By Raphael Awen
(This is Day 8 of an ongoing series, to begin at day 1, go here: https://goo.gl/CgrWXZ)
Raphael: Good Morning Demiurge Team, and maybe it’s time to say good morning to the Demiurge as well. I’m feeling him listening in. He didn’t get called Omniscient and Omnipresent for nothing. “Good Morning Demiurge, Thank you for tuning us in, we hope to be at your doorstep soon”. There, how’d I do?
Andy: That was perfect, Raphael. I don’t know how many good mornings he has, but it felt good to wish him one. Maybe, he’s a really sad guy underneath a whole tough-guy skin?
Raphael: That’s so true, Andy. We really don’t know how he really feels about anything, do we?
Andy: I don’t think he’s ever had any real fun, like with the best food, or sex, or visiting new and exciting places. He always seemed to be too busy policing the world and sacrificing animals, and even sacrificing his own son. That’s some pretty weird stuff. I wonder how he really feels about all that now?
Raphael: We are so going to need to clear our minds and hearts of all the stuff we’ve thought about him up till now, and, like you say, Andy, begin to wonder about what it really feels like to be him, in his skin. If we are going to effectively create an ambassadorship to meet with him, that is…
Andy: I don’t think he has any fun. If he did, he wouldn’t be so angry and unhappy all the time. He wouldn’t need people to be a certain way to make him happy. But, I don’t know for sure, that’s just what I think.
Raphael: How are we going to have fun today, Andy?
Andy: Let’s all jump on Merlin, and let him take us back in time to where we are in your story. And maybe he can find us an ice cream shop while we’re at it.
Raphael: Perfect! Merlin?…
Merlin: Yes, there’s a Golden Earth variety of Baskin Robbins that has infinite flavors without any duplicates. We can all go there. I usually dial up a meadowy forested one, if that works for everyone. We might need the trees and the earth today.
Raphael: Sounds perfect, Merlin. While you get us settled in there, with some comfy seating, I’ll find my heart and my place in the story.
Yesterday, as I was digesting all this with some yoga stretching, I felt tears come. I’m so glad to be fluent with my tears now in life. Yesterday, they felt like love from the Divine for the version of me and all the parts of me who walked out this journey, and who is continuing to walk it out by wanting to go full circle and see where this journey still wants to take us. It’s like, we can’t ever know, and that’s what makes it truly an adventure, to see what wants to ‘advent’ on the calendar of new horizons. Thank god for Andy’s innate desire for adventure and exploration that helps me see past all the too serious adult stuff.
Okay, then, back to my story. When I was at this point of being on the last legs of my faith, my marriage and my social world, all at the same time, I didn’t know how any of it was going to play out. I just knew I so needed to follow the trail, and take the next step, and that I couldn’t live with myself not to follow the trail. Sometimes courage comes from just feeling the regret and remorse we would feel if we didn’t make a choice in line with our deepest heart, the kind people commonly speak of on their deathbeds. None of the options are easy, but one is definitely more rewarding in the long run and addresses any and all possible future regrets.
Early in 2005, the year it all went down, after a particularly busy work winter, Mar-yam persisted in the idea of us going to a resort for a week’s vacation. Part of me was so into ‘getting ahead’ and wanting to tame expenses, that I resisted the idea till the last minute. Finally, I gave in and we went for a week to a resort in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in March of that year, being more ready for a break than I realized. It feels weird to tell this piece of the story because, as I sit here, telling it, in the first few days of 2018, it’s almost 13 years later. I’m sitting on the opposite side of that same bay in Mexico where we vacationed back in 2005 and can see the distant lights of that same resort in the predawn light. Isn’t it weird how life synchronizes things to help us feel what we yet need to feel?
We arranged our time at the resort with every other day being a chill day at the resort and the other days being a guided tour somewhere. Mid week, on one of our resort days, I woke up feeling unusually emotional. Something was catching up with me, but I couldn’t tell what it was. It came up some more as we sat in the lounge chairs on the beach feeling a bit loosened up with the all inclusive pina coladas. As we ordered some lunch at the poolside later, I literally ended up crying in my soup, tears streaming down my face and landing in my soup bowl. It was weird because I couldn’t tell what I was feeling so emotional about. I tried to not look too conspicuous, but also knew I needed these tears, even if I couldn’t feel what they were about. Little did I know that they were about letting go. Mar-yam and I did have a good time, in the managed goodwill we had together, but it was also conditioned upon not talking too deeply about the writing on the wall that neither of us wanted to face.
