The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Note from a new student

A lady I've known a long time recently asked to study with me. After our initial meeting:
Hey Steve, Thanks a million, once again. It was so good to see you after all of this time and to get some insight in to the why’s and wherefores of the changes in your life. I so appreciate you listening to me and my tales of woe. I KNOW I have some very hard work ahead of me and I find it all pretty daunting.
Beware, opening this Pandora’s Box as it may be difficult to close again. I spite of my tears, I don’t want pity. I need and want your guidance and your patience. Be my teacher. Scared….scared…..scared….keeps whirling through my mind. Geez, it’s almost paralyzing! Fear is such a strong motivator – in all directions.
I have denied my pain for such a very long time. I did not grow up ‘broken’. I don’t know how to admit that kind of pain. I AM the strong one. The one that others come to for help. How can I be the one that ‘needs’??? I am uncomfortable taking emotionally from others. There is a pride there. I have ALWAYS known what to do to heal myself. Until now. Until the last 13 years. Has it been that long? And even then, I thought I knew what to do. I was strong. I declared my independence. I prayed. I played. Somewhere, I lost ME. Did I get so caught up in ‘helping’ others that I forgot to tend to my Soul? Did I forget or was it just too hard and easier to look outward rather than in? Do any of these questions really matter? Today’s topic is forgiveness. The ever present demon. Like that damned birthday candle that won’t go out, no matter how hard you blow on it. Just when you think you’ve got it handled, it roars back to life, bigger than ever. Like a life devouring fire storm. The inability to forgive sucks the essence of joy from me and renders all attempts to create happiness futile. How to forgive? What to forgive? It isn’t about forgiving ‘them’, at least not yet. It is about forgiving ME for being in that time and place. For not seeing the duplicity, not seeing the error of being in relationship with them. For allowing it to happen in the first place. Where is that mirror when I need it most? What is it about forgiveness that doesn’t’ completely go away? I think that I’ve covered the ground thoroughly and dug everything up and turned it all over. Fine. Good. Yes, I feel better about things now. I can move on. THEN, seemingly from nowhere, that anger is there again. It screams in my ears, drowning out every other emotion. How could THEY do that to me? How could I let them?? Stupid, arrogant, fool. Please, please, please…I pray/cry. I don’t want to hurt anymore. Shut it down. Turn it off. Stuff if away in the corner. No one will notice it there, least of all me. At least for a while. Tonight I will meditate on this. I will talk to my Creator. I will reach an understanding and THIS time I will succeed. THIS is the first step.
Beautifully put, and a note that shows genuine insight into process. My reply:
Dear XX:
Anger is a mask over fear. Go deeply into your fear, deal with that, and you will be able to release the anger. At any rate, you don't need to be rid of fear in order to evolve--as long as you are very clear on what you love. Put your fear behind you, your love in front of you, and run like hell!Steve

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