Tag Archives: pain

A Beautiful Life

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I see God as a Creator entity and, as such, one that is reflected somewhat in myself, since I, also, am a creator.

After I create things, I am often fascinated by how they take on a life of their own.

As a creator, I have a nebulous idea of what it is I want to create, and as I work with that idea I can see where things are going and how they will pan out.

As you may know from previous essays I’ve written with a subject of God in them, I view all Creation as having been thought of and emerged from God’s Mind.  For me, God dreams, or God thinks, the Cosmos into being.  And we, as elements of those Cosmos, are also thought into being.

Using the ‘As Above, So Below‘ motto, and its vice versa – God is a Creator like me, and I am a creator, too – it’s moot to think that God also only has a nebulous idea about what It wants to create, and just works with ideas and sees how they pan out.

I believe that God, too, is absolutely fascinated in how what It creates takes on a life of it’s own.

If you’re wondering how such a thing would manifest, then think on how we humans each assess artworks differently, or read novels with widely varying points of view or assumptions.

Often, the artist or writer doesn’t even have the observer’s ideas or feelings about their work, but will still be fascinated to know these interesting results, which represent how the work has taken on a life of it’s own.

When I am creating a work, and still have my hand on it, the work can begin to take on a life of it’s own even before I have finished – and that is not always a ‘good‘ thing.

Sometimes, that is not a direction I really want my work to be taking.  Or perhaps it is just not ‘coming to life‘ in the way I wanted it to.

This is also how ‘bad‘ things can happen in a Universe that God created – not because God intentionally made them that way, but because once the work was created, it took on a life of it’s own.

For me, then, if the piece I am working on does not feel quite right, I tend to add a bit more (rather than ‘take away’) and suddenly the piece feels ‘good’.  

This can be as simple as placing a couple of dots near the corner of a person’s eye in their portrait, that turn a flat stare into a character ‘twinkle‘.  Or it can be the addition of a few words to a written paragraph, that turns an obscure thought into a clarified one.

Taking away and cleaning up are not always the solutions to a brilliant outcome.  Sometimes, addition is the key.  You just have to consider what it is that needs to be added.

Perhaps, like myself, when things don’t seem to be working for God, It also adds elements in the hope of a better result.

I think God adds elements far more often than it ever ‘cleans up‘ or ‘takes away‘, though of course those modes are also possible.  Let’s face it, God is not only the Creator but also the Destroyer.  What God brings into being, God can take away, as the saying goes.  But if you look at the extreme variety of creatures manifested on Earth, alone, and then consider that this extreme variety is probably manifested in the many layers of dimensions and the multiple realities of world upon world, then God appears to have been very busy at adding elements.

Now, as an artist, I know that there are times when an artwork doesn’t seem to be working out, no matter what I do to it – especially with certain types of materials.  Like an oil painting – there is only so much you can do to fix an oil painting before it becomes obvious that you just have to give up on what you were trying to ‘bring through‘ and paint over the whole shebang.

It’s possible, even probable, that God has painted over shebangs many times in It’s existence.  But if you consider that It is a Being who really likes to fix things, and has aeons long history of adding elements, far more than taking them away, then this poses a picture where God is working like mad as a Creator to make ‘bad‘ things ‘good‘ right now.

In our lives, there are often times when ‘bad‘ things don’t seem ever able to be made ‘good‘.  You do everything you can, just so you have covered every possible action or mode, and they still don’t seem to work out.

In modern times, the common mode in such cases is to ‘walk away‘ from such things and begin again without them.  But in my case, and I believe this is God‘s case, too, even as I feel I have to put up with such scenarios while I am unable to do much about them, my mind and heart is constantly working behind the scenes on possible solutions, and waiting for an opportunity to arise to try them out.

For God, this has precedence.  In many spiritual scriptures of varying faiths, there are often stories related to ‘dark times’ or times when nothing could be done against what seemed to be a surge of ‘evil‘ in the world – but God knew that the laws of physical reality meant that all moves in cycles, and that change was inevitable.  So all God had to do was wait things out and eventually things would change enough so that God could insert those solution elements and move It’s Creation into happier states of existence.

