inner work

Dimming My Own Light

Recently digging through an old box of school memories. So many surprises. Surprises? Well yes I lived my elementary and middle and high school days but was shocked to see some things stored in the plastic bin. Perfect attendance middle school – what? Why? I can’t make it a month now without taking a day off. I guess going to school was way better than spending the day at home with my crazy mother. Even a Math test looked good.

Then there’s all the awards. First place in this and that. I mean Jesus Christ even a gold medal finish in the 880 race. No memory of winning. At all. Looking at the blue ribbon, no memories, no feel good, no pride. Back then, and I’m guessing, the win prob felt good for like 5 mins then I quickly buried it under all the heaviness of the time. Winning or being perfect was like oh well, check it off the list. It was empty, dead, devoid of feeling or celebration. Too much light/aliveness was always extinguished.

My parents sorta expected that we were fabulous but there was no recognition for it. We quickly had to snuff out and semblance of joy and feelings of pride. It’s like having everyone cheering for you and you look down and everyone’s gone and your stuck feeling stupid and ridiculous with a smile on your face for absolutely nothing.

So do your best, I was told. Excel and win everything so you make us look like good parents – was the idea. But don’t you dare actually OWN or HOLD the joy or excitement or light for too long because then you’d be full of yourself. And full of light. And we can’t let you have that either because that pushes on our wounds of inadequacy. And we can’t have you running around all fabulous, bragging and knowing your worth and actually feeling special. Lord knows you won’t belong in this family.

All the while, everyday you told me I was a special girl and so loved. Praise, encouragement- All lies, all empty. All the time. No safety. No validation or recognition. No where to land. That’s all I knew. I learned so well. Was handed the self hate/dumbed-down baton and ran with it. I ran hard and fast. I was the best. Of course I was, I had no choice. Your presence no longer required for the massacre of good in me. Bloody massacre. I gotchu. I got this. I’m a good, obedient child. Fuck

Now estranged from the original executioner, I’ve noticed ancient strands still in my fabric. Threads of fear. Fear of being seen succeeding, not belonging and pressure to be, have and do the best. All self imposed. My material unraveling now. Dry rotting. As I starve those parts, silence the outdated voices -by noticing how I dim my own glorious light.

healing

May Break My Bones

Oh the bone pain, the freak out of incapacity. Having to rely on those with fake compassion. Bedside medical procedures without warning or explanation. I was frozen. Frightened. Wise and alone. Surrounded with smiling haters. Reliant on the living dead.

I was 19. With an undeniable thirst for victory. Mixed with a contempt for my own existence. Which would rise to the top, only time would tell. Armed with a deafening fuck you, a hardened shell ready to battle for my life. Stupid familiar territory. To show you that despite your impenetrable cold, I am victorious.

You broke me, now I’m am physically broken. This too, again, also, will break me down, this too, will devastate me. Defeat me. Because it has to. Because that’s what I’m here for. I signed the contract. To get me to do the inner work. This is the way it works. Bring it.

But. It will not. Own me. Extinguish my breath. Keep me down. Physical limitation fucking irrelevant to the drive inside. Just another mountain, jagged, inhumane, punishing, here to slay any signs of life. A life that is present but absent, just like yours.

But I don’t, won’t, can’t see it. Just like you. My life force stronger than the weight of tragedy then or now. Stronger than the weight of you. Inevitable. Predictable. But something needed to crack me open. Something.

So pregnant with dysfunction. It was time. On the brink of oozing the generational secrets. From a higher place, the universe spoke. A tragic accident, the undeniable catalyst for awakening. Spiritual awakening like a tsunami. Like someone left the truth dam open. Higher forces prodding the reluctant, like me, to visit with the emotional trauma beast within. Behind the dimples and unassuming sweet teenage smile…

Wild beasts of recovery and revenge running amuck. Their stories unearthed, audible. However difficult, we digest or reject. Each painful. Each useful. Over time we choke out the dark, discarding the lies and betrayal and other nasty reminders of remnants on evictions doorstep.

Thankfully the flight of graceful, here. The angelic realm poised to embrace my broken, trembling body, providing a safe haven in a sea of lost. Where it’s free to NOT be ok. Freedom to feel even the darkest of feels. Freedom to express the rage and terror, shame and shock. Openly.

