Tag Archives: accident

Rattled

photo by Lianne
photo by Sean

I hope sharing this story doesn’t put you off, but I had some trouble last Friday…

It started okay… Went to lunch with my son and then went shopping in a warehouse hardware store for solar panel skylights to brighten the dark spots in the windowless central kitchen of my home.

All went well until I decided to get a cold drink from a stall outside while my son was still chatting to someone in the store, and the mature woman behind the counter saw fit to tell me I should be getting a diet drink because too much sugar was bad for me… So I had a small and uncomfortable interaction with her, as I explained that I could not drink diet drinks as the chemicals in them were bad for my fibromyalgia and attacked my muscles.

She instantly replied that sugar drinks were not good for diabetes, too – to which I retorted (a little annoyed) that I may be fat but I do not have diabetes, and sugar is all about moderation… And then my eyes wanted to roll back in my head when her response was to get upset that I was questioning her knowledge, and felt she had to declare that she taught the subject of sugar intake to teenagers.

(I held my tongue, then, because I have had years of study and working with nutrition, myself, and did not want to get into an argument on that level… but later I also remembered that people with diabetes should never drink diet drinks, anyway, because aspartame stuffs up the insulin cycle… For those who think I should have got water, by the way, there was none available).

That was the first rattle of the day, and I went to my car wondering how the heck someone could be so arrogant as to lecture a stray stranger that way, without any knowledge about them at all (and not even listening to the tidbits supplied)?

The drum rolls of the day were not finished, though, and later, as I was backing out of my carpark space I heard a massive ‘crunch‘.  Another car had met the rear corner of my car, backing out at the same time I was.

I’d barely been able to register what had happened when a woman was at my passenger window, yelling past the surprised face of my disabled son, saying that I wasn’t looking where I was going.

Well, I disagreed with that.  I am always extremely careful in shop carparks, because people don’t seem to care for their own welfare these days, and anyone can walk behind your car just as you’re moving.  So I’d been very careful to check before slowly backing out.

I thought it was completely clear, and was thoroughly surprised that an accident had happened – but immediately put it down to ‘missing something‘, because hey, I’m a fallible human being… But the woman did not even stop to take a breath as she continued to castigate me through the window.

I wound the window down, which allowed her to almost poke her head in, making her tirade worse – but I needed to ask her to move her car away from mine, because I’d tried to move back into my carpark, until I felt the extreme grab of her car in my bumper and knew more damage would be done if I pushed it.

The woman did not listen and kept claiming that the police needed to come, and that she would not move her car until they did.

Well, our cars were blocking both lanes of the entry and exit to front of the warehouse, so I explained to her that it was not a police matter because no one had been injured.

She kept ranting and raving, and it was quite obvious that she was a foreigner living in Australia because of her accent, and her attitude was extremely poor toward Australians, who she thought were all idiots.

This put my back up.  I have come across this sort of racism before from Europeans living in my country and it always pisses me off when I see or hear it (though I usually try not to respond to it).

I tend to wonder at people who think our country and services are good enough to come live in and use, but then abuse the people who have built it all up so they can enjoy them.  For me, you don’t go to another person’s ‘house‘ to stay and treat them like they are idiots in being generous enough to let you in.

(Plus, there is a bit of history in my reactions to this, as I married into a ‘foreign’ family, where my husband’s parents initially treated me as an inferior because I was Australian – third generation from immigrant Irish-Scottish-English-German farmers who were never convicts, actually – but born here, so my sire line apparently doesn’t count).

Despite my best efforts, I began to raise my own voice, (which was probably helped along by the previous ‘poking’ from the woman at the stall).

So, there were these two older women (me and her) in the carpark, blocking the traffic and yelling at each other across their cars… And into the fray came a young woman from the hardware store, trying to calm things down.

At first, I was happy with the intercession since she did tell the other woman that it was not a police matter, too… But the other woman continued to run me down, (not even knowing anything about me other than that our cars had connected), so I called her a ‘goon‘ in a fit of pique.  (I don’t know what ‘goon’ means elsewhere, but here it is slang for an idiot…)

For that, the young woman (who was barely the age of my grand-daughter) saw fit to harshly condemn and lecture me for calling the other woman names, and even for ‘yelling‘… And, boy, did that rile me, especially since she didn’t say a word against the absolute yelling from the other woman.

I told the young woman that I was not yelling… I was raising my voice and my tone was vehement, which was a natural reaction to being upset at the tirade plied against me and a normal expression of human nature …and if she wanted to hear yelling I could go a lot louder.

(Let’s face it, I come from a different generation, where people were allowed to show they were upset when they were upset, and where today’s attitudes of not being allowed to show it were not the rule.  When I was young, the idea was about curbing extremes and not being violent, not suppressing my human nature altogether…  My crowd grew up with a right to be pissed off, so long as you didn’t hurt anyone).

She rolled her eyes and looked stony as I added that ‘If you want to calm things down you don’t lecture people because that is always going to escalate things’.  After which, she walked off, and I went back to my car to get my phone to call my husband, muttering ‘lectured by a 20 year old!’

