Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cleaning My Room

I was blessed last Saturday to have three hours of alone, grieving time while everyone else was still asleep. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'd already been in mourning for over two weeks, so three hours was adequate, the big factor in that was ALONE time. Parents, you already know how rare that is, but to get it without having to leave the house was quite simply, a gift from God and Grandma.

I was remembering my early child life with my grandmother, and it progressed into a broad question, "how did I get here from there?" That question sparked an introspective examination of my far distant past. I talked to myself like I was someone else, and explained out in detail some of the memories. As I described, the more the memories evolved into visualization. The deeper the visualization, the more specific the remembrances. I honestly don't think I've ever done this before. Looked at things in such vivid detail, and managed to dissect it including the emotional ramifications from an (almost) entirely analytic viewpoint.

After working out the root cause of some of my most deeply buried, and therefore inconspicuous to me, personal issues. I was starting to answer my primary question, "How did I get here?" I began to recognize things about myself on a much larger scale. I realized where my negative self-image began and how deeply ingrained it had become with time. And that in the long term, everything I had done for twenty-eight years was a subconscious, concerted effort to live down to that image. I, unbeknownst to my conscious self, had striven to self-destruct. The longer I carried the weight of my own imagined unworthiness, the more my own actions undermined what my aware-self said that it wanted. If things worked out well for me, they were in spite of what I did, not because of it. I saw it all so clearly for the first time, and I didn't just see it, I microscoped what I saw, and finally, I understood it fully. Every decision in every area of my life had been tainted with this hidden insidious agenda. From bad grades to weight issues, alcohol to abortions (yes, that word is plural--not proud of that, but can't change it, and won't lie about it either.)

Even moving to Texas. As much as I love my husband and our son, following hubby to Texas meant leaving an actual career (not just the gas station cashier jobs I'd held for 10 years). A career that I was excellent at (not to toot my own horn, but it's the truth). One with benefits and steady pay, vacation time and weekends off. I also gave up my first all-mine very nice apartment in over a decade as well as all the friends I had accumulated in 17 years. I had done some soul-searching regarding this choice before, but I thought the divorce from my ex and relinquishing my full time mama status had just made me go sideways. It wasn't until Saturday morning that I understood how it was my own need to self-debase that fueled that fire with a steady stream of gasoline. Loving my husband just made jumping into the fire more palatable.

And that's when I finally came upon my room. My personal room, the place where my inner child resides. It was dark and scary the likes of which Arthur Conan Doyle and Alfred Hitchcock together couldn't have imagined. The air in there was full of suspense and anticipated terror. It was a horrible place to be, and yet I'd allowed my little self to cower in the corner of this horrible place for almost thirty years. For the first time in that long, I remembered that there was a light on one of the shelves, and that I'd left it on. I knew it was a light that was bright enough to banish every last shadow, it had simply been buried and pushed far back on the shelf as all these negative bags of crap were stacked around it, on top of it, and on every single other shelf in the room. The negativity doused all manner of light in that room to the point of not being able to see your hand in front of your face.

I went straight for the hidden light and started throwing the stinking things off the shelves and into a huge garbage bag. The negative self-image was so big that I had to take it straight to the construction-site-sized dumpster. And once I unburied that light, all the other crap I'd been storing on the shelves disappeared. I washed the shelves and polished them. Then I chose-- did y'all hear that?-- I CHOSE what I put back on the shelves. I chose peace and joy. I chose prosperity and compassion. I chose wisdom, health and love. I chose all the best things that the universe has to offer, and put only those things back on my shelves. I took my light off the shelf and put it into the center of the room to eradicate every sliver of darkness in there. And the light shifted shape and grew and became... Me. A me that had all of the things I had put on my shelves. And then something else happened. My mouth simply opened and the words, "I am worthy" came out of both the physical and the me of light. I was stunned to find out that as I said it, I came to know it; as surely as one knows how to breathe or blink their eyes.

A saying came to me several weeks ago: "Love and resentment can not live in the same heart. Eventually, one of them has to die." I am so thankful and blessed that for me, the death was of resentment. I will not mourn it's loss.

Nor will I mourn my grandmother any more. The sadness still comes in waves, but it is less cutting now. I think part of this is because my Gran helped me clean out my room. She is the reason I was able to reflect. And she is who reminded me of the light buried on the back shelf. She is the reason my psyche is healing with remarkable speed. Fitting for a woman who spent her career-lifetime as a nurse and somehow, always seemed fearless to me.

There is a flying owl mobile hanging over my head in my inner-room to remind me that Gran's wisdom is always there if I just look for it; high enough to be watching, low enough to be heard. It's new, and I didn't exactly choose to put it in there, it just kind of...appeared. Funny. Gran's owl figurine collection never seemed more apropos.

1 comment:

jeanette said...

What a beautifully vulnerable journey to share. Thank you for you forthcoming intraspective writing. It is amazing what happens in the time we take to just be still and "clean house". Thank you for sharing such depth and showing the sweetness of your soul. May you be blessed abundantly in the days to come. I look forward to seeing what your guest post will be. :)