shadow

Those Undesirable Unmentionables: Hello, Shadow!

69278_10150881061583473_1913608398_n“I just want to lose my desire for love. I hate needing approval. I hate being needy. I’ve asked the Universe to remove these defects in me. This neediness in me is pathetic.”

A new client wrote this to me last week, and when I read it, I felt a stirring in my heart, a sadness, a sorrow for this woman, who feels that her desires are so undesirable, and burdensome. I have been this woman.

I wonder what hurts she must have experienced, to want these desires gone. I felt a heaviness thinking about her pain and frustration with herself and her innate desires, her own human nature.

It stirs me every time I come across someone I care about who is fighting who they are at the core.

It saddens me every time I come across someone who is desperately trying to reject their human qualities, in order to be more spiritual, closer to God, or in order to simply feel less.

Our desire for love, approval and appreciation makes us so very human, This desire is a primitive, innate, and powerful driver. To deny it exists, to reject this part of ourselves is to reject our humanity, our very essence as human beings.

From the moment we are born, we seek love. As small children, our identities are shaped by attachment and approval. It’s how we learn to be human, we are formed through connection, we need each other.

Last night, dancing with a group of women in my BodyLove Affair Rendezvous, we stopped dancing to debrief after a soulful shake-up.

We talked about the ways we are “supposed” to be, the parts of us that are easy to accept. And the parts of us that are… less easy. The not-so-pretty parts. The undesirable unmentionables.

We talked about the pressure to appear as we have it all together, at all times, when really, on the inside, we are screaming, we are wailing. We are pieces held together with tape and chewing gum, and one blast of wind might send us into smithereens, or so it seems.

Our shadow is described as the parts of us that we reject or hide, from the world or ourselves.

And guess what? What we resist persists.

I’ve been there. This self-rejecting path was the way I lived. Parts of me were easy to accept and love. Others, not so much.

Like my client, neediness is also one of my shadow traits. I spent the first three and a half decades of my life trying to “not be needy.”

I am fiercely independent, so being or seeming needy had always been loathsome and avoidable at all costs. And it cost me a great deal: True, deep intimacy and connection with others.

Because I am human, I have needs.

And sometimes, I am even needy. I accept this now.

I continue to do my shadow work, which is, I promise, a lifelong project. I am learning to embrace my neediness. The needy part of me is very young, and very precious, and deserves my love.

When she is triggered, I am learning to acknowledge her and love her. I do not reject her. I do not send her away. I see her. I allow her. I tend to her.

What I’m also learning is that as I continue my healing work and personal evolution, my need for outer validation, love, appreciation or approval does not drive me the way that it used to.

It’s there, as I mentioned, I’m human, and plan on being so for a while longer, so I don’t wish it away or reject it.

But what’s naturally happening is I am finding direct access to my own love. The love that I am. After all, why seek what you already are?

I’m tapping into a deeper source for these feelings, that of my own soul’s wellspring of love and worthiness. I do not rely on outer validation for my worth. But I still desire it. Who doesn’t!? It feels great!

This is evolution. This is a revolution.

What parts of you do you find difficult to love or accept?

And what if the most difficult parts of you to love were the most precious?

How might they transform if you simply embraced these shadowy parts, acknowledged them as part of your totality? Your wholeness?

You are all things.

You are light and shadow. And the more acceptance and acknowledgment, curiosity, compassion, love and allowance you offer to your shadow, the less shadowy it becomes.

You grow, you evolve, you heal. And you don’t need to reject, change or pray away any part of you.

Hot & Holy: Sex, Soul and the “Sacred Slut”

10347532_10152393442343473_5323045798879423177_n
Photo by Dee Hill, Makeup by Vivienne Vermuth

We were divinely designed for pleasure. We are born sexual. We are wired for intensity. We are wild, beastly, messy, sticky, erotic creatures. We burn deeply with desires, some we would never dream of naming.

