More than ever before

We all need

The comfort of love

Someone’s shoulder to lean on

Just for a while

Even though in the end

As a child

So many of us

Only learned to hide or deny the truth

Turning away

Towards the silence

We all need

Periods of humor and silliness

Within the drama and the pain

We knew

Are integrating

Or working to move

On through

Despair may convince us of lies

Should we choose to live in illusions

For too long

There is a love

That we long for

A place of surrender we need to find

To transform the pain

And a healing baptism

Of flood and fire

We must walk through

To get to the other side

With more of our soul

Awake

Grateful

And alive

Than ever before

seed

here you are lying

all doubled up with pain

from the wounds they gave

not recognising they said

nothing about

who you are

here you go

seeking the wild

as river of tears run

down your face

feeling the force

of all the unlived life

bursting at the seams

deep within

you turn to greet

your shadow self

along this path of freedom

as you feel the torn threads

all confused and tangled

unravel

and begin to mend

it is going to take some time

to move on through

this latest pain

but deep inside you know

how much there is to gain

by just allowing yourself to

feel it

throwing off the shackles

and prohibitions against freeing it

to embrace the self you were always meant to be

emerging now

from deep inside

the shedding husks

setting free

the tender seed of you

songs of happiness

some days I cannot believe

how much happiness floats by me

on the breeze

echoes of laughter

I lost the way to

as the veil of tears fell down

all around me

covering my eyes

sometimes with the dawn

I feel the passing sense of

the tragic and forlorn

leaving me

as deep inside my body

I sense

the resonating trance of rememberance

that bids me to uncoil the past

in a swirling dance

and so it is I feel the shame

dissolving just like summer rain

seeping into crusty soil that longed

for replenishment

this then is my recompense

for years of pain and bitterness

that finally my aching soul

can feel the joy

of winters left

and summers stolen

while deep inside my aching spirit rises

to greet the dawn

and dusk surprises

dancing upon the floating air

untangling the tendrils of past despair

weaving them into

songs of happiness

Happy to live in the present : with a growing awareness of the past.

I just dropped Jasper off at the groomers and I took the way home that leads past where my family and I lived when all the tragedy began to befall us between 1979 and 1985 : the year when my father died.  As usual when I drive along this long street we moved to when I was about 7 I start to feel a blackness and darkness all around me.  I named my blog Emerging From the Dark Night because I guess I began to realise around 2001 about 8 years into my sobriety I had been living out that dark past unconsciously.  Now that I have done the years of therapy and grieving, the long work of coming to terms with things and seeing how it was for the young me I feel a kind of distance from it.  It is no longer affecting me as unconsciously.

I’ve made a friend over the past year who Jasper and I met first at the dog park then later on we both ended up walking our dogs in a big oval not far from where I live.  My friend was in the middle of a thesis when we first met which she has now completed, and its only really in the past few months she has been opening up to me about her own childhood which was a lot like mine.  She also became a family caretaker as her own needs were not met and she said she really struggles with the inner Persecutor too.  We have a lot in common and its good to be able to share honestly with someone who understands how it is to come out of such a stoic emotionally repressive family where issues of perfectionism and emotional overcontrol were writ large.

I know we never totally escape the influences of our past but I do believe once we become aware of the darkness we can begin to live in the light but that means making new choices that are healthier for us and more conscious than the past ones and it does take some time.

I was also thinking today after listening to a radio interview on misfits how lonely it can be if we feel on the outside of society, peers or family.  The point made on the programme was how misfits are able to see things in society that others do not see, due to the distance from involvements and their own, at times painful path, they see below the surface of things.   It was an interesting interview too as the writer interviewed Mandy Sayer was speaking of how as a writer she cannot live with her husband who is a playright. They both live separately and get together in the evenings as both need the days for work.  It struck me as a really good arrangement because one of the things I fear most about a relationship is being swallowed up and having no time to imagine, reflect, create and dream and so for those of us who are creative or introverted in this way it is important to find the right kind of relationship balance for us.

