Open spirituality

don64

Registrant
I have been away for a few years. My name is Don, I am 71, gay, and interested in the role of spirituality and consciousness, or awareness, in my daily life. I find myself feeling connected with spirit 24/7, yet also feeling alone and isolated in the world of people. I have read the road to the self is a solo journey and feel good about that, yet also continually yearn for physical contact with a man (men). Having been a hermit for several years I find myself wanting to reach out for contact with like minded souls.

i was also diagnosed with stage 5 chronic kidney disease about a year ago, have an enlarged prostate and have a catheter installed to pee. This has served to make me realize the universe intends I dramatically slow down, and has served as a big burst of fuel for my spiritual journey.

Sending love and goodwill, Don
 
Hi Don. I don't often visit this forum so am seeing your message for the first time today, Wednesday. Our paths crossed on another thread and I believe I extended a greeting to you. I appreciated what you shared and didn't recognize you despite the fact you registered some time ago. I noted you were active at some point along the way.

i turned 79 on the day you posted here. Spirituality has been a major part of my journey, doubtless fueled by the confusion I felt over sexual acting out I was doing. These were the years before I remembered having been sexually abused. I wandered East and came back to Christianity along the way, then headed back East again. Because I'm a bit of a lifelong learner I read extensively on whatever spoke to me and took classes, attended seminars, chanted, listened to dharma talks, meditated of course. I also completed a graduate degree through a graduate school titled "Consciousness Studies." So spirituality, consciousness, science all woven together. I also began volunteering with a non-profit that offers spiritual support to men and women facing life-ending illnesses. I've shared that journey with quite a few people over the last twenty year. I understand how an illness can bring great clarity to one's life as it appears your kidney disease has done for you. Fortunately, my enlarged prostate has not been a serious problem for me. The biopsy some years ago was negative and now I'm past the point where we pay attention to my PSA score.

Perhaps our paths will cross again on MS. I tend to spend time here most days. I find it very comforting to spend time with other men contending with the residue of sexual trauma. The healing journey seems to last a lifetime.
 

don64

Registrant
Hi Visitor. it is heart-warming for me to experience shared journeys. I.too, have involved myself in therapists, psychics, shamans, personal growth retreats, various bodywork and my own intuitive spirituality. My search, originally, was just to figure out how to stay alive. After moving through addictions to caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, anonymous sex, aggressive/ dependent relationships with emotional abusers. . .it is exhausting thinking about it. I remember a psychic saying it had taken all her life experiences to become who she was at that time. At this point I am grateful for all my life experiences because I really like who I am today. I am also grateful for the chance to know you better through online discussion. Sending you love and support, Don
 

tbkkfile

Registrant
Hi Don

It's been many years since we last conversed here, I remember you writing about an avocado you'd grown, it seemed a wonderful thing to be able to do living here in the UK, it must have been at least 6 or 7 years ago. So sorry to hear about your kidney and prostate problem. Sending you all my love, and wishing you peace, along with a virtual hug.

David
 
...I remember a psychic saying it had taken all her life experiences to become who she was at that time. At this point I am grateful for all my life experiences because I really like who I am today...
I envision what the psychic said as me standing at a still point, perhaps the one T.S. Eliot refers to in The Four Quartets with a huge funnel above me through which the personal and collective experience of everything that came before that moment flows. I often quote a stanza from that poem...

Home is where one starts from. As we grow older
The world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated
Of dead and living. Not the intense moment
Isolated, with no before and after,
But a lifetime burning in every moment
And not the lifetime of one man only
But of old stones that cannot be deciphered.
So yes, it is good to be right here, not rejecting anything that has come before... including the trauma and my lifetime of attempting to understand and perhaps metabolize those experiences. It is good not being lost in running away into whatever addiction I used at the moment. I'm doing my best to simply be here now... my spiritual practice.
 