It was just a couple months later when that one sentence from Mark, my business coach, ended up being a spiritual and emotional surgery for me. “Did it ever occur to you that a part of you has a very good reason for feeling that way?” were the words he offered in response to my question about how to relate to depression and performance. I knew it was now time to open myself to feel everything there was to feel, to no longer resist feeling, and I also knew that I was inclined to not feel at the same time, that there was a lot backed up, waiting to be felt. I knew I needed help.
I asked Mark more about the spiritual group he was a part of, thinking that him and I were about to part ways. He offered me the book written by the groups founder, Daniel Barron, titled curiously enough, There Is No Such Thing As A Negative Emotion. I could feel the book was a part of a stepping stones, going on place somehow. It was, after all, a book some years earlier that had led me to E-myth, the business coaching company that Mark was now leaving.
When the snow got off the mountains that summer, a group of friends invited me to join in on an ambitious day hike. I so loved my hiking trails around southern British Columbia and Northern Washington. I usually enjoyed my own company the most, but decided to join in on this big hike all pre arranged by others. When the group on that sunny perfect day decided they would go on to one more big vista after lunch before returning the way we’d came, I saw my chance to stay behind alone for a few hours. I had a whole wilderness campground to myself and found a choice site surrounded by tall evergreens to hold the space for me to feel what I knew I needed to feel. I rolled out my sleeping mat and settled in.
Rene, one of the close friends in the group that day, strangely had kept his distance from me, yet relievingly at the same time. I needed space. We had been on a hike with the two of us some months earlier where I found my courage to ask him about what felt like a growing distance between us, and the struggle to talk about what we really felt. He let me finish and simply replied, “You’re the one who changed, Marvin”, as he returned to the trail. Marvin is my birth name that I went by at the time. Rene was right. Marvin was changing faster than even he could keep up with. Rene wasn’t wavering at all from the course we met on. We met in Bible School. We raised our children to be dedicated Christians. We both traveled regularly to be a part of missions endeavors. Rene had even become a fellow painting contractor following in my steps, and a good one at that, crediting me as his mentor. I could subcontract work to Rene in busy times by sending him the job specifications in the fax machine and then forget about it until the check arrived. He was just that damn reliable!
He and his wife had built a house on our street two doors down from us to be close and share family life together. When Rene saw me working on a yard project, he put his own aside and joined me, loyal to the core. Rene let me know that day, however, on that hike that his loyalty stopped when it came to the kinds of change he could feel I was toying with. He was interested in me as a friend because he felt I was the kind of person who’d stay the course, for the worthiest purpose on the planet, one that wouldn’t change with a bit of mid-life turmoil. I felt torn. Where else would I ever hope to find a friend as faithful as Rene?
As I lay there on the mat, I knew intuitively that there wasn’t anyone interested in making the kinds of changes I was about to make, including Mar-yam. Many of them hadn’t budged on any of the smaller changes I had made along the way. I knew the choices I was entertaining now were the end of my social world as I knew it going forward. I’d had plenty of time to scope that one out. I’d barely found the courage myself to follow my own heart. I couldn’t expect them to be ready on my schedule to join me now.
I knew I needed to do some big internal business that day on the trail. I knew I needed to choose. Wave after wave of tears came as I chose to let go of my 23 year marriage laying on that mat, using a spare t-shirt to dry my face. I didn’t know when, or how, I would walk it out, but I knew the order of the day was to make a solemn choice, and to begin to grieve the loss, in the serenity of that wilderness, alone, but yet held by love, and a grace, and those super tall surrounding space-holding evergreens.
My mind went first on to my girls and imagining their pain and confusion. With Rachel at 19, and Avonlea soon to be 16, this tore my heart open to feel them enduring the news I would sometime soon be dropping on them; the news I had so convincingly told them as younger girls that they would never hear from me.
Rachel and Avonlea always were a great joy to have and to raise, both fully expected and waited for. My own inner child got to be a kid again with them and may even have resisted them growing up in some ways with all the fun he got to have with them. Mar-yam and I let our lives naturally revolve around the girls in many ways, and we wanted it that way. They simply were one of the greatest things about life.