Physical recovery parallels emotional. The unlikely victor I’ve met in me. Snatching back what was mine. Taking back strength, power and unearthing buried resiliency. Bones and emotional strength unbreakable, unstoppable, opaque, dense, unyielding. Like a bone that mends with fortification – now protected, safe and dependable – like no other bone. Unable to return to its previous condition. Maybe even stronger.

I’ve forever severed my dependency on the unstable and instead focused my reliance on my own inner wisdom. My own fortress of sanity, house of rock, walls of protection. Brokenness calls for attention to our unfinished places. So we may live our best versions of ourselves. Our most authentic lives. Without apology. We survive. And thrive.

inner work

Deep-Rest

The deep sadness that comes in. I let it in because I know it needs to be met. Seen. Heard. Somehow it feels familiar like a stranger that I keep meeting up with. I don’t want to know this part of me. I’d rather believe everything was fun and alive and innocent. Back then.

But no. This is real. Real deep. Real helpless. The horrible despair. Grasping to live. To feel. To be someone else. Have someone else’s childhood. Where are my memories? Did I have fun here? I think as I sit in my car overlooking a fav ice skating place. Did I enjoy it? Was I numb? An empty smile, laugh. What did I like?What was I like? Just an empty vessel filled with others thoughts and wishes?

Did I express my confusion? Did I cry myself to sleep? Why so few memories? Feels like 18 years condensed into 2-3. Was I even conscious? What’s in there? Who’s in there? The code was one of silence. I never expressed anxiety, terror, depression, frustration, rage – did I even know I felt those? Could I even feel? now I do, now I feel – overwhelmingly so.

The mind fuck, staggering. Did they purposefully place the dead inside me? To make sure I was so hollow? Not quite sure…maybe they were dead too. Definitely. I was absolutely raised by the dead. Nobody’s gotten out intact. No-one. But rather than be ok with that or find comfort with company – there’s none. They have their own BS meters. Mine is ultra sensitive. My soul wants better for me. I won’t continue to be bathed in untruths and stories of how wonderful childhood was.

Every once in a while I hit bottom. The lowest of raw emotion. Like all of my childhood experiences run up to me at once, begging to be rescued, clutching and clawing to be seen and heard. The least I can do for my inner girl now is to be present and let the unsettling memories and emotions have me now.

It was that bad. It was hopeless. Instead of wiping myself out I wiped out any expression of what as going on. I had no tools or support to process what was happening at the hands of those who were supposed to keep me safe. Victim? Absolutely. Staying that way? Absolutely not. I’m raising MYSELF from the dead.

I’ve turned the tables. My life now unrecognizable from what it was. But still, the past has a way of bringing us the next piece, when we’re ready to deal. I must be ready for the deep despair, the gut wrenching loneliness, the what’s the use of going on – type of heavy thoughts that fuel my desire to take the day off and brace for the all of emotion.

So I take the day to rest. Deep-rest or depressed, however I say it, I am surrendering my armor. Surrendering. My fake smile. My escape hatch and eject button. I stand up, stand tall and withstand the unwanted-est emotion, the triggered memories, the bullshit life in poverty and love lack. I just rest.

appreciation

In Love #20

I’m in love with sleepy smiles. Gently spreading east and west. Following a long night’s rest. Transforming the expressionless. An open invitation to hang out deep as shoulders sag. Head tilt welcoming each moment without expectation.

The glistening morning sun sweeping across my tired face, caressing my smile with golden warmth. I lie still basking, breathing, planning. Nothing. Existing fully in my expression. Of pleasantry, of nothingness, in the space between thoughts.

The gentle childlike energy swirling amidst my unassuming grin. Keeping me whole. Wanting me present. Between my lips, gracefully ushering in the newest, sweetest oxygen. To be ushered out in turn, discarded purposefully. Taking with it, everything challenging the grandest of facial postures.

I love sleepy smiles.

resilient

Flip Side of Healing

I would have denied it had someone told me this 20 years ago. But with eyes wide open now I clearly see how healing your traumatic past, without a doubt, fucks your life. The tragedy of healing is the cascade of eventual loss. It takes years to materialize…The falling away of everything as you knew it. The crumbling of excepting things at face value. The dismantling of living an “as if” life. The loss of what was once tolerable.

