Spiritual growth and insights over the holidays
Kia Ora from New Zealand. Gosh I hear and feel for you Scott. What a beautifully written story. I spent 5 months with my folks in the UK last year. I felt their world had become very small post covid and my dad was diagnosed 2 years before with late onset dementia, so as the dutiful son, I left my job and went to be there for them as some kind of support. Five months of sorting out their house, gardens and finances all the time trying not to disrupt their routine. When people ask me how was your holiday? I say it was fun and fraught and I’m not sure it was a holiday?
It was an amazing experience for them, so mission completed. My dad and I were at loggerheads most weeks ‘telling me what I should be doing’ sending me right back to my twenties and one of the reasons I emigrated to NZ 22 years ago! Not just Dad, other factors too.
Now he has dementia it was hard to seperate the inner child from the current situation. It was a learning curve though I’m not super sure what the lesson is. Ha
Would I do that again? Probably, there must be a silver lining in that somewhere!
Get ahold of yourselves! 😈
Visiting family can be tough, especially when there’s unresolved issues and you're a stream of becoming that’s in touch with your body energetically and emotionally. Fortunately or unfortunately, I know exactly what you mean! It sounds like you’ve come a long way in being able to identify the experiences and manage them, although it can be hard for other people around you to understand. This is something I’m working on myself.
One thought I had: I wonder if overcoming all past traumas in particular intergenerational and especially past lives, and even doing all the emotional work is actually required for awakening, at least in the Buddhist sense of the term? I know you didn’t say this explicitly, but the Ram Dass quote (which I love and find very true) to me sort of implies that one must somehow work through these emotional/family issues to reach the final goal of awakening.
In general the idea is that once you’ve got rid of all of your sankaras, then you’ve cleared the space and can get to "full awakening". A term, by the way, which is still tricky to define. But maybe if you go too deep you uncover these things that can open up cans of worms (sankaras) that you don’t NEED to open. One way I've learned meditation with the jhanas is to get “just enough” depth (vs. total absorption) to move through the stages of awakening — releasing some big things along the way, of course. It's interesting to think about the different paths to awakening and what they actually entail.
There are plenty of teachers and gurus who seem to have really achieved awakening (at least by their descriptions, which are consistent w/ understanding the nature of the universe etc), but who seem to have unwholesome personality traits (think Osho etc). Maybe developing certain skillsets are totally separate from spiritual attainment, and residual karma or even certain unhealed traumas can co-exist with awakening. Hmmm...
I suppose the question is, "Do you really need to work through/ let go of all the emotional baggage from the past to be fully awakened?" What do you think?
Sorry to hear all this. Sounds rough. Glad you’re back.
I feel you. Trapped in the Seattle snowstorm with no water, power, internet, barely any heat. Christmas was wonderful but this may have been my most difficult holiday season ever. I think including New Years Day I've wanted to end it all twice. That's unlike me. My world is generally bliss but the holidays seem, almost by design, to tear people down. Hoping everyone else's was better and I'm sure you're going to have a banner year, Scott.
Thanks for having the courage to share and be so vulnerable. Continue to press forward and remain kind to yourself along the way. Happy New Year!!