Beautiful words from Thich Nhat Hanh

This is a very compassionate and wise piece of writing taken from Thich’s book How to Fight on how we can skillfully help others rather than harm them even further under the illusion of ‘caring.’

Learn to nourish yourself and your loved ones with joy. To love someone means to understand them. It means knowing how to bring them joy and happiness in concrete ways. If you act skillfully your words and actions will make the other person feel fresh and light. Sometimes a kind word or two are enough to help them blossom like a flower.

We have to learn the art of creating happiness. If during our childhood we saw our mother or father do things that created happiness in the family, we will already know how to do it. But if our parents did not know how to create happiness, we may not know how to do it either. The problem is not one of wrong or right. But of being more or less skillful.

Creating happiness is an art. Even with a lot of goodwill, you can still make another person very unhappy. Goodwill is not enough. We need to know the art of making the other person happy. Art is the essence of life..

Try to be artful in your speech and actions. The substance of art is mindfulness. When you are mindful you are more artful.

My soul

My soul called to me

From somewhere far away

With a yearning I could not deny

For the colours of

Blue and orange

A passing bird’s sweet song

Reminded me of the home

I left

So long ago

As wave upon wave of grief and regret rose

Tumbling over me

From deep within the ancestral ocean

While on another shore

Through my tear syained eyes

I glimpsed

All the children dance

Hearts fully unbound

Loosened from sorrow

Joy washed through me then

Wave

Upon wave

Upon wave of it

And it was then I knew my soul

Never left

Was always

Waiting patiently

For me to awaken

From this long and difficult sleep

Of forgetting

I acted as a child : and some thoughts on the Dark Night of the Soul.

Maybe my loving inner adult may be able to grow now that I am so clearly seeing the way my wounded and deprived child acted to cause us both so many problems since Mum died.. Lately I have to admit a lot of my actions came out of naivety and arrested childhood development as well as profound feelings of loss stemming back to a young age… but just possibly it all needed to unfold as it did..

I think possibly too that lately, in grieving how alone my Mum also felt growing up, I am finally coming to more compassion and insight.. As an Aquarian I am starting to see that I am far too perfectionistic of both self and others.. at times and then I can get caught up in idealistic dreams that only cause me pain by fostering them.

The sadness at losing Dad at 23 and how hard it was to not have him support my educational dreams is very close the surface too, at the moment.. I think of the dream before I got sober where he came to me destitute that may symbolically and psychologically be about my own under developed inner masculine (Mars and Solar force.) but it most certainly is also profoundly about complex money issues and survival issues across many generations.

As a sensitive child with Sun square to Neptune (like Carl Jung) I did pick up on the suffering in the family and it became my own. astrologer Liz Greene picked up on this is a seminar on Neptune back in 2001.. Indeed over years and after sobriety the burden of feeling all of those sad feelings fell to me. I needed to share them to externalize them (and thank God for this blog in helping me to do that) along with therapy/sharing with soul friends. Sometimes after my marriage began to break down Mum and I would hold hands and cry for what we lost from 1985 onwards.. I must stay glad I was with her for those final years even if it meant suffering a horrible sinus operation, leg wound and breast cancer.. I could not always the feelings out around her and my older sister but even visits to the psyche ward following Mum;s death did bring up some of that grief, (possibly not only my own.) No matter how hard I begged my sister to get better psychological help that was doomed to fail too but I also drew back at times due to that fear of being overwhelmed. Listening to a very good program on the menopause and depression issues I think she also had a dark night triggered after her womb was taken in 2003 and her hormones went haywire.. I am glad I got acupuncture at that point to stem my own bleeding.

Now there are some family I need to see, I long for them.. the head injury of 2005 came on the back of running away, a few months before I boarded the plane back to the UK in April of that year my older sister’s second son visited with his wife and two boys and they wanted me to go north but at that stage their father was still alive and my family blamed him for abandoning my sister after her aneurysm and it felt too much like a betrayal to visit.

We got to connect a little when my older sister finally died and then my mother three years later in 2017 though there was a great distance everyone still kept up then possibly out of fear of vulnerability… But at the moment I long to be with my older sister’s second son and his younger boys.. It is a real soul need in me at present.

