Saturday, March 29, 2008

In Process....

OK... this is a very interesting process for me. If you want the whole story and you're just joining our "broadcast" you may want to read my first post on this subject called Food For Thought, and then read the comments, and then read the next post up called "I am" and the comments...

This is very exciting to me. First of all, Maria... I hope you don't mind, but as you are the catalyst for this process, I am going to be referring to you.

Here's what I've noticed about ME: I wrote the post "Food For Thought" and was excited to share something I thought was cool. Maria, my great new friend who is teaching me a lot about myself (whether she knows it or not), made some comments. I read her comments and my "ego" (as described by Eckart Tolle... GET THE BOOK!) or my "harsh inner voice" cringed and said... "Yep, see that's what happens when you say anything! Your friends think you're a retard and you ARE!!! You don't have a voice in this world and you are wrong! You should just delete this post!" (I know Maria, likely, didn't think any of that. That's just how I have operated my whole life) There are many mean things that that stupid voice said to me in those few seconds in which I read a few comments from a well meaning friend who loves discussion. (run-on sentence, I know...) Weird? Maybe so, but that's been my way, which has been fairly unconscious most of my life. I have only recently even heard the voice in my conscious mind.

So... in my way, I tried to "fix" things. That's what I do. (or have done in the past) I posted a new post trying to clarify what I meant, and make myself feel less retarded. Well, my friends, let me tell you what happened. I read and wrote and wrote some more. While doing that I clarified my own beliefs in my own heart. I felt good about what I wrote about.

Then, I check back in a little while. More comments from my friend Maria. But this time, because I was more clarified in what was truth for me... I didn't feel so vulnerable. I read her comments and the voice was not so loud. It did speak, and I heard it and didn't listen much. I was able to read her comments more objectively. I thought about replying to the comments, but I wasn't ready. I have thought on it all day and here's what I have discovered!!! I am so excited about this!

Maria posted this: I disagree with you though on one point. I think we are the collection of our experiences. Why else did we submit to a mortal probation. If we were perfect before we came, we would have no need of a testing ground here in order to achieve exaltation.

I thought about this as I was in the shower (best thinking place on earth). Firstly, I didn't say I was perfect before I came here. I only said that I was already who "I am" when I arrived. I believe that I came here as "ME" and that the submission to mortal probation is a necessary step.

In the shower, I thought about things from my past. My "ego" told me that Maria was right, (because it always tells me that I am wrong...) and that my past experiences do define who I am. I thought about that for a little bit. I thought about some of the things from my past. I started bawling as I tried to reconcile that those experiences ARE who I AM. I beat my fist against the tile as I cried out loud. I AM NOT MY MOTHER LOSING HER TEMPER. I AM NOT THOSE GIRLS IN SIXTH GRADE TELLING ME MY HAIR LOOKED LIKE A RAT'S NEST. I AM NOT MY SISTER SCREAMING AT THE TOP OF HER LUNGS THAT SHE HATED ME. I AM NOT THE TATTLE TALE LITTLE SISTER WHO'S BROTHER COULDN'T STAND HER. In those moments, crying in the shower, I learned that that is truth for me, and I know it from the bottom of my heart. My past experiences are my map for growth, but, I say again, who "I am" is not the collective of those experiences. Even the good experiences. I believe I CHOSE these lessons, in the same way, I believe, we choose our families. These are the only the lessons that "I" needed, and that is why they are in my past but they do NOT define "me", unless I let them. It is a choice... and THAT is what separates us from the rest of the creatures on this earth - choice.

Maria also said: And as for the voices, there are many trying to infiltrate our sense of worth and value. We need to trust our own inner voice, which if we believe in a Heavenly Father, is the resonation of His voice as well. We can't shut out all the voices, just the unimportant ones.

This is something I agree with wholeheartedly. The chatter in my mind comes mostly from that crappy voice that doesn't serve me in any good way... except to be the dark so I can know the light. And for that, I am grateful.

