Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Guilt Eraser

In the middle of the difficult emotional work I've been doing, I stopped to write a novel. This is very odd, because I don't write fiction. All of my work has always been non-fiction.

"Oh really"...goodness, my Journal Master is alive and well, not letting me get past one sentence before jumping on my page. My question to my Journal Master, "What's the matter, did you miss me?"

She replies, "I find it odd that you believe your work is all non-fiction, for your live is one big fictional tale." I feel like I've been stung by a bee. I never thought of my life as a piece of fiction. I find that rather insulting. I see myself as an honest person, and never would make up stories about what happened to me or my life experiences.

"Everything is a story, for everything has already past and is a remembrance, not a reality. You remember the parts you want to remember. The other parts are forgotten. You only see or feel things from your point of view, and not from the point of view of others, so this is your story. You tell it with the emphasis on the parts where you want to shine the light. If other people on the stage were given the light controls, they would shine it on something else. You tell your story so you are always right, never wrong, and even if you are willing to admit to something, you provide excuses, so no one, not even you, will feel poorly. Avoiding guilt at all costs. But do know, it doesn't really matter because everything that is past is fiction."

I answer. So, whenever I'm telling or even thinking of something that has already finished, in other words something from the past, even if it was remembering this mornings breakfast, are you telling me that this is fiction?

"Yes, it's not real. It's just a story and it's a story from your point of view. That doesn't make it bad, but it's very important that you come to understand this concept, because if you don't get it, then you will be bound up in your fiction, just like book pages are stuck in their binding."

Well, now I feel like defending books. What's wrong with pages being stuck in their bindings.?

My Journal Master gets cryptic on me. "The last time you looked in the mirror, did you see a human being or a book? I think you already know the answer to this. You're just defending an indefensible point of view. Time to get on to what's really important here. We don't have all day."

You may think I know the point of this whole conversation, but I really don't. My mind is loaded with thoughts, like the traffic in Times Square.

"Be still. Empty mind."

I follow the instructions and go to meditate for a bit. It's true. I'm feeling argumentative. I'm quite wound up from writing my short novel. The main character was a bit autobiographical, not in the story-line, but in her substance. Her husband arranged for her to be murdered. She has to come to terms with loving a man who was capable of wanting her dead. She's an investigative journalist, yet she couldn't see what was really going on in her own life. She was blinded by what she wanted to see and feel. Relax...let go. Breathe.

I come out on the other side. My character waves good-bye. She's delivered useful messages to me, but now I must go forward and use them to benefit myself. To be honest, I never thought that writing fiction could be self-therapeutic.

I now understand that I've been living most of my days in a fictional world. I've actually encouraged my child-selves to stay locked in the library of my mind, only reading past events from their point of view. Not only have I not corrected them, but I haven't explained to them why this isn't a good idea. Everything I've focused on, I've made bigger. So, I've been unfair to the memory of my mother, but living in guilt is not the way out of the library. Yes, I was brought up in a guilt-loaded environment, but now as an adult, I hold the key to the fresh air. I no longer need to breathe in what's unhealthy for me. I'm being given an affirmation now. I have no idea who gave it to me as I'm deep in meditation.

"Guilt is just a word that you can erase at any time." The eraser appears in my hand. I'll take it back with me.
My protagonist has appeared again. "I have things to tell you. Thanks for bringing me to life."