Friday, June 13, 2008

"Good drama must be drastic." ---Unknown

"A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and a drama to an otherwise dull day."

---Bill Watterson

"The ideals which have lighted me on my way and time after time given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. . . . The ordinary objects of human endeavour -- property, outward success, luxury -- have always seemed to me contemptible."

---Albert Einstein

"There are no whole truths: all truths are half-truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil."

---Alfred North Whitehead

"The personal life deeply lived always expands into truths beyond itself."

---Anais Nin

"We know the truth, not only by the reason, but by the heart."

---Blaise Pascal

"Postmodernists believe that truth is myth, and myth, truth. This equation has its roots in pop psychology. The same people also believe that emotions are a form of reality. There used to be another name for this state of mind. It used to be called psychosis."

---Brad Holland

"It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power."

---Alan Cohen

"It must be admitted that there is a degree of instability which is inconsistent with civilization. But, on the whole, the great ages have been unstable ones."

---Alfred North Whitehead

"What a man believes upon grossly insufficient evidence is an index into his desires -- desires of which he himself is often unconscious. If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way."

---Bertrand Russell

"Man seeks to escape himself in myth, and does so by any means at his disposal. Drugs, alcohol, or lies. Unable to withdraw into himself, he disguises himself. Lies and inaccuracy give him a few moments of comfort."

---Jean Cocteau

"As an organizer I start from where the world is, as it is, not as I would like it to be."

---Saul Alinsky

"If you must tell me your opinions, tell me what you believe in. I have plenty of douts of my own."

---Johann von Goethe

"Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth."

---Benjamin Disraeli

"Three passions have governed my life: The longings for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of [humankind].
Love brings ecstasy and relieves loneliness. In the union of love I have seen In a mystic miniature the prefiguring vision of the heavens that saints and poets have imagined.

With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of [people]. I have wished to know why the stars shine.

Love and knowledge led upwards to the heavens, But always pity brought me back to earth; Cries of pain reverberated in my heart of children in famine, of victims tortured and of old people left helpless. I long to alleviate the evil, but I cannot, And I too suffer.

This has been my life; I found it worth living. "

---Bertrand Russell

Somewhere along my Way I learned melodrama. And with melodrama I soon failed to recognize my true emotions. For many years I felt ignored and/or abandoned by my family. And as a result, I often played the martyr or the human rights activist. I suppose that is what birth orders and individual life experiences create in people's lives...a certain uniqueness, a flavor, a personality, a path to tread.

There was a halloween when I was in grade school that sent me emotionally over the top. I remember it distinctly. My dad was frequently gone on business. His visits home were very special to me. My brother, Doug, and I got into a tiff while my parents went out to do errands. Doug chased me throughout the house with a big stick. He ran outside, and I locked him out. Not to be deterred, he knocked the screen in on the front door. When Dad and Mom got home, we both got in big trouble. We were grounded for over a week.

The deal, in my opinion , was highly unbalanced. Doug was in 7th grade. He no longer Trick or Treated, or went to Fun Night. I did both. And I was going to miss out on both due to the grounding.

Plus, Doug chased me with the stick. He tore the screen. I just locked myself inside the house to keep from being knocked upside the head. And he would have done just that: BAMM!!!

When I got the "unjust" sentence, I blew into a severe rage. The day is still quite memorable (at least the major parts are). I threw things. I screamed. I did whatever I could to force my meager power onto my parents and my brother. I am sure my dad was ready to go back to work that week! Nevertheless he held out and added to my sentence.

I think that particular rage was a precursor to my manic episodes. It was an emotional tirade that just got intensely out of control. It got the best of me. I was immersed in a vortex of emotion that mocked the best tornadoes. I never did forgive my parents for the unequal punishment I received during that holiday. [I guess I should, huh???]

I learned at an early age that I lacked physical strength compared to my three older brothers. Actually, there was a brief period where Doug's strength and my strength were fairly similar. But, in the long run I came up short all the way around. There were many instances where my brothers would overpower me physically and mentally. And those many defeating lessons created my ungodly temper tantrums to come. I couldn't win. So, I made a powerful nuisance of myself so the brother(s) in question would be just as miserable as me. The method had its merits or I would have ceased using it. Yet, somewhere along my Way I lost control when my emotions would become intense. It was a damning repercussion.

And, eventually, I lost a huge part of myself. Everything in my world became somewhat confusing. I desisted in learning how to modify my thoughts so that I could retain a semblance of order in my life. Furthermore, I often repressed my thoughts and emotions when I dealt with outsiders (a.k.a., non-family members), so there was constant physical suffering under the surface that I had no idea was brewing and causing damage.

By my early twenties, my methods for emotional and stress management began to lose their vitality. My body gave way to horrible depressions. I would often take long naps to conserve my energy---to get me through the day. I developed many short term illnesses that broke my overall physical system down piece by piece.

