Thursday, May 18, 2006

ON HAVING ONE'S MIND


I had a dream last night. I was at a women's meeting and it was my turn to speak. I was trying to articulate what having your own mind means.

I find this incredible to consider!

Having my mind--I used to think it just meant the ability to think for yourself and not go along with the mainstream if it didn't make sense. Or an ability to perceive and stand up against injustice. Now, I think I've hit on another layer, a deeper meaning and it's mind boggling too!

It began when I had a yelling match with my peer and teacher J. I wanted to talk to her about some things I felt were "bull shit". Even when I did this, I knew that part of why I was having such intense feelings were because she had created a trust with me. So some hurts from my youth were actually coming up in hopes she would be the one who could help me through them at last! But I also was quite "certain" that the complaints I had against her were very important and justified in the present.

Even though she was great about just yelling back at me at times, overall she KEPT HER MIND in a very positive place. I call it benign reality. Benign because it recognizes that the universe is loving and that the present moment is a friendly one. She also kept her mind about ME. In spite of how I was criticizing her and even having trouble with things she'd told me when I was supposed to be counseling HER. She still was able to see me in light of what was my confusion and what was my goodness and intelligence.

I liked that. And it made a big impression on me.

We came away from that conversation and yelling match--which at times included the "f" word--closer to each other than we had been before. And our relationship has continued to deepen.

So, I think that having one's own mind back means you don't let distress take over your mind. That means I can choose to keep my own mind in joy. What I focus on gets bigger.

I wrote about frozen needs in a previous post. It's so easy, once you find someone who hangs in with you and who you know will see the best in you even if they have to interrupt your crap, it's easy to hang frozen needs on them and get confused. Someone else may even do that on you and then in turn it might be so uncomfortable your own stuff gets kicked up which also is not present-time reality.

The reality is all is well in this moment. I, and my friend are completely good and intelligent. Our nature is cooperation, FUN, respect, and zest for life.

Anything that gets in the way of that is only distress and can be identified, discharged and recovered from completely. Exactly the same way I talk about recovering from racism. Racism is no different from any other distress. I do think it's the most serious and far-reaching and that at present time it's the kingpin that if we can dismantle it, the whole friggin system will have to readjust to greater health worldwide. Racism is a distress. It is healable.

About the distress. It's usually very old and has to do with how one was hurt very early on--and never had someone really listen to and support us there.

Will has given me a good counseling direction--in regards to my pain and disappointment over JJ's choice to shut me out and criticize me--"He'll never give you what your parents didn't give you." (said in a tender but no-frills voice). The tears came hard and this time it was from the gut and from a lifetime of holding a hope that they or someone would make up for what I didn't get in those early days.

By working on the early stuff that gets kicked up when I get criticized, I am stronger in the present. Without the old baggage I can handle attacks on my work without falling apart.

So, lately, I've mentioned elsewhere that I seem to be hitting my core stuff now and that the past years it's been more the "fluff". For example, as I work to get out of debt it changes my lifestyle. It becomes less "fluff" and more "work". All my feelings of hopelessness, BOREDOM and unreliableness come up-- So far I keep feeling how bad that feels rather than trying to fix it.

By that I mean I feel the feeling instead of spending money I don't have. I feel the feeling, and get a session if I can.

It's 1) Decide 2) Act 3) Discharge in that order. There's a way that I decided not to spend money to fix my feelings. I acted on that by not doing it today. And then when the horrible feelings came up I got a session and discharged.

My peers have got me tackling my classism in this way and also my racism. It's tied up in the same issue. When I give money to my friends of color because I want them to have it that's fine. But since I haven't really tackled how my own oppressor issues are tied up in that, these folks have thought about me and I'm in the midst of working on "What FEELINGS would I have to feel if I said 'No I can't' to my friends of color?"

The answer is, "Horrible, sluggish, despondent, etc" I think that's actually the white guilt that is SO annoying to folks of color. That feeling that I'm trying to avoid feeling is IN THE WAY of my fight to end racism. It's in the way of me thinking clearly. It's in the way of me being completely close to any human regardless of what group they're in.

I want to be very clear that I don't think it's bad to share money with or stick your neck out for anyone. (This is actually my vision of a better world.) It's not even "bad" if I do it out of a pattern. The day will come again soon I'm sure, where I share my time or resources with folks. But it's not "having my mind" if it's out of a pattern. And if I do it to avoid feeling bad about myself then it's IN THE WAY of ending racism. I get to be very clear and very pleased with myself all the way through this. And that is just an example of where I can get AT the thing, the conditioning as a white person (and discharge it). I'm sure you can think of a lot of ways this "white guilt" thing can be SO presumptuous, SO well--racist! :-)

So, every time I get through those feelings and actually release them, they're gone forever!

They roll off in chunks and things shift immediately. Sometimes it takes years for this chronic stuff to completely re-evaluate. But I keep seeing the progress in my life and in my good relationships. This "guilt" stuff gets in the way with people of color because it looks like racism. It gets in the way with other white people because it looks like classism. Again, we aren't born racist or classist. We didn't sign up to become so. It does get laid into our "personalities" growing up in this time.

But it is heal-able. We DO get to have our minds. And we DO get to be close to each other. Don't have to wait until I'm perfect. Just get to show up and do the best we can. There's much to be done! Meanwhile, each one of us is good, VERY good.

Peace!

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