anywhere else. Dad left his entire family behind in 1938 and only went back to the Netherlands briefly for visits his closest sister Lies pined for him something I shared with my cousin’s son today who is the grandson of my father’s younger brother.

Anyway for me my experience of love has always been distant and somewhat confused. Having the warmest member of my family leave when I was only 3 and be cut down painfully at the age of 34 was truly devastating for me. Seeing her abandoned and try to take her life cut me to pieces inside and taught me that love was very very dangerous.

Anyway it wasn’t until Piet and I bonded that I got to know what an intimate fatherly relationship might consist of (this was from the age of 25 when I returned to Australia and we were in a lot of contact after I got sober at 31).

When I left my ex husband for 6 months to go back overseas to pursue my therapy in 2002 they took Jonathan in as well. For some reason all this is coming up in a post I initially wanted to write about love. I think because I got more active demonstration of a present emotionally available love from my god parents than from my own father and mother.

I know that it has not always been easy to feel the love from my family. We are not a demonstrative family but I am a very affectionate and friendly person but as I look back now (and it seems that lately some blinkers have been pulled away from my eyes) I got to only really know how to be formal with others. I fear that at any time I could be cut off, dropped or abandoned. In the days of my alcoholism of course this happened to me all of the time as I realise I lacked emotional insight and literacy or emotional intelligence or the skills to truly bond or attach t others. My life has pretty much been riven with broken attachments. Sometimes I think I only know how to leave others or deny I actually need or long for connection.

Only slowly over time have I began to see how sometimes I pushed love away but only when people lacked the capacity to read me emotionally. It is something I was talking about with Uncle Piet’s daughter yesterday, she was saying how our parent’s generation had such a struggle to survive materially that they really just put emotions to one side. Practical realities became more important than the expression of love towards children and when a parent has been emotionally neglected or not responded to emotionally they then lack the skills to provide that for their children.

I read on a co-dependency recovery website a few years back how it is believed that the wounded or trauma child of the parent is passed down. The generations born since the 1960s carried this trauma child along with the collective experiences of the suffering of war. Many of them may have lacked emotional intelligence and not been able to express love. In my family appearance and ‘doing the right thing’ became all important. We never got to have fun much as it was all about work, everything was geared around business. There wasn’t ever a lot of time just to goof off, hang loose and interact informally and play. And I read recently that humour, fun and play are such important ingredients in achieving a healthy balanced emotional life.

It is said of narcissists and covert narcissists that everything is about control and gets to be deathly serious. The capacity to be loose, free and openhearted gets lost, vulnerability is feared and pretence and controlling emotions becomes the order of the day. We see the height of this seriousness and shadow repression heightened around the end of the 19th century and carry in through Nazism and other dominant dictator movements which were attempts to wrest back a semblance of power and control in very very challenging circumstances where forces of rebellion and transition were powering forward.

I do believe that no matter what our wound our capacity to love can be improved, we can open our hearts to the areas of hurt that feel sore and discover what the missing panacea is … to my mind it is love, and this only comes in time often through great suffering and ignorance. I went to see the movie Red Joan yesterday about the British ‘granny’ spy who passed atomic secrets to the Russians in the 1940s. I really recommend this movie as it touches on so many themes of suffering and ignorance and naivety and judgement. We often judge what we don’t fully understand and judgement often hides from us our own depth of ignorance and blind spots as well as our lack of awareness of the influences others are subject to.

To love opens us to a far more unified view that is less polarised into black and white one that can encompass the more complex shades and hidden nuances that comprise our collective shared experience. Loving ourselves and others better means we open to understand what it is that stands in the way of experiencing and expressing love and feeling it for our fellow humans often due to the fact we misunderstand things. Or else we just long for love but have not yet learned what it might mean to express and experience it deeply both within ourselves and both extended towards or received from others.

Surely love will be the answer in so many situations. Love wins through separation, fear and judgement at the end of the movie Red Joan. I don’t know how true to the life of the real granny spy the movie is having been based on a novel that portrays in a fictionalised version the true events. Never the less I broke down in the final scene. You may have to see it to know why as I cannot reveal the ending.