February 2011

Posted by Michael G. Duhaney on 1 February 2011 | 0 Comments

Expressions by Candice Wilmore

Willing To Tell: Woman and Truth
Part Two

It's been a few weeks since I left the blinking cursor in part one. I must say, returning to this topic has been even more challenging than I imagined.

I was listening to an address the other day by a man I've appreciated and learned from for many years. He speaks about personal peace, self-knowledge and inner contentment. In addition, he also talks, almost by default, about the things that separate us from those seemingly wonderful experiences. He spoke, that day, about five obstacles he claims keep us from what our hearts long to feel. He listed these as lust, anger, attachment, greed and ego.

None of that is, of course, a new idea. These have been and will continue to be looked at and discussed by anyone teaching or learning how to discover supposed "higher ground" in life. What struck me hearing the list again, though, was the hopeless battle it appears to be to rid myself of those deterrents.

Strange, perhaps, but I welcome realizing the precariousness of my situation. In reality, my condition is pretty damned overwhelming, if I want to feel the absolute best I can in what life (theoretically) has to offer.

That truth about my life is indeed not always sweet and easy. In my rarely humble opinion, any woman who claims it is has either found a way to stay planted in that infamous state of denial or has become content which what I would doubtless consider much less than I hope to experience while here on planet E.

That's not a judgment of what some feel is enough for them. I know plenty of women who seem very satisfied with what I would never be able to accept as fulfilling. Most of them are lovely, caring, kind human beings, with character and integrity I admire greatly.

As only Clarissa Estes can describe, some of us are just plain "wild women," for whom something else is calling. That fact is never meant to demean or patronize our sisters who don't hear that same call. It's just a fact that for women like myself, as the saying goes, there "must be something more."

I knew when I was twelve years old, looking at what the world seemed to hold for me, that I was in deep doo-doo.

I'd seen my mother lose her sense of self through marriage and children. I dove into religion to find the great love I knew I needed, but found it missing. I saw, as a female, the boundaries that existed at that time and the roles I was expected to play and I felt little hope for the future. I could not imagine how it would all work out. By the time I was twenty, I was certain I must be mad to expect to find the beauty and richness I craved so deeply.

I was, indeed, a lost soul trying her best to tough it out and hide my passion for more. Thankfully, the "counter culture" was in full swing by the time I left home and headed out on my own. That environment was a safe haven for young women like me. Conditions were far from perfect, but at least an oddball (as I saw myself) could move through this new fragment of society without too much scrutiny or derision.

I stayed in that world for several years, traveling at times, meeting others who seemed to be looking for more to life; perhaps foolishly, but sincerely asking, "why am I here?"

In 1972, at age twenty-four, a dear friend told me about something he found that showed him a feeling within, one that had clearly changed his entire perspective. By then, my level of despair about finding what I was nearly dying for was at its peak. I kept my condition fairly closeted from others, but I knew I was at a serious breaking point.

Not with joy, but in pure desperation, I set out to learn more about the possible answer to my deepest longings. That became the single most defining decision of my life and remains so to this day.

(to be continued)