High chair tyrants

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Childofmine, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    On another thread there is discussion about guilt. "I must have done something...or not done something...as a mother that has resulted in this situation my difficult child." Why else would everybody be suffering so much? There must be someone responsible and as the mother, the caretaker, the responsible one, it must be me.

    Not true. Not true at all. I believe that the age-old question faithful people and unbelievers alike have asked is this one: If God is all-powerful, why is there suffering? I know I asked that question the night my sister died nearly 30 years ago. Why would got allow genetic abnormalities to result in a child's life being taken so early? And again when my husband was lost in alcoholism and nothing, nothing I did seemed to matter. And again, as my precious youngest son went down further and further and further and today, it seems he is completely taken over by his addiction. Why would an all-loving God allow these things, and so many others in the world, to happen? I can't see the full answer to these questions but I believe we can see redemption in the suffering and I also believe we have a God who has created us to find our own way---to not be automatons---and there is an inherent love and deep respect for us in that creation. Rohr talks about this today. We must lose our false selves to become all that God hopes for us. We and our difficult children. Everybody suffers everywhere, and there are all kinds of suffering. I believe we here are experiencing a particular kind of ongoing, unrelenting suffering. I don't pretend to fully understand it, and I have shaken my fist at God over this. He can handle my anger, my fear, my despair and my pain. He is right here with all of us and our difficult children, I believe. He grieves too, over what we and they are enduring. There is a bigger picture that we can't see, I also believe. That is where faith comes in. This DOES feel like dying sometimes. Sometimes the pain is so great it is almost unbearable. There is purpose in the pain, if we will work for it. I believe that is what many of us are doing right here.

    Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation

    Transformative Dying

    Heaven Is Now and Later
    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

    Anyone who wants to save his life, must lose it. Anyone who loses her life will find it. — Matthew 16:25

    That’s a pretty strong, almost brutal, statement from Jesus. But it makes very clear that there is a necessary suffering that cannot be avoided, which Jesus calls “losing your very life,” or the False Self. Your False Self is your role, title, and personal image that is largely a creation of your own mind and attachments. It will and must die in exact correlation to how much you want the Real.

    The Real is what all the world religions were pointing to when they spoke of heaven, nirvana, bliss, or enlightenment. Their only mistake was that they pushed it off into the next world. When you die before you die, you are choosing the Real—or union with God—over your imaginary separation from God. You are choosing “the kingdom of God” over your own smaller kingdoms. Heaven is the state of union both here and later. Only the True Self knows that.

    The lasting question is: “How much False Self are you willing to shed to find your True Self?” Such necessary suffering will always feel like dying, which is what good spiritual teachers will tell you very honestly.
  2. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    "The image of God Incarnate, become Man out of fascination with His own Creation."

    Anne Rice
    Blood Canticle

    "A bird cried jubilation. In that moment they lived long. All minor motions were stilled and only the great ones were perceived. Beneath them, the Earth turned, singing.

    Sheri S. Tepper
    The Revenants

    I love this.

    True. How could we, raised in a Christian nation, never have been exposed to these living truths in this way? All I remember is fear of sin and Hell. Heaven was preferable, but only barely, to Eternal hellfire.

    There is a place in the Bible where Christ is said to have judged the churches for their teachings.

    Again, how could this wisdom teaching have been there all along, while the speakers for the religion concentrated on guilt and punishment? How awful for all of us that this was so.

    I think I disagree with that. If there were no purpose to the ego, it would not exist. As it is with your imagery of holding both the cloud and the silver lining COM, so we need, I think anyway, to become aware of egoic interpretation, and also, at the same instant, to become aware of what is real...but we need to carry them both.

    I love this thread.

    Thank you.

  3. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Rohr is recapping the readings from Holy Week---below. On the list: YOu really don't know what life is until you know what death is. Isn't what we are working hard to do in this same vein? At times it has felt like a living death.

    Remember: Transformative Dying

    The truth is that it’s you who has to die, or rather, who you think you are, the False Self.

    Finally, thankfully, you collapse into the larger self, who you are in God, the True Self, which is inherently beloved.

    How much False Self are you willing to shed to find your True Self?

    You really don’t know what life is until you know what death is.

