Thursday, June 29, 2006


Interesting stuff being frightened. I tend to think of fear as being a natural reaction, which it is, and that acting on it, or making some sort of resolution base on it is a useful act. For me, my ME was an expression of the high levels of fear I feel about things. This was born out very early on when I started to pace, I would lie down on bed for my rest and immediately be engulfed in waves of fear. Its quite something to lie down and rest in those circumstance. Now I'm working in a similar way with my eczema, I'm starting to see as I think I've mentioned before, how the itching is often a sign of some change or other, and the scratching is often a way of changing it. So the itching is my fear of the reaction, and the scratching is my way of controlling it. Of course the fact I'm allergic to all sorts of things can make me scratch too. I feel that my heightened fear response has probably added to this in some way I don't yet understand. But it's interesting that by expressing the fear through my itching and controlling it through scratching I managed to avoid the source of the fear. Naturally it came out later on through my ME, probably with a similar relationship between fear and control or perfectionism. In none of this have I actually looked at my fear. The fear itself is I feel a guard against some form of grief. I attended a paranirvana (death of the Buddha) ceremony a couple of years ago, and felt all my fear back to reveal the most intense raw grief I have ever felt. This was before dad died, but it was worse than anything I felt then (and that was pretty sad). I think that grief is a reaction to our separateness, I think it's that that causes the grief, then the fear, and the trying to control, as a method of trying to find our way back. In my case, me being me, there's an awful lot of anger too. I guess it's born from frustration of not being able to find my way back.

Now I'm pregnant it's very interesting because I'm terrified of having a miscarriage. I'm interested in the mythologies I believe to be true about myself, like "my body doesn't work well enough to get pregnant" - well duh! as the Americans might say ;). My second one is, "I will have a miscarriage". Fair enough, it's quite possible I could. But it's actually more possible that I wont - if human women had as many miscarriages as I'm projecting onto myself, we wouldn't be having the population explosion we're having... So where does this strong belief come from? Obviously habitual negative tendencies regarding myself, and perhaps more so from this perfectionist control of my fear. Once again I need to let go, just simply let go. I actually feel it's quite normal to be frightened of miscarriage, the 1st trimester of pregnancy where I am, has a high miscarriage rate. What I think is a shame is the way this becomes the sole focus. I'm making some attempts, whenever I find myself on a real humdinger of a fear trip, I try to imagine Green Tara is nestling in my womb. This is wonderful, as I find it easier this way to just trust what is. Really I feel the most important thing is that I allow foetus to experience that isness, after all it's not up to me what happens. The morning sickness I listen to with tonglen. Read anything by the Dalai Lama for much better descriptions on it, then I could possibly give. Basically it's a process where you visualize breathing in the poisonous afflictions of other people, and you breathe out love to heal them. One of the explanations of morning sickness, is that the foetus is passing out what it doesn't need and that causes the sickness. There are an awful lot of theories though lol. I do like that one, and breathing out love when I wanting to puke is a good thing. It's an interesting journey, and I'm already so grateful to foetus for giving me an extra chance for practice.

I also just read an excellent book It's called "The Wisdom of Forgiveness" by HH The Dalai Lama and Victor Chan. It's billed as "Intimate conversations and Journeys". Much of my inspiration behind this post comes from it.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Same old, same old

Interesting stuff this resentment. Rev Olwen pointed out to me that the clinging caused by it is that which needs tackling through letting go. So I'm trying... My skin is really misbehaving itself tonight, it feels like it has lots of shooting needles and crawling worms in it. I can usually relieve this with anti-histamine, but as I just found out I'm one months pregnant (too soon to be certain we'll have a baby), ah's are out of the window. I'm not happy with the steroid cream I'm using on my skin too, but my dr assured me it would be ok. It has been proven to cause cleft lips etc in rats (poor rats), but the official line is if thats the best option for you, then your dr will ok it. Obviously not an entirely great decision to make.

So here am I, showing willing by not taking anti-histamine, and actually and rather mercifully not feeling nauseous. Another really useful opportunity for practice has been my morning sickness - not thrown up yet, but I now have a nose that can detect garlic and petrol at 100 paces. So useful! As I said it would be a good opportunity for practice, but I'm finding it totally impossible to sit back and observe whats going on. I'm not sure whether its all new, or whether it is totally different to ME, but it certainly feels like it. With ME there would usually be a semi logical explaination, something I had to change etc for it to reduce, but with morning sickness, it's quite never ending. Maybe my attempt at practica can be to be more compassionate to myself. No matter how many times I write/think/explain my spiritual journey, I always forget number 1, ie COMPASSION. Sorry for making you jump, but I'm so forgetful. So thank you to whatever it is that made me finally get out of bed and write, rather than remain and scratch, thank you for the reminder about compassion. I guess it will have to be practical compassion, ie not just sitting around feeling my pain or whatever, but carrying on doing stuff, with a lighter, less grasping edge to it.

