To Have and To Heal

Pain by catzz

How does one heal from circumstance? How does one find peace when chaos ravages the soul. When in those moments, we felt to should have been able to trust that trust is broken. Days have been hard and long, finding no sanctuary these thoughts that continue to pervade my mind like a virus. How do we heal from these ills that set the set fire to the soul and brings a spirit to the brink of darkness?

It feels both counter-intuitive but also apparent at the same time. To be removed from these tribulations, one has to let go of them. It reminds me of a quote attributed to Buddha:

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.

Some of this pain and anguish that I feel is internally sourced. I am responsible some of the continued pain I feel after the initial moment of experience. A perception of reality that continues cloud my eyes may not be clear but fog or filter that obfuscates the truth.

To remove this clever guise from my eyes requires me to see with eyes on unclouded and release all that I am holding onto. To breathe out all this anger, frustration, fatigue, and pain and to let clean air finally reach my brain.

I need to forgive all these transgressions in my heart, for if I don’t, I will be haunted by them. If I don’t, I will carry these moments with me like a knife in my side, bleeding out slowly for everyone to see. To heal, I need to remove the blade and allow myself to move forward, not to forget but in an honest space to grow despite the challenges. To not allow for the flesh to fester but to scare and to heal. I will wear these things carved onto my body for the rest of my life, but the story I tell about these unnatural grooves upon my soul is for me to choose moving forward. Will these be the moments of pain that crippled me or the triumph I learned to persist?

Letting go through is easier said than done. I had not received the closure I wished for. Life is usually never that easy or clean. The human moment that longed for is but a distant daydream, one clung to for far too long. For now, I need to sit and pass the poison in my blood. To let go and heal. To forgive others of their trespasses, and most of all, forgive myself.

Below I added the poem of Invictius, it’s one of my favorites especially in hard times like these.

Out of the night that covers me,
      Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
      For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
      I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
      My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
      Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
      Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
      How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
      I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley

Recoil

Maryannemade

Dark days and nights give way to for desire for the sun but a call for rain. A look to the sky speaks to the wanting, the waiting for the lightning to strike to feel the easiest reprieve for the karmic destiny that has befallen me. Wondering why not just take it all, why leave me then to weather the storm and give the hope for brighter days ahead. It’s under that rain and wind where I feel like the world and I are finally aligned.

It’s that recoil from the sweet, the pleasant. It hurts at times to be helped because in the my mind, it feels as if I am the poison that would corrupt and corrode all those around. The sweet that gives me shade as the barriers begin to crack and break, the adrenaline which I used as fuel begins to get used up, and all I feel how much the frustration and despair turn to pain and sadness. The way I had always learned to cope it to continue to push forward unrelentingly because I knew if I stopped, I might never get up again.

It’s in watching the sky as rain falls do the tracks tears begin to form. A welling up of emotion finally begins to overflow, and the water of the world becoming indistinguishable from this water pouring out from within. There is some solace in it as it assures me that I exist. The cold no longer bothers me as the clarity of the moment lets me breathe easier. The up and down stabilizes as these emotions I had been holding inside begin to settle.

I spend many moments there, sitting under the sky wondering what my purpose in this world, and if there would be a purpose to my suffering. Those nights when lying in bed become easier as the exhaustion from those emotions put me to sleep quickly. By the time the morning comes, the clouds have gone away, though I know not forever. I will appreciate the sun while I still have it as I try to find peace within myself and quell the storm brewing within. Long days and nights are still ahead, but the whether it’s one storm or many, there can be peace in the recoil from both the pain and the promise.

One Day Darker

Ajimita

The sun shining high in the sky through the blinds on my window frame with heat emanating from the clouded glass, magnifying itself as it enters my room. A long night passes with this light representing one more night done and one more morning received. Normally a representation of the simplicity of the day, taken for granted through normal processes of living but these nights and sometimes brutal mornings fluctuate between insomnia and certain kind of darkness. I don’t understand why these feelings come but it’s not the lack of understanding that hurts me, it’s the the intensity they arise this time and unwillingness for them to dissipate

These motivations I held on to so well in the proceeding months have all but left me with this feeling of aimlessness crowding out everything else. Perhaps it’s a need for me to step back and process these events that have captured both my world and the world at large. It feel so frustrating though that none of my usual devices seem to work, that my body and mind will not operate the way I would like. These darker moments showing up and not letting any of my reasonable thoughts speak, just pouring out of me like a wound not yet healed.

