Tuesday, 30 December 2008

OH To Be Normal...

When I was in my teens, I noticed that some guys liked to see themselves as "outsiders" and to call themselves as such. I thought it was pretentious and had no intention of standing out as "different". Years went by while I was trying to assimilate into my social environment and find out what exactly I wanted to do with my life. Though sometimes fierce and not at all of a weak and submissive disposition, I was quite shy and had to work hard to overcome my fear of engaging in social activities. I wanted to overcome any weaknesses and so I was really pretty hard on myself. But I could never really turn into a popular person who moved around the social circles with ease and self-confidence. I was good at pretending and things did get better, but even to this day I have a fear of social demands when I haven't encountered them before. The main point, however, was that I could not change some basic characteristics about myself. I simply was "different". I suppose when I was younger I thought that I wasn't like everyone else because I came from such a dysfunctional family and had experiences of a kind that others didn't. When I started higher education and especially when I became open to spiritual thinking and symbolic painting, I had to admit that this difference was pretty fundamental.

Though I was trying to make friends I was never into any popularity games and I wasn't interested in making a statement about who I was. Why would I? Despite many questions about my life and destiny I felt I knew who I was on some deeper level. Being Finnish did probably allow me to be somewhat solitary without being looked upon as too strange, but on the other hand the social environment doesn't encourage fluent socialization so I found it very hard to make my way through the maze. Anyway, as I've gotten older and learned about other cultures, I've tried to open up a bit to some straightforward definitions of myself in public. Now I dare call myself "artist" and "dissident" without feeling funny about it. "Outsider" seems a bit young and somehow ostentatious, but I certainly am fairly alienated from the world that most people live in in the Western world.

In my radio talk I was trying to make a point of the fact that no matter how poor we are, we should have the right to be different from the norm. For me it means for instance that I can't be expected to eat like everyone else or dress like other people, and thus spend my money in the same way. When you're dependent on social aid you're expected to fit into categories that are easy to control and manage, at least potentially. When your priorities are different and you can't, for instance, go and stand in a food line (if there is any) because you truly cannot stomach the food they offer, people become defensive and figure that you can suit yourself if you rather starve. Another example was a lady who gave me links to free spyware and figured that if you're poor, you just "have" to put up with the ads that go with them. It is true that when you're poor, you usually have to do a lot of things yourself and when you don't, you have to put up with all sorts of rubbish that go along with special offers and the like. If possible, I avoid these at all costs! True enough, when I did start installing one free spyware I had to choose some stupid offers to go with it that would be filling my mail box in no time, and then had a hell of a job getting rid of the program that was bombarding me with urges to buy their products. I suspect it might even have carried some malware. I absolutely hate this sort of thing, it just creates more stress in my life. What's up with putting the knife on people's throats? There are really not many idealistic people who believe in true democracy and the freedom to pay or donate what you can in exchange for services in the world anymore and it depresses me like hell. Not that I have any answers as to how this could be rectified. Maybe if people did open up to greater altruism and find that it pays off somehow... dunno.

Well, the reporter made a big deal of the fact that I have a right to be a difficult customer at the social services instead; quite frankly I didn't really see the point of that at all but she thought it sounded cool. Oh well.

Another thing that has really disturbed me is the way the internet is "useful" for self-promotion and product-promotion. I find on spaces like Flickr, Blogcatalog and Twitter that people are very much into this idea of having as many people visit their blogs or sites as possible regardless whether these people are interested or not. "Visit mine and I'll visit yours" is a common line. I agree to some networking because obviously it's nice if people find you and enjoy what you have to offer. So reciprocicity is not all bad. It's part of being a social being. Sometimes you just have to "muster" a little bit of interest in other people. It actually often leads to surprises of a pleasant nature, as you learn new things that you didn't expect! I'm not really an introvert, rather a mixture of intro- and extrovert. To some extent, small talk is fine, though I obviously prefer that it leads to deeper issues. I mean, balance in all things, right? Interaction, not people hoarding, is what I'm trying to talk about here. And I don't want for people to visit me or follow me if they are not interested in anything other than their own traffic. Unfortunately the internet exposes and probably promotes incredibly conceited and narcissistic behaviour that really makes me sick. Either people don't care a crap about you and your ideas and only focus on their own, or they come and attack you or try and rescue you from your sordid self. Why I'm still socializing a little bit on the net is because at the moment it's my only source of social activity and every once in a while a nice person comes along who makes my day with something nice they say in sincere interaction with me. But most of the time I stay in one place only for a little while. For instance Twitter was serving some form of social purpose for a while but now I'm getting really tired of always trying to initiate some simple discussion and not getting much response back. This I wrote on a discussion thread on Blogcatalog today. People were bickering over the fact that you get grades depending on how active a Twitterist (?) you are.

"OMG, I certainly learned a lot about PEOPLE in this thread. You're all clear as water, I don't understand what you're bickering for except for some perverted (sorry!) pleasure in bickering and in being right and having the last word and all that. I'm pretty concerned about people's fascination with the internet so this was a learning lesson for me. When I first joined Twitter I thought it was the most idiotic thing; why would I want to announce that I'm going to take a crap to the whole world? Knowing that most people don't read it anyway. Then suddenly someone added me and before I knew it a whole community of followers of that particular person followed me. For a while I thought they actually wanted to get to know me. Silly me, haha. I decided ok, I need to socialize a bit because I'm really very isolated at the moment but badly burned from some forums where I got attacked. So I decided that Twitter was offering me a way of interacting breifly with people and getting some kind of social stimulation. I was trying very hard to read people's tweets without spending the whole day doing so, and I commented and asked questions to further a small discussion. I think I was basically being nice and quite normal in my interaction. But you know, after a few weeks I got fed up with being the one who was taking the initiative. Are my tweets that uninteresting and boring?? Or are people just so self-absorbed that all they care is to get their own life online for all to see (or pretend that people see it anyway?). Well, which could it be? I'm sorry (with the risk of sounding conceited!) but from what I've seen on the internet I vote for the second option. I think the internet is really a great promoter of self-importance and egotripping. Not saying everyone is that way and personally I'm still in all this to some degree because I have little else going for me socially speaking. But I can't say that my belief in humanity has improved (which is really a pity) or that I understand what ambitions are driving people to compete about how many followers they have or some grades that remind you of American highschool ideals (I'm European). Not saying that you cannot rejoice in those grades, not at all. Just that I don't personally understand the allure. I'm planning to delete anyone who follows me but never interacts with me. To me reading their tweets is REALLY a waste of my time."

Call me a bore and a different one at that, if you will. But I don't understand the fascination of competing with others or with oneself over popularity when it's not even clear that it's for real!