Yet through a hundred thousand messages, religion, lies, experiences and for many of us, traumas, we split ourselves into pieces, between what is “good and holy”, and what is “dirty”. The richness of our sexuality is often boxed, labeled and closed away, and when that happens, we suffer.  In fact, the world suffers with us. Because I believe with all that I am, that a woman who is completely integrated is a powerful force. She is a sight to behold, an inspiration to take in, a lover like no other, a goddess, a Queen.

Fully integrated, we are medicine women, we are healers, we are magical. We are Queens.

What is a Sacred Slut? When I put those two words together, I made myself a little uncomfortable. I was worried what you would think. The word “slut” after all, has such heavy baggage that we are supposed to feel ashamed of. Think about it.

When was the first time you heard the word and got an idea of what it meant? Middle school? Earlier? Maybe they called that girl whose body developed before everyone else’s a slut. Maybe that girl was you. How many of us were called sluts, because our breasts showed up sooner than others, or our hips and waists began to curve, or because we were sexually curious, “advanced”. Our early experiences labeled some of us as “easy” and “slutty.”

Were you ever called a slut? My very first husband, A., was an emotionally and verbally abusive tyrant. He often told me I was a slut, a whore. In his words, my sole purpose was to suck and fuck. I left his ass by the time I was 21, wisely. But for years, those words stayed rooted in my brain.

I went through many years of my life leading a promiscuous life. My sexuality was one of the only sources of power that I knew of, and like a child wielding a deadly weapon, I waved and swung my sexuality around thinking it was powerful, thinking I was sexually free, while the choices and behaviors I was engaged in had nothing to do with power or freedom, and were actually closer to the complete opposite. For many years, in many ways, I was “up for grabs.” Gabrielle Roth, in her book “Sweat Your Prayers”, (and I’m paraphrasing here) puts it beautifully… “I had taken into my body men I wouldn’t even loan my car to.”

Yet, through all of my experiences, because of my experiences, I am who I am now. I wouldn’t be the me I am without them. And so I embrace them. I embrace them all.

I no longer betray or abandon myself. I am no longer up for grabs. I now use my sexual power for expression, connection, pleasure, and no longer to fill my emptiness, “win” someone’s attention or to feel “loved.”

Yet, I embrace the me that did betray and abandon herself, the me that was up for grabs. She is part of me. Because of her, I am.

We are such rich, multi-faceted, multi-layered creatures, with rich histories and colorful futures ahead of us.

Somewhere along the way many of us come to believe that our holy, sacred selves are separate from our “dirty”, slutty selves. We so often fail to see the divinity of our totality.

A Sacred Slut doesn’t do that anymore. A Sacred Slut owns her totality, the light, the darkness, the love, the loathing, the magic, the mistakes, all of it, and claims her sovereign status, Queen of herself. Queen of Her Selves. All of them.

The three kingdoms of our sexual worlds are our pasts, our present and our future. The lives we’ve lived, the ways we’ve lost ourselves, the ways we’ve found ourselves. The ways we are still becoming. Our desires and longings. We can be everything. We are everything.

A Sacred Slut is no longer defined by her past, but she owns her stories, lest they own her.

Whatever parts of you that are harder to own, your past, your present, your desires, your secrets, your shame, the darker parts, especially the darker parts, I dare you to own them all, and celebrate them all, because you are Queen of your domain.

There is great power in owning your totality, your divine and your “dirty”. All of it. Sacred. Embrace it all. All of you, not just the love and light, not just the good and pure, not just the kindness and compassion.  Love it all.

There is so much more power to living a life fully integrated, and full integration, paradoxically, is found in wrapping your arms around all of your selves. Your complexity is your divinity. Your contradictions are your holy humanity. You are here for it all. You get to be it all. You get to live it all. And by doing so, you claim your full power.

You get to be whole now. Be whole, Queen.

 

Go on. Have Your Moment.

jealousy
Self-pity.

Anger.

Neediness.

Victimhood.

Sadness.

Jealousy.

Abandoned.

Hurt.

Rage.

Heartbreak.

Defeated.

Depression.

Darkness.

If you’re like me, this list might be titled “My Least Favorite Feelings.”

Truth be told, I’d rather feel nothing at all than feel any of these.

If I were allowed to choose my palette of feelings, they’d be bright and sunny, deeply joyful and radiantly happy, all the time. But that’s just not the way this living thing is designed.