These nights are particularly painful as they entice the me in ways that I hate. The feeling that scares me is the imagination of my wrists strewn apart and the blood flowing through them. A feeling that parades upon my skin is so real I can feel warmth and wetness of blood tickling down my arms. These thoughts which ordinarily would be so abhorrent are tinged with certain sense of sweetness and provocation that makes even these normally distressing acts seem a possibility.

It’s about surviving now, these long nights and troubled mornings. To give myself enough time to recover from these feelings of helplessness and haplessness. Mounting difficulties persist and even through my running and moving I can’t seem to outpace these thoughts. It’s scares me as it saps from me of my strength. These thoughts pervade in a time when I can’t get lost in the world. These struggles persist with my mind entertaining the thoughts of the usefulness of my departure. I seek help and hope for salvation. My heart is silent, it has been for some time. What did I do to turn away from it. Where did it go when I needed it most. I don’t want to quit and regret, but I don’t know any other way out.

Life can be hard and words can be difficult. There is a degree of a need to be honest with one’s self and other people. I struggle with that every day as step closer the edge not wanting to people to pity or look down on me. I’ve already had those eyes trace me for far too long having to wrestle with these perceptions of undeservedness on my own behalf. What I need is time, time to correct myself in this space. I don’t know when everything began to fall or what the last piece to come and throw me into this place but I keep fighting. I hope to be alright in the end but to honest, I don’t know anymore.

Dealing With Discordant Whispers

Better Days Will Come – Maryannemade

It’s the echo, that soft echo that we all hear which takes our thoughts, those ones we normally would not be heard over the cacophony of life, and begins to speak loud that our world has shrunk to the size of four walls and a ceiling. Initially, as soft as an almost inaudible whisper, so weak that only when the world is quiet that you begin to hear, but with time the voice starts to resonate and become the only thing you can hear. With so much going on in my own life, it has become a full-time job to deal with the onslaught of these whispers, these voices that would seek for me to burn with anger and outrage at my world, and destroy everything within it.

There is no illusion in my mind when I say that the past weeks of my life have been arduous. Beyond the calamity of the year, which seems in some way like a final recompense for building troubles we have simply put off, my struggles has made this year memorable in ways I would prefer they weren’t. There is no doubt about the eventuality of overcoming these difficulties, its’s the multiplicity of discordant events that have made the struggle forward so difficult.

Life change is an inevitability, and our reaction to that change determines the resulting outcome in our own life. It’s though a frustration that some of these discordant whispers come to speak in ways that would undermine this peaceful reaction. Phrases like “This is all your fault.”, “You deserve everything that has come to you.”, and “You will never be good enough.” weaken me as it is hard to refute the words that come from within. I can tell them to be quiet, but the more I attempt to avoid them, the more I find myself intertwined with these thoughts and feelings. Like a burning inside that feels like a constant powder keg explosion. This fuel of frustration is nothing new to me, but the circumstances do not allow for these feelings to dissipate easily the only way out now is through.

It’s in these moments that despair sets in, and a distorted sense of nihilism takes hold. A questioning of self, self-worth, and purpose takes hold. In the most extreme regards, it removes any desire to proceed further and replaces it with a desire to curl up in a ball and implode into nothingness. It strains me, this feeling, though thankfully not unfamiliar, allowing me to self actualize and take the necessary steps to recover before harm comes to me.

It was in this that I found the need to reflect on everything that was burning deep within my soul. A burning, mind you, that was not fuel but kindling that incinerates all that is good within my soul. I have found myself in a new land, and all it has done is stack wood waited for a flashpoint for all of this to go up in flames. It’s the internal I have to start with. Why do these emotions come over me, and what is their true purpose. Is this anger and hate simply pride or envy I feel. Is it because of my insecurities which these feelings arise? The flimsiness of stature allows me no sanctuary when the foundations of self are attacked.

