Daily Archives: September 2, 2012

Truth? Or Consequences?

One day as I walked with my holy teacher and physician, Dr. Sundar, along a monsoon- soaked path in South India after the afternoon shower had abated, we came upon an earthworm wriggling desperately in the middle of a shallow puddle.

Now, I have always wondered why earthworms always decide to cross paths in the rain, then find themselves stranded in the middle when the sun comes out to dry them up into little leather strings, to their demise.

Dr. Sundar did not answer my question, but hurried to find a twig on the ground. He slid this under the formerly hapless worm, and lifted it gently to safety in the grass beside the path.

I confronted him: “Doctor-ji, both your religion and mine believe in reincarnation. We both believe that our souls are sent into physical forms in order to complete rectifications that can only be achieved in that specific form. Now that worm that we just found was on its way to its death, which means that its job on earth was completed, and the soul that dwells within it was about to be released. I have often wondered whether I should interfere with that process, as you just did, or whether I should leave the worm to complete its mission so that its soul can return to its source. What was your reason for saving the worm’s life?”

Dr. Sundar regarded me gravely. “That is a very good question, Leebi. You see, God opened my eyes so that I can see the worm. If God does not want me to save the worm’s life, then he does not open my eyes and I do not see it, and the worm can die. But if God opens my eyes, and I see the worm, then I know that God has put me in this place at the right time so that I can act, and then I must save the worm.”

I am thinking about that lesson tonight, in the Hebrew month of Elul. This is the month before Rosh haShanah, the Jewish New Year. Rosh haShanah is most famous for apples dipped in honey; but in reality it is also the Day of Judgement, when our merits and deficiencies will be weighed in the Heavenly Court, and it will be decided whether or not we will be inscribed in the Book of Life for the coming year.

For observant Jews, this is the time to make a Heshbon Nefesh, an accounting of one’s soul, to examine one’s own life minutely to try to find the places where rectifications are necessary. It is a time to deal honestly with one’s self, and leniently with others. In fact, it is said that if one judges others harshly, then one will be judged harshly; and if one judges others on the side of merit, so one will also be judged before the Heavenly Court.

Rabbi Nachman of Breslav, in his famous Torah 282 in Likutei Mohoran, taught that in every person, no matter how evil they might be, there is a nikudah tovah, a good point. Even if a person didn’t intend to do a good deed, he points out, there is no one who has not, albeit perhaps accidentally, done a good deed. Let’s say that a thief helped an old lady across the street with the intention of mugging her (this is my example, not Rabbi Nachman’s!). Even though his motive was evil, he nevertheless did the good deed of helping her across the street.

So he teaches that we should search for the good points in every person, and look only at the good points; and if we do so, then in the place where an evil person once stood, only good will stand!

And then, he goes on to teach us that once we learn how to see the good points in others, we can go on to do that for ourselves. And if we can learn to concentrate on our good points and ignore the bad, we will in time become only good.

But first, we must ask God to open our eyes. Just like when we saw the worm! If God had not opened our eyes, we would not have seen the worm, and it would have perished. But we saw it, and that gave it more time in its worm life to accomplish the rectifications that it needed to complete, in order to progress to a higher plane of existence. Surely if God saw fit for us humans to see the worm in time to save its life, certainly, as my Nanny of blessed memory would have said, God must have had plans for it.

And if God has plans for a worm’s life, what plans must S/he have for ours?


Just Watch Me

My mother is a hyper, flighty woman compared to me. I find it very stressful at times to converse with her, because her mind races and skitters even faster than mine does (and mine is pretty bad). But sometimes, just sometimes, there’s a real gem amongst her babble that serves as a strong reminder of who I am.

For example, she was relaying last night about when I decided I wanted to join the military. It’s one of her favorite stories as far as I can tell, and it amuses me as well. When I contacted the recruiter, he didn’t seem particularly interested in me; I’m rather small and not particularly martial-seeming. Mom felt he was trying to get rid of me as fast as possible, until I told him what job I was interested in. He commented that he had never had anyone succeed in getting into that career, to why I reputedly replied, ‘Just watch me.’ I guess I like the story too.

But in a way, I guess that sums up my life; if I want to do something, I get it done. I always have; what’s the point of hemming and hawing if you have a path in mind? I’m not a dreamer by any stretch — I am pragmatic and operate within the bounds of what I feel I can achieve. So in that, achieving what I have doesn’t feel particularly spectacular to me. By that same token, me expressing a concern about doing something isn’t giving up, per se — it’s recognizing my own bounds. Yanno, when I’m actually healthy enough to do and respect that.