don64

Registrant
Hi David, I look forward to responding to your posts. I am a little preoccupied today, as am starting with a new Health Center close to home. Been having trouble with transportation. The two doctors I was seeing for prostate and kidneys are on the east end of the island and I hope to get all my needs met at Frederiksted health Center very close to where I live. The driver I had been using had become unpredictable. This move will reduce a LOT of stress for me. Also a bonus, the health center has free prescriptions through a federal program. I am scared shitless— only because change always freaks me out, at first. I predict by this afternoon I will feel calm and excited about choice I have freely made. Wish me luck. Love, Don
 

don64

Registrant
Hi David, I look forward to responding to your posts. I am a little preoccupied today, as am starting with a new Health Center close to home. Been having trouble with transportation. The two doctors I was seeing for prostate and kidneys are on the east end of the island and I hope to get all my needs met at Frederiksted health Center very close to where I live. The driver I had been using had become unpredictable. This move will reduce a LOT of stress for me. Also a bonus, the health center has free prescriptions through a federal program. I am scared shitless— only because change always freaks me out, at first. I predict by this afternoon I will feel calm and excited about choice I have freely made. Wish me luck. Love, Don
Hi David and hope all is well with you. I have been preoccupied with doing instead of being for a few days. I liked reading of you metabolizing your experiences. Body memory has been crucial for me since my forties. I was startled when, during meditation, I “saw” the tumor being severed from my spine from a surgery at age 23. This was all new territory for me at 45, but critical to accessing stored and blocked trauma. It continues to be a major source of understanding the source of body sensation today. I was surprised when weighing at doctors office to see 187 on the digital screen—expecting 160. After talking to myself about overeating I affirmed to myself “I eat what I need,” I ate just half of my normal amount of turkey and cheese with no mayo. Have also discovered my body is wanting more water and less juice. It is occasionally mind-boggling how easy major change can be when I talk to my body and remove qualifiers like only, just, no more than, good, bad, better. . .from my affirmations. Sending you love and support, Don
 

don64

Registrant
I haven’t contributed to this thread in awhile, and lately have been thinking about how difficult it is for me to learn. Having been on this journey for a while, I stay frustrated over how easy I forget what I have already learned. So, I make the same mistakes again, over and over. I feel learning disabled, though not in the usual way. I don’t reverse letters or anything like that. It’s like my thinking stays scrambled. And so it feels like I am thinking disabled. Don
 
I haven’t contributed to this thread in awhile, and lately have been thinking about how difficult it is for me to learn. Having been on this journey for a while, I stay frustrated over how easy I forget what I have already learned. So, I make the same mistakes again, over and over. I feel learning disabled, though not in the usual way. I don’t reverse letters or anything like that. It’s like my thinking stays scrambled. And so it feels like I am thinking disabled. Don
I hope it is ok if I quote the bible. Your post reminded me of something the Apostle Paul said: "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." So 2,000 years ago a man like us said he struggled with the same thing you are talking about. Perhaps this type of struggle is common to all of men. I don't mean to diminish in anyway what you are saying. Rather I want to encourage you by saying that you aren't any more disabled than anyone else.
 
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don64

Registrant
Thank you Greg123. Your post made me laugh. I don’t know why right now but it feels good. Perhaps it’s because it makes me feel good about feeling bad. Don
 

don64

Registrant
P.S. Greg123. I identify with Paul saying he does what he hates he does. I hate feeling helpless and losing control. Doing what I don’t want to do is confusing for me. And untangling that is like untangling air. I can never quite grasp it.
 
A spiritual teacher I met along the way used the line "old friends come to visit." Of course we forget and old friends are waiting in the wings to see if we want a visit. In 12 Step recovery the adage is the addict is in the other room doing pushups waiting for the moment we can't resist whatever was our drug of choice. You doubtless remember the story about falling in the hole... over and over again until you decide to walk down a different street. But old friends do come to visit. This is the reason I keep saying the antidote to shame is compassion. We need to have compassion as we drag ourselves out of whatever hole we've fallen into. Seriously, the trauma was not our fault. Our tools for coping with a fragmented life were themselves put in place during those destabilized periods of our lives. Blessedly, I've not returned to the most shame inducing behaviors but I haven't developed new methods of self-care that are sufficient to carry me through every day. Hopefully, one day, I find that other street...
 
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