I never got to make that family with Jonathan. Sadly I aborted our first child. I was not ready and I do not blame myself. My family now is Jasper and a growing group of blogger and soul friends who see and love my depth and stay close to accept me as I am. Really I do have so much to be grateful for. God knows families define and we may be defined by so much we do not fully know or understand from the past or by wounds our own inner critic (or other’s other critics) keeps us from fully experiencing, feeling and grieving through.

John Bradshaw claims we can suffer those wounds at about 5 different stages of childhood development.. This rings true.. and each wound may affect our ability to birth and manifest as our true self or soul in the world until we face them and process them.. This process is one that may be often kicked of at critical outer planet transits of Uranus, Neptune, Chiron and Pluto that accompany midlife.. Uranus awakens the unhealed pain to be felt.. if we deny the deeper psycholgical resonances of this process or medicate it away we miss a golden opportunity to grow as a soul through what mystics and depth psychologists such as Thomas Moore call The Dark Night of the Soul. Weathering these planetary storms with grace may mean we have to bury our ghosts in order to come to new life, most certainly we must face what haunts us fully feeling it through.. The Neptune to Neptune square may bring a lot of loss up or a feeling of deluge depending upon our multigenerational configuration..The Chiron return at 50 may take us into our deepest wound and make us face our buried achilles heel..

The alternative may be to turn away and lose the path back to light that naturally wished to open up deep inside of us as we progressively start to move through the later stages of the profound passageway of the second half of life. As Carl Jung famously said “until the age of 40 we are all just doing research.”

Simple needs

Lately at times it seems we need less than we think materially. The most precious moments for me are in nature where I feel filled up on the natural beauty that the Creator just gives to us for free.

A moment ago I had someone else just ask me for help for their family on Facebook messenger. I should not accept new friends requests not from the Awakened Empath group any more. I am kind and given all of my savings I cannot keep giving in this way.. I also just want to make my life lately far more innocent and simple and with less of a need for things that are not truly necessary to my happiness even connections that are about others drawing on me to fill up..

Jasper my dog is my most precious gift. I do not even want a male partner any more..Men ask so much of me. I do not know why they think it is up to me to rescue them. Jackson claims the delivery company have also scammed him of 75,00 dollars after I blocked him last week.. I just think there are people out there who are ruthless and greedy and there are those kind souls entrapped in very difficult circumstances but I lack the power to rescue them all.

Today I seek peace.. I love poetry, nature, stars, sky, wind, touch, prayer, healthy food, peace and rest.. I am enough and I have enough I got myself in so much trouble thinking i lacked something and paying a ransom to others.

No more!!

I just want to rest in peace from here on in knowing that in any moment as long as I am truly grateful and deeply in touch with the healing power of my infinite soul, I am and always will be loved, cared for and have ENOUGH.

We are all vulnerable (and in that lies our hidden strength!)

To be human is to be vulnerable but so many would rather deny it.. Vladimir Putin comes up a lot lately when I meet with friends who know more about Eastern European and Russian politics than I ever will.. Dad sadly thought that studying was not a good thing for a girl who was only going to get married and have babies (little did he know THAT WAS NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN). I cry over it a lot lately but its not too late to admit I would love to possibly learn even more about what I do not know.

I have friends who have suffered a lot of trauma who try to say that Putin is only doing this to cleanse Ukraine of dark elements and somehow its necessary and justifed. Talk about siding with the abuser. The more educated among you possibly know this is not true, it is propaganda, and is a way also of manipulating others who on some level also feel powerless but would rather wound and hurt than take that on board and experience their own vulnerability.

I recently saw a photo of Putin on a lamp post somewhere I was walking in the photo his eyes seemed to be set back far in his head and were full of emptiness and darkness. A friend yesterday says she does not feel all wantonly homicidal dictators did had an abusive childhood, were in fact born as bad seeds, something therapist James Hillman believes.. I am not so sure. But Jung did say one powerful thing.. that the opposite of love is not hate but the will to power over and perhaps dictators only reach for that due to a lack of love and empathy shown to them.. Both Alice Miller and astrologer Liz Greene make this point about some of the most aggressively damaging men who enacted such pain upon the vulnerable souls in Nazism.. Surely the roots of that approach (a strong and steely defense against experiencing their own vulnerability lies hidden both in their personal and ancestral past.. I do not know I will have to do my research..