Artwork: "A Pile of Bricks", digital photography by author, all rights reserved 2008

Sunday, 28 December 2008

What God is All About

I noticed my mind has been wandering in circles a bit because I haven't had the energy to participate in any discussions and I don't read books anymore. So in order to broaden my scope a little I made an effort to put my mind into a couple of issues presented on group discussions (note, ones devoid of any very personal feelings and experiences!). Here is something I said regarding the fact that many still today like to talk in terms of God when they address a higher power, and that this God has attributes such as kindness and love. As those who have read my previous blogs know, I don't think like this and I only confess to using the term when exclaiming "OMG" or pleaing, "Please God help me...". Anyway, this is what I said in answer to the fact that maybe God is beyond attributes made up of the limited human mind with its even more limited repertoir of expressions:

"I was not raised a Christian though I belong to the Lutheran Church (I simply have no greater reason for leaving though I think I would if I had to pay taxes :-/), and so I do not have "God" in my semantic repertoir the way many others have. I've been in touch with Americans a lot and many like to talk in terms of God even when they mean an intangible entity. The Taoists spoke of that which you cannot name, for as soon as you do, you are no longer speaking of "it". Ah, I love their sense of paradoxes! That to me is where we get closer to the real essence of "this thing called God" (said with a smile). To me, talk about God promptly brings me into the issue of dualism, where opposites reign. Ok, we live in a dualist world where contrasts provide experience (it's hard to appreciate good if you do not know of evil etc.). To me the Almighty is "above" these constellations (note that even the word "above" creates a dualist constellation but what can you do?!). In fact I'd rather refer to "it" as "the Source" or "the One". "The Universe" is okay too in some instances when you want to stress the interaction between the parts of the space we inhabit and bring God into it all. I guess humans need to talk in terms of God being this or that but my hunch is, we're all a bit off course because we're using words invented by humans. Well, all in all I think that the word God carries too many heavy connotations no matter what the intention behind using it is.

Well... maybe /the idea that God can be unlimited and limited at the same time/ is a mystery only if you want it to be. If you study old Asian thinking (esp. the philosopher Nagarjuna), you stumble upon the idea of paradoxes as fundamental to the ontological ("beingness") status of reality. They are not the ultimate truth but lead you in a direction traditional Western thinking is not used to going. In my mind, it's only the mind that's so stuck in thinking in dualist terms. It finds it very hard to imagine anything as being both-and. But try it, practice, and maybe it gets easier... I see this as being the future of human kind. That way we might start reconciliating many issues that now seem impossible to reconciliate... It seems fairly obvious to me by know who studied the issue thoroughly enough but I understand that for many it's really mindblowing! And it probably is a mystery."

Today I received the newsletter from a spiritual site that I quite like despite the fact that God is a frequently used denomination. I presume that's because it's mostly American. I thought this quote might bring some hope of a spiritual nature to those who feel the heaviness that is lingering above us all like a dark blanket. Some challenges are for a good reason. This is from Julie Redstone at www.worldblessings.net. She suggests that strength of heart is particularly important at this time of challenges:

"Some souls are carrying the belief that surrendering to God's will produces harmony and perfection, and when they give their lives over to the divine are shocked when unanticipated challenges manifest in their life. These brave and devoted souls are expecting more immediate rewards, and may be unprepared for the process of purification and for the lessons of non-attachment that come their way. Yes, harmony and peace are the results of a life devoted to God's purpose; however the day to day outcome manifests and flows in its own timing and in God's timing which has its own divine wisdom and purpose that often the embodied soul cannot see. A willingness to rest in the unknown, and to continually return to God's heart despite whatever events, emotions or challenges may come, will provide a steady, sure anchor during times of changes."
Artwork: "Evolution", digital photograph by author, all rights reserved 2008



A song I found yesterday, with an energy I like, as if exemplifying new beginnings. And words that as far as I can dechiffer them are about getting over treason (but I may well be putting my own feelings into them so don't imagine that I really know what it's about).

Friday, 26 December 2008

Where Is My Secret Garden?

A movie that I really liked a lot was Agnieszka Holland's The Secret Garden, based on the famous childrens' book. You have this very grim and dark (though somewhat alluring) old house and the forgotten garden that the girl and the boy discover and turn into its former glory. Meanwhile life comes back to the old house and its aged owner as well. It's a very lovely and simple parable of the way things should be. Things should start to blossom and thrive only with the help of some tender, love and care. I wrote something akin to this, of an inspirational nature, back in the late 90's in connection to an art exhibition I had. It's in the beginning of this blog. I thought of this today when I was feeling such incredible heaviness from the fact that the radio show about my sad social situation aired this morning. I listened to it, went back to bed, and woke up really groggy when it was almost dark outdoors. Talking about one's money and health issues is incredibly heavy. It's also hard to let someone take over and make whatever they want out of the material that matters so much. I suddenly realized that I couldn't imagine a beautiful summer's day with muslin curtains billowing in the breeze... A luscious green garden with tantalizing plants and nooks and lovely garden furniture. I couldn't imagine my secret garden anymore. I resolved that I must try and keep up the hope that next year will be a better one and that the astrologer's are right about "new beginnings". I then started a new playlist called just that: http://view.playlist.com/14348834827, though I haven't managed to find too many interesting songs yet. But I received a donation today and though not a very substantial one, the kindness touched me to tears... I need to believe in the benevolence and empathy of people out there in the world. Here's to a lighter life.

Artwork: "My Secret Garden", mixed media on paper by author, all rights reserved 1997

My Radio Talk

This autumn I spent a number of sessions recording interviews about my social situation with a reporter from nationwide radio. It aired this morning so I got up early to listen to it and then went back to bed. Unfortunately I have become tolerant to the medicines so the situation with these has gotten totally out of hand. I take too much of that stuff and my body is not happy. Anyway, the program was "nice". I mean that it was a well constructed package. I didn't sound terribly whiney or sad. But that's just it. All the really critical things I had said were cut off and so the general impression was that I don't have enough to eat but otherwise everything is fine in affluence country. Something that could have been poignant was typically watered down to a sorry affair of not making ends meet, when the fact that I don't have enough to eat because I buy clothes on credit is only part of the story. I also need electronics, homeappliances, artmaterials, telephone service, internet connection and so on and so on... No matter how I turn I still don't have enough for food. I also have special food requirements due to an irritable bowel, but I obviously also don't eat the cheap food such as meat and crap foods. As many of us know, eating healthy is not cheap but it's an important part of keeping your immune system healthy. Preventive measures are not something that the social services take into account. Financially, my situation is slowly but surely escalating into a blasting catastrophy.

When I got up I had recieved a mail from a kind woman who was hoping to help me motivate to work so that I could improve my situation. Oh the frustration when that particular part in the radio show which explained how I am NOT ALLOWED to work even if I could, had been deleted! This is because my pension is too small so I have to go to the social for my heating and the medicines, and they promptly prohibit working. This again is due to the fact that the aid they grant is designed for temporary crises only. I also am truly way too tired, unfocused, lacking in initiative and stressed to handle any committments whatsoever. The only committment that I feel I could manage is doing illustration work with a lot of freedom and a decent deadline (read being allowed months to get the job done). This lady suggested doing translations since I'm good at English and Swedish especially, but I've done it in the past and I find it pretty arduous. Writing from your own head is a totally different kind of thing since I can get around the hard bits. By no means do I feel proficient enough to match up with high standards of translation. Dunno. It's not impossible but the way she explained all the networking and stuff that has to take place made me feel really overwhelmed. I am already overwhelmed as it IS, having to make it from day to day on an emotional level... What I need is not necessarily work but a miracle that would help generate money from what I already have in terms of artwork and my possible book. The book needs to be written but even that is just too much for me right now. Going through old journals about past trials trying to dechiffer them is not the greatest of treats! I also need to add that in order for me to be allowed to keep the maximum sum of 150 € (about 200 dollars) I would have to keep in touch with the social ombudsman. Which is fine, it's just that things are truly not straightforward and all this is stressing me additionally.

