Pain can be the fire that clears the field for new and tender growth. Some seeds germinate only at very high temperatures. My soul has very high temperatures, too – an inner blaze that allows the very centre of a seed to come to life, to take root and to grow into what is meant to be.
The fire of the authentic self must destroy what is false and prevents the authentic self from expressing in this world. Who around you honours this fire in your soul? Who honours the heat and fire of your unequivocal “yes” and “no” that blaze forth from your instinctive and instinctual core? And who attempts to douse the blaze with the dampening depleting water of erasure?
These are questions on my mind. I have been feeling the impact for years of being erased, of having my “no” ignored or denied of people also saying my “yes” makes no sense and does not move them.
But why wait for others to validate and authenticate my experience, the powerful truth that issues from my core and has a rightness to it? Surely I should be able to trust my gut, not be led astray or confused as to what I feel or need.
I wonder daily about the self sabotage the leads me to deny the fire inside me. I see the ways I let it undo the things I need for me. I remember the judgements of those who looked askance on my passion and said it was a sign of madness. I wish I had been stronger to brush off the negative projections before but have to accept I did what I did when I did, to the best of what I knew and was capable of.
In time for me the major lesson has been in trusting what I know and feel to be true, even if others deny that truth. At times the desire to belong, to be recognised, approved of and liked by others has damaged me. The price I have payed has been just too high. But I had to pay the cost at the time for a reason. It was a learning thing.
For years I did not know how to stand firm in the face of more powerful others, or have the ability to walk away in the face of abuse or boundary violation. I would just freeze or stand there feeling pinned to the ground, like a trapped animal. I have had to learn to growl even if it makes me seem like a wild animal.
I remember many years ago I went for a Tarot reading at a festival. The reader laid the Moon card down. It showed a wolf howling at the moon. She said to me. You are the wild wolf, really your mother wants you to be a domesticated dog. I now know why I eschewed convoluted performance puppy training classes for my young pup Jasper and take such delight in watching him running free.
Yesterday I was reading a blog on how empathetic people attract narcissists as we have lessons to learn from them. The narcissist in not validating us pushes us into such a painful place that we begin to burn with an unquenchable fire that will eventually be our liberation. He or she teaches us that we have to care for ourselves in the way we long for someone else to do. We may not like the lesson that it all begins with us, but it does.
I was listening to a programme on internet scamming the other day. It was an interview with an investigative journalist who has been interviewing and researching the stories of scamees, people who were preyed upon by scammers. In nearly every single case the person was lonely, isolated and/or had been through a significant loss. The researcher was saying that it is not true that these people are weak and stupid, in fact they are vulnerable and generous. It’s a case of blaming the victim.
When we are subject to narcissistic abuse we have been victimised but release from such a condition depends upon us not taking on the role of victim, in recognising that we have the power to say no, to walk way, to choose something better. The fire of this need and longing that burns within us must be mobilised and allowed to burn to ash that which imprisons us.. The fire of hurt such betrayals generate is the fire that will set us free and enable us to set proper boundaries in the future. It is the fire that will raise our internal antennae.
Empaths may be people who have a belief in the out and out good of human nature, we may be a little naïve to the presence of evil in the world or we may have, from a young age been conditioned by religious or cultural upbringings not to stand up, but to turn the other cheek or to give the benefit of the doubt where it is harmful to do so. If we are too empathetic the experience of betrayal wises us up, but it can also shatter our belief in human nature for a time.
I certainly know that in my own case several significant betrayals in my own life led me to a deeply introverted response. When an animal is wounded it will retreat to lick its paws. So it is with us. Our psychic wounds need healing and introversion is part of this, demarking out a boundary within which we can feel free just to be and breathe. We may be judged or demonised for it. Especially by abusers. We should learn to turn a deaf ear to such things.
In writing this I have been thinking of the fairy tale of the Handless Maiden which captured my imagination many years ago.
It is the story of a miller who makes a pact with the devil. He will allow the devil to have what is behind the mill. The miller has been so busy working that he does not realise that it is not just an old apple tree behind his mill, at the time he spoke to the devil his daughter was playing behind the mill. On the following day the devil comes to take his prize. The daughter draws a circle around her and cries. The tears keep away the devil at the same time the father cuts off his daughter’s hands to keep her safe.
The daughter now must go on a journey, deep into the woods to grow new hands. In time she is found by a king when she is trying to get a pear from his orchard. The King takes her into his house and fashions her new hands of silver, but the silver hands are not real hands and the true psychic quest of the daughter lies in retrieving living hands.
In time through following a path of introversion and self healing the Handless Maiden cries tears onto her stumps and in time grows new hands. The hands she grows are the outcome, not of rescue but of a deep journey of self growth, healing and discovery.
This myth resonated with me at the time my own marriage was ending. I dreamed of the Handless Maiden as I went out into my own psychic woodland feeling handless, not know how or if I could grow my own hands. At times I accepted gifts which prevented my own hands from growing. I have felt too, that each significant betrayal or loss was on some level an opportunity to grow new hands.
I don’t know if this myth resonates with you. But I really felt it playing out as a powerful undercurrent when my last relationship ended. The loneliness at that time was soul searing, it evoked imprints and memories of so many other deaths, endings and losses and yet it was necessary.
This was during the time of my Chiron return. As Chiron has passed through my seventh house of relationships there have been many woundings and traumas. All have been painful fires inside which I burned but all liberated some formerly trapped energy.
It seems fitting as Mars begins to transit my eighth house this week the lessons of Uranus in that house over the past few years have been brought into stark relief in my own life the need to mobilise my own trapped assertion in the service of my True Self.
Time spent alone is time in which I can experience myself at the centre, no longer pulled in every direction by the needs of those around me that arise out of their own unfinished work. I see that I am not responsible for anyone else but me at the moment. The end of caretaking has come for me. I am coming to realise what is unrealistic to expect from others and to see that now, I can and must be my own parent and best friend. It may sound like a cliché but it is true. I need to tend lovingly and stay close to my own inner fire allowing it to destroy what needs to be destroyed and spark into life underground seeds awaiting fire’s searing baptism.