When Rachel was seven and we were telling Rachel not to use some word, as it was bad language, she got inquisitive as she had heard us talk about the difference between ‘swearing’ vs. ‘barnyard language.’ vs. ‘taking the Lord’s name in vain’.
“So, Daddy, is that a swear or a barnyard language?” she asked. I answered as directly as I could, and her next innocent words were, “So, Daddy, tell me all the swears, all the barnyard language, and all the Lord’s name in vain words”, as she climbed up into my lap, expecting clarification. I took a deep breath and proceeded to be the first one to tell her the main bad words, along with a fitting seven year old’s definition for each, including the word ‘fuck’, figuring she best hear it from me first. It felt very strange getting that word out of my mouth as I hadn’t let that word pass my lips in about 13 years, nor did I expect I ever would again.
Avonlea was different from her sister, seemingly efforting fitting in less, and coming up with more of her own version of who she wanted to be. One day, she enterprisingly came home from school with a completed report she had done on foxes that she was quite happy with and proceeded on her own to go knock on some neighbors doors to offer to read it aloud to them for 25 cents if they were interested.
As they grew up, neither Mar-yam or I did the super-strict thing with them, and deferred to being more open and relational rather than having intense rules for them to follow. When they were young, we did practice spanking from time to time, without anger, which ended abruptly one day, when Rachel stuck her finger in my face and said as defiantly as she could, ‘You can’t spank me, I’m twelve!’ She had a point. This was getting old.
Their lives had by now come to revolve around their friends, school and boyfriends, but a part of me so wanted still to be there for them in every way I could. I had looked forward to whom they might marry one day, knowing those men would be a significant relationship for me as well, as I had never raised sons.
My mind went next on to my parents, how would all this land in them? They’d been married forever and would be ‘till death do us part.’ How would they file all of this?
Then Mar-yam. After all these years of being easily and naturally together with deep commitment, without any big outward crisis to make this somehow more justifiable…….I’m going to be doing what?! I could so see and feel the incredulous looks that were going to be coming from close friends and family, and worst of all, from Mar-yam.
Truth is, a part of me didn’t know who I was outside of those roles and totally feared being in life without those roles and sense of identity. That had been true for a few years now, as an older auto-pilot setting that my life was stuck on was getting more and more backlit asking for my attention. It was Mar-yam who admitted, while stopping for lunch on a day trip into beautiful Washington state together one fall day a full couple of years prior, “Let’s face it, if we were choosing partners today, we wouldn’t choose each other”, seemingly more ready to talk about the quiet, but growing differences between us. Parts of me were just so not ready, until they finally were, to face my own truth.
Whooahh, you guys, how’s all this landing in you? I’m a little self conscious feeling how I’ve never really outed this whole story like this before in one fell swoop.
Andy: I’m like on my 8th ice cream cone, Raphael, but I’m having a great time. You story tell better than any movie I’ve been to. Some of this I didn’t even know, feels like.
Merlin: I think Andy speaks for all of us, Raphael. The setting is magical here and the realness of your words and heart and experience so outdoes any story I’ve ever heard.
Metatron: You say you feel a bit self conscious, Raphael. Can you feel what that’s about? Maybe you’d like to speak to that before going on?
Raphael: Thank you, Metatron, for the invitation to feel. I feel in this moment a reverence for the parts of me who lived through all these stages of life, of entering and leaving one context and relationship after another. In a very real way, you could say all of our lives are about ‘entering and leaving’ regardless of our belief system, or how open or resistive we are to change. What we miss out on though is the opportunity to feel. We tend to not feel while we are in it. We tend to not feel when we story tell about it. We tend to not feel when we photograph it and try to schedule it for feeling later somehow. I feel all these parts of me now seated in the time-travel theater of my own life captivated with both the courage and the fear, the movements and the stuck places, and all of it opening out into a big curiosity about the magic of my own life; how much I know about it; and how much I don’t know about it, to this very day, that awaits my deepening reverence.