You can tell that I don’t align with a God force as defined in some scriptures, that feels a need to destroy the world as payback to an erring human race.

My God simply doesn’t need to do that.  It knows very well that humankind is a blink in the reality of Time, and all It needs is to wait and something else will eventually replace them, if It really felt that way about them.  Which I also don’t believe since, as a Creator, God loves all Its creations.  And that is something I know of, too, as an artist.

Good‘ or ‘bad‘, maybe I don’t like some pieces as much as others, but every piece I create has an element of me in it and a piece of my heart.  Which is why when one doesn’t work out, I try so hard to fix it.

When it comes to life situations, especially with other people, I have long had similar modes.  I invest a piece of my heart in every relationship I have been intimate with.

(That intimacy is just the closeness I felt, and the modes of opening up that I had with those people, not necessarily sexual).

And when those relationships become ‘troubled‘ or go ‘up end‘, my artist self tries very hard to fix things (sometimes with more passion and noise than people can take, but that’s the artist in me – my ‘force of nature’).

The trouble is that in some relationships, or in some circumstances, the fixing seems so impossible that a sense of suffering sets in.

I find myself wondering why the other person can’t see things differently, or is not willing to try different modes – because I can clearly see solutions and possibilities, and I don’t understand why they are giving up – especially when the heart has been involved.

I find it hard to understand how people can ‘hurt your heart’ so much, when they said and showed they cared.

So when such things happen, I go through extreme ‘gut churns’, sometimes for a very long time.

My mind finds it hard to let go, and I re-examine every ince of the circumstances, over and over, to try to find out why and what exactly happened.

That mode, again, is the artist in me, trying to make things better.  But it’s a painful experience, and if I dwell in those modes too long they can undermine me – especially where no solutions are possible at the time, or even in the forseeable future.

Sometimes, all you can do is let go and move on with your life.

I know this seems to be easy for modern humans, especially those of younger generations, these days, but this mode has never been easy for me, nor for others of my generation who were brought up to believe in making the best of things, in recycling things rather than throwing them out, and in taking pride in the craftsmanship of making things work.

Ultimately, if I dwell in such modes for too long, it is I who needs healing.  My spirit becomes assailed by the sense of hopelessness, ostracization, and rejection, even when there is so much else going on in my life and so many others who bring blessings with them.  The artist in me just hates letting go.

Luckily, I am also a healer, and I can heal myself.  It does take focus and effort, though, because these painful modes of not giving up are well embedded.  But with greater effort and some ritual, I am able to realign.

You can probably tell at this stage that I have been undergoing some very painful experiences in my life for a while now.

Like God, I have not been still whilst such things are going on, but have continued to ply my life and be creative, as always.

Fact is, as pain became more resident, my creativity has stepped up.  That creator part of me has been madly trying to restore beauty and wonder and magic in my life, and to fix the ongoing problems causing the pain, even if certain elements are still not ‘coming to the party‘ any more.  But despite my best efforts and an outflow of creative manifestation, the ‘gut churns’ kept coming, and I kept having moments of utter misery.

Now, looking at God, again, imagine that this Creator is also feeling utterly miserable because no matter what It does to try to fix things, or how much artistic creation is added to the equation, what It wants to fix is simply unable to be fixed at this stage.

God being miserable?  That’s a new concept, isn’t it?  But it’s a thought that popped into my mind as I was doing my special rituals to help myself, recently.

I have been intensifying my mantras and prayers, and doing deep meditation and ‘sending‘ in order to heal others and the world around me – because I really seemed unable to heal what was happening in my own life, with others I was once close to.

So I thought, I will just create my own world, bring the type of world I enjoy living in into being, and will send out joy into the world to make it a happier place, and will send out love and compassion into the world to help all beings be happy.

These are, of course, bottom line tenets of buddhism, taoism, and vedism.  But my prayers have intensified, and the results felt very good.

I’m not sure what is happening in the greater world, or with the others who caused so much pain but are no longer in my life, but in my immediate environment things have become lighter and more joyful, and the people I live and work with are happier.

There are some who visit me in spirit when I do these mantras and meditations, including some who died this year, who were part of the pain and trouble.  I realized that they came because of the intensity of love and healing being emitted, and because that emission encompassed all beings, everywhere, and on every level of reality, including theirs.  And I hope that they will be healed and can move on to a better state of existence.

