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.
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.
Make time for your heart, your dear, precious heart.
Cultivate this devotion to laying flowers at the ground of your heart, to listen to the whispers and prayers and longings and guidance.
Rumi wrote that the divine is in the longing, in the prayer and in the whispers. What if that greater than yourself that you seek is sitting upon a garden throne in the center of your heart just waiting for you?
This is an ancient chamber that is your own, a space that no one, absolutely no one can ever enter or know the way you can. It cannot be harmed or touched, but only forgotten. Make time to sit and cultivate the patience of mind to learn how to be in service to your heart, to honor the truth of your heart and the truth of the stories your body wishes to share with you in order to close chapters on the past. Here, the past can resolve itself. Here, in these spaces of listening and honoring, there is a love that we all deeply long for even if we aren't sure what it is or know for sure that it exists. It does. It opens in that in-between space. In between your heaven and your earth. Allow yourself be deeply moved by the awe inspiring beauty of the vastness that is you.
Shame is pain inside the heart; a deep hurt that feels like you aren't good enough, aren't worthy in some way, that something is deeply wrong, that you are deeply flawed or somehow missed the memo on humanning well. It's this emptiness that feels bottomless and disconnected.
It IS the soul wound.
Shame has taken up residence in the center of your original heartbreak, at the core of who you are. There are a million reasons we all experience soul wounding and soul loss. It's been said that this is such an endemic at this time.
It's this undefinable yet very alive experience that is constantly running in the background of our subconscious. It is the emptiness that our consumer culture thrives on. We live in a shame culture. A trauma culture. A money culture. These things are so intimately wound up together culturally, our nervous systems cannot quite tell it all apart. As long as it feels like there is never enough or that you aren't enough, you will continue to seek outside of yourself for an experience of wholeness that money cannot buy.
This is the place where wanting more and more becomes the addiction wearing the costume of perfection and abundance and attacking ones core self like a construction project in the hopes that personal enlightenment will bring all the things we've been promised. It just doesn't work this way. It's all perpetuating itself and making most of us feel crazy and desperate. So much so, we are then distracted by what is happening in the world and people are hurting other people. Aren't we perhaps the only species that turns on itself (each other and ourselves)?
This is one of the most important things to me that needs to change. I often wonder what the world would be like if no one ever felt like there was something wrong with them. If we want to change our culture or heal our planet, we simply must start to talk about this soul wound, this sense that somehow being human is bad, that we are flawed, that we need to try to attain some state of divine perfection to transcend it.
Yes, being human is fragile and painful at times, scary even. But, shame is NOT a natural part of our programming. No thing in nature experiences shame or thinks that there is something wrong with it. It is NOT normal to feel this way about ourselves. It is not the natural frequency of our soul.