DEEPLY AWAKE By Kathy Vik
I found it very helpful to write, and I realized, after my last essay’s publication, that three weeks, maybe four, that’s a long time to go between missives. I have gotten used to holding thought, these thoughts, longer, I guess, the koans a bit closer to the bone, the structural reordering profound, and simple, and loud, and soft, all at once.
This week has felt like school at times, and it has been truly phenomenal, I think, maybe one of the best, in some ways. Altering. And, of course there is a side car just loaded full of weird.
The details really don’t matter. Insert your own brand of chaos and unhappiness here. We all have them. The things, that if you think on em too hard, if you let it sneak in, stretch out, and let it drink a beer, it changes into something you don’t want riding along with you, something vaguely murderous.
If you’ve never done this, then, I deem you mentally fit. But, for those of us, those who can obsess and think and cogitate well and thoroughly, well, it’s easy to get swept away with scary and bad thoughts. Fits of rage. Jealousy. Regret. Remorse. These things, oh, they blow cold, ice cold, once the winds start whipping me, with all the examples, just look at them! The wind whistles and screams.
This week, it ended with a bang. And, I saw myself react so strongly, with so much emotion, and it was beyond my willingness to reign in. I am a passionate person, on just a few things. Just a couple.
But, here’s the thing.
One of these issues was witnessing watching people behave so destructively toward those they should be treating like gold. There is considerable collateral damage, and just a lot of emotional chaos we all are aware of and must negotiate, one way or the other.
You’d think the idea would be to create a safe, sane, fun, harmonious environment. I mean, people do their best work when they understand messing up will not result in punishment but help. My friends have come to the same conclusion. And, we are in an environment that doesn’t feel like that.
So, I sought counsel. Good and true counsel.
And I came away with a lot of peace, a lot of confirmation. I couldn’t accept such help years ago, because, to someone really feeling a lot of pain, or overreacting, basically, this approach looks and even feels discompassionate.
Although I believe that life is an exercise in active creation, and that passivity is misunderstanding our roles and our power, there is a state of non action, what some call a null place, or a zero point, that comes to me now. Rather than filling me with rage and just terrific feelings of aloneness, abandonment, now, these same thoughts feel good, and make me laugh, and help me not to worry.
And that’s where I am going with this, you see, there is always more, but, I had to start somewhere.
The question has been put to me repeatedly, and none more gently and fatherly than yesterday, “Or, Kathy, you could let it not bother you.”
I could let it not bother me.
You see, I fight against this like a rabid dog, because I have a firm belief, have built my life on it, that it’s what bothers me that leads me home.
It’s the conflict that has driven me. It’s the contrast, the variety, actually.
And so, I had an opportunity to cry my deepest soul cry last night, one of those that just makes a person howl at the moon. Mine? That, this lifetime, I didn’t have that one special person to walk through life.
Man, that kills me dead sometimes.
I didn’t have that. I was married. Five, six years. I nearly died, I think four times, maybe five. I couldn’t take it. We were doing our conflicts, of course, but, my programming made me feel I was hated, being disregarded, disconnected, but, appearing connected. I didn’t like it, and I married someone I didn’t know how to care for, and that’s on me. It was disservice to him in some respects, but, we were willing participants, and we had a mission, that’s for sure. It’s pretty clear, looking back, we are very significant to one another, forever tied now, and the things we did to each other, and for each other, they were done in love, soul to soul, and we’d had to do. We’d agreed to. I married my dad, he married his mom, we hated and loved those parents, so, yeah. Volatile.
Lots of love, so many good and rich relationships, so much fun, and so much love. I look back and feel honored to have been a part of those people’s lives. Short or long term, I loved them all. But, there was no one, in the end, that one, who was always there, because they gave a damn. I didn’t have that, always yearned for it. I smile. That’s what makes me howl at the moon.
Why bring all of this up? What ‘s the point?
Last night, walking to the car after a truly wonderful and bizarre call out, I felt the most bizarre and funny sensation. I could see so clearly that there are really two of me. It’s been bothering me a little, my perception, and what is going on.
I thought it might be good, a couple days ago I considered it, just writing down a list of things that I know I do now, just routinely, but that I still feel are really really foreign. I mean, that’s the feeling I get a lot. I am acting more and more in ways I just sometimes played with three years ago. I think that’s what’s happening, but, I want to explain further.
As I walked to the car, I laughed out loud at how I had behaved earlier, how I held myself and spoke. It was so out of character, and so natural, and so odd, that I really couldn’t make much sense of it.
But I liked it.
And I laughed, and muttered and laughed some more as I unlocked the car and headed south again.
