Posted in Writing Life

*Monday Experiment: Values III

My routine of writing on Saturday was disrupted this week because I didn’t go to watch my children’s swimming lesson (where I’d done it the previous weeks). Instead I stayed home to meditate, because I’d had a week of giving short shrift to my (rushed) morning meditation. It was so good that I meditated again Saturday evening and twice on Sunday. Today I feel much more relaxed. So I think I have to say that I value meditating, which, for me, is a word I use to cover much: reiki, energy work on myself, checking in internally, connecting with the light. I have done formal meditations, like the lovingkindness meditation–but I am much more of a free form meditator.

On to the third of the principles that guide my life: solidarity. The phrase I use is “all for all.” I begin with internal solidarity. One of the most damaging effects of an abusive childhood is the negativity and hostility that is internalized and directed inward. This serves perpetrators well because their victims are weakened and fractured by internal conflict and self-hate. To instead cultivate internal harmony and love for all of oneself(ves) is to rise up and walk away. Free, standing tall (all 5’2″) in myself, I can stand shoulder to shoulder with others.

That means walking my talk, putting my money where my mouth is. In the Jewish tradition, if you stand by while another is hurt, you are complicit in it; if you save a single life, you have saved a world. Solidarity then is to actively stand up for and with the people to whom I am connected in all kinds of ways. Limited time and energy means I can’t stand up for all the causes with which I sympathize, so in the human way, I do what I can for the things that resonate most for me personally: family, friends, other writers and artists, others who have suffered violence as kids, the people whose paths cross mine.

Today’s post is short because we are expecting company and I am still in the long flannel thing I wear when I get up in the morning. I was delayed by a call from my agent and it was a good one, though I can’t yet report the specifics. Tune in–more to report on that front in the new year.



Lilian is the author of Web of Angels, a novel about a mom with DID (multiple personalities). She's also the author of the historical novels, The River Midnight and The Singing Fire, about secrets, friendship and motherhood in 19th century Poland and London.

4 thoughts on “*Monday Experiment: Values III

  1. I read this post not long after you first published it and I have been thinking about it since. I think that is because I also had rather brutal spots in my childhood and think that this is the reason why social compassion is so important to me. One thing I am sure of though, my satisfaction with my life, my talents and capabilities and my sense of self love and self worth is what I consider to be the best kind of justice served. Justice has nothing whatsoever to do with what happens in the lives of perpetrators. What’s that saying? The best revenge is a happy life. Or something like that. Thank you Lilian for writing this.

  2. I am learning so much from reading these posts. You are giving me much to think about, as well as solidarity, and both are precious. I struggle to meditate, although I want to do it. I will keep on trying in 2011.

  3. I also want to meditate, but I usually fill up my coffee cup instead. Somehow, it’s not having the same effect! Thanks for this post. It was hopeful and forward-looking. Best to your for 2011, Lilian.

  4. Mary–yes, that’s my feeling too. A life well lived and freedom to face forward is exactly what I want. I can leave them to themselves.

    Litlove, one thing to remember is that there isn’t any way to meditate wrong. All you need to do is show up.

    Melissa, sometimes I have coffee first. 🙂

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