Tag Archives: Inner Conflict

A Green Light at the End of a Promontory

A green light at the end of a promontory on the Costa Del Sol drew in my eye and my interest.

Alone it stood in the darkness and from where I was seated it appeared to be floating above the ocean.

As I walked nearer to the edge of a rocky jetty, I noticed that the green light was fixed to a tall pole at the end of a rocky sea-break on the entrance to the harbour in Fuengirola.

A warning or a guide, perhaps both, a light to bear the watercraft safely to sea and back again to the marina.

Where are the green lights in my life which keep me from the rocky shores of disillusionment and fear?

I am guided by the deep waters of my expansive mind…….like the sea oft times turbulent and at risk of being overcome by the swell of my longings and emotions for what I cannot have.

My green light is situated on its own promontory, but it has become a beacon to illuminate my understanding and my intellect, rather than a  light casting a shadow across my mind which stops me from exploring and reveling in the deepest longings of soul.

I am safe in the presence of my green light, even when my mind is a haze and I cannot see the pole on which it sits.

I sense the pole, I sense the rocks, I can contemplate the widen open spaces of the open-sea and take refuge in the safety of my harbour which will never be prevailed upon to let me down.

William Defoe 

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Being Spiritual

Earlier today, I endured a sermon from a priest which articulated why, in his opinion, the spiritual sections of bookstores made him feel angry.

The books in this section, had in the main nothing to do with being spiritual but rather more to do with a modern pre-occupation with self, more narcissism than God.

I understand his frustration and I agree with him, that for believers in God, a key element of prayer and reflection surely must be to sense that we are in the presence of God.

I am a deep believer in God, a practising cradle to grave (I anticipate the latter) Roman Catholic.

I however, have gained enormously from the spiritualism of self.

I have done all I can, to consciously  keep God out of it as I have tried to re-integrate the exiled parts of myself which as far as my experience can tell, my church had no wish to acknowledge.

I believe that I have been made in the image and likeness of Christ. 

My experience has been than some parts of me, are not an acceptable image and likeness of Christ and so I undertook to suppress my obvious homosexuality to ensure my survival in the family and community to which I belong.

I have come to realise that this intention to suppress my truth was my own doing and that to those people in my family and community to whom I have told my truth (including several priests) I have been  received with warmth and love.

The books on my bookshelf of the non-God spiritual kind have saved me from the inner pain of rejection, guilt and deep conflict.

These books have calmed my inward storm.

They have helped me to present to the world as one no longer angry and resentful, but happily comfortable in the knowledge that my sexuality is an integral part of me.

And therefore an integral part of my own display on this earth of my being as an image and likeness of Christ.

Deo Gratias!

William Defoe

My Feet

Recently, I enjoyed a much needed rest on the beautiful Western Algarve in Portugal.

On the first couple of days, I noticed how my feet, exposed to the elements were causing me discomfort and irritation.

They felt clammy, itchy and the constant need I had to scratch and rub them made me feel irritable.

As the sun and sea, dried and washed my feet and turned the colour of them to a soothing brown, I became agitated by a dryness and an itching and a burning feeling which made them feel sore and tender.

I had this growing anxiety that my whole holiday was going to be overtaken by this constant need to manage my feet.

Later in the week, as they settled down and had the appearance of two bronzed sculptor casts, I recognized in their recovery and replenishment, a wider process of healing in my whole body system.

It seemed apt that the pressures of the mind, over exerted, overwrought, over anxious, was mirrored at the furthest extremity of my body by a physical manifestation of the mental fatigue which I had endured for too long.

My sock-less, supported feet, in stylist summer footwear, became the revitalised  and energised extremities which mirrored the composed and challenged and thought-filled mind which had found solace in an intellectual book.

My read had stimulated my mind in a new direction for those few days and taken over the intellectual space from fear, worry and anxiety, and it was my happy feet which tripped my form across the sand, splashed in the sea and lead me to positions along the coast of beauty and of peace.

William Defoe

 

 

The Anguish of My Soul

I have the necessary skills to recognise the actions I must take to protect my soul and yet, I have struggled for months to guard and protect it.

I am in free-fall, which is a feeling of being anything but free, on the contrary it is destructive and damaging and ultimately I believe, it has the capacity to overwhelm me.

So what can I do to manage the constant anguish of my soul?

I am incapable of making a choice which would in theoretical terms, give it freedom, and yet I believe imprison it further still.

So, making a choice is not my preferred option for liberating the anguish of my soul.