    “Surrendering the exclusivity of self-reference—in love, for love, arms wide open on the cross—[Jesus] emerged into Christ consciousness, transcending the smallness of self, obliterating the separation self imposes.”
    — Kathleen Dowling Singh

    Jesus crucified and resurrected is the whole pattern revealed, named, effected, and promised for our own lives.


    Rest: Meditating as Practice in Dying

    As St. Augustine taught, we must “die daily” to our small and separate sense of self. Kathleen Dowling Singh offers an invitation to practice dying through meditation. In her words, “We can sit to meditate with the intention to let it all go, inspired to explore what lies beyond self.”

    “We sit deliberately, with noble posture and noble attention.

    “We breathe. Progressively, we free our awareness from sensations. We free our awareness from the ‘I’ we imputed upon the sensations and the ‘mine’ with which we tried to claim them. We relieve ourselves of all of our mistaken identifications, loosening our attachments to them, letting them go.

    “We liberate ourselves from illusions and, cleared of all that congested weight, the burden of being a self, we surrender, entering awareness that is spacious and quiet and uncongested.

    “We just die into silence. Die to the past. Die to the future. Die to the breath. Completely let go. The silence reveals itself as refuge, as awareness that can be trusted, tenderly loving and resounding with the majesty and the mystery of the sacred.”

    Adapted from “Living in the Light of Death” by Kathleen Dowling Singh,
    Oneing, “Ripening,” Vol. 1 No. 2, pp. 42-44

    Gateway to Silence:
    I lose my life to find Life.
  4. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Easter Sunday...good truths for us.

    Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation

    The Common Wonderful

    Sunday, April 20, 2014

    Only the non-dual, contemplative mind can hold both sides of everything, including both death and resurrection. In my work with initiation, this was key. Such “wisdom seeing” allows you to hold the full promise of the Real Life, which is big enough to even include death. Death and life are in an eternal embrace. We cannot have one without the other. This is the one common theme at the bottom of every initiation rite I have studied.

    Briefly put, initiation rites have long been necessary to initiate men in particular into their True Self, into the flow of reality, into the great patterns that are always true, into the life of God. Classic initiation rites brilliantly succeeded in preparing men for both stages of their life: training young men for the necessary discipline and effort required in the ascent of the first half of life, and preparing them ahead of time for the necessary descent and letting go of the second half of life.

    The entire process that we call initiation somehow made it possible for a man to experience these five difficult truths:

    Life is hard.
    You are not that important.
    Your life is not about you.
    You are not in control.
    You are going to die.
    Basically, they were taught to die before they died. By the end of the initiation process (and optimally for every life somewhere between the first and second halves of life), the necessary deaths led to an inevitable and shared resurrection, which I call “the common wonderful.” This week we will contrast these five difficult messages with their positive and wonderful counterparts which make it possible to hear them in the first place.
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  5. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Today's post by Rohr is right to the point for all of us.

    Let Go of Control;
    Let God’s Life Flow
    Thursday, April 24, 2014

    The fourth message of the common wonderful: It is true that you are not in control, and it is also true that “For all your worrying, you cannot add a single moment to your span of life” (Luke 12:25).

    If we cannot control the biggies—life and death—why should we spend so much time trying to control all the lesser outcomes? Call it destiny, providence, guidance, synchronicity, or coincidence if you will, but people who are connected to the Source do not need to steer their own life and agenda. They know that it is being done for them in a much better way than they ever could. Those who hand themselves over are well received, and then the flow happens through them, with them, and in them.

    When you think you deserve, expect, or need something specific to happen, you are setting yourself up for constant unhappiness and a final inability to enjoy or at least allow what is actually going to happen. After a while, you find yourself resisting almost everything at some level to try to remain in total control. I think this pattern is entirely common and widespread.

    Only when you give up your preoccupation with control will you be able to move with the divine flow. Without all the inner voices of resistance and control, it is amazing how much you can get done and not get tired. Giving up control is a school of union, compassion, and understanding. It is also a school for the final letting go that we call death. Practice giving up control early in life. You will be much happier and much closer to the truth, to the moment, and to God—none of which can be experienced when you presume you can be in control anyway.
  6. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    "What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action, how like an angel, in apprehension, how like a god! The beauty of the world. The paragon of animals."