It felt a little strange to come back to my home just a short while ago.  I felt that the trip I took down memory lane a moment ago has shown me how long it took me to be able to feel I could move back to my home town, just over 7 years ago and how important it has been for me to be here for these years.  I got to have those final years with my older sister and my Mum and I feel fully reconciled to the way things were now.  It is very sad because I see how much my older sister suffered and was trapped.  I was thinking last night of how often she was denied things she wanted.  The story line was that due to her ‘mania’ she was an  who needed to be reined in.  I do not think it was really true at all I just think Jude has such creative life energy and somehow she came undone before she could fully manifest it in the world and as a woman born into a patriarchal world in the 1940s she really struggled.  She was so artistic and she didn’t have a nasty bone in her body. She always forgave her husband for abandoning her following her cerebral bleed in 1980 but sadly she was over medicated for most of her life and I am sure at times in the care home she lived, sometimes she was abused and her things got stolen.

I had a long chat with my other sis yesterday.  I am glad now that a lot of the childish resentment I had towards her is healing.  I am see her also as a product of her time, born in the 1950s she had her own struggle to try and find her way and sadly she married perhaps a little too young to someone who carried shadow qualities often denied in our stoic household, were ‘doing the right thing’, keeping up appearances and struggling to become upwardly mobile materially eclipsed to a large degree more underground energies and emotions.  When he left her he was considered the bad guy and it is true he didn’t really treat her as well as he should have due to his own complex background as a adult child of an alcoholic but of course he married into our family which had its own history of addiction hidden in my Mum’s past.

It has been a battle for me to become separate, psychologically as the youngest in a far older family.  There was 17 years between my older brother and I, 16 between Jude and I and 8 between Sue and I.  With these large age gaps it was harder to relate and I often felt like an only child born to at that time (in the 1960s) far older parents whose focus was really not on raising a young daughter but more on the external focus.   In my discussion with my friend yesterday she was talking of the mixed feelings she has around forgiveness with her own parents.  On one hand she says she has empathy for them and knows they acted the way they did and treated her the way that did due to their background and past.  At the same time she said she struggles a lot with issues of anger too.  I could really relate to that.

I told her that my perspective is that in regards to the Inner Child we are still moving out of the medieval dark ages emotionally speaking.  We are also trying to break apart patriarchal values which keep both men and woman as well as boys and girls trapped in limiting roles. I was listening to a programme on this today.  I do feel for men at the moment as their behaviour towards woman is generating a lot of justified anger but I wonder too at the level of compassion that is really shown towards men who are also in many ways just victims of a repressive heroic dominance archetype of the supremacy of masculine (as opposed to male) power.  Women and men both suffer in this climate and I hate to see men being blamed without a deeper insight being given into the causes that generate problematic behaviour towards women.  In truth at a psychic level it is the inner feminine in both men and woman that suffered coming out of the patriarchal dark age.  Men don’t need to be emasculated and boys need help to come to terms with softer emotions and vulnerabilities.  My own family was dominated by excessive masculine values.  Mum always worked and was never emotionally present.  Feelings were not understood nor addressed.   And then my Dad over worked and abused his own body with smoking, one of the reasons I do believe my older sister had her stroke was that she smoke and drank too much while overworking and taking birth control.  It was a recipe for disaster really.

Anyway today I am sad for all of the past, but I am also grateful that in 1993 I finally bit the bullet and found sobriety.  Along the pathway of recovery I have had to give up many things, jobs, relationships, houses and friendships.   Lots had to go into the fire, but a lot has been transforming too.  I feel many times like a witness who stood on the outside of a family watching at a critical time of soul evolution for us all.  I feel blessed for all of the gifts given and I wont say I enjoyed all of the sadness and pain.  At times I have felt like the weight of it would break me in two.  But in the end I guess it was only my unhealthy ego defences that have dissolved or shattered along the way.   My mistaken reactions of resistance and resentment had to go into the fire too so that I could understand the heart of innocence that underlay everything and feel the love and peace and happiness my parents and ancestors missed out on in their awesome and overpowering struggle for survival.