Now, I wasn’t happy with having ‘lost the plot‘ a bit, myself.  It wasn’t how I’d wanted my day to go.  I just wanted to get the insurance details and go home, but the other woman refused to give me anything, despite my writing all my own details down for her and handing her the piece of paper.

At every step she was in my face, abusive and degrading with her language and attitude, and it was all I could do to get the job that needed to be done, done… and in the end, my mouth let rip the unthinkable, as I told her to go back to Germany !

Her instant reply was that she did not come from Germany, and so (on a roll by then) I shot back – well, Lithuania, Sedetenland, Czechoslovakia, take your pick! (And got some slight satisfaction from seeing the smiles on the faces of some nearby observers as I did that)… It was not a moment to be proud of.

I’ve spent a lifetime hating bigotry and criticizing people who speak like that to others, and in one fell swoop I joined the ranks of those I had previously condemned.

I did try to calm things down a bit toward the end of our meeting, by saying to her that we were both quite obviously extremely upset because this sort of thing didn’t happen very often for us, and we were struggling to figure out how to deal with it.

I had never had an accident like this before, and said so… but her immediate response was to say that she had never had an accident before, but I had obviously had plenty.  It was such an aggressively negative stance and a ‘below the belt shot in the dark’, (probably based in hurt, and maybe I was to blame for that).

When I did finally get her written details, I had to immediately question the letters and numbers she’d written, because there were unreadable squiggles in parts, and where she had written the numbers 9 and 4 in one way, she had written them backwards in another section.

I fixed the mistakes but kept wondering throughout the day thereafter just how a person can do that ?  If she had written all her numbers the same way, or all letters as the same squiggles, I could understand it – but to change them like that was extremely odd.  I wondered then if perhaps she was having a medical crisis which I hadn’t been aware of.

She may have had a minor stroke… It would have explained her instant road rage, too.

When I finally left the carpark, I was on one hand happy that I had put two aggressive and demeaning older women in their ‘place‘ (blame my celtic warrior ancestors for that), and on the other hand my gut was churning because I had not been able to keep my cool as I usually do and maintain enough detachment to stay objective.

By ‘spitting chips‘ of racism, myself, telling her to ‘go back to where she came from‘, the words of some of the bigoted people I grew up associating with had poured from my mouth, after years of not wanting to be associated with that type of bigotry as an adult…  It was not a high point in my history, and certainly did the reputation of my Australian peers no good.

I have to admit that I am human enough to have had other episodes of upset in my life, especially when my pride was hurt or I was under attack.  It’s not a regular occurrence, but it has happened, and there are those who always look for potholes in your road and make sure you’re condemned for having them… (I’m sensitive enough to self-castigate.  I don’t need anyone else to do it for me).

With the modes I’ve developed all my life, I strive to be a more calm and spiritually oriented being, these days, and it really hurts my heart when I fall down.

I would much rather have found a way to deal with either of those women with calm and soothing so that they interacted better, and I have actually done so with others many times in the past… (You can’t deal effectively with the large groups of people in the organizations I was associated with back then by being that volatile and personally invested)… But on this day, my responses didn’t even let me really put my brain ‘in gear.

Well, I could go on being ashamed of myself and self-castigating, and I could wallow in that to the degree that I eventually undermine all the past beauty and light I have truly established, and perhaps I could undermine all I may have established in the future, too, if I let such castigation go on too long…

Which brings me to the unassailable fact that no matter how ‘spiritual‘ any of us are, in truth spirituality is an aspiration and an ever-evolving life path, and is not set in stone… And such moments happen to even the most enlightened beings. (Read my comments in a previous post, ‘Reality).   We are human, too, and we all have ‘off‘ days.

Nevertheless, I spent a very disturbed night on Friday, and again all day and night on Saturday, going over my own actions and responses.

It wasn’t so much that I felt wrong in being upset or offended by the behavior of those two women, but that I was upset at myself that I could not hold it so well together and maintain my own calm under such attacks.

Maybe I didn’t get physical but words do hurt, and I was as guilty as they were, in doing that, that day.

For me, too, knowing the power of words, it was almost a sin –  because my words were like an idle curse.

My son took many photos on the day, of the damage to the cars and the position of the accident connection. It was only after I saw those photos that I realized I was not in the wrong (as a driver) at all.

The other woman had come from a carpark diagonally opposite to mine and instead of swinging backward into the exit lane behind her car, had zoomed way across the dividing line into the entry lane behind my car.

My first thought was ‘She’s going to get one heck of a shock when she finds out she’ll be the one paying for all this‘.

My second thought was to wonder if she was okay, because maybe she had had a medical crisis that caused that weird event.

My third thought was to actually relent a little in forgiveness toward those I had grown up with, for their bigotry, because maybe they, too, had been ‘letting rip‘ from a point of wounding (though theirs was more of a constant throughout their lives).

We are human, and I’m sorry that I did not behave so well in the face of fire that day, but now I need to let it go and remember who I am and what I really stand for.

It was, after all, only a moment in a lifetime of much different behavior… This is what I often find it hard to explain to some who say that if I behave like an errant human being at times, then I am not living up to my spiritual aspirations – or, actually, as they have deemed, being the spiritual being I portray myself as.

