The last few weeks have been very difficult. It had been building up for a long time. Someone i love very much was getting married in the UK and I really wanted to be there. My life choice, however, has resulted in my living here and surviving on an income far below the poverty level in Britain. I am not complaining about this. After three years of preparation things here are opening up for me and I know why I came.
This opening up - to my regret- came too late for the wedding. The very successful workshop that I ran in August gave me just enough to cover outstanding utility bills. No more. But a beginning. The workshop was wonderful - I cannot express how I felt when the participants fed back their experiences. And, for me, it was a confirmation that I am on the right path and that doors are opening. Inanna is guiding me.
When, however, my elation started to subside and I looked at the financial impossibility of my flying to Britain I began to move into a state of despair. And, more importantly, shame. I was ashamed that I was poor. I became aware that, no matter how much I may have intellectually and, perhaps, spiritually accepted my path that I was still ashamed of my failure to be a success in the only way that my parents knew. Financially. The old script was activated and completely overwhelmed me. I used my old tactics of evasion and denial, hoping against hope that some sort of intervention would come that would enable me to attend. And then a family member offered to pay my fare. I felt great. I would be able to go! I then started planning my trip. Unfortunately, I had ignored one important issue. Where would I sleep? I thought it was a minor problem but it turned out that there was no room for me.
I was hurt. I was angry. But most of all I was bitterly disappointed. Crushed. My pride then kicked in. I did not want to trumpet my, to British eyes, extreme poverty. I did not want to sleep in a bus station without enough to buy a cup of tea. Neither did I want to say "Hey, you know, I will arrive with nothing in my pocket. Can you help me out? Lend me the money for a place for the nights? Spare change?"
As I say, pride. One of the seven deadly sins, I am told by the ever-proud and arrogant who preach from gilded thrones in the cathedrals of self-indulgence. Maybe so. Maybe it is deadly. I must confess that I felt it so. My heart yearned to be somewhere but my pride prevented me from asking for the degree of help I needed.
So I decided not to try further. And immediately my mood changed. Relief took the place of desperation and helplessness. Deep sorrow remained. But I felt better. That is the only way to describe it. I accepted myself and my own fallibility - my own incompetence in some areas of life. I stopped tormenting myself with the scripts of old. I accepted that I could not go
On my facebook page I wrote of this feeling of relief. That was unwise. It was misinterpreted as an expression of relief that I was not going. That is not what I meant, but that is the way it was taken. A very abusive email came immediately to me from someone and I replied equally angrily. For which I wish to make no apology. I expressed an anger rooted deep in the past that I had suppressed for over three decades. And it was an anger that would have been better expressed at the time. Whatever the rights and wrongs from an outside objective viewpoint, I felt that I had been injured by this person and had suppressed that feeling - through fear that it might lead to further injury. In two sentences I said what I had then feared to say. I felt, and still feel, cleansed. Purged of past scripts. Free of a bully, within and without.
I wondered for a long time why all this was happening. I was very angry at Inanna for putting me in this situation - for leading me here and leaving me adrift. I was also very angry at myself. And this is perhaps at the root of it all. For most of my life I have avoided confrontation with what I believe to be wrong, I have taken the line of least resistance. I have been, in short, a coward. In the process, I have hurt those who loved me and those whom I loved. I have not stood and said "This is me - and I will not compromise myself to fit an image of how I (or you) think I should be". This was the realisation that came to me with a terrifying clarity not so long ago. I have only recently begun to be authentic.
And at the age of 62, this is rather late. It is only in recent years that I have become aware of how much shame has ruled me. Shame about my sexuality - my very being - my right to walk on this planet, free and joyful. So, painful as it has been, for me and, perhaps, others, I am glad that I have been given this insight. As I start to be a teacher - whatever that might mean - it is vital that I am made aware of my own fallibility. My own deep hurts and wounds. My own sources of rage. I knew when Inanna called me that She was not calling me to an easy primrose path but one that would force me to confront those things I most feared about myself.
And now, I have felt the fear of pressing "PUBLISH POST". I fear your judgement. But I will do it just the same.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe: part four
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