If Venus is the god of love what part does suffering for our art/love play?

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Do you know the mythic story of the birth of Venus?  You may have seen the Botticelli painting of Venus that shows her emerging from a shell on the ocean waves but did you know that quiet a violent act gave birth to the so called ‘Goddess of Love’?  You see it was the mythic archetypal God energy of limits, severing and manifestation. Saturn cutting off the genitals of his father the mythic archetypal God energy of boundless freedom and creativity, Uranus and casting that spawn onto the ocean that gave birth to Venus and so on an inner level beauty, connection, harmony and love could be seen to be manifested or born when we allow our creative freedom to be restricted or channelled in some way and allow also that inherent alchemical creative tension of two forces or substances rubbing on each other to give birth to something cherished and valued, valued perhaps because of the sacrifice and labour, effort and suffering required.

Creating anything is not easy, its about reaching a hand down into the vast ocean of creative thought forms, experience, imaging and yes pain and suffering and pulling up  this creative energy, tossing it around internally, chewing on it, breaking it apart, mixing it with metaphoric saliva and digesting it deeply within psychological intestines to (excuse the crude term) shit out piece of lively, messy, pooh!  which is what our creative endeavours can appear to us at times…. “This is just a piece of shit” we say and then we see a like appear and think well maybe not????

I am just allowing myself to go along with a stream of consciousness at the moment.  But the idea I started with came from a dawning realisation with the planet Venus now moving backwards, that has been birthing in me of how struggle is so much part of the creative process of living, shaping our lives into new forms.

Its sad to think that often we can be judged for struggling, for ‘having issues’, for not being yet fully formed but instead a squirming worm trapped in a painful messy chrysallis of becoming.  “Why aren’t you born yet?”, others scream. “Why are you like this and not that?”  “You shouldn’t be so angry/bitter/sad/confused etc!” But the truth is that as humans we need to struggle, at times, we have to wrestle, we have to tussle with those things that want to bind us and trap us and imprison us, with those things that confuses us, hurt us or shamed us.  We need to get down in the mud and dirt with our messy, chaotic, raw emotions and reactions to work our way through to creative solutions or resolutions which are re-imagined solutions that we have had to turn this way and that like a prism of light refracting and reflecting many shades in order to see a light that we could not see before in darkness.

My own experience is in wisdom born through struggle and pain.  Through enduring the dark night of the soul we make creative discoveries.  Some of us are lucky enough to be able in that dark place to finally say an unconditional and creative ‘yes’ to that which has been buried and is trying with all its effort to work its way through a crust of repression into the warm light of day in our conscious awareness, emerging in time as a flower, just a Venus rose from the waves on her sea shell in Botticelli’s painting.

Society may tell you its not okay to be angry, to struggle to question, it wasn’t okay for you to be a victim, to suffer or be negative.  People may try to project a persona from which all anger, struggle, questioning, doubt and pain has been erased, but don’t allow yourself to be fooled for the truly loving creative person within and without is the one who will embrace you in that place, knowing it to be a birthplace.  Its only when we get stuck there that is gets problematic, so keep moving, keep growing, keep expressing until the tender new shoot within you finally emerges and gives birth to a beautiful flower. And during this retrograde Venus time if you find yourself struggling with feelings of low self esteem with deep old feelings of pain in relationships rearing their heads have the courage to work with the pain to find the self – love within it that is waiting to be born in you in this process.

In the dark, in the light getting to grips with my Inner Critic

I just returned from my morning visit to the park and my local café where I read and the wrote a poem.  This followed a morning in which earlier I was just so far down in shame/all black/pain that all meaning was bleached from my life for some time.  I sent a text to my therapist as we have arranged that over our break of 10 days if I need to talk I am to text and she will get back to me.