When I aspire to be spiritual, I never think of myself as perfect.   Indeed, I don’t think of any part of life as perfect, apart from in the idylls of my mind, because for me we were never made to be perfect.

We were made as artworks in the mind of the divine, and most artworks are flawed and even assymetrical.  Artworks have personality, and are not taken piecemeal, but as the whole.  In that whole, they are beautiful, attractive, and inspiring – but if you were to pick them apart, you’d find enough flaws, if you wanted to look for them.

To me, life is Art, and I am part of an artwork.  Maybe I am flawed and not as beautiful as I aspire to be all the time, but in general I think I hold up pretty well.  As do most of us.

That day held some lessons for me, taken from insights and thoughtful dwelling.

Every time anyone slips up, that sort of opportunity is there to help us grow, to expand in awareness, and to at least have some compassion for ourselves as we try to cope with the less salubrious elements of life, at the minimum.

From another point of view, as an astrologer, it was ultimately interesting to realize that transiting Mars is conjunct transiting Pluto in my Third House in Capricorn right now, bringing about possible aggression in my local environment, communications, and commercial interactions, and triggering my birth chart Pluto opposite the Moon position that has always caused me some trouble with women whose nature is a tad dominating and overpersonal.

On the positive side, that same air of aggravation is blowing sparks in an extremely wonderful way in the romance department with my hubby of late… (Both he and I are highly ruled by Pluto, since he has a Scorpio Midheaven and I have Scorpio Rising).

There are always two sides to everything. 🙂

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A personal story about Ganesh and my son, Sean.

Brass Ganesa Statue owned by SeanMy son, Sean, is disabled.  He was run over by a van at the age of thirteen, when he ran across a busy road near his school, after playing games with his brother when they were coming home one day,.

Sean spent eleven days in intensive care, fighting for his life, and ‘died ‘ thirteen times as his organs kept shutting down.  My family spent every moment by his bedside during that time, and were shocked to see the awful green liquid the nurses regularly pumped from his stomach – the color of spirulina.  Apparently, that’s what poison looks like in the body, and his body was being poisoned by the trauma of what happened to him.

Sean was in hospital for many months after he left intensive care (and spent years in rehabilitation ).  During that time, he emerged from a vegetative coma state, to slowly learn to manage his body and mind again.

He had to learn to move himself, and was at first like a new born baby with a floppy head and limbs that he had no control over.  He had to learn to not only eat, but also to swallow.

(He’d forgotten how to do that, and it was only then that we realized how much people learn as a baby.  Babies often have trouble swallowing their first solid foods, making their limbs work, and forming their first words).

He had to learn to talk again, and even today finds that hard, sometimes, because his tongue is always partially paralyzed – but we made him signboards so all he had to do was point at letters and words to get his message across.  He also got pretty good control over his thumb, and the ‘thumbs up‘ sign was often his response to people, as well as his smile.

When Sean smiled, his whole face lit up, along with his eyes.  It was amazing to see.  You’d think that what had happened to him would have set him back, or made him afraid of or angry at the world, but it didn’t  Instead, the energy that came from him was positive and glowing.  So, later on, we took to calling him our Ganesha.

Ganesha is a Vedic god who was the son of Shiva and Parvati.  He had an elephant’s head on a human body, but it’s how he got his head that aligned his story to Sean’s.

Ganesha’s dad, Shiva, was the god of yoga and meditation, as well as being the creator and destroyer of worlds.  Basically, he was/is among the highest hierarchy of the gods.

Shiva fell in love with Parvati  (also called Uma)  when he was already a very old man, so he was quite set in his ways by then.  Even though they had a great love match, Shiva still liked to get away on his own and would spend months, and even years, apart from his beloved as he went on solo meditation retreats in the mountains.

During those times, Parvati became quite lonely, so one day she formed a little baby out of clay and breathed life into it.  That baby was Ganesha.

Parvati and Ganesha had a great time together, and Ganesha did not meet his father until he was much older.   By then, he and his mother had some daily rituals, such as Parvati taking herself off to bed for an afternoon nap, and Ganesha guarding her door whilst she slept so no one would disturb her.

It was during one of these siestas that Shiva finally came home.   As usual, the first place he headed to was his wife’s boudoir for a bit of ‘meditation-breaking love-making ‘ – but when he got there, Ganesha was guarding the door.

Ganesha didn’t know who was being so aggressive about getting into the room and so he defended his mother’s door.  Shiva got angry that he wasn’t being allowed to see his own wife ( and he didn’t know Ganesha was his son ),  so a sword fight ensued, and during that fight Shiva cut off his son’s head with such force that it was flung into the cosmos and was never seen again.

Parvati was woken by all the hubbub, of course, and arrived just in time to see Shiva do the dastardly deed.   She burst into tears, telling him that he had just killed their son.

Now, Shiva is not only the ‘Destroyer‘ but also the ‘Creator‘, so he could make Ganesha live again.   What he couldn’t do was find his head to put it back on, so instead he went out into the world, declaring that he would bring back the head of the first baby born that he found.  That baby happened to be an elephant.

