Tag Archives: fallibility

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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Sing your world into being

shivaI have a daily ritual of chanting mantras.  I use a set of 108 prayer beads to count each mantra set and do one full round.  It takes me about an hour to complete the task, and then I meditate.

I never used to chant mantras so regularly, nor meditate every day, even though I believe in the efficacy of such rituals and actually create prayer beads that I sell to others.  But after my life became more assailed than usual, I felt I needed a bit more help.

There are many in the world who follow similar rituals, regularly.  Some of them buy my prayer beads(Some just wear them).

At the suggestion of an indian guru, my mantras hail the vedic gods, Ganesha, Shiva, and Lakshmi – but they could be to any gods or goddesses, or to one god, or none at all.

Mantras are simply prayers invoking divine energies (creation energies), and divine energies don’t have to have a face or a name.

In my experience and beliefs, the essence of god has many faces and many names, and these are represented in every faith or religion throughout the world – and even in the faith people have in themselves or in just living, as atheists and agnostics do.

When I first began my mantra rounds, I was calling Shiva in his form of BhairavaBhairava is a fiercer aspect of Shiva, but more actively protective, which the guru thought I needed at the time.  But as time passed, I felt that the energy was too strong and too forceful, and was not so good any more, so today I just pray my mantras to the all-encompassing Shiva and let him (the god) decide what form of his I need in my life.

As well, I added a joyful round of mantras to Vishnu/Krishna before closing that section with a Namaste to them all.  And then finished with the buddhistOm Mani Padme Hum’ mantras, sending out waves of pink healing energy into the world, to give something back…

It’s not always easy to stay focused during my mantra rounds.  Thoughts come and go even as I am uttering the words and names.  I find myself constantly trying to refocus on the multiple candle flames I light in the room, or to breathe in the incense to reawaken myself, even though I always begin my mantra sessions with deep pranic breathing.

I think it is the higher vibrational energy that does it.  My body gets more worked by it, and when I am so busy in my days or in my thoughts, already, it’s a natural reaction to drift, or even to nod off to sleep for a fraction of a second (more likely to happen when I do my mantras in a pre-dawn session).

I sometimes feel frustrated when that happens, because I think it is disrespectful to divine energies – though ‘they’ are telling me it’s okay, and that such thoughts belong only to human beings and the realm we live in.  (Apparently, the divine is much more accommodating).

When I first started my mantra rounds, I used to focus extremely well, fired by the needs that began them.  I would bring great concentration to bear on manifesting better conditions, and would quickly be flushed with a greater sense of empowerment, and noticed very quick changes going on in the world around me, afterwards.

Over time, again, I felt that such concentration was too forceful, and that things were not happening as naturally as they should.  The sense of power also made me over-forceful in my daily relationships, causing friction, which I didn’t like.

Today, I am quieter and gentler in my chanting, but that also means I am more likely to drift or nod.

I contemplated this problem during my rounds, and as usual received an answer.  I was told to not worry about focusing on manifesting the good energies of each divine being I was chanting to, but to just ‘sing my world into being.’

I was told to not worry about outcomes, and just trust that what needed to happen would happen.  So I did, and after that some nice and interesting things began to happen in my life, bringing more hope back.

But then I began to be concerned about this ‘singing my world into being.’   I thought – what if I sung something quite ‘wrong’ into being?  What if my drifting thoughts and micro snoozes set some ‘darker energy’ free to do its work?

I was surprised at the reply I got to those thoughts.  I was told to trust myself.  I was told to believe in my self.  I was told to ignore the flaws and failings of my daily life, the ‘trips’ in my personality, the fallibility of my tongue, or the ‘breezes’ wafting my emotions.

I was reminded that the gods do not need to clear away distractions to do their work .  To them, the noise of life was ‘white noise.’  No different to that of children trying to climb onto your lap when you are working.  They just don’t think about it, and the work gets done.  Like the parent of the child, they automatically deal with the ‘child’  whilst keeping focus on the work that needs to be done.  It is the focus that counts.

It is said that just saying or hearing the mantras will set their energies in motion.  But I wondered, nevertheless, how well my mantras were being set in motion if I was not really thinking of them while uttering them, or if I had nodded off for a moment between one set and another?  Where was my focus?

Then ‘they’ told me that this was not about my mind.  It was not about my heart.  It was not about my physical body or its presence in the world.  It was all about my spirit, and soul.

It was all about my essence, and the underlying factor of all my beliefs.  It was about what my ‘truth’ would ‘sing into being’ if I could have everything the way my spirit or soul wanted it to be, or could imagine it to be. 

I had to think about that.  Stopped mid mantra to do so.  Thought about what my soul aspired to – and realized with surprise that my soul effused ‘goodness’. 

You may ask why I felt surprised, but it is simply that, having come so far through the ‘scathings’ of life I really don’t feel that ‘pure’ a lot of the time, any more.  Damage has been done, that I felt must surely have ‘marked my soul’, no matter what good things I might still do in the world, or what efforts I make to reconnect with the divine through prayers or mantras.

However,  I was ‘told’ that the ‘bottom line of my soul’ is not related to human arguments and conflicts, or to the difficulties that embroil me at times, or that embroil anyone.  It is simply the underlying ‘truth’ of my existence. 