To the journey at hand, to meet with the Demiurge, I feel how my devoted relationship with ‘God’, was about needing him to hold my own divinity like in a safety deposit box for safekeeping until I could awaken to it, come to see it and become responsive to it, come to terms with it. I feel this is the same for every last one of us who holds a piece of consciousness, be it an object, a thing, an animal, a person, an Archangel or a Star BEing. We are all getting comfortable with being divinity, at different stages of consciousness. We are divinity out divining. Something must be a placeholder for our reverence till we are able to hold it for ourselves. What we revere, we fear. We need to fear ourselves in a really good way. We need to fear settling for something less than we set out for. It isn’t a competitive world where there is only a few winners. In the world I live in, everyone gets to win, if they are ready to. Everyone who wins enhances the chances for those around them to win as well.
I so needed the Demiurge to hold my own divinity that I wasn’t able yet to recognize or hold. As I story tell, it feels like I said, a time-travel into a feeling theatre, where I can not just hang around in the past, but actually rearrange the furniture while I do. I can sit in admiration for the me who made the choices I did. I can feel the me who even chose to come here to live this life in the first place, who dialed up many of the story lines that I needed to walk out. I can feel another me in other dimensions and times who wasn’t able to make the choices I made and is watching and feeling intently.
I can feel that Mar-yam and I have had many such soul-story playouts that needed to come together this life again, how in this third dimension, they are arranged into past, present and future, but in a higher dimension, they are all unfolding in one present now. Even though I haven’t had contact with her in 3D for a decade or so now, it is also true that we are inseparable, while being distinct at the same time, needing this journey of separation.
I can feel Rene and I, in another dimension, sharing seats at King Arthur’s round table in Camelot and how each of us can readily recite the oath from memory: “This is the oath of a Knight of King Arthur’s Round Table and should be for all of us to take to heart. I will develop my life for the greater good. I will place character above riches, and concern for others above personal wealth. I will never boast, but cherish humility instead. I will speak the truth at all times, and forever keep my word. I will defend those who cannot defend themselves. I will honor and respect women, and refute sexism in all its guises. I will uphold justice by being fair to all. I will be faithful in love and loyal in friendship. I will abhor scandals and gossip-neither partake nor delight in them. I will be generous to the poor and to those who need help. I will forgive when asked, that my own mistakes will be forgiven. I will live my life with courtesy and honor from this day forward.”
We are so much more multi-dimensional than we’ve realized, but we are awakening to it now. Possibly, and this ‘possibly’ feels very important to feel into as we approach the Demiurge, we simply were not ready, and the universe itself was not ready, for us to enter the deeper bliss and infinite magic of our being, and so we co-created the Demiurge to hold the polarity and the reticence until such a time as we were ready, ready to feel.
The universe is asking me to feel myself as I relive experience, Metatron,… thank you for asking. I can feel the round table of my own parts who make up any and all human beings wanting and needing the sacred space of being initiated into a right-of-passage place of invitation to ongoingly simply feel. Isn’t that the point of all story, to feel, and then to be moved by what we feel? None of us needs to look any further than our own stories. It is our own stories that offer us the most to feel.
Metatron: Okay, Sounds like you felt the self-conscious feeling and it moved right on through, yes? 🙂
Raphael: It did.
Metatron: Well, I’m curious what happens next?
Raphael: Now, you’ve got me curious, hah! Life took off in some very surprising directions about that time, that became a lot to just ‘be with’. It was like life was getting me ready for what was wanting to come.
Let me see what scenes are playing in the theatre in the moment and I will do my best to recall and feel them as we do. Thank you all for your sweet and ongoing interest. From a little boy, a part of me loved having as much attention as I could possibly handle and you are all stretching me on that note at the moment!
So, around the same time as that fateful hike day, I’ve quietly ordered this book written by the founder of this group Mark was a part of. I knew this act alone was a turning point. The title alone, There Is No Such Thing As A Negative Emotion, struck a nerve, and the words called me deeper into my own awakening of my emotional body. I read the book through, feeling opened out deeply as I did. When I finished the book a few days later, I emailed Mark and asked him to help me find a facilitator in the work that the group offered so I could enter this new world deeper. I then turned the book over and began reading it again from the beginning. I’d read tons of books in Christianity, and some outside of Christianity, but this so felt like light years ahead of anything I’d come across.