I think denying our human vulnerability may be the worst crime of all, denigrating the so called ‘evil’ dark shadow carriers may in some ways miss the mark but I may be wrong.. It is a crime to have a heart of compassion even for those who approve crimes against the vulnerable such as rape of innocent women and killing of children?.. And what happened to Putin’s inner child to make him shut down so and become subsumed by his own holocausted inner core?

I just met with a friend and we were discussing this. She is not a fan of men, sees them as the perpetrator of so much evil on this planet, often putting woman down and disallowing them valid emotions in order to feel strong and it may be a fact as Lundy Bancroft observes in her important book on male abusers Why Does He Do That : Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men that that kind of emotional and physical violence comes from someone only projecting and deeply in flight from their own inner wounded feminine.. I got that book after being put down for over 3 years by my ex partner whose parting shot was to call me an insecure, flighty, screw up of a person. Its taken me well over 8 years of therapy now to try to turn that kind of self hatred and self blame around while also not running from the places in me where i also feel powerless, weak, flawed or vulnerable.

The fact is if we do not own our shadow we will not only project it but keep meeting it, but in our hatred of it we may like Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Putin and countless other toxic dictators also end up enacting that rage upon vulnerable targets.. This is not a world we kind ones want to live in, but lately it seems to me that even we need to wise up if we do not want to be hurt.. For in being too vulnerable at times we will allow ourselves to be overtaken and humiliated, shame dumped and put down by those who actually have not one shred of interest in seeing us or themselves as just innately human if flawed beings trying our best to live and grow and learn in consciousness. And sadly for those of us denied empathy as kids and blamed, becoming what Jungian analyst Sylvia Bretton Perrera labels scapegoat identified the inner persecutor will come to live inside of us as a toxic force always putting us down and sending up such big storms of anxiety when we try to come alive that it may feel we will die if we try to find the courage to defy and move through them. And yet to be free, is this not what we must do.

Knowing what I want and need

If having a strong Mars Sun connection means knowing what we need and like then it makes sense why my life upto now has been pretty fucked. I never allowed myself to truly know and allow this and the way towards that deep sense of inner bodily knowing could only at first be shown by what hurt me deeply.

So often as a child I was hurt or blocked or thwarted, to the point now I notice lately I suck in my breath.. It was interesting watching a recent David Letterman interview with American comedian Ellen who shared about her abuse at the hands of her step father and also about her strong Christian Science background which emphasized, silence, compliance and no protest, sadly in that interview she still blames herself for allowing the abuse to happen even though she did run at a critical point before it got worse, sharing this with my therapist she could see how it resonated.

As a child I had no control over much and I naturally escaped and was imaginative and visionary. A therapist would call that dissociation but I am not so sure it is all dysfunctional.. Donald Kalsched has done a lot of work on this.. the archetypal dimension is real and may, in the end save our sanity if the inner figures to not turn demonic and set out, in trying to keep us safe, end up cutting us off from human connection or orchestrating our suicide.. He give the name ‘self care system’ to this complex set up in those of us with carried trauma and attachment wounds.

Children naturally are soulful, imaginative and visionary as well as deeply inquisitive, and our society does not always foster these things of locking us up within strict compliant systems.

These are qualities I love in myself now but most certainly early relationships were so full of sadness, unrequited longing and fraught with physical damage and complexity that on one level I craved them more but with deeper feeling nuances obscured that made it impossible later in life do to anything but compulsively repeat them and then run when it got too ‘hot’. These patterns are showing up lately (on a rapid spin cycle as Lee Harris said they would in his recent June up date) but the running and seeking distance is not always dysfunctional. If we are too open to other stuff it may be life protecting..

Lately it seems the more I show my kind empathic side, the more others latch on and in a world where no one much seems to be helping each other there is a lot of mixed up stuff going on out there. Then I am quickly seen as the person’s savior (stong Sun and Venus connections in my chart to Neptune now being set off by both Uranus and Saturn.)

I can’t believe I connected with another potential male ”friend last week only to be asked for money again. This is happening so much sometimes I scream inwardly but it must make sense in terms of our multi generational history since we knew both wealth and extreme poverty on Mum’s side. Money was plentiful in the end but nurture and containment and emotional connection and empathy extremely thin on the ground.