Rescue

AB

In  the pool Of your tears You found a girl who was drowning And could not see The life within that pain That for long years was hidden beneath the surface

So much misunderstanding Bred by a silence She could never fathom Became an ocean And now from deep within the pool She is asking of you rescue And you know you have to take her hand

There are things she did Not knowing which way to turn There was only fear and longing that drove her to empty places Not knowing how or why she repeated this ancestral pattern of darker times Awakening in dreams Ghostly spectres arising from cells Cloudy ocean depths Obscuring day vision

This ghost girl became a waif With no blood pulsing through her veins Feeling herself to be So deeply alone Yet all the time her sense of aloneness Of drowning Came from disconnection

Once she found another soul To share her space and true being with Her folded up heart unfurled like a flower In the sunlight cast by affection and attention The pool of tears dried And slowly she found herself awakening in paradise

And so now When darkness threatens She runs to the light Knowing she must not stay here alone too long Listening to damaging thoughts that only grow in isolation and silence Whispering lies she had no protection from

Now she has found you And you can take her by the hand She knows she is never alone And that she can receive all the love she longed for From the one inside Who will never leave her so alone again.

Slowly over several years You taught her how to do this How to turn away from the false places And towards the real

Now she no longer needs to dream Of rescue But can summon her own life By breathing deep and acknowledging her self From within

So alone : reflections on awakening along the path of consciousness

Now that I feel I am finally casting off the demon of self blame I am seeing the deeper reality of my life and most particularly of my struggles after getting sober in 1993.   I was waking up, pure and simple, to the consequences of a tortured emotional past that I had buried over years and through my addiction lost the way to.  But with the surrendering of alcohol, I was finally committing to a pathway of descent and uncovery.

It has not been easy and my marriage had to go into the fire at 11 years in.   I know there are many sheddings, ending, losses deaths and surrenders me must undergo and accept as we struggle on the path to becoming more deeply conscious beings.  As we travel along the path it narrows before us as it lead us into a spiritual wilderness, we become the orphan and live out of that archetype as we are trying to birth something so deep our parents could not give us.  So many of us carry unconsciously their unintegrated children deep inside and we have the spiritual and emotional task to make something new of our ancestral legacy.  At least that is how I see the bigger picture and it is the only one that gives my life meaning.  And we have to undergo this journey alone but not necessarily without guides and companions.

I found my own guidance emerging in the final years of my addiction when my soul witness self knew something was terribly wrong with my life and my drinking.  That guidance came from people like Carl Jung, Marion Woodman and John Bradshaw who showed me my addiction was but a symptom and what I suffered was not purely personal but was strongly collective and affects so many others as we struggle under the weight of an unconscious past so spiritually bereft of the healing feminine.

My own parents had it hard.  There was no place of comfort or soothing for their inner children.  Both lives had been devastated by the impacts of World War ,I both lost their fathers as a result, not during it but in the painful aftermath.  That silent history of father absence dogged them both and has repeated its deep echo of abandonment all along our later genetic line.   I see myself as ‘the awakener’ to it all.  It took my older sister out, the pain of all of those hundred of years of trauma gone unconscious and I stood on the sidelines as the witness.   I did not know I was affected by so many larger forces and that my own struggle must, of necessity, be lonely and hard,] as I was trying to open up and break new ground in a family that in so many ways is deaf dumb and blind to deeper realities.

