Sunday, June 21, 2009

MAKING CHOICES

This is the photograph taken by Carol Ann Johnson at Three Counties Championship Show where Whitney won the Bitch CC, Best of Breed and went on to Utility Group 4.

One thing I notice is how Whitney looks; her shape and stance. This is what I cannot see myself. I am very pleased with how she looks and the view others are getting of her. She is such an excellent example of her breed and a true delight to live with.

I am also surprised by myself. Looking at the man in the picture, I would never have believed you if you had shown me this even just 10 years ago. That couldn't possibly be me! I would never dress like that. I would probably not even be at the show.

I am happy with the man in the photograph. It wasn't always thus. I hated him and wanted him dead. I could not look at him in the mirror and for many years only had a mirror big enough for me to see my face when I shaved, and even then I averted my eyes from his.

All I saw was the unlovable, disgusting degenerate I had been told I was. I didn't see the frightened boy in agonizing pain. I saw what I had been taught to see.

Today, I see me. I see light in my eyes. I no longer hate myself. I am sometimes angry at myself for having believed such tripe and for having punished myself so severely. I am sometimes ashamed of the me I use dot be. Mostly, I think back and I feel compassion for that boy who really did deserve to be loved and ought to have been, realising that all he did and thought was due to the corruption of his soul by the lies of others.

I am mostly free of the pain and the shame today. I am not free of my past. I don't want to be. I am who I am today because of it so how could I want to be rid of it? I realised recently that had my life not gone exactly a sit did, I would not have John in my life and I would not be me. I would not want to be without either John or me.

I did not suffer just because of what was done to me, but mainly because of what I was taught to think and what I thought about what was done to me. The one thought that ruined my life, that caused all the suffering, the one thing I was TAUGHT to think that was at the root of all that anguish was this: there was something wrong me and that is why I was unloved and abused. Despite knowing that physical and sexual abuse was wrong, I was till at fault because if I had not been me, they would not have done it, and if I had not been be I would have been loved.

The truth set me free. The truth being that the problem was THEM. They would have treated me the same way even if I had been the someone else I longed to be. No matter what I did, it would have changed nothing because|I could not change them and it was them who needed to change.

Further to this realisation, I have come to realise that we all treat others in the way we do not because of who they are but because of who we are. Mostly we believe the opposite and we can see the result of that thought in the world we live in.

Truly, what we choose to believe is everything for it is our beliefs that dictate how we live our lives. Yet we are taught that it is others who have that power over us, that we are merely puppets who react to others, not realising that the way we react is our responsibility and is not caused by the other but by ourselves.

Even the Gods we choose are just bigger, badder, more powerful versions of ourselves. We have such Gods, like the Xtian God and Muslim God, who are vengeful and jealous and angry and demanding, because we cannot envision unconditional love and most of all we cannot forgive. Unconditional love means precisely what it says. No matter what, we are loved. No matter what we will never be abandoned nor destroyed. This does not mean we will not suffer. It does mean that PEACE will always be available to us, no matter what.

People fail to understand that for one to have peace, all must have peace. For how can one be at peace knowing that your brother or sister is suffering?

Put another way, how can YOU be at peace in Heaven knowing that others are in HELL? Your self righteousness may convince you that you can but the reality will be very different.

What we seek for ourselves we must also seek for others. Whilst we hold judgement and anger and condemnation toward another, we will never have peace. We will banish ourselves from Heaven until such times as we accept unconditional love.

Accepting love is so much harder than we think!

8 comments:

nana said...

"Amen" so be it, You have spoken of the universal well being that can only be reached if there is no more 'our club versus your club' thinking in this world.

Hindus believe that all people all sparks of the high being wait for the last ones to come to this stage of unconditional love and a new era will start.
Life is about going the path, and not the finish of it.

I can only hope that all the people who have already realized that concept and live according to it will inspire the ones who are still struggling with selfishness and other non loving practises to work on it and feel more free and loving themselves.
There only is heaven and hell inside of us self, and it is us who have influence on wether we feel like being in one or the other.

