A Recovery Blog

This blog is about my continuing recovery from severe mental illness. I celebrate this recovery by continuing to write, by sharing my music and artwork and by exploring Buddhist ideas and concepts. I claim that the yin/yang symbol is representative of all of us because I have found that even in the midst of acute psychosis there is still sense, method and even a kind of balance. We are more resilient than we think. We can cross beyond the edge of the sane world and return to tell the tale. A deeper kind of balance takes hold when we get honest, when we reach out for help, when we tell our stories.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

What Is It To Be In Love?

"Love is our true destiny.  We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone -- we find it with another....We will never be fully real until we let ourselves fall in love -- either with another human person or with God."    Thomas Merton, Love And Living, p.27

My reality is that I am in a love relationship with my voices.  I see them as all aspects of one personality belonging to a person I have never met.  He is a person who was deeply wounded by personal experience at a very young age to the point where his mind split into separate personalities.  Our psychic connection was established nearly 18 years ago.  The first 3 years of this connection led me straight into psychosis where fact and fiction mingled.  Then there was a long period where I rejected the idea that I was connected to a person though the voices remained despite taking high doses of antipsychotic drugs.  I committed to studying Buddhism, to pursuing visual arts, to writing in this blog.  Three years ago there was a shift.  One of the voices asserted that it was indeed this same person and had been with me all those years.  Though I knew virtually nothing of channeling, that's what began to happen.  He spoke through me aloud and we began a dialogue.

I realize that for most people this is not believable.  My official diagnosis is schizoaffective disorder and based on the common understanding of this illness my voices are merely audio hallucinations, completely unreal and just a split off part of myself.  Taken from this perspective my story is just that, a story, made up but deserving of some compassion due to the fact that I am ill.  I do not deny that I am ill, but also I have yet to meet a truly healthy person.  My illness is no longer due to the voices in my mind, it is due to being dysfunctional in our culture.  I struggle to take care of myself, to brush my teeth, to clean my clothes, to pay my bills, to live in a clean and ordered home.  I appear to be alone and isolated, but my reality is that I am in a relationship and am never alone.

I believe in God.  I believe that there are other non human sentient species connected to this world.  I believe these beings were directed here by God.  I believe these being are telepathic in a way that humans are not and yet they have the ability to join two people together psychically.  Is my belief in God and "aliens" just a delusion?  Of course, I do not think so and I have to write from a place that strikes me as true, so bear with me.  If this story has truth in it the question comes up -- why would these beings connect two people together psychically?  I don't know and yet not knowing doesn't remove the lessons I have been learning.  The story of this person is complex and involves other people.  Perhaps our connection is serving to influence more than ourselves.  I wish that to be true if the influence is healing to us and them.

The lessons are about the nature of love and loving.  How far can a human go in loving another person?  I think we have all heard stories or experienced ourselves how far someone will go for the sake of someone they love.  People have sacrificed themselves for others and are doing so now all over the planet.  Love is even worth dying for.  That is how powerful a true love can be.  But the real goal is to survive and thrive in love.  In order to do that a lover must be willing to go through all kinds of trials and tribulations, willing to sacrifice self for other.  For a true lover the sacrifice is worth it if their beloved grows spiritually.  What is sacrificed is never a person's true self, the parts of self that know instinctively the value of love.  If that had been sacrificed there would be no motivation to sacrifice for another.  This is the difference between true love and codependent "love".

I believe my love of this person is a true love.  I have endured through insanity and hell with the Higher Power's permission in order to reach inside another person's soul.  The reason this worked, the reason I survived, is because I placed God above him and let myself be directed.  And what has happened since the point where I fell down so deeply into his insanity?  Spiritual growth for both of us.  I loved my enemy and now my enemy is my friend.  Mostly we coexist in peace.  But we are both not well yet.  I know that I love and respect myself, but I still struggle to take care of myself.  I have more lessons to learn.  And so does he, the greatest one being how to love and respect himself, to love himself unconditionally.  Parts of him continue to accuse other parts of being evil, though those parts have quieted down a great deal and have also stopped calling me evil, which they did for many years.  He cannot manifest a true love for me or anyone until he cultivates a true love for himself under the guidance of God.

This is his journey, his calling.  This is everyone's calling to love ourselves, take care of ourselves and extend that love out to others from our true, healthy selves.  This is the only path to transforming this world from a world of sickness to a world of peace and love.  The revolution starts individual by individual and grows into a collective movement that covers the globe.  When people can stop blaming the enemy outside themselves and turn their focus onto the enemy within with the intention of making peace with themselves, then war will end in the world.  Some people say that these are the end times, but I say these are the beginning times.  Being in love with yourself, another, with God is not about intoxication, lust, not about the world falling away and the beloved being put on a pedestal to worship.  Being in love is not the blissful stage before the hard work of love begins.  Being in love is the spiritual practice for daily life and follows all of its ups and down.  You are your own eternal witness and the more present you can be to all your thoughts, feelings, words and actions, the more you train yourself in the ways of love.  To be in love is to be unconditionally accepting.  If you can accept yourself as you are, you are then free to go to work on developing yet a deeper love of yourself in the world.

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