There's something to be said for Kitchen Table Wisdom - you know, like in the old days when people sat around the kitchen table after a meal and talked about life, the universe and the meaning of it all - as well as the gossip doing the rounds in town...

Well, that's what this place is - a place to share common wisdom, thoughts and feelings about things important and unimportant, that bring us joy, laughter and happiness and that trouble, sadden, confuse and anger us ...

What I write here is what's 'real' for me. It won't always be PC or 'nice'. We're missing out on true connection and chances to grow and change because there's too little authenticity, too little honesty, too much holding back what we really feel and mean.

Welcome to my world...

I used to have a copyright claim here, but I've removed it...

Ideas don't belong to anyone -

they come to those who are receptive and are to be used for the well being of all...

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and I use them to accent/expand on my thoughts and understandings...


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material and emotional/spiritual sustenance in this world...


Thank You


As You Think, So It Is - Your Beliefs Create Your Reality

If your Reality isn't Working for You, Create a New One!

Life Unlimited!


Namaste

(the Divine in me, recognises and honours the Divine in you)

Sahila




Thursday, January 13, 2011

Clarity - Part One...


So, let's see if I can write a couple of posts summarising all of these insights into something clear and concise and meaningful to everyone not living in my head, that doesn't take you 10 minutes to read!

First set of insights came last week, after a conversation with my housemate's daughter-in-law, about what the future holds for their family now my housemate has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and what would be best for my son and I to do in that - stay or leave...

In that conversation, I mentioned to the daughter-in-law that my housemate and I had had a huge row over how my son and I are living in this house, about my slowness to unpack and settle, about how I am raising my son and about how the household should be maintained.

The daughter-in-law shrugged off the comments from my housemate about how we are not as neat and tidy as she would like, remarking that last time she was sick and in hospital (15 months ago, with necrotising fasciitis - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Necrotizing_fasciitis - from which she nearly died, spending 3 weeks in a drug-induced coma), relatives came in and cleaned up her house of 11 years' worth of clutter and mess.


She also confirmed my views that my housemate has issues with needing to be in control... which run completely contrary to her Buddhist teachings and practice.

I had never visited my housemate's home before her illness, so I only saw the 'cleaned up' version... And she gives off this energy of being totally together and with her life all sorted out...

And that's all OK... we all have our masks and we all tell ourselves  and the world the lies we must to make living with our pain and need for love and approval bearable...

But what the knowledge did for me, was put our row into context ... It showed me where I had been triggering my housemate's buttons, rubbing salt into her unhealed wounds...

I saw how my being able to live in "chaos" highlighted her discomfort with chaos.

I saw how my "mess" probably triggered feelings of shame and lack of self-forgiveness that she had allowed her own house to fall into such a state; I know I have been completely embarrassed and humiliated when friends have come to help me cope with my mess twice in my life, times when I have been overwhelmed by change.

(I'm actually quite a neat and tidy person usually - my 'chaos' usually revolves around stacks of paperwork scattered around the kitchen and my office space and piles of unfolded clean laundry!)...


And I remembered how I had reacted to a young woman from England I had living with me for three weeks a few years ago.   She  had a young child and was homeless because her Australian partner was abusive.   I spent those weeks driving her to the relevant social agencies to get the help she needed and giving her whatever moral support I could.

At the end of three weeks, I had to ask her to move on.   Not because of anything she had done to me, but because I was judging as wrong  and frivolous, something really innocent she was doing to make herself feel better that cost a lot of money.

I had an unforgiven place inside myself from the past, where I spent money to make me feel better in hard times, money that pragmatic people might have said I ought to use for me and my children, for things that were a higher, more urgent priority.

And that unforgiven place, that guilt, shame and humiliation were projecting themselves out in how I was relating to my young friend.   For every finger I point at someone else, there are three pointing back at me! 

And that, I think, is going on for my housemate...

She and I are doing a dance about power and control.   I can help her with that if she will let me, and I think that is why we have come together...

I think she was meant to 'die' during her last illness; she says she died three times and each time her lama (her teacher) brought her back from the Bardo.

My shamanic self thinks she stayed on the planet because her daughter (20) is not ready to be an adult.   

My housemate (60) has had a year to think about her own mortality, to make the normal, sensible preparations (such as wills and allocating power of attorney) and to begin to prepare her daughter to leave the nest.    And she has a loving, accepting, extended family to help her with that...

None of that has been happening... 

Her daughter has not been told the extent of her mother's illness, as she "freaked out" last time her mother was sick.    So she gets no chance to get prepared, no chance to step up, no chance to practise being an adult while she still has her mother's support and guidance.   

My housemate denies these needs and the reality of her own death happening sometime in the not very distant future...  

I have purposefully not stepped forward, even to take over household tasks, so as not to enable this process of avoiding...  

We have not talked at all about this situation, so my housemates probably think my actions (or inaction) confirm that I am a "fat lazy slob", but that's just how it has to be...

I haven't found an opening to begin any dialogue that might provide a space of holding for my housemate and her family.   And I don't think my housemate is open to hearing what insights I have to offer, that might help her in her transition.

So, we are leaving this house as soon as an alternative presents itself - either the move to Australia or to another situation here in Seattle.

I have felt guilt about that, as though I am a rat leaving a sinking ship, but as a wise woman said to me today, my housemate's death process is not my ship leaving the harbour for places unknown, is not my voyage...






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