It is the ‘essence’ of me that rises up from the ‘muddy bottom’ of physical life, through the ‘murky waters’ of thoughts and emotion, to become the ‘lotus flower’ spreading its petals under the ‘divine sun’.  It is the ‘cosmic me’.

For life in this world is a schism between the mortal and immortal, the manifested and the never manifested, the physical and the divine.

I am a human being embroiled in the roleplays of a mortal life, but my soul and spirit are divine, and never stop ‘hearing’ the ‘symphony of stars’. 

That is how I can focus even though my body is dealing with distractions.

That focus came from the intentions I set up in doing the mantras at all.  It came from what I believed them to be, and from what I want from them – and that belief is far more than just being selfish… It is a belief in the ‘ultimate goodness of life’, that arose from everything I ever thought beautiful and everything beautiful I want my life to be.

This stems from my ‘soul’, and comes from hearing that divine music – the ‘symphony of stars’.  When I flow with or ‘sing’ that ‘symphony’, I am truly alive and living.  Thus, do I ‘become‘ and thus my world is sung into being’.

Having had this mini revelation, I then ‘saw’ Ganesha, dancing so freely, enjoying life just for the fun of being alive.

I ‘saw’ Shiva, sitting in meditation, serenely contemplating all the galaxies in the universe, and accepting life for what it is, ‘warts’ and all, as beautiful.

I ‘saw’ Lakshmi, not as the provider of wealth, but as the kind, generous and compassionate goddess, giving hugs freely and soothing troubled brows.

And I realized that the pure and unadulterated energy of ‘singing the world into being’ was what Krishna and Vishnu embodied.  It was love – love of life,  love of living, love of making the best of life and living, and love of being.

I loved being alive, for all its flaws and failings, struggles, traumas, and tragedies – and if I had to choose, I would choose just as Ganesha, Shiva, and Lakshmi did in my vision – to dance the dance of life, to be able to meditate serenely without attachment to the whys and wherefores or attaining solutions, and to provide simple nourishment for the assailed souls of all beings so that they could also ‘dance’ and fully be alive.

You may call that a dream, but now I feel good about ‘singing my world into being.’ 

I trust the energies of my deepest inner self to do what is ‘right’, to create what is ‘good’, and to manifest a better place despite what roleplays of life my mind, emotions and body may play out as I function outside my mantra sessions.

In this way, I feel I am manifesting changes in my life, from the inside out.  And when I send out the ‘pink waves of love’, spreading from my ‘pebble in the pond of life’ chanting ‘soul mind’ at the end of each session, I feel like I am sharing something good and wonderful.

This is what I feel it means to ‘get in touch with your source.’  This is what I think it means to ‘know your core essence.’

The deep tap root of life that we brought with us into the world of manifestation is always there.  We only need to look for it, and recognize it when we find it.  And it is ‘good’, because we do not come into the world with damaged souls.

We come here ‘pure’ and amazed by the magical realm we have entered.  And that awe and delight remains present, no matter how old we get or how much assails us, though it can seem to be buried under a ‘dung heap’.

When we ‘sing our world into being’ we ‘sing’ of that ‘magic’ that made us feel happy to greet each day as a child, before any damage ever began…

It’s not a ‘song’ as you physically know a ‘song’.  It doesn’t come from your mouth.  It doesn’t come from your mind, really.  It doesn’t even come from your heart.  It’s a soul memory, of who you really are, and who you really were, before you were born.

To gain access to that primal memory – first, you have to remember who you were as a child, before you ever got hurt.

Second, you have to remember how ‘fun’ it was to explore the world you were born into, then.

Third, you have to put aside the ‘damage’ that has happened, since, and just ‘dance the dance of life’, and in that way ‘sing your world into being’, just as you did way back then…

When your soul ‘sings’, all life becomes a symphony.  Your mind re-attunes to the ‘music of the universe’.  Your body becomes flushed with the ‘harmonies of life’.

What you emit, energizes.  What you imagine, becomes.  And the ‘lyrics’ of ‘universal love’ flow these words through you –

‘Let all beings be happy!’

That is more than a prayer.  It is also an act.  It is a manifestation that comes from innate choice, not forced, but natural – the choice of your ‘spirit’, living fully in its truth.

When your ‘spirit’ chooses to be happy, you will be happy, and others will feel your happiness and be affected by it – happiness is infectious.

When your ‘spirit’ chooses to have faith, you will find faith, and others will have faith in you – faith imbues.

When your ‘spirit’ chooses to smile, even when you don’t feel like smiling, smiling soon feels like the natural thing to do, and others will smile with you – smiling is a gift.

These innate choices allow your ‘soul‘ to ‘sing‘ and help you manifest a better life, not only for yourself but also for others – despite the distractions that come from the ‘white noise’ of living.

So, ‘sing’ your ‘world’ into being.

(Remember though: Like a germinating seed, the growth is from the inside to the out… and change takes time, with much occurring on the inside before the leaves of your ‘tree’ unfurl in the world – but there is a powerhouse of energy in that soul!)

Blessings!
Lianne

Lilipily Spirit – Empower Your Life, Connect with the Divine