No spiritual bypass : let’s embrace our humanity

Like it or not on the path of healing and emotional recovery there is no way we can bypass our deep emotional wounds and work.  I was so grateful a few years into my addiction to come across the writing of psychologist John Welwood in which he spoke of the thorny matter of the ‘spiritual bypass’.  What he meant by this was the idea that by some kind of lofty spiritual work we could by pass the legitimate suffering we undergo as human beings who are both emotional and spiritual on the path of recovery we begin to travel as we become fully awake to the complexity of our human experience on earth.

You may know the sort of thing.  If you are in recovery and have been taught for most of your life that there is something deeply wrong with you for having certain feelings which fall into our collective shadow (by this I mean emotions that are so often labelled as negative such as fear, hostility, anger or sadness) its easy to fall for the so called spiritual idea that somehow you aren’t as highly evolved if you can’t let it go and rise above it or the idea that somehow it was a karmic issue that you bought upon or caused yourself for your spiritual evolution.

Although I believe we can gain great wisdom and growth through addressing our wounds that does not mean that we bought them on ourselves and this is just the kind of lie or spiritual bypass the certain people or institutions wish we would believe in order to let them off the hook for their own wounding actions and unconsciousness.

A further confusion is to come to believe the lie that we are so called ‘mentally ill’ when really what we are expressing is extreme stress or distress over emotional or other abuse that we suffered, most especially if we are of high sensitivity.   To my mind whether or not we are mentally ill corresponds in some way to how much of these diagnoses we take on and then turn around to beat ourselves up with instead of finding compassion and a deeper recognition of the truth of what we really suffered at the hands of others, conscious or unconscious that led to such ‘dignoses’.

From my own experience I see how I literally spent years thinking there was something wrong with me for having been a sufferer of trauma.  Admittedly in the face of zilch support coming out of such trauma I adopted or turned towards behaviour such as addiction which may seem counterproductive but which actually developed into survival or coping strategies that where what I needed to survive until I hit rock bottom.  Only then could a turning point be reached and would I become willing to turn it around. But this was literally years after being pummelled by the criticism and judgement of others who had not one clue of what I had suffered in my life.

These days I am still angry about that kind of treatment but I am able to let the anger go because I finally realise how wrong it was. What it also did was hamper my own recovery for without the necessary validation from those who were psychologically blind it was impossible to not reconfirm the view that my past had taught me that I was defective or damaged in some way.

I went back to an Al Anon meeting yesterday  I felt the need to connect with people after some time away.  What was being discussed at that meeting was the Sixth Step “became entirely ready to have God remove these defects of character”.  Now this is where warning bells start to sound for me and after sharing about honestly many others agreed, was I actually defective due to suffering wounds as the result of being raised in a home where powerful after affects of the multi generational legacy of addiction and emotional abandonment were in place?   As the so called ‘identified patient’ wasn’t it truer that as the youngest I was carrying deep seated wounds onwards, wounds within which a healing blessing could in fact be located after I ceased to beat myself up about having learned certain survival strategies in the absence of other support or resources?

As recovering alcoholics or addicts we are already too familiar with the twin legacy of guilt and shame.  We absorb it in families and in our culture and we are more than willing to play the scapegoat until we start to wake up to the fact that in carrying repressed shadow energies for a collective we are really the designated wounded healers, perhaps sent to earth for the very purpose not only of our own awakening but that of others too?  I hope this doesn’t sound egoic or conceited in any way.   But I do believe it to be true.  The people I came to respect most when I first got sober were those who had the courage to be open about their darkness and self forgiving too.  For me they mirrored the essential truth that in order to heal I have to open up my shame and guilt to others.  I need to unmask the so called dark places and spaces where my feelings, criticisms and judgements hide and know I can reveal them and be loved anyway.  When I open my darkness to light it transforms for me in some way and I also get to connect with others from an equal playing field.