It's very hard for people to realize what it's like to be on disability. Especially when you try and explain it through the filter of a second party. In my case, I'm not in a wheel chair or dying from some sordid disease. So I stand up for injustice and make art, write blogs and do radio talks... all of which probably makes me appear perfectly able to do work. I guess most of the time I do things I know to do so it's okay, but having to learn new things are pretty tough for me. For instance networking on the internet is already half killing me at times!

Thus, my state of mind right now is one of they typical stress slash frustration. How to ever get across to "normal" people about the reality of people like me who are caught in a social trap of sorts? (See a previous article about the Social Trap.) Add to this my spiritual sensitivity or whatever it is... Sorry to be complaining, I just need to get stuff off my chest sometimes. I was so hoping the radio documentary would make a difference, but now I wonder.
The reporter who did the radio show with me has now said that there will be a follow up with more facts about the social differences between the counties and how people are not always treated with the respect they are entitled to. For instance, the fact that I wasn't even aware that the lady who's been asking questions about my life and making decisions for me wasn't a real social worker is truly shocking! I also never received an extra cent from them though I'm entitled to some extra money occasionally. Anyway, it seems that some of my comments will be in the following program.

Artwork: "Rusty Growth", digital photograph by author, all rights reserved 2008

Thursday, 25 December 2008

When Self-Esteem is Wavering...

I woke up too early and the events of the past year were rushing by as my breathing became rushed as well. A weird gray host of shadows of the past are fleeting by, haunting me. I never really had an issue with self-esteem to speak of, but this morning I felt that something was about to tip over and that I was losing a certain innate dignity that I always had. On the one hand I've had to deal with a lot of pretty self-righteous and ignorant people, on the other hand I've had to listen to the New Age take on the law of attraction and the likely reasons I've been "unfortunate" in this regard. It's all more than I can deal with. I'm having self-doubts. I'm not saying this is the first time. But let's just say this has been a particularly bothersome year starting with the visit to the USA where I nearly married a man I didn't love! Followed by a line of people who let me down emotionally in a more excruciating way than I've ever experienced from half-strangers before. Coming onto me strongly with all their friendship, love and at times even wise words, as they claimed, from some higher source, and then getting really nasty because I didn't comply with their expectations or I wasn't interesting as a friend. And the waiting... for many things and people. But mostly I've waited for almost a year to get my stuff back from the USA and I am really worried about them since there are some real heirlooms among them. I said in my last blog that I don't "do" self-blame. I was wrong. I do blame myself for trusting that guy's eloquent promises and leaving such precious items in his care. Isn't all this enough to make a person doubt him or herself?

And maybe I'm getting old.

Christmas is becoming more and more of an arduous affair. Here in Scandinavia, some people go for it as it's an "excuse" to create a wonderfully cosy atmosphere and a silver edge on the cloud, but for most it is devoid of spiritual meaning and a stressful time dominated by commercialism that more and more people are choosing to avoid altogether. Strong memories are triggered by holidays and plague many - they haunt me too. Many have demanding family meetings that are more stressful than fun. For someone like me who doesn't have children, the whole undertaking is one that creates very mixed feelings. I love the candles and the glitter, and they don't even cost that much. But Christmas does tend to cost money that I don't have and the odd Christmas cards and gifts can create stress. Some kind of fir twigs as a stand in for a tree that we cannot afford has to be gotten so that one has something to hang the decorations on. The decorations are mostly things my mom picked while she was working in a Christmas decoration factory for a number of years, so many of you have balls that she tinted. Anyway... it's just getting more ridiculous with each year, and maybe the fact that we couldn't find any worthwhile stand-in for a tree this year was an indication that it's got to stop... I'm joking - I don't really mean that I see meaning in such things but who knows.
There seems to be too much to do and too little joy in the doing. Most of my adult life I've spent Christmas alone with my mother, which is fine since we do care for each other a lot. But I tend to get tired so easily and she loses her nerves. To try and keep a happy balance during this time becomes a task even when the "chores" have been reduced to an absolute minimum. Here in my country we celebrate Christmas Eve and so it tends to get a bit hurried and intense. The next day I mostly feel hollow. I always get some really great technical gift from my mother that is much needed but usually I don't have a joyful feeling about it until later when it comes to regular use. I feel guilty about not being able to show all my gratitude. Because at times I cry my eyes out when I think of the fact that my mother is the only person who has ever been truly supportive of me. I tell myself that I did my part when I was little, but I am not always so sure. Uh, did I just say I don't self-blame... We also share a belief in loyalty, and though at times it becomes a suffocating affair, in general it's something to feel proud of.
They do say that Christmas brings in especially strong energies so maybe that is another reason why it can be a mellow experience.

A lady I've been in touch with over the internet has a way of expressing herself that always resonates with me a lot. She wrote to me today about some observations regarding the incident with the other lady who came onto me very strongly about her guided messages to me (see my previous blog). I am clueless as how to deal with these incidents emotionally. I feel I will start to scream my head off if it ever happens again. I'm wrecking my brain as to why I attract these people but I truly think the main issue is that I am sometimes too intense in the way I express myself and that somehow I manage to use words that set off the alarm system in people who have a need to rescue others. The lady who wrote me today said things that I had observed for myself too, but she also added that apparently the one who wanted to rescue me cannot bear to witness suffering in other people. I have no doubt that she must have felt this very strongly, she did display a whole array of symptoms of great distress, hurt and desire to fix the "bad" although she herself denied it completely. I was thinking, how terrible it must be to feel that involved in everyone who is hurting! To me the spiritual lesson number one is to allow people to follow their crooked paths and not interfere other than with the utmost care and respect for the other person's will. I was wondering how anyone who claims to have seen the light can be ignorant of this sacred truth? But then again, the world is indeed full of people from every walk of life. What I need to do is to learn not to let these things bother me so much. It's easier said than done because one of the great lessons in my life has been a limited life in which I have to rely on the goodwill of other people to live a livable life. When I walked into the relationship that lasted a couple of years and then moved to this small town resort, things have been extremely difficult in this regard.