While I cannot honestly forgive what they did, I am aware that all beings are fallible.  In a creative universe, how could that not be so?  Because flaws are part of the beauty of all Art.

So I am able to move on, and even while I may not forgive what happened I can put it in context and thereby put it aside as just being part of the processes of existence.

What surprised me during these rituals was that I found myself not only taking in the world and it’s creatures, and humankind, but also the supernatural levels, the gods, goddesses, and angels.

It struck me that forgiveness and mercy is not something that can ever be fully resident anywhere so long as people so completely classify and categorize and outcast those who have erred – and the supernatural ‘fallen‘ have been classified thus for aeons.

Perhaps, as in my own feelings toward others who ‘did me wrong‘, forgiveness is not always possible, but accommodation is.

If we are All elements stemming from the One being, or God, then ignoring or making outcast of any other element so completely is like an amputation.

Even though amputations may sometimes seem the best solution to a physical body, amputees can attest that a ‘phantom‘ remains, that keeps connecting to the missing part.

If so, then so long as we simply try to cut out such unwanted people or entities from our lives, as if they no longer belong, we will always be ‘haunted‘ by their ‘phantoms.’

I believe that even if an entity does need to be permanently removed, it should still  be treated with respect and consideration, because it is still another natural element of God’s existence.

Associate that mode with body parts, and think of yourself as the mouth and the one you want to get rid of as the arsehole.  The mouth may not want to kiss the arsehole, but it acknowledges that the arsehole has a purpose and belongs to the same body.

The trouble, however, in most cases of exile, appears to come not from the separation so much as the ongoing propaganda and slander, that sends curses through the ether to the amputated.

This is how we cultivate rebounding effects.  Because just as there is power in positive thinking, there is also power in negative thinking.

Every time we focus on the ‘bad‘ things or people in our lives, or that were once in our lives, we align to ‘bad‘ feelings.  That is the same ‘phantom‘ effect, and it has consequences.

Those consequences leave us feeling ‘bad‘ even after we think we have moved on and claimed a better life for ourselves.

So, when it comes to the supernatural ‘fallen,’ the same goes.  While we may not want their modes in our lives any more, or feel they don’t fit with our existence, they still deserve respect and consideration as do any  other elements of God’s body.

It struck me that God seems to have been focusing on the ‘bad‘ for far too long, and that this focusing on the ‘bad‘ may have made It, too, feel miserable.

Now, when a human artist feels miserable, the tone of the creation can change, and they might start creating things that are ‘dark‘.  But as an ‘oddballcreator, myself, who never creates ‘dark‘ things from the ‘dark‘ feelings I may be undergoing, I don’t believe God is one of those types of creators, either.

Whenever I have created things after painful episodes in my life, (or during them), they were even more superb in outcome than usual, because I use my creative skills to re-establish what is important to mebeauty, magic and a sense of healing.

But as I said before, when painful things keep happening, the ‘gut churns’, nevertheless, and even as the beauty and magic shimmers from these creations, I can still end up feeling miserable.

So this thought came to me that God is an artist just like me, trying so hard to re-establish the beauty and magic and sense of healing in our world, and trying to balance out the ‘darkness‘ that seems to be becoming rife in so many places – but, because It’s efforts have not stopped that ‘darkness‘, the pain of that apparent failure and it’s accompanying sense of hopelessness is making God miserable.  And when God feels miserable, we begin to feel miserable, too.

What is that misery?  It is a sense of despair or hopelessness, or of self-doubt and worry, that overrides everything that is beautiful and wonderful in our lives, even when everything otherwise appears to be blessed and good.

It is that lack of appreciation for what we have, and for what we have the potential to do, and a lack of gratitude for life, itself.

It gets ‘under our skin‘ and ‘deep into our hearts‘, and stops progress, and creates obstacles that may not even really be there.  And, in this way, it affects all life on planet Earth – because, these ‘pebbles in the pond‘ create ripples that spread outward to contact everything and everyone.

That was when I included God as a particular focus in my prayers – and myself.

