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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Narcissus Way

While I don’t consider myself a “narcissist” by definition, i.e.: I am not enamored with myself, with my thoughts, opinions, or perspectives about life, I find myself living on Narcissus Way where ego-self is preoccupied with itself. Through my inner window I have seen how this narcissistic self is a remnant of self-identification and ego function. Sometimes we can best see our own ego through the ego reflection of others, particularly those closest to us. This has been the case here on Narcissus Way for several weeks now. In the past several months, as some of you know, I have needed to attend to family more than usual. I evidently bought a ticket for a front row seat at this little ego drama.

So I wanted to share a kind of “day in the life” on Narcissus Way. I hope I don’t bore you with my meandering story, but it is life as it is here at the moment, and I find it hard sometimes to step out of the story – so I write…





Monday morning I arrived at my mother’s. TV is on, like it always is – game shows, cooking shows, talk shows -24/7. Mom is sitting in her chair flipping through catalogues and ads that come in the mail. When she turns to look at me I see that the eye that she had surgery on nearly a year ago appears bloody – not just blood-shot. She evidently had a severe coughing spell the day before and that morning that must have put too much pressure on her eyeball. I encourage her to call the eye doctor, she reneges. I felt the contraction between us. I evidently raised an issue she doesn’t want to deal with and she self-protects. I move on to something less threatening.

~

I climbed the stairs to my sister’s room – door is closed. She has not emerged yet. She was still in bed, her TV on. Her back and leg pain had returned, as evidently she overdid it the day before by being up too long, doing too much; even walked around without her back brace on – not even 4 weeks after surgery. Hel~lo... But her pain is also emotional. She desperately wants control in a situation that she has no control over, and so she gets very, very angry, trying to control through anger. My “ego-self” remembers this pattern all too well. I attend to what is needed and tactfully withdraw from her lair, not engaging – but feel my ego react to her anger, as it feels invasive.

~

I check with them both to compile a list of grocery items, and get vague answers. No one is capable of clear thinking of what is needed, even with prompt questions. I head out to the store, feeling irritation rise, and the self-centered thought that this may continue for the rest of *my* life! And how am I going to do this! My ego balks at the idea. I ask my Self - what is my real role here? What is the real need? - as I’m not seeing clearly.



I return to find my Diabetic mother eating cupcakes. She says she has eaten a salad already for lunch. I check her eye and encourage her again to call the eye doctor. She obviously doesn’t want to, and brushes me off, not wanting to be controlled – wanting to make her own decisions. I respect that. I find I am no longer interested in power struggles, so I move on. I do tell her that she probably shouldn’t do a lot of bending over – then later find her bent over looking for something in a lower kitchen cabinet! I turn away, not saying anything, resisting the ego’s need to correct, to control.
~

I find a partially written list on the kitchen counter of other items that I was evidently supposed to pick up at the store – but no one told me it was there. I also found another list of things I needed to do – like bring the hoses in, and fix the shower head in my sister’s bathroom, which neither mentioned. My ego-self has been sufficiently aroused to elicit the anger response. My mother knows nothing about the lists. She is unaware – evidently about a lot of things. And I am irritated at her unawareness, and the general lack of coherent communication – wishing that we could all communicate better without the ego walls that are between us. I find it interesting that we are all in the same living space, but no one is *really* home – internally home. Although, the unaware, conditioned “me” is very much “at home”/comfortable in this environment, thriving in unconsciousness, and unawareness; thriving in cycles of long held patterns that have blurred over time…



I head back out to the store, because we discover that my sister’s cat does not have enough food. No one remembered that before. I begin to feel myself numb out and go on automatic; another ego defense mechanism on Narcissus Way.

~

After doing the chores on the list, while my sister supervised to make sure I did them “right”, my mother announced that her blood sugar was only 68, and we head towards a possible crisis. She’s been a Diabetic for 26 years and still doesn’t eat right – is still in denial… We quiz her for her food intake that day, which she didn’t like – too invasive - because she couldn’t hide her eating habits. And now we attempt to play catch up with her blood sugar to get it back to normal… She eats a banana and pours herself a glass of OJ. Her blood sugar rises to normal levels, and we all move on… I feel the need to withdraw, to find silence, solitude…and rest.



My practice over the last few weeks has been to bring a greater sense of conscious awareness to this situation and to maintain an inner awareness of Beingness; to step back from self-centered me-ing, drop into the space of the Heart, and experience what it is that is actually experiencing this little drama; who is seeing through these eyes, hearing through these ears, as this ego story continues to play itself out… Noticing all the while that there does appear to be a “me”, and I begin to seriously question the concept that there is no “me”/no self, because I am sitting with “me-s” who *believe* they are only “me-s”, separate from one another – drowning in their “me-hood.” And my me is going right along with their little “me-s.” Three “a–me-gos” on Narcissus Way, reflecting each other’s “me-s”, creating a distorted reflection of Reality.