Whether it be our religions, our families of origin, our feel-good society or our metaphysical or spiritual readings or seminars, we get the message loud and clear: Feeling “negative” feelings is trouble. Feeling these feelings lowers your vibration and stops the Universe from blessing you. (Gasp!) Feeling these feelings is ungrateful. Feeling these feelings is not spiritual. Feeling these feelings is unenlightened.

I call bullshit.

It is not the feelings themselves that get us into ruts, or block our capacity for joy, as much as our resistance to them, as much are our judgment of them.

In the last week, I have heard my clients say things like…

It’s stupid but ____.

I know I shouldn’t feel this, but ____.

I should be grateful for the good things in my life, but ___.

This is ridiculous, but ____.

I’ve also had three or four clients this year talk to me about their strategies for getting through heartbreak as quickly as possible. They usually have the word “more” in them…

Work more.

Drink more.

Eat more.

Spend more.

Date more.

Sleep more.

All in efforts to avoid the pain of their current experience, to avoid the reality of their current feeling.

In the short term, this may seem to work. I don’t have time to feel my pain if I am overextended, or hungover or have a new purse to get excited about, right?

In the long term though, what is buried alive never dies.

What we resist persists.

The wounds transmute and find a way to show up and be felt in a completely unique and unrelated, though painfully familiar situation.

One way or another, these feelings must be felt.

Is it fun? Hell no.

Is it necessary? Hell yes.

And unless there is a chemical imbalance or an actual physical condition that requires treatment, most of the time our feelings just want to move through us.

They just want to be acknowledged and felt, so they can move on.

You are a safe place for every feeling.

And when your feelings learn you are safe, they are not afraid to move through you. They stop for a while, engage you, consume you, exhaust you, drain you. But then they trust you. And they move on.

I urge you to watch the way you moderate and allow or disallow your emotions. Which of them are you most judging?

Catch yourself in the act of resisting your less-desirable emotions. Then find a healthy, loving way to feel them. Express them.

Here are some tried and true methods…

  • Journaling (saved my life a time or two, or thousand.)
  • Smash, burn or rip something. (your own property, of course.)
  • Talk to a friend.
  • Write a sad poem.
  • Dig in the dirt.
  • Swim, run, bike, hike or dance it out.
  • Spend a day or two wallowing.
  • Clean something.
  • Take gloomy selfies.
  • Wear black for days.

Some of these physical expressions of emotions can become healing rituals in your processing, a tactile, sensory experience of energy in motion (emotion = energy in motion!)

Allow yourself to have your moment. Feel your feelings. All of them, even the less-savory. Let them move through you. That’s all they ask of you.

I read recently “It’s a full-time job, avoiding your feelings.” Ha, isn’t that the truth? Ain’t nobody got time for that. I want my full-time job to be a life fully felt, fully expressed, fully experienced.

Life is for feeling. So go on, feel it all.

Allow it all, for you are vast, and mighty and brilliant and contain multitudes.

Mean-Spirited Roadhouses and Other Detours

A personal favorite of mine, that I feel guided to re-post. I hope it reaches the heart of whoever might need it most.
Roadhouse
“Gamble everything for love, if you’re a true human being.
If not, leave this gathering.
Half-heartedness doesn’t reach into majesty.  
You set out to find God, but then you keep stopping for long periods at mean-spirited roadhouses.”
– Rumi

When our hearts are open, we gamble everything for love, we hungrily seek divinity, we bounce (or sashay, or saunter, or strut…) along the spiritual path with zeal, or with peace, with awareness. It feels amazing.

And then we stop.

Ah… look, here’s an intriguing roadhouse.

We slip in…

We all have our favorite mean-spirited roadhouses.

Maybe yours is regret.

Shame.

Self-loathing.

Returning to hurts of the past.

Or an emotionally bankrupt relationship.

Or maybe it’s a physical activity that works well for numbing. For removing you from the intensity of the divine, of your own light. Or your own feelings.

Bingeing on Netflix streaming for hours and hours at a time.