I don’t get to be an evolved person by trying to perform a spiritual bypass.  Denying that I have a shadow and that I suffer, leading you to believe that all is rosy and I have overcome all dread, to my mind the way I evolve is by embracing fully my own humanness and sharing it, unmasking it with others.   If I don’t do this my own darkness has a mysterious way of following me about like a shadow.  It may reappear in someone I met, I may project it onto others.  I may due to fear see no longer who really stands before me but instead some figment of my imagination which comes from a dark side or experience that I have yet to own or embrace.

Dark and light are two sides of one coin.  We cannot know happiness if we don’t know sadness, we cannot know suffering if we don’t know joy.   We cannot know true freedom if for years we have not at times known great times of bondage.   We are not humans having a spiritual experience but spirits in matter having a very human experience with all the attendant trials, tribulations and sufferings such an experience involves.  So let us stop labelling others, let us stop casting our judgements upon them for when we point a finger at others we soon find we have tree fingers pointing back at us.  None of us has yet ‘arrived’ on this journey.  We are all works of art in progress.

 

Finding peace

Beyond

I went through the most intense rage a few weeks ago over the prospect of realising that I need to have my front tooth extracted, to be promised an appointment in July only later to be told they would not take be able to take the tooth out for 3 months.  On Monday the dentist called and they are going to take my tooth out in three weeks time.  I was grateful that I wont have to wait so long.  I can get the tooth out, get my denture and no longer have the prospect hanging over my head with all the attendant anger about the way things have turned out in my life.   If I continue to dwell on all of that pain I could go mad, but the point I am beginning to accept is I can not change one single thing from my past and so I now need to accept what my life and story has been so far.  All of that said feeling the rage was a very important part of the entire process.

As I consider this it occurs to me that often people struggle for they feel they should not have the story or life they have.  With our chronic self improvement culture, it seems to me that we are often trying to be or do or get somewhere else than where we are.  Many of us don’t seem to truly love and accept who we are, how we feel or even what we need.  We seem to be hell bent on changing things, improving things,  upgrading things and for sure some kind of improvement or progress can be a good thing, but to self reject all of the time, to believe that we are defective in some way and can only be loved if we change, well where is the love, healing and acceptance in that?  This is the question I have been asking myself more and more lately.

I have a close family member in my life who is struggling with a huge issue at present.  In fact this struggle and issue has been going on for years and years and years.  My relative cannot accept the situation she is in.  The truth is that if she accepts the truth of the situation she has to feel pain and thwarting of her will.  She has tried so many ways to fix the problem, but no fix is coming.  When she shares about it with me I want to honestly say ‘let it go, you are hurting yourself more by your lack of acceptance”  but I don’t feel its my place to point out a truth that may hurt her and one she has to arrive at by herself in her own time.   So I have just told her I feel for her and hope that in time she won’t cause herself more angst by struggling so hard to have what it is she wants but cannot have.

At the moment I am so glad I have a 12 step recovery programme which teaches me to seek the serenity that comes when I can accept what cannot be fixed, cured or changed.  I am so grateful I have a higher self or higher power I can turn to when I struggle in similar ways to ask for help and get my own will out of the way. For sometimes in life our will is just not meant to be, what we want is not what the universe thinks we need and how we handle this critical issue can be the thing that makes or breaks us.

Acceptance does not mean we like a thing, or love a person.  It is just a saying of an unconditional ‘yes’ to the will of life which may act at cross purposes to our will.  It is an ability to say I will let go of my need for you to be different.  I may not be able to let go of my want and my hope, but at some stage in order to find peace I need to let go into the reality.  I may need to let the person go if they infuriate or consistently hurt me enough.  My letting go in that case is a sign of sanity to my mind.

I guess that place of peace and sanity is where I am finding myself living more and more lately.  It was definitely a stormy, stormy journey to get there.  A journey on which I got lashed almost to shreds on psychological rocks of pain and anxiety.  But today I can see more clearly where those rocks may lay.  When I find things are getting stormy I can take cover in a place where I am not as exposed to the elements, or I can decide to toughen up and weather the storm, letting it tear away what wants or needs to be released.  I can look for something beautiful or joyous to fill my day and uplift my spirit.  Once I am aware of my pain I can treat myself in a tender self soothing way and not make things harder by beating myself or others up.   I can stop in pray or meditation and ask for help or guidance when I am struggling with issues of anger or grief.