I trust that underneath all this ego drama there is Love – not “family love” but Divine Love; that this drama is really just the play of “the Beloved;” that Love lives in the midst of it all – embracing our little “me-s” until we remember our true reflection. And maybe the real need is just to be there – not out of a sense of resignation, or self-sacrifice, or responsibility, or obligation – but just BE there – authentically - staying open to and aware of the dynamics as they unfold, allowing Love to work Its Way…



16 comments:

  1. oh man, that sounds like one crazy circus! I hereby grant you sainthood just for venturing in there however many times a week you do this. The cupcakes and the lists found later and the supervised chores! It sounds like a strange unreality tv show. What a place to practice and I must tell you without a doubt that you are doing incredibly well to just show up and not blow up! And I know that this is not why you tell us the story!

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  2. an incredibly intense and frustrating situation for sure. i think you are a saint also, for placing yourself there to work through and with all the ego's. you are kind to help. but i hope you are also taking care of you. blessings, suki ps the street name...wow

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  3. Yes...ALL of us WSS's hereby grant you Sainthood. May we all breathe the open air and stay"... open to and aware of the dynamics as they unfold, allowing Love to work Its Way…" Heart hugs Dear Christine. ♥

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  4. Thank you all, my friends for your encouraging support. It is very much appreciated. And as you all know I'm not bucking for "sainthood", or kudos, but a little sanity would be nice! :)

    ZDS ~ definitely a circus here :) I try to remember to wear my clown costume :)


    Suki ~ I got a shot of the street sign from the car while my husband and I were out last May. Amazing huh!? Yes, trying to take care of myself as well... Thanks


    Leslie ~ Does that mean I get King Arthur's sword too! Oh, no, then I would be King! LOL
    Heart Hugs back ♥

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  5. Wow. I learned a saying at the ashram last weekend that perhaps will help you as you deal with what is obviously a difficult/challenging situation, "If they KNEW better, they would DO better."

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  6. PS: I too admire your generosity in trying to take care of family!

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  7. Uma ~ I like this saying! And on some level I know this - especially with my mother as she ages. I see that she really doesn't know any better.

    Actually your recent post about your father helped me to step back and drop into the Heart space more, and gain a little perspective here. It had an impact on me,so I thank you for that! I don't feel like I'm being generous, just doing what is needed - but thank you for the kind words...

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  8. Dearest Christine--I can so relate to your little drama, as I am playing out a very similar one here, with a wounded and stubborn mother, displaced loved ones, etc., and all the frustration that being a caregiver seems to entail. This, too, shall pass. And you are right on--nothing helps to bring out all the hidden ego tricks and pitfalls more quickly than this sort of thing! But you are aware, and able to write and examine, and centered around love. Auto-pilot isn't bad--just a survival tactic, sometimes. My heart goes out to you and your family. Much love!

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  9. Maria ~ I am so glad that you came by! :) I know that you are dealing with a similar situation, and I soooo respect how you are able to manage! I think of you often! My mother is also wounded and stubborn, as you may have guessed, as is my sister; a *very* volatile situation!

    Much love to to as well!

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  10. Three “a–me-gos” ...had to laugh a bit over that, Christine--nice humor and warmth here, though you go through so much. I think you are brave to keep on as you do, and that you keep your practice in the center to relate from. Love is always the best starting place, I feel. Sometimes it's not always easy, especially with challenging relationships. But making a shift to operating from love from moving away from the "monkey mind," love will more and more be our response and way of acting. We bring what we have, who we are to the table. And so does everyone else. Ultimately we alone can be the love, even if no one else is. Be the love... :o) ((LOVE & LIGHT))

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  11. Tracy ~ Thanks... I like your phrase: "We bring what we have, who we are to the table. And so does everyone else." Yes, it's a "package deal" - all inclusive - including the "me" :0) And ultimately we realize that it is "Love" that is always there - the Force that permeates and animates everything even though we may not realize it or see it. It does make a difference when we drop into the Heart and live life from there :) Lovingly...

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  12. My friend, such a day it was, and I so hope there was peace and light at the end of it, stillness and rest.

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  13. Dearest Cate - Each day is different, as you know. We just never know one day to the next what Life, and family will present. :) Thursday was a better day - less chaotic. And today I am finding peace, rest, light and stillness at home... Thank you for your lovely words, my friend...

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  14. I copied from your previous post the following: "Because of the lens of thoughts, feelings, frame of mind, and perspectives that I see life through, and my own 'light conditions,' I sometimes can’t see clearly the brilliant radiance of Life that is everywhere - just being - for Its own pleasure – and ours too." What sense this makes to me, Christine, and what encouragement. Thank you for your glimpses into your real worlds, your real selves.

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    1. And thank you Chris for your presence here. Glad you re-quoted that quote here. I need to remember this too! Amazing how I can write this stuff and not remember it! :) Just writing what arises in the moment...

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  15. Yes. . . I sometimes can't remember what I write----or, more often, what I SAY in the moment----which I take to be a reminder of the Mystery that sometimes speaks through us (though that's hard to talk about without sounding to "whoo whoo-y" ;-).

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