Tagged: relationships

Why Spiritual Direction?

I didn’t know until this moment why it is I’ve been so craving someone with whom to talk about these things.

It’s not because I crave their input – though I value it as a precious gift when it comes – but because I need to see what the thoughts look like when they’re outside of me. It really is a sounding-board that I have been looking for, so that I can send out my stuff and hear it coming back to me. Interesting.

I am also becoming increasingly mindful of just how alone I have been, and just how horribly absent that aloneness has made me feel – like a ghost or a shadow, not valued enough to even look at and make substantial. Not shared-with, but shared-at. I feel as though I ought to have been protected, or at least offered the chance of protection, from the rising tide of emptiness that follows the tsunami, scattering debris everywhere, heavy with death, but looking more ‘normal’ than the last, and thereby establishing a false norm.

Let go of the anger, the pain, the binding – yes, I can do that, I suppose. But how to prevent it from happening again – other than running away?

I am learning to be gentle and quiet and still, and it is good. I am conscious that suddenly I am further on the path than I’d thought, that I have silenced the self-critical voices in ways that others can’t even see they haven’t. This is a strange position to be in: it lets me experience an enactment of that which I found in the silence yesterday, as I can help and connect and understand the hurt because I have been hurt by it, and our shared sorrow, held by my having escaped that path, allows us to be friends.

It is good to be close. It is good to be quiet. It is good to be gentle. It is good to let go of answers or of solutions and to sit in the space between knowing and unknowing, not seeking so much as observing and hearing and learning. It is a good place to be. I feel held.




30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself

Some of these are hard! This thing about not having to ‘fight for a spot’ in someone’s life – that’s so important, and so resonant and scary and sad for me right now. Maybe one day I’ll find some people I like who value me enough to find space for me in their lives. Seems a shame for it to have been such a difficult thing over the years, though, and I’m not sure why, again. Maybe I only ‘like’ people if they don’t value me enough – that’s the only obvious conclusion I can make. I guess the other one is that I just got very unlucky.

Perhaps I’m supposed to examine whether or not my perception is ‘true’; it hurts so much just to look at it at the moment that I can’t do that in this instant. Maybe I will at some point.


I’ve been sitting for over an hour, wrapped up in two blankets, shivering. I know that the building and the room are warm. Parts of me are warm. But my extremities, particularly my right hand and my right foot, felt like ice for the longest time. They are warmed up enough now that I can type. I still feel the chill down my back, through my shoulders all the way to my feet. It is as though I am wrapped, constrained, in cold.

This happens. This is my body’s response to stress – fight or flight – and, given that I’m forcing myself to do neither, by strength of will, my body’s trying to shut down to protect me from whatever it is.

So what is the big problem? I’m not sure.

I felt rejected. I felt ashamed of myself. I felt as though there may not be cause for hope. And above all, as though I must apparently be so different from everyone else, that I can never fit or be at peace. I don’t suppose that’s really true, but that is how it feels, and looked.

My responses were not ‘normal’; I just responded. I didn’t think it through or try to be clever. I answered the question with my body.

And that distressed and disturbed people. My moving into their space, my craving closeness, felt to them aggressive and weird.

Is this because I am aggressive and weird? Is it because somehow I massively miscommunicate? Is it because I behaved inappropriately? Did I do something ‘wrong’?

So distressed were they by my hiding in the crowd, I had to go back to my seat, alone, isolated, exposed…equal. Adult.

I didn’t want to be alone. I wanted to be held.

And suddenly as I said that, the walls came crowding round me: I am so very much alone, almost all of the time. In work, at home, in my family, in my spirituality, in my ‘love’ relationships.

The question is: why? Am I alone because I am rejected? Just because of circumstances? Because I isolate myself?

Probably a mixture, right?

I am aware this evening that my craving nearness, my moves towards, are often threatening and intrusive for others. That they don’t want me near.

I wonder if it might be because they’re hiding from me, rather than the other way round?

So this self-proclaimed “people person”, the “shy extrovert” suddenly feels like a cold, cruel, corporate hard-man, a Frank Cross, a Scrooge. A bitter, lonely person who pushes everyone away because she is lonely. Can that be what is happening, what has been happening all this time?

If I stopped wanting people, if I stopped moving towards, maybe they’d move into the space I left. So then maybe I’d be less…alone. But, I wouldn’t be me, and I wouldn’t be happy. I need to be in that space, that is my space. Why?