( Let’s not get into the awful feeling the mother elephant must have had to see her new baby decapitated… or why an omnipotent god like Shiva couldn’t find his son’s own head… this is a story, after all).

So Ganesha had an elephant’s head after that, and all the family reunited in love and happiness.

We thought this story fit with our son, Sean, because Sean was also disabled in a terrible accident, and Sean was also a beautiful kid who loved his mum, and who still smiles and dances and spreads delight in the world.  He once told me that it’s his mission to try to make everyone smile, so he bales even strangers up to smile at them, and if they smile back, he believes he has lightened their day.

I think that is a pretty good mission to have !

Like Ganesha, Sean is never going to not be visibly disabled, now – but he is still intelligent, perceptive, kind, charming, and extremely considerate and loving.

So, we have kept the god, Ganesha, close to us to remind us of our miracle, and our home is full of statues ( the picture at the top of this blog is of a statue only recently acquired by Sean ),  hangings, and tapestries of this lovely Vedic god, who is known today for his intelligence, for writing the Vedic scriptures, and for his ability to remove all obstacles, and to bring blessings and good fortune.

(I actually believe that ‘gods’ can manifest in human form, and in multiple humans at the same time, so who knows if Sean could perhaps actually be manifesting a piece of Ganesha?)

Anyway, I just wanted to tell you how Ganesha has brought brightness to our lives, and how much his spirit lives in our son.

If you’d like to know more about Sean’s story, see some of his hospital photos, read the “God” poem he wrote about a year after his accident, and read the story “I Don’t Know” that he narrated to me as a six year old (I was the shadow writer), visit this link and click on the other links you find on the page as you explore.

Sean (nicknamed ‘Pumpkin’ as a child by me) did grow up to be a very fine man, and was once married long enough to have two beautiful daughters.  When I look at them today, and see the wonderfully happy relationship they have with their loving father, I am reminded that Ganesha also had two consorts, Riddhi (prosperity)  and Siddhi  (spiritual power).  Sean’s daughters also attract attention wherever they go, and I’m looking forward to seeing what their future holds…

Blessings!
Lianne

Lilipily Spirit – Empower Your Life, Connect with the Divine

Injury

photo courtesy of www.sunipix.com
photo courtesy of http://www.sunipix.com

Just over a week ago, I took a defrosted piece of roasting meat out of the fridge to cook. (It was in a sealed plastic bag). It slipped off the plate I’d defrosted it on and dropped onto my bare foot.  (I’m often barefoot at home).  I thought nothing of it.  The meat was soft.   It only caused a bit of pain.

Quite soon, the nail on my big toe turned grey-blue.  I knew then that the meat had caused more of an injury than I had realized, but I still thought nothing of it.  I just assumed that the injury would process, that my nail would go black and fall off, and that I would be in pain for a while but all would be well.

I haven’t stayed off my feet since then.  I’ve kept working.  I’ve been going out, and walking around, albeit with shoes on that were comfortable for my sore toe.

I didn’t give myself any healing energy because I thought all would be okay.  Such things are part of the normal processes of life, I told myself.  Accidents happen and we deal with them.  Nature has it’s own healing processes and all we need is time to allow it to do its job.

All hasn’t been okay, though.  My toe has got worse.  It is now twice the size of my other big toe.  The nail is trying to delaminate but is still held firmly in the quick.  I’ve got extreme redness in the flesh of the toe at the base of the nail and it’s developing darker tinges that have me concerned.

I finally decided to give my toe some healing energy last night… I used a piece of black tourmaline to boost the energy and take the poisons/inflammation out.  The tourmaline got so hot I was surprised.  I got a whiff of flesh that was not nice at all.  (Then I really got concerned…)

This morning, I picked up the tourmaline to try again, and the lump of pyrite that has long clung to the outside of the shaft peeled off.  I was so surprised.  It has been well melded to the tourmaline since I first got it.  I thought it was actually embedded in it.  The funny thing is that the pyrite piece now looks like a delaminated big toe nail…

Today, my foot began to feel stiff and achy.  I realized that something much more is going on with my toe than I thought at first.  When I massaged my foot, I found a large swollen area in the underarch.  I thought, the lymphatic system is trying hard to move the bad elements out from the toe to recycle them.

I gave the foot more healing, this time without the tourmaline.  The extreme heat from my hands meant to me that this injury really does need attention (and so I felt a bit foolish because I have pretty much been ignoring it).

My great grandmother died when my Nanna was only 13 years old.  She got septicemia (blood poisoning) because of a scratch she just ignored. (Admittedly, she was a scotswoman living on a pioneer farm in rural Australia, where doctors were a rarity).  It’s not something I really want to be doing to myself, though.  I had to shake my head.

When others need healing, I am always there for them, trying to make things feel better and to speed up the healing process.  When it comes to myself, I am not so assiduous.  I’m not sure why.  It’s not like I don’t have the knowledge, or the tools to help myself, but I tend to take things on as being ‘par for the course.’  I tend to think of illness and injury as being ‘part of life’.  I tend to take on such suffering as a normal process that I have to be philosophical about.   (At least, when it comes to myself).