Truth has a way of rendering you lonely. Busts up your friendships. The people we’ve surrounded ourselves with are our friends/family for a reason. They’ve allowed us to play small, safe. Supported the same ole same ole you. But we were never meant to be stagnant, unchanged smallish beings. Unfurling from our childhood wounds, we stretch and grow in ways we couldn’t see coming.

This makes our closest people, well, squirm. Like underwear that slips up your asscrack every once in a while – you keep it around because it’s familiar, the material is soft and you’re too lazy to go out and replace it. You make peace with the constant irritation. Same with your friends/family, they may be the underwear or they may be like you, wearing the irritating version of YOU.

In my experience, people are generally adverse to excepting anything different than the present version of you – what they already know you as. If they went along with the newer parts of YOU that would mean they’d have to change THEIR ways also and that’s prob going to be met with kicking/screaming. So once you grow, there some of them go.

Enter deep healing…As we unravel our structure, a stranger is born, outgrowing the familiar. Our voice heavy with truth may be seen as righteous and self serving, bold and threatening. Finding and using our “voice” no longer renders us selfless and complacent. This is the price.

This is the the fucked aspect of healing…at least initially. It’s ok that not everyone shares in our revelry. Not everyone will be overjoyed that you are healing and growing, especially those inner circle folks. As we’re walking through the fire they’re hurting and groaning – and you’re to blame for their discomfort. Your presence awakens the creatures, usually dormant, in the caverns of their unconsciousness. 100% not going to travel deep with you.

So as you’re trying on all these new tools of self awareness, having needs, opening your heart, exercising personal boundaries, on your journey to greater sanity- it will feel mean. Super mean. Self reliance, honoring self, intuition and listening to the drive from your higher self to UNFUCK your life are NOT what we were taught.

Your “closest” people will resist and act like you’re killing THEM, doing something TO them. Getting healthy, doing the right things for your own mental health ripples out to everyone. Your people may get angry with YOU as they’re going to feel the waves of your higher vibration which will make it tougher for them to hold against their own darkness. Facts.

This is the lifelong challenge of healing childhood trauma. Navigating our path while creating a support system around us that doesn’t irritate our soul or dampen our Spirit. THIS is how we unfuck ourselves. Healing does have a difficult twist in the early stages. One of tremendous loss. Of great sadness. Of isolation. Of self doubt. As we lose who we thought we should be. All part of the process. All necessary on our self healing journey.

healthy · heart

Check Engine

If you have a car you are familiar with the CHECK ENGINE light. If you have a body you might also be familiar with the same kind of warning. The warning might come in the form of swollen joints, fever, chest pains or any other sign there is a security breach of wellness – inside your castle.

The early warning beacon, letting you know that you need to go in for service. Probably skipped that last service appt as things were going well. Why fix what’s not broke? 2 weeks ago my CHECK ENGINE siren went off in my chest.

I awoke with chest discomfort. A cramp of sorts that I just could not ignore. It had been less severe during the week but this was different.

Of course, I fast forward to my funeral. Have I made a difference? Will anyone miss me? When will my heart stop? Will it hurt? Then, the pain disappears just as quickly. Relief. But will it return? Will this be it?

As I wait for my appointment, I live my best life, wondering if each hour could be the last. Waffling between panic and satisfaction, I carry on. For the next 3 days I reflect on my life, how I’ve been able to bust up my FOO (family of origin) and continue to stand tall atop the rubble.

I am flooded with pride, my love for myself spilling from my pores, a purple mist entering my heart space. A healing mist, mist of comfort and knowing and grace. Angel’s exhaled grace holding my heart in tender appreciation.

I’ll be fine. My heart is fine. Scarred? Yes. A thorough exam and stress test reveal normal function. A beautiful, typical pitter-patter. Nothing wrong they say. My heart whispers, “there was never anything wrong with you.”

My check engine light is off for now. I resume normal function. Listening to my body, everyday. Slowing down to take notice of my needs. My self heal modalities cued up. My toolkit brimming. Self-talk extremely important. Ready for this to happen never again.