Facebook scrolling. Scrolling, endless scrolling. Scroll. Click. Scroll. Click, click. Scroll, scroll. OOH! A notification!

Drinking too much. Or too often. Or both.

Shopping for things you don’t need, just to feel a rush of newness, of… something different than this.

I’ve done all of these things, stopped in all of these mean-spirited roadhouses, as well as others I won’t name.

Luckily, today, in this moment, I am back on the path, gambling everything for love.

But I also trust the detour.

There will be times on this spiritual path, when we will find ourselves at mean-spirited roadhouses. And more importantly, we must.

The path of divinity is intense, and asks much from us. That we be completely aware, that we remain open, that we shine bright.

It can get exhausting being our magnificence.

Oh look… there’s my favorite mean-spirited roadhouse… I’m gonna stop in for a spell… I think they’re running specials…

And so, the cycle continues.

Until it ends. Until that glorious day we can walk right past those familiar mean-spirited roadhouses, and keep on walking, gambling everything for love.

Gambling everything for love is not for wimps. It’s not easy. Nor is it free of dangers and risks. But, as Rumi is saying, more or less: go big or go home.

It doesn’t matter if you use the word God, spirit, love, divinity, magnificence, grace, glory. I don’t care what the heck you choose to call it. We’re simply talking about your innate connection to that which is bigger and greater than the limits of your humanness. Call it what you will. We’re either seeking it. Connecting to it. Living it. Or detoured.

Right now, think about your current place on your path. At this moment of your life, are you gambling everything for love or half-heartedly reaching for majesty? Are you seeking God or hanging out in a mean-spirited roadhouse?

If you’re in a mean-spirited roadhouse, when you’re ready to come back out, to pick up on your path, come on. The light at first, is blinding. It’s dark in there, after all. And you might carry some of that mean-spirited roadhouse smell on your clothes for a while.

But out here, on your divine path, the air is sweet, the sun is bright and the breeze wants to say hello. Welcome back.

Gamble everything. Give it your all. Go big or go home.

As Rumi knew, half-heartedness doesn’t reach into majesty.

 

Original publish date 7.16.13

My name is Lisa and I’m in a Shitty Mood

linux-babies-angryPerhaps there are some people that prefer a crappy mood over a joyful one. I am not one of them.

I woke up this morning in a god-awful crappy mood. I was physically sore and achey. Low back pain, hip and sciatica called out “Morning!” as I reluctantly crawled out of bed. My allergies were wreaking havoc. My hormones may or may not be in the P phase of PMS, no comment. A few other irritating details that I won’t go into, but you get the idea. I went into my morning rituals, coffee, stretches, reading, journaling, eagerly, desperately working to escape my bitch-on-wheels status.

Wrote for a moment about my lousy mood, then began writing a prayer, to whoever might be listening…

“Lift this lousy mood. I want to experience joy, peace. I want to feel love. Not this…”

Like many spiritual people I know, I prefer those positive, high-vibrating emotions like peace, love and happiness.

I also think there’s still some residual gunk left from my teenage church days that believes that to be in a good mood brings me closer to the Divine, and being in a crappy mood separates me from the divine, and as an unfortunate by-product, my penalty is missing out on the blessings from such. Like stepping out of the goodie line.

Be a good girl.

Wipe that look off your face.

Cheer up.

In Law of Attraction teachings, we are taught that positive feelings attract positive things. Negative feelings attract negative things. And god knows, I don’t want to attract negative things.

So of course I get wiggly and uncomfortable when a bad mood arises. I don’t want to separate myself from the divine. I don’t want to miss out on blessings, or even worse, attract shitty circumstances into my life. GET ME OUT OF HERE!

This morning as I scrambled to find my way out of my crappy mood, (Think good thoughts! Write good thoughts! Light and love, light and love…) a voice of love and clarity came through…

Choose real over perfect. I wrote. Be with what is real.

I began to remember that the divine does not desert me when I am in a crappy mood. I desert myself.

We are not designed for or planted on this planet to be joyful and light all the time. It’s just not possible.

