Look Within

There is the tendency to look outside ourselves to find acceptance, love, happiness, even spiritual direction or experiences.  If we are not comfortable in ourselves whatever we find outside won’t meet what we need.

Seeking to fill the the outside ourselves causes us difficulties.  Relationships can be ended or damage becaus the need leads to disappointment as other people can’t meet the need.  Attending church or other religious experiences feel like going through the motions.  Sometimes we seek objects and/or money.  In short, nothing fills that feeling.

 And thou who thinketh to seek for me, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not, unless thou knoweth the mystery; for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without. For behold, I have been with thee from the beginning  and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.   (Charge of the Goddess- Doreen Valentine)

I went down the road of seeking outside myself for many years.  I looked to churches, careers, music, even running.  I sought identity.  I was vaguely that this was not enough.  I found that I was most content when I sought identity inside.  It’s been an ongoing process and journey.

A problem with identify outside is things constantly change. I lost my career and performing music outright.  While I still run, I am not able to run marathons.  The loss of identity after the brain injury crushed me.  With identity outside myself, what is left when those things are gone?  Nothing but what is within.

Spiritually, it’s been the same thing for me.  I sought connection in churches of all kinds.  Being told what to believe and how: doctrine and dogma, left me unsatisified.  I morally couldn’t embrace teachings where I disagreed.  The foundation itself of Christian faith just didn’t make sense.  As I looked inside, I found it was not a religion I could embrace for several reasons.  My spiritual journey led me to a way of believing that requires inner reflection and a connection to Deity.   I am responsible for my own actions, my own journey.  The exact beliefs really aren’t relevant here.

“For if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.”

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Thoughts

I haven’t posted for a while. It’s been a hard time. I try to keep the blog a positive place, where people can come for hope, even as it chronicles some of the hardest part of my life. I suppose to provide an honest picture of my experience with brain injury, the hard parts should also be addressed.

Recently, my life is on a treadmill. Work is a difficult place. I can only do a limited amount of my job. Complicated issues or processes are not possible for me to follow. For example, last time I attempted to assist with an admission and transfer of a patient seeking detoxification, I couldn’t keep track of all the steps, even with a check list. It required moving between tasks rapidly and keeping track of more than one thing. I had a complete emotional breakdown. If I stay in my narrow lane, I function fairly well, with memory aids and other tools. I’m exhausted constantly. And incredibly frustrated. I decided to retire. The system is messed up. When I submit the paperwork to retire, I immediately have to stop work- no pay or benefits. It takes up to 9 months to a year for Office Personnel Management to make a decision, including denial of application, meaning an appeal. I’m not independently wealthy. No retirement here. I’m not really doing my job, neither my employer nor I are benefitting, but I can’t retire. I’m stuck. Can’t move forward in any direction. The only possible solution is if OWCP (federal workers compensation) agrees that I can’t work in this capacity, or in any other position at the VA. Then, they can put me out on disability until the retirement comes in. Only, no one seems to know how to start that process. I probably have to wait until OWCP makes the move.

I’m so depressed and frustrated. I suppose if my employer is happy with me doing less than 15% of my job, I still get paid, who cares if I’m really contributing much? It’s probably stupid that I want to actually contribute.
The system needs changed.

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