There's a saying about resentment that goes something like resentment is like drinking a poisonous substance and expecting the other person to die from it.
It's anger and hurt wrapped up in a frustration that our mind projects onto others but an energy we attack ourselves with. It's painful living inside the trance of resentment, a trance we get so used to that we don't even realize how much we are punishing ourselves and attacking life on a very deep, subconscious level.
Beneath resentment is often trauma or grief over needs that were never met.
Trauma means disconnection. It is a broken form of trust in life, love, others and in our ability to meet our innermost emotional and spiritual needs.
Where we have resentment, there is an inner wounded one that didn't get needs met, has a hurt that was never expressed/acknowledged, or there is simply grief over what never was. These kinds of disappointments are real and not to be glossed over.
In order to truly individuate into our true sovereign adulthood and move into our highest potential, we must soothe the inflammation of resentment through watering it with our tears of grief.
We give our own power away to what we resist the most in our lives...whether it is opening the flood gates of grief, living into our magic, befriending shame, healing the soul wound, creating something that is an authentic expression of soul, expressing our truth, asking vulnerable questions to maintain in energetic integrity, revealing our hearts, opening to the unknown, taking leaps, creating something new, trying something new, being a beginner again....all of it.
What I notice is how it is resistance itself that creates a backlog of self-doubt and fear, building the fire of shame and feeding the inner frenzy of emotional guests that are not welcome, yet have nowhere else to go.
Restistance makes us sick. It creates tension in the body, division in the heart, obsessive thoughts in the mind.
Resistance is a strange form of fear with a dash of grief and sometimes righteousness.
Step away from the inner blame game. Life is happening around us and through us. There is far more of a cosmic orchestration moving to the rhythm of it's own symphony that we will ever get to understand. In fact, that is part of the song, not getting to understand why or how or what is behind things happening. Sometimes bad things happen. Sometimes things happen that make no sense. Sometimes things happen that stop us in our tracks and look at life differently. None of these things happen because there is something wrong with you. We've been conditioned by a co-dependent, competitive culture that has placed conditions on success and wealth and love and adoration and belonging. We receive mixed messages about fitting in yet being individual. To feel feelings but affirm away anything "negative." We have created so many blocks to feeling our own hearts.
Take risks. Leap into the unknown. Do your inner work. Surrender and trust and have faith. Faith in something higher than yourself, faith in the power that connects us all together. Faith in the cosmic orchestration and intelligence that keeps the universe together, even after all this time.
Sometimes bad things will happen. Sometimes things don't happen the way you want. Sometimes good things happen. Sometimes nothing will happen. Whatever arises, its always a call to move with the tide of life, to respond to life from rather than react to life. If you don't do anything, nothing will happen and you won't really be living.
Fear is aliveness. Grief is aliveness. Rage is aliveness. Sadness is aliveness. Love is aliveness. Joy is aliveness. We must leap into the entire spectrum to get to experience it all. There is nothing wrong with you. There is nothing wrong with being human. Stop using spirituality and emotional tools to commit violence towards yourself because this perpetuates the exact thing you are trying to free yourself from. Use your spiritual and emotional tools to support your own sanity, serenity and well-being, not to beat yourself up by measuring yourself up on the outside. Love is love. Love is here to free you and heal you back to wholeness. From wholeness, anything is possible.
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.
Rebirth. This transition time; a rich initiation into yet another mysterious unfolding of the journey we are collectively dreaming awake together.
When the butterfly is ready to break out of the cocoon, there is a greater effort required to push through the walls, to break free and shake off the final weight of the well worn, nourishing womb sheath. That effort, that final push, can feel like the hardest sometimes. We are here, being called to stretch inner heart muscles, to lean into the wisdom of unknown parts of our soul, to trust in things we have not yet seen or known of ourselves and to befriend the unknown with the courage only love can muster.
This initiation calls forth breaking through yet another unconscious cave we have been living in. Whatever that is for us. Knowing our true voice. Thriving in life as fully ourselves as we can be. Knowing true love. Embodying self-love. Mastering emotions. Living into soul purpose. Experiencing real abundance within and without. The universe knows your deepest longing. Love calls forth from the depths the things that block your way. The old selves you aren't yet done with. The deeper pains to be metabolized in order to liberate the life force pathways.
