I’ve been meaning to write new posts, really I have. But there’s some competition within my writing mind for centre stage. There’s a whole bunch of ideas pushing for their place in the spotlight. And it’s been hard to choose!
On top of that, I’ve had a bunch of stuff to deal with since my return 18 days ago from Thailand. I’m going to try to explain in brief (haha)…
Every time I head off to retreat, I never come back quite the same person. The whole point of checking out of our crazy western lifestyle for a while is to focus intensely on working towards the state of enlightenment. Sometimes I come back and I can feel the difference, and sometimes not. And the reintegration into what is termed ‘normal life’ can be really challenging in a whole raft of ways.
One example I can give is around the concept of emotional reactions. A part of the work involved in “relaxing into enlightenment” is stripping back emotional reactivity. That doesn’t mean that I become a robot, but it does mean that I can become so relaxed, that my reactions don’t look like what others might think they “should” look like.
Never before have I returned from retreat and had to live with others. For as long as I’ve been doing yearly retreats, I have lived by myself and had time to slowly start interacting with people again. But this time ofcourse, I am living at my parents’ place.
To paraphrase a sentiment of Clueless’, I haven’t really posted in detail about my relationships with my parents. I’m an extremely loyal person and it’s complicated. But I will say it’s been a rough ride living under the same roof as them for the first time in 15 years.
So there has been that – the living with my folks and my perceived strangeness (by others) post-retreat, which is almost impossible to explain to most people.
Also, I’ve managed to offend my sister in a way that appears to have created distance between us – something I never thought was possible before now. Let me explain…
I’m kind of psychic some times. It’s not something I have much control over, and it comes and goes. But whilst I was in Thailand, I knew something very personal and specific about my sister. I even sent her an international text message to ask her about it – which she ignored.
The Sunday after I returned, my sister and brother-in-law came over to the folks’ place for lunch. And my sister says: “There’s something we have to tell you…”
In response I say: “Yeah, I know – you’re pregnant.”
I think the exchange that followed went something like this:
“How do you know?”
“I just know. I knew in Thailand – that’s why I texted you.”
My sister exploded in anger.
Mind you, I am really happy for them. It’s their second child and its great news!! But as mentioned above, I guess at this point my reactions just didn’t look like they were expecting.
Not just that, but the “consensus reality” is that what I said, when I said it and the way I said it was rude. Obnoxious. Spoiling their surprise. I tried to apologise, to smooth things over. But she wasn’t ready to hear it.
I really didn’t mean to be rude! I was just very deeply relaxed and saying what occurred to me at the time. But my sister was mad, and as far as I know she is possibly still mad. Usually, we’d phone, text or email each other frequently, but since this event I haven’t conversed with her much at all. So I’ve been a little hurt by the absence of that friendship, and because the matter still isn’t resolved.
Then there’s been the job-hunting. For some reason, I had this expectation – possibly a bit of an arrogant one – that I’d come back home and walk straight into a new job. After all, I work in an industry that’s really ‘hot’ at the moment. And I have impressive skills or so I’m frequently told… But nearly three weeks later and no job.
So given family pressures and my resulting desire to get my own space again, plus an MIA sister and a dwindling bank balance… I’ve been a little distracted. And desperately trying to keep my centre. Not to get lost in all of this ‘stuff’. Not to fall into depression.
Add to that the pressure of some very insistent stories wanting out of my head, and I kind of felt the easiest thing to do was to put the “out of office” sign up for a bit.
But the muse is back, and I’m in the process of writing. If only those ideas would behave a little more orderly-like!
In the mean time, I have a couple of older pieces of writing I’m going to post here (dated) and also one new one. They’re self-reflection themed ofcourse and not surprisingly, they show a pattern that existed before I was ever assaulted. And they too, need an airing… I hope you enjoy.