As I follow my bliss, do whatever inspires and energizes me with an attitude of honesty and surrender, I am directed where I need to go.
“…directed where I need to go.” A 25 year journey was kick started by following my bliss as described here. I fell out of the story I’d been born into, and couldn’t recognize my direction until I was quite old.
Imagine a drawing illustrating a corridor in my mind with a window at the very end. The bars double as a symbol of a cross – perhaps the cross my parents worshipped, abandoned by me. Is it a “double-crossed” symbol? I felt double-crossed when I realized I no longer believed as my parents had taught me. As if I’d been fed a “truth” as a gullible child; that I’d been had. My parents meant well, and that was the tragedy.
I broke my own life to try to spare them pain. The sun shining outside symbolizes light which is out of my reach, but I can follow it. Fluorescent lighting symbolizes the man-conducted light that illuminates my choices of doors to open.
George Jonas, Innocent
On our first date, he respected my good-girl mennonite “no’s”. At 22, it was my dearly held wish to abstain from intimacy with men until I married.
He very politely rose from his bed, where I had hoped we would sleep, silly me. Gently he returned me to his living room to listen to what he called “Some very nice music you’ll like”: “Peter and the Wolf.” I fell asleep on the couch, and left at first light. A hairpin turn in my life, the most defining moment, was facilitated innocently by our choices that night (1967).
I did “whatever inspires and energizes me with an attitude of honesty and surrender,” and told my parents about it when I went home for the next weekend.
They didn’t believe me.
I wasn’t ready for my parents’ reaction, because generally speaking I wasn’t known as a liar.
“You don’t go to bed with a man and not have sex,” my mother said scornfully.
“Do you want to be THAT kind of a girl?” asked my father, intensity itself.
I raised my hand involuntarily to slap this insulter of my honour. His hand quickly went up to protect his face. I was doing the never-done: slapping my own father. In mid-swing, I surrendered, gave up, caved, refrained: I dropped my arm and let my hand dangle there at the end, as if it had never tried to break this smarting taboo.
My treasured parents’ open mouthed disbelief blindsided the tenderest part of my trusting bond with them.
I never got over their misjudgment, and I fell apart in secret. How had I earned the lie? A born-again christian passionate about the beliefs I shared with my parents, I waited for God’s comfort. A bible verse, oft repeated by the preachers, promised that God sees our heart, and that was all that mattered. I waited and God’s comfort did not come. I cried rivers over having hurt my parents, even if it were all a mistake. I stayed home from work for two whole weeks, praying and reading my bible. I understood, at last, that I loved my parents more than I loved God. That I had yet to meet the God who knew my heart and would comfort me. That the preachers had failed to point me aright, and that I had accidentally worshipped my parents, whose love and approval had obviously waylaid my focus from a proper understanding of their teachings. I went back to work the next Monday and proceeded with my newly chosen path, looking for God until I might find him, her, it.
I never did come back from that grief. Decades passed.
Broken-heartedness at the end of my marriage sent me reaching out for help, and I finally began to recognize the direction promised in this affirmation. This mode of thinking was unknown to me at 22.
Dispirited plodding and fear of failure in the eyes of others had been my path through days and months and years of keeping my heart open to the next spiritual step. With grim determination I kept myself vulnerable so cynicism wouldn’t block me from experience. Enduring countless disappointments, I trudged doggedly on, doing my best in unlit, unfamiliar spiritual terrain.
The other terrains with sound and colour and real people in them seemed meaningless. I admired the show. I longed to belong, to embrace it all. My seeker self passed through the other terrains devoid of sustaining nourishment.
You see, silence itself can be testimony and I was waiting for ten years, really, but it wasn’t the intention. My intention simply was to be sure that the words I would use are the proper words. I was afraid of language. — Elie Wiesel >http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/wie0int-2<
I wouldn’t accept less.
Perhaps I met you in that place, on that pilgrimage. You who dropped a little forgiveness and understanding into the silences during good conversations. You who dropped a seed into my thoughts and continued on, never knowing it had taken root way deep down inside, in the cool darkness of my wanderings.
I chose random strangers to share news from my heart. I felt they weren’t stake holders: they weren’t family looking into a coffin long before I had really gone.
George never knew what happened after “Peter and the Wolf.” I tried to tell him, 40 years later. Famous now, he was easy to find. On the phone one Saturday morning, I heard his familiar hungarian accents again. He sounded suspicious through the impeccable charm which was his way. I asked him if he remembered me: you do that as a respectable woman from a man’s past. His wife was probably sitting across the table from him, having coffee. “It’s Phyllis, George, from long ago. … You may not remember me.”
“No, I’m afraid I don’t,” he replied civilly.
I told him it was perfectly all right, said a courteous Good-bye, and let him go, again.