I probably have very bad habits, therefore, when it comes to my own healing.  My body is assailed by so many disorders (‘par for the course’ with many healers and empaths, since so much is absorbed from surrounding environs), that when a new one comes along, I just ‘pop it in the basket‘ with the others and ‘keep on keeping on’ living.

I don’t like going to the doctor.  Most often, in the past, when I did go, I was told I was already dealing well with the issue, and to keep on doing what I’d been doing.  (I used to be very good at treating my health when it was out of balance and I do keep a well stocked medicine/herbal cabinet, not just for me but for all my family). It was rare that I needed further help, (other than an occasional prescription for antibiotics when all else had failed).  So in the end I just began to think that I should just accept the things that happen, and deal with them.  I told myself that if an emergency came along, then I would go to the doctor.

The trouble with that is that sometimes you’re not sure exactly what is an emergency, and when you start embedding the attitude that illness is ‘par for the course’ in life, you can start forgetting to look after yourself effectively.

In my instance, it gets hard to know if my natural healing energies will bring about the amazing turnarounds that have often happened in the past if I just wait things out, or if I should be getting concerned enough to seek the help of others, now… (Is a whiff of smelly flesh an emergency or will the flesh heal itself given time?)  I don’t like bothering doctors when I can heal myself.  They’re busy helping those who can’t help themselves…

Okay, so this time I think I will go see the doctor, after all – at least to make sure my toe is not gangrenous or causing a blood or lymphatic infection.  Metaphysical healing is not always the answer, and not when I left it this late to do something about the problem. Even metaphysical healing needs time to be efficacious.

Perhaps there is a reason that I have not healed so well this time.  I haven’t seen my doctor for ages and she knows I have lots to ‘keep an eye on’.  Sigh.  The universe is probably just making sure I keep in touch.

Blessings!
Lianne

Update: It’s the same day, and because it is a public holiday right now, my doctor is not available. I’ll still go to see her tomorrow, just to make sure all is okay, but an interesting thing happened tonight (I wrote the main body of this in the morning). My foot was aching, so I took another look at it. The nail had lifted even more, so I gently pressed on it and tried to ease it out from the quick.  I was able to get a toothpick underneath at the top, and pricked it just enough to make it bleed.  The blood has poured out.  The pain has eased, and my nail is no longer black. (I left the nail alone after it bedded down again and started looking pink). While the toe is still red, all is looking suddenly good!  So I put calendula cream (for the bruising and inflammation) on the skin surrounding it, along with some methyl salicylate (for pain).

As usual, the healing sped things up.  Time still needed to pass, but I can tell you I’m feeling a lot happier now.  I suspect that by the time I get to the doctor, there will be little left to do but wait for Nature to finish the job… (Ah, the human condition gets to us all… I should have known better, since the energy was so blazing hot.  Thank you for your help, dear angels!  I have no doubt that this time I was assisted.  My own energy is not usually that fierce…) 

Lilipily Spirit – Empower Your Life, Connect with the Divine

Brain

Picture courtesy of AbsurdWordPreferred
Picture courtesy of AbsurdWordPreferred

When I was a teenager, a lot was going on in my home life that left me super tired. I absolutely loved school and would head off each morning but was soon having trouble keeping my eyes open. So I began wagging afternoon classes to go home, where I would hide under my bed with a pillow and go to sleep.

(I hid under the bed so that, if anyone came home, they wouldn’t know I was there).

At the end of the school day, I would come out from under my bed, still in my uniform, and act as if I had just got home from school. This went on for a while, because the nightly events of domestic friction that lost me sleep continued for some time.

I felt guilty about missing so much school, though, so I went to enough classes to get by.  I also attended tests and exams, and was so surprised that I passed with high scores.  It seemed that I had got away with these ‘time out‘ periods until the regular parent/teacher interviews called my parents’ attention.

I felt even more guilty after that, because my teachers expressed disappointment in me.  I had always been a good student and well mannered, but I had been missing so many classes throughout the year…

(I didn’t blame them. No one knew what was going on in my home life. I was too embarrassed to talk to anyone about what happened, there. I felt that people would think I came from a bad family, if they knew. I didn’t think my family was bad, just that it had lots of problems).

It was what my teachers added to their summations that was astonishing. They said that since I had passed all my exams with such high scores and with such little actual class attendance, they believed I was possibly a genius.

(No, I did not cheat on my exams, and my answers were usually very unique, which are hard to duplicate).

That assessment surprised me. My parents got a bit shocked, not only by the news that I had been wagging school but that I might be a genius.  I think they actually felt confronted by that. (Hell, I felt confronted by it!)  At home, when things went wrong, afterwards, more was expected from me because I ‘should have known better‘.

I didn’t really always know better, though. I may have been smart but I was still a kid. I was still learning about how the world worked. I was still processing information, not just about things but about people and life.

Once the word got out at school, I was ostracized and abused by some, or used by others who called me ‘Brain‘.  I realized that (in the outer world, at least) I didn’t like being smart. I didn’t like feeling that I was the odd one out. So I dumbed myself down. I stopped interacting with my teachers so much. I stopped being the one to pipe up in class with answers. I even stopped contributing to the school magazine. I diverted my attention away from schooling.