I signed up for the real when I came into this physical plane. As an embodied spirit, yes, I have access to all things divine… but when I’m trying to ditch my human experience and trade it in for love and light, I am abandoning my very purpose here… to feel it all.

And when I realign myself with the truth that my spirit knows….

that there is no way I can separate myself from the divine, but there is a way I can separate myself from this rich and complex human experience…

that numbing myself with platitudes of love and light is a form of self-abandonment…

that I am holy, even when I’m in a shitty mood

funny thing happens to that shitty mood… it begins to shift.

How can you be with yourself and what is real for you today?

What if for one day you traded in your numbing, escape-hatch platitudes of love and light for the real and full experience of what is here, what is now, what is your current experience, in all of its messy, gooey, sticky and moody glory?

What might shift?

Our opportunity to feel it all is also our obligation to Life.

There will be plenty of time for existing in your glorious full love and light status when you are ethereal cosmic dust floating around the ethers, eternity perhaps.

But right now, in this moment, here you are. Here we are. We get to feel it all. So let’s.

We can be holy and hole-y.

We can be divine and dirty.

We can be light and shadow.

We can be whole and wounded.

We can be in a shitty mood, and still be blessed.

I am “divinity in a shitty mood”.

Well, I mean… I was in a shitty mood, past tense. Before I gave myself complete and utter permission to be in one.

Funny how that works.

Mean-Spirited Roadhouses and Other Detours

Roadhouse

“Gamble everything for love, if you’re a true human being.

If not, leave this gathering.

Half-heartedness doesn’t reach into majesty.  

You set out to find God, but then you keep stopping for long periods at mean-spirited roadhouses.”

– From “The Essential Rumi” (translated by Coleman Barks)

When our hearts are open, we gamble everything for love, we hungrily seek divinity, we bounce (or sashay, or saunter, or strut…) along the spiritual path with zeal, or with peace, with awareness. It feels amazing.

And then we stop.

Ah… look, here’s an intriguing roadhouse.

We slip in…

We all have our favorite mean-spirited roadhouses.

Maybe yours is regret.

Shame.

Self-loathing.

Returning to hurts of the past.

Or an emotionally bankrupt relationship.

Or maybe it’s a physical activity that works well for numbing. For removing you from the intensity of the divine, of your own light. Or your own feelings.

Bingeing on Netflix streaming for hours and hours at a time.

Facebook scrolling. Scrolling, endless scrolling. Scroll. Click. Scroll. Click, click. Scroll, scroll. OOH! A notification!

Drinking too much. Or too often. Or both.

Shopping for things you don’t need, just to feel a rush of newness, of… something different than this.

I’ve done all of these things, stopped in all of these mean-spirited roadhouses, as well as others I won’t name. Luckily, today, in this moment, I am back on the path, gambling everything for love.

But I also trust the detour.

There will be times on this spiritual path, when we will find ourselves at mean-spirited roadhouses. And more importantly, we must. The path of divinity is intense, and asks much from us. That we be completely aware, that we remain open, that we shine bright.

It can get exhausting being our magnificence.

Oh look… there’s my favorite mean-spirited roadhouse… I’m gonna stop in for a spell… I think they’re running specials…

And so, the cycle continues. Until it ends. Until that glorious day we can walk right past those familiar mean-spirited roadhouses, and keep on walking, gambling everything for love.

Gambling everything for love is not for wimps. It’s not easy. Nor is it free of dangers and risks. But, as Rumi is saying, more or less: go big or go home.

It doesn’t matter if you use the word God, spirit, love, divinity, magnificence, grace, glory. I don’t care what the heck you choose to call it. We’re simply talking about your innate connection to that which is bigger and greater than the limits of your humanness. Call it what you will. We’re either seeking it. Connecting to it. Living it. Or detoured.

Right now, think about your current place on your path. At this moment of your life, are you gambling everything for love or half-heartedly reaching for majesty? Are you seeking God or hanging out in a mean-spirited roadhouse?

If you’re in a mean-spirited roadhouse, when you’re ready to come back out, to pick up on your path, come on. The light at first, is blinding. It’s dark in there, after all. And you might carry some of that mean-spirited roadhouse smell on your clothes for a while.