Because I rarely include myself in such things.  I just feel that if I make all others or the world around me feel better, then I will feel better, and that is often the way – but it is also the way that I neglect myself.  I neglect my own needs, or neglect my physical well-being, even as I send healing to others.

And so I believe that God has forgotten to send healing to itself, too.   I believe God needs some healing and care.   As the saying goes, who heals the healer?

So now I am focusing on God in my mantras in a very new way – and helping God, too, ‘be happy.’

There’s no point cleaning the pond to gain crystal clear water if the source of that water is compromised.

If what God thinks, God brings into being – and therefore, as elements of God’s mind, we can also bring our thoughts into being – then thinking God into a state of happiness should have a good result for all.

This is the Power of Positive Thinking at an archetypal level. This is refreshing the Source.

Let’s all focus on joy, happiness, mercy, kindness and compassion, and stop thinking about the bad things or bad elements so much.

Let’s trust our inner artistic skills for dealing with whatever crops up when it does crop up, and not think about ‘bad‘ things until they actually happen.

Let’s get on with living a beautiful life.

Whenever I find my mind dwelling on the ‘bad‘ elements in my life, today, I deliberately put them aside.

I will deal with them when and if I have to confront them.  I have dealt with them before, so I know I have the gumption and skills to do it again, when necessary.

But for now, and for a better future, I will not think of them when I don’t have to.

I am going invest fully in my belief that life will get better, eventually, and that all I need to do right now is to live it with as much appreciation as I can.

I think God is going to do that, too.

Blessings!
Lianne

Lilipily Spirit – Empower Your Life, Connect with the Divine

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Photo courtesy of freepik.com
Photo courtesy of freepik.com

I was born with what the doctor called ‘flat feet.’

What are ‘flat feet’ you might ask? Well, they are feet that never formed a support arch. The soles of flat feet do not show the characteristic indentation in footprints that most people have. All parts of the sole of the ‘flat’ foot touches the ground at the same time.

The doctor told my mother that I would get sore feet as I grew older and that I would not be able to run like other children.

There was no prescription for my ‘flat feet’. It was simply a genetic aberration. The only advice was to get strong and supportive shoes to wear to school, but to not wear shoes at all whenever that was possible, because apparently a bare foot works harder and can develop what is called a ‘false arch’ if the muscles are worked hard.

If you look at my feet today, I have an arch. I didn’t have one as a child. Instead, I spent most of my childhood barefoot when I wasn’t at school.

The bad thing about a ‘false arch’ is that it doesn’t do what an arch you are born with does for your foot. That is, it doesn’t support the foot properly. So people with ‘flat feet’ and ‘false arches’ get sore and tired feet as often as those with just ‘flat feet’.

The doctor was wrong about one thing, though. Having ‘flat feet’ never stopped me running. Hell, having ‘flat feet’ never stopped me walking extremely long distances, either. I loved doing both.

I had strong legs. They would drag my ‘flat feet’ along with them anywhere they wanted to go.

I became an athlete with my ‘flat feet.’ I ran and won races at school regularly. I joined an amateur athletics club in my pre-teens and was as good as some girls who were my peers in the same club, who actually went on to become Olympic athletes in later life. I won many races in inter-club sports events on weekends. I gathered lots of ribbons. When I left athletics behind in my teens, it wasn’t my ‘flat feet’ that stopped me. It was ineffectively diagnosed and untreated asthma. At the end of each race, I had no breath left. That frightened me, so I stopped going, and my mother just accepted that I stopped. No questions asked.

That was just the days I lived in, as a child. People were not as intense about things as they are today. So long as there was no obvious emergency, my mother didn’t bother too much.

She did have to bother when I adventured on demolition lots in my bare feet. I had a preference for balancing on planks of stacked wood, only the planks had rusty nails still in them and those rusty nails would end up in my feet almost every time… After that, the pain would get bad within hours, so she had to take notice and get me to the doctor.

I never really learned to stay away from planks with rusty nails, and tetanus shots were a feature of my childhood. You didn’t get tetanus shots automatically in those days – no preventative medicine like today. You got tetanus shots after you had already begun to feel the effects of infection.