Am I only in a phase? Will things change? Is my weird role as a shadow-triggerer of real purpose or is it just whatever? I mean, I can understand that many who have a tendency to be Rescuers or Redeemers need people to "practice" on who actually refuse to be part of the constellation. If these people's souls are craving for lessons then surely I have a job to do? On the other hand I'm having to learn something too but other than the need to be more quiet about my occasional angst I'm not quite sure yet what the purpose is. I used to be so darn clever in analyzing my own faults and what I need to do in order to correct them, but I'm either too overwhelmed or tired or then it's just not something I need to do anymore. Who knows. I know that I am not alone in having had a particularly strenuous year. I personally could use some breathing space and happy events without any brooding undertones. They have promised "new beginnings" during 2009. Let's hope for those!
Artwork: "The Past Comes Crumbling Down", handmade collage by author, all rights reserved 2008

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Hurt Vanity in People Who Want to Teach You Spiritual Lessons

It's early morning and I'm missing out on some desperately needed sleep again. Yesterday I appeared on a forum on the internet, though I had vowed not to do so again. The reason is that as soon as I express my feelings someone appears who wants to help. That's all very well, except that most of the time these people seem to know exactly what I need and they also for some odd reason think I am asking for their help even if I am not. In this case I was just offering my sympathies to a woman who was having a hard time, though admittedly "sharing" with her by saying that it's not so great for me either, etc. I chose the word sympathy simply because I had no advice to offer (she was actually asking for it) and I wanted for her to feel that she's not alone. Well, you know, that sort of thing. But then suddenly I get this shower from a third party of the basic abc's of living a spiritual life and even a lecture on the difference between sympathy and empathy. I had to explain that I didn't feel in a position to be empathetic at that time. To me, many of the insinuations bordered on the offensive, because she was talking to me as if I have no clues about the workings of the Universe and that we do attract stuff depending on who we are. It's my belief, however, that this can be either depending on some personal quality within ourselves (some trait we hate, for instance), or a purpose of the soul that even us ourselves may not know what it is. To lecture me on such things when in fact I'm well aware of them is patronizing. I cannot stand it when people jump to conclusions (e.g. that I'm igorant and in need of guidance). I cannot deal with the stress of it! Especially when people like that put a lot of emotion in to their "help". It usually ends in tears, because people like that hardly ever take no as an answer and they tend to get very nasty due to their own past traumas of rejection. And you know what. We don't have to accept everyone else's gifts.
I know for sure that this person meant only well - from her point of view. But what I truly didn't like was that when I didn't accept her assumptions and she resorted to "I was guided to say these things" (thus directing the responsibility away from herself). Later on in the conversation, she also refrained to take responsibility for her advice and referred to it as stuff that came from somewhere else and that she thought I wanted all that. Well, she never asked me if I wanted it. So from my perspective, this is actually a case of trespassing someone else's personal space and something that truly happens a lot within New Age communities. You do need to ask permission to mess with someone else's direction and choices, because you simply can never know how many of your subjective perceptions are being filter through whatever it is that you're channelling (if you are, of course).

I don't like to criticize people by principle but I don't see how else I can hightlight issues that really are not (at least to me) okay in the world we live in today. Just because people are spiritually minded it doesn't guarantee that they are humble and truly listen to what your specific needs are. I spent the whole day yesterday trying to make the person in question feel better about herself because she obviously got defensive and distraught when I didn't welcome her with open arms. This was draining me and so I should in fact have left it alone. She said she was a healed person but what I got energetically was pretty chaotic. And I promise you that I wasn't being rude by any means. This morning I did, however, feel that I had to state my point and tell the community that I won't participate anymore. I simply cannot deal with the stress of such conflicting and pushy mindsets, especially when I know where they tend to lead to if the conversations carry on. This case reminds me of a really nasty one last summer where the person flipped out completely, and many other similar cases. They become very sour, judgmental and plain nasty. Their lasts words are usually "Well, you obviously don't want to grow". Sigh. I have written about similar incidents before because I think it's important to recognize manipulation, especially in terms of spiritual beliefs. There's something about people who want to help just a bit too eagerly. It's the resquer - syndrome. It's as bad as people who don't care at all (two extremes in other words). Oh stupid me who didn't cut the bad plant right at the root.
Please honour the sacred truth that people need to be asked if they want to be helped or not, especially when we're dealing with really deep issues. Wouldn't you agree? I also think it's common courtesy to be very gentle with people we do not know. I've noticed that people think they know others way too soon on the internet. Haven't you noticed too?

I think a big problem many of us have right now are conflicting feelings about our reality. Many of us can see very many aspects of it and it's very confusing and tiring. I personally don't see people as only evil and deceitful though at times maybe I come across as bitter about such things. I also see so much beauty in humans. Don't jump on someone just because they feel broken on a specific day. Get to know them first!

It's popular to asume that people are plagued by self-blame and other self-destructive tendencies. That at least is actually a place I refuse to go, I don't believe in it for a second. I just withdraw if I don't feel wanted. There could be a multitude of reasons why people don't like me, it could even be that I carry more light than them. Who knows? That doesn't mean I am not aware of certain faults or idiosyncracies in me and that certain people might feel put off by them. I'm still human enough to feel hurt when I sense this, and would rather be told in neutral terms what exactly is bothering someone about my persona. Most people run away though. Honest communication is still not all that valued (don't you agree?). On the other hand, people tend to assume a lot of things about others so especially here on the internet it can get complicated because it's hard to convey the whole picture. So some of what someone thinks could be quite to the point but some could be beside the point altogether.

I don't know if I'm doing the right thing but I feel compelled to tear down some conceptions that I just don't think are all that helpful, namely spiritual talk and stuff that has become automated (e.g. the very popular arguments connected to the Law of Attraction). I am NOT saying that some of it is not helpful to some people who still need to hear WORDS to comfort themselves with, but I am speaking for myself and those who are somehow "beyond" that or for whatever reason don't resonate anymore. I don't know what I am: I love words and thinking but I do need to make more space for simple being and try harder to remove expectations and other forms of mindstuff that influences my emotions.
Artwork: "Lifeline", digital photograph by author, all righs reserved

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Looking For Reasons Why Things Are So Difficult

So my sleeping has been really bad. The only psychiatrist in town said I should stay up all night and then I'd be tired the next evening. I try and explain to him in vain that usually, if I'm tired I don't get sleepy but terribly wound up instead, so it's even more difficult for me to sleep. I so wish I had access to someone specialized in stress and the workings of the autonomous nervous system. Mine is just not working in a normal way but no one is able to understand it properly and to help me. Anyway, I am afraid to stay up like that, because I know how crazy I get and I just can't handle it right now. My mom also said I could get ringing ears and what have you. Last night I was extremely wound up due to all the decietful or ignorant people I've been dealing with this year and especially at late.

I'm also due for a photo show of the photos I took in the US last winter but turns out my ex-friend (I really don't even think it's appropriate to call him a boyfriend as I personally never felt it) saved my photos in a very small format that is almost good for nothing. Half of my photos are also missing. I think I'm pretty much ready to leave all of that behind once my puny show is over and I finally get (if I get) all of my stuff back from his house. But naturally I am still pretty angry and upset that I trusted his so-called expertise and a bunch of other promises.
My previous woman psychiatrist used to prescribe a medicine to help me sleep that usually helped when all else failed, but my new male doctor doesn't want me to take it. Last night I thought to heck with his opinion and managed to find a few I still had left and I slept like a baby all night. What relief! After all, I'm now on much fewer medicines so there is no way it can hurt me to take it now that I am fretting so bad.

