Monday, January 28, 2013

Moving Along

It does go without saying that it has been a while since I've written anything on this blog.  My last post doesn't count because I was reposting something I originally wrote for Facebook.  But, it was something that should have been posted here.

Things in life have a way of changing.  I haven't been all that busy, but I have been remarkably lost in activities of distraction, which fed my writer's block.   Not that my writer's block was a problem per say, but that I was allowing my distractions to take over, not letting myself mediate on anything long enough to develop something to write about.  In essence, I've been coasting and not doing much with myself.  Letting my job any my living situation be an excuse for not participating in life, depressed mostly.  It's been like that pretty much since July.

The beginning of 2012 right up through June was intense and left me somewhat numb.  Aside from a few outings such as Dragon*Con, hurricane Sandy, which I chose to spend with a friend in North Carolina instead of suffering through the intense anxiety I went through with hurricane Irene the previous year, and a Christmas holiday in Seattle with some friends, I basically coasted on that numbness.   But all during that time, I noticed that I have been markedly feeling and thinking differently about things.  And I've been feeling the need to get back to writing as the dawning of this new year has given me a sense of allowance for renewal and awakening.

It's been a few weeks since MAL 2013 and yet I still find that I'm decompressing.  It was, as always, a remarkable experience for me as all socially intensive situations are.  And with that I've been able to measure how far I've come in the last few years as well and get a sense for how far I still have to go.  And the results are, I've come along way, and I've got a long way to go.  And with that, I would like to put this out there as a way to say thank you to the universe and the people involved, even though I've already thanked them in person.  

It's embarrassing to admit that I walk into these social situations with a tremendous amount of anxiety that paralyzes me and overwhelms my senses.  I'm quite often frozen, inhibited and shut off during these moments.  The social anxiety is often all consuming and takes away my ability to be engaging and cheerful.  It's all driven by my fear of judgment, rejection, and dismissal, for being imperfect and lacking in knowledge and experience, and unworthy of love.  And for the most part, I think I hide it pretty wall, except from the most astute observers.  But in the end, I just end up angry at myself for putting myself in social situations that creates more anxiety. I literally shut down emotionally from that anxiety leaving me in a state of mind that I was afraid of being in in the first place.    Last year at MAL that's pretty much how it went.  Even though I left there a changed person with some new found awareness about what it meant to be authentic, I was still stuck in not accepting that I deserved a place there.

This year at MAL, I had a very different type of experience that gave me some new and profound perspectives.  I learned some amazing things about myself and what it means to be a person of love, worth and value which is allowing me to feel much more gratitude than I ever have before.  I'm feeling a shift in my outlook and in my inward look, that is permissive of myself to be myself, whatever state that may look like, in whatever amount of stress I might be under, in whatever might be holding me back from expressing my wants and desires.

I'm allowing myself to be OK with the person I become when I don't know what to say, the person I become when I feel vulnerable and scared or when I'm calm and funny.  I'm allowing that person that I am at that time, and not judging him with expectations of what he should be doing or could be doing. I'm allowing myself to be what I am and only what I am in the moment and state that I am, which is now.

I can't say that I did all this on my own. Sure, it took a large amount of self awareness and willingness and book knowledge, but it took some education and wisdom that many wonderful friends have been able to give me, and some select moments of trust with some other friends at MAL as they literally, and figuratively, held my leash through the process without judgment, criticism and rejection, giving me the permission I needed to be who I am during all those states.  The simple act of going through the motions of all these states, practicing within a safe environment, which I have all the book knowledge of but I don't have the actual practical experience, in order to start that process of deprogramming decades of self doubt and self hatred.

What happened was a profound healing experience that lifted me to a higher plane of self love.

Sometimes, it really does take someone to help.  To literally be there with me and give me the permission, safety, and respect that I need for that healing experience to happen.  I've always been taught I can only do it on my own.  But I know now that's not true and in some cases, not possible.  I'm now more willing to not only ask for that help, but more importantly, allow myself to receive that help when it is offered.

But most importantly, I've learned that I can trust again.

Thank you all.  I hope that I can carry this with me as long as possible.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My New New Year

I originally posted this on Facebook on December 21, 2012. 

Happy Winter Solstice everyone.

Today marks the dawning of a new year.  For me, it's a time to re-evaluate what is important to me and work toward better awareness and alignment of what I believe vs. what I truly value.
Each day is a step in a direction.  Not necessarily forward, but a step nonetheless.  And when each step is taken, it is unknown the direction I have taken until well after the footprint has settled.

Looking back, it has been an excruciatingly difficult year.  I've had many profound experiences which have permanently and profoundly changed me.  For the good or bad?  That's not a judgement that can be made with much clarity any more, nor could it be.  When such things happen, they challenge and change beliefs and perspectives.  What once had been called good is now called bad, and what had been called bad is now called good.  Each item settling into a place where it best belongs.  And in the end, the labels of good and bad fade into meaninglessness until it all just exists as experience.  What I take from it is a new or expanded awareness.  And not to be too ironic in my dismissal of the labels of good and bad, awareness is a good thing. 

I may be remiss in not sharing the deeper parts of my life with people but, somewhere along the way, I had found that such openness wasn't always welcome.  So, out of a sense of self protection, I keep things to myself for the most part.  However, this is changing. To what extent, I can't say.  Future awareness might further level my caution.  Wait and see.  I'm just going to take it one day at a time. 

This year I look forward with anticipation, wonder, and unfortunately, a great deal of anxiety, to what is coming.  But with that, I'm working to not look forward so much that I miss what I'm doing right now.  One day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time, one second at a time.

At the risk of sounding saccharine, I want to thank the many people in my life who have, over the past year, made a difference to me in profound and long lasting ways.  Some of you may not even realize it as we have never met in person, but your presence here and the things you've shared with me publicly and in private messages have meant a great deal to me.  Don't take my silence as lack of gratitude.  It's there; I just don't always express it.

Winter of 2012 Assateague Island, VA

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