This week’s Dungeon Prompt:
This week’s prompt is: Where the Wild Things are.
Tell us all about one of the more wilder things you’ve done in your life that looks a little out of place when put up next to the rest of your life’s journey. Or take it in another direction and tell us about your monsters, or demons.
For most of my life I’ve been pretty inhibited and very conscious of “good behavior” so I’m afraid there’s not much in the way of a wild story to tell. I would say my demons or monsters have largely been internal… Well, there was that one boss but I think I’ll just let that story go 🙂
I think the most dramatic moment in the process of realizing how much I’ve stood in my own way came in 1990. It was the year of my 20th high school reunion. I didn’t go but one of the organizers collected updates from much of the class into a small “book” and we could buy a copy. After getting mine I decided that I needed to visit, something I’d not done since my parents moved away in 1980.
High school was a miserable time for me and I spent graduation day grinning with glee and giddy because I would soon get to leave. I blamed the town and the school and a bunch of people in the school for my misery. Over the years my anger and contempt never dimmed.
By 1990, though, I’d been meditating and exploring my psyche for 5 years and when I looked at the book full of the lives of my classmates I felt a shift begin. So I booked a B&B in a nearby small town and took myself back to Flushing, MI. I wandered familiar places. Drove into Flint–having not been back since GM pulled out, a shocking view of decline. And hour by hour I realized Flushing is a really lovely, really nice little town.
I breathed it in. I cried. I grieved for the good times I could have had if only I’d gotten out of my own way. I remembered the kindnesses of the many nice kids with whom I went to school. I acknowledged that some of the snotty, mean kids really were snotty and mean 🙂 And I didn’t have to take their mean remarks personally.
And I had good friends there, a couple of whom are still in my life. As well as a larger group of girls who always invited me to the slumber parties and birthday parties. I felt so miserable and “outside” I couldn’t perceive the degree to which I’d been included. And I could see it was my own neurotic introversion that left me dateless and the wallflower who was never invited to a school dance. Not one.
When I saw clearly how much I’d been the author of my own misery, I felt the whole history change. My journey through my own roster of demons and monsters turned out to be in early stages at that point but I think that journey home opened a vista for me, revealing how much it changes everything when you change how you think and feel about it.
About 12 years ago I suggested a trip back to my home town to my mother, who was beginning to have trouble negotiating sight-seeing type trips. She still had quite a number of good friends left in the area and I thought it would be a good idea to visit while we could still see them.
She reluctantly agreed and I led the way, feeling like this was mostly me doing it for her. But we both had such a good time that we’ve been back every year since (till this one; Mom is not in such good shape to travel…). The change in perspective I made so long ago served well to let me see and enjoy with new eyes. And I treasure every visit we’ve made.
I’ve since worked at sorting through my long list of negative beliefs (still a work in progress) and beside my own childhood issues, discovered some demons bestowed upon me by ancestors and past lives. Every moment of seeing and letting go opens a place of light and transforms my world.
In the meantime, the spiritual teachings I’ve followed have led me to believe there are never monsters “out there”. Whatever I see that seems wrong or off in a situation or in someone else is there because of something in me. So now I ask what I hold in me that creates a vision of monsters in the world. And then I say the ho’oponopono prayer.