Kat, my therapist was saying yesterday what a lonely path the path of conscious awakening to the deep feminine soul is.  Carl Jung nearly went mad on his way to find it, if you read his autobiography and follow his journey it was just prior to the outbreak of World War One that he broke with Freud then had visions of a bloodbath in Europe and then he developed the concept of the shadow and the collective unconscious.  He could not agree with Freud that all was ruled by sex and death and that the child wanted to seduce the parents.  I am not saying that there are not valid points and great insights in Freud’s ideas and he was bringing them to birth out of Victorian times but Jung went deeper when he realised there are so many larger influences around us as individual souls which we are subject to.

Anyway, as usual I have digressed….back to the sense of being so alone.  If we don’t ‘fit in’ maybe it is because we see deeper, and this is what Kat was saying to me yesterday.  It IS a burden to see this deep but it is also a gift and a result of all we suffer in our path of being and feeling so alone yet knowing at a deeper awareness other truths we don`t fully understand yet that are emerging (if that makes sense?).  Our aloneness is a doorway into recognition of truths others may fear or shun, that they may want to turn a blind eye on and call us ‘mad’ for glimpsing.  And on the path we are not totally alone really as there are others souls who went before lighting the way.  There are also are our fellow travellers who are willing to dive below the surface to do their own deep work who we share with and recognise.  We are all in a process of waking up to what may be being asked of us as humans to recognise at this point our evolution.  Could it be an awakening to the truth of our own feelings, soul and love, to understandings of how thwarted power drives can shape and misshape us?

I do not think we should shun or stigmatise the so called ‘mentally ill’; if we are on the pathway of emotional recovery we have to go a bit mad on the way.  Our addiction or bi polar or BPD or other diagnoses are but symptoms of soul suffering that we are being asked to understand.  We are not our diagnoses and our true selves lay buried somewhere deeper inside.  All of our reactions make sense, most particularly our violent reactions to the emotional violence we are so often subjected to in childhood, which may I say has become more endemic in a technologically oriented industrialised society.  Go study the myth of the Handless Maiden if you want to see a parable or metaphor for what happens to our soul or inner feminine when it is neglected or abandoned in such a  cutlure.  We loose our hands, our access to our inner life and our emotional agency and we only grow those functioning hands back when our deep soul suffering awakens our tears which we, in crying use to wash our tortured souls clear and clean of illusions and within that seemingly powerless place, find and embrace our true soul power.  We are all in a process of awakening.  Let us remember that.

In the depths of our personal and collective dark night we fall down and struggle and awaken alone but we are also connected, nothing of our shared collective human experience is alien or strange, just our dissociation from it and from the larger awareness that we are only as separate as we believe we are at certain points along that path of awakening.  At times we are so deeply alone and yet, paradoxically, it is through that aloneness that we are also connected at deeper levels.   That said the path does narrow as we move further along it and the loneliness we feel at certain times is so acute, but my deeper experience is that as we deepen into the loneliness a great spiritual light so often is felt if we just hold fast and keep opening our hearts to the deep truths we glimpse and face and integreted the painful realities we have known inside.  Through this painful path we finally come to know what love is.   Both feeling and action.

Love

056

Love you are really all we ever longed for

Beneath the quest for power or control

You are there in the shadows

Hiding under all the hurt and pain

Hoping that we will not take too long

Before we uncover your true face

Love you may often wear the disguise of fear

Of anger or of shame

In a vain attempt to keep the truth hidden

But somewhere deep within

Our cells and bodies know

A truth far more profound

That love is found in the holding

And the unmasking

And yes even in the honouring of all of these states

Love you are the wholeness that awaits us

In the midst of great emptiness, sorrow and pain

Reminding us that life is such a powerful journey

One that asks us over and over again

To dig deep

And leave no stone unturned

Until we see your shining face

And that it is in the embracing

Of all of these states

Through love and loving

That we bring

What was nearly dead in us

Back to life

Who is it for?