I have taken steps today to write this blog. This is no doubt for me a step in the right direction.

I have tried to enforce a regime of lower working hours and establish some time to sit in the comfort of my home and garden in warm and daylight hours.

I have made time to have sex. I have neglected this aspect of crucial importance and in so doing I have neglected the needs of my wife.

I have been deeply unsettled, my mind incapable of being calm, my system on full alert for too long.

I have been unwell, not just mentally and emotionally but spiritually and physically too.

I have tried to recover my physical strength by running, only to suffer a racing heart which made me pull over earlier this week and then to cap it all, feeling stronger on Friday, I took a fall and hurt my ribs.

Are all the gods aligned against me?

Of course not, now my skills kick in – William you are beginning to speak and sound like a victim.

You are not a victim, you are an incredible being (as are we all) with an enormous capacity to think and be.

William Defoe

To Carry

On Friday last week, I spent the day walking alone in the countryside.

I had an overwhelming sense of the weight of things, and these precious hours alone, helped me to recognise all the different elements of my life which I am trying to juggle at the current time.

I was able to focus on how I might find news ways to carry the load.

When my children were young, and either needed or wanted me to carry them, I became adept at finding ways to distribute their weight, and this same logic of alleviating weight by distribution and continuous adjustment seemed to me to be a good metaphor for managing my current challenges.

I noticed that my work pressures have been out of balance with the wider aspects of my life, and that my capacity to cope by reading, writing, painting and running have been subjugated so that my reasoning has been undermined.

This means that the weight I carry is not distributed evenly and so all that I carry seems to be a burden, when in fact it is not so much a burden, but the reality of life.

My thoughts in the countryside strayed into how I could lighten the load by leaving my job or leaving my marriage or running away.

These thoughts were fanciful, it seemed to me, but they had some validity because they were present in that quiet, beautiful place in which I walked and sat.

My rational self came back to a more sensible train of thought, which spoke softly to my soul of being kind to self, of finding the compassionate and caring self which protects me from within by prioritising the needs of the soul.

I resolved in that place of beauty, to re-distribute the load I carry by shifting my focus to a broader spectrum and a wider canvas so that my burdens are somehow made small by the broadening of the landscape on which my thoughts and feelings take their shape.

In that place of beauty and of solitude, I became aware once again that I am not alone in struggling to manage the demands we place on ourselves to fulfill our ambitions and responsibilities to those whom we love.

However, being in the countryside in absolute solitude and silence gave me the space I craved to work out how to carry the deepening complexities of my life.

William Defoe

 

 

The Pain I Nurture

The pain I nurture lies within me on the surface of my heart.

I know this pain and it knows me.

This pain is me – this pain is my experience – this pain is my deepest expression of self.

I have worked out ways to rid myself of this pain, and all of these methods hold for me a  validity and a truth.

I have decided to carry my pain, and to endure its seething hold on me, because at this time in my life, all of the alternatives speak to me of the potential for an even heavier load to bear.

I am grateful for my pain, because it is borne and lives within me as result of my experience for things which I now deny myself.

I know that overtime my pain will ebb and flow, and I know too, that my choices around it have the capacity to change too.

My pain resides within my heart, but it does not own my soul – no – I own my pain,

it lives because I give it life;

it speaks because I give it a voice;

it is heard because I listen to it, and

I feel it, because I give it space in my thinking mind.

The pain I nurture is within, I care for it, because it cares for me.

I have made a friend of my pain, because I know that deep within the longings of my soul, this pain occupies the space which reminds me of

what it is to live;

what it is to love, and

what it is to hope.

William Defoe

 

Jigsaw

Throughout the long, dark winter evenings, my wife and I have been sat side by side placing pieces in numerous jigsaw puzzles.

It has felt at times, quite frustrating and tiresome when periods of time seem to lapse without any visible progress to the emerging picture.

The jigsaw evenings, side by side, have been an important step in reconnecting with each other after a very difficult few months.

It seems to me that the act of building something together, into something beautiful and fulfilling is not really in the jigsaw, but rather it is in our relationship, which has been wounded and in desperate need of healing.

The very act of sitting side by side, bumping into each other as we stretch to place a piece of the puzzle, and the occasional kiss or holding of hands has been the greater achievement in rebuilding the broken pieces of our hearts.

Unlike the jigsaw puzzles, which will ultimately broken down and placed back in shattered pieces into their boxes, I hope with all my heart, that what we have been able to re-build between us, will be a visible sign of beauty and sustained for our time together which is still to come.

William Defoe