Life is so interesting right now! After two years and three months into this pilgrimage, I have come through full circle; when I did not know I was going in a circle in the first place. The beginning of this loop happened nearly three decades ago when I first found myself emotionally isolated. What I mean by emotionally isolated was that I could not relate or connect to anybody at a satisfactory level due to my limited eyesight and hearing. I would feel like I was left out of the loop, and not know what was going on at a given moment; which led to frustration, loneliness, abandonment, and being relegated to a sub-class of a group. At some point, I found ways to simultaneously numb myself of these feeling, and finding other ways to connect with other people. Now, 29 years later, I have come around again to observing the exact same issue; the exact same feelings; and another opportunity of making a choice once again. The only difference is, I am aware of more possibilities, my feelings, my story, and of myself.
To illustrate what this is like, think of a spiral. To fellow spiritualists, New Age people, and abstract philosophers, this is nothing new, but in fact, a rather overused cliché. If one were to trace a point from the beginning of the spiral, and go around, it will loop in a circle, except instead of ending up at the beginning again, it ends up a tad ABOVE the beginning, and continues in loops. Each loop is the events of my life, the experiences I witnessed, the people I connect with, the places I have been to. The vertical movement can be thought of as levels of awareness; the mood I am in; or perhaps the lighter and heavier my experienced emotions. I have had this feeling of emotional isolation as far as I can remember on one level / intensity or another. For many years this feeling was subdued due to suppressing my emotions.
I stumbled upon something called Internet Relay Chat, known as IRC, which was a real-time online chat system. There were all these virtual chat rooms with different titles or topics, and I hopped into one and witnessed a text only virtual conversation room. I was enthralled - I was finally able to connect to other people without any limitation, as I could use my screen settings to make the text as big or small as I want, customize the colors, and it kept record of everything said by anybody on the screen, accessible by scrolling up or down on the right hand side. For the first time, I could effortlessly take part in a conversation in real time with other people - an unlimited number of other people; and also virtually create sub-chat rooms to talk to a single person in private, or a sub-set of people from the main chat room. I could even do MORE than what could be done in real life - have multiple conversations going on at the same time, with no expectation of keeping up a certain pace, or be subject to impatience, or being impatient. I would spend HOURS clogging up my landline just on IRC talking to all manner of people.
IRC would allow me to branch into the equivalent in my local Bulletin Board Systems (BBSes); various forms of Instant Messengers; e-mail; forums and other avenues of text based conversations. For many years, this would be my primary form of communication with anybody. Although I would still interact with people verbally, face-to-face, and in other places that I could not socially do text-only; those interactions were much less, and limited compared to my primary. As a result, those interactions yielded much more limited connections. For example, my interactions in the workplace were just minimal instruction or communication to get the job done, and that was about it. Because I did not really interact further, this resulted in only being in the role of the "follower" or the grunt.
The first 16 seconds are the applicable voice clips. The rest, although amusing, are irrelevant.
Then two years and three months ago, I decided to do something completely different, and definitely out there in left field, as far as my mind was concerned - I tidied up my affairs, and left my life in California behind, going on a one-way trip aboard the Amtrak train with no final destination in mind. All I knew at the time was I agreed to meet three other people I have never met in person in a very remote location - Montreal, Quebec, Canada in five months. Inspired by dissatisfaction of my current life, and several paintings that brought forth a vision I had as a young kid.
I jumped from a top of a rock that should have killed me, and landed alive with a few scratches - and learned that there was no "death" big or little, that a certain brand of fear was actually a sign to do the exact opposite and go for it!
I re-discovered sheer joy and delight watching hundreds of different shaped balloons rise up from the ground surrounding my being at the crack of dawn; while freezing and drinking multiple cups of real hot chocolate - and learned what it was like to have absolute fun without remorse, regret, responsibility, limitation, nor shame.
I got a taste of unconditional and absolute generosity when I was visiting an expensive city with no money leftover, and a friend whom I have not met in person (and still haven't met yet) gave me a very large amount of money starting with a week stay at a local hotel suite - and learned that not every transaction or favor done had to be at a equal or greater cost. (I did agree to do some website work for her in exchange, which is something yet to come to completion - someday, when the time is right, I shall be able to work with this friend!)
I took on a dog-sitting job that lasted about a week, although historically I was very fearful of dogs. I had never done anything of this nature before! I got to know this dog very well, and at one point, spent the majority of a day just sitting and letting the dog continuously lick me all over my head - and learned what unconditional love was like; and that love does not have to be conditional.