In the meantime I spoke to my Mum as last night we had a very rare dinner with my older brother and it brought up a lot for me.  Mum is only out of hospital for two days and her legs were swollen large and all bandaged up.  My other sister and I sat facing my brother and mother and I learned a lot more last night as they shared memories of their work history.   My brother was born when my Mum was not quite 20 and he has a very different relationship with her to me.  By the time I came along there wasn’t much time to spend with any young child, business dominated everything.  Mum and my brother were in a restaurant together and also my brother helped my Dad in his grocery store.

My sister and I sat on the other side of the table not saying much.  Mum talked of how my brother was her mothers’ favourite.  My older sister who died two years ago didn’t get the love from my Nana that my brother did.  She shared with me once that she overheard Nana saying how much more she loved my brother than her.  My sister ended up as a kind of scapegoat, she never really managed to break away from the family script and it took her under.  We lost her two years ago.

Mum was talking about my father and crying saying what a good man he was.  Yes he was a good man but he was very strict and tough with me and spent no time with me at all after school.  He would just go into the garden.  I had to get the key off the latch every day after school and wait until just after 5 when he came home. I comforted myself with food and television.  I just read in a book on abandonment and wounding yesterday this question.  What does television mean to a latch key child? In the absence of anyone to interact with we immerse ourselves in a world of television and f0r me music albums also played a huge part.  It was a form of dissociation and escape from a deep pit of loneliness an emptiness and what came up in the midst of this shame attack this morning for me was these kinds of things “look at you, you are a failure, all you do is read and watch DVD’s and go the dog park and therapy.  You have very few close personal relationships.  You don’t earn your own living even, no wonder Gary’s family don’t want to have much to do with you.  You are doomed.  You are a waste of space.”

Then I called my Mum very concerned about how she was feeling after seeing her son leave yesterday and talk about how he had spent over 200 dollars on a Christmas present for his daughter-in-laws step father and didn’t even give his own mother a present.  I know this probably isn’t very important really but it keys into a central issue.  I don’t really want to fall into the trap at the moment of personalising anything about what my brother does.  He keeps his family separate.  He lives his own life.  That is what I should be doing instead of getting into any kind of upset about what does or does not come from him and at the same time I was grateful to spend time with my brother but still that meeting triggered some thing very deep for me last night.  Its good to write about it.

I was able to share all of this with my therapist and even cry about how I no longer see my brother as all bad, there is a deep wound there, what I long for from my brother doesn’t come from him, but there is a way of beginning to build a relationship with him,  if he is willing to make the effort back which he seems to do but its always all about him and because my life is emotional recovery and therapy that just doesn’t enter into any discussion.

What I took away from this today after I got into a bit of a rage with the leaves outside just before setting off for the park today was that I need to let go and start to build my own life now.  I see how much I have been trapped in unresolved inner child longing and how that pain can be replayed or transferred onto other relationships which trigger or echo some similar theme.  Holding my wounded self is MY work, my therapist with help me and contain me, together we can work it through. But I still have some grieving to do before I can fully move on.  My inner child has to come first though, I needed to start some kind of dialogue within to learn what she really needs from adult me.

Today I also saw how I can oscillate or pendulate between two sets of responses and states of mind in my recovery on any day.  I need to be aware of what my inner critic says to me and what my loving inner parent says, that later part of me is less defined by outer mores and standards that don’t help me very much nor see any deeper than the superficial.  Its inner boundary work I need to be engaged in now in which I stay vigilant to the contents of my inner talk and inner voice.  Knowing I do have some form of power and control over something does help me to feel less all at sea.  Knowing there are a lot of things outside of my control is also essential and helps me to have an attitude of acceptance rather than remain trapped in blame, angst or rage that only ends up hurting me in the long run.

 

I know, but I don’t, or do I!?

Sometimes I am realising I just don’t really know what is going on with me.  I think I know.  I can spend a lot of time in thinking about the said thing and come up with conclusions and/or so called answers or responses, only to find after this occurs a feeling comes up from nowhere like a wave to blind side me, upturning the carefully constructed world of my thoughts which like a house of cards tumble down or become all wet and soggy in the deluge.