And I am finding that I can open my heart to life more fully even on the cold dull grey days like today, for I live in a world with other humans who also struggle just like me on those days.  When I reach out, get myself to a group meeting or just make the effort to connect I can find that I am less alone and that there is someone out there struggling even more than me.  Together we can share the burden so that we know we are not alone.  We can speak out our pain, we can recover from that deep aloneness which comes from being imprisoned inside wrong ideas of self rejection, or unfulfilled and sadly unrealistic expectations.  Often these form a prison that keeps us trapped in angst, preventing us from accepting the grace we find when we turn towards ourselves, life and others in openness, acceptance, surrender, trust and love.

There are no wrong turnings.

Only paths we had not known we were meant to walk.

Guy Gavriel Kay

 

Love beating

Heart Beat.gif

Love beating

Here in this heart

Love that never ends

But for a time only knew hurt and ache and sorrow

And the absence of Love

Longing you showed me where Love hid

Strange this bedfellow

I do not yet fully understand

The when and why and how of it

Love only known ghostly in absence

Love the energy that kept me seeking

All through the dark night

The powerful force that helped me find

Those whose heart beat also

Form a Love that is pure

Mirroring for me truths

Deeply buried

I lost the way to

And only dimly remembered

So now Love

You are known

You are here

In each beat of my heart

I ride the flow of your pulse forward

Powerful like a river

Carrying me home

Angry with my family

Anger

I am not going to deny my anger any more.  I have legitimate reasons to be very angry at my family and my mother and sister in particular for what they put me through following the end of my marriage and even in the years before where I was just never treated with support, empathy and love.  I am sick to death of denying the truth to myself, rationalising it and minimising it.  I just spoke to my therapist and she said my anger needs to flow out and I need to find ways to do that today… write about it in your blog, draw it out or scream it out, do what ever you need to do to get it out of your system she said to me and so this blog is part of that process.  Internalised, invalidated anger has been kicking around inside my system for so long, it resulted in my accidents and in my alcoholism.  Part of my recovery is that I need to speak about it and value and validate my inner self and inner child.

I recognise what happened when I spoke to my mother yesterday when writing my blog A hollowed out shell was that by crying and becoming really vulnerable my Mum roped me into compassion.  Earlier on I had ended the conversation when she was once again telling me I needed to forget about things and put them behind me.   She called me back out of guilt to ask me to dinner and at first I said no and then wanted to relent when she showed me how much pain she was in and how insecure and unable to truly express herself she feels.  While I feel compassion for her I cannot let that over ride my own anger about what happened to me for it is anger that lets me know something hurt me deeply and wasn’t okay and that then helps me set some kind of boundary.  If I get told I shouldn’t have it or feel it that is invalidation abuse pure and simple and if the person is trying to guilt me out of it that is worse abuse.  Full stop! No argument, no debate!

I had a difficult day yesterday.  I noticed I got onto You Tube and posted some videos in two posts which although they had interesting insights don’t really help me to cut to the depth of dealing with the trauma and anger I am still carrying from the head injury that happened to me 12 years ago as the result of my sister and my mother’s meanness. At that stage I needed support and help to heal and grieve and know my truth, but I see how impossible this is to attain from anyone in my family they were just not that awake to the inner self or emotional realities.  My Mum is close to waking up but she seriously needs therapy.  I am sick of trying to be her therapist.  It isn’t my job really and she often told me that its not a good idea to go to others with your problems.  Her bottom line is that you need to work things out alone but that comes from a childhood where she was left alone and had to figure things out all alone.  Yesterday she was touching into deep realities and she told me how she feels so helpless and alone with no one much to talk to about all the things she goes through.  I want to say “well Mum get some therapy” but she never would.  So I end up being the font of all compassion but my compassion now is only prepared to extend so far when no recognition of past hurts or any apology has been forthcoming.