Now to the real issue: why are things like this right now? Ok, when it comes to many people I have chosen to trust in at least partly (it's quasi impossible to get me to trust anyone completely) I have obviously been too gullible. Sure I believe in karma, but when it comes to my bad relationship I suspect the reason for the complete let down is mostly elsewhere (unless you go as far as to say that my bad choices are karmic too, which technically speaking they are but let's not get into that shall we.) I don't have trouble with personal boundaries but I guess there are times when we want and hope something and it leads us in the wrong direction. We allow for people to influence us or even manipulate us and we either think that it's something we just have to accept because nothing can be done to change the situation or we keep hoping things will get better by some miraculous twist of fate. It's not necessarily that we don't see that something is wrong right from the beginning, but we are indoctrinated to believe that since we cannot change other people, we must accept them the way they are. I personally also always believe that if a person shows up in my life, it's for a reason. So I try and listen to my inner directions and do what I think I'm supposed to do. There have been times when I've left a relationship very early on because the inner feeling that I wasn't treated right was strong enough. But in recent years I've been very hungry for a relationship and for leaving this town, and for some reason that I still don't quite understand, easily nailed down by someone else's willpower.

When I broke out two years ago from the relationship that is the only meaningful relationship I've ever had, I vowed not to accept less than the best the next time around. But I wasn't strong enough to withstand the temptation to try out a couple of relationships after that, thinking as I always do that I am not capable of falling in love so the love is something that will come in time. I've taken pretty high risks by allowing these guys to persuade me into entering a relationship with them. In retrospect I wonder how crazy a person can be - and by that person I am meaning me. I learned a lot about human nature, that's for sure. Maybe it will be of some use in my next incarnation. But still... Well, I guess I finally "got it" since no one has entered my life now for a long time - I am now even more careful what I go for. I guess I am not ready for anything really meaningful and good.

From a spiritual point of view, it would probably be better if I felt more connected to Source first before I venture to pour out all my love onto a human being (I have to add that I really don't want to be alone for the rest of my life, companionship enriches and lightens up my life enormously). That is to say, I am connected or I would have given up on my spiritual beliefs a long time ago. Someone who seemed to be speaking the truth said that I am more connected than I think I am. It makes sense in some rather weird way. But I am in waiting for some kind of opening. I don't feel that there is much I can do to speed it up. I feel that I've been immersed in darkness in this life so that I would know what it's like. I can't guarantee that this is true but it feels right. I feel that a greater sense of connection belongs to me automatically and that I shouldn't have to work for it. It's rather like having an illness that you just have to wait out because the body will repair itself.

This brings me to the teachers. I am totally weary of all the spiritual advice that people are selling out there, since it always sounds the same. Today someone passed on a link to Abraham Hick's website. Very kindheartedly, I should add. I've heard of him, sure - he's recommended by many. But I personally saw nothing new there. Words, words, words... there's perhaps a point in time when they don't matter that much anymore, and all you really need are feelings and support of the heart. The quote of the day puzzled me. It was: "Overwhelment is about you not being up to speed with what you told the Universe that you want. The Universe is yielding to you. You're just not ready to recieve it right now". Ok. Let's see. The first part I understand as a person manifesting their own reality based on either subconscious or conscious desires. Of course, sometimes things that you feel excited about crumble because of some fear you have, for instance a fear that the things won't come true or be good. On the other hand, the soul may also be looking for really tough challenges to strengthen you by. For instance, being in the dark with only an inner knowing that life is fundamentally spiritual may be one of the toughest challenges a person can ever have. Now after all this reasoning, the part about not being ready to recieve stuff doesn't make any sense to me whatsoever (I'm not saying someone else might not resonate with it). All I can think in my case is that my physique is not able to cope with all the input that is coming right now so I feel overwhelmed and in some sense one could say that I am "not ready". The big question is also, what could I possibly have manifested that's so great that it's a shame to be missing out on it because I'm not ready? Hm, that's how I interpret it anyway. Also, what does "ready" mean? Ready mentally, physically..? Because there's a line of things that has to occur or be taken care of first or because one is still emotionally or mentally unprepared? Was the quote helpful? Well, to me it's just the same old platitudes that really don't mean anything truly significant at all. It's like reading a tarot card and putting your own meaning into it. Sometimes that can clear your thoughts but does it really help you to find out how to deal with the present situation? Putting bandaid on a wound is one thing, healing is another. With all due respect to others who feel differently - this is just how I feel and it's helping me to write it down...

I don't know... I feel no desire whatsoever of reading stuff for general guidance. All I want is to know what I personally am supposed to do and why I am feeling the way I do. (Even simple personal support is helpful at this time.) Why am I having to deal with so much negativity in my environment? It makes me feel really unwell and totally washed out and terribly upset at the same time. Well, the simplistic and oh so popular answer would be that I attract it because I am being negative, and that I am a loser because I can't overlook all that and not allow it to disturb my balance. Brrrr! Why must everyone always be put into the same category? I don't think I am being that negative. Am I?? Well, my intuition is that I am having to see all this in order to learn something for the future, and what I'm witnessing is what is really real. I am just not able to sugar coat my vision. Even when I'm trying hard to neutralize my thoughts I still see... What I see and sense is very stressful input that I understand mentally but have a hard time not feeling in my body. (I've always considered myself a realist but am hoping it's not an excuse for anything). I also think that all the negativity is like a cloud of smog that is rising upwards to finally disperse. I think that a lot of higher frequencies really are being inflitrated into our realm and it's really messing people up so that their egos practically shine from the exposure to the light. I am also sensing great pressure again, coupled with my overwhelming sense of stress. We're approaching Christmas and as far as I know more energy of love does make its appearance around that time. So perhaps it's also about the infiltration of energies that our human selves are not used to. The worse an experience is, the better the good one will feel. I also think that we need to accept and understand that absolutely EVERYTHING can crumble at this point in time, as new structures must emerge. So even in our own lives nothing, absolutely NOTHING, can be taken for granted. It's very unsettling and maybe why I have such strong feelings of insecurity, as I'm picking up on the collective chaos.

Artwork: "IF...", digital photograph by author, all rights reserved 2008

Friday, 19 December 2008


I am someone who believes in the intrinsic beauty and goodness of humankind. The rest is just the outcome of ignorance. Sure there are evil spirits and all that - dualism is a fact. I don't concern myself too much with such things. I look at people and all in all my heart goes out to them. Yet in my daily life I also get to see so much vile and selfish behaviour. If I didn't believe that things are shifting towards more awareness and that a lot of the crap that's now visible is out for reasons of purification, I don't know how I would have the strength to go on. I don't know why I am supposed to see all this. Perhaps it's part of the challenge of holding onto spiritual strength when everything around you crumbles to dust.