It has been such a blessing to have Maria leave her comments. Iron sharpens iron. Because of her input, I have been able to solidify what I believe. So, thanks Maria... Here's to future "discussions"!


Maria Hart said...

Just so you know, I love the discussion, not for the sake of argument, but because truth is often revealed through the crucible of thinking and writing. I love finding truth.

One interesting piece of information: the word “ego” is simply Latin for “I.” Sigmeund Frued’s creation of the field of psychoanalysis is responsible for Tolle’s definition of the ego as a mediator between the primitive instincts and reactions of the “carnal” mind and the higher spiritual truth of being. Tolle hasn't stumbled upon new science, he has reworked Frued.

Now for the meaty stuff! I still disagree with you. I didn’t say we are defined by our past, I said we are the collection of our experiences. The difference may be semantics to you, they are not to me. We may just have to chalk that one up as a difference of opinion – which is absolutely acceptable. I don’t require that you be entitled to my opinion. What I understand you to be saying is that you were “I am” before you arrived on earth, and traversing through mortality is a journey back to that self. So, your experiences here on earth don’t define you, your even-more-in-the-past past defines you. It is still a past defining you! The difference is the timeline. I am saying, we “are” a collection of all experience, mortal and immortal, that which we can recall with tremendous severity and that which we can’t recall because of the veil. I also concede, we are not a reconciling of all things negative. We have both sin and tragedy in our past, as well as moments of sublime joy. We are a collection of both. I propose that, indeed, you can be a person with difficult memories, and be defined by them… in as much as you employ the transcendent power of the atonement. Christ suffered all, physical, mental and spiritual pain, so that our pain could be washed away. We become redeemed when we turn over those burdens, we lay them at His feet and let him carry them away. We become better able to succor others, as we have been eternally succored, because we know exactly how they feel. We know how to bear others’ burdens because ours have been born for us. Our past, through the mediating power of the atonement, becomes a powerful catalyst for change in our own lives. It defines us, as we change BECAUSE of it. But is still the reason for our current nature, for who we are today. Much like Ebeneezer Scrooge, looking back at a less than perfect past, we covenant to change our future, and the futures of others. Are we always successful? Absolutely not! That is why our future eventually becomes a past in need of the atonement as well.

As for choosing our lessons and trials, maybe we did. Maybe we did sit down in some personal interview with Heavenly Father and discuss which lessons would be most beneficial for us to learn. Maybe He told us all of them, but maybe He didn’t. Agency would be paramount. We would employ our own agency, perhaps remembering each trial and being grateful for the growth opportunities each one provided. But what about the agency of others? What of the acts of violence perpetrated upon us? I am certain we did not sit in council and say to another, “I know you are going to sin against me… so the best lesson you can teach me would be how to deal with _______. Go ahead and sin in that way against me.” We chose the Great Plan of Happiness, knowing that we would not know everything. The lessons don’t define us, our reaction to them does, that reaction sets us on a path. Heavenly Father is the only one who knows how to test us perfectly, but He doesn’t cause others to sin in order to test us as well. That would be contrary to His nature. He has allowed us agency, that truly godlike power, TO ACT AND TO BE ACTED UPON. The only thing we can unequivocally choose is how we respond to each new lesson, to each new situation.

I think your past is as much a part of you as is your present, and your future. I have watched you, I don’t know everything, but let me tell you what I CAN see. I think you must be a very tender, concerned parent (not perfect). You are a sensitive and loyal friend. You are a perceptive, discerning woman. You recognize and compliment the strengths of others. You help others around you feel welcome and wanted and needed. You are a devoted sibling. You are a trustworthy confidant. You are a remarkable woman, never destined for mediocrity. Can you not see that you are all of these things because of your past?

Genene said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Genene said...

