“Maybe you can’t see the storm that lies just ahead. But I can. Believe me, it’s there.”
Confronting issues openly and honestly can be difficult. Many, like me are afraid of the reaction they’ll get from the person they are confronting. With that fear firmly embedded in one’s psyche, looking the other way and acting like the problem isn’t there becomes the easy way out. Or so it seems. Looking the other way really doesn’t make matters easier at all. In fact, it makes them worse. Problems often just don’t go away without some action.
I haven’t faced some very big issues and challenges that have been in my life for too long now. But I see clearly that I can’t let these problems linger. In my situation the problems have grown and the result is more and more hurt to me. I feel fear of the reaction I expect to receive. My fears I know after giving it long thought are grounded in reality and not based on my imagination. To get myself beyond this fear, I will have to have the necessary support around me to protect me. With my support in place I will face my problems. I must remember that storms don’t last forever. Eventually the sun does shine again, and life was nourished by the rains. I will come out of this a better person.
Make You Feel My Love
When the rain
Is blowing in your face
And the whole world
Is on your case
I could offer you
A warm embrace
To make you feel my love
When the evening shadows
And the stars appear
And there is no one there
To dry your tears
I could hold you
For a million years
To make you feel my love
I know you
Your mind up yet
But I would never
Do you wrong
I’ve known it
From the moment
That we met
No doubt in my mind
Where you belong
I’d go hungry
I’d go black and blue
I’d go crawling
Down the avenue
No, there’s nothing
That I wouldn’t do
To make you feel my love
The storms are raging
On the rolling sea
And on the highway of regret
Though winds of change
Are throwing wild and free
You ain’t seen nothing
Like me yet
I could make you happy
Make your dreams come true
Nothing that I wouldn’t do
Go to the ends
Of the Earth for you
To make you feel my love
Sung by Adele – 19
Occasionally I enjoy sharing lyrics from songs which mean a great deal to me; poignant expressions of where I’m at in life. Adele’s new album “21” will be available soon.
- Adele: New Record is ‘Quite Different’ (spin.com)
- Adele Gets Her ‘Revenge’ With Rick Rubin’s Help — Exclusive Video (spinner.com)
- v Song Quotes About Love (mademan.com)
“Every Beginning is a Consequence – Every Beginning Ends Something.” – Paul Valery
The ancient Viking Runes are a staple in our home for decision making and raising our awareness to the course of right action. The personality profiles of our Astrological Signs have always intrigued us as well, as we often see so much of ourselves in some of what has been written. Especially issues around compatibility between the two signs. I have casually kept my own research up over the years and posted a blog, “Gemini v Leo.” I am a Gemini and I have a number of special people in my life who are Leo’s.
On a recent trip to Sedona, AZ I discovered an interesting way in which I can associate the connections between the Astrological Signs, Leo and Gemini, to the Rune associated with each. Ansuz is the Rune associated with Leo; Dagaz is the Rune for Gemini.
The God Loki
The keynote here is receiving: messages, signals, gifts. Even a most timely warning may be seen as a gift. The message may be that of a new life unfolding. New lives begin with new connections, surprising linkages that direct you onto new pathways. Take care now to be especially aware during meetings, visits, chance encounters, particularly with persons wiser than yourself. When the Messenger Rune brings sacred knowledge, you are truly blessed.
Loki is that ancient trickster from the pantheon of the Norse Gods. He is the heyeohkah of the Native Americans, a mocking shadow of the creator god, as well as the bringer of benefits to humankind. He is a reminder that even scoundrels and arch-thieves can be the bearers of wisdom. When this Rune is drawn, expect the unexpected; the message is always a call, a call to a new life.
Ansuz is the first of the thirteen Runes that make up the Cycle of Initiation – Runes that focus directly upon the mechanism of self-change – and as such, addresses our need to integrate unconscious motive with conscious intent.
Drawing Ansuz indicates that a connection with the Divine is at hand. It is a signal to explore the depths, the foundations of life, and to experience the inexhaustible wellspring of the Divine in one’s own nature.
At the same time, Ansuz reminds that one must first draw from the well to nourish and give to oneself. Then, there will be more than enough to nourish others. A new sense of family solidarity invests this Rune.
Ansuz also presents a different message when drawn in a reversed position: One may be concerned over what appears to be failed communication, lack of clarity or awareness either in one’s past history or in a present situation. One may feel inhibited from accepting what is offered. A sense of futility, of wasted motion, may overwhelm one’s self. However, that is what is happening and is timely to one’s own process. If the well is clogged, this is the moment for cleaning out the old. Reversed, Ansuz is saying, “Consider the uses of adversity.”