I just went to get a take away coffee on the way home from the park after having a lunch date cancelled and read this interpretation of an upcoming transit:  In few days Mercury, the sign of thinking, perception and communication will come into a square (challenging aspect  to do with cutting away and decisions) with the outer planet, Neptune which is now stationing forward.  The interpretation made was that when this occurs we may get insight into illusions which have been a source of confusion for us for some time.

I immediately ran this through my thinking mind.  Not a few minutes earlier I had been in floods of tears, my Mum and I decided to pull the plug on a trip to travel north to see my now dead sister’s sons in a few weeks time.  I feel it was the right decision but it brought up a lot of grief and sadness as I know they were looking forward to it and I hate not honouring commitments I made.  Some of my inner dialogue went like this (and a lunch date was cancelled at the same time)  “Here we go, this ends with you all alone again”, echoes imprints flooding followed.

At the time I was also listening to a sad song from my early teenage years.  I was drawn back as I often am when listening to this song to the living room in our big house where I would sit after school perched in front the turntable listening to my favourite records alone.  Longings for my big sister rose up then, memories of the separations and divisions and moves and traumas that led to severings from a cosy place of comfort.

I was reminded that for so many years I was without a true home, a place to rest and find shelter with others, often cast out for feeling as I did. I also got the subtle message many times that my pain or sadness or exuberance was too much.   Often things occurred that led me to be whipped away and end up all alone.  In these alone times and spaces I would wander watching others happily sharing time together and wonder why I could never find that togetherness place .

After I drove home and parked the car I had had the thought of how I often struggle to find a place of belonging with others.  I wanted to write a blog on it.  Then I logged on to find a comment I had made on another blog written about the dichotomy between thinking and feeling, I got a bit diverted starting my blog on this but the deeper insight happening for and to me in the midst of writing this is that being alone and not belonging ‘out there’  isn’t the worst thing that can happen if I am at home with me in touch with my deeper feelings and thoughts.  This is where I feel like I belong. At home with myself.

And as sad as it was to have these alone realisations today I am beginning to see that maybe I shouldn’t fight against this pattern.  I can have the thoughts then let the hidden feelings flow up and out and in time they will pass and I will feel freer.  Maybe I should just surrender and keep on finding the comfort that deep solitude and aloneness can bring, for within this place of aloneness now it is true that I am beginning to feel a much deeper sense of connection with myself and with life energy.  I also feel connected to the souls of those I love or have loved.

In my life I feel I have spent a lot of my life looking out there for a place to ‘fit’ but sooner or later I find I don’t ‘fit’ and the price of remaining is to cut myself to ‘fit’ what others have told me I must be to belong there.  And so I have spent years trying to change my shape or being left in the end because amidst the pretence that I had put on (and was not totally aware of, at the time)  others glimpsed the fact I wasn’t truly being real and when my real self popped through it didn’t suit or fit in or my beingness outraged them in some way.

I have only just recently learned that in fact I have another choice, when the signs appear that I don’t fit in I could just pack up my things and leave instead of turning myself inside out to fit in. Or, instead of being so scared of being left or abandoned I could just be my real self and if others want to leave, let them go.

I am not entirely sure what this has to do with insight in the confusion of illusions but I am sensing that the illusion may lie in thinking that if I just negate myself and try to fit in I will feel like I belong when I don’t.  If I try to push through with plans I have made when it becomes apparent that is not the best thing to do, I am better to be honest and tell others I can’t do it.  This doesn’t come easily for me as I am a chronic people pleaser.  I also sense others wounds and want to be there to help.   This has got me in a lot of trouble due to the fact that I now see I have tried to take on responsibility for things, feelings, pain in my family that actually had nothing to do with me.  I was in my own pain and had my own deep needs that could never be understood, accepted or realise in my family of origin.  I really should have been finding ways to deal with and address these but I just could not as my focus was so firmly planted outside myself on others.  It really is a backwards, co-dependent way to live.