We all know that young people change a lot and even after 20 some adjustments happen to make the person into who they are supposed to be. It's all very well when you can see that good morals that have been installed earlier are still there somewhere beneath the seemingly chaotic changes and you know that things will be alright in the end. But when you witness someone who seemed like such a kind, talented and deeply reflecting person become superficial, self-obsessed and self-indulgent, it can really make your stomach turn. Even more so if this was someone you thought of as a friend and really felt that you connected with and respected despite the age difference. So what if they change - that's part of life and should be welcomed as an occurrence of some interest. Besides, anyone with a vivid inner life changes, even though at a slower rate as they grow older.

Ok, a few words first before I go on about observations I've been unfortunate enough to make throughout my life: Most men that I have encountered love to keep you waiting. Is it a matter of a power-game? Secondly, they make promises they don't keep. I know I'm not the only one who has noticed this, since there's plenty of womens' words of wisdom around that indicates that this is the case. Thirdly, men have trouble committing to anything unless it satisfies their egos. I know, it sounds absolutely awful to say all this. Isn't there anything positive? Right now I don't know. I know that I like men and am curious about them, but I don't know why.

Will I ever encounter even one man who is willing to committ to friendship or more with me? This I doubt today when my friendship with a young man has been cast aside out of convenience's sake. What infinite sadness to be discarded as a mere drop in their sea of exciting and self-satisfactory sea of indulgences. To find out that one's care and support (including a stern belief in them) was of no value whatsoever and that the only reason for the relationship was that one was willing to act as a trashbin. To be told off with words indicating that "it has nothing to do with you" (how often have we not heard that!) and that they need to be alone, yet still hear about all the interesting friends they are making meanwhile. Ok, I admit it could be worse. I could have actually done something wrong. But in a way it's almost as bad to find out that who you are mattered not in the least. And yes, I was indeed attracted to this person's intellect and now the excuses all sound so very self-aware and rationally justified. But the warmth and maturity that I percieved earlier seems gone out of the window and all that I see staring inbetween the fancy lines is self-righteousness and egotripping. A man's fear of committment seems to dominate any concerns about the depth of sincere friendship. Unfortunately this is not the first time I'm witnessing the change from a charming and interesting young man into a selfish bastard. What can I say to make it alright? Good riddance, I guess.
Artwork: "The Rise and Fall of Human Vanity", handmade collage by author, all rights reserved 2008

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Doctors Should Be On a Quest For Atruism and Creative Thinking

I work every day with my cognitive disposition, and try and look at the brighter side of things. I also don't deny the negative feelings but try not to dwell on them for too long. Despair and hopelessness can create just that, but it's probably one of the greatest challenges for mankind. So many are in disempowered positions and need to feel that a brighter future lies ahead if they just manage to hold onto hope and also act when needed to improve the state of affairs. Yet I seem to be failing... Maybe the answer is simple: maybe my soul simply has not had all of the more challenging experiences it came here to get, yet. I know for sure that my life's purpose is not an easy one and that it does involve a desire for altruism and honesty. But god I'm so tired... I am so at the end of my ability of assimilating so much adversity and ignorance in my environment. At times I truly wonder what guarantee there is that anything will ever improve. Statistically or rationally speaking my chances are really slim. Yet I can't deny that there are avenues that could open up if the Universe is willing. It does involve a lot of work from my side - more than I really have the capacity for. But I am trying my best.

Since I quit the drugs that were suppposed to help me sleep plus act as antidepressants, my insomnia has gotten really, really bad. The "quit" caused un upsurge of energy but I also suddenly had to face a whole lot of concrete issues to take care of. Maybe it was just as well that I rested for a month but it might have screwed up my sleep functions even more and also postponed stuff that I should have dealt with during that time. Unfortunately many things are worrying. I am very upset that my American ex boyfriend hasn't followed up on any of his promises. First it was the question of "I'll come and get you no matter what". Then it was stuff such as "I promise to send you your stuff very soon...", and the "soon" was soon long gone and nothing had happened. Some foreign student from Japan who he hardly knew was apparently more important (support-wise, money-wise) than supporting my photoshow by sending me the prints left from last show in the US as promised. Apparently she had tumours all over her body, fell in a coma, and eventually died. Ok, it's sad and all that. But according to my principles, someone close to you is always more important than someone who is a stranger, especially if promises are involved. This negligence towards my show which is causing me a lot of headaches due to a number of technical problems just doesn't seem right. I know he wanted to stay "friends" but this is another case in point: I don't do postrelationship friendships. Am I being negative? I try not to fret but the truth is, the waiting for my things and constant reminder of my disappointments regarding the relationship in question is really bugging me, not least at night.

I went to see the doc today. Unfortunately, due to national healthcare there is only one doctor who can deal with my insomnia and other issues involving mental health rather than the purely physical side. This guy gave me some negative vibes right from the start: believing he is so well read that he knows exactly what he's talking about. Turns out he prescribed stuff that was aggravating symptoms I have anyway. But the most shocking thing is his attempts to get me to eat an antidepressant that supposedly releaves psychosymatic symptoms. This time I told him, hey, I do NOT have pshychosomatic symptoms, they are somatic. But what about the fibromyalgia, he asks. He knows for sure that fibromyalgia is a host of psychosomatic symptoms that, apparently, one should mind ones way out of. "Luckily" in this case, I don't have classical fibro but a spinal deformation that causes the same symptoms. I've told him so many times, but nothing registers. I finally showed him my back, whose issue is visible, and forced my case. But needless to say this experience left me very distressed and nervous about the future. I had hoped that he would be knowledgeable about medicines since his reputation promised he would, but all I get is the inability to see the whole picture and take the course of treatment from there. So right now I feel clueless. But I'm trying very hard not to feel hopeless. Who knows, I could still sell a best seller or marry a rich man.
Artwork: "The Vocation", handmade collage by author, all rights reserved 2008

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Insomnia and One's Life's Purpose

There are two movies with this name "Insomnia", but try and watch the Swedish version if you can. Anyway, I am not going to talk movies. I am going to talk about how following your bliss or your life's purpose can cause you insomnia!

In a recent blog I mentioned that my life's purpose seems to be to live the life of a human being on the level of normal humanity, without really feeling that I belong here on Earth. I have a lot of intuitions about things that seem to indicate an inner knowing of a different kind of reality. Be it as it may, I am highly sensitive and have had trouble adjusting to the rather coarse spectacle of human dramas. I am totally fascinated by them; in fact it has been suggested to me that I am working towards a particular job in a future incarnation which will involve the understanding of human behaviour, the interaction between humans, and human emotional reactions to life's challenges. This totally resonates with me. I am not really terribly interested in other facts of life though I used to find it important to have a solid ground regarding the common knowledge of things.