I need to make that list, I thought. No longer an idle thought, it felt more like a good way to feel better and anchor this in.
I didn’t do a graph because I had already done my thing to it in my head, categories and subsets, enjoying making it just way too complicated and linear. I do not think that is the best way for me to examine things. So, here I am.
I could let it not bother me.
I could choose to not feel enraged. Indignant. Scared. Threatened. Bereft.
And so, this is not rocket science, and I have of course known this to be true for a long time. And, like I said, rather than giving me peace, my natural response was, oh, yeah, you’re right. I’ll just sit here and not feel. Great.
It wasn’t for me. It spoke of repression and denial and a lack of passion and emotion and color and song and sentiment. Colorless and flat, but, here I am, and it’s not the arid wasteland of passionless detachment that I figured it would be.
It’s actually funny as hell, and a lot of fun.
Things begin to look a little ridiculous.
That soul cry of mine?
From a different level of consciousness, one that is swimming very luxuriously at the moment in heady, warm waters of gratitude, oh hell, I had so much love and fun with so many good people. People who changed me, helped me learn and heal and shelter. Are you kidding me? Besides, honestly, after what I witnessed as a kid, I had no faith in the institution of marriage. I saw it as a prison. When I married, I turned the analogy into a roller coaster, which I liked more. It still is one, and I like that too. We coast, mostly, but, we’re riding it together, in some ways.
I am riding many roller coasters with many loved ones, and I am not shy about that. I have had enough of oddly sudden, inexplicable, permanent separations in my life. Those I hold close know they are my family and we are always connected. They all feel and say the same.
So, how alone have I been?
How much gratitude does howling at the moon produce, keening for things I chose not to experience this lifetime?
Seems a bit odd, and then, sort of embarrassing, at a certain point.
That was the only thoughts coming through this morning.
That and a bruise-purple, sharp tangy feeling that comes to me when I realize the depth of my ignorance on a point. And nothing makes me feel this more than realizing how ugly ingratitude is. How ugly it is to think low about things in my life that are good. Oh, that’s not a good feeling, but, when it comes around, I don’t need much of it anymore. It is potent, you know? I let it straighten my spine, and then I smile, and I know, just, know, that I have been blessed in ways that are as rich as they are unconventional.
And that is what I realized this morning, about this cleaving, about being two people at once.
The idea is unity, right? And so, that’s been my conundrum this morning. How to weave the two together. Last night, it seemed as if this new thing, this weirdly wonderful person I am becoming was just out and playing a bit to hard. It was like that all day, to some degree, with spikes of just poison, the old stuff coming through in sharp bursts that my body felt, my emotions interpreted, and I assigned meaning to.
And, there it is.
There it is.
I had an opportunity recently to talk with someone extraordinary.
With every single sentence, it mattered not what I said, she dissected it. She ran the probabilities, she did it out loud, and she didn’t even know what she was doing. She was doing disaster drills. She was running scenarios, and she sat there and made herself very unwell indeed.
I noticed, as we talked, that all the scenarios were dark, they involved themes of being hurt, being slighted, being ignored, being alone, so alone.
You see, there are no accidents, and I felt like I was at school. Now you know why. Scenes such as this were in my field of vision all day, object lessons, murmuring whispers saying, look, see yourself, see? See the choices being made.
I saw myself in her. I saw my disaster drills, saw the panic I naturally feel as I encounter something that, if it happened, I would only want to run away from crying.
Last night it came to me again. While on that call, there was an odd moment, a funny situation, and I chose to think what I thought what I was seeing, and then I acted from there. I saw a threat. There was no threat. That has stuck with me. There was no threat. We parted friends, hugging, but, my oh my, it didn’t start that way.
Again and again I have had the thought broadcast to me, with great affection and warmth, a wonderful warm glow sets in when all of a sudden, in line at the grocery store or driving the car, or whatever, it hits, There are no punishments. It is clear. It is a fact, when that feeling and thought comes over me. It’s obvious. There are no punishments here. Even when I react poorly. Even when I surprise myself. Even then.
And so, this cleaving, this changing. I think it is a turning from thoughts that are distressing.
And I want to tell you why.
This is the best part.
The things that each of us have that make us feel like we have done this all wrong, or, oh, this one is a good one, the one that goes I didn’t get what I wanted, what I needed, what I asked for, what I deserve.
That’s rich, isn’t it?
You can dress it up a lot of different ways, but, self pity is self pity is self pity, and self pity is uglier than anything. I have always thought, in my more humble and bigger times, that self pity is the original sin. It is that from which much poison flows.
And, the thought, the one that hit me and hit me again this morning.
