We were driving today – to the city about 20 miles away – to do grocery shopping. (The driving adds to my guilt too…) I was feeling so much emotion about all the death and dying of innocent animals and plants and insects – due to human-caused imbalances in nature. I keep seeing and reading and hearing about all the changes: the drought here, an article about the drying up of the Colorado River, the disappearance of bees, the huge increase in beetle-killed trees in the NW San Luis Valley in Colorado last year, scary health problems with GMO foods. It seems endless! Some part of me was/is feeling that I’m being punished – that’s it’s my fault. I know rationally that I haven’t caused all these problems. I even recited to myself part of the poem “Desiderata”: “You are a child of the Universe, as much as the trees and the stars. You have a right to be here.” But, actually I don’t feel that I have a right to be here. I feel that somehow I should be fixing “things”. How??? And, how much “fixing” would ever be enough?
Many “spiritual” people write that the most important thing that any one of us can do is become more spiritually evolved. That perhaps if enough of us do, there will be a sort of “hundreth monkey” effect. Then human culture will change so that we realize that we are one with everything else and that we must live in balance with the Earth itself and all the other living and non-living things on the Earth. Is that possible? Or, are we getting so close to the “collapse” of our mother planet that no amount of “fixing” will help? It’s so difficult to become more aware and not give in to despair.
It’s summer – Memorial Day weekend. It’s hot and dry. The drought is so bad here that there is no water in the river and no water available for any of the irrigation ditches. The wells for the town are under stress and water restrictions will go into effect on June 3rd.
My husband and I have pretty much decided on a spot in Oregon where we would like to move. Our house is for sale (with an area realtor) – at a price that does not cover the work we’ve put into it over the past 13 years. We have not had anyone even looking yet. I’m having fairly chronic anxiety and have begun taking anti-anxiety drugs again. (I’m not particularly happy to admit that, but that’s what’s happening with me right now.) I seem to be anxious about staying here and watching everything dry up and blow away and I also have a lot of fear about moving to a new place. But, I do still want to move. I will need to “work” with my fears and see what they are tryinng to tell me.
We’ve both “let go” of our house and any remaining attachment to living here. Also to any ideas we might have still have had about being able to help make this community into a better, healthier place. I don’t think either of us feel needed or wanted at this point. It’s difficult and depressing!
It’s hard to trust right now that something will change.
That’s it for now…
Marion Woodman in her book, ” The Pregnant Virgin“:
“The puella mother who has never taken up residence in her own body, and therefore fears her own chthonic nature, is not going to experience pregnancey as a quiet meditation with her unborn child, or birth as a joyful bonding experience. Although she may go through the motions of natural childbirth, the psyche/soma split in her is so deep that physical bonding between her and her baby daughter does not take place. Her child lives with a profound sense of despair, a despair which becomes conscious if in later years she does active imagination with her body and releases waves of grief and terror that resonate with the initial, primal rejection.”
OK – I don’t remember ever reading this before last week – but it is exactly what I have been going through the past several years. Actual, literal “waves of grief and terror”! It is so helpful to hear it from Marion Woodman – to hear that what has been happening to me is real and that it has happened to other women and – that I’m not “crazy”!!!
Another quote that has been resonating with me in the last few days is from “The Moonlit Path”. It is a book of essays on the dark feminine. This quote is from the essay by Cedrus N. Monte. “Experiences of despair and loss of connection — even after breakthrough, life-changing events, extensive analysis, and a profound sense of communion with the forces of nature and spirit — have led me to believe, and growingly accept that my own path leads me repeatedly on pilgrimages to the inner shrine of darkness, not because I am morally deficient, nor because I am depressed, and not because there’s some form of enlightenment or personal maturation that I am just not ‘getting’. Rather, I am led to the shrine of darkness because, in spite of a desire to consistently experience the peace and happiness of a certain spiritual liberation, the mournful face of God abides within me and wants to be seen, and loved, through my eyes. At this shrine I have learned to love when I experience nothing to love.”
(The phrase “The Mournful Face of God” is the title of a poem by Pablo Neruda.)
Where is the line between grief and feeling sorry for yourself? I’ve been crying a fair amount lately and, if not crying, feeling like crying… I can’t tell how much is a continuing release of grief from the past and how much is feeling sad that I don’t have more friends and more of a community and more of a connection to my family. Of course, all those issues are related to my past, but when will I ever get it “together”??? Is this as “together” as it gets?