Love MW.jpg

Certainly our inner work is for us.  Our journey to find all the ways in which we lost connection with love, all the ways we were treated by people that my mistakenly  professed were love, but were not, all the ways in which in not making us feel sufficiently loved those made us feel unsafe and therefore limited our capacity to feel love and express it without, all of these things have to be explored in our deep inner work to reclaim the original child essence in us that contained our most pure innocence before it was corrupted and return to love which I believe is the basis of our true nature.

One of the most corrupting and damaging things that I believe my own Catholic education taught was the belief in original sin.  In some prayers we are told to reject Satan and all of his works.  I always found that problematic, for Saturn was once an angel and he fell into the darkness but he had real lessons to learn there and so do we and paradoxically darkness is what the original sin concept takes us into.  And I do not believe we were born knowing Satan but only knowing love but love is not what we necessarily find when we are born.  As Marianne Williamson says  : “love is what we were born with, fear is what we learned here” and if this is true, I believe it is, then we are here to learn about Satan/fear and understand how the critical super ego can block our pure nature child essence from its full expression and experiencing of love.

Others super egos block us, with all their prohibitions about who we should be and what we should do to be accepted or loved and if we are born to those limited in their capacity to express love and even to see us as a separate unique individual then our entire development becomes highly problematic.  We have a lot of work to do to reclaim that essential side of us, what John Bradshaw has called our ‘wonder child’ or ‘soulful child’.

Being around young children is something that I find enormously healing and enlightening.  If you are around children in their young years if they have not already suffered severe abuse you know you are in the presence of an open, curious spirit who just expresses, often they express a thirst for knowing, they see the world through eyes of awe that are open to wonders of life and nature that we tend to become blind to in later life and they are full of questions no longer believing they know the answers.  Keep an open mind is one of my favourite AA and Al Anon sayings, it implies that there is always something I can learn.  This is not to say that I should not trust the deeper knowings of my own heart and intuition and I do think one of the profound gifts of childhood is that children operate on a more intuitive level, if they are naturally psychic, for example they may actually see non physical life forms such as angels.

I recently read a book by a woman whose own psychic gifts had been blocked in childhood. Her mother didn’t believe her daughter when she spoke of the things she saw and so this person shut down her own knowing.  It took a major crisis to put her back on her psychic/intuitive pathway, now she helps those who are also waking up to these kinds of gifts themselves.

I started this blog with the question who is it for?  What I was thinking about how our work to reconnect inwardly and find the source of love inside of ourselves is most certainly for us but surely it is not only for us.   The question I have is perhaps whether the waking up process of recovering our depths and capacity to love is about becoming a love warrior, just as Glennon Melton Doyle has written in her book on the subject.  Maybe our waking up process is about finding a path or destiny in which we find a path to being a voice for love on a planet that so dearly needs this message.

I wrote a blog earlier this week on grief in which I spoke about the wish I had to be a grief warrior in that I wanted to be able to share and help others to know that grieving is a necessary process of feeling and self expression from deep in one’s heart and soul that when thwarted leaves huge scars.  That often only an awakening to our deepest grief, actually opens our path to love and compassion.

We cannot be naïve in this life as there are those out there who for their own reasons are invested in not allowing us to grieve or love, maybe because they lack the stamina for that work.  Or they want to block and protect their hearts against further pain and so they close us or their own feelings out.

Most certainly if our grief is caused from abuse it is showing love for ourselves to protect our heart from further abuse, but along the way after we grieve at depth and experience all the complex emotions of that process, we actually come to a point where we find that we now are in full possession of our own heart, a heart that has become strong enough and deep enough to feel the depth of suffering and compassion for the shutdown of a soul that would effect that kind of abuse.

We come to see how others lovelessness comes out of inner blockages.  We find compassion but we also know that at some stage each heart and soul makes a choice, either conscious or unconscious to open up, feel, expose and heal or to shut down, numb, close off and refuse to love or open again.

And that is when we can become a voice for love, if we have found the depth of courage to make the necessary surrender, we will know so deeply that we are loved and that others are too, but that often souls do chose for one reason or other to turn their backs on love.