Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Gratitude


[image source]

I simply could not sit at the computer last night to do a gratitude post. And aside from being marginally grateful to still be alive, I wasn't feeling a whole lot of gratitude anyway.

I was SICK yesterday, and when I say sick I mean I slept most of the day, puked my guts out to the point that I couldn't eat or drink, ached all over, and felt like I was going to faint whenever I stood up. Food poisoning is so much fun (at least that's what I think it was). I feel slightly better this morning, but very weak from lack of food and dehydrated from, well, you know.

One interesting thing came out of this experience, but first let me preface the realization with some history. I am horrible about asking for help. I am very much a "do it myself" type. This includes times when I really need help. I feel like I am imposing or asking too much, or whatever, so I just won't ask, even when people want to help. I have been sick as hell, with a 103 degree fever, and just toughed it out alone, just me and my hallucinations. The stupid part is that there is part of me (a subpersonality) that feels proud for withstanding so much on my own, wears it as a sign of courage or strength or some dumbass thing. I think this stems from having been on my own for most of my life, at least since I was thirteen. I don't feel there is anyone to count on, so I don't even let myself feel the need or the want of having someone help me. And stupidly, I feel strong for being so alone.

Well, yesterday in the midst of my suffering, I really wanted someone to take care of me. I wanted someone to fix me some chicken noodle soup (a flashback to early childhood, I think, since that is what my mom used to do when I was sick). I wanted someone to just comfort me and tell me it was all going to be okay.

I have never felt that need in my adult life. Or I should say, I have never let myself feel that need. When we are weak and vulnerable, it is often our inner child that expresses needs for help and support. My inner child has been locked in the closet with duct tape over his mouth for more than 25 years. So imagine my surprise to experience his presence yesterday.

I know I talk about this stuff a lot, but for me this is where the fire is in my inner work. Getting some access to my inner child is, right now, the mission in all my work, no matter what angle I take. This is part of what Wilber calls "regression in service of the ego." I need to heal some wounding that occurred in the lower fulcrums before I can safely move any higher in my development. Not doing so will put me as risk for the kind of personality disorders we witnessed in Gafni and in Wilber's response -- different forms, of course, but in both cases there is a glitch in lower level development that allows them to be spiritually advanced but interpersonally underdeveloped. That combination is dangerous. I want to teach someday, and I don't want to be one of the teachers who is abusive in any way, or insensitive, or ego-focused, or anything else.

So, the point of this long explantion is that I am grateful for the breakthrough that occurred in the midst of my breakdown. Having that experience of my inner child feels like an enormous step forward in my work.

What are you grateful for?


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