This time is difficult in general without making enemies of self. It’s a need for calmness in lieu of apathy, understanding and compassion outside of circumstance. Being kind and knowing that these internal voices are fears harbored inside and not objective truths. The struggle will continue, but I am the one with the ability and the strength to change it. We will all get through this one way or another, we might as well do it the way I want rather than take the path of self-destruction.

The memory of days and nights over the longest weeks of my life – Part 2

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The memory of days and nights over the longest weeks of my life – Part 1

“Keep an open mind and open heart, you are here to attack the problem” I told myself. There I found myself once again on the other side of the screen waiting for this cataclysm to be lifted. For me to take the pain and the punishment that needed to be dished out as was a natural part of the learning process. It was there though, staring at me with its red eye that I knew this was no longer ab,out listening and understanding, this was about commanding and accusing. I sat there, listening until there was nothing left to say, and talking when words needed to be spoken but no more. The sentencing for my supposed crimes came crashing down and washed over me. These words were fatalistic, having already given up the hope of a future, or the respect once held.

No sooner had it started did it finish, but this time, these words left me not in a place of sadness and despair, but utter fru, station. A fuse was lit as the arguments and comments made echoed through my mind. What was clear is that this wasn’t over, but I didn’t know where to go. After it all, I sat there on my front porch calling the people I knew I could trust, trying to figure out what my next steps were.

The long days and long nights continued with finals making it all the worse. My eyes continue to burn as I pieced together all I could to make my life work. Even when the weekend hit, if I wasn’t resting I was working trying to find shelter in this hailstorm. I found solace in the voices of my friends but the music of the night was one of discord and difficulty. Those late-nigh,t hours were there for contemplating my circumstances, and that early morning sun to question my existence.

By the time Monday hit, I was ready for what was to come and what I had to do. It was in those moments that the final piece of validation came through, that all of this pain and anguish was not the result of a normal sequence of events but from a downpour of extracurricular madness. I spent the next few days organizing myself, working, and steeling myself for what might come. Tests and papers kept me busy, and life kept moving. Soon enough the day had come for a second reckoning, a moment to face the music once more. I walked in there the best I could, as brave as I could because I found my reason to keep on fighting.

Life hardly ever gives us clear cut beginnings or ends, and though things continue beyond when we would like what is important is finding the reasons to keep moving forward. I can’t say that I’ve recovered fully from my experiences or that they are truly over but I can say that I will keep fighting. Lessons are not always easy but with an open mind they will never be wasted.

Here are to the long days and nights to come, and the fighting spirit we all hold inside.

The memory of days and nights over the longest weeks of my life – Part 1

I had that reoccurring dream again.
The one where I just disappear.
A quiet evaporation leaving no traces behind.
Gone. Poof. No More. The many years and memories dissipating along with me.
It’s not the disappearance that makes this vision unsettling. It’s the quiet moment that descends on the world as the dust of my existence falls into the sky. The subtle light of my existence goes out, but the world keeps moving forward. No mountains shattered, no storms called, and no seas calmed. Just the world as it’s always been, just simply without me. As if nothing had changed and that mark I meant to leave simply faded away like water in the sun.
I had that reoccurring dream today, but where do I go from here.


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It started with words, sent to me with the intent to punish and harm. A morning shattered in a moment from reading the keys of someone else’s keystrokes. The reality I thought I had been building so fervently had crumbled from just a look.

It’s was hard to keep composure, confusion was my first response than fear and sadness. An inner turmoil began to build the pit of my stomach, like a black hole sucking in everything and making my life feel so heavy. What had I done to deserve all of these feelings flooding in?  My mind unraveled looking for answers, but as I traveled down the rabbit hole, all I found was more darkness. It had been months worth of work, late-night hours, and early morning suns that seemed all but wasted by the comments of another. What was it all worth? These feelings of tire, sadness, and grief that I had been putting off were unrecognized by the perceived enormity of a slight which I had never sent.

My heart burned, my head felt heavy, my hands already tired and spent. I had been slowly drowning over weeks, trying to keep my head above the water, and this pushed me under the waves. Why now? We were almost to the finish line, and yet it all fell apart before we arrived.