Christmas · human condition · resilient

The Unlikely Christmas Card

Here we are, Christmas quickly approaching. So of course I have no plans to spend time with my family on Christmas Eve. If you’ve been reading any of my earlier bloglets you have a really good idea as to why I choose to remain separate.

Yes, it’s really difficult to stand your ground and distance yourself from those you bonded to. Excruciating at times. But as a child, when your Spirit is slaughtered over and over and over, some of us learn to stand tall in our adult years and fight the fight. Reclaiming our lives from the grips of traumatic memories/physical horrors.

So you can prob imagine the shock in my system when my husband texts me, “Do you think today you can get your mother a card, from me, for Christmas?” I thought to myself – self, well, that’s kind of weird but ok, whatever…just as long as I don’t have to SEE her royal craziness.

So off I go to the store to the cheerful love your Mother Christmas card section. Rolling my eyes, I saunter up to the section of colorful, Christmasee cards, all ooozing and gushing with all-things-Mom-ness. Here it is, the “ I wish my Mom was like this” aisle.

On my left there’s a bright yellow sign which says…“ Hokey Pokey turn your life around card section” COMING SOON. Shucks! Guess I’ll have to come back later for that selection. I start opening and reading. Opening and reading.

“Your love, Mom, reminds us of the love in our hearts this Holiday season…..”

“You are the glue that keeps this family together”

“A special Holiday wish for a special Mother…”

“Mom, all the joyful Holiday memories we share…”

“When we feel the Christmas spirit we remember the love you gave to us…”

Wow, um, nope, not a chance. This is harder than I thought.

I need the AF cards that are a little more honest. Maybe a blank card to write his own message… he’ll kill me lol. I know it’s Christmas and all but I don’t really have a taste for sugar, she ruined that for me…

If I could design a card…

“I hope you have the Christmas you deserve” or “I’m sure you think you did a great job but I am entitled to my truth and my opinion” and “I gave you the first 1/2 of my life, the rest is mine” or “Your energy is toxic so it’s just perfect if you celebrate Christmas at your house and I celebrate it at mine” and “No worries, I’m not angry, in fact, I don’t even think of you anymore, Merry Christmas”.

These MIGHT not exist in card form but I’d be willing to guess that I’m def onto something here. There might be a market for the card that never gets sent. Right?

IMG_3736

So, I ended up settling on this generic card, “It’s Christmas, Hope you spend this magical season any merry way you like”. See?, everyone’s happy. Done. Got the card, husband will deliver it tomorrow. The card, consonants and vowels scattered about in a meaningful array of sequence. Recognizable as a gesture of nice from a nameless party and her caring spouse. I’d say we more than covered the bases. Check.

Poor thing, he’s kinda stuck in the middle and sees her rarely but he continues the facade of caring. She’ll hand him a gift for me – which always triggers me… throw it out, unopened? give it away? burn it? bury it in ceremony? So sad that she wants to own me.

So sad that she keeps trying. Refusing to let me have my truth. She holds out hope that I’ll forget that she resembles the witch in Hansel & Gretel. Caging the children so she can devour them. She read that story to us often, not surprising.

Now it’s time for me to read her a story. I hope she likes her card, I hope she hates her card, I hope she notices how much of a non-card it really is, I hope she notices how I did not sign it, I hope she feels how much self-love I have now, without her presence.

Despite all of this chatter, NONE of this really matters. I just simply bought a card. A Christmas card. Nothing more than paper, glitter, a stocking, teddy bear and cursive font… no promises, no agenda, no should haves, no attachments. A card. Merry Christmas Baba Yaga.

cycles

Driving Miss Crazy

I just want everything to be normal. As it used to be. I would rise up in the morn after a restful nights sleep. Mind open and free. Free to wonder and allow and dream. Thinking about the day ahead with possibility and satisfaction for my life, my aliveness, my able body. All is right in the world.

But this is lost. NOW. A much different picture. Restless nights, waking soaked and agitated. Dark and irritated. Unfocused, lacking the capacity to absorb even pleasurable things. Overstimulated and exhausted. Tears that won’t stop.

Rather then a blessing, life feels like a chore, a trick. Unable to see past my funk, time moves on. This is what depression must feel like. A dimming of the light. The numb taking front n center in a once vibrant life. Eyes fixed and tears streaming. A vast nothingness.