The Phoenix rises. But, what happens in that fire. This is the in-between. The bardo. A time where the richest re-generation of life, reconnection to soul and revival of innate wisdom is possible. The in-between is a space rich with possibility for liberation. It is rich with initiation. We as a Western society do not honor initiation and the soul rites that provide a healthy, emotional gateway into the next season, the next chapter and the next stage of life. We are here on the precipice, we are rebirthing into Spring, breaking out of the cocoon of Winter.
This time of year has always felt like New Years to me. Planting the seeds of intention from the deepest soul desires discovered in Winter's womb. To shed these final layers of Winter weight that the light of the sun is bringing into view. To renew faith in love and nature and goodness. To clear for fresh new ground in the heart, to find home and comfort in this new skin and safety in the soul of being this recovering human. Welcome to the mysterious miracle of this life. We don't always get to know why, but we get to live it and sometimes that's better.
The new unfurling is tender. There is more your soul is asking of you. Being born new, deeper into the familiar home of who you already are.
The world has confused tough love with emotional violence and projected pain. It has become so common place to betray our own hearts, to make our bodies, emotions and hearts wrong. To battle with our thinking and attempt to forge ourselves into something other than what we are. To wage battle on our bodies with our minds.
We are all searching to belong, to feel comfortable in our own skin.
We have forgotten the lost art of fierce gentleness, of deep, deep compassion. Of turning towards our deepest pain and showering our soul wounds with our own love. We have forgotten about our own love, what this moves like, feels like and looks like from the inside out.
We swim in an ocean of harshness and disowned pain, breathing this air while feeling intuitively confused about why there is all this hate towards mind and body and soul. It shouldn't be so radical to embody one's light. It shouldn't be so revolutionary to embody a spiritual path of radical self-love. It shouldn't be an act of courage to turn towards our soul wounds in order to heal ourselves whole. Yet, this is what it is.
This becoming whole. This recovering humanity, this is bold and radical and revolutionary. The medicine of gentleness may feel slow in a fast paced world feeding a myth of a magic pill, but in the end, gentleness is the softness we all yearn and find a way to return to in order to restore, rejuvenate and renew ourselves. Be gentle with yourself. This humanning. It is the thing. It is complex. It is hard. It is weird. It is mystery. It is funny. It is ridiculous. It is wholly. It is love. It is joy. It is everything. Be gentle with yourself.
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.
I have spent most of my life in search of this "divinity" thing, whatever it is...a lifestyle, a sparkle in the eye, some ancient knowing that everyone else had received the memo on but me. I became a doctor of the psyche and lost connection to the wise innocence of myself seeking counsel of those who I thought had answers I did not have. They acted like they had answers I did not have. The world acts like it has answers we do not have. I believed them. Many of us do. I did all the things. At some point, I think I had constructed something that SEEMED like divinity, yet something felt obscured and there was this constant aching in my heart. No matter what I did, this gnawing edge of something palpably tender, painful and raw in the center of my chest. It didn't matter how many mantras I chanted, how much karma yoga I did, who I dated, what I dressed or how spiritual I had convinced myself I was. I felt obscured from myself.
Spirituality has nothing to do with knowing one's own divinity.
I longed to feel real.
This real me had slipped off somewhere in the night outside of my awareness. I was trying on all the things but none of it worked because none if it was real, yet I thought I was the problem. It's like this in life, things feel confusing outside of us and our little person brain protects us by thinking it is something in us, so that divine light is tucked away and we forget it was ever there.
That ache. That deep ache in the center of my chest. I could hear a faint whisper deep from within. "I am real." I am real. Tears. That quote from the Velveteen Rabbit...“Real isn't how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
There is an ache in each of our hearts to know divinity for real. That ache, the sacred soul wound, IS the teacher of self-love, compassion, kindness and understanding. Its where you find your light, the love warrior you are made of. It changes everything.