I reach out as I could, trying to understand what brought me here to this place. Was I crazy in all of this? Is all that was happening a reckoning I had simply put off for many years, a reckoning that would finally come to take me to the place back down to the place I truly belonged. That long day turned into a long night, and I was sad when the morning came as it meant that what had just happened wasn’t just simply a nightmare of my own creation but the reality that would not go away.

The dissonance got worse, and so did these feelings inside. I needed to keep strong and productive, but the feeling of kissing the front end of a fender grew slowly. Heavy thoughts and feelings thrived on the shattering of the pillars of glass I had been standing on, falling among the shards of broken confidence and self-respect. I had to deal with these feelings, these circumstances, while also trying to hobble together projects and work. Finals that I could not put off were simply the weight to ensure I could not move and adequately deal with the circumstances I found myself. Each prod and poke, however benign, felt like daggers in my side. It used all my strength to keep myself from imploding at any given second. So much energy to keep my composure as much as I could.

It was then I found myself in the forest. Contemplating the value of my existence and ability. It was among the trees and leaves that I broke down, someplace no one could see. Why was I here if all of this would explode in my face at the drop of a pin? Was I so bad as to warrant all of this heartache? Many questions came but not many answers, aside from the ones whose voice was that of pain. I talked and talked with those around me, which lifted these weights enough to breathe. For that, I am truly grateful. If I had found myself truly alone, I do not know what would have come to be.

Day became night, and when I rose in the morning it was to a sweet song of sympathy. Echoing the voice of my friend and family, it put my heart at ease to know that the circumstances I found myself were unusual if not problematic but not from the way I had originally known. It had given me types of solace to know that perhaps this may turn out well.

So many scenarios had played through my head, but perhaps there was a light at the end of the tunnel. As the day pressed on, so did my desire to face these things head-on. In the evening, I head more voices telling me that things will be okay. I was nervous, heartbroken, but nothing else persistent. I was ready to work on myself, and on the problem. All I wanted was to be better and to learn as much as I could. That is what I am here for.

I planned and thought. I considered all of this and opened myself up to feedback. Soon enough, the day had come. The day where I would have to face the music came, and I meticulously prepared everything I could so that when I tuned in, I was ready to work on whatever I needed to do going forward.

That day, which I thought would be the end of all of this turned out to be only moving to another chapter in this long and arduous process. That day when I arrived, sparked the start of something else entirely. These long weeks had just begun.

To Be Continued…

 

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Shelter In Place – GroundedSpaceMan

It was some time ago, when listening to a podcast about the intricacies of emotion, I came to a deeper understanding of how about how the words shape the experience we have. The ability to describe how we feel goes a long way for how we treat these experiences and the process in how we cope with these experiences.

It’s then I have a word problem, an inability to describe how I feel simply. Maybe it’s because it’s a multitude of many things that are happening right, now but my feelings are stunted and unresolved because of my inability to put my finger on exactly what I am going through.

It mixture, a muddle of things to be honest. A sadness, an unease, an accomplishment, but also a sense nihilism. A confused sort of thing that comes together more like a grey cloud than anything clear cut. I don’t know what to do or what the right thing is, my body and brain are in incongruency trying to get a grip on myself as the world seems to be falling apart. It is then I had wished for the guise of routine to save me from the confusion only to be thrown to the lions, unrooted and left to hoist myself up the best I can.

For now, I used just a place holder of _______, a blank space that will have to do in the meantime as I have to continue moving forward. It doesn’t make the nights easier or the mornings shorter. What it does do is let me acknowledge it exists and to keep moving forward. I may not find the word, but I at least need to spend time healing.

And So It Begins – The Golden Boy, Now Stateless

Just as a digression before I begin. A few years ago (when I was going through the Ph.D. interview process for the first time) there was a prospect of me moving to Dallas to attend school.  Though this opportunity didn’t end up bearing fruit there was a beautiful thought of being able to name a series of blog posts – The Golden Body in The Lone Star State – which other than being descriptive of both where I’ve been (growing up in California, and it being the Golden State) and where I was going (Texas is the Lone Star State) would have been a catchy title for process of moving away from home and being in a lonely state of mind.  Though reality ultimately it turned out for the better I did hope that wherever state I ended up in had a nice nickname to make a catch title. Low and behold I went to the one place in the United States that doesn’t have a state nickname… because it’s not a state at all, Washington D.C.  Maybe it was the world’s way of telling me that I need to try a bit harder on the naming scheme, but as it stands now, I’m Stateless.