And when I turned 21, I began participating in activities that were highly self-destructive. I was drinking in excess. My sexuality was flagrant---hyper. I hated myself. I couldn't make the world stop long enough for me to breathe. I felt terror a lot. My thoughts got darker and darker.

In the summer of my junior year of college, I became manic for the first time. I did have some assistance. It wasn't all emotional mumbo jumbo. I was put on Prozac a couple months prior to my manic break. My new doctor assumed I was clinically depressed so he misdiagnosed me as such. He couldn't see the highs in my behavior or demeanor. [I frequently wonder whether my illness would have gotten so bad if I hadn't been prescribed an anti-depressant in the first place.] {{I still cannot take anti-depressants at all. I will fly through the "glass ceiling" if I do. If I become depressed, I just have to survive the blackened mind-state naturally and with shear determination.}}

Skipping ahead, I have gotten quite adept at my disease, Bipolar Disorder. I have been in 16 years of psychotherapy as well as 16 years of psychiatric medicine. Over the last six years, I have gained an understanding about my thoughts and emotions. My thoughts create my emotions.

I watched soap operas for 25 years. I lived for dramatic TV series. I loved movies that made me weep or soar. Now I scarcely watch TV and I rarely go to the movies. I realized a few years ago that the need for drama considerably influenced my decision-making (especially in my relationships). I enjoyed the rush of emotions that drama produced. And then...I discovered a new path.

The first biggie is that I must stay in the now. If something is not happening at this moment, then I must breathe and deal with only the moment. This is huge for me! I can't tell you how this method of thinking helps me overcome situations. It is a practice, for sure, but each time I experience a success, I grow emotionally.

The other big change has come about fairly recently. I am learning to adjust my thoughts so that I sense my ability to co-create my life. I am creating positive affirmations which are designed to attract the desires of my heart. I am dispelling my negative belief systems so that I can "see" a whole and powerful future.

I, actually, feel the difference. It is great. When something unexpected happens, the first thing I do is stop. I visualize a path of openness---a path of heart-centeredness. And I move into the healing space.

We are often taught powerlessness. I sure felt that as a girl growing up in my childhood home. But, I am no longer a child, and I have learned how to empower myself. It is not healthy to get caught up in roller coaster realities. It is not good for your emotional body nor your physical body.

Eastern philosophies have spoken volumes to me about anger. Instead of repressing negative feelings, Eastern belief systems suggest you hold the anger like an infant. You watch it, you nurture it, you remain separate from it. And you let it pass.

As I have learned how to dispell drama, I have learned how to confront people more definitively. Instead of losing myself in run away thoughts, I step forward and really listen to what is being said. I reassure myself that no physical harm will come to me as a result of speaking my mind. And I say my truth. As the person speaks in turn, I reassure myself that anything that is said to me is not to be absorbed personally because each thing that is said is coming from the person's perspective and experience with the world.

The thing about America, is that we all have the opportunity to extend ourselves past our tribal upbringings. We are not tied to our families once we are 18. If we feel a tie, it can be broken. Emotional and energetic patterns are in existence so that we can recognize and choose our life paths. We have the ability to seek awareness of such patterns and then to take action to overcome anything in those patterns that hinder our growth and development. It can feel cumbersome with some things, but it is not impossible. Be persistent, and listen to your will.

As we create our lives, we simply need to choose our thoughts and manifest them into action one word at a time. The actions are not our focus. The thoughts are our focus. Our thoughts will make our Way or break our Way. But everything is available to us to shift us into the Oneness reality always.

We feel separation the minute we are born. But we are One with all that IS. We can remove our feeling of separateness by surrounding ourselves with thoughts of unison. Every day can become a day made for togetherness. It is a matter of programming.

As I have learned to love myself and get that we are all infinitely woven together within the Divine Matrix, I have let go of many of the large chunks of drama in my world. Again, it is a process, one that takes time and effort. But, love now empowers me to think through every moment. I follow the heart that leads me into new layers of understanding. My emotions mellow and become so much more managable. My Post Traumatic Stress Disorder becomes less and less trigger-happy. My adrenaline still floods through me on occasion; but overall, I am so much healthier. I am finally able to flow with most of my life experiences. And I am very grateful that I learned that drama is fun to watch on TV or in a movie theater, but it is not good to live with dramatic influences. Thinking becomes highly impaired as the emotions go from high to low. And that is entirely unnecessary!

Being level-headed, flowing with life rather than trying to control it, is much easier on the body. As I get to know my heart, I learn how to watch the "negative" circumstances without getting intimately involved. I learn how to watch things come and go---to watch things pass. Because they always do. Afterall, "This too shall pass."

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