Everything changes, nothing lasts forever. Seasons come and go, people we love will die (we will too), the landscape of our life shifts and changes like the tides of the ocean. Grief is our natural response to impermanence and change. It is healthy. It is normal.
Grief is love. It is the reflection of an open heart; interconnected and caring and loving in the world. It is our aliveness.
Initiation is movement from one mode of consciousness to another. As the landscape of our life changes, ideally so does our level and mode of awareness and consciousness. We allow life to grow us, shape us and evolve us. From one stage of development to the next, from one moment of spiritual expansion to the next.
Many cultures who move more closely with the earth's natural cycles understand this, which is why there are initiations, rites of passage after hardship, challenges and trials. This Western culture fears death, turns death into a corporate affair and we've built so many walls of illusion to protect ourselves from any proper rites of initiation.
Grief has become trapped. This way of actually living well, of expanding the capacity of our heart for more and more love, to move towards allowing MORE life to come in, to be more connected to the divine, ourselves and each other. This grief offers the opportunity to live even better so we can die well. Death teaches us about life every single day that death gives us another day here.
This is not meant to be morbid. This is truth. Love speaks in the language of truth. Every transition, every loss, every disappointment, every single challenge, obstacle, trial and difficulty is an initiation into deeper aspects of yourself, your own power and an opportunity to embody even more of your soul. So many of struggles people face, like depression and addiction, perfectionism, shame, fear, insecurity are all symptoms of trapped grief, unmetabolized responses to the flow of life and love that is trying to evolve us. It gets stuck in our bodies and we identify with it, it weighs us down, ages us, we project it onto relationships or things around us....our hearts become confused.
Reclaiming the initiatory power and healing potential residing in grief is to take back our own emotional power and remember who we are, what is important to us and how we want to truly, truly live so that we can come to the end of our life with gratitude rather than regrets. The initiation of grief is an initiation into the power of love. It is the capacity of your heart to hold more and more of the divine and to open even more to life in appreciation for the miracle it truly is.
Then, we learn we have nothing to lose but the chance to experience the freedom waiting in our hearts.
We do not have to remember another time here on earth when the magic was alive. There is no imaginary space where there are beings who live in partnership with the plants and animals, where this energy is both magic and the status quo and there is harmony. That magical planet is this one. This place we are living in now. What can be more magical than this? We must not escape here in our minds but bring our love to the magic of life that wants to cocreate and coexist with us here, now. Right outside our doors.
In our enthusiasm for the power of what is possible for us to create, we got carried away and built caverns and caves and castles and cubicles and walls that we cannot find our way out of. We think that nature is "out there" as something to visit on the weekend. We got so carried away with ourselves, we've forgotten our true nature. We've forgotten the magic that is under our very feet.
Western culture makes anything remotely connected with the medicine of the earth or living in harmony with it seem "alternative" or "new agey" or "unfounded" or something to not be taken seriously. Yet, these ways persist and persevere through all dimensions of time and space, holding this quiet, still and powerful ground. A wise voice that keeps speaking and whispering and singing through all the chaos and all the noise and all the confusion.
This is the wild. This is OUR wild. We are wild. We cannot cage ourselves up and expect it to last in any sustainable way. It is like animals who do not get to walk or run and hunt and play and move in the natural rhythms of how their bodies want to move and what they need to eat. This is us. We cage ourselves up and then we cry and scream and yell and go a little crazy and then expect each other to find a way to find sanity in something we've made that isn't even natural.
There is so much we've come to assume is normal that is NOT normal, that is actually crazy making and not good for the wild in ourselves. We have it turned around. I hear a lot about why, why did it end up this way? And, I do not know. For me, it's like hitting rock bottom. Perhaps we are finally hitting a rock bottom. It's only when we really hit the rock bottom that we begin to really, really truly appreciate the gifts of the rising. It's like we took our true nature for granted and have lost it, hit a collective rock bottom so we can find our way back and never take any of this precious life, this precious earth and all it's energy and magic ever again.
The way back breaks the heart back open, the love washing the soul wound whole.