Giving Thanks for the Gift of Time

Since leaving “school” in August 2011, Thanksgiving has always been a marker of one more “school”-free holiday season, for which I can be grateful. No more secret, cult-contrived, demands sucking me away from friends and family. No more fighting with my husband as I try to convince him that — as Robert once said to me — “the Christmas Party is when you benefit the most from ‘school’. “

For between the years of 2006-2011, I let “school” hijack my holiday season with it’s infamous Christmas Party … (well, infamous to those of us whose lives have been plowed through by the illustrious “school of higher consciousness” … a.k.a “study of higher consciousness”That particular year, Robert was “helping” me “school”-style; he looked baffled that my husband would have any complaints about the institution’s annual usurpation of all time between “class” and day job to plan and implement the required “gift to your teachers”.

The truth is that “school” doobies who have un-“schooled” spouses argue with them annually, from roughly mid-November through mid-December about the group’s ridiculous holiday demands. For one of the first lessons “school” imparts is this idea that humans have a skewed relationship to time and to never say “I don’t have time to do x, y, or z”. I remember early in my tenure hearing Robert say, “If you tell me you don’t have time to [FILL IN BLANK WITH “SCHOOL” DEMAND] I won’t believe you.” The “teaching” (cough) is that your time now belongs to “school”. And “school’s” winter tradition is pretty much designed to drive couples apart and destroy families as it steals away the time that should be dedicated to family and friends.

So speaking of time, even after being out of the institution for almost five years, and I still experience my life in terms of before I left and after I left. That comparison never ceases to yield gratitude from me — for having had the experience of allowing a group manipulate five years and $20,000 from me, and recognizing how I gave these alleged “teachers” so much power during that time, I know that, when I left, I crossed a threshold and will never go back; I won’t be vulnerable to that kind of manipulation again.

Time is precious, every breath a gift. I now recognize how my fears made me vulnerable to time thieves and energy vampires. Now that I’m free from them, I want to drink in and squeeze the most out of every moment. Tonight I will celebrate my small, ragtag family with our imperfect, sometimes bumbling, holiday feast. Three souls who’ve come together through some trial and a lot of error  — with (oddly) “school” being the central error, and most life-altering mistake, from which I did, indeed, glean the most benefit.  And, despite the disparate meanderings, seemingly random circumstances that brought three humans together as a family today, we are sharing a Thanksgiving meal and doing the best we can to enjoy this time, which no longer includes a nefarious outside influence with selfish intentions.

Thus, I can honestly thank “school” for a strength I dredged up from the inside out, when I walked away. Knowing now that I prefer to bumble through life, following my inner compass, taking risks and responsibility for them and that  I am no longer searching and vulnerable to cults like “school”.

For when I left “school” I gleaned the most benefit from its lessons (cough). And that, my friends, is something to be grateful for!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours — I raise a glass to your “school”-free holiday season!


8 thoughts on “Giving Thanks for the Gift of Time

  1. Rosie says:

    I had a wonderful thanksgiving with my family. Someone wrote these words large in beautiful script by the door: ““Gratitude is the memory of the heart.”

    For me, it was heart (and love) that was what was lacking from school. As a friend said to me: “They didn’t have my real interests at heart.”

    “Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you’ve been given.” ~ Marelisa Fábrega

    May you all have a truly heart-felt holiday season.

  2. The Gentle Souls Revolution says:

    Hi Rosie, Thanks for commenting and I raise a glass to your holiday spent with family. Yes, there is no heart in “school”. Heart is antithetical to the groups “aim” — mo’ “students”, mo’ money. I may not understand everything about what it means to love, but at its most base, loving someone means wishing the best for that person, holding his/her best interests at heart and wishing for that person to realize the best in him/her self. Most of the time, this goes in direct conflict with evolving into a “school” cog, which requires a good cog to disregard friends, family, authentic beliefs, emotional reactions to fucked up situations and demands. Here’s to your freedom! Drink it in and enjoy!

  3. stillsearching... says:

    Cheers! and Cheers again to all of you and hope for all others to find freedom one day, sooner than later, so they too can Cheer!!! No just on holidays but every day of the year…

    • The Gentle Souls Revolution says:

      Hi StillSearching – Absolutely, every day, every minute, every breathe a gift. Religion has never been a big part of my life, but for whatever reason, my belief in God has never waned. Again, I’m not sure why, but maybe the why is unimportant. Part of what I believe about God is that each person has inner gifts bestowed upon us from this entity we call God. No external source can dictate what lives inside your soul. It is for each individual to honor and cherish the inner compass that points him/her towards true north. Most people don’t have linear paths. Done with my sermon 😉 Happy holidays, happy living!

  4. Lionheart says:

    Hi GSR,
    You sound like a person who has had a near-death experience and come back to tell us all about it.

    When do they usually hold the Christmas party? Do you think it has already occurred? And doesn’t Robert have a birthday in December?

    Thank you.

    • The Gentle Souls Revolution says:

      Hi Lionheart — Interesting 😉 I did start feeling spiritually dead while in “school” … or like the walking dead, so maybe that constitutes as a near-death experience.

      My “class” (the “younger class”) usually had its party right around now. I don’t know about the “older class”. My understanding is that they would go to NYC transporting culinary delights, etc. along with them. It could have happened; or not. Since “school” morphs when exposed — like now billing itself as “The Study” — it may have abandoned the (cough) “tradition.”

      I don’t know when Robert’s birthday is; maybe someone else out there does.
      Thanks for reading & commenting!

  5. Rosie says:

    Yes, Robert does have a birthday in December and there is usually a party for him and presents. The Christmas Party is usually about 2 weeks before Christmas and it is usually on a weekday night. Just enough time to pass out for a week and wake up right before the real holiday…

    May all of those who are still in chains to Sharon and Robert and the Work, School, the Study (whatever!) find joy and peace this holiday season. I can only hope that they can wake up some day and return to life with the least possible amount of scars and trauma. It’s so sad.
    I wish them well. Each and every one…

    • The Gentle Souls Revolution says:

      Yes, it’s sad to know that year after year, “School” will leach the life out of people whose kindness and wish to become better, or contribute something to humanity drew them in — what is a cult, after all, if not a parasite, feeding off the energy and time of others and feeling entitled to this energy and time.

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