 

 

I’ve been here for almost a month now, trying to find a home in a new place. Transforming these open spaces into homelike traces wanting so much to find where I belong.

All new things take time, the question is how much time should I take.  It’s easy of course when you have a place you’ve established, it’s easy when the reality is that you are only so far away. Everything is so new, and so different but walks around with the false facsimile of something familiar. You know, it’s a lot of effort to have the chance to find where I could possible stand. It has caused me to lay awake at night, unable to find a comfortable place to lay my head, yearning so much for what I’ve known. There is no break from that reality for me, I am here, and they are there. With thousands of miles of land between us, there is no illusion like there is with the sea, that you might just be there on the other side of the waves. Though we can edge that distance, the truth is that you or I can’t cross it completely.

It’s trying to find that place that is comfortable, which is hard for someone who at times doesn’t even like his own skin.  It was easier last time, I had a group of people that I was thrust into on an extremely regular basis, a community already established, and a community of many who wanted to connect just as much as I. Joined by as shared vision brought on by this beautifully temporary space, connecting not only in dream but in heart.

I didn’t need to prove anything to them, I came in with a much-warranted humility that I need to start from scratch. Start building up from where I was, though experiences not learned. I think my two years have given me a slight complex about wanting to show I’ve learned, to prove that I know, and to know that I am respected.  Respect takes time, it’s not handed out like candy but built like cake. Layer by layer. It’s partially because I’m scared that I use this knowledge to defend myself, to make it seem like I am competent and confident when in reality, I don’t know what the next step it. I’m shaking inside, retreating into my head, thankfully I’ve made friends there since last time, so it isn’t too detrimental.

It’s lonesome, though. I thrive when I am known, and here nobody knows me. I can’t say it’s all that bad, people are friendly here, living their lives to the fullest. Going from place to place with a mission and purpose, and all I’m trying to do is find where I fit in all this. Of course, if I would stop thinking and just do, then I would eliminate most of my troubles. If I were to reach out, and make reality what I want it to be, then I wouldn’t have this problem.  I need not regress to this shy person I was before, the one who didn’t know up from down and didn’t understand anyone including himself. Maybe it’s premature for all this talk now, but it’s hard not to the I’ve awake at night wondering where everyone else in the world is.

It’s a bit troubling, but I have to be resilient to myself. Now is the perfect time to become who I want to be and stand firm who I have been.  It’s that belief in myself that I need to renew and learn to power forward. If I am true to myself, then people will naturally gather. There will be some bumps on the road, but this is an excellent chance to reaffirm what I know and grow even more.

I can’t say it’s been easy, but who really want life to be easy. It’s too dull that way anyways.

March Towards Matriculations – Ninth March – A Stumble With The Starter Pistol

“Not as I imagined it” is what I thought getting on the plane to fly to my new home “This isn’t exactly as picturesque as it is in the movies.”

The morning was rough, waking up to the question “Hey, it’s 6am, aren’t we suppose to already be at the airport?”.  From that moment forward, my body was tensed, my head went into a panic, and I moved as faster than I even knew I could. Grabbing everything I could think of and shoving them into the last bag as my sister started carrying my suitcases out to the car.  It wasn’t supposed to be this way, sure I knew would have been sleep deprived, but by the time I was on the road to the airport, my whole body felt like acid was poured my muscles as the tenseness tore at my soul. Thankfully, I had gotten there at the right moment, any later and I would have missed my flight. It’s an unusual thing when they are calling your name over the intercom, and from my youth of running away from my mother in the store, I knew it is never a good thing. But I did it, got on my plane with my last moments of home being a brief glance into the beautiful California Sunrise before entering the plane and taking off.