I met my future husband when I was sixteen and that was the end of my childhood schooling. (I did go back, later, as a mature age student). I ran away and set up a new life with him because he gave me what I was missing, then – affection, love, and acceptance.

People asked me if I would ever go back. They shook their heads that so much potential was lost in me. They couldn’t believe that such a ‘bright spark‘ was now working as a ‘checkout chick‘ and had aligned herself to a mere apprentice television technician. They didn’t believe we would last as a couple. They thought we were a mis-match, and they thought I had wasted my skills and talents.

I was just happy to be living life as me, not as someone’s expectations of me. On a deep inner level, though, the teachers’ words found home. I actually liked being smart. I just didn’t like people picking on me or expecting me to be their ‘walking dictionary or encyclopedia‘ or ‘automatic answer to everything‘ just because they thought I was smarter than they were.

Long ago, I did some Mensa (high IQ) tests to see how smart I really was. While I’ve lost those scores, now, they were in the top IQ range, then – but an interesting thing happened over time and through the long processes of life – I redid a Mensa test in recent years and did not come off so well. Still intelligent, no longer high IQ level…

What happened?  I never stopped using my brain.  I’d always expressed it in one way or another.  I’d been an artist, a writer, a dramatist – was it because my focus drew away from technical issues and became more creative?  Yet I’d also been a business woman by then.  I’d run my own theater group.  I’d gone back to school and sat further exams.  I’d earned myself diplomas.  Surely, dealing with the technicalities of those modes kept using those parts of my brain?

It is said that the brain has an endless capacity to absorb information. On the other hand, most people have a limit to how much can be recalled. There’s not much use having knowledge stored if it isn’t accessible.

Maybe that is a way the brain prioritizes. Just as we archive information on computers, so that what isn’t absolutely necessary is not taking up too much energy, our brains archive old knowledge, which can get harder to find again as we get older or find ourselves under stress.

(When I started to forget things, my grand-daughter told me that I had a leaky brain. She said that my head was so full that there was no room left in it, so things had begun leaking out… ).

I believe that not being able to access the information in your head can also happen when life makes you tired. When you are dealing with mundane problems all the time, and especially draining ones, your brain can begin to shut down because of overload.

I’ve seen movies and read books where the theme of social deterioration was examined, like “Lord of the Flies.” People question how sensitive, kind, intelligent humans can become so bestial, gross, and lacking in forethought or decency.

I think it is because the brain is selective. Just as it does when archiving old knowledge, I believe it prioritizes the necessities. When we are in survival mode, the brain does not think about good manners and decency any more. It thinks about how best to make it through the challenging moments.

That’s why stories about normal, sane, intelligent people being put into highly challenging and dangerous situations, and having to fight for their lives, are so rife today.

In a society where intelligence has become an aspiration, where the ‘used to be nerds‘ are now heroes, and where even pre-school children are expected to develop advanced intelligence, it is confronting to realize that human nature overrides all the concepts that go with intelligence in any situation of survival.  Instinct often seems to overrule intelligence in that state.

I’ve been through a lot of very challenging circumstances during the course of my life. These were emotional, physical, and fiscal, but not often intellectual. (Well, there were intellectual challenges, but I had a knack for dealing with them… It was the other modes that rattled me). They also came at me from many directions and in different ways, so it wasn’t like I could learn a method of coping and then relax.

While I have amassed quite a history of achievements, I am very aware of how much more I could have done if I had not felt so tired or drained by the personal circumstances I was in, sometimes.

It is not surprising to me at all to learn that highly intelligent people can become so depressed that they take their own lives. When emotion and energy gets so low, not even the most acute intelligence can break through to give them a boost.

One of the diplomas I earned was in method acting. Through that, I learned that people are not born to particular roles or modes in life but have many different potentials inside of them.

The premise of method acting is that roles are not different characters but are the same person who is being affected by different circumstances and challenges.

It seems. for instance, that if the same person is born into poverty and hardship in one life stream, and into wealth and ease in another, they will behave according to the circumstances they find themselves in, the environmental conditions surrounding them, and the physical, intellectual, and emotional stimulations upon them.

So, from that premise, there really is a point to make that character is not embedded but lies in how and where you are brought up, and how and where you enact your life thereafter.

Sometimes character, or the way you interact with the world, has nothing to do with any of these, though. In my family tree, there are members who have the brain disease of bipolarism (which used to be called manic depression).

My mother had episodes of bipolarism when I was a girl (it is not always a life long condition) and tried to kill herself a couple of times. (Shock therapy did make life smoother for her but also blanked out large chunks of her memory. I suppose that might help for someone who is troubled by their memories but it also took away good memories. She then became distant from those she had once loved).

I also have an aunt with this condition, who has talked me through the problems that arose from other affected family members.

Her doctor treats it as a life long disease and told her to think of it as though she has diabetes. That helped her to realize that her medication was not something that she could stop taking just because she was feeling better.

When affected by her bipolar disease, she did not behave badly because of behavioral or character traits. It was because there was an inherent physical condition of chemical imbalance in her brain, that triggered errant words and actions.

Therapy does not help people with bipolar disease because the problem is physical not mental.

