Posts Tagged ‘wisdom’

the presence of memory

September 14, 2010

The past occasionally creeps up on me like a spider stalking its prey. I can feel it coming but because I am entangled in the web that is my life, I am helpless. I surrender to my helplessness, bracing myself for the inevitable wondering if the past will devour me whole or wrap me up like a cocoon to snack on at a later time.

My history is always with me. Mostly, it remains hidden behind the piles of other, more recent memories. I have selective recollection for the most part, but when I am on a quest to heal my present self, inevitably a forgotten memory slips past my selectivity. These are short memories, snapshots that crystallize a significant point in my life so I can see how I was made and who I was at that time.

One poignant example comes from my first year in school. I have a sister who is one year older than I am. She was in the second grade. We had bicycles to ride to school, but on the way home one day, the chain to my bike broke, so I could not ride it. I had to walk, but I was not sure I knew the way by myself. I asked my sister if she would walk with me, but she said no and pedaled off.

I walked whatever distance it was alone and very sad. My sister had abandoned me. Obviously, I found my way home. I do not remember my mother’s response. I think my father was in Korea at the time. In the big scheme of things, this was a very small matter and one that I survived just fine.

As our lives evolved, it would turn out that I learned to be as totally self-reliant as I could be, even to the point of isolating myself to prove that I did not need anyone because other people are unreliable. I struggled through co-dependency issues with my mother, finding out in the end that the only kind of relationship she can have with others is that of co-dependency.

This particular incident is an example of the theme of abandonment in my childhood. I am not special, by the way, we all have abandonment issues because at some point somebody we depended upon left us to take care of matters on our own. That is the nature of life. I waver between feeling sorry for my little self while at the same time finding it remarkable that I could take care of myself in a very adult way. When I wonder what I came to this existence to learn, incidents like this stand out for me. If I take ultimate responsibility for my existence, then I absolutely must ask myself: What is valuable about the incident that I need to learn?

On the heels of my life lessons comes wisdom, and then I must untangle myself from that web and let it go. Constantly poking and biting at my sister and my mother through my memory does not serve me well. That particular spider will have to find other prey.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass

walking the talk of presence

August 1, 2010

On my computer, my background has the question: How will I bring my presence to life today?

Any day there is electricity, I read that each morning and each night (which, despite the tornado-imposed blackout of last week is just about every single day). My life pattern, though, my programming, my habitual way of responding to myself and others is my default position, and it takes effort to remember and connect with my true presence throughout all of my interactions.

Some days I feel I am only my true presence when I am reading me on paper. I talk a good walk, too. In fact, some days I talk the most marvelous walk of life. I am magnificent in my ideas, my way of being, my presentation of wisdom.

And then, I often forget these pearls of enlightenment as my daily business sweeps me away into the land of pretend. I have to stop and ask myself: Is this really me responding to life? Or, am I still being the fabrication of survival mechanics?

I need to integrate who I am in this reality of virtual paper with the reality of who I am walking through my life. I need to walk the talk.

So, the second question is: How will I bring my words to life?

I view the ideas that these words manifest as a bridge, a link, a place to comingle the internal living presence with my external manifestation. Within me, I need to live the words I write. I need to carry them, nurture them, talk with them, become them. It is the first of the Four Agreements: be impeccable with my word.

This agreement does not just apply to using my word with others. It also applies to using my word with myself. It is another habit for me to treat others better than I would treat myself. As a child, convincing me that this was the way I was supposed to be made life very convenient for my parents. Then, I figured out something. If everyone was good to themselves, they wouldn’t need other people making them feel good. That little idea landed me in the soup of selfishness. But then, I realized that the people expecting others to sacrifice themselves so that they would be happier was even more selfish. I kept that little secret to myself until I was no longer dependent upon other adults.

Truly living the talk, bringing my words to life, requires that I apply them to all equally, including myself.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass