A big barometer of self-love is how well we are able to parent ourselves through difficult times, mistakes, disappointments, grief and other challenging emotions.
All too often, this is where our wounds are triggered and we enact ways of being that perpetuate the cycle of wounding within our psyches. If we keep treating ourselves and our inner worlds the way we internalized, the way we learned to treat ourselves, then we continue the cycles of pain in our lives without realizing it.
This is the realm of the death mother and one I see most common in clients and my own soul life.
Grief is a very common reaction not only to loss but heartbreak or rejection or disappointment. We make mistakes. We are human. Life has its ups and downs. Things happen. We feel things in response to it.
No matter how weird, awkward or flawed you feel, love loves you.
No matter the depths of the suffering you are managing, love loves you.
No matter if you speak when you want to be quiet, love loves you.
No matter if you listen to your intuition or not, love loves you.
No matter your frequency or human level of consciousness, love loves you.
No matter how free you feel, love loves you.
No matter how much "work" you do on yourself to gain your own love, love loves you.
No matter your sensitivity or foolishness, love loves you.
No matter your ability to feel connected to love, love loves you.
No matter how embodied or not you are, love loves you.
No matter how much you judge or fear or mistrust others/life, love loves you.
No matter your wounds, love loves you.
No matter how afraid you are or where you misstep, love loves you.
No matter your mistakes and the amends you make, love loves you.
No matter whether good things are happening or bad, love loves you.
No matter how much joy or grief you feel, love loves you.
No matter your level of awakening, love loves you.
No matter your unmetabolized shadow, love loves you.
No matter the height of your light and genius, love loves you.
The "patriarchy” doesn’t have to just do with men or the masculine principle. Everything is a part of the wholeness and the wholeness lives within all things. There is also very much a feminine counterpart to the patriarchy, a system designed to function through domination, control and power.
This is a system that rose from the transition of worshipping mother nature to seeking to domination not only over mother earth but over our own feminine nature deeply tied to the earth body itself.
The death mother is the counterpart to the death father. These are archetypal energies that exist in the collective psyche. If they did not, there wouldn’t be the kind of situations we are dealing with on the earth at this time.
These archetypal energies influence each of us and are confounded even more if they’ve also arrived into the blueprint of our nervous systems via our actual parents.
The death mother is the shadow part of the feminine who seeks to express herself through power, domination and control of the elemental feminine, of the soul of both men and women. She represents the "cultural subjugation of the wild and unruly feminine (Toko-pa)" and to survive she's become like the death father in order to thrive. Her soul was stolen and now she steals to feel like she has one.
In a trauma culture it’s incredibly important to become aware of ways that we make the aftermath of symptoms of trauma wrong. It is not true that the universe only gives us what we can handle. If that were true, trauma woudn’t even be a thing since the very definition of trauma is an experience that is too much for the system to handle, metabolize or make sense of whether it is physical, sexual, emotional or spiritual. (Note that most physical and sexual trauma also involves emotional and spiritual dimensions).
Indifference to the truth creates complacency and shaming of trauma survivors, people suffering with symptoms of trauma like addictions, anxiety, eating disorders or depression. Isolation. We are wired with needs that need to be met by others. If we start to program this out of us, it is supporting trauma at its core. We aren’t supposed to get used to not needing anything from others.
People are not addicted to their trauma. Nervous systems wired via fear because environments were not safe run on adrenaline, which creates a deep feedback loop. There is a deep disconnect to one’s own vital life force energy. It’s not just physical. It’s also emotional, spiritual and impacts the quality of consciousness through which life is perceived.
Awakening out this trauma trance can be quite intense as our whole inner (and outer) world must shift. We must learn that safety and joy are okay, that our own energy is safe because trauma at its most basic level impacts the very way we experience life. That it’s safe to be here in a real way, rather than the mind yelling at the inner one trying to convince it is safe when it doesn’t even know what safe feels like.
There is a collective theme through the dreaming brought to me in sessions, shared with friends and in my own dream realms. It is the archetypal feminine via the wild cat that is circling, attempting to enter the psyche in order to merge with the soul. There is also resistance to this primal energy, a pushing away, building of fences, an attempt to control or destroy or run away from while watching the outside world try to kill her.
It’s Persephone returning from the underworld wild, raw, fresh and whole that threatens the parts of ourselves that truly long to embrace and restore this energy in our hearts but are terrified of it at the same time.
This is the pulse of where we are in our relationship to the feminine, longing her return and yet fearing all that comes with reigniting her flames within our hearts. A world we can only make safe by allowing her love to enter us, to blow our ideas out of the water of what swimming in her love really is.
There is something we must let go of in order to let the wild cat in and claim her in our hearts.
Your soul is your vital energy; it is life force expressing itself as you. It is your expression of creation. It is creation expressing itself as you. It is the essence of who you are.
The amount of goodness and beauty and love that you really are is indescribable by any words, in any language.
There is nothing that you cannot transform in your life. There is no reason that life cannot be a wonderful experience for you. There is no need to blame karma or fixed astrology as identity and excuses for suffering and pain or why things aren’t happening.
The Universe is flowing and expressing itself through you, there is nothing that you cannot transmute back into your own divinity. Even your feeling of separation is an embodied experience of this sacred life breathing you. Even shame.
Shame is a liberating pathway back to embodying your innate goodness.
Shame: a complicated experience wrapped up in painful thought cycles fed by deep, often unconscious, unmet needs for love.
It’s relational. In other words, it is something that is triggered in the context of relationships and belonging. It touches us right down to the core of who we are and often cuts us right there at that core. It is the soul wound.
It’s a complex belief system based on the experience that there is something fundamentally wrong with you. It’s the pain of original heartbreak.
It is fear. It is anger. It is all the feels. It is also the cultural air we breathe and water we swim in.
It’s the feeling of unworthiness, of not being enough, not being good enough.
It is misunderstanding the nature of pain, it is having no idea what to do with pain. Pain was there when the seeds of shame got planted. When we feel pain and no one sees it, our emotions are shut down. Caregivers are unhappy or we get in trouble for being in pain or having emotions, being told to stop expressing emotions. We feel the loss of love and attention, and feel hurt or abused or neglected.
It is so common, we just think it is normal. Normal does not mean it is healthy.
I have struggled with self-love on a daily basis for a lot of my life. I use the word struggle here specifically because it seems to be a word that is "bad," and associated with "blocks" and negative mindsets. Yet the inner conflict, the inner struggle, is quite real on an energetic, emotional level. For all of us.
I think we are allergic to talking about pain and inner struggle, relegating it somewhere behind closed doors, dirty little secrets or a thing we make bad or wrong. Like it is bad to be in pain; I am yet to meet a single person who is not in some kind of inner pain.
The only way out is to talk about it, metabolize it and work it through. With love.
We make pain wrong though. It's not wrong, we just don't like to be in pain. We fear if we go into it, we will drown in it forever,. But the ignoring of it actually keeps us oppressed by our own pain more than anyone or anything else.
Patriarchy doesn't like pain because healing pain awakens awareness, empathy, love and compassion which is the opposite of that gnawing emptiness inside that we search to fill with something while trying to paint perfect pictures of ourselves for each other.
We are taught that pain is a “selling point.” If we are in pain we will continue to need to buy stuff.
We long for connection. We long to be loved. We long to be free of pain.
When you gather yourself at the inner altar of your faults, lay flowers and offer incense.
Yes, I am talking about this place; this place that is barren and cold.
The space you go when you beat yourself up or try to "fix" yourself, blaming yourself for feeling broken inside, for things not working out or not "doing" life the "right" way.
This space, the place of fault and shame; a place human.
This is an invitation into the poetry of your heart.
A chance to try something new.
Every moment is a chance to start over again.
Persephone is breathing new breath into the frosty air.
Instead come here, to this place where you throw rocks and stones at yourself,
Bring flowers and candles and incense and offerings of sweet.