People with the disease can talk to a therapist and see the truth and validity of every therapeutic suggestion, and may try to enact this advice in their lives, but when the chemical imbalance trips off they can’t stop themselves behaving weirdly because they need medication to remedy that imbalance.

My aunt told me that she can remember every time she thought or said or did weird things quite clearly. During those phases, it was like her body and actions were driven by some outside force that she had no control over. She could see and hear what she was saying and doing. She just couldn’t stop herself.

Apparently, certain life phases trigger bipolarism in susceptible people. Those are usually puberty, or during other highly hormonal stages such as pregnancy and after childbirth, and also during highly stressful life conditions such as unemployment, fiscal destitution, or difficult and ongoing emotional wranglings.

My grandfather (my mother’s father) had his bipolar phases triggered during an era when ‘mad‘ people were sent to institutions, so when he had psychotic phases (which can be part of bipolar disease) and began hurting his wife and children after his long search for employment failed (it was a time when there were no social services or government handouts, and his farm had become non-profitable), he was put into an asylum.

(That’s when my Nanna moved on with her life and became a single mother. People didn’t know that much about ‘madness’ then and many thought it was for life).

I watched a documentary about the human brain and bipolar disease some time ago. There have been many famous people in history who had it, yet they also had highly productive or creative lives. You can live a fairly normal life either side of bipolar episodes, apparently.

What struck me, though, was that scientists believe that people with such conditions of ‘madness‘ also have the ‘genius‘ gene.

Most people with bipolar disease are extremely intelligent but also extremely sensitive in their perceptions, (which is what eventually brings them down).

Apparently, this all stems from a genetic condition, and the people who have it ‘sit on the fence‘ between ‘madness‘ and ‘genius‘ until something comes along to push them to one side or the other.

So I’m no longer investing in the idea of being a genius. With my family history, I’d rather be ordinary.

I also no longer fret so much about taking after my ‘starcrossed‘ relatives, since I realized that with all I have been through in my life, if I had the disease it would well and truly have triggered off by now… (So, those who still call me ‘bonkers’, take note).

My son got ‘acquired brain injury‘ (ABI) after his head bounced on the asphalt a few times after being hit by a van as he ran across a busy road at age 13. That was how I discovered that the human brain is a relatively unknown continent, even today.

They used to say that brain cells never regenerate, that when you lose them they are gone forever. That’s why conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s are so frightening.

At least now science has begun to admit its lack of understanding of how the human brain works. I mean, there is much that is known, but also much, much more that remains unknown. That’s why coma patients who have been asleep for decades can sometimes wake up, long after the doctors gave up on them completely.

It’s just as well that we never gave up on our son, as a major neurologist did at the time. He told me that my son would most likely be a ‘vegetable‘ and remain in a coma for the rest of his life.

Admittedly, I enacted some powerful healing elements of my own, after that, including spiritual and metaphysical modes, and perhaps those actions got my son back on track… but, while the results were nothing short of miraculous, I still wonder why he wasn’t completely healed and hope that, deep inside his brain, slow healing work is still going on.

It’s been over 20 years since his accident and his condition is now stable in disability, so even the smallest change is something to be grateful for.

Today, he lives a fairly normal life and has children of his own, but needs constant supervision.

Having been his carer for so long, I’ve studied as much about the brain as I could to give me insight into what can be done. His brain is affected like that of an Alzheimer’s patient, in that cells have died and pathways have become dead ends. It’s like swiss cheese with holes in it – many thoughts get through perfectly okay, some fall into the holes and get totally lost.

In the end, there’s not much that a lay person like myself can do. I have to wait for scientists and medical researchers to come up with solutions, and time is against anything changing for my son.

I may get hopeful when I read of new results, like how they can now get rats with severed spinal cords to walk again, but these are not humans and they are not to do with brains. My son’s nerve endings work very well. They just lost their connections in the brain, so certain muscle systems no longer work well.

It is frustrating when some people think I don’t care any more because I’ve run out of energy to keep doing high doses of therapy with him every day.

They tell me that there are things that can be done, but they expect me to do them all. They tell me that I need to up the ante, but I am already dealing with a multitude of other tasks and I cannot focus solely on my son any more.

I still give him healing, sometimes, and it improves his moods and clears his thinking but there is little change in his physical paralysis, his inability to speak without blocking, or his short term memory problems.

What has helped him the most in life has been the lesson of spirituality.

When people pick on him or are too impatient to try to understand his condition, he has been able to shrug that off and forgive them.

When his marriage broke up and he no longer saw his daughters every day, he was able to put that into the perspective of his immortal spiritual self, with his physical life being just a phase in it’s eternal one.

When he got depressed about being lonely or missing his daughters, even though other family are still around him, he used the same references to touch his soul and rise up from the mire that would bog him down.

No matter the physical problems that assail him, he manages to smile and engage in life with the fullness of his being.

For me, that is truly living.

Spirit has always been the key for me, too, in overriding the ‘bog down’ elements of life.  This mode is encapsulated in the metaphor of the lotus lily plant (we use a blue lotus lily flower in our business logo).

In vedic spirituality and buddhism, there is a great focus on the lotus as a flower embodying spirit and transcendence.