Simple. Elegant. Not shaming, but, strong, let’s say.
When you disparage your life, your story, you are disparaging your own work, and the creator, The All, in the process. You are misunderstanding. You chose these things. All of them. All of them. All of them. Are you going to hate yourself, hate your choices, or are you going to love them?
And then, I made coffee.
So, I do not believe things just come to me, I believe they are part of the weave, and they come to me. Nothing is random, and yet, I see myself shake and quiver, I feel the burst of hot tears, I love the shudder of pleasure I have when I laugh like I do, and I think, well, there has to be a happy medium.
I do feel like there is a shedding of the skin, and it’s really not that unusual. I think many of us have experienced such things. Fevers, comas, accidents, things that reset us, change us, sometimes drastically. But, you see, I am of the belief that we are big souls. And that when we have a change in personality or approach or, say we have a fever or some other thing that we come out of and feel different from, well, I think that sometimes it’s that another part of ourselves have come to us, come home, in a way. Maybe even a helper. But, we are then somehow more, and different, and then, we have to adjust.
I know that we cannot access the higher vibratory fields with fear clinging to us.
What I was struck with last night was this script that is always running, that I am more and more aware of. Self definitions play, and dissonance ensues. I am shy. I am small. I am meek. I must be quiet. I must not have feelings. I must not share opinions. Corollaries to these thoughts are feelings of smallness, hopelessness, powerlessness, despair.
And yet, I realized, this is not how I am acting, no not at all. I am, for the most part, so big, so confident, so off the chain and funny and loud and big that good god, I need to tone it down a little. I’m a charmer, and a talker, but mostly I’m a charmer. I am not meek, not at all.
So, what do I do with this? Self definitions take paces and duel? Is there a death of this old stuff? Does it simply become irrelevant, not something that keeps the attention?
It seemed unsolvable last night. To be so clearly of two minds, two totally different perspectives. Because, big me, I have no fear, not a lot, really. And I am so friendly, so much fun, put everyone at their ease, while being just really hard to get a long with if I get mad and start feeling not respected.
This is a big big ego I’m describing I think, but the weird part, is it came from this teeny tiny seed, covered in dirt; from decades of having real good evidence that I was small and someone easily harmed. It is such a puzzle to me, and maybe it is the source of this blind spot I have, the one with “Self Worth” written on it.
I think, sometimes, that it has not been easy for people to know what to do with me. I don’t share it, but, yeah, I have odd behaviors and am a bit on the Asperger’s side, if you had to diagnose it. It’s not all the time, but I am easily over stimulated, and there’s a host of just oddness that I find I do that feels totally natural to me, that makes little sense to others, though they are kind to me and accommodate. It’s hard to explain, but, it’s there. I think it’s cute. I have gotten in trouble, and even lost a job, because I don’t give eye contact. It’s not something it think to avoid. It’s just hardwired for me to not look.
In choir practice the other night, I considered that. I thought about how I feel when people give me eye contact. I feel very seen and loved and honored, when I get it. I know I have been seen.
And so, I thought, maybe I could work on that. Just that one thing. Just putting my eyes down more and looking, and then not looking scared, but, instead, smiling. I could try that set of behaviors, I thought. I am always afraid that whose eyes I catch will be upset I am looking at them, that I have invaded them somehow. That’s why I don’t like giving it. It feels so invasive to me.
But, maybe it’s time to try something now, I thought.
The place felt friendlier as I did it. I realized as I continued that I have made so many people disappear. This was not a problem all my life, not like this. Maybe I am now aware of the effects. I don’t know.
But, there are behaviors which are actually choices, and that is the best news yet.
Bouron speaks of this, it is a central them. Once one has addressed these issues, the conflicts that fuel us, as they are brought to conclusion, their spell broken, then, well, then. Then it is a different ball game.
He would smile, and then he would say, “Then, you get to choose.”
No longer innately reacting to stimuli in your way, the way you always deal with it, and then, one day, dealing with it from choice, and not from that emotional lurch one gets when one’s worth or self of self is pushed.
You know, Kathy, you could let it not bother you.
And, was this not my central problem? Hearing such lush words of freedom and expansion, and thinking, yeah, right, buddy. Sure. And what do I do with this mess inside me that shakes my tree when someone does something that no one else finds all that awful. What then, big brain? Go sell your snake oil to someone who can believe in it.
That’s how it was.
And now, it is different. It is a choice between gratitude and self pity.
I do not believe the opposite of fear is love. I have said that clearly here. Love has no opposite. Fear seems big because it is meant to shut down our thinking, clamp down on our vision, make us feel wounded, get us into, or keep us in survival. That’s all.
