Sunday, April 24, 2011

TAKING STOCK

I was born to unprepared parents whose greatest flaw was selfishness.  I was another child of the confused and self-absorbed “me” generation, and it was obvious to me even then they were more concerned with themselves than their children. I hold no ill will toward them but don’t cast pearls before swine either.  Despite their carelessness, I grew older with my self-esteem intact, and it saw me through a number of dangerous childhood traps.  These experiences left their mark, but my guardian angel was reliable.  My soul’s charter in this life did not call for rape or repeated physical abuse.  I was spared the absolute worst, and therefore a fear response is not etched indelibly in my psyche.  Rather, self-confidence was lacking, and in its place was sheer nerve, which was like spitting in the wind at times. What good is having the nerve to spit when the storm is on, if the saliva ends up blocking your vision?

Guilford Center © Leslie Faber in 2007
In my adulthood, I was “adopted” by an enlightened spiritual mother and given the gift of worthiness. This prompted self-confidence, which blossomed like a rose and manifested change quickly.  I was a vessel, and She turned me upside down.  Anger, fear and resentment were emptied from me, carrying the debris of outworn relationships with it. This was a difficult transition that lasted almost ten years, but it was poignant to my learning curve. Compassion, capability and courage rose up in its place to iron out the kinks in my life, always with a knack for pushing hot buttons.  As time went on, these buttons burned less and I learned to trust my intuition.

Now the world stands on the precipice of immense change. We live in incredible, spiritual and historic times.  I feel its winds blowing strongly. The gate is unlocked, and as I stand in the open doorway, I feel new, cathartic energy flowing in and the negative energy that rises to challenge it.  These leviathans battle on the horizon and misfortune is the global culture’s dish of the day.  When served in hearty portions, which happens frequently, this misfortune changes lives on all levels. We are prompted to embrace love or cleave desperately to fear. 

Six weeks ago, I was involuntarily separated from my job in the fall out of a financially motivated, confidence bashing, denigrating corporate merger debacle.  The year and a half process was an exercise in purging personal demons, the roots of which had grown deep into my professional worthiness. I was familiar with the purging process because it happened to me in my relationships previously, but I was nonetheless eager for it to be over.  Also. when you’re reorganized out of a job, they want you to believe it isn’t personal; but believe me, it’s completely personal.  When I was finally released, I was ready to go, and I was physically and emotionally stressed.  I was also frightened. 

The merger left me in doubt of my professional capabilities and unwilling to navigate corporate life any longer.  I wondered if it was because of my experience or in spite of it.  Obviously, the two were inexorably linked, but which came first?  Which was real? 

Preparing for Pacific Coast Dream Machines has directed my energies to something creative and constructive and begun to return my confidence.   Leslie and I overcome each small challenge working toward May 1, and I feel more and more like myself. Doing it together makes it sweeter. We’re investing personal finances when we should be storing nuts for a difficult economic winter, but my bones tell me the time is now. Now or never.

As I take stock of myself, I am relieved to rediscover one very significant personal fact:  I am almost fifty years old, and still, I will not succumb to fear. 

I discovered my grandmother, who’s been in a convalescent home for over 10 years, was recently put on hospice care. She’s 90 years old.  When we were in Connecticut three years ago, I was blessed with time to be with her, and it was difficult to leave, but I had to do what was best for my family. This highlights what haters out there don’t realize.  I do understand what family is, and in fact, I am fiercely devoted.  I am equally clear on people who pose as family members or friends but are uncaring, selfish, and manipulative in their rationalizations.  I have discernment, and these haters and I have spent enough time together in this life.

Thirty years ago, I was let go from my first job out of business school.  They gave me $360 in severance pay, and I used that money to print the first issue of a newsletter called “Feminine Connections”.  I was passionate about that newsletter.  Publishing “Feminine Connections” led me to a lesbian couple in San Leandro, one who wrote and the other did art. When I visited California to see them over the Fourth of July weekend in 1985, they introduced me to Leslie.

I didn’t succumb to fear when I moved out of my mother’s house at 16 because her husband hit me.  I didn’t let it hold me back at 21 when I moved from Connecticut to California the first time to be with Leslie.  I didn’t let it deter me when Leslie and I moved cross country.  And I won’t let it stop me when I’m belittled, insulted or threatened by haters.

I have a unique opportunity to pursue my creativity before economic demands assume their position once again.

I embrace this opportunity.

I am unafraid.

And  I can’t wait to see where it leads me.

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