Second reason for anger and terribly acute body symptoms over the past few days has been unresolved issues with my living sister.  She was so awfully mean to me at the aforementioned time, telling me I was a selfish little girl and that I had had a shit of a life and she pitied me.  Oh and also going behind my back to my nephew (my older dead sister’s son) who I was really establishing a close relationship with and telling him how jealous I was of her.  Luckily at that time (just under 3 years ago now) he told me and I confronted her on the day we putting a party on for my mother.  I wish I had just walked out for at first she tried to deny it and then she said he had no right to tell me and then that she thought it was true.  But what I actually think is true is that the situation was the reverse and narcissists always believe they are so wonderful that the universe is jealous of them, why I do not know when the are such superiority junkies looking down their noses at all and sundry.  I have never been that person, as those who know me and have told me its just NOT ME.

Anyway she has softened somewhat in later years and actually did give me a grudging apology about what occurred in 2005 when I confronted her and Mum about it 2 years ago around this time of year.  But it was in no way an apology that came from her heart or truly recognised the damage done and the other day when she rang me about my tooth issue concerned to see how I was, it was I who ended up apologising to her for reacting to the horrible way she traated me.  Did I need to apologise  NO!  And my inner child is very upset with adult me about it and let me know as I woke up with shocking PTSD symptoms yesterday.  Whenever I see my sister my anxiety level goes through the roof and I was telling my therapist today that it was because I feel there is a lot of anger and hurt my body is carrying and the only way it has to come out is as anxiety.  But the mixed up irony is that as anxious as I feel I try even harder to bond with her and its a trauma bond and end up having an extra coffee with her even though its not really good for me to do it, because I feel she may be lonely.

I am aware as I write all this out it may seem like sour grapes to some.  I don’t really care as what you think isn’t my issue.  But what I need to know and see more clearly which is why I am putting it out there in black and white is how I can over ride my own impulses and intuitions. I often find my inner critic attacks my real attempts at feeling the truth of my feelings and most particularly that includes genuine expressions of anger.

Katina, my therapist was today reminding me that as much compassion as I feel I also need to remind myself that its okay to be angry.  So many of the messages around me growing up in family and Catholic school were based on anger being a ‘bad’ or negative emotion, when really anger is a signal of something from our deepest, truest inner self.  If we deny or over ride our own angry impulses we end up in such strife.  I have had so many accidents due to traumas from my past or pain replaying over in the present moment and this is one of the saddest facts about trauma,  it tends to attract more of the same to us but most particularly for those of us who were taught to value compassion, rationalisation and excuses over valid expression of anger.  So many times I have been told I better be careful as anger is dangerous, but this is only the case when it is not cleanly and clearly expressed, or if it is expressed aggressively.   We need to be so mindful of where our sore angry spots lie because when triggered they are signs of something from the past that needs to be dealt with or is calling for our awareness or attention, if we don’t pay attention we are in trouble  It won’t do us any good to act our anger out on those who really are just triggering a massive back log of past stuff but we still need to be aware that such people aren’t good to be around on a long term basis.  I am sad to say that goes for my family at present, much as I long for their love, when they are around it comes with huge reminders of pain from the past.  I have not ‘let it go’ yet, it hasn’t let go of me.

Its difficult writing this, as I was the television was just turned on by some automatic process.  I went over and Jasper my dog had his ear on the remote but what was most interesting was that it was a show called Compass and was on a priest’s life, and at that moment in time he was speaking of the ‘false ego’ that has to die if we want to fully embrace our humanity.  It made me question the wisdom of hanging onto my anger.  Maybe my sister had changed now and has soften, maybe she regrets what she did to me all of those years ago.  Maybe my mother wishes she hadn’t been so cruel to have chosen my sister over me when I was ‘too sad’ grieving at the end of my marriage.  I truly don’t know the answers to these questions.  Is my anger coming from ‘false ego’?  Is that why the television automatically came on?  I don’t know either but I am putting this in my blog as part of the mental process I go through on a day when I am trying to make sense of and deal with this anger from the past and the deep wound in me that gets triggered around this time of year.  I feel less angry now after writing this.  I have attempted to express my true reality, for what it is worth.   And I appreciate any feedback or any sharing from others about how you have dealt with your own anger.

