Thursday, February 10, 2011

What's New in Mamzer's World?

Ok, so what the hell do I write about? At this point in my life, I'm not voraciously reading new material on Judaism every day to try and find something to connect to. Neither am I exploring the world of Christianity as enthusiastically as I probably will in the future, if I stay true to my heart. Of course, I may always have a change of heart. Which brings me back to this blog. What the hell do I write about? My life, I guess.

It's been two or three months since I started using a CPAP machine for my sleep apnea. I don't know if it's helping. Sometimes I think it is, but most of the time I'm still tired. I don't get as much sleep as I should. On a good night I get the whole eight hours, other times it's seven and a half or so. It's hard to keep going through the days and not lie down in bed when I don't know how much longer I can keep being tired all the time.

I recently had a significant spiritual change in my life, which I haven't really talked about because I've wanted to keep some aspects of my life private. So without giving too many details anyway, let's just say that I have a spiritual mentor. My last spiritual mentor and I had forged a relationship during the last four years, and I experienced a lot of amazing growth.

However, I felt our relationship start to stagnate. We had always had challenges in our relationship, and while it was these challenges which had facilitated a lot of my growth, they eventually became more and more of a stumbling block. You see, my spritiual mentor wanted a relationship that was, in some ways, top-down. By it's very nature, mentorship might have that dynamic embedded in it's structure. And it was very comforting to me, because I wanted someone else to have all the answers. As rebellious, flippant, shocking or "alternative" as I can be, at the end of the day, there is a part of me that just wants someone else to have "The Truth" so that I can believe in them.

I write a lot about how important it is to explore spirituality and religion for yourself rather than taking the same old point of view that the religious establishment does. But you know what? There are reasons why people choose to let others direct their lives. One of those reasons is because it's damned comforting to have someone else who seems older and wiser tell you they know the way, they have the answers, no matter what, and that they are always right.

That dynamic kept happening with my mentor. On the one hand, I had wanted to break away from it, because it was no longer working. On the other hand, it was extremely comforting to me. In fact, I got a lot out of it for a while. You see, I like to argue and debate (shocking, I know). Having someone who refused to have a debate with me was very helpful to me. My mentor basically said, "Use this advice, or don't. That's it." No discussion, no debate, no argument. Take it or leave it. That really helped me to take it.

After two years, though, it wasn't working. I broke away for a while, and then came back to that relationship. Why? Because I was depressed and scared. And I wanted someone to boss me around. IF someone isn't bossing me around, I don't feel comfortable.

So I stayed in that mentorship for another two years. It still didn't work. The same problems were still there - this was a one-way relationship, not a two-way relationship. Which was exactly what I had sought out again, because it was comforting. But it wasn't working any better the second time. I was getting closer and closer to the culmination of a spiritual project, and I decided to put off any decisions about continuing the mentorship until afterwards.

Through a serious of unfortunate (or fortunate) events, that did not work out. And I made the decision to find another mentor. It was tough, but I did it. I made the decision. I could have decided not to do anything, and just keep going along for however long this would be dragged out. But I made a decision. A scary one, that I was not 100% certain was the right one. But I made it. And now I have a new mentor.

She's just about my age. She doesn't have kids. She hasn't been doing this spiritual work much longer than I have. She's my equal, not my mom. And that is scary. It's amazing how when you first go to a church, or synagogue, ashram, coven, therapy group, wherever - the other people there all seem so wise spiritually. And they are. And they help you. And then one day, you look around and realize that all these people are royally screwed up, and very, very flawed. And let me tell you, that is scary.

One of my patterns in life has been looking for Jesus in every person I meet. And by looking for Jesus, I mean looking for one human being who will be perfect and never let me down. Who has all the answers. I have never found that person. But that hasn't stopped me from trying. And now, I'm trying to forge a different pattern. A pattern where I rely on the one being who WON'T let me down - my God/dess/Higher Power/Universe/Etc...

This relationship requires me to have some faith. And I actually have faith. Not faith in the sense of having a positive attitude, but faith based on experience. This relationship requires me to hold onto the faith I have, rather than doubting it. Actually, that's a lie. This relationship doesn't require much from me, because it will always be there, no matter what. But improving my life and the quality of this relationship requires holding on that faith, rather than discounting it because part of me is scared to be hurt or vulnerable if I do. Because then I could be disappointed. I could be unprepared.

So here I sit, writing this on my computer, wondering what the heck I'm going to write about on this blog next week, rambling on in semi-vague terms about a mentorship. Grateful for the cup of coffee I have to help me stay away. There are many stations on the road of life, and this is the one I'm at. That's it, that's all. Take it or leave it.

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