Trust yourself. At the root, at the core, there is pure sanity, pure openness. Don’t trust what you have been taught, what you think, what you believe, what you hope. Deeper than that, trust the silence of your being.”
I found the above in my notes today, no idea who Gangaji is but more and more I am wanting to do my own stuff. Another dear friend of mine has become quite ill and it just reinforces the old “carpe diem” message or at least do what makes you feel alive.
I read an email from another friend today with some envy as she and her partner are going off to walk in Europe again this winter. not that I necessarily want to travel but I want to just be and do my own thing. I’m never lonely at home but I may have made a mistake….in buying a house that is three bedrooms, three toilets and two bathrooms as well as two living rooms when there is just me. Not really living simply I guess and also I have to do the W word –work because of it.
However, I love being here so I’m just going to sit still for the moment and see what happens. Today is an at- home day and pure bliss. I get up when I want, (ironically it is usually early) and I eat when I’m hungry (well okay then, all day). I also do what ever I like. This morning I changed the furniture around so I have a more comfortable seat in front of the TV and then I started this blog.
One of the things I’m reading is Brene Brown’s Rising Strong and I worry that people will think I’m a self-help addict/ flake, always writing down pithy little meaningful quotes and yet it is so easy to be a critic, cynical, making fun of me I suppose. Writing poetry and sending it out to people is certainly a risk, it’s hard to put myself out there. Brene Brown says that we are brought up to be brave and vulnerable but there is a tension between these things and what you end up with is bravado- a fake bravery, a cynic, a mocking person.
The video above about her work is about an hour long but I think worth the effort.
The myth is that vulnerability is weakness and yet there is no creativity without vulnerability. I like that she says that unless you are in the arena getting your arse kicked too then she isn’t interested in your feedback. I think of the two old guys in the balcony seat in The Muppets, just criticising and judging.
However, if you don’t care what anyone thinks you lose the capacity for connection and if you are defined by what people think you lose the capacity to be vulnerable. Brene Brown’s solution is to write on a teeny piece of paper the names of people whose opinion actually matters. They are the people who do not love you despite your vulnerability and imperfections but actually because of them.
The other idea she mentions is gas lighting. The term owes its origin to the 1938 play Gas Light and its film adaptations.
The plot concerns a husband who attempts to convince his wife and others that she is insane by manipulating small elements of their environment, and subsequently insisting that she is mistaken, remembering things incorrectly, or delusional when she points out these changes. The original title stems from the dimming of the gas lights in the house that happened when the husband was using the gas lights in the attic while searching for hidden treasure. The wife accurately notices the dimming lights and discusses the phenomenon, but the husband insists she just imagined a change in the level of illumination.
Gaslighting or gas-lighting is a form of mental abuse in which information is twisted or spun, selectively omitted to favour the abuser, or false information is presented with the intent of making victims doubt their own memory, perception, and sanity. Instances may range simply from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred, up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim.
This rang some bells for me where people have said things to me and if I felt hurt or questioned them on it, they would say I was too sensitive or imagining things or worse still I shouldn’t feel hurt as you can choose how you feel and no one can hurt you if you don’t let them.
The other aspect is the damned with faint praise, the dig, the back hander. You have two choices, it the relationship isn’t that important to you, terminate it, if you want to continue it say something like, “That felt really loaded to me”, or something similar and deal with it.
So I am working on the phrase, “What people think of you is none of your business” and putting myself out there with the Fluffy George poetry posts. It might fail but then again it might not and it just might bring lots of pleasure to people.
Brene Brown also writes intensely about shame and the damage it causes. Like many of you I have done loads of shameful things in my life. I am going to try to turn that shame into guilt, yes I did a bad thing and I’ll try not to do it again, but I’m not a bad person (shame).
Well that is today anyway. Tomorrow I’ll likely fall on my face again and have to regroup but that’s tomorrow.
I’ll sign off with a poem that I found today while looking for something else. It’s by Wystan Curnow and I wish I was the Sue he is writing it for but hey I think I’ll leap into the leaf heap anyway. FG
Leap (for Sue)
yes, let’s leap
‘Wise understanding sees that suffering is inevitable, that all things that are born die. Wise understanding sees and accepts life as a whole.
With wise understanding we allow ourselves to contain all things, both dark and light, and we come to a sense of peace. This is not the peace of denial or running away, but the peace we find in the heart that has rejected nothing, that touches all things with compassion.'”
– Jack Kornfield