And in the interest of openness the following are just a selection of anger quotes I came across on line :

 

 

Mum, I feel your pain

As a highly sensitive person were you attuned to pick up on one of your parent’s pain?  It is something I have been thinking about a lot more after a dinner out last night with my Mum, older brother and sister.  We very rarely get together and what I noticed is how shut down both my siblings are to my mother on an emotional inner child level.

I have a deep feeling that my 8 year older sister has a lot of unresolved anger to my Mum.  It used to come out in harsh criticism and I am sure there a lot of things she has to be angry about.  My Mum often tends to compete with her and they are so alike that often when they go out they turn up dressed the same without knowing before what the other one was going to wear.  When my sister was struggling with so called ‘bi polar disorder’ I witnessed several arguments in which my Mum tried to undermine my sister.  Last week I had one of the most honest conversations I have ever had with my sister.  “Mum never made it easy for us to separate from her emotionally”, she said.  Wow!

I watched the whole thing play out.  How my sister was forceably hospitalised by her sons, how my Mum struggled to accept her part in the way she had shaped my sister in terms of taking responsibility and then how she called my brother in to put out the fire.  Being in recovery I sat on the sidelines and tried my best not to get too swept up in it all, I was struggling at the time following my own divorce.

Anyway I got a bit off track there.  I am aware that as the ‘baby’ of the family I have absorbed and replayed a lot of my Mum’s inner child abandonment issues.  When I first got sober back in 1993 Mum made a very interesting comment to me. She said “Each of my children has absorbed something from me.”  “What have I absorbed”, I asked.  “You have absorbed all my insecurity.”  Wow thanks for that Mum, I got to be left alone a lot and then tried to become a satellite in order to be seen but was so rarely seen.

Such a pattern has often attracted strong older sister or mother types into my life who seem to hold a lot of power but also exist behind solid defences.  I am presently learning to hold onto my own sense of self in such relationships and remain the adult rather than repay an old adult/child pattern.   As a perceptive person I pick up a lot, most especially of others suffering and I have in sobriety spent so many times listening to my Mum’s history, learning things none of my siblings even know since I guess they are not on any kind of emotional recovery journey.  My older sister died and my other sister has chosen medication and sport as a way to deal with her own challenges.  I don’t put myself above her as I often feel I should exercise more and it is one way of throwing off other people’s stuff but as someone in recovery I am also aware of how exercise can be used as an emotional escape if the inner work on feelings is not being done.

Anyway last night I was very conscious of sitting with my Mum and listening to the pain of her past, and of the sadness she held inside when she spoke of how no one seemed interested in the family to ask her anything about her childhood or even very key critical events in the history of her early life with my father.   I don’t take it on as a burden for understanding my Mum and Dad’s history, especially their inner child history and bonding history has been important to understand my own attachment issues. But I do have to be aware that my Mum’s pain is not mine to fix or heal in any way.

As an empath I can bear witness and sometimes I wish I could be as hard and defended as my brother and sister seem to be towards my Mum’s sadness.  Maybe as the older ones they see things I don’t see.  And I am not really close enough to them to ask certain questions, as I don’t know how much I could trust their answers.  I am also aware of the astrological synastry which involves interconnection between parent and child and shows which traits we pick up and which we defend against.  In my own case my Neptune in Scorpio that is attuned to deep watery realms of feeling and inner sense on the deeper personal and collective unconscious level is smack bang on three Scorpio planets of my Mum.  While my sister has Saturn in Scorpio which related to fear of feeling deep emotions and subsequently erecting powerful defences.  I feel lucky to have that kind of knowledge which helps me make sense of why I pick up and attune to so much.