This so makes me feel, guys, how in life, we are always in process between entering and leaving. We are always preparing to enter a next phase and preparing to leave a soon to be previous phase. None of us are outside of this. Even when we feel nothing is changing, and you can’t see a stitch of change on the horizon, just the act of you feeling that, of either wanting change, or resisting change, or thinking there is no change happening, is what facilitates change. Our lives are always in a continual state of change. We could say life is change. It feels vulnerable to feel that.
Nothing that parts of us are attached to are guaranteed to remain. This though, brings us to the best part. When we feel how we have what we have, without any guarantee of it remaining, we are invited to feel deeply our own hearts, our own feelings towards that thing, be it a treasured thing, or an unwanted thing. Every thing is wanting and waiting for our hearts.
It also makes sense that each of us only has so much capacity in the midst of change to feel what we are able to in that moment. I think this is why we got onto taking pictures and videos, knowing there was more feeling to be done later, that we couldn’t access in the moment.
As I share my own story, I can feel how I’m being invited to feel this bigger picture that I couldn’t feel at the time. All story is designed to get our hearts to come out and play.
I’m wondering in the moment if part of me is stalling a bit on telling the next piece of my story, waxing a bit philosophical instead. I’m coming down to the place of telling Mar-yam that I am leaving our marriage bond.
Those were the words that I picked up from Eric, the facilitator from Mark’s group that I connected with from Ashland, Oregon. The work the group did was called ‘ESH’ that stood for ‘Emotive Subself Healing’. The word ESH alone, I knew was enough to be off putting to my world around me, as confirmed soon enough when Mar-yam passed along to them the group’s website.
Each next step I took was moving me closer to acting on the choice I made weeks earlier in the wilderness surround of the tall space holding evergreens.
Ashland, Oregon, proved to be a very unique place. It was like it was literally from another planet. At first, I might have saw it as a bit hippy, but as I spent time in the town, the restaurants and coffee shops, people watching, I saw the world through some very different eyes. You probably couldn’t find a more polar opposite than my hometown of Abbotsford, the church capital of Canada.
One of Mar-yam and I’s closest couple friends were missionaries from the Philippines, whom we’d spent time with there. When they heard from Mar-yam where I was that weekend, they told her about the ‘dark principalities and powers’ that were over Ashland, Oregon, that they felt every time they drove by it most summers on the highway doing their annual mission church tours.
The people there however didn’t feel demonized at all to me. Quite the opposite. They felt real, open and curious. The children out in the vegetarian restaurants with their parents felt like creatures from another planet. Soft, bright, free. I walked through the parks, did some clothes shopping, and found places to rollerblade. A Mcdonald’s restaurant had opened some time back and was forced to close. The people here were into real food.
Mar-yam called to check in with me that weekend. She knew something was up, something big. Our conversation was abrupt and matter of fact. Part of me was so not interested anymore in her cautions or her inquiries. As I drove the ten hour drive home that weekend, I knew the time was now. As I pulled off the freeway for gas midway, I called Eric, to tell him that I was going to be ending it with Mar-yam when I got home and asked him how he felt about that. He replied “I trust it, Marvin. You are following your heart for everyone involved.” I knew to ask for support when I needed it.
I arrived home mid afternoon that fall day, five days short of our 23rd anniversary, pulled up in the driveway, left my suitcase in the car and went inside. Mar-yam greeted me and I asked her if I could talk with her. We sat down in the living room on the new couches that were positioned opposite each other, that we had purchased soon after a recent renovation. Tears came as I began to simply tell her that I was no longer willing to remain in our marriage bond. What a surreal feeling, like pulling a trigger in slow motion, that ends something and starts a chain reaction of other things. Mar-yam responded with a more stoic ‘I knew it’, part of her seemingly happy with her accurate intuition as a way to deflect from the pain of the moment. The conversation was short and soon moved to the need to tell the girls. Before the day was out, we sat down with Avonlea, who listened thoughtfully, and said, “I can do this, as long as you don’t get all weird and be at war with each other”. Mar-yam and I had been so prone to not have conflict over the years, that some deeper conflict would probably have actually been a healthy thing between us. I was surprised though to feel how easy she took this news. I slept downstairs that night in the now spare bedroom as Rachel had just left for nursing school across the province two weeks earlier. I called my parents that evening and told them, along with my brother and sister. I needed to act. I needed to choose. I needed to take responsibility.
