Friday, October 27, 2006

The geographic cure ~

My thanks to Jen for the phrasing in the title. It fit perfectly for the question I wanted to answer this morning from WordTosser. She asked the following in my comments section:

Did you ever think that maybe...just maybe you aren't running from something...but running to something/place? Maybe you are looking at it from the wrong direction... So you aren't running away from USA... you are running to Thailand. You are running to the future?

Yes and no. It's a little of both. I have a fairly extensive history of running when things get too gnarly or unsatisfying. It probably looks just a bit crazy to post such a thing on a public blog but the day dishonesty becomes an option here, it's time to close shop. Sometimes the honesty won't make me look very good ~ and that needs to be okay.

I've been rather stable since the mid-90s when the tail end of my last run ended up here in Northern California. Prior to that, I've found myself in Washington, Maryland, Colorado, Arizona, southern California and an assortment of other places, all under the guise of "starting a new life".

In AA, they call it "pulling a geographic" and I'd become a master at it. When things ceased to be to my liking, I packed up a few duffel bags and hit the road, always believing life would be much better somewhere else. While I am not of the belief that "life is where you make it" (that's simply not true, in my experience, and rings rather hollow), I do believe that part of our job here is to find a "fit". When values and necessary behavior collide, unhappiness and discontentment take over.

Thailand is home. I already know that. But I also know that unless things are entirely cleaned up here, the ghosts will just follow me there and rattle around in the closet. It's important to be very clear what I am going to ~ and what I am leaving.

In looking at it a bit since reading that comment, I'm getting clear about this and feel "clean" about my decision to move to Thailand.

There are certain things I can live with and things I can't. The values, the way of life, the competition, the produce-and-consume quagmire, the endless struggle for quality of life and other matters not necessary to mention have made it impossible for me to live here and remain okay on any level; physically, spiritually, mentally or emotionally. It doesn't matter whether the struggle is mine or someone else's. I react emotionally the same to both. Something snapped in me in the early 70s when I turned on the evening news to hear a woman having to beg donations to buy her cancer medication. Living in this for me is just as unhealthy as drinking or smoking. It's toxic. What looks like "freedom" to many others looks like prison to me. My entire internal construct is so different that there is no way to make the two work together. Perhaps in that way, it is like a bad marriage. For those who thrive in this, it is exciting, challenging, and invigorating. For someone constructed the way I am, it is battering and bruising. The bad marriage analogy is probably the most appropriate. If I am going to stay well, given that I have created a way of life that works for me, albeit a rather small one, I must remove myself from the situation that continues to batter me.

Thailand is not heaven and it has its problems. I'm very clear on what those problems are. I've spent a number of years investigating them. Can I be there and not be emotionally battered? Yes. There's a simple reason for that.

Thai society is sociocentric. This one is egocentric. Here it is all about working hard for oneself, even at the expense of others. In Thailand, it is about working hard for the group, for the family, for the society. It is about cooperation, not competition. That is a gross oversimplification but is all I am up to at the moment. Beyond that, I don't want to turn this blog into a contest between American and Thai culture. That isn't the point of it.

When my metaphysical teacher in Tucson told me to be aware of running, she was really telling me that I need to reconcile the past in order to have a healthy future. It is a very good point and one I take to heart.

So, Word Tosser, the answer remains "yes and no". Maybe the best way is to not "run", either way. :)

One more thing: I want to thank everyone who leaves comments for me. I may not be able to answer each one because they often lead me down a path of thought. By the time I am done thinking, it's too late. Everyone has moved on to the next topic. Still, I am very grateful for someone taking the time to express a thought, positive or negative. It's not because I am looking for ego gratification. Again, it is the group wisdom. When someone makes me think, leads me to grow a bit, that is always a good thing ~ even when it's hard. So..

Thank You!


Thailand Gal



Gobody said...

We all have been running away from something at some point, just to find it waiting for us where we thought we are finally out of its reach. It took me some time to understand that I never run away from anything, that what I run away from is my reactions to some situations, real or imagined. As my reactions are innate I will always find them played out in the same way but in different scenarios. So can we actually run away …… from ourselves? I guess not.

Your teacher was right, you have to face the ghosts that haunt the place you are fleeing. They are merely a reflection of your state of mind. Put down the mirror, take a step backwards and just observe. You will be amused when you watch the energies playing their act, because you would see that you are not the energy but you still identify with it. Am I making any sense?

Tammy said...

I believe in alot of what you expressed in your last few posts. I bet Thailand will be your heaven once you are done here :)

Bonnie said...

Thaigal I want to leave you a comment because you appreciate them! LOL As someone who knows you, I respect what and who you are but you are being dangerously open here. You might want to be careful about that. See you this afternoon. We goin' ta see Cindy! Yaya!

Luv ya kiddo, Bonnie

jen said...

i noticed that comment and really appreciated it. sometimes the simple perspective flip can really show us a lot. i think that you know exactly what you are doing, and nothing is ever perfect, but we still need to choose our next chapter....and you are.

meno said...

Moving on isn't always running away. Sometimes it's the healthiest thing to remove yourself from a destructive environment. The deliberateness and though with which you are making this move, tells me that you know in your heart what is best for you.

Lucia said...

I really like it that you're able to say with such clarity, "Thailand is home."

Stephen Newton said...

Thailand Gal, since I began visiting your blog, I've had the snese that we may have a friend in common. Tonight while I was reading The geogrphic cure and you wrote: "When my metaphysical teacher in Tucson told me to be aware of running," I wondered again if you ever knew my dear friends Diana Hunter or Susie Cox of Tucson. Diana died in 2004, but Susie still lives there. Anyway, if you don't happen to have met them in Tucson, I still feel something. And, I do envy you your sense of belonging to Thailand and hope that all your ghost get settled and you attain your dream.

Pam said...

I'm new to blogging and have lots of reading to do, but this very personal writing holds so many truths. I know about running and believe your are headed in the right direction.
Peace, always.