You don’t live there any more

ABC.jpg

There are days when darkness steals in

Clouds cover the horizon and it feels cold

And you remember how dark and cold and lonely

Those long years were

How you sought fire and warmth in liquid

Which burned you deep inside

And in a way gave you comfort

When there was no other loving presence there

A way to fit and pretend all was okay

But it wasn’t

Deep inside your heart was aching

And you felt like such a stranger in this world

Trapped inside

A witness and an observer

Always on the outside

But you don’t live in the darkness anymore

And your observer self helps you now as it always has

And you know

There are times when you enter your heart

You dive down deep into that ocean

And find a home underneath the waves

In the deeper truths

Others fear and hide from

And today even though dark clouds

Cover the literal horizon again

Inside your heart there is a light

That guides you home

That guides you to truth

Yes you have known great darkness

But you don’t live there anymore

Mars Chiron : awakening old wounds for healing and care

Chiron

Apologies to those who get sidelined by astrological symbolism, but when I read the monthly astrology on Lua Astrology’s website last night where astrologer Lea Whitehorse spoke of the Mars Chiron square to become exact on June 2, suddenly the deep pain I was in over the weekend made sense.  Prior to this we have  also  been experiencing Mars opposite Saturn which is not the easiest of transits.  Mars represents our self assertion or self expression, the soul desire for forward movement and action from heartfelt or imperative need and when it meets Saturn we experience deep frustrations, blocks or no go areas, alternatively we may have to slow down, mature and look for different options and so adjust our desires and need for movement or expression.  Its painful.

I have the aspect in my birth chart and I can tell you that since I have been young trying to express and go after what my soul and heart desires has been problematic to the degree that in childhood I began to subvert my true needs and desires.   I also have Moon with Mars and Saturn and we were raised in a very duty bound house when I was growing up.  Life was intensely serious, my mother was either elsewise engaged and trying to keep everything running perfectly or overworking and was then exhausted to the point any fun or mess or natural chaos caused an angry reaction or was a drain.  My parents fun times involved a lot of older adults and drinking or going out on the boat which I abhorred.  I was happiest on the beach with my surfboard growing up.

This authoritarian, dogged, do the right thing side of me often squashes the fun part.  My ‘fun’ later in life involved alcohol and drugs and these are not enriching pass times, they drain life and energy and leave one with a hangover and even more disconnected, or at least they did in my case.  So it is interesting that this aspect coincided with getting together with old drinking buddies from that time of my life and being faced with a huge brick wall of deep pain and hurt from the past.  I opened up my wound with them late on Friday night shortly before we were due to go home when they were already on about their 6th glass of champagne.

I know I am so lucky to be sober.  I was in deep pain over the weekend but I did my best to sit with it and feel it and affirm myself for feeling it.   The Chiron wounding part though is that it brought back to me the ways I have felt imprisoned or caged by a dark past I am trying my best to break free of.  In her commentary on this aspect currently Lea Whitehorse, UK based astrologer made the point that being opened to wounds at this time would draw our attention to the need for better self protective boundaries.  This rang true for me and dovetailed with what I wrote yesterday in one of my posts.

Chiron was a centaur in mythology who got wounded in the Achilles heel with by a poisoned arrow left lying around in the Hydra’s den after one of the Hydra’s battles, probably with the Gorgon.  The poison on the arrow going into Chiron in a vulnerable place (and heels or ankles ground our feet and contain tendons that help us to move forward or get away from damaging situations) relates on a psychological level to wounds we encounter by accident or just in the course of life that may leave a poison inside us or paralyse forward movement and faith in life and goodness.  We do not necessarily bring them on ourselves (though we often make them worse by the way we react).  In the myth Chiron’s wound is incurable and acts as a wisdom or insight builder into internal wounds, difficulties, challenges and psychology.  Chiron spends a lot of time helping others and birthing creative visions from the wounds but he never heals and if he did, come to think of it his purpose would be done.