But out here, on your divine path, the air is sweet, the sun is bright and the breeze wants to say hello. Welcome back.

Gamble everything. Give it your all. Go big or go home.

As Rumi knew, half-heartedness doesn’t reach into majesty.

The Sacred Disconnect

This spiritual path you are traveling is exactly the one you are meant to travel. All of it is part of the journey. All of it is sacred. Yes, all of it.

Often we feel we are on the “right” spiritual path until things go “wrong,” and we get bamboozled or sidetracked or take a detour to become an addict or develop a compulsion for shopping or shoplifting or get fired or get divorced or get drunk or forget who we are or take up sleeping pills or sleeping around or sleeping all day and then we’ve blown it- we’re “off” the spiritual path.

Way back in my church days, we called that “backsliding.” It was all very black and white- you were either right with God or going to Hell. You were either saved or damned. you were either washed in the Blood or a back-slidden sinner. So of course, we were set up to be in constant struggle, anytime our humanity showed up and we found ourselves less than “Godly.” And so began the split, the rejection of selves, the self-hatred and self-condemnation.

I don’t believe that to be true anymore.

The addictions, the shoplifting, the eating disorders, the failed marriages, the broken hearts, the affairs, the distractions, the detours, the pain we face in our very complicated, very human lives- it’s all part of the spiritual path. It’s all an essential part of the journey.

Of course, these aren’t the highest, brightest manifestations of our lives. I’m not saying go out, get wasted, rob a convenience store and sleep with your sister’s husband just to write it off as part of your spiritual journey. That would be way too easy, and way too careless. Plus, our actions catch up with us: karma can be a bitch.

But I don’t think there are any “detours” on the spiritual path, and I don’t think we can ever leave it. The only danger to the spiritual path is unawareness.

But you know what? Funny thing is, even unawareness is part of the spiritual path! Atheism? Part of the spiritual path. Suicide? Part of the spiritual path. Cursing God? Despair? Yep. Part of the path. All of it.

All of it, meaning everything.

Your spiritual journey is all your own. It’s meant to be exciting and adventurous. Think of Dorothy on the way to the land of Oz.

She had to leave home to find home, just like we do.

She thought she needed something outside of herself to get to where she wanted to be. Just like we do.

She ends up going through all kinds of crazy shit to find her “guru” – the wizard. Just like we do.

Only to find out she had what she needed all along, those ruby slippers, coveted by witches everywhere, to get back to where she wanted to be, just like we do.

As you continue on your spiritual path, I implore you to be as gentle and as compassionate toward yourself as you can possibly be. Keep in mind that it’s pretty normal and human and again, part of the spiritual journey, to at times be detached from your own inner voice, to not “feel” spiritual, to be completely disconnected from your soul’s language.

Even this disconnect is sacred!

We disconnect in order to feel separation. Without separation, we would not recognize connection. We must experience darkness in order to define the light. Without winter, how would we define spring? Without hot, how would we define cold? It’s all part of the great and perfect totality.

If you are looking for a spiritual path, look to the ground. You’re already on it.

If you’re looking for a guru, look in the mirror. You are what you’ve been looking for.

If you’re looking for your sacred text, look within. You already are holy truth.

You’re looking for your way back home? Guess what? You’re already wearing the ruby slippers.

This is what love looks like.

My teen daughter and I have started this fun tradition of writing love notes for each other with dry-erase markers on our shared bathroom mirror… things like “Hey gorgeous!” and “You are beautiful!” and “I love you so much!” and other sweet somethings.

Yesterday morning, I had the brilliant idea to draw a giant heart, so that when she looked in the mirror, the heart would frame her precious face. Underneath the heart, with an arrow pointing up at it, I wrote “This is what love looks like.”

Except I didn’t stop to think that I, myself would actually have to look at it.

In the middle of a deep blue funk.

With puffy allergy eyes that look like pillows.

After one very private peanut-butter cookie rampage.

Feeling fat.

And disgusting.

Needing a shower.

(Bad.)

And feeling like the absolute furthest thing from “what love looks like.”