I further believe that the power of my mind is responsible for the complete shut down of my emotional life when I was still very young, though there could obviously be a lot of other reasons as well - including esoteric ones. It took me years to open up and understand what emotions are all about. One could say they are a kind of mediary "substance" (astral energy) between the sphere of the mind and the physical realm. When it's lacking, it's very hard to relate either way. It doesn't necessarily imply that someone is a psychopat, however it could lead to serious mental disorders. I mean, the way I see myself is that I was emotionally illiterate and had to learn about emotions, not that I was only incapacitated by family dysfunctions. I had a lot of inner knowledge of right and wrong as a young person and I was never a bully. I don't think anyone suspected that I actually could not feel things the way others did but had to mimick what I was able to read from the behaviour of other people. I did manage to save myself from further damage though and so I have tried out for quite a number of years now various ways of living with a rather emotional disposition. Unfortunately, my nervous system was already so damaged that my physique is not able to support the intensity of my mind and my emotional self. Along with all the input that today's world offers us humans, it is simply too much. I get stress. I have had had insomnia for ten years now when life long stress finally tipped me over emotionally.

One thing that does stress me very much is trying to figure people out. I seem to be constantly working to accept that people are people and that they will let me down. For instance, most women would agree that men often give promises they don't keep. It's a bit of an expression. But why is this? I don't understand it and I cannot stand it. So I fret over men who have promised me the world but delivered next to nothing. Some women are of course like that too. I don't understand why people are not loyal to someone they communicate with. Shouldn't this be a priority, a disposition one should work to improve? Many people don't seem to see their own issues very well at all. This also surprises me. Well, in short, most things about humans surprise me. To make matters worse, people are not always consistent. To some extent, they are easy to predict. Then there's also the strong element of unpredictability. When can you really trust someone? Where is that line where you feel, ok, now I truly trust this person? When do we even get a chance to test this in the first place? Perhaps in my case it would have been easier if I had had sisters or brothers. I don't know. I do know that I trust my mother though. Time has shown, that despite the problems she had when I was a child and she wasn't able to take good care of me, we do have very similar views of moral issues. One could say I've inherited her views. Well, I'd say, why must the chicken always come after the egg? I think this is something rather typical among humans, more often than not things are viewed as "this is the cause of such and such". Take premonition for instance. Why not simply believe that some people actually have premonitions and not take for granted that someone is lying about having had one after something already occurred? Same thing here; maybe my mother has been influenced by me rather than vice versa, or (as I think), both. And maybe there is also a natural resonance between us that is the reason I picked her as a parent in the first place. Had I picked differently, I would have had a different set of challenges. This is what I believe, anyway.

Something started to come loose for me a while ago, and now things are happening at a rapid pace. In fact, even good stress is stressful and I still lie awake at night worrying about my belongings that my ex cannot afford sending to me and how angry I am with all his broken promises. I also worry how I'm going to pull off the amount of demands that life has now put on me in order so that my life situation could change for the better. I get very restless as the autonomous nervous system just won't slow down in the natural way that it's supposed to (this is not a figure of my imagination, it's a medical fact).

Anyway, a while ago I thought, "I really want out of this social trap and I want to earn money!". You could say that this was a choice and that the rest followed. Take for instance the radio documentary I'm starring that revealed all the injustice I've had to endure for four years, and how the help of an ombudsman will make it possible for me to actually make a little bit of money without having to worry that they will cut off my social aid. I am very angry that I have not been informed about my actual legal rights as a disabled person whose pension is so low that I have to resort to social security, and that the person I've been dealing with at the social office is not a social worker at all but a simple clerk!! No wonder I never felt a desire to confide in her, I could sense her incompetence but had no reason to believe that I was actually being fooled. About three months ago (about the same time that I got connected with the radio reporter), I felt strongly compelled to be in touch with a favourite music group of mine (I'm a shy person so this was not all that easy for me), and when I put a little mind into research on the internet it turned out that they are affiliated with an interesting firm in London looking for non-mainstream stuff to sell online. I wrote them without much hope that anything could come out of it, since I am so very used to disappointments. But they were interested! It looks like I will soon have greeting cards and gift wrap made from my artwork! Things are still unsure but in case this does work out I will no longer have to fear a smaller income that could help raise my standard of living just a little. Now you could say that all this occurred because I was willing change. I would say that my actions stemmed from "higher command", that is to say, my higher self or spirit guides or whatever you like to call the higher realms was nudging me to take certain actions and to believe in certain changes. Simply put: it was time. Whether the hen comes before the egg or vice versa is a really deep and valid question, and not some silly country way of talking that my American ex used to scorn at until he realized I was talking about something more profound than what he was used to hearing.

Artwork: "Me, Myself and I", handmade collage by author, all rights reserved 2008

Saturday, 13 December 2008

My New Website And A Few Things About Stress

I quit the horrible drugs that made me even more unfocused than normal, fat, lethargic, painfully hungry, and emotionally and cognitively numb - and we're speaking pretty common medecines, Remeron and Neurontin. It freaks me out to imagine having to be truly dependent on these for one's quality of life. In my case, I was feeling pretty down but I am not clinically depressed, and partly I was given these also to help me sleep since I suffer from insomnia. This didn't work very well since I didn't feel that sleepy in the evening/night but slept away the whole day instead! Since I quit, I've been dieting to lose all the weight I gained and have been feeling very energetic. It's a sad misconception that benzos that are given for insomnia are always a bad alternative. In my case they allow me to actually function in the daytime. I also have had no problem tapering off or switching to other stuff when the tolerance level has gone too high. The latter is in fact the only drawback so far. Oh well, life is indeed complicated when it comes to such issues! I'm mentioning all this because many get so darn patronized by the so-called medical expertise, and it can be very tricky to deal with their opinions and prescriptions. I knew a woman once who said that her doctor would never even prescripe sleeping aid. Gee! I would be dead now if I hadn't had them, since my condition prevents me from falling asleep with ease and to have really restful, deep sleep. Some medicines are such low status stuff because the medical issue isn't considered serious enough - for instance insomnia. Many doctors scorn at it and state that it's idiopatic - self inflicted, even though a person who cannot sleep could die from it. Instead, there are high status conditions such as cancer where no one would question the use of very toxic medicines. It's also a fact that most people don't become addicted to anything - at least 70 % get out of some "phase" of addiction all by themselves when they are done with it. Anyway, it's all screwed up as I'm sure many are aware!

I'm really a high energy person and I am at my happiest when I can be that way and really enjoy doing the creative things that I'm good at during normal circumstances. It could be that I am just having an energetic and more hopeful phase right now - who hasn't heard of artists being a little bipolar in some nonclinical way? The trouble is that I tend to get too wound up and simply cannot turn off my nervous system. This over-activity of my nervous system is part of my condition and to date I have not seen a drug that would address this particular issue. I may not have fibromyalgia in the classical sense, yet the symptoms are similar. Those who know about this condition thus know what it's like to have such poor quality sleep and get very soar and achy from work by the computer. OF COURSE mediation is a great remedy, however when the world turns too fast it can be impossible to sit down. It's a bit like having ADHD, in fact.

So, some positive stress that lasts a little while is good for us and as an artist I have to say that I have a hard time creating anything unless I have this kind of stress going. But what to do when I cannot turn it off? This happened to me recently as I started to work on a new website. Although I'm using a cheap template, the stuff I wanted to fill it with took me a good three days of intense work during which I was sleeping more and more poorly. Check it out though, I think it's not bad! http://www.vivimaricarpelan.com/.