With that fresh in my mind, I can understand part of why this year’s bout of oh-so-fun summer depression has been a bit harder hitting in some ways. I’m so busy regrouping right now that I’m not doing anything at all. Not that I feel the need to rack up accomplishments, but when the only new and ‘exciting’ thing I can add to my list for this year is learning how to drive stick shift and crochet patterns, I feel like I could and should be doing more. But I know that I cannot either, not if I want to continue studying myself and laying a firmer foundation for the future. It’s something that needs doing too, yanno? I have to believe that what I’m doing right now with trying to get the right medications and continued introspection and self-analysis will grant me the serenity to be. Certainly, there has to be a better way than doing because you’re so anxious and stressed out and freaked out that you figure, ‘Why not?’ and go full-tilt on an empty tank.

Patience — it’s definitely an operative word here. But I can do it — just watch me. ;)

<3

 

Really?

My youngest son is in dire need of a new mattress. The one he has now, is one we got from my friend, it was used, and through the years it has gotten worn. When I went up to make his bed one day, I noticed how dilapidated it was; springs poking through at the bottom, material ripped off… Time for a new mattress! So, I have been looking around, and wondering how in the hell we are going to buy a mattress…. So, I see a commercial last night, Sears is having a Labor Day sale! So, I went looking this morning at ther selection, and found the deals to be great! So, I find the one I want to get him, and confir with the husband to see if it is ok with him if I transfer a bit out of savings (We would still have a little over 2 grand in there). He says….

“Well, you can’t buy a car with two thousand dollars…”

What? Really? Did he just say that? We haven’t even gone LOOKING for cars to see what kind of deal we CAN get. His SON needs a mattress! I think I am pretty ok with spending less than 200 bucks (Yes, the mattress was originally almost 400 bucks, I got it for 175! AWESOME DEAL!) because at this point, that 200 hundred bucks wasn’t going to get us a car either.

I mean really! Yes, I need a car. But I am so used to sacrificing… I am a mother and everyone always comes before me. I don’t understand why he said that snarky remark (in an un-snarky way)

Anxiety zone

Ventured out into public today to grab some things.

Developed  a burning stomach ache from the stress of being out in the petri dish amongst people and Saturday traffic.

Was fine one I got home and things calmed down.

Right up til the general mail delivery time when I must have gone to look in the mail box two dozen times, just waiting for some nasty response from The Donor to the letter I sent him.

It’s been about three days with no word.

I have a bad feeling in my gut,I don’t know what he might be up to but I doubt it will be good for me.

Thus my current chained status in the anxiety zone,

I am breaking out in hives. My heart rate keeps speeding up, slowing down, speeding up.

My nose itches. I think someone is going to call or come by.

My ear itches,I swear someone is talking bad about me and most likely it’s him because I didn’t fold like a cheap suit under his demands.

GRRRRRRRRR.

This kind of anxiety, the kind that just sort of sits in your bone marrow, doesn’t even respond to liquor. If anything, it nullifies liquor and renders it pointless.

The panic remains.

So why bother wasting money on a solution that won’t benefit me?

It figures the Effexor starts to do its job, now the Lamictal seems to be slipping and the personal drama unfolding is wiping out my central nervous system and turning me into a paranoid itchy twitchy basketcase.

Part of me thinks for the sake of my sanity and nerves I should have just ceded to his demands.

Based on the advice of ten people not directly involved telling me NOT to sign, and that rebellious paranoid boulder on my shoulder,I know I did the right thing.

I just don’t know what’s coming at me next.

He’s made it abundantly clear that there will be no sit down and talk it meeting,like normal adults who were married and had a child together. Is it too much to ask that he grant me that much bloody respect and civility?

Am I being difficult just because I want to protect my rights, as well as the rights of my child?

Round and round the thoughts go. It’s been keeping me awake at night for going on three weeks, which pisses me off to no end. It gives him far more power than he deserves.

I tell my brain to just stop, to let it go, to SHUT THE FUCK UP.

My brain chuckles and kicks it into high gear then to the point my stomach churns, I break out in more hives, and my brain is being trampled so ruthlessly by the crazy making thoughts,I’d decapitate myself if it would just make it stop.

Everyone tells me to calm down. He’s using scare tactics, he hasn’t got a leg to stand on, blah blah blah.

This makes it worse.

I have seen, time after time, how the system fails and people get away with really shitty things.

So on top of the return of the anxiety and panic with a vengeance, I am now having more erratic mood swing cycles and sinking into a worried depression.

Yay.

I just want to live in a drama free zone and enjoy life with my daughter.

Unfortunately, it’s getting harder and harder every day to turn on the auto pilot and do basic things like shower and brush my hair and juggle everything that goes with being a mom and head of household.

Entering into the seasonal affect zone is also making me very very nervous.

Sadly, when it comes to this mood/depression/panic stuff, I literally have no one in my life I can talk to about it. They don’t have it and they don’t get it and most of them have very strong opinions that people like me are just faking it to get out of working or to get attention or because we are lazy.

That makes it hard, very very hard.

I’d settle for just one person to lean on in my life as far as this mental illness shit goes.

I’m so sick of being alone on this front.

 


For My Husband

The way she sings this is heartbreaking…….and I know how she felt when she sang it.  She died with a broken heart, and she sang with soul.