You might ask, why did this happen? Well, I have been spending the last several weeks trying to meet and hang out with as many people as possible.  Pressing every last ounce of these experiences, I can’t readily export to my new home into my memory, hoping I store enough of it up to give me strength in my journey across the country. This all culminated in a party last night, where people from all across the different stages of my life convened for the first time. People from childhood, high school, college, and graduate school all showed up and mingled. It’s hard playing host to these events because I want to spend so much time with each an every one of them, but my attention is split and torn between all conversations and friend circled around. It was nice though to see the common thread between all of them. They are just good people. People who are fun to be around, who love stories and conversation. Who are polite but opinionated. Who are delightful, intelligent, and capable in their own ways.

As you might understand, if I have all these great people around me, I would never want the night to end. So it went on, but as the clocked ticked by slowly each and every one of them trickled out of the party, going home to their soft comfortable beds. I could have called it earlier, my alarm was to be set for 4:30am regardless of what time I went to bed, but I didn’t. How am I suppose to say no to being with all these people in my life whom I love?  It was almost scripted, each person leaving one after the other, giving me time to say goodbye to each one of them individually. It was sad, but I love them, and part of them will always be with me. Promises I intend to keep were made, but one thing was for sure, something was at its end.

I think that’s why getting to the house I am going to be living in the next year was so hard. Everything finally became real. This hiatus on my emotions dealing with this change have finally begun to move again. Pardon my French, but this scared the shit out of me. I had this feeling before, when before I chose not to leave for San Jose State right out of high school. This impending doom that feels like someone has their hand wrapped tightly around my heart. A tenseness that feels like life itself is trying to squeeze the years out of me. It’s an anxiety that took me aback as I was setting things up in my new home. Even with this feeling of wanting to run back home, I know I must live here and face it. This is because the possibilities moving forward are too great to pass up without eternal regret following me. Tomorrow will be easier, and same with the next, I just have to get through it.

But it’s important to remember, I am not going to be gone forever, just for a little while. Well, for 5 years actually. I’m not dying though, and since I can’t imagine the people I love not being in my life, I will continue forward any way I know how. It will be a lot of effort, but I’m a hard worker and expending effort it what I do. Though it was a rough start to this grand adventure, doesn’t mean I won’t get through the race. I will keep moving forward with the strength of those around me like the wind at my back. I am greedy so I will keep those friends whom I have while trying to make more.

It’s not goodbye forever, just goodbye for now. There are more memories to be made, and more people to meet, but I’m glad I at least had these final moments with my friends and family up until the very end.

A Song of Celebration and Sadness

Looking back the last several months, there is a theme of my posts getting a bit darker, and less hopeful which isn’t usually what I like to write about especially since the words come directly from what I am feeling earlier in the week. It’s because there’s a feeling following me around which I haven’t been to identify, like a cloud not quite raining. I was afraid I might have been getting depressed but it was only until a few days ago when I was catching up with a friend telling her about everything that has been going on the last several weeks that it made sense. She mentioned that all the stuff that’s been going on just seems ‘heavy’. I knew it when I heard it, that’s exactly how it’s been – heavy.

You see I’ve been mixed up with a lot of things, school, life, work but everything that’s been happening hasn’t had a wistfulness to it. Each thing, serious and demanding attention, requiring one more thing to rest upon my shoulders and carry on. Good news comes with stress, and bad news comes with emotions to the point where everything seems to just level out and carry on in a way that makes sense.

I am happy, but I’m not too happy, I’m sad but not too sad, each time I receive bad news good news isn’t far behind leaving me confused and having this muddled mix of mild coursing through me making it hard to really enjoy anything. It’s frustrating because I can’t give the time proper time for my emotions to cultivate and sing. I want to celebrate all the great things that are going on, the amazing things that are happening and I doesn’t feel right. I want to sulk and mourn for the sad things happening around me and yet I don’t feel in the proper place or mindset. My emotions aren’t swinging, they are balancing and it’s hurting me.

I just keep moving, somewhere between the heavens and the earth, both flying high and sinking low all at once. I want to rest my this pack hold my life on a rock somewhere and have time to process all the things riding on my shoulders. At least now I know what I’m feeling and with that I can start doing something about it.