    Wm Shakespeare

    I am enjoying Rohr, COM. When I read the same meditations over again, I see another facet.

    And then, I get to see that those facets are parts of me. They were always there. I didn't know.


  7. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    I use Rohr's daily meditations as another one of my go-to tools.

    He lifts me up out of the day to day "stuff" to a higher level and broader way of looking at difficult child and what I have lived through for these past years.

    He helps makes sense of things that are completely insensible and shows me a higher purpose and a different way to look at the same situation.

    I love his readings. He also has an online recovery program. I am going to look into it and see what it's all about.

    Glad you are liking this thread, Cedar.
  8. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Wow. Shades of Pema Chodron. There is a thin line between all major world faiths, and I see that in this.

    The Common Wonderful

    You Are Going to Die
    AND Life Never Ends
    Friday, April 25, 2014

    The fifth message of the common wonderful: It is true that you are going to die, and it is also true that “Neither death nor life, nothing that exists, nothing still to come, not any power, not any height nor depth, nor any created thing can ever come between us and the love of God” (Romans 8:38-39).

    It seems that we are born with a longing, desire, and deep hope that this thing called life could somehow last forever. It is a premonition from Something Eternal that is already within us. Some would call it the soul. Believers would call it the indwelling presence of God. It is God in us that makes us desire God. It is an eternal life already within us that makes us imagine eternal life. It is the Spirit of God that allows us to seriously hope for what we first only intuit. Thus Paul loves to variously call the Spirit “the first fruits, “the promise,” “the pledge,” “the guarantee,” or, as it were, the first installment of what is, in fact, the full and final situation. All spiritual cognition is actually recognition: The Spirit within you knows the truth, you slowly intuit the truth, and faith allows you to finally and fully grasp this truth—which cannot be proven but only experienced.

    God, by every religion’s best definition, is love (1 John 4:16). What follows, of course, is that if we are God’s creatures, then love is what we are too, at our deepest core and final identity. When we live consciously within this love, we will not be afraid to die, because love is eternal, and that core self is indestructible. “Love never ends” (1 Corinthians 13:8). You already know that intuitively.
  9. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Wow. Double wow. This is an amazing writing about the value of rituals. I had never thought about this in this way. Are there rituals we can develop that help us on this journey? A ritual for stopping enabling. A ritual for detachment with love. A ritual for loving ourselves more. A ritual for acceptance? I am thinking the act of writing things down is a ritual and I know that has helped me so much---and I can see that I take steps forward in my own recovery when I do this. Also, the practice of writing a letter and then burning it is a ritual that many therapists recommend. I like this.

    Discharging Your Loyal Soldier

    Lacking True Rites of Passage
    Sunday, April 27, 2014

    Sadly, much of our world seems to stay stuck in the first half of life. A story from Japan at the close of World War II illustrates how we might support ourselves and others in transition to the second half of life. If you have ever been to Japan, you will know that it is a country that is ritual rich, with a strong sense of the importance of symbol, aesthetic, and ceremony!

    At the end of the war, some Japanese communities had the wisdom to understand that many of their returning soldiers were not fit or prepared to reenter civil, peaceful society. The veterans’ only identity for their formative years had been as a “loyal soldier” to their country. They needed a broader identity to rejoin their communities and families. You do not know how to be a father/mother or a brother/sister or a husband/wife with a soldier persona. They are completely different identities.

    So the Japanese created a ceremony whereby a soldier was publicly thanked and praised for his service to the people. After the soldier had been profusely honored, an elder would stand and announce with authority: “The war is now over! The community needs you to let go of what has well served you and us up to now. But we now need you to return as a man, a father, a husband, and something beyond a soldier.”

    We have no such rites of passage in our ritual-starved culture, and they are deeply needed to let go of a past marriage, a past identity, or a past failure. Otherwise, we just keep living, regretting, or trying to redo our past over and over again. That must be true of half of the people I have ever met!

