“Let me give you another example of how rejection can occur at a very young age and of the spiritual impact it can have on a child. Many years ago I was conducting services at a church in Miami. While visiting one of the parishioners at home a few
nights earlier, I had done something I rarely do. I said to her, “Sister, if I’m correct, you have the spirit of death in you.”
She had every reason to be happy, but she never was. She had a good husband and children, yet she hardly ever smiled or looked happy. She was like a person in continual mourning. Although I very rarely make that kind of statement to anybody,
I felt I had to say something to her that night.
I said, “I’m preaching on Friday night in Miami. If you come, I’ll pray for you.”
At the beginning of the meeting I noticed her sitting on the front row. Once again, I did something I do not usually do. At a certain point in the service, I walked over to her and said, “You spirit of death, in the name of Jesus, I command you to answer me now. When did you enter this woman?”
And the spirit, not the woman, answered very clearly, “When she was two years old.”
I said, “How did you get in?”
Again it was the spirit that answered, “Oh, she felt rejected; she felt unwanted; she felt lonely.”
Later that evening, the woman was delivered from the spirit of death, but for several days that incident kept coming back to my mind. It gave me a new understanding of the effect that rejection can have on a person’s life. It is not merely evil in itself, but it also opens the door for various other negative, destructive forces to move in and gradually take over a person’s life. Rejection truly is a root from which much that is harmful can grow.”
It takes most of a life time to discover how the word and concept “love” is weaponized to block natural responses to the objectionable and/or repressive conduct of others.
Not saying: “I love you,” no longer, to my ear, means: I lack love for you, or, I lack a desire for your well being. It does mean, more and more: I wish to give myself a pass, a compliment of sorts, or to disarm myself or you, or both. I wish to advertise my own “lovingness,” by asserting those iconic words.
Really, it should work in reverse or no at all. You (one) say(s) to me (other:) “You love me–” or else, nobody says it.
Why should we always declare something so self serving, usually right at the moment when we are most uncomfortable with ourselves?
“I love you.” The most common raindrop of self-serving sound.
Is it violent? It’s muddling, and for animals that is not love. You love me? Great–but is it safe to cross this river? Is there ‘love” outside of habitual, protective, rightfully vigilant responses?
There are two ways of being: Free and unfree.
The more you “love” somebody, the less you let them be themselves, say what they want to say, when they want to, how they want to.
I’m as lousy at this as everybody else but I can’t STAND it, so I…compensate.
Every day I intend, and fail, to understand more about things like Reich’s segmental armoring theories, which sound so majestic. My old friend Tom DiFerdinando knows about this in detail and depth.
Families become body casts, iron lungs–we freeze, go rigid, so anything at all, daily, rather than admit to the “failed” emotions: Hurt, anger, fear–
I don’t think Reich, for all his brilliance, ever set foot on or near the moon. In other words: How to take off our suits of armor.
Because it struck me on Easter morning, on what would have been my fourth day as a proper Catholic, I was sure it was an attack from Satan personally. I’m self-important that way, in my imagination.
I was extremely weak, nauseated, eyes were hard to open or see with, and I felt like a poisoned rodent. Still, I put on my red dress, stockings, coat, sunglasses–and made my way to Church. Never felt more grateful for big Jackie-O sunglasses on a sunny day. Got to Church, took one step at a time, up the stairs.
Standing room only. I left only after whispering a soundless apology to God that I had to leave because I thought I might throw up. I got home and did just that, oddly enough, in the sink. That’s an indication of how sudden it was. Rounded the corner into the bedroom, drew the curtains, collapsed into bed, gave thanks for the cool sheets, and begged Lewis to come. Lewis is my younger cat, who always comes when I am ill or extremely sad and stays with me, does not leave my side. Pretty soon, the room was spinning. I wanted water but absolutely lacked the energy to move. It’s not that interesting to die, and also, I didn’t, so I’ll abbreviate the next 12 hours thusly: I had less energy than the dead, my head was pounding in pain, I took to crawling to the kitchen to get water, and vomiting all over the floor, in the hall, in the kitchen, or in the bathroom, totally unable to even direct my vomit. My sister Bibi called and sounded very worried, said I had to see a doctor. I was thinking it was just food poisoning, and did not want to be on a stretcher in the ER alone, shivering and feeling tragic. My sister lives two hours north of New York and my son lives on the West coast. At around 1 am I actually got worse, and our very own John Powell was demanding I go to hospital, after I posted here that I am acutely ill, rather than ignoring our conversation that I was appreciating so much.
I lay there just feeling lighter and lighter, like I was floating, I fell asleep finally, for a few hours, woke up feeling suddenly at peace, suspended over my life, like when a horse is harnessed and lifted across a body of water. There was nothing I could do. Finally I made my way to the bathroom again, vomited on the way, crawled to the bedroom, got the phone and dialed 911. “I’m extremely ill,” I croaked. I gave them my address, then I curled up on the hall floor with a blanket and my handbag and keys. A few minutes later they arrived, and took me in a wheelchair down to the ambulance. In the ambulance nothing interesting happened. Except that the guy with messiah hair from the Dive Bar texted me, one in the morning mind you, and wondered how I was. “are you well?”
“I’m in an ambulance actually,” I texted back.
“What happened??” he wrote.
I told him I would let him know tomorrow. And I did talk to the ambulance workers a little. Never stop asking questions. “You guys must see a lot.”
“Get used to it, don’t even notice. Blood all over. Then we just go eat lunch.”
At the hospital they gave me IV fluids, and diagnosed a severe migraine with vomiting–not food poisoning. I got migraine medications and some anti-histamines. I am now certain it was all brought on by sitting on a duvet made of feathers for about 5 hours the previous day on a visit. The chair was handed down from several generations, and I am deathly allergic to feathers. I lay shivering for a while, a couple of hours, fell asleep some, then they pulled the needles out, I signed the papers, and I was out on 9th avenue at dawn. Took a taxi home. Jack and Lewis were pretty happy to see me.
Today, I feel fine. But I had an awful lot of laundry to do.
I also had a comprehensive epiphany, while doing the dishes: I don’t need any more fixing. Nothing is wrong with me. All that seeking and asking and traveling to healing clinics and out-sourcing my own intuition, that was all just serving my need to be Under.