Specifically the Telling of Truth About Ourselves to Ourselves. Oh does this one ever ring a bell for me, deep down inside. All those easy pretty lies we tell ourselves in the moment can add up to a lifetime of delusion ,detachment and ultimately despair.
Of course this all comes down to one of my favorite phrases "Be Here Now", if you can be honest with yourself moment to moment, then the authentic experience of your life as you live it is filled with integrity. That integrity is what I like to feel as much as possible, it means I'm still "on the beam" or "on the right track". I know that this is something I'm always working on (I give myself the Continuous Self Improvement Award) because telling myself the truth 100% of the time isn't something I can do.
There are physical barriers that I have, where I have to on occasion, wall off part of myself to be able to survive a particularly painful cycle in the ongoing process of my condition. Luckily, the author, Martha Beck gives me a pass on this bit of self-lying: "There's nothing wrong with this; dissociation is an astonishgly useful psychological mechanism, one I've found to be lifesaving when I'm undergoing something unbearable, such as severe illness or a PTA meeting. However, it's possible to get stuck in a mental zone that offers virtually no access to genuine experience."
That's of course the key for me then, not getting stuck in the dissocation box, being able to bring myself back out to the truth as soon as I am able. This isn't always easy of course, just this past week I've been mired in the "Flu Experience", the truth of which is of course lots and lots of napping and coughing, not much else. So I wasn't able to get to the practice of questioning myself as this chapter asks us to ask ourselves after our 15 minutes of Nothing the following:
- What Am I Feeling?
- What Hurts?
- What is the painful story I'm telling?
- Can I be sure my painful story is true?
- Is my painful story working?
- Can I think of another story that might work better?
The above picture is a spooky pattern that my hose made on the deck, just after the first windstorm of fall knocked all the dead redwood leaves off the trees and the dried rose petals off the rose bush. I'm left wondering "What does this glyph signify for the month ahead?"