So reflecting on it Chiron Mars times bring those times when we face deep wounds or watch them re-enacted and have to learn strategies to be with them in ways that don’t make the poison or pain inside worse.  Then yesterday when I wrote a little post about the pleasure of finding myself in a lovely present moment free of body and soul pain which I did not post but will today, I was thinking about Echardt Tolle’s concept  of the pain body and how that related to how I was feeling over the weekend.  The wound inside me from the past and due to 5 broken relationships could possibly be healed or eased in a new one, but the pain of aloneness on some of the dark days is hard when I don’t sit with my wounds and be my own best friend, finding ways to self soothe and come to think of it I really experience a paralysed ankle on those days when getting out can in fact be a necessary distraction that helps ease the pain for a time.

Today as yesterday the sun is streaming through windows on a very cold winter morning while my icy numb fingers type.  I find the Sun so healing and warming, it opens up and expands my being and my PTSD is very much about shock, removal, disconnection, dissociation and contract.  The warming power of the Sun counteracts this and lets me open myself more, it counters my Mars Saturn tendency to bite down hard on difficulties and pain.  Earlier today I found myself re-experiencing the anger towards this particular ‘friend’ who many years ago when I was really struggling kicked me out of her party as she had an issue with the guy I was dating at the time.  At that particular point I was in such grief over the loss of my father and was a long, long way from home.   I was very reticent about going to the dinner last week and my inner child was giving me curry over it this morning.

Talking about self protection and Chiron wounds also brings to mind the need we who are traumatised must learn to exercise around discriminating those who are and are not healthy to share our wounds with, when exactly do we open up?  How do we cope with some of the wounding things others who don’t have a clue about trauma and its deep impact say  to us?  How do we deal with the pain body when it becomes very active and preys upon us with its negative thoughts or chains of wounded logic?  How can we release and express our wounds in ways that are not retraumatising for ourselves or others, in way which makes them sources of creative insight?

This morning an idea came to me ‘the juice of the wound’.  In the myth the wounded arrow contains poison and that in itself is a kind of ‘juice’ with certain affects upon us.  That poison or ‘juice’ can and does lodge deep in our emotional bodies, it can immobilise or paralyse it.  Finding a way to ‘let’ it or dispel it seems essential as we don’t want to just stew in it always in a deeply painful way, and yet some kind of ‘stewing’ gives birth to art and poetry.  Juice and stewing images bring to mind the idea of alchemy or cooking our instinctual energies that run amuck or go awry.  It was something Carl Jung devoted a lot of time towards exploring with alchemical images such as those of Lion’s with their paws cut off being roasted in vessels over a fire which a kind of therapeutical or alchemical image for deep wounded healing processes.

Speaking of roasting Lions, last night I watched some of Madonna’s Rebel Heart concert on television.  I am not a huge Madonna fan but I was taken with the anger she was expressing and the hurt that formed the basis of two of her more recent songs Heartbreak City and Living in Love, as a Sun Sign Leo she expressed her angst and hurt in a very dramatic way.  The second song is full of positive lines about how as hurt as she has been she will not allow the hurt to poison her, it was an interesting case of synchronicity after just reading about the Chiron Mars Saturn transits of late.  We all go through pain, we all suffer and some of us do good work with the wounds.  We have our days when they consume us entirely.  The poison runs around our systems and we can feel paralysed or wired, on fire with anger and outrage or flooded and drowned in grief, these are all very human responses to what it is to be a soul that can suffer in the instinctual emotional part of us but we are then left with the outflow or outfall to deal with.  What we do with it I guess in the end speaks a lot about who we are and the attitude we take, after the flood or fire has passed or we have passed through it.  Many of us try to use our wounds to help others. By sharing our pain and suffering we connect to each other and are helped in some small way to feel less alone, in pouring out our experience or by sharing another’s we find the spot where we connect and through expressing and witnessing vulnerability become empowered.

Healer