I ran out of money at a place that ran on large amounts of money; and felt stuck; and for six weeks I was a homeless person and was amongst among other homeless as we were being herded within a certain routine within the city; outside the sight and purview of the visitors and tourists of the city - and learned what it was like to be on the other side of harsh unconditional judgement; after holding such judgements. I also got to be unconditional love and give of it to others; a companion to my experience with receiving such love in the experience prior to this one.
I met up with someone whom I had some online contact with; and instantly felt something I never felt before - a deep connection and kinship that was closer and deeper than having a best friend. For a few days, we had a blast together - and learned what it was like to have a deep connection with someone who would was not judgmental, conditional, generous, loving, and encouraging. I also got to experience a quick paced, "combat tour" that lasted about an hour and a half of Washington, DC.
I pursued a very distant connection without knowing anything concrete; while that connection was actively keeping a fair distance due to doubt - and learned that it was okay to be on the assertive side even if everything is uncertain; and the risks are high on either or both sides. Thank You Julia!
I asked for help and for things that were needed on multiple occasions; despite having little to give in exchange or return; despite a belief that one should never ask for help in order to be self sufficient - and learned that I am not alone, and that it was not necessary to hold an idea of self-sufficiency at all times in order to look "strong".
I made a couple of friends while in a different country; and in a location where the expression of emotion was more important than the words used; and the connection with these friends were based on this - and (I did not realize this until the moment I wrote this paragraph) learned what it was like to communicate and connect to others on an emotional level instead of the intellectual level. It helped that this locale had a language other than English spoken by the majority.
I encountered another person spontaneously, and within a very short amount of time; experienced a level of ultimate connection with another that resulted in an experience where I perceived an ascendance to the highest level of consciousness while connected to the other person - and learned that there was much more to relationships with others than what many are told throughout their lives; and that this was the kind of connection I desired to have with others.
Up until that point, I was given a series of sneak previews to different possibilities of life - kind of like that combat tour in Washington, DC - going from one place to the next and experiencing rapid-fire events that were completely out of left field to me; and simply being the recipient. That little voice came in again (the first time it made itself known was when I jumped off that large rock) and instructed me to go to Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. Little was I to know that it was time to be taken back to my energetic beginning and begin to forge my own road towards and past each of those sneak preview points.
Upon arrival in Albuquerque, I was given a total blast of what it was like to hurt someone else and be told that I lacked "self-love", and that it reflected in my actions. I had no understanding on what that meant, nor what that looked like for me. Two events transpired in the first week here that would ultimately signal and transpire my return to my energetic beginning. I was in a place with no money, no local connections, no place to stay, no food, and a single reference point to where I can take the first step - a local metaphysical store called the Crystal Dove. It was like being taken to a big forest as a babe with just the clothes on my body, given a single dull knife, and told to "survive"!
The first month here started slow, as I made brief connections with all manner of travelers at the local youth hostel, and had an experience were I sought out a guru without knowing what that meant, and ultimately learned that my path lay elsewhere.
The Crystal Dove did prove to be my first step towards my own development as I purchased a book that felt "warm" in my hands, read the beginning portions; practiced the first exercise therein; and began an ongoing experience with intense "feeling" of the emotions of many others surrounding me. At first, I really desired a big volume knob to "turn it down a bunch", but adapted to it. I learned that I am an "Empath" and found a community of other empaths that showed me a way to connect with others without verbal communication.
I also met a small group of people that make up an organization called Food Karma, whose mission is to create a community around the concept that everyone has a basic right to the healthiest, wholesome form of food - starting with an eatery that operates on "pay as you feel". Meeting and working with them introduced me to what it is to be part of a team, and to learn teamwork. It is currently an ongoing journey with them.
I met a man who is also a member of the empath community whose intense anger reminded me of my biological father and triggered old memories of how I would feel around him, and all the things I did to make the physical abuse and pain go away - I learned more about my own inherited anger, and experienced a dialog where both this man and I worked through it via communication and came out the other side.
I met someone who I found myself extremely attracted to; and ultimately the connection brought up many undesirable parts of myself - anger, jealousy, depression, anxiety, self-consciousness, doubt, non-confidence, pain, frustration to name a few. I was re-introduced to parts of myself that hurt, and have long since been numbed out. I lived in very close proximity to this person for 8 months, and experienced going to a very low and deep recess within that I can only title "The Dark Night of the Soul".
I was here once before, except my experience was like falling into a very deep, dark, wet, slimy, narrow, and stinky well where I could not even see anything around me except for the immediate bricks making up the well; and a distant point of light above that was presumably the top of the well and a single porthole to the sky above. Back then, I would lament for a while, then with determination, hack out pieces of bricks from the walls, and construct a long, arduous spiral stairway up and out, stepping up as I go. I built a foundation of what was immediately apparent, and created a menagerie that became my world that functioned like clockwork that even the Swiss would admire!