It felt strange but somehow doable at the same time to move out, having been offered a bed at my brother’s house for the moment. I knew this was permanent. Mar-yam asked to go for a tea a few days later where she tenderly asked if we could try and work things out. I said ‘No’. She asked ‘why?’, and part of me defiantly answered her, and everyone else who was energetically in the room, along with the Demiurge, “Because, I don’t want to, that’s why!”
I was breaking up with duty and obligation. I knew if I was to ongoingly succeed at finding my own heart, I’d need to ongoingly part with duty and obligation. Mar-yam accepted my declaration that day as final and we soon got underway with separation logistics, that were able to be managed easily and with mutual respect.
Later that same week, of all crazy things, Rene’s elderly mom died, and I was naturally invited to the funeral. I knew attending that funeral would only be more duty and obligation, and that he and I’s heart were close in an old way, but not in the new arising way that was happening for me, and parts of me. It felt strange responding to the invitation to say that I didn’t feel close in heart to be able to share in his grief.
In the work I was doing with Eric, I was journaling with and getting to know a part of myself. The first part I worked with, I called Wayne, after my middle name, who held the tones of depression. I simply couldn’t take Wayne back into the flames of a burning house for any more of the proper type duty and obligation reality when he and I were sharing and feeling real heart tones and deep tears moving between us. At the same time, I couldn’t begin to guess how Rene and his family could file this as anything else but deceived behavior. Mar-yam had already said that she thought the connection I described in my journaling with Wayne was with a ‘familiar spirit’ and that I was fast falling for the deception that we’d been taught against all of our Christian lives.
Some weeks later, Rene asked to go for early morning breakfast as we often did in the past. It was clumsy, with nothing but the inertia of a now dried up past between us. He told me he respected how I handled the financial separation with Mar-yam, and that touched a part of me, again feeling the deep code of respect between us. Finishing the last few bites of breakfast, I found my heart and through precious tears, said that really all there was left to feel and acknowledge was the pain of goodbye. It felt so good to finally feel what felt real in real time. Love for me. Love for my parts. Love for other. We wished each other well, left the table and went on with our lives.
What Ice cream cone are you on now, Andy?
Andy: Lost count, Raphael. I lost count.
Raphael: Wow. Did you save some for me, because I could use a triple about now, sugar-free if you have it?
Andy: This place has infinite supply, you should try the Rocky Rhodes, it’s to die for…
Raphael: Too perfect, I’ll take one scoop of that, another of the Magic Merlin, The Unicorn, and one of Metatron’s Metaphysics. I’ll pause with that for now and maybe someone feels to wrap this up for today. Thank you everyone for being the best audience on and off the planet!
Merlin: Whoah, Raphael. I almost don’t want to add anything for fear of disturbing this awesome feeling space. But, I’d like to say how I feel how that, were it not for these evolutions of your life, and these choice points, we wouldn’t be here, connected in heart and purpose. I feel like I am very much a part of your round table, Arthur, I mean, Raphael. And I’m very glad to be with all of you, my fellow brothers in this galactic Camelot.
Metatron: Dang, you said that well, Merlin. I will not do myself the disservice of trying to improve on it. I did however note, with your words about our brotherhood, that somehow, we ended up as a team of all men? I move that we call on the multiverse to gather us an opposite gendered being to join us for this worthy journey as soon as possible.
Andy: I know just the one. I vote for Animalia! She’s a ton of fun and she’s our very own in-house feminine.
Merlin: Yes, and who knows, there’s maybe more sleeping beauties and Queens Of Hearts, that have a thing or two to resolve with the Demiurge, that we all need to feel as well.
Metatron: Totally works for me. I’d be so honored. The testosterone level has been getting a little high in here.
Rhodes: Thank you, Raphael. Thank you everyone. I loved feeling this part of the story today. I know I wouldn’t be here if you hadn’t made these epic choices, Raphael. I look forward to feeling Animalia’s input going forward too. She is like major hot stuff though, I just need to warn you, in a good way. I feel us taking all the time we need to feel all there is to feel in approaching the Demiurge. I feel him, feeling himself as we are approaching.
Andy: Ten-four everyone. Until next day. Please leave by the exits and don’t forget the speakers.
Raphael Awen is co-creator, teacher, and facilitator of the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life. Visit www.soulfullheartwayoflife.com for more information about Weekly Sessions, Live Streams, Videos, and Community.