Thursday, March 27, 2008

Facing the Wondrous Maze of Life ...

Three weeks ago I hit bottom ... spiritually, emotionally and mentally ... my insecurities overwhelmed me and drove me to the proverbial pit ... I no longer felt loved ... I no longer felt valuable ... I no longer felt worthy ... I no longer felt deserving of anything ... I felt rejected, used and cast aside and I wondered what was SO wrong with me that I would end up utterly alone and desolate in my feelings of rejections ...

It was a truly dark and lonely place ... those I had relied on as "friends" proved their bell weather friendship by enthusiastically joining the mob who like the Mob in Ibsen's Enemy of the People had decided it was easier to drive the "outsider" out, than to face the poisoned waters of their well ...

The feelings of betrayal added to an overwhelming layering of hurtful actions, devastating words and debilitating thoughts that have for the last two and a half years marked the path I have struggled to trod ...

I've watched as my job slipped from my hands ... my career was placed in jeopardy by an unjust and imbalanced response to a conflict that had more than one perpetrator (the very fact that only I have been called to task for my BEHAVIOUR AND ACTION speaks volumes about the dysfunction and unfairness of the process we have been engaged in) ... my social network was stripped from my by the brutality of small minded politics that have found it easier to blame me, than own the TRUTH ... throw into the mix gossip and lies about supposed affairs, misappropriation of funds, lies and any number of other untruths that were eagerly uttered and passed on by both community and church leadership and those who's only interest was seeing me destroyed ... and you have an interesting journey ...

Three weeks ago I hit rock bottom ... I had been stripped of everything but my pride, and even that was battered and bloodied ... I sat in a very dark and lonely place and wept, not because of what I had lost ... but because I had let ALL of it happen ... Rather than more strongly counter the lies and rumours I asked for help from people who couldn't find the back bone to say or do anything beyond a shrug ... rather than put the REAL information out there about the lies and untruths, I held my tongue and trusted in the good will of the people and the system that were supposedly there to help ... instead of owning my pain and allowing my true friends to break through the barriers and help me move into a place of healing, I listened to the voices of those who had no interest in helping any one but themselves ... and in the process I became the one to blame ...

In that dark and lonely place I owned the reality that I had helped to create and accepted the fact that those who should be shouldering some of the responsibility for creating these conflicts and spinning these lies will NEVER be called to account for THEIR actions because cowardice and fear reign supreme ...

In the midst of that dark and lonely place I realized I have in my life told no more than five lies ... two as a child ... I remember them too well ... and three as an adult ... One lie continues to be held to simply because the consequences of the TRUTH would be simply too great on another person I've cared deeply about ... and so I bite my tongue and taste the bitterness of blood, as others make erroneous assumptions and judgements about ME based on a lie I have held to ... and for this - I blame no one but me ...

I've let all of this happen ...

So, in that dark and lonely place ... I confronted my demons and realized that everything I have done in my life has been to ease my personal hurt and discomfort by doing FOR others ... and in the process I've allowed those others to avoid the full responsibility for THEIR actions ... I've willingly played the scape goat ... I've bent down and allowed the burdens and the BULLSHIT to be heaped upon me ... I've LET ALL OF THIS HAPPEN ...

That day ... as I hit bottom ... I made the decision that I had had enough ...

That day ... as I hit bottom ... I realized that it wasn't me who was unworthy ... or unlovable ... or undeserving ...

That day ... as I hit bottom ... I realized that I had allowed the fear of OTHERS to define me and my sense of worth in a way that served THEIR interests ...

That day ... as I hit bottom ... I realized that I WASN'T THE PROBLEM !!!

I straightened my back ... I stood up ... and with a prayer to the cosmos to see me through, not the entire journey, but the next step, I started moving forward one step at a time ...

I've likened this moment to standing on the bottom of a West Coast valley ... it is cold and dark ... but far above our heads lie the sunny tops of the mountains ... those mountain peaks are the destination ... and the only to go is UP ...

The journey starts by first groping through the thick dark undergrowth and finding the trail head ... then one step at a time ... moment by moment ... minute by minute, you begin journeying up the trail ... it can be slippery and treacherous, and in places it seems to be heading back down into the valley ... but over time you slowly move your way upwards ...

Focusing on this moment - this step - this tiny piece of the trail ... you keep moving, until one spectacular moment you suddenly find yourself standing on the top of the mountain and looking back you wonder why you were so worried about the climb ... Looking back, it all seems so easy ...