My mother did warn me not to go back to the demolition lots once. So I started balancing myself on our neighbor’s low brick fence. I pretended it was a tight rope. I imagined I was sure-footed, like a mountain goat. I thought I could do anything with my body that I wanted to. I stopped balancing on our neighbor’s brick fence when I slipped and fell with one leg down either side of it. Bricks bashing the sensitive area between my legs were a very powerful teacher, much better than rusty nails…

I was always walking and running, jumping and climbing as a kid. Nothing kept me down. I was up at the crack of dawn, listening to the bird song, and couldn’t wait to go outside to see what the world was up to.

When we lived with my Nanna in my earlier years, I would take long walks with my sister and cousins through the suburban city streets on weekends and holidays. Sometimes, we would walk all the way from inner city Brunswick into the center of Melbourne – a long way for little legs and feet, (and just as long for adults), but this is what we did, then. There were trams we could have caught, but trams cost money and we didn’t have much of that, so we walked. (It was the days before I owned a bicycle).

Sometimes, we would walk all the way to the city zoo, (the entry fee was much cheaper back then), spend all day walking around looking at the interesting animals, and then walk back home. (The city zoo was near the center of Melbourne, too).

Sometimes, we would walk to Merri creek down near the brickworks with their smoking chimney stacks (stopping a while to talk to the brick-makers and watch them making bricks), and try to see where the water went to (we never found out where it went to because it went too far even for us, and muddy creek banks were much harder to traverse than city kerbs).

Sometimes, we walked to the formal park that was blocks away from my Nanna’s house and played ‘chasey’ and ‘hide and seek’ for hours behind the huge clipped hedges that bordered the dense green lawns. (We had to be quiet whenever we saw the gardener because he didn’t like us playing behind his hedges).

All these areas were a long way from my Nanna’s house. We had wonderful exploratory adventures, but mostly along roads full of traffic that had very few trees and lots of pavement.

Even when we explored just the streets local to the one in which my Nanna lived, there was lots to see. In an environment so devoid of other greenery, the front yards of people’s homes were fascinating. We sometimes picked the flowers hanging through the fences, to take home to our Nanna. A lady caught us doing that, once, and asked us why we wanted her flowers. When we told her they were for our Nanna, she got some secateurs and cut off some very beautiful roses for us to take home.

On hot days, then, we were not as organized as kids today may be on such outings. We did not take snacks or water bottles. If we got thirsty, we would knock on someone’s door and ask for a glass of water. If we were lucky, the house-holder would give us a biscuit or a sandwich, too.

We lived in an era of relative innocence, when even city people were friendlier and had more integrity. While I know today that kids sometimes went missing or had bad things happen to them, then, we didn’t know that at the time. Nor did our family. Going on these little adventures were just part of ‘growing up’.

At the end of the day, we would arrive back home in time for dinner, exhausted, but my ‘flat feet’ did not feel pain much then. My legs would ache, though. My mother said I was suffering from ‘growing pains.’

On Saturdays, my mother would slip us a half-penny and my sister and I would walk all the way up to Sydney road from Nanna’s house, to go see the matinee movies at the cinema. After dinner on many nights in summer, the whole family would go for the long walk to Sydney road, blocks away from Nanna’s house, to walk past the closed shop windows and nod and talk to the neighbors as they promenaded with their families on the same street.

Even after we no longer lived at Nanna’s house, whenever we returned to stay there during holidays, my cousins would join us for walks in the streets. Sometimes, we’d go into blocks of flats and knock on all the doors and run away. It was such fun to make people come to their doors, only to find no one there, or to hear people say, “It’s just those bloody kids!”

I never lost my love for walking. After I married, we, too, would often walk into the town center after dinner, taking along dogs and children.

Many of the holidays we went on after I had a family of my own involved hiking in the country, exploring whatever paths, trails, caves, hills and mountains there were to see. We climbed paths in the Grampian mountains with our young family, once, and reached an outlook over distant valleys at a point where a stony spire called ‘The Needle’ sat. I was standing with my children taking in the view, (and too scared to go too close to the edge), when my husband spontaneously decided it would be the perfect thrill to jump out onto ‘The Needle’.