Our house is listed for sale and we were hoping to leave next week on a van/camping trip to visit some possible new places to live. A few problems have come up however – the van needs some more work (about $1,000 more than we had anticipated) and I have a (very) painful tooth. I need to get into the dentist on Tuesday and may have to get a nightime mouth guard to protect against tooth grinding and/or jaw clench – neither of which I am even slightly aware of doing. And – the mouth guard cost $450 and will take about 10 days to make. So, we will have to make another trip to the dentist (about 300 miles round trip) to pick it up! It looks like our trip will be postponed until May.
Some of my “feeling sorry for myself” is very closely related to money. I often feel that I made a lot of poor decisions as an adult – decisions that are now causing me to live on a (very!) limited budget as an adult. Unfortunately, my husband did not do much better. (We did not meet until we were both in our mid-forties.) Perhaps it’s more a case of me being ashamed that I did not handle money more proficiently so that I could now be living comfortably in my so-called retirement years. I don’t want other people to even know how little money we have because I imagine them laughing at me and/or feeling sorry for me – perhaps making comments such as “Well what did you expect – you should have done (blah, blah, whatever)”. I’ve always had a kind of pride that I could take care of myself. I think I began feeling that way as a very (again, “very”!) young child because I couldn’t trust the adults in my life. It all gets confused at this point. I’m sorry for myself, angry at myself and ashamed that I didn’t do better – and still don’t want anyone else to know – because I have to take care of myself and not look/seem incapable and definitely not allow anybody else to pity me. That’s feels like the worst possible thing!
I’ve been re-reading a book on interpreting fairy tales by Marie-Louis Von Franz – a Jungian analyst and author. At one point she discusses the collective unconscious – a Jungian concept of the archetypal energy available to all humans. These archetypes show up in all human cultures. But, I’m wondering if there may be differences in emphasis between places or cultures or groups of people. I’m looking at the “culture” of this small town where I’ve been living for the past 12 years. It still seems so foreign to me. Could this area have developed its own group unconscious? Could it have to do with the energy of the geographical place itself? Could it consist of parts of the personal unconscious of the people who lived here for many years? Perhaps the many families who lived here for generations each have their own family unconscious. The various forms of family unconscious could have merged over years of many intermarriages to create a town unconscious which is shared by the people who grew up here. It may also be shared by some people who move here and feel that they fit in – because they bring with them a very similiar family unconscious.
Here’s a quote I found on the internet a few minutes ago by James Harvey Stout, which seems to agree with what I’m thinking:
There are sub-categories of the collective unconscious. While the collective unconscious is shared by all of creation, there is a “group unconscious” for every group of people (e.g., family, culture, sub-culture, ethnic group, religion, etc.); we might also find a group unconscious for non-human groups, e.g., animal species and inanimate objects (e.g., stars, minerals, etc. — if we believe that inanimate objects have any type of consciousness). We can discern this “group unconscious” in the shared myths, symbols, legends, heroes, behaviors, beliefs, assumptions, fears, and other undercurrents of a group; those things are constellations of thoughts, images, energy tones, and actions.
This is hard for me to believe, but I just today realized that when I am hurt, instead of crying (which is very painful for me sometimes), I lash out at someone else – often my husband. Psych. 101!!! I’ve been feeling angry and definitely hurt about living in this unfriendly and unwelcoming town – again! So, I find myself snapping at my husband instead of admitting to myself that these “current events” are bringing up my feelings of being unloved and unwanted and unsupported as a child. I even realized that I did the same thing as a teenager. I snapped at my siblings and parents – to cover up the pain I couldn’t begin to admit at the time. OK – so it is Psych. 101 – I’m feeling the feelings now and not just reading about the concept in a “self-help” book. I know all of this intellectually, but that part is easy compared to actually feeling this pain and trying not to project it onto someone else.
My husband and I are going to list our house for sale by next month. We’re not sure yet exactly where we will go, but we are seriously looking at several areas in Oregon. It is difficult to sell a house right now, particularly since our house is in a small town in southern Colorado, in an area with a poor economy. My husband recently resigned his position as town mayor – for reasons that are his own to tell. I am asking the universe/creator/goddess/god to find the right person or family for our well-loved house – people who will cherish our home and all the birds who visit here. And, I am asking for guidence (even a clear sign or two!) as we take these next steps in our lives.