Overwhelm and indifference fighting for the front seat. Moving from everything is too much to -who cares? Frozen despondency. Cozy and terrifying at once. A cocoon on fire, with an audience. Humiliation and validation fighting for the back seat. Driving Miss Crazy.

The isolation looms. I must keep connecting. But my deepest desire is to be invisible. If just for a day, a week. Disappearing. Unable to be found, uncovered, discovered. For who I am is not permissible. Not presentable. What I am, who I am, is not allowed. Not right now.

I hide behind my disposable mask. Inhaling stale thoughts, countless lies about myself. Right now I can barely see the light. Right now, I’m feeling the deepest humiliation and shame. Right now my brain and stores of serotonin have gone on holiday. Leaving me, a rusty iron gate in the wind, mostly closed and whining. Disconnected and invisible.

Until now, my experience with deep humiliation was basically an unmet, unfamiliar stranger. Humiliation meeting pressure, perfection, anxiety and fear, my old sketchy roommates. Most of the time unwelcome house guests. Familiar shadowy strays. With name plates at the dinner table, never changing out of their pajamas.

Today, I rely on a fortress of autopilot tolerance and patience. I muster these for myself. I must cling to the patterns, the same patterns that saved my ass, my sanity, allowed me to look normal and sane as a child. Having patience for the parts of me that still act on impulse and keep me playing victim.

Patience and love for the parts of me that listen to the little stupid voice. You know that voice. Saying I deserve all things horrible because I bring it on myself, I don’t care enough, I don’t know anything, I have nothing to offer… bla bla bla. Should have, could have , would have.

On the surface I fight back but at the core there are holes in the fabric where the slime of self loathing eeks through. All dark and slippery, like a serpent hungry for my soul. I muster the compassion for myself naming and evicting those voices. Zing them out the front door. Crafty bitches slither back in, finding the smallest cracks. No vacancy, no room in the inn. But oh yes, there always is. They laugh at my meaningless protests.

They bring me candy and gifts and charm my pants off. Seduction of sameness, familiarity. All for a comfy seat in my life. They’re so sure they won’t be evicted – they know, before I do- smug bastards. Their voices are ancient. But I give them life. Breathe life into them, their crusty old bones erected and lubed. Upright. My doing.

I supply their juices, fodder, connective tissues and strength. I am the life giver. I birth them, give them a voice -when I listen, when I play small. When I accept the bait, and devour their shards of glass garbage thoughts. They are nothing without me – I breathe life into them.

I bleed. I cut. I cut myself. I cut myself out. I cut myself off. From the light, my gifts, my heart. Severed. Aliveness -hidden. Ready or not. I will stay in the dark but only long enough to find the light. No-one can find this for me. This is an inside job. This is the work.

To blaze the path not yet fully cleared. Grab my sickle, hedge clippers, bushwhacker, axe, pick and chain saw. Disregarding the old, dark, comforting lies my shadow NEEDS me to believe. Otherwise it won’t survive.

I can’t wait to be fearless, content and grounded once again. It will happen. It always does. Meanwhile, buckle-up buttercup. The journey continues…driving Miss CRAZY.

gratitude

My Darling Gratitude

Today I am so thankful to lead a normal life. Making mistakes and laughing to others about it. Knowing it’s ok to be an unmade bed in a sea of “seemingly” perfect beds. It’s ok. Not perfect. I have gratitude for my awareness of…Shit’s def gunna happen, sometimes all in one day. Sometimes all in 30 minutes. I’ll be fine. I’ll fix it, or maybe it doesn’t need fixing. Maybe I’ll have gratitude for Spirit orchestrating things just the way life SHOULD unfold…

I feel gratitude for the folks on my path. Teaching me more about myself and how to BE in the world. I know most people I meet are caring and supportive and generous souls. I feel thankful that I can be real and messy and quirky and forgetful and have that be ok.

If these are the only issues today – it was a damn fine day. I feel thankful that I can dig deep and muster GRATITUDE even when life feels like a dirty trick. Even when it feels like someone might be filming me with a hidden camera. Even when everything I touch turns to shit. Even when. Gratitude lives here. Everyday.

What are you Thankful for?