I LOVE this process we're in of BECOMING!! For me, the main thing is to connect to the joy of discovering how to become the ME that is "waiting" for me to catch up. (heh)

One thing I know FOR SURE now is that anything I think I know at this point in my EP (eternal progression)is still subject to enlargement and expansion......... I've heard people say it my whole life..... I thought I knew everything when I was a teen, or a young woman (or whatever) and now that I'm older I know how much I don't know. That's another way of saying it. The more I learn, the more I know that I don't know very much.

AHHHHH, life! Ain't it grand!?

oh, by the way, while I've been reading A New Earth, it actually (so far) validates all the things I've been learning over the past few years (well, I still suspend judgment on some of the things I've read). I enjoy reading and "seeing" things from a slightly different perspective than the "one" I'm used to. It helps me to embrace life and ALL the beings within my experience of it more fully. I'm grateful for the certainty that I have of how much more there is to learn, in this life and any experience of life I have to come (here or elsewhere) :)

I love you so much & I honor the path you are on. YOU'RE AWESOME

Maria Hart said...

At Twenty

At twenty I knew, and I knew I knew -
While at thirty, I wasn't sure.
At forty I knew that I didn't know
A lot I had known before.
At fifty I sigh, and wonder how
One who had known so much so young,
Can known so little now.

by Daphne Jemmett

Clancy in Idaho said...

Thanks to Maria and Mom for your comments! It's fun to read the viewpoints of others and learn more about people that I love.

I must say that this is a new and interesting thing for me. I am not usually a big "discusser". Well... I am but this is a new angle for me. A new way of discussing, and to be perfectly honest... it is scary for me.

My insecurities scream when I write something, and someone presents another point of view. It's ok. I am fine, but I am just noticing all these things.

Maria, I do understand your perspective. I still maintain that who I am is not my experiences. They make great contributions and add to me, but they are not me. I guess we have to agree to disagree, and that's great!

Something I remembered... in the shower when I realized that these experiences, good and bad, are not who I am... most of the time I still make decisions and have reactions to things in my life based on these past experiences. That is really what I want to change. I don't want to be scared to have discussions because something in my past made me feel dumb during one such discussion. I want to react to my children differently than my progenitors did to theirs. (just the negative ways! I choose to keep the positive) I grew up in a, sometimes ok mostly, messy house (sorry mom!)... that was my experience. Just because I had that experience does not mean I have to continue having a messy house... that experience does not define me. I can choose something different. Will it take work? Absolutely. Will it take courage? Of course! Changing old patterns is mostly pretty scary. But is it possible? Definitely! I can choose to have a different experience.

Exciting stuff, folks! It does mean 100% responsibility, which hasn't been the easiest thing for me... but I am up for the challenge! :)

As for your kind words about what you see in me, thank you Maria. I really appreciate it!

Britta said...

Now I feel dumb!! Maybe it's the baby in me but I just can't keep up ladies! ta ta!

Nicky said...

I agree with you Clancy. I am not my experiences. I learn and grow from them, but they are not "me". You know some about my childhood, and if that was me, I would be a very different person. I came into this world strong and all that I go through makes me stronger, but it doesn't make me.

love ya!

Clancy in Idaho said...

Nicky... you are the shining example of your past NOT defining you. You are absolutely right! I feel so privileged to have you for a sister-in-law! I love you and your beautiful SELF!!!
Thanks for commenting! :)
Love, C

Rachel Chick said...

It's really interesting for me to read this in light of what I have come to see from you and talk to you about recently.

You are fabulous, Clancy. I truly believe that the Lord grants unto us the desires of our hearts. I know that as you (and we all) continue on this path - searching for truth - for light - for understanding - (and I believe that that is exactly what he intends for us to do - search) - that if we truly desire it, he will pour it out upon us. Line upon line, precept upon precept. What a loving, merciful God! He wants us to know him - to become like him.

I am so thankful to have you in my life. You define a lot of what I feel through the words that you share. It's an unusual thing to come across someone who can reiterate many of the feelings that I only feel within myself. You are great validation for me. You help me to solidify many of my vague perceptions. Thank you.