Monday, December 31, 2018

The end of the first decade

It's been over 10 years since I began this online journal. Thinking back, I think I was just so happy to be living in an authentic way - expressing overtly what I had held in for so long - that it was pure delight to share the journey with any potential reader.

These days, it's rare that I suddenly am motivated to share my thoughts in this way, but I am still here; still happy to have the journal in an online forum for any like minded soul who happens to come across it.

Over a ten year span none of us is the same person. I am certainly not that giddy person I was at the outset ten years ago. Age tends to mellow most of us and once we get into our 60s there is a tendency for most of us to take the long term view. We know a few things by then. We've started to identify patterns in ourselves, in others, in our long term relationships, in the world at large. If inclined towards the positive, we are happy for each new day. We delight in a bunch of roses, a grand baby's smile, a good night sleep.

Personally, it's been a ten year journey more intense than I had bargained for, yet one that I had no alternative but to pursue. Good times led to confronting times. I started to see things, to feel things, and I had to understand.

I have done the most enormous amount of reading. Until several years ago, I was a keen literature buff, but now I can barely read a novel a month. I simply had to get to the bottom of behaviors and feelings and to work out what had become so confusing for me. I have a small library of psychology and spiritual books now, all very well read.

There were times along the way when I felt I may have no choice but to exit from the lives of a person, or two. I was changing, growing, learning. Their presence in my life, triggering in me intensely difficult feelings, seemed untenable.

But, I am a fighter, not a quitter, not to mention that these same folk, I loved. So, I went on, trying to understand them, what it was they were inducing in me; why the Universe had transpired to put us together; why the Universe had insisted I walk this incredibly painful path.

I would have made a bad Nun, but I am drawn to a contemplative life. There is no doubt about that. It began when I was very young and I got something out of being in a Church; something more than the rest of my life offered me. So it went all my life and yet the material world was what was there before me. Family life kept me busy and it was not until the children were grown up that I had a chance to explore my sense of the spiritual; something deeper.

In these ways, psychology and the spiritual merged for me. I learned about abuse - more emotional abuse than physical - and what that does to a child's mind. I learned how to be whole in myself, how to carve out boundaries, to self-love and to self-soothe. I learned to practice unconditional love at the same time as I held onto some private hopes that I'd see progress in others too. It's not an expectation but rather just a little bit of hope; a little bit of swaying on my part towards good outcomes.

The biggest change of all? The past is not important nor is tomorrow nearly as interesting to me as it once was. It's this moment that fascinates me; the breath, the sensations, the possibility that the thoughts that wander in and out of my mind will be intriguing to me but in no way weigh me down.

I am aware of unwanted thoughts - an angry or resentful thought, a sense of disappointment or frustration - at the same time I am observing having the thought. It passes. I rarely get stuck on the thought. The thought passes and I return to a sense of quiet contemplation.

When life it too busy for my sensibilities, and by that I mean too busy to effectively direct my attention as I like, I suffer. I once thought I'd like to have a writer's life but all those thoughts demanding the attention of going down onto the page would exhaust me.

Instead, I write, sort of, meditative scripts that I can share with others, though so far the best scripts are those that come up quite naturally; a written script perhaps but then put aside. I speak of space, of connectedness, of presence, the present moment, the senses, of letting go of identities and roles; of awareness, an open heart.

When living in the present moment, as I aspire to do, one notices most of the little flaws; the little impatiences and frustrations. One aspires to do and to be better without making it a big time ME project these days. We're not robots. We're not perfect. I don't beat myself up about what I notice but I do note it and hope I do better.

I've explored kinkiness and mental illness. Where an excessive need for control is found - either giving to or taking from - so too is often some level of mental illness. Coming to know that, I needed to explore my own damaged being and to heal.

Well now, completely at peace with my level of mental health - my level of self-love, my boundaries, my functioning and state of mind - kinkiness prevails. It is perfectly possible to have both. I am certain of this.

I love to experience my submissive soul - to be held down, to be spanked, to have to speak certain words of reverence; to be turned on by all of it. I still revel in it, whenever it comes my way.

In this way, I enter into the next ten years of this journal hopeful for a long life. I've got the living of this life, my life, by the throat now. I am happy and content; not without joy, not at all.

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