Fear is about survival.
If there are no punishments, and I am choosing, a part of me is, the bigger part of me, these situations and encounters, then, I think it might be best to not use that old, blunt tool, fear. I well remember my life up until things got better, in 11, in 12… I’ll be the first to say it, there were punishments. People were more punitive, and some of them remain very punitive to this day. It’s not like it’s disappeared, and it is a behavior which has an effect. But, the point is not that. The point is that if we are not in survival, fear is a pretty obsolete and clunky tool to be using.
I think that’s the point.
I am not in survival. Even when I was only bringing in a few dollars, we were never in survival, not really.
And things have sweetened, and lightened, and it is more and more obvious that instead of being hunted by wild jackals, poor I, weak enough to be killed for sport, the truth is that this is a romp, and the jackals are not that bright, and they bring contrast to a pretty sweet world. If they can’t kill me, and if they can’t really hurt me, then, well, I guess I could let them not bother me.
And not having this one thing, again, you can fill in the blank with the thing that sort of can keep you up at night and get you crying if you think too hard on it, that one? Well, here’s the thing.
I remember Bouron talking about this. It was in relation to biological imprinting of the fetus with the psychological imprints and conflicts of the parents. And one of these constellations is called “the impossible nest.”
There really is such a thing. I didn’t know whether to laugh or just whistle when it was presented. Oh, yeah, I’ve been all over that one. All over it.
And it is a simple one to break, one that was never, ever mine, but the patterning is strong, and I do believe these patterns, they are patterns of consciousness, they are patterns of expectation, of meaning, of reality, constructed from all available significances, we carefully pick the ones we ourselves place on this situation or that phone call.
What is distressing to one is the other’s nirvana. It has nothing to do with the thing. It has to do with the observer of the thing.
And so, how nicely quantum we went, looking at this cleaving, looking at reality construction, looking at feelings and behaviors and thoughts.
I realize my conflicts are not yours. We each have our own take on things.
And this is the nice part about having unpacked and rummaged and streamlined my insides, I think. Through the years, I have always believed that if I’m not working on myself, I’m not working. It matters that I am ok inside myself, with myself and with others.
And I had not been.
I can see it now, with others as willing mirrors, sometimes, some who judge everything as slight, some who judge nothing, some who judge all as good. But, they are choices, some borne of these tightly embedded patterns of thinking, lying there hoping they’ll be examined. Once they are, all bets are off.
Because, here is the truth of it, the thing that rides underneath, and lifts it off the ground, makes it float and glide. All the stuff that makes you feel awful about life? The thoughts that turn everything dark and cold? They aren’t true.
They aren’t true.
Anything dark and cold, that squeezes the heart and punches the chest, well, I am thinking that is a very powerful and visceral and therefore fun experience, a valid one, but, living there, choosing from there, speaking from there, that’s what causes problems. Because the assumptions are negative and not positive. I know them by feel, now.
My old boss had a maxim. When things would get crazy or chaotic or begin to look dark, she would chide us, and say, always assume positive intent.
I think the maxim of don’t let it bother you, when said at a certain pitch, includes this truth, that intent is positive, no punishments here, it’s a ride, and it’s safe. It’s all safe.
And now, maybe this cleaving can begin to mend. Because, really, I think I hear arguing. I think I might be hearing a scared kid watching all of these good changes, and she finally on Friday put a stop to it and screamed, hey, over here. That’s not how things are. Things are not easy, and I am not liked, and I am passed over and all that crap.
To get my attention, I think she’s been putting on shows, and I have felt it all, all the confusion and pain that comes from believing things that are distressing.
Isn’t that a lot of it? Choosing what to think about something, assigning it benevolence or malevolence? I saw one person do that, every single motion, every single thought parsed and exhausted, fear scenarios running from her like Medusa’s hair.
I see now that the easier thinking is more frequent, more easy to access, and comes over me as I steady, there are moments when I am overcome. I am overcome sometimes, it’s true. Sometimes I let it posses and release me, and it can be rage. It can be love. It can be gratitude. It can be that feeling of god itself, and it can be white hot fury, and even that is ok, anymore, because it isn’t forever, and each time I do it, I know I’m saying good bye, because it happens less frequently, and is easier to negotiate, and I return again to my core, from where all the light shoes and tantrums seem to originate.
So, I think this is a form of mental health, not mental illness. I like the idea that there are patterns at play that aren’t necessarily even mine, but were ever so useful for creating a reality which produced, well, me. Once I see them, then I can agree to continue them, or maybe make a tweak or two.