I’m the Gemini with Dagaz as my Rune:
Dagaz is the final Rune belonging to the Cycle of Initiation. Drawing Dagaz often signals a major shift or breakthrough in the process of self-change, a complete transformation in attitude, a 180-degree turn. For some, the transition is so radical that they are no longer able to live the ordinary life in the ordinary way.
Because the timing is right, the outcome is assured although not, from the present vantage point, predictable. In each life there comes at least one moment which, if recognized and seized, transforms the course of that life forever. Rely, therefore on radical trust, even though the moment may call for one’s self to leap empty handed into the void. With this Rune the Warrior Nature reveals itself.
If Dagaz is followed by the Blank Rune, the magnitude of the transformation might be so great as to portend a death, the successful conclusion of one’s passage.
I am only beginning to explore these messages, keeping myself open to what they may portend about myself, my relationships, family and friends. In a way, the finding of these special symbols, the quiet reading of each in Sedona, made for deeper connections. A new beginning for some, perhaps an end for some.
“We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us…” – Marcel Proust
Haven’t we all known some people new to recovery who enter a Twelve Step program only to encounter an enormous crisis or difficulty? I know I was one of “them.” It’s tempting at that point to question the mercurial nature of life, which sometimes inflicts blows when someone is already down. Difficulties do serve a purpose, however. It’s often in such moments of struggle that people become aware of the reality of their life and begin to make difficult choices. It’s also then that the fellowship of our recovery group shines, offering its collective experience, strength and hope to the addict in need.
Many of us have known someone who refused or was unable to hear the message being offered at our meetings. It takes wisdom, patience, and detachment to know when to reach out to someone, and how far to go. The respect we feel for that person’s recovery process as well as the faith we have in our Higher Power and the Twelve Step program can help us do our part and then let go…
Life is a learning experience. I can learn the lesson of my life, but not someone else’s.
“At the bottom of the modern man there is always a great thirst of self-forgetfulness, self-distraction…and therefore he turns away from all those problems and abysses which might recall to him his own nothingness.”– Henri Amiel (1821-1881), Swiss Philosopher and Poet
I am aware of the way I sometimes rush around or slide off into the land of fantasy to distract myself from looking at myself too closely. Am I afraid that what I might find is nothing but my own… nothingness? Are my addictions a misguided search for some kind of identity at any price?
I am discovering that identity is not something given, once and for all. Perhaps there is never a fixed point at which I can say, “I am that.” Life is a process, upheaval, reversal, change and a continuous process of becoming. If I can be brave enough to welcome change and the pains it can cause, I may never have to fear the vertigo of nothingness or the madness of distraction that becomes self-destruction.
Fear thrives on distractions. Love thrives on presence. — Alan Cohen
February 19, 2008 was the date of my last blog. So much has happened since then. Much of the time I felt depressed. There were days that would run into one another. Long, endless days. Days in which I simply couldn’t or wouldn’t get out of bed. There were many times of intense anxiety during which my mind played games with me, blinding me to see any beacon of hope. I truly couldn’t see any real possibility of coming through the stressors that I faced. I failed to see any good in life. When I wasn’t curled up in bed, I would be quickly sailing through one mood swing to another. Anyone in my way along this vacillation of moods was sure to be quickly cut down by some sarcastic remark I hurled at them. My mood swings triggered some very negative reactions in my partner as a result. Any thing wrong in my life, our life, or his life I quickly pointed the finger of blame right at him. It didn’t take long before I alienated myself from even his support. I felt so alone, yet continued to alienate myself from everyone.
Not that there were that many people to alienate myself from this past month. The past year has found my partner and I eliminating those individuals from our life that were negative, users, or involved in our life when using drugs. Unfortunately, some good people became casualties in this process. I can see how in my desire to avoid people, I put them into the same elimination process of dismissal. The loneliness that resulted only perpetuated and deepened my depression and mood swings.
Days and nights were spent sleeping, interrupted by periodic attacks of anxiety which would cause pain in my chest so severe and a loss of breath so tight in the chest that each time I thought that surely I would die. But death didn’t come, my problems grew around me, and I couldn’t or wouldn’t deal with them. I was afraid. Lost, alone and afraid.
