This journey that we are on is about survival. The ways we survived in the past stopped being effective more than three years ago That has left us exposed, vulnerable, without skin.
We have spent our time nursing our wounds and making new skin. And we are attempting to remake ourself, not just heal what was.
Transformation is our goal.
This can be done. We can change the way we think and the way we perceive the world. This is going to be possible.
First, this kind of change is slow.
Some other kinds of change are fast. A person can die or leave our life quickly and without warning. Adapting to that change is slow. If we are not deliberate, that change can be put off indefinitely. If we are not deliberate, we can find ourselves creating suffering for ourselves.
The kind of change we are attempting is also hard. Changing our automatic, nearly instantaneous reactions requires careful attention to our existing habits, understanding that they are habits and not Truths or immutable laws. If it is helpful, we will study neuropathways and understand the chemical processes. Also, we can practice new ways, record our results (such as journaling and blogging), and over large swaths of time notice differences.
All of our efforts must rest on the belief that changing how we think, thereby giving us more options for responding to current conditions flexibly (versus automatically reacting based on old fears and habits), is possible and that we have already been practicing long enough to notice differences.
Our goal is not part of a dualistic system: we are not trying to get “better” from “worse.” We are not trying to do the “right” thing instead of the “wrong.” We are not trying to always be “happy” instead of “(insert any unpleasant emotion(s)).”
This is very important to us, because it is part of the new ways of thinking. We have let go of the idea that “bad” people hurt us.
People hurt us.
Intentionality and judgment are not part of our Truth. The people who hurt us had their own experiences, their own habits of thought and behavior.
We can have empathy for those who hurt us. The hardest person to have empathy for is Violent Parent. Probably because that person is still “in our life.” And, at the same time, it is easy for us to imagine how this parent came to be Violent Parent.
Because this parent does not want to change, or even be vulnerable about their actions, it is all the easier to see how this person came to be who they are.
We cannot yet make it a goal to liberate Violent Parent from violence.
First, we have to liberate ourselves from violence. The violence of our stories, the violence of our loud voice, the violence of blame, the violence of shame, the violence of anger.
We choose deliberately what food we consume and what media we consume. We would like to be more deliberate about our own stories. Dissociation is still a way to survive, though survival is for those still in imminent danger. Are we?
Parts of our psyche that are trapped in the past believe our lives are in danger. This is PTSD and DID. We want to liberate our me’s to the Safe Now.
Right now, the space heater fan churns air. The refrigerator hiccups. Our stomach begins to send signals of hunger. This is now. Our back is tired. We make words on a screen. This is now.
Whether or not you read these words is our future. Even as your reading this part of your Now.
The future is a fiction. Always. Because it is not happening Now. Now continues to unfold. It is unnecessary to measure when one Now ends and another begins, because the separation is likely something we won’t notice. People are not realistically mindful 100 percent of the time. When we realize we are not mindful, and we want to be mindful, the Now is available to us via our senses. We do not have to go through any elaborate process, or apologize, or regret. We can join Now anytime!
We will not always make change how we want or when we want. It is not possible. Imperfection must be our goal. This would seem easy. And because OCD helped us survive by creating rules (obsessions)–and rituals to satisfy those rules (compulsions)–our imperfection is trapped in the false duality of imperfection-wrong-bad vs perfection-right-good.
We will try to liberate it.
With imperfection as our goal, we are guaranteed to succeed.
When in our life’s history have we guaranteed our own success?
We guarantee our own success Now.