Simply put, it is about being able to choose, more and more, and more easily, what to think, how to feel.
I don’t think the goal, for me, is placidity. I think that I don’t like to do that so much. I had a lifetime of that, and I don’t have to behave that way anymore if I don’t want to. And, I don’t want to. I like being open, and gregarious and I like talking. With this comes a very large does of oddness, and I accept that. I am learning ways to put people at ease, including eye contact.
So, can people change?
I have many people who have known me a very long time, and they can attest that I am much more like I was in my healthy periods. I had periods of reprieve from the work. Years when I flowered, came to, morphed into something more, something soft and strong and utterly beautiful, especially to me.
And I think we do this with those accidents and traumas and illnesses, and I think it happens sometimes when we confront something in our lives we are completely ill equipped for., we get help, reinforcements, and I think sometimes, now more than ever, good things can make this switch happen, too. It’s not just pain that can flip the switch, but, encountering the electricity running through the system.
As we age and deepen energetically, more of us can be contained in the body, more depth and humor and information, and oh so much changeability.
So, yes, this is a bizarre process, but one for which I do have assistance, teachers, friends.
They say that ascension is the end of one incarnation, and the creation of another, in the same body. Something that we used to have to die to achieve. I know this to be a central postulate, one The Teachers said often. I think that is metaphor. I think it’s about raising vibration, more light in the cells, more contact with the spin. We are able to just switch to different agreement fields, lighter ones, less burdensome, perhaps.
And so, I have something very soothing to leave you with.
I went to a lecture on quantum physics, and I heard the words. Once they were delivered, I could leave, I wanted to, because then they sat around and picked apart instead of going into it. There is so much there.
There is a super massive black hole in space. It pulses while it puzzles the scientists. They think there must be some sort of invisible negative or anti matter thing that is pushing and pulling.
But, what has come light is that this is a force. A multidimensional force. It is one of two. It is what runs through us, pulsing through us, allowing electron to pop into our fields and dance with its neutron.
I felt the spin as he talked. This pulse, this field this energy, this spin, it is also within our cells, in our DNA. It is our DNA. And this force, it is to God Factor. It is divinity. It is creativity. It is purest physics. It is consciousness. It is information. It is information. It is information. It is love. It is benevolence beyond our comprehension. It is joy.
And what is out there, keeping scientists are their desks late at night, that is the same stuff that is in my physical cells, yours too. Yours too.
So. I liked that. I felt good then. It felt good to hear someone non spiritual, with knowledge of accepted math, who cares enough to wade through that dumbed down system to get there, to tell us, to remind us, what is beyond our comprehension is within our beings, our vehicles, and it is consciousness itself.
I end by telling a truth. It is a simple one, but one I have never said, and will never regret speaking here.
I know things that others cannot even begin to think about. I know that.
I know that if I am given a problem, a human problem, I’ll be able to make everything work out pretty good. It’s what I get paid to do, and I do it well.
I know that I hold wisdom.
I appear ridiculous sometimes. I do. But, I know things. I am things. I can do things. And, this is the part of me who wanted and who got and who needed an extraordinary life. An unconventional one. I did not need or want convention. And I did poorly when I tried it, unconscious as I was, poor dear.
I have long known that many of these foibles are to defang me. It is easier for a fool to speak truth than a warrior, when in company of mock warriors. So, often, that has been my fall back. Let them underestimate me. It’s easier.
And now, well, as these descriptions play, and the visuals come over me, and I know that the eye of god, the thing that is behind it all, the one, this same essence, now proven courses in me, in you, in every human being.
Sometimes, at rehearsal, or at work, or at home, I think about this. I feel so steady then. So still. So calm. So calm.
And how I am approached, and how I react, these become interesting, and fun to explore, but no longer life or death, no longer defining me as good, bad, present, or absent.
And so, I think it is merely the spinning off, the lifting up, the shift, of just very gradually moving into, then resting from, then moving into this peace, this quiet peace, because, here, after a week of examination and a Friday of final exams, I think I can say with more certainty that what is more solid and true and good feeling is what actually might be closer to the overall theme of this endeavor. Benevolence. Fun. Love. Creativity.
And there is great creativity in chaos and suffering and deeply felt emotion. It’s part of it, this duality. But, perhaps it too is defanged now, Trigger, response, resolution, it seems, until even that becomes so quick, so painless, so fun, that it’s just different. It is done in a wink o f an eye, and it is then just called making a choice.
Today I choose to not let it bother me, whatever it might be. I have no “it”, at the moment. But, if it shows up, I going to try something new. The eye contact thing worked pretty good, so, I’ll do this. I’ll not let it bother me.