Where to start?
Life has been likened to a movie. We are in our seats watching it unfold, captivated to some degree, in suspense, not knowing how it turns out. There is a plot, a cast of characters, a beginning, middle and an end. There may be a hero, a villain, anti-hero, unsuspecting victims, a human triumph, a fall, or a redemption. There may or may not be resolution when the curtain falls. For a few hours, we are wrapped up in a compelling series of events. Depending what genre of movie we are watching – a comedy, drama, romance, action or horror flick – it leaves us with an certain flavor of emotional residue.
We all want to leave the theatre feeling good and inspired, – or perhaps, even better – that we have had gone through ‘the ringer’ to have a story confront us with the truth of reality in some way, so we feel alive and whole in our brokenness. Those are usually the films that win awards because they makes us feel the terrible beauty of being human, that vulnerability is strength, courage can overcome all odds, that we are a part of something bigger, and we are not alone in our experience.
Spiritual masters of the East have said, to view life as a movie but remember we are only the observer. Easier said than done for it takes time and many experiences to naturally embody true detachment and personal freedom. All we have to work with is our own life.
I have been thinking of taking on the project of writing a memoir for some time. I expect it to be very disjointed, like my mind. Scenes of my life are rising up, perhaps to tell me a story.
Rarely will we find people willing to hear the truth of our lives outside of the therapy office. Hopefully we have some friends and family do not shirk from such intimacy. I have had mixed luck. I think it is important however, that the muggles (or non-“Posters”) recognize the impact of trauma on a life. (For instance, it is not something you just “get over”, sometimes ever. Will explain more later.)
My life has been hard, many times brutally so, but not without its gorgeous, blessed, enlightening, and exciting times. There are many other who have it worse. I don’t feel sorry for myself, just trying to own my experience and make sense of it.
I started out being given away for adoption at birth, brought into a chaotic, dangerously abusive and neglectful home, and then – for lack of knowing better, carried those templates into my life for 50 years, causing all sorts of mayhem, mostly in the relationship and work arena. Living with the effects of my past can be a living hell, thanks to tangled neural networks and hard wired associations. Not always though.
A history of trauma has had far reaching implications on my health, the ability to create happiness and have enough stability to create something to depend on, like a career, a relationship or a home. Perhaps telling my stories will help get them out of my jumpy body and relieve the pressure I feel to hold everything together.
Back to the Eastern spiritual masters, I have one, who I deeply rely on. A lot of folks on the spiritual path, whichever one they walk, are seeking souls, wanting to transcend or more fully embody their experience. I try to frame my life in terms of healing as spiritual work, and hopefully I am making some progress. Hard to tell most of the time.
There is a saying –
What is the cost of faith?