Deeply Awake — Neutrality 1-8-13 By Kathy Vik
It has been quite awhile since I have had words enough to spare in the act of writing. My thoughts, concepts, and my reality have all been somewhat misshapen, to a degree, as if a baby giraffe is wriggling under the wrapping paper I placed her in months ago. Odd, subtly miasmic, obvious in its symbology.
It’s been fun playing with symbols lately. I am not able to look at digital clocks without seeing symbology, messages. I know that the psychiatric community might mislabel this “ideas of reference.” They are an imaginative and creative bunch.
Now, though, something else is happening.
I have perceived myself to have been in the bottleneck for some time now, maybe since Thanksgiving did I start to make this shift.
Thanksgiving was the first time I had a sustained conscious altered state. It lasted the day and into the night. It was sainted. It was holy. I was glowing. It was a day among days.
Christmas Eve ranks high, too. That moment when I saw, felt, knew this reality for the stuff it is. I perceived, somehow, in a way that I yearn to know constantly the density and vibrancy and aliveness of this reality, this focus. Becoming aware of it was a place so divinely clear, so perfectly and utterly benevolent, so breathtakingly joyous.
These have been coming on with less intensity but more frequency lately.
I want to share two weird things that have altered me, or maybe I altered them.
First, the neighbor I give shots to for her disease, been doing that for years and years. Just after Christmas my car died, and I was canceled, and things are slim financially right now. My ex got the towing done for free, but the car will be $900 to fix. I won’t have that money until Friday.
To be able to get to work to earn the money I needed to fix the car so that I could remain employed, I asked my neighbor, the one I give shots to, if I could use her car to get back and forth to work. She’s a genuine hazard behind the wheel, and didn’t seem to be a big stretch. I asked nicely, I negotiated. She agreed. And things got weird.
The groveling started. Somewhere along the line, it became some weird dance or agreement, her car for my dignity. She started accusing me of weirder and weirder stuff, and her behavior became increasingly hostile. She still expected her shots, of course.
Well, I left a stocking cap in the car, forgot it was there. She thought my son had left it there, and she yelled at him when she saw him in the hallway. He sort of ran away from her, which infuriated her, and she screamed at him that that was just fine! She’d throw his hat away.
Just as it was with the accusation that we’d thrown away her dry cleaning ticket, misplaced her air freshener and left “tons of garbage… a candy bar wrapper is garbage!”, again we were accused of an unforgivably high crime.
So the punchline is that I left the hat in the car, not Sam. I told her that, and she went off on me. I told her to calm down… after all, a grown-up tells a kid they’re going to throw something away as a goof, to get their attention, right? Right?
She’d meant it.
Well, long story short, she still demanded, and received her injection. She’s just switched over to a self-injectable, and this was the week I had her return-demonstrate that she could do it. Her posture and strength are abysmal, and she is just at the place where self-administration might not be reliable, but I made her do it herself.
Afterward, she offered no apology, and refused to discuss what had passed between us.
I was told in no uncertain terms to leave her apartment.
Sad but true.
I have a friend who is aware of this situation, who I see as a human angel, so insightful and merciful is she. We both are concerned that perhaps one by one this person’s supports may give way, especially if things continue for her like this when in a non-paying relationship, a non fee-for-service situation. Bottom line, there are certain things people just won’t take.
What do you do when there is someone you love so mesmerized by a spitting cobra, poised to strike?
So this friend and I feel we’ll sort of be tag teaming this one. I had to draw a line that she would have been uncomfortable to make. She will now take over with the one-on-one finesse, the work that’s more up close and personal. She remains this neighbor’s chauffeur. Interesting.
My friend and I want our mutual friend to avail herself to all the care she so rightfully deserves, but that she refuses to accept. No homemaker. No nurse. No transport services. No nurse’s aide. No, no, no.
So this my friend can do, with artful agreements and thoughtful declinations. That’s tedious to me, don’t like the man-a-mano stuff with offensive people. Not my thing. Maybe I’m just not strong enough yet.
So that’s one thing.
But there’s more.
The job thing. Since Christmas Eve, I have had physical sensations, a physical sort of knowing, where my next job is. I can smell it, I know the place well, and I am happy, always just content and calm, when I think of myself there.
I put in my app about a week ago.
Yesterday I called to inquire about the position, and it just felt so right, just like when you pull that lever and up comes three silver bells. Yeah, maybe you don’t win big, but it feels good, maybe even a taste of what’s to come.