You many have noticed I reffered obliquely to being pregnant. As I said its only a month, and right now, the shock is just about passing, and I starting to grasp how organised I'm going to need to be to plan my final year of MA around potential baby. I'm getting quite a few stomach cramps, so I'm not sure how potential, potential baby is. It's such an odd feeling, I feel I'm like the vehicle for another beings karma. I guess in a way we all are, but the prospect of motherhood, and more specifically a being growing inside me really brings that into focus. Tibetan Buddhism makes a lot of mothers and their care for their children. We are supposed to honour all beings as if they were our mothers, for at some point in our myriad previous existences, they would have been. The gratitude that arises is supposed to be very powerful. Sadly when this practice was introduced to the West, Tibetans came into contact with dysfunctional families, so the words sometimes get altered. I naturally have problems with it, which is a shame. Despite all the beatings, and shouting etc, my Mum did actually bring me up. I never went hungry, naked, thirsty etc, so you know I do try to appreciate the good stuff went on. As well as realising that my folks were in themselves vehicles for my karma, which I have in some previous life created. The shared karmic bonds between us that ripened at that point were not 100% happy ones.

Still miss Dad a lot, still find Mum hard to deal with, unless I turn on the light-hearted compassion button. So interesting to see all these shadows passing, see how real I make them, whilest forgetting that which transcends all, ie compassion.

Monday, June 05, 2006


It has been a long time, so I wont fill you in on the minutae. I had my birthday and my birthday surprise which was a jeep trip round Longleat. This was fabulous, check out our Flikr links as I'm sure pictures will appear there soon. Hard birthday to have, first without Dad. Mum came to stay last weekend, which was very useful. Absolutely terrifying in so many respects as she really is a total child. It's amazing how much responsibility I've accrued over the years, and how that is manipulated to form aggression by both of us. So good to see, but kind of "ouch", and a big "ouch" too. A very good "ouch" though.

This leads me to my topic - resentment. For so long, and I still am, I have been in a state of seething resentment about things. Why do I have to mother my mother, why cant we talk without ww3 breaking out, why doesn't my body work properly, etc, etc. At the moment I've started a new regime for my eczema using "The Eczema Solution". It's very interesting, from a Buddhist perspective it's all about bringing awareness to the itch, and to the subsequent scratch. I actually started the programme last year, but felt that I was perceptive enough to read it the whole way through, and simply practice the habit reversal without first gaining an understanding of my scratching behaviour through use of a clicker when I do scratch. I learnt the hard way I'm not that perceptive lol, so hopefully at some point a lesson about humility will be learnt too. The first day I logged my scratches I logged something like 497, today, after starting the habit reversal, plus temporarily increasing my steroid use, plus daily bath, my number is so far 41. My skin is looking a lot better too.

Now I am paying attention to my skin, I'm no longer feeling resentful of it. It's quite interesting, I feel like I'm entering into a relation with it, or at least a more positive one. But all I've really done is start to pay attention to it. I had a similar experience with Mum. She had an abusive relationship with her mother, who basically infantalised her, and in fact would not give Mum attention unless Mum either mothered her, or was her child. The same continued with me, and is still in our conversations today. Mum is a bit like one of those misbehaving children you see in TV shows - she actively misbehaves to get attention. As an adult this means she will deliberately set traps, which I run into with no awareness, in order to get shouted at. Me, with my seething resentment about not having a real mother, will then use this vent my own frustration, and shout, and thus confirm Mum's belief that the only conversations that really matter are the ones where she get's shouted at. I had started to unpick some of this, but it all went when Dad died. I felt I had to look after Mum, and naturally enough, in her grief, Mum reverted to her default position of toddler. Luckily Ian kindly pointed out to me that I was being very abrupt to Mum, and I realised that what I need to do, is simply to listen. Like with my skin, and like with the pacing that has helped my experience of ME so much. Listening means I dont have to have an opinion, unless I feel it's really worth sharing, and it will also honour Mum with the respect she deserves. It's also less exhausting and worrying for me, listening to the resentment means I dont need to act it out.

I figure there's a bit of a theme emerging...

Love to you all.