Today I have a long way to go before I get to the top of the mountain ... but I'm on the trail ... I've lost NOTHING along the way, but rather have gained new friends, new opportunities, and new POTENTIAL ... I've left the toxicity of the valley bottom behind, and with it, those who see no problem living in the muck and the bullshit that lies so thick in their Valley Home ... Before me the trail winds upwards to a destination I don't yet see, but in faith I KNOW is there ...

I will take each step of the journey thankful for the preciousness of life, the strength of my faith, the care of my TRUE friends, and for the amazing possibilities that now lie ahead ... I don't know where I'm going, but right now that is less important than the simple fact I'm moving forward and reclaiming MY LIFE.

I like me.
I like what I'm about.
I like who I am and how I move in the world.
I like the power of my intellect and the depth of my passion.
I like ME ... and I will no longer be ashamed of that.

AND I am entitled to be BETTER treated than Minnedosa as a Church, as a Community and as a Place have treated me over the last two years ... I am entitled to be better treated by those I claim as friends, then I have been over the last two years ... I am entitled to stand with pride and strength because 99% of what is being said about me in Minnedosa, even today, is based on the lies and manipulations of a few sick and twisted people ... and the opinions of these small minded fearful human souls DOESN'T MATTER ANYWAY!!!!!!

As a new and wonderful friend observed (and a couple of cherished "old" ones too):
"you're BETTER than that Shawn!!"

Today, there lies before me an amazing maze - one with many twists and turns, many exits to new and exiting places, AND many more decisions to be made ... as I stand before that maze and begin moving into it, for the first time, I'm not afraid, and I'm not concerned about what others may think of me ... my only critic will be ME ... and if my time in the darkness (a place you MUST go into and through if you are to find healing and wholeness) has taught me nothing else, it has taught me that in that moment when I have to decide to go left, or right or go straight, the decision must come from the whole person within, and no where else.

Three weeks ago I hit rock bottom ... and through the care (most of it inadvertent) of my friends, I found in the darkness someone I had long ago lost touch with ... and I discovered I really liked him ... and now I journey forward more whole that I have ever been ...

I can only wish for everyone that experience of entering the darkness and leaning into your fear, so that one day you too can stand on the mountain top in the full sun knowing that you've claimed what you deserve, NOT what you settled for in your fear and insecurities ... it can happen if you have courage ...

Today is the first day of the rest of my life ... and TODAY I stop looking backwards AND BEATING MYSELF UP over the erroneous opinions others hold of me - that BULLSHIT is their problem, NOT MINE ... Karma will see to it that those who have wallowed in fear and nastiness and dishonesty will one day be called to account ... BUT as for me ... I will claim the resurrection that comes with breaking free of the darkness and climbing upwards to the light ...

I AM BETTER THAN ALL OF THIS. And today for the first time in a very long while, I'm in a place where I can not only believe it - I CAN LIVE IT !!!

Today is Good !!! (and that is all I have, and all I need!!)

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Shawn!

You are right, you are better than that. It it hard to believe, but, what counts the most is what you feel about yourself, not what everyone else thinks about you. It has taken me a long time to realize that.

You will move forward, you will reclaim your life.

YOU ARE WORTH IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cathy

MY OWN WOMAN... said...

I like me.
I like what I'm about.
I like who I am and how I move in the world.
I like the power of my intellect and the depth of my passion.
I like ME ... and I will no longer be ashamed of that.


I like you too....you teach me so much.

Anonymous said...

You, do you remember me?
Like I remember you?

I remember you as a stong-willed person, who can and does rise above the pettiness and ignorance. Someone who is capable and deserving of great things, no matter what anyone might say or think. You know yourself, you know that every goodness in you will put you in wonderful places with wonderful people around you. Some of us don't have the strength, courage and wisdom that you have.. Some of us have and may well continue to fail until we reach our own darkest hours and begin to climb. Some of us will go through more adversity and face more challenges before we know which direction to take or mountain to climb. For now, know that somebody wishes you well and for the most positive rewards that life can bring you. Know that somebody believes you'll do great things in this world.
-Somebody's me

Indigo said...

you are already doing great things in your world by being present and accounted for. Actually being in the moment is reward itself. Every morning you are in my thoughts. Today as I say goodbye to a place that was toughness itself I think of you as I travel southwards