Of course, this is not the only option. I have a contract with yet another hospital coming up in 8 days time.
I don’t know how things are going to tease out.
But there is something at the root of this. Something that goes beyond “finally getting off the stick” or “pulling yourself together”. Screw that kind of talk. It’s condescending and intimates I have something wrong with me.
A few days ago I awoke from another dreamless sleep, flushed, deep-heat baking, and said, like I’d comment on the color of the sky, “Hey. Wait. I can really BE both a nurse and a writer. These are not two mutually exclusive states. I have spent my life fighting this battle, writer versus nurse, convinced weirdly and truly and profoundly, that one could not exist if the other did. Struggle to the death. I’ve been watching the death throes for months,” as my readers know.
And then, one day just recently, boom, it hits me as a fact, not a postulate, not a theorem, and never a hypothesis, that, hey, I’m both.
How simple is that?
Today, walking through the park, I languaged something for the first time in my life, languaged something honest, true, simple and sound. “What I am is a writer. Always have been. Since I was a child. What I am is a writer. What I have chosen as my trade is nursing. It has always been a means to an end. I knew that from the beginning, and accepted it as such.”
But far from seeing myself as a sacrificial lamb or some delusional borderline with issues of identity and a sense of aloneness, I now see what I have done in this lifetime as an incredible triumph of will. I have a strength, a determination, a native, flexible intelligence, and a discipline few do. Few do.
To have this much literary talent, and to have this heart and mind and soul bursting with ideas many are searching to language themselves, and to go in day after day, week after week, year after year, into environments whose goal is regimentation, predictability, order, control, explanations, proof, results, outcomes, measurable performance features, surveys and testing and uniforms and manners and making absolutely sure, above and beyond everything else, on pain of being fired, canned on the spot, make sure you FIT IN.
Don’t weird people out. Don’t openly discuss your beliefs, don’t reveal who you really are. The judgments will be too harsh. Cause no one discomfort.
Cause discomfort, you could go broke and die. Cause someone discomfort and die.
Perhaps this is my main koan, the key to the kingdom.
Even as I write that sentence, as silly and childish and over-reactive and odd as it sounds, I fucking believe this nonsense in my soul. I have evidence.
I once had a loaded gun shoved toward me, the threat clear, keep babbling on this morning, and you will die. That person’s chief complaint: I talk too much.
On and on and on it goes and where it ends, only I can decide.
All the scenarios, one after the other, all commentary on the main thesis, all compositions unique in combination of hue, mood, scent, thrill, but all leading back to the central theme: Be honest, die. Speak your truth, die. Voice too odd a thought, die.
Get out of line, be honest, don’t play games, don’t manipulate anyone, and place after place becomes a shooting range, and I wore the target.
Do you know why?
Do want to know the fuel that has stoked this fire for 52 years? The kryptonite I have tucked away, once I had the brains and balls to finally not need an arch nemesis, a wrestling buddy?
I was ashamed of myself.
I did not trust myself.
I did not love myself.
I did not know myself.
I did not approve of myself.
I did not think I was enough.
I thought I had a fatal flaw.
I thought I was doing it wrong.
I let everyone and everything define me, fully conscious that I had a very significant deficit of some kind that I could neither fully understand or adequately compensate for. Some deficiency or difference or … I was The Other.
I can remember having to go to some punishment class for having written a check I couldn’t cover, when I was in my twenties. It was humiliating. I’d never had a course in money management, and I have far too magical thinking to manage money well. No sense of time, no trust in tomorrow. Awful money manager. Anyway, I was late. I had on an outfit I hated. All these people staring at me, and there I was, judging them to be just about as low in human worth as me. This, of course, was pretty close to pond scum.
And then, I can remember clear as day a voice in my head, sounding off, saying,
“You are The Other. This is what it feels like the be The Other.”
I haven’t shaken off that little time warp do-hickey until this week.
Now when I see people behaving badly, all I know is that if it is undeserved, really out there, well, that’s a soft-ball. It’s just me playing a friendly game of emotional/spiritual racquetball, or indulging in a bit of spiritual weight-lifting. I do it all the time, at work, at home, all the time. It’s the stuff of life.
How will I play this? How will he choose to play this? Still only hostilely? Hmm. OK, How about now? Still? Wow.
So that is how I see things now, in a long, long long nutshell.
I’ll tell you now of a miracle.
This morning, after walking my kid from school, I noticed that the house was chilly. It was 63 degrees, in fact. I checked the radiators – cold, and the thermostat – full-bore, and I called the landlord.
