Tuesday, 25 June 2013


A lady I know suffers from fibromyalgia. I read her story about the difficult health challenges she and her family are facing, and at the end she said, well, they have a strong Christian faith (Jehova's Witnesses) that helps them through it all. On the one hand a strong faith gives people the strength to pull through, but on the other hand I imagine there's also a kind of pressure to live up to this belief system. Strong believers often find it difficult to explain the mysterious ways of their God and so have to keep reinforcing their faith - they end up with more faith than actual facts. It occurred to me, however, that though my own world view is diametrically opposite to hers, I do also feel peer pressure sometimes. When people with whom I share some beliefs challenge me, I naturally feel I have to defend myself somehow. I have to reinforce my beliefs in my own mind in order to put forward my own view as forcefully as possible. 

The point is, why do I feel this need to explain myself? I have found it very hard to let go of the hurt I felt when the lady I mentioned in my previous post started to suggest that I wasn't as disabled as I made it out to be. For a long time, she had been suggesting that I need to think more positively, change my brainwaves, and so on. She said it quite aggressively so it was a contradiction in terms. Martin said, "Like my mother always said, if you have nothing good to say, then say nothing at all". This was a great reminder to myself, as I sometimes come across as critical. It is such a great truth, especially when you're dealing with friends and acquaintances Just shut the heck up sometimes! (If you're critiquing something, for instance art, then it's a different matter, of course).

Anyhow, this person's criticism was all in the spirit of new spiritual belief systems. Because I share some of them in some form, she managed to bother me with these attempts to make me change myself. Of course the set up was ridiculous because she didn't know me in real life and clearly thought she knew way more about me based on my internet persona than she really did. Still it upset me when I found out that my intuition was true; she'd been ignoring everything I'd tried to say about my illness and how difficult it is to cope, and had only picked up the laments that she thought were easily fixed by changing the way I was thinking. I couldn't believe someone would think I made up stories about my buggered spine and fibromyalgia, especially someone whose profession is that of a psychologist and who appears to have some interest in the spiritual side of things. I wanted to scream, do you really think the Finnish government officials made the wrong decision when they granted me a life time disability pension? I didn't say very much, however, as I've been practising restraint... there is simply no point in arguing with very self-opiniated people. The cost of this attempted restraint is that I'm mulling over the case for much longer, oh well... so be it.

How is it that your spirituality can sometimes turn against you? Of course, there are many ways in which we can get trapped in a system, simply because it's a system and therefore naturally restrictive. Over the years, I've seen the downside of the new age movement. My main issue with it are probably the ideas about opening up to the limitless self. I've always felt it was quite obvious that we are really limitless. My true self or spirit is boundless... On some level, that is... in this life, I've had to come to terms with how limiting life on Earth can be. Seeking to embrace and accept limitations is quite a different evolutionary challenge than the one that speaks only of ditching false beliefs about a limited and ego-centric self. This is surely why it's been hard for me to admit that I need to pace myself and that it's actually "okay" to be disabled. In fact it's more important that I don't push myself too much than that I achieve a lot of things. It may sound a bit topsy turvy but how I feel in my body from moment to moment is more important and more real than some random achievement, which requires a relative context for its validation. Whatever our challenges are, we need to acquire a perspective on them, as well as learn not to project them onto other people. So, embracing my limited life is this life's main theme, and engaging in the limitless aspect of my life is secondary and something that will take its natural form when the time is right, I think.

So, there are many ways in which your spiritual peer group can assert undue pressure on you. Try and free yourself from that if possible, because it's only causing negative ripples and wears you out. To be truly spiritual is to be strong and independent in what you feel is spiritually significant in your own life. There may be some ultimate objective truths out there, but there's also your subjective truth that needs to be honoured. A balance between the two is crucial to your wellbeing.

I'm still doing art to express my physical predicament, but it's only a matter of time before it will all change. I feel I need to do it now that I really know what I'm talking about. You can't recreate a particular experience of suffereing later on when it's changed - not very well, at least. Yesterday I was thinking what it's all for, and that lead me to think about that vision I've had since I was quite young. I see myself being able to help people in some way. At some point, which may not be that far away, I will have the resources to support artists just like myself, people who don't fit the norm, and who may suffer from ailments that makes it even more difficult for them to assert themselves as artists. In my mind, I had it all planned out... it was clear to me even to the point where I thought I need to write it all down. It's a thing of great joy.

So you may ask, am I creating my own future as I'm imagining it? I did ask myself the very thing. But it's not that simple. About ten years ago, I started to live my life as if I was already living in the UK. I wrote a lot in English, I named my cats so the names would be pronoucable in English, I had an American boyfriend, my phone and my computer where all set to English. Then I met Martin and moved to Wales. Coincidence? Well, the truth of the matter is that I always felt that I was going to move to the UK, and therefore I was preparing myself (in some ways even earlier in life). The other vision I've had is that of eventually being given the resources to create a small museum of my art, but as time's been going by, it has become clearer I have realised that it's so much more than that. This plan encompasses helping people in a very substantial way. Now I go around imagining it very vividly. It's not day dreaming but actual planning (but remember, there's a time for everything...). Perhaps it reinforces the positive odds, but I don't think it will create the future. The future is already decided. That's what I feel. If I'm wrong, then tough shit... at least I've embraced the possibility.

Therefore, if you want a better future for yourself, I would ask myself two things. One - what has always been your secret vision for the future? Two - in what way does it involve helping others? Ponder these questions and if you believe they are true, then give them energy by thinking about them and believing in them. Reinforce the potential that is already there, no matter how crazy and life changing it may seem. Stay realistic though, know that you may still be grappling with some of your life time challenges even after the vision has come true. There's a balance to be obtained so that you keep it real and stay open to miraculous events at the same time. This is my advice about creating your own reality, and it seems to me to be the most spiritual way of doing it. I think you get further by believing that you already have a destiny to unravel rather than simply wishing to satisfy some selfish desires - and if it comes out of a place of compassion, then it's a true calling. And if in the end it doesn't come true, you gave it a chance and now you must simply accept that it was imaginary. That is possible too. I think we can feel things very strongly and be quite sure about this premonition yet it's unfortunately just a daydream and nothing more.