There are trends in society to encourage us to build our self esteem and to value ourselves… to develop and achieve a place suited to our talents.. but what is best for me is when I lose myself in something.I was reading an old blog of a friend and was quite absorbed and went into a different state of mind..then I regretted I don’t manage to lose myself enough being a housewife and having much on my mind and being busy.
Sometimes it can happen when we love a person.Sometimes a wonderful landscape feels like home.. other times a sunset across the Irish sea from the cliffs of the Isle of Man where myriad butterflies swirl and float over flowers and rocks.
Modern life, the News,talk,excitement of the wrong sort seem to lock us into our self and frighten us so we forget the value of fining something in which to lose ourselves and grow as a result. Sitting by a river fishing,knitting,sewing,a book, many things can elicit this response And remember how horror filled was the self consciousness of adolescence and how good to forget one’s self being more comfortable and accepting of appearance and image..How to live like a wild flower for a time… and be happy not to be a rose but just a tiny wild geranium or a moderate sized gentle pink flower in a arden
Have you ever felt you were behind a pane of glass? I did once many years ago after a friend committed suicide.It must be a protective condition but it is painful and odd.Everyone else seems ok ,you imagine,but you are not a part..In reality many people may be feeling like you do and putting on a performance while out at work or socialising.We are probably wiser as we grow older as we know more people better and see we are not unique in our suffering and pain; we know that feelings pass,even the worst ones and we may have become better at judging others and knowing if friends die by suicide it’s probably not our fault
When one feels that way it has to be accepted for the time being, like all feelings,I found reading poetry helped me and also being with others in a group where I could sit and listen without pressure to speak.I like this poem from then.It was a favorite of Simone Weil,the mystic.
LOVE BADE ME WELCOME by George Herbert
Love Bade Me Welcome – from Love (III)
Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back.
Guiltie of dust and sinne.
But quick-ey’d Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lack’d anything.
A guest, I answer’d, worthy to be here:
Love said, You shall be he.
I the unkinde, ungrateful? Ah, my deare,
I cannot look on thee.
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
Who made the eyes but I?
Truth Lord, but I have marr’d them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.
And know you not, sayes Love, who bore the blame?
My deare, then I will serve.
You must sit down, sayes Love, and taste my meat:
So I did sit and eat.
You know this experience, sometimes when you are browsing in a bookshop you come across a book with a wonderful title. This happened to me as student when I saw a book with this title:
“The courage to be ”
by Paul Tillich
I was going through a hard time and just the title alone helped me as no one I knew had ever said it takes courage to live well.So I bought this book and dipped in. I found it interesting and thoughtful.Sometimes I would just look at the front cover and repeat the title.I had discovered mantra meditation.in a sense.
This morning I was listening to a radio programme about poetry in England and tidying up. Suddenly my old battered copy fell out of a shelf and into my hand.And I said, thank you. Because I had lost this companion and now it’s restored to me when I need again to say the words to help me in a personal crisis.
The Courage to Be
And to recognise the power of words on the human mind and thus to take care of self and others and what we say to them for they too are struggling humans as we ourselves are.
And to discover virtue is not faux piety which suddenly reminded me that Tillich had a weakness for women. He was no plaster saint. I am not saying. I approve.
Had he stayed in Germany he would no doubt have been imprisoned even killed like Dietrich Bonhoeffer.He would not have been silent
Books… they save lives. I was so grateful and still am for education, books, people who talk to me .Had I lived a few years earlier it would have been different.
I am reading two books by C Fred Alford about Evil.He is a very good writer and scholar with a wonderful mind.He is also influenced greatly by Melanie Klein and Wilfred Bion.
In fact I am really delighted because he talks quite a lot about thought and what makes us thoughtless and how thinking is related to emotions.And how breaking linkages in our minds is a defence which stops us from feeling painful emotion at the cost of deadness inside
This article is about Whistleblowers like Edward Snowden because it’s good and also I cannot find any articles about Alford’s life.