Yep. Later that night, forgetting I had drawn that, I went to use that sink. Puffy-eyed, shower-needing, low-self-esteem-feeling, in the middle of one helluva self-cruelty rendevous, and was startled by my own words staring back at me, and that heart, that damned heart. I was feeling shameful and gross. This is what love looks like?

I don’t think so.

PFFT… whatev.

I turned my head to look away while I washed my hands. I couldn’t bear the truth of my own words. Not at that moment. Nope. No, thank you. After all, I wrote them for her, not me.

This is what love looks like.

It almost seemed like a taunt.

Yeah sure… with cookie crumbs on my décolletage…

This is what love looks like.

I can’t even look.

This is what love looks like.

And suddenly, it wasn’t my voice, but the voice of the Divine that I heard in my head…

This is what love looks like…

Even now, right now.

Not just when you’re radiant and confident.

Not just when you’re strong and bold.

Not just when you feel like light and love.

Even when you feel like dark and loathing.

Even when you’re feeling the opposite of sacred or sexy.

Not just when you’re feeling ‘thin and in control.’

Even when you think you are a fuck-up.

This is what love looks like…

Because you are love.

And then… the voice asked a question.

Now. Can you extend even just the tiniest bit of tenderness toward yourself, in this moment?”

Yes. I answered. Or at least I can try. And I turned toward my reflection, with love in my puffy, allergy eyes and extended Love toward myself. As is.

So now, I dare you, go look in the mirror, AS YOU ARE, right now, and extend a little tenderness toward yourself.

Because you are what love looks like, too.

 

photo by Modern Noir Studios

A sort-of fairy tale…

Once upon a time, there was a fair lady who was stricken with a terrible condition that caused constant pain, like no pain she had ever known.  It grew in her like a monster and took over her life. This terrible dragon of pain stole, pillaged and torched many of the things in her life that she loved the most.

She could not dance. She could not sit. Lovemaking, theatre,  long walks,  picnics, dinners out with friends, all of these wonderful things were taken from her, and she grieved and  longed for the life that she once had. The deeper she sank into despair, the bigger and hungrier and more destructive the dragon grew.

Until one day, she decided to approach the  pain dragon with love and compassion. With curiosity and openness, she vowed herself to explore its mysteries. She knew that the dragon  had wisdom and messages and information for her.

Finally, she made peace with the terrible dragon, understanding that what it really wanted was love.

Then the dragon went away, leaving her to live in peace.

And the fair lady lived hapipily ever after.

Pfft… What a bunch of B.S.

Yet, that’s exactly the story I was wanting to write for my tale. How I would love my “pain-story” to be so romantic, to be neatly tied up with a bow and a happy ending. Wouldn’t that be sweet?

For the last few weeks, I was experiencing so much relief from my spinal, hip and nerve issues that I thought the tale was coming to an end.

Protaganist learns lessons, protaganist lives happily ever after. The end.  

Ha.

Here I am again, back in the middle of one vicious fire-breathing dragon of a pain cycle. I find myself feeling betrayed.  Misled. Angry.  Did I do something wrong? Jumping back into my life with both feet? Did I do too much? Did I move too fast?

And the most famous of all victim-poor-me-isms: What did I do to deserve this?

Did God change its mind on the miracle?

My lofty ideas of a neat, tidy happy ending, we now return to our regularly scheduled program resolution,  have  fallen through, and I am face to face with the reality of  how  little control I actually have over this situation.

And truth is: I hate that.

I must turn to what I know I can trust:

– Just as pain cycles have beginnings and middles, they also have endings.

– That I am held in love and light, and never alone, in spite of what I may feel.

– That everything works out in the end, and if it hasn’t worked out, it’s not the end.

That in the meantime, WHILE I continue to seek healing, answers, relief, resolution… I have work to do, people to love, I have ideas to create, and clients to care for, and bills to pay, and life to live, and somewhere, in spite of the pain, and/or because of it, I grow stronger, more resolute and more determined.

And that some fairy tales need sequels… and that maybe this tale is more in the mystery genre. And I am the detective.

This one is “To be continued…”

“The rest is still unwritten.”