The lotus plant is embedded in the mud beneath the water, representing how our roots are embedded in physical life with all its problems.  Its leaves float broadly on the surface of the water to soak in the sunlight, representing the energy we can achieve from accepting our emotional state as just being part of the human condition.  Its flower buds rise up on long stalks above the mud, the water, and all else, to open their delicate beauty for divinity to rest upon.

(If you look at statues or pictures of buddhist and vedic gods and goddesses, they often sit on lotus lilies).

For in these spiritual streams, it is believed that by transcending the worldly ‘bogs‘, and our reactions to physical life, we become more than we are as just human beings, and reconnect with the divine.

While my first touch with spirit came through psychic feelings and manifestations as a child, I explored much further by dedicated choice and found many helpful modes to rise above the physical condition.

There are certain modes that can be instilled through spirit that seem to overcome the limitations of the brain. For instance, I can realign myself in spirit when I am tired and clear my thoughts to enable great focus.

This is not a choice or a mental viewpoint, it is a realignment of the spiritual self by realizing that spirit is actually unaffected by the physical condition, that spirit is the rider within the vehicle of my physical form, and that being tired is just a sensory condition affecting my body and its brain, not my true spirit self.

It’s easy to forget these modes in the course of daily human life. Even though I know these modes, I often forget them as I ply my life. That is just the physical realm asserting itself.

The physical world that forms our mortal destiny has many programmed laws that shape every sensation and reaction. So I am often assailed by one ailment or another, and so is my husband, as we grow older.

These are the modes of the physical realm, that has many challenges embedded into it as par for the course. Even buddha got old and ill and died at the end of his incarnation. Being spirit or spiritual does not bring full escape from the laws that come with life, nor should it.

(For me, there is a reason why I chose to incarnate in a physical body, and overcoming all the natural problems that are embedded with life by using such overrides may wreck my original intentions).

Even as I know these modes, though, the laws that shape my thoughts and body caused me to doubt when I was inspired to try something out, recently.

My arthritis was so bad that I was aching and hobbling around, just waiting for the phase to pass, which it wasn’t doing too quickly. My husband was in much the same shape, and his posture looked as if the world was sitting on his shoulders.

Such inspiration comes on me, occasionally, so I just stood in stillness for a moment and realigned my spirit.  (This is something that many people do amid deep meditation but I find that it is possible to connect anywhere, at any time, so long as you know what you are doing).

So I stopped amid my hobbling pace, stood on my aching feet and ‘adjusted‘ myself. I found that quiet center of peace and energy, deep inside, and remembered ‘who I really was‘ and that my body was the vehicle I was driving, not vice versa… Then I stepped forward again.  I felt graceful. I moved gently and without pain. It was as if my body had remembered how to move in a way to avoid pain, (or maybe it was me remembering that I was the driver). The pain was still there but just niggling, not inflamed.

I decided to try it on my husband, (who has carried with me through many years of spiritual education. So it didn’t take much for him to understand what I asked of him). He stood up, looking old and bowed, and as I watched I could see him find his center, remember who he, too, was, and realign. Or so I thought.  It actually took a little longer for him than it did for me. The first time he tried to walk, his shoulders were thrown back and he forced a strut. I said, “No, that’s not it. You haven’t done it yet.”

(When you have it, it’s a visible serenity).

I left him to it, wondering if he was going to be able to do as I had done, but only moments later he entered the room I’d gone to, smoothly striding like a young man with a glow in his eyes.  His ‘chooky‘ neck had disappeared, his stoop had gone and he walked straight and sure, with smooth relaxation. I said, “You did it!”

(He suddenly looked much younger).

Was this our brains, thinking ourselves into a new mode, or was this the spiritual alignment I believed it was? That’s the doubt I had, for a moment.

(Such doubts for me are always passing. I am always a believer).

To be honest, the realignment did not last all night and we had to keep reminding ourselves – (and our son is also still disabled) – but that’s what you get for being incarnate in a physical realm. It will keep reasserting itself!

So if life makes you feel so tired that your brain doesn’t seem to be working, try realigning your spirit.  Even if, (like us), you have to keep making adjustments, it’s better than giving in to the physical world completely.  (I’m not saying don’t be alive in the physical realm.  I’m just saying you don’t have to let it get to you…)

I’ve often noticed something amazing about those who are aligned in spirit. Despite the fact that their physical bodies get old, they do not look so old.  Despite the problems of life that naturally afflict them, too, they do not look afflicted. Instead, what is immediately noticeable is their ‘glow‘ – an emanation of their life force in the fullness of its being, that you cannot miss as being ‘truly alive‘.

When we allow the assaults that come from the high challenges of physical life to affect our spirit, we get lost in the physical condition.  This causes us to look older than we are, to become frailer, and to be more affected by our bodily conditions.  When that happens, our brains go into overload mode and we begin to forget things, too.

Despite the bombardment that may come from the challenges of life, we can choose to align ourselves differently. That is what having a brain does for us.  Even as we can’t change some things that  happen to our physical condition in the world, we can select what attitudes we take toward them.

Blessings!
Lianne

Lilipily Spirit – Empower Your Life, Connect with the Divine