At the moment I feel the lesson I am being given is to put my focus within.   When I try to do it part of me argues I am being narcissistic, and that part of me implies that narcissism is absolutely a bad thing, but it’s  not.  Healthy narcissism is actually a form of maturity.  It recognises I have needs that if not fulfilled cause me depression and pain.  Sacrificing my own needs as I was conditioned to do by my Catholic education and even in 12th step fellowships and seeing any personal desire as selfish is not at all healthy and it doesn’t really serve anyone.

And this brings me back to the beginning of what I was trying to express earlier.  Often my mind tells me things that have nothing to do with truth or reality.  My mind can and does come up with things that are illusions at times.  Illusions like, I am responsible for others pain, if I just try harder it will work out, I should think of others first, not doing so is selfish or shows I am not a ‘good’ person.  All illusions.

I posted a blog by Courage Coaching the other day entitled “You are not a failure.”  It seems that so many of us live the illusion that we have failed in some way when really we have just being trying to find and live a path that is true for us.  We may set ourselves up to win or achieve things that aren’t meant for us or suited for us, we may have started life without the necessary nurturing to embrace and live so called “success”.

And it seems to me that the true failure lies in not loving, caring for, accepting and supporting ourselves or gaining deeper insight into the real causes we struggle as we do.  The true failure lies in believing lies that damaging inner voices say, things like “you aren’t good enough”, “you don’t belong”, “you are a failure”.  What might it take to give up these illusions?  What might it take to realise that we are okay as we are despite all our so called mistakes or flaws?  What might it mean to go a bit damn easier on ourselves?

The fact I cannot make it north in a few weeks doesn’t show I failed.  It won’t kill or damage anyone.  I feel really sad about it on one level, the level that shows the love I feel for family and the care and support I want to show.  But at the same time at the moment I need to centre in my own life, care for my own being, nourish my emerging self.   Because if I don’t take care of myself first, I really don’t have much to give and it is only from a place of fullness that I can give anything of meaning or value to anyone else.

I have also accepted that I am but a mere speck here in the universe, and although I may have thought I was omnipotent in the past, I must only focus on the small sphere of influence I actually have control over.

Shannon

Source : https://griefsite.wordpress.com/2016/11/16/2273/comment-page-1/#comment-275

I wasn’t a ‘success’ : I was just a very human being

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For anyone out there who has laid awake or even woken with the kind of thoughts spoken about by Thomas Moore in his book Dark Nights of the Soul , the following excerpt may prove to be both consoling and enlightening.

Every life is full of garbage – wasted time, failed endeavours, broken relationships, bad decisions – to be offered at that strange alter of this night goddess, the place where three roads meet in an uncanny haunt of ghosts and magic. If you don’t honour this night spirit, what do you do with all this trash?  You probably take it literally, associate it with your “self” and feel guilty.

What people today call “losing self esteem” might be nothing more than the highly visible waste material of a life that needs a  home and that shouldn’t be attached to the self.  When thoughts come to you deep in your dark night – that your life hasn’t amounted to anything, that you’ve wasted a lot of time, or that you aren’t as good as some friend or celebrity, thoughts of regret, bitterness and self loathing – you might consider the necessity of these annoying preoccupations.  They don’t literally make you garbage, they merely allow you to see this all important emptiness in your accomplishments.

The fact is we are all Charlie Chaplin tramps failing to fully realise our expectations.  One of the most telling myths for my own life, a truth my family likes to remind me of, is Mr Magoo, a man disastrously oblivious to the world around him.  He climbs unknowingly into a bus,  with weak eyes he confuses a mannequin for a friend. and constantly forgets what he was just about to do.  I know him well. Thoughts like these which you might well entertain late at night help you rediscover your humanity and give you the greatest blessing of humility.  Where but in darkness could you find this insight?

The truth is failures and successes always fade away.  I am not meaning to imply that trying and succeeding and manifesting are not good things or even things to aspire towards by posting this. But I do hope that if you find yourself at times buried knee deep in a field of broken dreams you treat yourself kindly in the midst of the wreckage you find there.