The early years of my life were mostly lived in an unconscious manner. Many years ago, I learned if I tucked uncomfortable information about people, places or things in the very turns and twists of the back of my mind...I could easily deny them.
Thus, I lived many years without actually living and experiencing the emotions that are a natural part of life.
But I guess we all wake up at some point...I can only say that there were many wake-up calls for me, before I actually became conscious and worked my way through them, instead of hiding and denying them.
And then, all those hidden denials wormed their way back to the surface of my mind...and suddenly, as if a light bulb switched on, I discovered if I took a few of these hurtful situations I had hidden and applied them and learned from them...Voila!
I learned wisdom, instead of denial, repression and the resultant skewed view of life that these tools for survival bring.
I believe all babies are born totally conscious of their world. Babies will let parents know immediately something is not right in their very small corner of the population. And some of us, such as Akiane,(who I found on Matt's and Lorna's blog) keep this awareness and do not let denial and repression see the light of day.
But me? I learned, at a very young age, if I didn't think about whatever incident caused me pain, I didn't have to deal with it. Don't think about it...this little sentence became my mantra.
I lived this way through a cancer scare, my first divorce, and various other life changing events...until I couldn't hide things anymore. Then I turned to alcohol, to self-medicate...to dull these thoughts that were becoming increasingly more difficult to suppress.
This worked for a few years, until I became a full-blown alcoholic...because, you see, it took more and more alcohol, eventually, to continue to hide from myself.
But this behavior didn't please others in my life. And I wanted to please, I wanted to do the best I could for my family...I just didn't know how, without facing many issues...all by myself. I was alone in this, wasn't I?
I believe the Universe has a plan for us all. Hiding from myself as hard as I was, my wake-up call happened very quickly after I started drinking to excess, in the scheme of things.
I remember, as all Alcoholics do, the very first time I walked into an AA meeting, all by myself. It is ingrained in my memory...to this day, I have never faced as much fear and shame as I did that day.
The fear and shame would continue, because I wouldn't allow myself to open up, to share my feelings. It took six months before I could concentrate on myself...I would share other people's problems around the tables, I could help others...but I hid my own hurtful situations and kept them under a very strong lock and key.
Bit by bit, I would allow tidbits to release...small nuggets of the huge mountain of pain that filled my heart. And each time I did, I would feel less shame, less fear.
And I learned an incredible amount, the more I let the darkness that resided within me to see the light of day.
I was becoming conscious. Suddenly, Problems and Pain were dealt with as they arose. I was no longer afraid of consequences. My self-confidence began to unfurl. I no longer felt alone.
And my spirit- uality, which I had also hidden, because I thought my experiences were strange and unacceptable, found a chink in the armor I had hidden it behind and burst forth and bloomed.
I discovered my beliefs were not so strange...rather they were a gift from Creator that I had spurned and ignored. There were others who explored spirituality, in the very same way I did. And many walked right beside me, making me believe that I could be open and true to myself, just as these others had.
I discovered I was never alone. I discovered there were clues all around me, if I became conscious of them and aware. These clues could be used as tools to solve the natural progression of problems that filtered into my life. I had re-discovered faith.
As a child, I would read the Bible under my bed covers with a flashlight. This little Bible had been given to us in school, and I still have it...I did not know, when I was young, why this little Book had the power to comfort. But it did.
I knew, had I allowed others in my family to know I read the Bible, there would be teasing and laughter. I could not bear this reaction to my Bible reading; hence I hid it. Much of it I didn't understand...but I knew I gained comfort from it. That was all I required then.
In the years following recovery, I explored my spiritual beliefs. I became stronger, more aware and thus, much more conscious of my own and other's behavior.
I discovered Spirit; I discovered Spirit was always with me. This realization, this epiphany, changed the direction of my life.
I found I no longer had to hide pain or what others consid- ered unaccept- able in me. Spirit knew it all anyway. Spirit accepted me just as I was, totally and without reservations. I knew this.
My world opened. I began to use my intuition, honing it and asking for guidance all the way. If I paid attention, if I became conscious of all the little bits and pieces of a situation, if I trusted myself, suddenly I could work through anything.
My faith would be tested over and over again, after I accepted my spirituality. My daughter died, and there would be another divorce. I clung to Spirit, throughout these difficult times. And as I worked through them, my consciousness became greater. Repression and denial still occur; it does not take long before I become aware of what I'm doing.
Mistakes and wrong turns on the path of life continue, for me. Spirit allows me my choices. Some are really bad, but with guidance, I can find the path that is not so difficult, leaving the torturous, twisting road I chose previously behind.
I believe I will work on conscious behavior for the rest of my life. It is still very easy for me to hide; still very easy to deny. A lifetime of solitary pursuits is difficult to overcome completely. And denial is very powerful.
Being unaware did not allow me to experience the full joys in my life, either. It works both ways. Either experience life in a fully aware manner, or live a half life, where I am living but not in a full way.
With all the trials and tribulations that occur in life, I am happy this one...this understanding of conscious behavior...is on its way to being solved.