I was told by the head of maintenance that he’d get to it after lunch. I told him I didn’t think that was reasonable. He disagreed, and was a bit of a jerk. I called the office and explained I’d like more timely help and maybe some politeness, maybe, or neutrality if that couldn’t be managed.
The manager called me, I explained it all again, and just said as earnestly and honestly as I could, that I mean no one harm, but I have a reasonable request and I think no heat trumps scheduled maintenance calls, which is what I was told I’d have to wait for him to complete.
I said I’d rather not have to argue to be heard on this point, because it just seems so obvious, and I can’t really get why this is a big deal.
It’s three hours later. The boilers were found to have malfunctioned. The creepy guy never came to my house but the manager and the assistant maintenance dude came over and fixed my fire place, and gave me two syntho logs. The guy even vacuumed my grody fireplace and hearth.
Oh my God.
This neutrality thing works. My goal, since I was a kid, was to know the kind of unconditional love that Jesus knew. It was like a silent wish. What would that feel like? There would be no pain, there would only be gratitude, endurance, understanding, and, like, monumentally deep wisdom. And a ton of laughs. That, to me, seems to be a good aim in life. To be able to accept all, know all, love all, see the humor and grace and strength in all.
I see my ailing neighbor as someone who is so deeply into her suffering, and I am ill-equipped to help her. I readily admit that I know more could be done for her. But I really don’t know how to do it. It saddens me that I can’t help her, somehow extend to her a way to fix this, mend it, transmute it. But I am stymied on this one.
And to be brutally honest, and ultimately loving, I think that it is an act of supreme arrogance to want to change/help/heal/bring peace to this unhappy person. Maybe she is not done with the lessons she is learning, the knowing she is gleaning. She is plumbing depths few of us would willingly walk. Who am I to tell her she must stop her dance with herself, just because how she acts makes me uncomfortable.
What freaking arrogance.
The sneaky, ego-laced arrogance of a freaking lightworker.
I went to sleep last night aware that maybe this predicament was not so much called forth by me, but that maybe I was helping her in some way. That’s why I took it as long as I did without fighting back. Her mom had just died and I figured maybe she was going through a mom/daughter fugue of some sort.
There was a moment, late in our transaction, when she was waggling her finger at me and her face was really screwed up into an ugly mask of derision, and I got this flash. I think she was mad about the dry cleaning receipt she failed to find.
Watching her go off on me, I could feel my awareness shrink into the size of a young girl. She got scarier then. I felt that maybe this is what it was like for her when she was a girl. Maybe this is what she heard, felt, accepted as gospel at that age, subjugated into believing this poison might very well be her truth.
So I let it ride, her unkindness, her irrationality, her panic.
I have never been one to stand up and scream when I am being violated. Not one to stop bad behavior in its tracks. I usually let it play out, hoping it can right itself. So often things don’t self-correct.
But this is different. I sense an honesty, and it’s a little bold but it is just brimming with humor. How can it not? The whole thing is all just there to enjoy, grow from, learn from. Why fight it? And why even attempt to make myself wrong for experiencing it?
I can critique HOW I am experiencing it, deciding if my thoughts about the thing enhance, detract or render null a thing, but THAT I am experiencing it, no, I am no longer judging myself for that.
Those who wish to do so can try to engage me, but will find they become frustrated, and, ultimately, bored. It is no longer possible to sell me on the possibility that I have less worth than the moon or the Earth herself. As does each of us.
It’s not that I feel defensive. It’s just that I am what I am, I have lived as I have lived, I have many things I wish to address and experience, but I do not feel threatened about attempting it now.
I’ve made some good decisions, some bad ones, I have been both skilled and unskilled when dealing with my fellow man, my loved ones, and all of it, every single bit of it, is absolutely ok.
I am not fearing failure, disappointment, rejection, setbacks. They’re just part of the fabric of it, but I do believe that these last four feeling states, they are the offspring of not fully comprehending a situation, that’s all.
If I’m feeling that way, anymore, all I know is I am missing the point somewhere. I have become dimmed, dulled to the truth, momentarily.
It has become increasingly uncomfortable to be out of balance. Just speaking my piece, if necessary, but, really, holding my tongue a lot more now than ever before, I can really feel when I am thinking thoughts that are misaligned, misshapen, poorly focused, old, clunky, not true.
