It's been a strange old time and it's been a tough old time. I set up this blog in order for it to act as a timeline of my own spiritual development, a kind of on line journal or a diary, something that would work to act as a series of markers in the sand of particular milestones, rites of passage and of my journey through the valleys as well as my walks upon the mountain tops. These past weeks, although not borne in meditation, ritual or ceremony, have seen something of a change within me and this has been borne from nothing other than 'living my life'. It's been stressful, difficult, painful, scary and demanding and I kid you not, I feel absolutely shattered emotionally, physically and spiritually. I'm feeling somewhat spent right now. I have a strong inpatient sense of frustration about this.
Seeing my father in hospital, wired up to heaven knows how many machines, drains and drips everywhere, taking a cocktail of pills and potions has had a powerful effect upon me and in truth I don't fully understand or appreciate the depth or profundity of that effect. I'm in here in this incarnation for a reason and a purpose, no doubt, and I am sure that this present moment in time is all part of that plan, but I don't quite get the lesson at the moment. Seeing my dad in this fragile state has sent me back to so many times in my childhood as well as catapulting me into possible eventualities in the future that I'd rather not think about. It's caused me to reflect on great times, times of regret, and also of unsaid things that probably need to be said. There have been times when I've felt like a child in adult clothes, scared and wanting my parents to look out for me, yet as I look at them both, there have been times, many times recently, where the look in their eyes has been calling out for me to do the self same thing for them. That's tough and difficult to handle. It's more than a role reversal, it's something of a dynamic inner change. I also don't want to do anything that robs them of their own control over their lives and destiny - I don't want to take them over. All I've been able to do is be there for them, and I hope that's enough and I hope it tells them I love them, because I do.
I've had a funny old time with my parents. As born again Christians they were unable to cope with my sexuality and through my coming out I was sent away not only from the family home, but the town as well. The Christian Church disowned me and a rift appeared between my parents and I. My eventual embracing of pagan spirituality did little to heal that rift. However, over time a bridge has been made and a new relationship established and that's such a comfort and joy to me. They still don't fully approve of what they see as my 'choice of sexuality' although I don't see where choice comes into it, and I don't go into detail with them about my spiritual practice, as I see little purpose in that, I know they struggle with it and why put them through that? However, the fruit of my path, and perhaps theirs also, as led to us all being in a new place. The fact that I am able to provide such a strong level of support at the moment, at a time when they really need it, is a powerful testimony to a significant period of healing, and that's a wonderful thing. So that's one positive thing in the midst of all this.
Spiritually I feel a bit all over the place. I've not been able to focus on anything in particular, as my mind and concentration is shot. I'm finding it hard to give myself to anything at the moment, as my head seems to be dealing with so many thoughts and things that I need to do. I'm not happy about that as I feel I should be doing better in this regard, I should be more disciplined and more in control of myself and this situation. That's what my Inner Critic is telling me anyway, and I have to agree with him to a degree! "This is a lesson in powerlessness" my partner said, and whilst I understand where he is coming from in his humanistic approach to life, I don't like hearing it because I feel if I were in a stronger, more powerful place, I wouldn't be powerless. I'd be able to harness the natural forces in nature and do something more positive and effectual for my father, and indeed for my mother. So I'm not happy about that and I'm feeling somewhat feeble spiritually. I don't know if that makes any sense at all - I guess I'm just beating myself up when I shouldn't be I suppose.
Dad was told that for a while following his triple heart by-pass that he would have a couple days where he would feel emotional. Seeing ones 76 year old father cry is incredibly humbling. Not embarrassing, not uncomfortable, not something that I wanted to ignore, simply humbling. The old stiff British lip crumbled and he cried, not really knowing why and not really having any control over it. I think it was a combination of medication, his body's shock following such radical surgery and probably a sense of relief of still being here. I'm sure an operation of this scale forces one to face ones own apparent mortality, even for a born again Christian. "Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine, oh what a foretaste of glory divine" we used to sing as a family in Church, and I have no doubt at all that my fathers faith has been tested in this area. I'm not about to criticise him for his faith or his path. It may not be my path, I have serious questions and problems with it, but I won't deny his right to it. I obviously ask the same of him. This open expression of humanity, a place where roles were momentarily suspended and we came together as people without boundaries and pretence was special for me. It's an odd moment to treasure, I guess, but I do feel a sense of privilege that I was able to share that moment.
So he is home now, following the surgery, and appears to be slowly improving. There are some concerns around recent blood tests, and these worry me slightly, as they could potentially point to other problems, but I'm trying to put those concerns to one side as nothing definite has been said at this time. He's looking better each day, if only in very small ways, but I take that as positive. I just want his confidence in himself and in life to start returning, as his 'stuffing' has been knocked out of him, that's for sure. The pills he is on give him some concerning hallucinations at times, and they're not pleasant for him at all, but many of his medications are on a reducing programme, so I hope that soon enough this too will pass.
For me, I'm not sure what this period of time is all about. Clearly it's about cementing, reestablishing and to a degree, redefining, relationships, but I'm sure there are deeper things for me to get to grips with here as well. I want to grow out of this situation, to become stronger and find myself in a more spiritually robust place, but at the moment, I'm still feeling as though I'm in something of a fog, looking for the open door.