The list of what I saw as problems, or challenges is so long and far too tedious for me to list here for you, but the main issues were of financial problems, putting my partner’s mother into her final resting place (she transitioned on January 23, 2008 and we didn’t have the money to pay the funeral home for her burial), relationship issues, a longing for the life I once had, guilt and a feeling that I was not adequately caring for our growing family of animals (now 3 dogs, 3 cats, and one parrot), our lack of health insurance, medical concerns and I’m sure there’s more that I could include if I gave it some more thought. But suffice it to say, my world felt heavy, unpleasant and sick.
I wish I could say that I am beyond this latest round of depression; that it’s behind me. But I can’t. Things look better to me. A number of what seemed to be huge, voluminous challenges, have turned out to be almost “non-issues” once they were faced. A big part of my problem was the way I wouldn’t deal with my fears. As my partner withdrew from me, I was no longer receivi9ng his support or help in solving issues which were jointly ours. The turning point came with the addition of another very, very large stressor.
One evening about four weeks ago, my partner got off the phone and said that a dear friend of his – someone who opened her home to him and supported him for nearly two years, was in trouble. She lost her home, and had no where to go along with her two Pit Bull mix female dogs. The primary friendship is between my partner and his friend, and knowing how indebted he has always felt toward her for that long period of love, nurturing and support, the decision to open our home to her and her two dogs came easily. Of course. We’d make it work somehow. This friend Linda’s dogs are Sadie and Sierra, two litter mates that are seven years old. These dogs have always been known to be protective, aggressive and have bitten a number of people during the course of their life. They are known to attack and kill smaller animals, like cats and small dogs. Great. We have three cats and three small dogs (the third dog, Rascal became part of our family after Christopher’s mother died. We gave Rascal to her for Christmas a few years ago). We set up residence for the cats in one bedroom, the dogs in another. Sadie and Sierra would have the living room. It seemed as though it would work just fine.
That first night, Christopher was going into the bedroom where the cats were being kept, and one of them got out, headed straight for Sadie and Sierra. He panicked, running to rescue the cat. Sadie and Sierra attacked Christopher, biting deep into the muscle of his right leg. The pain was severe, that I could tell. It was his shock and fear of the way in which the dogs turned on him that lingered and was difficult to shake. Linda wanted to pack up an leave that night. We weren’t going to let her do that. She had nowhere to go. Again, we’d make it work somehow.
We carefully made our way through the next two days, but in the evening of that third night, I opened the bedroom door and out ran our twenty-six year old cat, Cinder. He was lumbering right between the two growling and aggressive Sadie and Sierra. I panicked. I started screaming at them to get back! Stop! Now they weren’t going after the cat. It was me they were after. They started jumping up my back, biting at me as they lept. Their weight and strength caused me to slip and fall onto the tile floor in the living room. They wildly bit at my backside and both legs. I couldn’t get up! I felt as though I were moving in slow motion in a nightmare. I screamed so loud and at the same time looked back and could see the bared teeth of each dog biting into me. Linda wasn’t home. Christopher came running down the hallway screaming like a maniac scaring them off of me. By this time however, the attack caused so many bites to me, and the jeans I was wearing were nearly shredded from their teeth. While Christopher kept them away from me, I ran to the bedroom. All I could think to do was take a shower. I cried hysterically, and couldn’t get the fierce image of those dogs biting at me out of my mind. I still can’t shake that memory.
Christopher placed a call to Linda on her cell phone and she was back home within minutes. She took the dogs outside for what seemed to be hours. Again, she felt she should leave, and again we said “stay”. We’d make it work out. As strange as this may seem, it has worked out. Gradually, I have come to increase my trust of Sadie and Sierra, and we are all more cognizant of our movements in the house, as well as the placement of each animal. Most who hear this story can’t understand why any of this would be allowed to happen. That we’d bring this into our home, complicating life so dramatically, disrupting so much of what once was our routine. I say, this is our commitment to someone who has given so much of herself. She continues to give of herself, going beyond any expectation of reciprocity in a roommate type situation. Linda is quite easy to get along with as a roommate, as she pulls more than her share of responsibility. She has given me the motivation to move forward in life, and face my fears.
To me, Linda has been an incredible listener, gently asking if I am open to her feedback. She has seen the areas where my fear leads to inaction and ultimately becoming an even greater and more dangerous problem. In those situations, she has taken me by the hand and committed herself to helping me; being at my side, asking questions I may have missed, devising solutions, and ultimately resolving problems. This has been such a burden lifted from my shoulders. It’s the support and guidance I am in need of for now, all given without creating any codependency. It all feels so healthy to me. I’ll share more of this past month’s developments, and the progress we’re all making here in our home.