These untruths are untruths because they separate. They divide. They tear down. They discourage. They condemn. They predict. They are future focused and past based. They are not thoughts anchored in the here and now.
And then, the thinking always goes then, oh, look at that! And it’s either my hand, or my breathing, or the comedy on the TV, or the view of the mountains that calls me to the moment, to my awareness, that I am more than this skin, this personality, this pursuit. All is in divine order, all is here for my benefit, for my highest good, and the highest good for all involved with me in all ways.
And then from there I get going, make the phone calls, clean the kitchen, play Monopoly with Sam. It is from that space I am operating more and more. And I think it is having to regulate or modulate this frequency in the much-denser frequencies of the sick, that is causing dissonance. It’s hard. Not impossible. Easier now that I see what’s going on.
So, yes, who I am is a writer, and what I do for sustenance is the holy art of nursing. I am a modern nun without cloister, a holy one without an order, an authority without a title. I think and behave and live as a writer. I earn my living as a nurse. But the trick, the twist, the truth? These are both pleasant pursuits, one which I now enjoy much more than the other, but they are pursuits. Passions. But they are both expressions of a greater truth. I am both. I am all.
And the fire in the fireplace crackling to me as I wrap this up is proof to me that I am no longer making this up. This lifestyle, this approach, this willingness to see it all as love letters from home, this is a good thing. Standing my ground when pushed against, respectfully and artfully, that is a good thing. And loving everything, everything like I love the trees. There can be no happier life.
And now, when urged to imagine my new life by the bloggers and the channelers of our day, I see, feel, imagine, explore the things that sound great, but then I lose interest. I whisper, “That or something better,” that old reactivated saw The Teachers used religiously, and I let it go. It’s an interesting walk. Letting go of the control, instead, finally, being led, following the sublte directions, listening to the inner voice which sees farther than the nurse or the writer can.
Instead of ordering up the universe, I allow the universe to expose its complexity and its magical nature, step by step, cooperatively.
Is this neutrality? Is this 5D? Is this ascension? Or is it just somebody who is finally self-accepting? I think this is why some of the most deeply spiritual people I encounter do not know our language. What they do understand, usually more organically than I, is that they are just grand, just as they are. They give themselves permission to express themselves as they see fit. They cannot limit themselves to thinking outside of a box. They are acquainted with the box manufacturing, box alternatives, and the truth behind the box, that there is no box.
And they know this not, perhaps, because they meditate or pray or read Sananda channelings. They understand it because they understand that what is within them is good and deserves expression. Perhaps it will not be met with understanding. But it is valid with or without consensus.
This solves the koan, does it not?
To speak is not to die.
The act of muting the Self is the death.
It has served as well as my birth.
To speak is to be. It is to declare autonomy. It asserts the very otherness which can be isolating, when not uttered with the intent of cooperation, of will to connect, to have an effect which magnifies that other of their worth, their intactness, their ability.
What make communication so difficult had been the judgment, the demands, the regulations, the expectations, the obligations, these were the things I felt were the life-suckers. Deceit, not being direct, acting out, all those things.
I had judgments against all those things. Every single one of them. Funny, realizing how much I hate the regimented way of life, really hating fussy people, judging harshly the control freaks in our midst.
I judged myself for judging them, and finally realize that I don’t like that behavior because it shows so little trust in the universe, and themselves, and me. What is not true is this airy-fairy psycho babble, that I react strongly to this behavior because I identify something within me, my “shadow self”, lurking within that person’s behavior, reminding me of my own weakness.
That’s an elementary understanding of this energetic. It works, the metaphor works fairly well, it’s sturdy, but it leaves too much residue, it’s not quite accurate.
What is accurate is that sometimes people act in ways I don’t understand, and they may not understand. And I may not like it. And if I don’t like it, then it’s just fine if I choose to address it, gently, maybe even indirectly, but with integrity. If this kicks up shame and blame in another, I let it be, I don’t take it in, I let the storm blow over, and then we move on. It’s not really neutrality. It’s compassion, not hooking into the silliness, to the lies.
Patients constantly invite me to indulge them their belief in calamity, that they are fucked and there’s no hope. It’s not true, and always, as a nurse, I bore witness to the falseness of this notion. I hold that space for people. They’re whole, they just don’t recognize it. They’re a little slow. Mean to themselves. Slow.
So that’s me.
Am I mastering neutrality? Is it more than that?
Neutrality is enough for now. It’s a relief in and of itself.
I know there’s more, but this is a good place to perch, for a time.