This was a spire hundreds of feet in height. It barely had a flat area at its top of six feet. He jumped across the eight feet gap to that flat top before I knew what was happening. I’m sure I heard an audible gasp from all the other hikers taking in the scenery, there.

I watched him get up from the crouch of his landing. It was hard for him to even turn. The space surrounding the spire was breezy. All I could think of was am I going to become a widow? (Actually, I voiced that, since my children had seen him jump there, too). I joked, deadpan, “That’s right, make me a widow in front of my children…”

The kids thought it was a joke. It wasn’t. My husband knew it, too, once he was out there. While he’d landed well, when he was actually on that dizzy tip he realized that he did not have the room for a run up to jump back that he had on the jump out. Eight feet of air over a possible many hundred feet fall is not so exciting when you may actually miss a landing. (I wish he had thought about that on his way out).

Luckily, his feet did make it back to the safe side of the gap. We returned down the mountain but I was a bit moody by then, so I didn’t take it well when he continued playing around in front of the children, walking right at the edge of the narrow track where the hill rolled away in a severely steep drop. I did not think it was a very good example for a father to give, and that was reinforced when he balanced on a log embedded in the edge and the log slipped out and fell down the drop, nearly taking him with it. Once again, his feet found sure ground, just in time.

My ‘flat feet’ didn’t really become a problem until I was in my mid-twenties. Then, I had to get special insoles for my shoes because it felt like I was walking on the bones of my feet all the time. The inflammation and swelling in my feet was almost unbearable. I really developed a sympathy for the poor little mermaid I read about in stories as a child, who swapped her tail for legs and feet, only to be cursed with every step feeling like she was walking on knives. I knew what that was like.

I’m not a person who ever lets such things keep me down for long. I don’t believe in molly-coddling myself, (although I will take ‘time out’ and a rest when I need it). That possibly came from my Nanna, who also had many health problems to deal with throughout her life. Nothing ever stopped her for long, either. People were always telling her to slow down and take a rest. Her reply was, “I’ll get plenty of rest when I die.”

So I took up acting and dancing on stage. I was good at the acting, not so good at dancing on stage. Stages can be slippery, sometimes, especially when you’re in high heels and climbing up and down steps. I slipped badly on stage, once, and had my ankle bound for months. It took nearly a year to fully recover from that very bad sprain. I stopped doing musicals and concentrated on comedies and dramas after that. (Sometimes, when you refuse to recognize your limitations, life has a way of making you face them).

I also loved to dance at parties with my husband. I could dance for hours and hours without ever having one alcoholic drink to ‘warm me up,’ because I just loved to dance. At the end of these activities, though, my feet really felt it. By the end of a night of dancing, I was hobbling on my way to bed. I was lucky to have a husband who enjoyed giving me foot massages. By golly, he is the most superb foot massager I have ever known. He can keep on massaging my feet through hours of movies on television. He sometimes falls asleep while he his massaging, he just goes on so long, and the funny thing is that he wakes up and keeps on massaging as if he never stopped. I call him my maintenance man. I’m lucky to have him.

If I ever feel that my feet are getting really bad, though, I think about what my son has to put up with. He became disabled in a traffic accident when he was only thirteen. The outcome was that he still has partial paralysis in his body, today.

Have you ever had your foot ‘go to sleep’ on you? Have you ever tried to walk on a foot that has ‘gone to sleep?’ My son does that every day. One of his legs is in a constant state of partial paralysis. He can’t walk at all without that ‘sleeping’ foot hitting the ground with a heavy thud. Instead of walking, he hobbles, swinging his leg along because he can’t feel it properly. He does that all day long. (I don’t know how he does it!)

Yet he has inherited my love of walking. He takes his little dog for hours of walks each day. Sometimes, he does complain that he has pain in his feet and legs from walking (when he feels pain, you know it’s bad), but it doesn’t stop him going out again. He just enjoys the movement, and he enjoys being alive.

There are many different kinds of pain to deal with in life. We can either let them seize us up and make us afraid to do anything again for fear of that pain, or we can move through the pain, deal with it, accept it as par for the course, and never let it keep us down.

My son and I choose the latter. 
(Albeit, for me, with a little help from my hubby…)

Blessings!
Lianne

Lilipily Spirit – Empower Your Life, Connect with the Divine