Rest your heart on the ground of silence.
Let the winds of mystery whisper to you.
May the sounds feel like the petals of flowers unfurling and revealing your hidden beauty.
Ask here instead to be shown where the love is. What the wisdom is.
Bow at this mystery, knowing we cannot know or understand everything.
Offer your tears but hold back the stones.
Pray instead that you may know love here, to know the gold flowing in through the cracks of your faults.
To know and embody this in-between, divinely human.
When there is no love present (or available), the truth of the heart is not welcome. Where there is love, the truth of the heart is always welcome. When we use affirmations to convince ourselves of things we do not actually feel or believe, this is not an act of love because it is not allowing for the truth of the heart. It’s the mind attacking the heart with mindsets that are lies to the body. (Patriarchy, anyone?)
When we use the mind to try to override the truth of our hearts, this is not love even if it looks like it might be. When we look at others who deny the reality of someone else or even try to convince them of some other reality that is not real, we would call that gaslighting or emotional abuse. Right? We do this to ourselves (and each other) in the name of personal growth but it’s oppressing our hearts when we try to paste affirmations on our foreheads and chant that we love ourselves when there is some part of our souls that know that this isn't true.
Isn't this causing us more pain? More tension? More stress? More pressure in the guise of inner or outer perfectionism to disguise the fear? I know we all want to feel better. I know this so well. I have managed to hit several rock bottoms in my life. There were so many dark nights of the soul. It wasn't even clear if I'd ever escape from a bottomless pit of wine bottles and chainsmoking cigarettes.
But, I did. And, at the end of the day, when I picked my tear smeared, snotty, self-loathing self up off the ground of rock bottom, positive affirmations did not make me feel better. Positive statements and focusing on the light, trying to shift my vibration did not make me feel better. What made me feel better was the truth. The truth of my situation, the truth of my sad relationship with myself, the truth of my disconnected relationship with source, the truth of my pain and the truth that I didn't know how to really love myself.
That may have been the first time I actually felt love, true love flow into my heart....when I made space for the truth of my heart to whisper to me.
This...cultivating space to nourish and listen and honor the truth of our hearts, this is the ground of self-love. A ground where we can allow for all parts to arise and have a voice, to give ourselves the most precious gift of unconditional presence and attention. And, if we do not know what to do with what we find, we ask for help. We sometimes need people to help us learn how to love ourselves, people who have picked themselves up and learned how to feed their demons love. Someone who can sit with you and send love to your soul wound until you can do the same. This is healing, this is what is created when there is space for the truth of the heart. Burn your affirmations. Burn your memes. Pull down the flags of positive statements and witty statements that gloss over truth. Put a stake in the ground of your heart, claim the space for your heart's truth. Sing your song. It's okay if it sounds a little broken at first. We are all a little broken at first.
What is worthiness? Why this word worth? What is anything worth? Where does the value that defines worth come from? Who decides this?
Worthiness is such a pain point. We all want to have this experience of worthiness, to live into the world acting, breathing, thinking and doing like people who have worth.
But, this word.
We live in a shame culture. A trauma culture. A money culture. These things are all tied in with our human need for love. Its a dangerous recipe that keeps us tied into a culture that profits off of our suffering.
We are hard pressed to find anyone untouched by the tendrils of trauma in the tenderness and fragility of what it is to be a human being. In this harsh culture, it's not okay to be human.
Our "worth" is a concocted notion that has nothing to do with love. When we live in a culture that ties so much importance to money, even the language we use to think of ourselves becomes tied to value, money. To be worthy is to charge a certain amount of money, to live at a certain level that communicates your worth, etc.
Except many people who have a high "worth" can still feel terribly empty inside, feeling even more shame and wondering what they did wrong since they did all the "things". You can pay more money believing because someone is charging a lot, it must be worth it when you are really contributing to their bank of narcissistic supply.
We are in dangerous territory with this worth game. And, everyone in the meantime is struggling with shame.