Things are starting to flow with more ease despite a few setbacks regarding people I've relied on who are lavish with promises they don't keep. Maybe it was just as well that I was resting for a while thanks to the weird drugs. Now I really have to be creative since I got a commission to custom make a piece of art for national radio's website, and found out a lot of things about my actual social rights to gain a small amount of money. The radio documentary I am in has helped me find out the truth about a lot of social injustice and that the crap that I've had to endure was indeed unfair. This is such a relief since I now feel that I can do something small to improve my life situation and it will be legal with a little help from the social ombudsman. The stuff I've endured is indeed crazy, but it will be in my book. One would think that this is hillbilly country. I never expected it to be.
There's also the promise of the collaboration with a company in London... I hope it works out as it sounds very exciting. I will also have a photo exhibition in a photo gallery in January, it's demanding but not too bad since the gallery takes care of a whole lot of issues and it's all for free! So let's hope that the good vibes continue, for me and for other people as well. I've heard rumours that the collective energies are improving.
Artwork: The Beauty of Expression, handmade collage by author, all rights reserved 2008

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Spiritual Strength & Life's Challenges

I've suspected for a very long time already that my soul's purpose is to hold onto my deeper, intuitive belief in the underlying oneness and spiritual nature of reality in the face of incapacitating limitations. The person who confirmed this Julie Redstone, a spiritual teacher who is behind this site: http://www.worldblessings.net/. According to her, one of my main challenges has to do with spiritual strength. She defines it as such:

"/Spiritual strength/ can be turned in different directions. When used to support negative energies it becomes a powerful force in that direction; when used to support positive energies it does the same thing in the opposite direction."

"Spiritual strength is important because it represents the integrity of who you are and the power of who you are to remain connected with yourself and with God despite whatever personal circumstances may befall you. It is also the power to remain strong for others should the need arise. It is a strength of knowing and trusting rather than a strength of will as applied to the circumstances of life. For these circumstances can create great limitation, but spiritual strength can remain undaunted in the face of them. /.../ Spiritual wisdom based on truth is what gives a person such strength, and it is the personality level of expression and emotion that may conceal it from the self. "

It seems that at this point in time, it's best for me to listen inwards as much as possible and wait as patiently as I can while embracing life with an attitude of acceptance of the way it presents itself. I don't know for how long I have to endure the severe limitations but there is not much I can do about them except, as Julie Redstone suggested, hold onto a sense of hope.

At times it has been overwhelmingly hard for me to hold onto the beliefs that I have naturally and have developed throughout my life. I guess this is only natural considering that I've had to deal with severe adversities in terms of a physical disability, childhood traumas and their consequences, as well as a poor economic situation. It occurred to me the other day that I've been living a kind of perpetuous "Dark Night of the Soul" for as long as I've lived this life (see previous blog about the DN). It could account for the strong sense of alienation and feeling of abandonment by supportive forces. All I've had is my inner knowing. The knowing prevents me from trying to force my circumstances in some nicer direction while I don't really feel it and believe in it on a deeper level. This may irritate many spiritually minded people who believe in the creative power of intention. I understand what creativity is about and fully support the idea of conscious co-creation of reality, albeit with the exception of times when things are meant to be a certain way in order to provide with greater challenges for the soul's growth. I also think there's a danger in giving fuel to the denial of negative stuff by trying too hard to affirm the positive outcome of life's issues. Nonetheless, I do get very strong incentive at times that urges me to jump at an opportunity, and I've never been one to miss it when it does occur.

I am by no means the only one has chosen this sort of path, so I thought it appropriate to bring out some of these thoughts. It seems that this has been a tough autumn for many, myself included. Those who believe in a collective paradigm shift have their take on why it's this way. I was contemplating whether I'd have to resort to some happy pill in order to stay better focused. In short, I was aware that I needed to try and not give fuel to negative lines of thinking and though it's always good to try and feel more hope and other positive feelings, I felt capable of "hanging in there" only. In the end I did decide to try some new medicines but it wasn't really worth it. The combination was aimed to make me fall asleep with more ease and to have better deep sleep, but I slept half the day and felt really groggy and low in energy the rest of the day. One of the drugs causes a feeling of dementia which was really troublesome when I was performing for the radio. I couldn't think straight, felt verbally uncreative, lost my words and my speech was sligthly slurred. Eew! The anti-depressant has made me feel constant hunger but even though I haven't eaten that much and am not taken to junk foods, I have gained 5 kilos in two months. It totally freaks me out to gain weight! I rather be a bit too skinny as before than chubby like I am now. I feel bloated as well, which of course could have something to do with the stomach issue as well. I'm due to undergo some serious examinations at the hospital since the symptoms are different from before.
Let's just say the side-effects of the new medication were outweighing any positive effects. On the actual emotional level, I felt like a zombie, as if the lid was on a brewing stew in a cooking pot. I was turning into someone I really didn't like at all - a mindless couchpotato! I decided to taper off. I suspect that the bouts of anxiety and nightmares I've been experiencing lately could be a result of issues that I haven't dealt with for a number of weeks... I can't say this is true for sure but this possibility is worth some consideration, isn't it? I will have to continue taking the rather straightforward stuff that I've been used to taking in order to sleep and suffer any positive consequences in terms of greater emotional volatility. But hey, I'm an artist!

My verdict: I truly do not think that you can "fix" a time of adversities by popping happy pills. If you have clinical depression for no obvious external reason then it may be a different issue altogether.

I've had to deal with people who have been incompetent or plain negligent. It's hard to contain your frustration when you're dependent on people who do their job poorly. The whole rumba to do with my social situation and the radio show that will present it has of course been rather stressful. No one wants to have to tell the whole rest of the world about one's money or social issues in a way that is not fully in one's own control. I also don't like having to point out the social people who have wronged me out of ignorance rather than plain meanness.

I have also had to endure a long bathroom renovation, having had to resort to the sauna nextdoor for personal hygiene. This is a rental apartment so it wasn't really my responsibility to see that it was done properly. Nevertheless I had to call them up quite a few times in order to get some jobs done faster (such as getting the electricity to work before the weekend), and I'm still waiting to see what they are going to do about the massive layer of concrete dust that penetrated through the cabinets and other mysterious holes in the wall. I have cleaned most of it as I couldn't bear to live with that feeling of dirt and chaos. Now the bathroom is almost done and of course it's quite the positive change from what it was like before. Who knows, maybe it's symbolic of the inner restoration of faculties of clearance and clarity of vision! Ironically, the chaos I was living with for so long incited me to rethink the layout of my whole home. When I moved to this town, I took a council flat in order to be safe as the ones on the market usually fall prey to the changes of ownership at a very fast rate. However, the "cost" is a house of extremely poor standard. Oh well. I am so ready to move out of this place and into a more comfortable and happy life! Sometimes my daydreams are so vivid I feel that they might actually come true...

Artwork: "In Need of a Break", handmade collage by author, all rights reserved 2008