Monday, April 2, 2012

A Writer's Journal--Why I Stopped Writing to Journey Inward

April 2, 2012

            I began writing book two of my trilogy, Agathon’s Daughter, at the beginning of the year. The book, Priestess, is set in ancient Greece, and it requires a lot of research. I threw myself into a fascinating study of the ancient rites associated with the notorious (and highly secretive) Eleusinian Mysteries.
            The deeper I delved into the mysteries and the more I aligned myself with the journey of Hestia, my protagonist, the more I yearned to follow my own inward journey. The holiday season had been rough—I live alone, far from my family, and my love-life continued to offer disappointment. For over a year I had driven myself to write, publish, and promote my books. Last summer I suffered a severe accident at work. While spending months in bed recovering from three surgeries, I drove myself to complete Hetaera--suspense in ancient Athens, book one of Agathon’s Daughter. Even while I lay drugged in a nursing home, I continued to write and promoted. Come mid-April I would go back to work fulltime. I had planned to take advantage of working part-time to write, planned to finish Priestess by June, but after writing the opening I found myself overwhelmed by emotions and the desire to make changes in my personal life. Consequently, I set aside the book and gave myself two months to journey inward, to regain my personal power, and to align myself with my own inner-priestess.

            I’ve meditated on and off for years—essentially I view life as a meditation, although I often forget to practice! As a gift to myself, I enrolled in a meditation class at the local Dharma Center. I spent a lot of time practicing loving-kindness (Metta ) for myself and others. I also enrolled in an online course, Calling in the One. A dear friend of mine had taken the course a couple of years earlier, and I have been impressed with her transformation. I took the course, not so much to find my one true love and soulmate, but to uncover and transform old patterns, to connect with my authentic feelings, and to recover my power—especially in relationship. The insights I gained during this time have been deep and transformative. The insights have filled many pages of my personal journal. I’m convinced that the experience will add richness and truth to my writing of Priestess.

            Today I felt the need to share some of my reflections, and I decided to start this online journal. Here I hope to offer anyone who’s interested insight into the inner-workings of my process as a writer and a human being. For me, the two can’t be separated. I offer my reflections as a mirror, and I welcome your insights and comments.

            Reflections on relationship and love:

            They say there are many forms of love, but I wonder if that’s true. We use the word love frequently, and loosely. The Greeks spoke of different kinds of love: eros, romantic, sexual love, and agape, a higher love—love that aligns itself with the divine. This divine connection, the sense that we are part of something larger than ourselves, the sense that life and reality is multi-faceted, is what I call true love. Love is the antidote to fear. We feel connection. We feel peace.

            Romantic love promises completion, but truthfully we can’t love another fully if we don’t fully love ourselves. If we don’t accept ourselves, and all our faults, how can we accept another? To find true love we must journey inward.

            You’ve heard that before, and so had I. I will use two tarot cards to illustrate my points, because the pictures are powerful. The Lovers, depicts the union of male and female--a connection we must make inwardly, before it can be reflected outwardly in relationship. This union puts us in touch with our higher-self (depicted as archangel, Raphael).

            I thought I loved myself. And yet, I continued to abandon myself. Trying to please others, I frequently denied my own feelings. Instead of accepting what I felt I attempted to transform my feelings, suppress my feelings, transcend my feelings. Convince myself that I was feeling what I thought I should be feeling. Guess what? It didn’t work.

            Relationships provide wonderful mirrors for what’s going on inside of us. Attempting to change my feelings, tie myself into a pretzel, resulted in convoluted, difficult relationships! Hmmmm...I wonder why? How could my needs be met, if I denied my needs? If I denied my authentic feelings? This dilemma of disconnected is depicted in the tarot by the Devil Card--notice the card's similarities to the Lovers. (Numerically, the Lovers card is associated with the number 6, the Devil with 15...1+5=6.) Male and female (mind and heart) are disconnected leading to discord and suffering.

            Step one in my healing process was getting in touch with what I felt. Simply allowing myself to feel what I truly feel.  

            And then I began to see my patterns. I won’t go into specifics, but I will say that before you can shift a pattern, it’s important to see it. Also, it’s important to take full responsibility for the patterns you create. It’s important to stop blaming others, and see how you’re allowing, enabling, the patterns to exist. Only then can we step into our power and make changes in our life.

            If we desire love, we must be love. We must connect to love in our thoughts and actions.

            I could go on and on about this, and chances are I will in future journal entries. But, for today, I will stop here. Finding love within myself doesn’t negate my desire for a deep relationship with another. As I said, relationships provide wonderful mirrors. Two conscious people committing themselves to loving each other, making the choice to delve deep and grow, can be much more powerful than going it alone. I hope to experience that kind of relationship in this lifetime—and I’m sure I will be writing about this in my novels!

            More later....


M. Louisa Locke said...

Dear Suzanne,

Thanks for sharing. I too have found that after 2 hectic years of writing, publishing, and promoting, that I had to slow down the process for the 3rd book and begin to take my time, regain the joy of the process.

I am so pleased that this hiatus has been so renewing for you. I look forward to your journal articles.

Mary Louisa

Suzanne Tyrpak said...

Thanks for reading my journal entry and responding, Louisa. Good to know I'm not alone in this kind of process!