If you go to my last entry and click on 2003 at the bottom of the entry, you will find the ONLY other entry, out of 362 entries on this blog, where I write about a spiritual journey. And I wrote it on the same date, two years ago. Perhaps it is one of those interesting coincidences, the kind that occur in times of upheaval. I was utterly surprised when I saw it, but also reassured. Perhaps there is something here.
During my last week at my internship, a bag was passed around and each of us retrieved an object with a unique saying on it. The belief was that it would be meaningful, meant for the person who chose it at random. As I waited to pick out mine, I thought that perhaps the most fitting one for me would say “Let Go”. But someone else got that one. Mine said “Pay Attention”. I thought that was perhaps the worst one out of the bunch. I was disappointed, and then dismissed the whole thing as silly anyway. Since then, however, I have come across this phrase again and it has struck me forcibly, and I remember the object from my internship. This is what I need to do. Pay Attention.
I don’t want to call this a “journey”, as it makes me cringe. But I am setting out to do something, more consciously than I have ever done before. It will involve self-reflection and writing and paying attention. I have wondered whether I should acknowledge it here, on this public forum. I know that I need to, in a more abbreviated form. This will keep me focused. This is my voice, and perhaps it will inspire someone else.
Since my last entry, I have had two dreams. The second dream spoke exclusively to the wound of being female, the first dream- more emotional and painful- spoke to a different wound. As I wrote in my journal, I found myself reflecting on my trip to Silver Bay yesterday (again with the curious timing). I met up with my friend Allison and we gave George a tour of the entire campus. I was struck all over again by the beauty of this place. As we walked through the dorms where I lived during the summer from the ages of 18 to 21, I could feel in myself feelings of bittersweet familiarity as well as disconnect. Disconnect from myself and my experiences there. I didn’t like myself.
Further reflection in my journal led me to name another wound, one that is closer to the surface. I named it, the wound of Exclusion. By nature of my hearing loss, I have experienced profound exclusion in most social spheres, in some ways very subtle and in other ways not. In some ways it is purely the nature of my loss and I must reconcile to it.
I realized that Silver Bay represents to me the most painful ways that I existed in this wound and the most desperate measures I took to repair it. The problem was that it was entirely unconscious and reactive. I was unconscious and reactive. The unconscious projections that happened in this state were a most powerful and compelling force that seemed to obliterate my own voice.
When I realized how I had been in the throes of this for so long, and most intensely at Silver Bay, I stopped, for a moment, devaluing this part of myself and my life and understood it. I felt compassion instead of dislike for myself. Now I can consciously set about healing this wound.
Aug 28th 2005Introspection