Copyright 2011 by Stefan Bolz
I have been thinking about my resistance to writing lately. I felt that there is this barrier that comes up whenever I want to write or do things creatively. It wasn't there all the time but it is there more than not. Actually, it is more like I have to sneak in the writing between the pretty solid wall of almost constant resistance. I decided to talk to Julie about it. When I sat down with her and started to describe it I realized that the resistance felt like a force field around me. I could almost stretch out my hands and touch it, like compressed air or a magnetic field of sorts. It surrounded me and seemed to come out of the top of my head. From above it was pink colored. I could see through it to the outside but it was like looking through a darkened window.
When Julie asked me what the purpose of the force field was my first thought was to protect myself from influences from the outside. Like a defensive wall I built around myself to protect my personal space from intrusion. I thought about this a bit further but felt that even though it made sense, that wasn't the whole truth. There was more to it. I didn't really need that much personal space to write. A laptop and headphones provided plenty of that usually. And I could make time for it if I really wanted to, as well.
Then a strange thought occurred to me. What if the force field wasn't there to protect me from the outside. What if it was there to protect the outside from me? As I let the thought stand there for a while, Julie asked me to maybe follow it and see if it leads me to something in my past, an image, a feeling or something similar. I then saw a room high up in the tower of a medieval castle. There were large paintings on the walls of the round room. I was an older man with a white, gruff beard and a long robe of sorts, standing in front of a large canvas on an easel. I think I painted landscapes. There were several servants. I must have been very powerful or influential and very rich. I did not care at all about the servants. I did not treat them with respect but was certain they were all literally there to serve me and that I didn't need to concern myself with their well being at all. The servants were very loyal. They loved me and served me selflessly. I never said a kind word to them, nor gave them praise. In fact, I was rude at best and cruel at worst. And still, they served me.
It became clear to me that at some point I must have decided never to do that again, never again to abuse my creative abilities in that way. I think how I thought I could best keep my abilities and therefore the misuse of it at bay was to never let this creative side of me flow unencumbered into the world. My sense of shame for what I did previously gave way to this 'solution' of never even getting close to my creative potential. I thought that by keeping myself in check I would protect the outside world from the misuse of my power and from my potential selfishness. I associated creativity with selfishness and cruelty towards others.
Obviously that 'solution' wasn't a solution at all. It was a bad patch of band aid over an oozing wound. Neither myself nor anyone else benefited from this. Ken Wapnick, the director of the Foundation For A Course in Miracles, spoke about something similar in one of the CD sets on A Course In Miracles and called it a 'maladaptive solution to a non existent problem'. In this sense we punish ourselves in order to pay God back for what we 'did'. We diminish our abilities in order to never abuse them again.
Back in the tower room, I got the sense that I wanted to tell the servants that I was sorry for what I did, for how I behaved towards them. When I told them I somehow knew that they did not feel how I thought they would feel. They didn't feel mistreated. They loved me. I felt touched by their sentiment and their silently assuring me that I didn't have to go through all this trouble and that I was forgiven.
I thought the session was over when suddenly an image came up that was connected to a session I had a couple of years back. It was the vision of me cowering under a table and eating whatever crumbs fell down from the people that sat at the table (See 'No More Crumbs' in the blog). In this previous image I, for some reason, couldn't face the people at the table and take my rightful place amongst them but was content with the crumbs that were dropped. Suddenly something clicked and I connected the two visions. I realized to my astonishment that the people that sat at the table a few years back were the servants and I was so ashamed over what I 'did' that I couldn't face them and sit with them at the table but rather stayed under it shamefully.
When I let that image rise up within me again, I saw myself under the table unable to get up. Then a hand reached down and I reluctantly took it. I was in the tower room. The table was round and about 20 people sat at it. I recognized each and everyone of them as the previous servants. They talked quietly amongst themselves and I got the sense that they had known each other for a very long time. In fact their connection went past time and space and into something very ancient. They didn't really pay attention to me. I wasn't a stranger that just joined their group. I was one of them and they treated me as if I had always been with them in their circle. Tremendous comfort enveloped me at that moment. I was finally home after seemingly eons of searching and hiding in fear and shame.
One more thing occurred: As I looked around the room I noticed the paintings on the walls. I realized that what looked like paintings weren't paintings at all. They were windows showing the magnificent landscape outside the tower: Rolling hills and forests on one side and the ocean and rising sun on the other. It seemed like an optical illusion for I was not sure if they were just windows of the landscape that looked like paintings or if they were paintings that depicted the landscape in such realist fashion, I couldn't tell the difference.
I am thankful for everyone sitting here with me, thankful that they held a chair for me - a chair that nobody else could fill. We each have one and it stays empty until we get up from the floor and join the banquet that is set in time but clothed in timelessness. The chair is our inheritance. It has been there since time was and will be there until time disappears again and we are all back in our home that we have never left and which has never left us.
A New Blog
5 years ago