Sacred Sorrow: Powerlessness 1

“Did you come here for forgiveness,

Did you come to raise the dead,

Did you come here to play Jesus

to the lepers in your head?”

“One”

U2

This morning before I got up I entered into a shamanic meditation, a guided meditation to my medicine place. A place of spiritual solace gifted by the Creator, however you perceive him to be. A place to receive guidance, to connect with teachers and guides

Over the past months I have neglected this source being too focused on the tasks in front of me as a Catering Manager. Whenever I have entered the space it has only been experienced superficially – no real depth to the communications within. And again this morning this was so. No depth of experience. While two of my guides were present I felt largely ignored by them, something that I have patently been doing to them.

One of the stimuli for this exploration of Sacred Sorrow was a dream a few weeks ago. In it I had found a piece of land I felt I wanted to buy on a corner in my old neighbourhood. It was an empty section with mounds here and there and hedges in the middle and the surrounds. I went away to source the finance. When I came back there was a bohemian couple living on it. I felt aggrieved that I’d missed out on this property. Not only that but the man came up to me and reached into my pocket and removed a shiny glass ornament, dripping wet, from my pocket with a red and blue symbol embedded in its centre. At the same time a piece of pounamo (jade, greenstone) with crocheted wings flew out of another pocket and alighted on the nearby hedge. I was noticing a sense of deep sadness within me as this unfolded. Underlying the sense these items were being taken away from me was another feeling of them being still present.

There’s a sense of powerlessness in some of the imagery. I know I’ve not been doing myself any favours in other areas of my life. Allowing my addictions a greater hold – TV, computer games, cigarettes, email, coffee. I feel powerlessness as I consider them and the ways I can break the habits.

As I ponder the last thought I see that by transferring that sense of powerlessness on to the objects themselves there are ways to divert myself from the sense of addiction. Seeing the objects as powerless diminishes their hold on me and my sense of personal power grows stronger.

Addictions are certainly manifestations of the “lepers in my head”. The verse in “One” those words come from also include references to forgiveness and raising the dead. By playing Jesus to the lepers in our heads we’re able bring to life that which may lie dead or sleeping within our psyches. Unable to forgive my own faults how can I expect to forgive the faults of others.

How often in the silence of my mind do the lepers take up residence and I hear myself saying I should do this, I should do that, I should have done this, I should have done that!? It occurs typically when feeling a need to confront my addictive ways. I have heard it described as “the tyranny of shoulds” or “shoulding all over myself”. There is a sense of doing things on a whim when should is mentioned. Powerlessness kicks in when I add have to the mix. I missed an opportunity. Poor me and into a downward spiral!

And yet “ONE” holds a positive message as well. As I consider it from a point of powerlessness I see the lyrics pointing towards an impotence in relationship not only with another but also with the world itself. Perhaps the “raising of the dead” can be acknowledged as we work with those parts of ourselves that we have left for dead in the aftermath of shoulds. Can I forgive myself for not standing up and being definitive in the path of a storm of shoulds? Can I hear myself saying I AM or I WILL when a “should” is like looking on the face of the Medusa, poisonous serpents flailing about her head, threatening to turn me to stone.

One love, One blood

One life, you got to do what you should

One life with each other

Sisters, Brothers

One life, but we’re not the same

We got to carry each other, carry each other

Can I find the power within to help myself in turn offering the same to others struggling.

Resources:

Going Home to Your Medicine Place Guided Meditation. Academy of Shamanic Studies

( http://www.shamanic.ac.nz/index.html )
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