Spirituality and practisig religion are not the same!
now off of my soapbox, and if you think this comment was too much for being published, so be it :-)

Iris said...

I wonder about that, too. If my father goes to Heaven and I go to Hell, as good and kind as he always was, how would he feel about me being in Hell? I just can't imagine he'd be able to be happy. Of course, God may take away all his feelings and -- well, THAT would be Heaven? Take away his humanity. Heaven.

LizzieK8 said...

I've always like the concept of the Bodhisattva. We go through many lifetimes learning and improving through each one until we reach the enlightened status. Then we go back yet again to help others reach towards enlightenment, knowing as nana said, that none of us reach Nirvana if we all don't reach Nirvana.

In your attempts to move past your past, try the manta, "I'm so glad I'm not there any more. I hope I learned all the lessons I needed to because I never want to go back there again." It's gotten me through and past some pretty horrendous times in my life.

Indigo said...

Indigo Incarnates

I admire your strength. You were exposed to so much abuse and yet were not destroyed. You live with physical pain and physical limitations on a daily basis but are not destroyed. You are strong, couurageous, and strong of will.

I agree with you about the Abrahamic god. That angry god of the desert is cruel, random, capricious, and utterly lacking in justice. That deity also breaks his word (like "here's your promised land, Jews. Oh, sorry, there's already a civilization that lives there. Just kill them all. Sure, I said 'Thou shalt Not Kill', but it's okay when I tell you to or when I just do it myself."

The loving, compassionate, life-affirming nature of the Wiccan deities is the main reason why I adopted that faith. There's no self-righteousness bullshit in Wicca because the dogma pretty much can fit on an index card ("Live and let live. Fairly take and fairly give. An it harm non, do as thou will.")

Blessed be, my friend :)

Deborah said...

Colin, congratulations, you look fantastic, and so does your gorgeous dog!

Can I say something, in all you have achieved, you have done it all yourself, through sheer guts, determination and hard work. Take the credit and be proud.

I have been on a different, though just as difficult, journey, and it took all my energy to re-learn how to love myself. I remember telling my mum, years ago, sorry, but I will never be that person I used to be, that person you think you know, because that was never the real me. Lots of people are still having a hard time accepting that. Their problem not mine!

Cheers!
Deb

Anonymous said...

Colin,
There's a piece in the Apocrypha(not sure of my spelling, there), Gospel of Mary, where the writer is being shown the suffering of people in hell, and is in despair over it, asking how this can be avoided. The answer is, all it takes for their suffering to be relieved, is compassion on the part of anyone in Heaven.
This is a beautiful idea for me, and I think about it often. I have never liked the thought of others suffering, regardless of any 'sins'. If I were fortunate enough to be good enough to be rewarded by a joyous life(although I don't think that is how it works) how could I enjoy it, knowing others were in agony? A truly good person couldn't, is my opinion.
The idea that other's compassion could help someone, is such a lovely reflection of the idea behind Christ's sacrafice. I hope it makes me be a more compassionate person now.
Your blog is always so good for sparking ideas. I enjoy it.
Sabine

Nan said...

Snazzy outfit, as usual. And Whitney is quite a picture posed there.

Try not to be angry at yourself for the younger you's behavior. When I disclosed a personal demon to a friend recently and how I get angry that I didn't squash it sooner, he said, "We deal with things with the tools we have at the time. The important thing is that we have survived and moved forward." I still have to remind myself of that sometimes.

Macy from Buffalo, NY said...

As usual Colin, you have given us many thoughtful & thought-provoking ideas. You expressed "Whilst we hold judgement & anger & condemnation toward another, we will never have peace". It's not another I hold those feelings toward, but myself. Daily, I struggle with finding something of myself to love and that is worth loving. I feel joy for you, that you have achieved that in your life, & your strength of will gives me hope. Thank you for that.