    I call this process “discharging your loyal soldier.” This kind of closure is much needed at the end of all major transitions in life. Because we have lost the sense of the need for such rites of passage, most people have no clear crossover to the second half of their own lives, and remain stuck and trapped in early identities and personas. I wonder if this is not one reason for the high incidence of “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,” or PTSD, in our country today. Most are trying to live a human life with an unhealed soldier dragging them down.
  10. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Rites of passage make sacred every good thing in our lives, too ~ the birth, baptism, or Confirmation of a child, the "Jubilee" years of our marriages or our lives or our friendships. Jewish people have rich ritual traditions addressing every aspect of life. Here in America, fascination with ethnic foods and traditions, with ethnic clothing and Creation myths and history indicates a grass roots return to recognition of the joy and purpose of ritual. It's as though, in our rush to shed the stigma of "immigrant", we tossed aside everything that taught us who we were.

  11. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    This is what is happening right here on this site, and we are each other's "authentic soul friends", among others I am sure, for the transformation. Our Loyal Soldier selves served us well until we met mental illness and addiction. It took a brand new and well-trained Mighty Warrior to fight this battle---with ourselves not our difficult children----and come out on the other side. What a journey. But see the title: Crossing Over to Life. I like that.

    Crossing Over to Life
    Thursday, May 1, 2014

    Normally we will not discharge our Loyal Soldier until our Loyal Soldier shows itself to be wanting, incapable, inadequate for the real issues of life—as when we confront love, death, suffering, subtlety, sin, mystery, and so on. It is another form of the falling and dying that we keep talking about. The world mythologies all point to places like Hades, Sheol, hell, purgatory, the realm of the dead. Even Jesus, if we are to believe the “Apostles’ Creed” of the church, “descended into hell” before he ascended into heaven. Maybe these are not so much alternatives to heaven as the necessary paths to heaven.

    When you discharge your Loyal Soldier, it will feel like a loss of faith or loss of self. But it is only the death of the False Self, and is often the very birth of the soul. Instead of being ego-driven, you will begin to be soul-drawn.

    The wisdom and guidance you will need to cross this chasm will be like Charon ferrying you across the river Styx, or Hermes guiding the soul across all scary boundaries, or Michael the Archangel slaying your demons. These are your authentic soul friends, and we sometimes call them spiritual directors or elders. Celtic Christianity called them anam chara.

    Remember that Hercules, Orpheus, Aeneas, Psyche, Odysseus, and Jesus all traveled into realms of the dead—and returned! When the Apostles’ Creed says that Jesus “descended into hell,” this means that he destroyed hell. Once Christ is there, it is no longer hell but heaven! Even Pope Benedict said that in his commentary on the Creed.
  12. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I found this phrase to be heartbreakingly beautiful.

    I enjoy Richard Rohr so much that, having been introduced to him through you COM, I have him on Facebook. I read his meditations every morning. I love it when you post them here, COM. It is fun to think together, to name and share these beautiful imageries for what is happening to all of us.

    Before I had the site, back when I was alone with it all, I became so emotionally exhausted that my spirit resonated only to guilt, to blame and failure. I don't know that I was capable of feeling anything less intense for a very long time. After I found the site initially, all those years ago, the simple truth that I was no longer alone brought strength enough to search for a way to heal, for a way to survive it. My sojourn on the site this time has turned out to have been about discharging the Loyal Soldier with great honor.

    I love the way R.R. thinks and writes.

    Thank you, COM, for posting.


  13. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Cedar, I think what I like about RR is that he is talking about achieving a higher state as human beings. It's right in sync with what many of us have been forced---some of us dragged kicking and screaming and in mortal pain and grief----to do.

    It was God's plan all along.

    It is His best and highest wish for us, I believe.

    THAT is what I find amazing.

    It gives a purpose to all of this horror.
  14. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Rohr did something today about the ego finally being humiliated enough by its lack of control that we open, in trust, to what is already there with us, to what is already there within us.

    I found that interesting.

    It isn't that after we suffer enough, we break through something. It is, as all the mystical old religious traditions tell us...that when the ego finally shatters, when we finally give up...we are left with only Presence.

    And that is who we are.

  15. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    For many of us, we are working for change in ourselves in our "second half" of life, as Rohr describes. I believe that makes our own change easier perhaps because we are ready for a new way of life anyway. Great quote below from Rilke.

    A New Kind of Doing
    Thursday, May 22, 2014

    In the second half of life, we do not have strong and final opinions about everything, every event, or most people, as much as we allow things and people to delight us, sadden us, and truly influence us. We no longer need to change or adjust other people to be happy ourselves. Ironically we are more than ever before in a position to change people—but we do not need to—and that makes all the difference.

