Learning and Living With a False Personality Structure

What a time this is! I am alternately sad and angry and optimistic at the possibilities for change that will allow us to accept what is actually happening: our resolve to do the right thing, our persistence at following our hearts, and our compassion for others in less fortunate circumstances have the potential for deep changes in our culture. It will take a great deal of focus and as in our meditation, concentration.

There is love, and then there is fear. For those of us who are comfortable, it is easier to come from a place of love. This will make a difference, I am convinced.

Though I am reading an obscure novel that might not be considered great reading, I still feel I get a lot out of the content. Probably nobody has heard of The Fifth Rule of Ten (Tenzing Norbu Mystery), by Gay Hendricks.  It is a good series based on a monk who left his monastery, Dharamshala, the Dalai Lama’s in Tibet, and came to the US when he was just 18. He didn’t just come to anywhere, USA, but to LA. The book is about how he reconciles his Buddhist ideals and knowledge with his commitment to being a cop who carries a gun that in fact, may be used. I like it a lot. He then becomes a private eye, which I have always wanted to be.

One idea brought up in this last book of the series, number 5, is that Narcissists need to create false structures to be upheld and the weaker the false structure, the more support required. Otherwise, if the structure falls apart, their world is essentially scary and untenable. So, they use their talents to recruit others to regulate their reality whenever possible.

I have been thinking about my own ‘needed’ structures that I construct and hope that others will help maintain. (I think we all do this to some extent, it’s just that Narcissists REALLY need them!) One such structure is the view of my self as personality. However I see myself, I need others to see me in the same light. I may alter what I say and do somewhat to have the other perceive me just so. And this was true for my unwanted slogan, ‘I’m so busy, so sorry, I can’t do that now.’ I look at that now that I have been on the road for 5 months and feel ashamed by it.

There is so much pushing away with this sentiment and I recognize it’s because of my fear of intimacy. I must have felt that getting close – or “too close” was just too scary. I didn’t trust myself, and most likely, I didn’t feel I could be really loved. I feel sorry for doing this repeatedly over the many years. I know it made me feel important and a ‘somebody’. Consequently, I know I have lost time in making deeper friendships and now I resolve to try and be as committed to the time I spend with folks as meaningful and long-lasting.

I spent some really good time with Matt and Courtney, Isabella and Emil this Thanksgiving. It was lovely and very important for our family. Not having Tom here to keep us coalesced, it now seems up to me, the matriarch (!!) to deepen our ties and the love we have to share.

Many blessings to you all, I really look forward to seeing you in December. This will be after some time with my brother and his wife in Tucson, AZ.          Love, Elizabeth

I spent some wonderful time in New Mexico at Georgia O’Keeffe’s home, Ghost Ranch, in Acqui. Santa Fe was incredible too! Here’s some photos from the experience.

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Padernal Mountain, one of the images often seen in her paintings. 

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A familiar image from her paintings, as well. But, this is real! 

 

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Oldest Church in Santa Fe

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Sculpture art in Sante Fe, on famed art gallery road: Canyon Rd.

 

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Kind of how I feel sometimes when I am on the road seeing the beautiful sites of this country. 

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Fun, Reality Testing and Connections

I was asked recently what I have learned thus far on my trip. I like to think I have learned a lot about my ego/self, not to mention all the technical things I’ve learned about driving and setting up the trailer.  I am so conscious of my mind and how powerful it is in the making of my experience and how it determines my time day to day.

I have sensed that I learned a lot on this trip and yet, have not ‘cured’ my loneliness and aloneness. I am understanding in a visceral way, that my life is so about my perception and how I use my mind and my innate and learned skills to go forward. For example, I realized tonight that I am a bit fearful of the winds and the likelihood of very cold weather. I am faced with the choice of going out and doing what I want to do and the pull to stay inside to be as safe (seemingly) as can be. (Mind you, this rig of 22 feet of aluminum is not at all ‘safe’ in all weather.  I am facing snow and freezing temps in the next week and feel this is not really what I had in mind, especially driving in the inclement weather.)

Speaking with my friend, I rattled off a lot of what I had learned but now feel a detachment  from those ideas. I am still very much in a learning mode with the aid of people I love, including Allison who visited me for a week in Sedona, AZ.  I am also very aware that I am in a privileged position to travel for so long and not have to worry about keeping a job. I will have to when I settle down, but for now I am free to explore my inner life as well as the outer one.

An aspect of healing is having fun and that is just what we did in Sedona. Wow! The rock sliding at Slide Rock State Park was so much fun! I really can’t believe I actually did it. One should have a little more cushioning on the butt to make it painless but I still felt the thrill of being taken along the creek. We had other adventures as well, hiking up canyons and rock formations, seeing a bat (!) in a rock crevice, eating great food, and generally having a good time with great weather.

Allison, Cathedral Hill, Sedona, AZ

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hills-surrounding-bell-rock-sedona Hills surrounding Chapel in the Hill. 

me-behind-campsite-sedona-az Me, behind our campsite with a creek.

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A bat found between 2 rocks at hip level on our hike to Bell Rock, Sedona.

 Allison and me the first night here. 

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amitabha-stupa-sedonaThe Amitabha Stupa in Sedona. sculpture-at-stupasedona

Sculpture on stupa grounds

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Allison riding the rocks at Slide Rock State Park!

One of the most wonderful aspects of being out here on my own is knowing I will have contact with those I love. I have a phone date with my dharma buddy every 3 weeks or so, another friend almost as frequently and another who I am still coaching. I also have several games on the iphone going with others: Words with Friends. Fun. Others I speak with from time to time and I have a session with my teacher every so often, as well. So, lots of contact and lots of love coming my way. I really don’t think I could do this trip without the consistent contact from my communities. And of course, my family. It truly allows me to feel whole and connected.

Speaking of connection, I spent a couple of days with my brother, Roy and his wife, Carol just before I went up to Sedona. Right now, they are living in Tucson, AZ. It was wonderful to visit with them and see that their 5 month-old, 50 pound Airdale, played well with Lympia. So satisfying! We will return for a full week in December.

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Roy and Angus, Tucson, AZ

I am now in Sante Fe, NM. Lots of fun things here to do. Lympia and I went up the hill to the Audubon Center and Sanctuary where we took a lovely hike in the rain. Today, we will be going on the Ghost Ranch tour. We have been to the art museum and Canyon Rd where there are an abundance of galleries and sculpture gardens.

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The Goddess of Compassion in a lovely garden supporting Tibet; Ghandi in another

sculptureart-canyonrdsfA lovely way to see the world!sculptureart-canyonrd-sf

She reminds me on my granddaughter, Isabella composing music in a relaxed way.

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And, in Gallup, NM. A visitor in my campground. 

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A bull snake on our afternoon walk.

BIG NEWS: I have taken off the ring Tom gave me that kinda looks like a wedding ring that I have worn on my left hand wedding finger. The minute I did, I cried. I am still wanting him to be with me, here and now. But, as my friend said, I am not going to meet anyone with that ring on. It has been rather quiet. So, just to try a little reality of not being married any longer and not having a partner, I took it off. I am hoping this is another step in my healing.

Enough for now!

Look forward to seeing you all in December!

All my love,

Elizabeth

 

 

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