12 July 2007

Sadness and anger. Lodged in my lower back. Sending fire down my left leg, into my foot. Fire and ice, at the same time. Yesterday two friends lovingly challenged me to feel what's in my back causing me pain, calling for my attention.

The time I spent in Germany was powerful for me. That's also where this particular spinal incident started. All the feelings I have about Germany, growing up as an ethnic jew in the US, being a political person and a peacemaker, learning about the genocides that have taken place and are taking place around the world...all sitting in my lower back.

When I came back to Holland a few weeks ago and blogged about some of my feelings re: Germany, I ended up apologizing (that's how it felt) all over the place, in my blog, to my German friends who were offended by my stating some of my feelings. Really I just wanted them to get it that my feelings about Germany had nothing to do with them or how they cared for me when I was with them. I responded to something archetypal as well as personal. A friend just sent me a book called The Well of Remembrance by Ralph Metzner. I'm looking forward to reading it.

My feelings are still there. Sadness and anger; a deep well of sadness for all the suffering felt by so many, inflicted by so many, through time and all around this beautiful Earth, and teeth-gnashing rage at how mean people can be. I feel these things when I think about Jews and Gypsies and Queers and Catholics and Africans and disabled people and Native Americans (the list goes on) and the nazis, and the kkk, and all the haters. I feel sadness and anger when I think about Palestinians having their houses bulldozed, their ancestral olive grove destroyed. I feel these things when a car bomb goes off in Britain, when a suicide bomber blows up themself and others at a Tel Aviv café, when skinheads beat up a Jew or a Gay person, and this list also goes on. I feel these things when people I know hurt each other with lies, shortsightedness. It's all the same stuff to me...the ability of humans to be so blind that we don't even see the scope of what we're doing and how we're hurting each other.

Do I get to feel how I feel about any and all of this without apology? Do I need to go out of my way to make other people comfortable with what I feel?

In my efforts as a people pleaser, which is certainly part of my psychological profile, I can go out of my way to try to make sure everyone is happy with me, but that doesn't work. I need to go through the experience of feeling what I feel, letting it pass through me. I understand that, just like when I have reactions to stuff, people react to me and what I go through. I am a mirror for them, an opportunity to look at their issues, just as others serve as my mirror. Looking into the mirror of Germany I can see my own cruelty, my own denial, my own suffering, all of which is (in my world view) universal, stuff we all have within us. One thing I have learned is that it is me being cruel to me if I deny my feelings and experiences. It's challenging to let myself have it knowing that there are people I love who may have a hard time with my expression.

So I sold my house, left my home, traveled, had all kinds of experiences, came to Europe, traveled some more, eventually going to Israel and then Germany, both places of significance within my own personal mythology. I felt what I felt in those places. I try to make sense of what I experience. Going to those two places and having my physical body respond is it did, I am left with a lot to interpret. Are my interpretations correct? Do they trigger other people? What do I need for my own healing, in relation to all this?

Yesterday two friends challenged me lovingly to be with what is in my back, to give attention to those feelings. I am doing that. I am not overwhelmed by what I feel, just aware that there is sadness and anger, and a strong desire for transformation of all this.

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