Last night there were fireworks going off somewhere in the distance, noises that always send my fur friend into a deep terror. At first, it was subtle and I didn’t quite notice as she laid on my feet but then I felt this shaking and put my hand on her and she started panting hard. Getting more distressed, she was trying to get under the coffee table, the couch, or the bed. I did everything I could to soothe her. She eventually took up shelter deep in the closet, where I sat with her, holding her, singing to her and soothing her.
I noticed a subtle energy of soothing to try to get her to be okay again. But, she was in something and all I could do is just be there and love her. (Often that what we are trying to get to be “okay” again is our own feelings that arise when we are in a space with something intense or our meaning making of our pain). I laid next to her, kept my hands on her and just sang to her as she alternately cried and licked my face.
It hit something deep inside of me, a place of deep mirroring and recognition in my body of my own fear. Fear of being here, in a human body. A fear that many of us walk around with, mystics or not.
Emotional fear and hypervigiliance shows up in the body as a deep existential terror that we entered into such a long time ago it’s become like the water we are swimming in without realizing it. Our society is the giant sea we are swimming in.
I started crying there on the floor of the closet, holding this terrified dog as fireworks were going off. I felt this deep motherly love wash over me of grief for the ways we attempt to annihilate these frightened parts of ourselves through emotional “work” or even “inner child work” or spiritual practices or forcing positive self-talk…basically mothering our innermost self that lives deep in the body with the attitude of a negative mother, or even the death mother…How do I annihilate this unacceptable part of me?
Our society is illiterate in the ways of emotional wisdom, including grief and fear. We preach that fear based thinking is bad and emotions are addictive. We are taught to constantly be seeking quick fixes and magic pills.
We are taught is to be deeply afraid of ourselves and yet that the fear is bad and if we aren’t getting what we want it’s because of our “fear” mentality.
What a freakin’ crazy making culture we are living in!
We are stuck in a perpetual cycle of pain management, but we aren’t supposed to talk about our pain. We want to get away from the pain, usually pain that was caused by neglect, abandonment and a lack of compassion in the first place.
Emotional and spiritual trauma is real. Negative internal spirals of judgements and fears and thought loops aren’t meant to be eradicated, they are literally our physical and emotional body trying to get our compassion and attention, so we can heal our emotional trauma…hard to do in an emotionally cruel world.
We are wired for wholeness.
Whatever space we are functioning in our psyche is the current homeostasis or sense our body has been able to make of our life experiences and the pain we were or were not allowed to process. Healing is moving ourselves to a healthy, balanced homeostasis that doesn’t require us running on cortisol all the time.
How we relate to our deeper core self is a reflection of this death mother that can either perpetuate the trauma loop or the compassionate parent that can complete the trauma loop so we are free of that energy all together.
Gabor Mate talks about how trauma is the root of most addiction, but not all traumatized people addicted to things. Not all trauma is the same. It doesn’t serve us to treat it as such.
Addictions are a seeking for relief from pain, usually outside of us in forms that typically serve their purpose but then turn into that negative mother or death mother because addictions end up leading us back to where we started, what we were trying to get away from at some point.
This death mother is our addiction to toxic nourishment, which our culture pumps into the veins of our consciousness 24/7.
Beating yourself up, judging yourself, criticizing yourself, forcing yourself to be perfect, cutting off parts of yourself…these are ways you are trying to manage pain, ways that ultimately lead to what Marion Woodman calls an addiction to perfection.
There is nothing wrong with being in pain or having needs or intense emotions. It’s how we relate to our pain, how we relate to the deeper emotional body, the ways we metabolize our emotions and how we navigate consciously meeting our deeper emotional and spiritual needs that matters. These are not things we can solve with our thinking. But, with our hearts.
If you don’t know how, look for compassionate support. Our pain often needs a compassionate safe space to get processed. There is nothing wrong with needing this for yourself. It’s the liberation we are all seeking from jumping back and forth between shadow and light.
You are worthy of your own love.