    We have moved from doing to being to an utterly new kind of doing that flows almost organically, quietly, and by osmosis. Our actions are less compulsive. We do what we are called to do, and then try to let go of the consequences. We usually cannot do that very well when we are young.

    Now we aid and influence people simply by being who we are. Human integrity probably influences and moves people from potency to action more than anything else. An elder’s deep and studied passion carries so much more power than superficial and loudly stated principles. Our peace is needed more than our anger.

    Gateway to Silence:
    “May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back.” (Rainer Maria Rilke)
  16. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    I love this. Thank you, Cedar.
  17. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Echo, these are COM's postings. I have been missing them lately. When I saw that you had posted, I happily tuned in to see what you thought.

    I love this thread, too.

    It is somehow more real when we are together.

    Thank you, COM.

  18. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Okay I was encouraged by the comments yesterday so I wanted to post this equally wonderful writing by Rohr today. This man is so amazing. I just don't think it is a mere coincidence that we warriors are able now---in the second half of our lives----do make progress in this unthinkable hard work that is detachment and acceptance and radical change that we are being called to make happen. It must be holy coincidence. I want this. I want what Rohr describes, and I continue to disappoint myself in this regard. I believe the path to a fuller grasp of this is the path I am walking, and this encourages me to keep on.

    Announcement!!!! SO and I are getting married this fall. November, we think. We have finished our second premarital counseling session with a retired Roman Catholic and Episcopal Priest who is our good friend. SO is very close to him and also is the executor of his estate. :couple_inlove:

    I talked about Rohr last night and about the two halves of our lives. I believe this new learning I am doing is directly related to mine and SO's relationship and also who I am today and who I am becoming. SO said last night that I have changed a lot since we started dating three and a half years ago. I have learned and am learning so much about letting go, respecting other people, giving up the need to control and manage and fix, accepting what is. I love what Rohr writes below: "...Not so much to have what you love anymore, but to love what you have---right now." THIS is huge.

    I am very grateful for this. Hugs to all.

    The Second Half of Life

    Falling into God
    Friday, May 23, 2014

    The second half of life is a certain kind of weight to carry because you now hold the pain of the larger world, but no other way of being makes sense or gives you the deep satisfaction your soul now demands and even enjoys. This new and deeper passion is what people mean when they say, “I must do this particular thing or my life will not make sense,” or, “It is no longer a choice.” Your life and your delivery system are now one, whereas before, your life and your occupation seemed like two different things.

    Your concern is not so much to have what you love anymore, but to love what you have—right now. This is a monumental change from the first half of life, so much so that it is almost the litmus test of whether you are in the second half of life at all. Inner brightness, still holding life’s sadness and joy, is its own reward, its own satisfaction, and your best and truest gift to the world.

    Such elders are the “grand” parents of the world. Children and other adults feel so safe and loved around them, and they themselves feel so needed and helpful to children, teens, and midlife adults. And they are! They are in their natural flow.

    Strangely, all of life’s problems, dilemmas, and difficulties are now resolved not by negativity, attack, criticism, force, or logical resolution, but always by falling into a larger “brightness”—by falling into the good, the true, and the beautiful—by falling into God. All you have to do is meet one such shining person and you know that he or she is surely the goal of humanity and the delight of God.
  19. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    How wonderful! This makes me so happy! How brave of both of you to love again,to commit again. Thank you for sharing this wonderful news!

    I like this a lot. I'm going to work on that this weekend.

    Love and happiness to you and SO!

    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    • List
  20. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    COM, congratulations! I so enjoyed reading your news this morning. In the midst of the sorrow, there is still much joy, I am happy that you can hold both in your heart and gracefully continue the journey through the second half of life with a partner.

    I think we slip into loving what we have when we accept what is in our lives. There is no more "getting to" only NOW. For me, staying present in the moment allows me to look around and see how much there is to be grateful for, to acknowledge that it is enough and that I am okay and that all is just right in the world.

    My difficult child has been instrumental in this process of acceptance and being present in the moment.

    Thank you COM, you bring enormous wisdom and honesty to all of us, I always appreciate your posts. I join you today in celebration of your wedding plans..........
    • Like Like x 1
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    • List