Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Melt Down

Last week I finished writing my book. This was one of the most humbling processes of my life. For the last few weeks I got up at 4 am every morning (about an hour earlier than normal) to do my sadhana and then and spent every possible hour working on the book to meet the God-given deadline. After the daylight time change I was really messed up and was staying up till midnight (much later than normal) and still getting up at 4. Somehow I was given the grace to do this. I was aided by so many helpers and miracles. 

It was a spiritual high. But also a crumbling, ego crushing experience. I read the definition of contrite recently and the latin root means: crushed, crumbled, worn away. And i feel like that was what was happening to my ego. I had to rely on God for everything. For each word. It's weird how you can be crumbled and also feel so good. 

Then on Thursday when it was all done (but for a few details that seemed to be the proverbial straw that send the camel into a hissy fit) I had a total melt down. I woke up with two headaches and the worst attitude. I'm pretty sure it was due to lack of sleep and some subconscious stuff that creeped up in my blind spot. I realized that my moms birthday was coming up, and for some reason her birthday is always way more emotional than her death day. And I realized this is the 25th year I have lived without her. 

So I visited the grave-- something I haven't been into in the past, but it seemed right, and I now live close to it, so we went. I bought flowers at a stand right next to the cemetery. That stand has been there since I can remember. My dad used to buy flowers there when we went as kids to visit her grave. I had never actually bought flowers there myself. The air was heavy with scents and I was heavy with memories. I couldn't barely speak as I paid for them. 

At the grave, I felt sort of like I should throw myself on the ground and weep, but I couldn't muster the energy or drama. But I did feel like I could meditate so I did the full moon version of Sa Re Sa Sa, even though it was the day before the full moon. As I moved my hands up into a lotus flower and then back down, I started to cry. This is the cycle of life. There is a rising, a growing, an opening, and then there is a descending, aging, death, and then from the earth, there is birth again. Phoebe did the mediation with me for a while and then she became absorbed in a lady bug who was having a hard time tucking in his inner wing with the wind blowing on him. He finally got it and flew away and another lady bug joined us. Then another. I'm sure it was my mother and her parents, also buried there. 

I wanted to feel good after this, but I still felt bad. I knew there was some generational healing that needed to happen that day but I couldn't focus because there was a tractor making a huge racket about three rows over. So we left.  

I could feel my ego trying to reconstruct itself. The whole purpose of an ego is to cover up all the horrible things you are afraid are true about yourself (or that Satan wants you think are true). So you create this facade that is the opposite of what you fear. But neither are true of course and neither are as great as your true self. 

That night I went to a dinner at church. I was in a horrible mood and I was doubting that they would have anything I could eat (Church dinners are notoriously non-vegetarian, over emphasis on desert and generally all around low quality food.) In the past, at other such events, I have thrown a fit and made a scene about there not being any food that I could eat. It's not the best way to make an impression, but it does make one. (I used to get very grouchy when hungry, and so there was very little self control.)  This time, I was worried that I was spiraling to this old pattern. Luckily they actually had food I could eat! and they ate relatively one time. (I talked to our bishop a few months before about having vegetarian food at functions and he was agreeable. Looks like he passed the word on. Yay!) But I noticed that my attitude only slightly improved.

I cast out the devil a few times, but still couldn't shake the funk. That night when I called Lani to cry about it she pointed out some things that were obvious to her, but not to me. First, she has known me a long time. She has seen in various settings and she noticed that when we went to White Tantric Yoga, or the Winter Solstice Event, I radiated love to everyone present. But she noticed that the few times we have gone to church together, I am different. Where did Felice go? She wondered. I put up a wall at church and church functions. Not with Mormons, but and "mormon functions" I seem to revert back to my 12 year old self.

I realized it was true. I actually feel more comfortable and full of love at the Sikh Ashram or the Hari Krishna Temple or the hippie peace stick ceremony than I do at my own church. And I realized it is because this is old stuff. Church is like family, and your family is often who triggers you the most. Though I adore the gospel and treasure my membership in the church, I sometimes have a hard time at churchy functions.

I realized that this pattern had gone on long enough and it was time to clear the childhood triggers around church stuff so I could be my true self there. So I guided Lani in how to guide me into an imagery journey. The journey was life changing. I won't write all about it because it's personal and it's mine, but here is what I will share:

God wants all of you. Even your temper tantrums. He will hold the space for your ranting and raving and still love you and pick you up off the floor when your are done and hug you. He can take it. So give it to him.

The next day at church I felt like a new born babe, vulnerable on the one hand without my shield, but totally protected by my Mother and Father. And I was able to see deep into the soul of everyone there. It was eye opening, sad, beautiful.

This is the quote that Lani sent me the next day. I think it is fitting:

"With eyes to see, we find that we are participants in a highly interactive universe, a dynamic laboratory, in which the Governing Powers lead us and even provoke us to 'be conformed to the image of [God's] Son" (Romans 8:29). To this end, the Lord, knowing what we do not yet understand about our own soul, what has not yet been healed or resolved in us, allows circumstances and events to provoke the tutorials which will set us free in love." (M. Catherine Thomas, Light in the Wilderness, p. 164). 

Though I think I am still healing and still grieving, it is moving through me. I reminded myself this morning that it won't last forever, as we often forget when we are in the middle of things. I am so grateful for all of this. Wahe Guru.


  1. I love this. And I love you, beautiful friend!

  2. Thank you for sharing this portion, as it really touched me: "God wants all of you. Even your temper tantrums. He will hold the space for your ranting and raving and still love you and pick you up off the floor when your are done and hug you. He can take it. So give it to him.

  3. oh my goodness, this was beautiful.

    "God wants all of you. Even your temper tantrums. He will hold the space for your ranting and raving and still love you and pick you up off the floor when your are done and hug you. He can take it. So give it to him."

    Thank you for sharing.

  4. And congrats on your book. Can't wait to read it.

  5. Thank you for a reminder of God's unfailing love and His faith in our potential.
    I'm glad you went to the cemetery... When my brother died my family went to the cemetery for Family Home Evenings and sang his favourite songs. We went on his birthday and ate "angel" food cake and kissed helium-filled balloons and sent them to heaven. We went on Memorial Day with our hand painted wood cut-outs of flowers and horses and baseball mitts. And so the cemetery represented a celebration of life and the sacredness of family and healing.
    Grieving... A process for sure. And you may grieve over again at different times and in different spaces.
    May God bless and comfort you. May He bind you to Him through this journey.