This time, that entire menagerie and the bricks got blasted apart as if an explosion from behind blasted it to bits; while at the same time disintegrating like liquid metal and flooding my field of view and I found myself back at the bottom again, but this time treading liquid metal and feeling nothing but intense burn.
While this is going on, there were two other things happening:
I experienced deep depression, many instances of suicidal urges, two instances of wanting to physically burn myself, and a renewed feeling of emotional isolation that hurt more than the picture of the man immersed in liquid steel.
I learned here that the more I resisted this state of being; or thought of these emotions and status as "undesirable" the worse it got. There was actually something on the other side of immersing in this "darkness" if I was willing to surrender and accept it.
As it turns out, as soon as I did like the above picture with the thumb; the pain started to melt away and into a nice warm sensation that was much more pleasant; and the story similarly started to melt away into something much more malleable.
I had an experience where after I parted ways from the friend I was attracted to (the one I lived with for 8 months); I found myself needing to spend the night in the streets outside at below freezing temperature; and despite certainty of frostbite or succumbing to the cold; a last minute warm sensation spread from the core of my being and I suddenly found myself physically warm and functional. Not just once, but twice within close succession I defied logic - a reminder that there is no "death" big or little.
Going from liquid metal hot; to Frosty the Snowman cold; I found myself face to face with the wisdom of The Sophia, most well known as the message delivered by The Black Madonna. Her Wisdom underscored the recent experiences and showed the merits and importance in connecting with our inner Feminine, and therefore our heart, or our emotional aspect of being. At this time, I had transitioned from an external pilgrimage which could be characterized as The
I identify myself to be in the phase of Spiritual Aridity. I also discovered the philosophy, path, and community that is known as Waking Down, which resonated with me given what I had gone through.
I found myself entering into a rental arrangement with a friend at a time when I needed a form of stability to create a new foundation from within; and over the course of 4 months, I encountered another, but less intense form of hurt that touched upon experiences of appeasement, need-for-approval, manipulation, abuse, and amelioration from the interactions with 4 other house-mates. I realized that I grew stagnant with this kind of logical-practical based stability and desired to go back into the place of absolute trust, constantly shifting, and unconventional space.
At the same time, I had a memory that came from the forgotten mists of time surface into forefront visibility that brought up the most dreadful of emotions - the first and only time I have ever killed someone else as a very young child with pure, sure, cold, and clean intent - and learned that alongside our minds holding memories; the cells in our body can also hold memories; memories of the emotional nature, that cannot be numbed out, buried, nor intentionally forgotten as a coping mechanism.
I met another person that I felt a deep and instant attraction to; a person with remarkable beauty and depth of personality that embodied much of the same values that I have come to adopt and embrace as my own. We danced around the idea of forming a romantic partnership that was not a smooth, organic road; that led to a mutual decision to not enter into such a partnership. This triggered a very ancient wound that stems from my early childhood that had to do with feelings of abandonment, core isolation, loneliness, and relegation to a second-class citizen.
I then asked the Universe to allow me to be of unconditional service to somebody in trade of living on-site; in order to experience a convergence of several intents. The Universe asked me if I was sure, and knowing how loaded the question was, I confirmed. I got what I asked for, in spades! I started to help an older woman around her house. At the time, she had a lot going on and needed help keeping on top of the house. The arrangement lasted for three months and we have helped each other in many ways; and I learned that there was much more than fair transactions, and in serving unconditionally, that there are many ways and areas where life works outside of our scope and comprehension. The intents I set out AND made progress on were: Experience serving unconditionally; to become more aware of the kinds of issues and things that women may not communicate to men for one reason or another; to build a connection based on the principles behind non-violent communication; and to enter into my new "roaming mode" lifestyle and gain experience.
With this, I have now come back to the feeling of Emotional Isolation. Where I started many years before, but this time it is different. I have gotten so many clues that alert me to this lifelong issue in the past few months:
I am presented with a choice, that I once made in the beginning that resulted in numbing out, and emotional suppression. This time, I have the increased awareness from the aforementioned paragraph; and another possibility. Find yet more alternates and recontextualizations to connect with others and no longer be emotionally isolated. The road from empathy to telepathy; the road from outer-sight to inner-sight and in-sight; and the exploration of connection through the sense of touch. These possibilities came about with a few realizations:
What challenges are you facing today? Have you faced these challenges before in your life? What choice(s) did you take at the time; and what choice(s) do you have presently in regard to your challenge right now? What are you aware of now that you were not aware of before?