I know less about Dad’s history but on the neglect/financial struggle side he still had to escape his own homeland on the brink of war in 1938 leaving behind a family struggling and even more so after Naxi occupation happened 3 years after he left. This last guy I connected with is synchronistically also from Europe. Just before I got sober in 1993 Dad came to me in a dream with an empty wallet bemoaning his destitution calling me out of a den of iniquity to a sober life which then happened. In the dream after I left that place I watched it burn to the ground from a safe distance.. I had just married my husband and this, for a long period took me out of addiction and isolation. Today this seems to be a powerful dream metaphor for our family detonating from 1979 onwards and like Robert Downy Jnr (also interviewed by Letterman in that same series) I also had an intense 8 year struggle with addiction as a result of all of my carried trauma

Jung believed that our psyche/soul is powerful, the soul may have something deep to do with the maternal, lunar Venusian influences, the spirit with the Solar and Martial, more bright and masculine in energy ones and these two forces seem to oscillate powerfully within us. James Hill man wrote beautifully about this dichotomy in a quote I will try to find later and embed in this post.

Our soul speaks to us in dreams and our spirit is drawn by magnetic association to the familiar (and familial). I have watched what people I attract under certain planetary transits and things always seem to make sense.. If my current struggle is about becoming stronger in my inner knowing and sensing of what healthy boundaries might be about then these latest events tie into the strong Mars Moon Saturn and Sun Mercury, Venus, Jupiter South Node connections.. My first contact with this last man came with the Moon smack bang on Sun Venus.

How do I deal with the pleading? How do I say no when it seems so unkind? I struggle with this so I stop communicating.. If I ran I had to to stop the overwhelm of someone pouring all of their contents into me like my last partner did. Back when we first connected in 2007 when transiting Saturn was opposite where it is now, my first impulse was to run from him and I ended up falling 3 times at critical points when he asked too much of me while abusing me emotionally..

God knows this strong sense of what I need to do to kindly protect self without cutting others out is not easy… I try each day to listen to my body.. I know it is responding to each and every contact I have and that emotions get triggered in response which so often seem to have the potential to knock me sideways.

Oh my soul

Always you call to me

Like a deep echo

And an even deeper

Sometimes forgotten memory

Lingering

Within my inner seas

Far below the surface of my conscious mind

Soul

You long for me to turn to you

To stop the disturbance of this age

Seeking outside for the distractions

And healing that only lies within

Yes

Other’s love often can sometimes uplift us

Briefly from our own darkness

But isn’t the saddest of loses

To lose touch with our soul?

Gently beckoning us like moonlight

Glimmering on dark seas

Always you are

Calling us home

To the place

Where we are deeply nourished

Love as if this moment were the only one you had.

An older poem that resonates

Emerging From The Dark Night

Beauty 3

Love!

Love as if this moment were the only one you had

To express the feelings in your heart

And live the truth of who you really are

For this moment is really all we have

And with each new moment

Comes a new opportunity

Or a chance to change

Take in every thing of beauty that you see

And look upon it with eyes of love

And so will love expand its presence in your heart

Look for the love in others

Even hidden behind their darker side and fears.

Embrace the common humanity that you share.

For no one on this earth is truly a stranger

When we look upon them with eyes of love

And love grows in our heart

As we bear witness

To the seeds of love

Hidden in each other

And water them with acceptance

And affection

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Let us not talk of sadness

Let us not talk of sadness

You say

Let’s put it behind us

And turn away

Towards the bright and present sunlight

And yet

Is there not

Something to be said

For the healing power of moonlight

For the softness of that glow

Not as sharp and immediate

Even

If full to the brim

An overflowing cup

Of sorrow?

There is a stream I sense

Moving on within

And a healing bank we sit upon

Watching the waters flow

Today I cannot speak

Of tomorrow

Sadly for years it seemed

An unreconciled past

Lapped daily at the torn edges

Of my consciousness

So now if I cry sometimes

Will you just let me be

For a while

Until the process is spent?

For God knows

In this life

There is so very little we control

And often the deepest strength lies

Not in denying the flow

But letting it carry us on

Toward an unknown

Destination tomorrow

SOFT STREAMS

So beautiful when emotions move through us like water we know our souls to be of water too

Soft streams of gentleness flow
To comfort those who weep
Bathe in their healing waters
That disturb your grieving soul
Let them caress you tenderly
Bind your wounds
Kissing you with deepest love
Oh yes
There is love for you
Love too deep for words of poetry
Only the waters can heal you
We were meant for the water
Conceived in the wetness of Divine Waters
Bathe your body and your soul
Gently in the waters
Oh my child
Be healed

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