Darkness eclipsed

Pearl

Darkness

Maybe you will never be gone from me

Maybe you are a part of my soul

Balsamic moon baby

Little one born before the Moon could be seen

When it was disappearing in deep space

Into a void

Of silence

Were you born to be the witness

Of all this pain

Of the fragility of relationships and human care

Of the agony that occurs

When endless goodbyes

And cleaving seem unrelenting

Leaving in their wake

A pile of ashes

Or a smouldering fire

You must tend alone

Looking around

No one seems to see

How hard it is

How much you struggle

How close you come

On some days to death

 To saying

This burden is too heavy to bear

Crushed

Like a lead weight

Your soul sinks

To the bottom of the ocean

And you become

A pile of sludge

But then

Just as you think

Death and depression

Have defeated you

A wave rises

And with raw power

Sets its surge inside you

Bidding you to fight

With all your might

Against extinction

And although you are exhausted

And feel as though you cannot go on

Somewhere else you know

That if you just trust

And hold yourself

In the centre of this wave

Riding it

You will rise again

Distilling difficult wisdom

And heartbreak

Into this seed

Which becomes

A black pearl

You place

Inside your heart

Then the darkness

That almost eclipsed you

Will become only

Dark memories you carry

Of all, that in passing

Awakened you

To the value of light

Deep mysteries

Of undoing

Of becoming

That with time

Allow the light to dawn

Over the horizon of your soul

No longer so eclipsed

By doom

Seed of becoming

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Dead quiet

No one is coming

And the only way

Of becoming

Requires of you

A travelling forth

Memory of ocean

Kept you imprisoned

Swimming deeply in your cells

For 5 long years

Ocean was

Isolation

Loss

Wilderness

A solitary scream

Heard by no one

But your own body

Longing so deep

For all that could not be recognised

For all that you could not express

When you are not seen

It seems to your soul

As if you live such a long way off

Body and being voided

You search for redemption in the sky

But it is not coming

Now the challenge is this

To become earth bound

To land

To walk across earth

Grounding

Being

Becoming

Hurts like hell

But that hurt is just birthing pain

Surrender to it

Open

It is the pain of your becoming

The pain of the husk

Breaking open

To release the seed

Of your self

The Undertow : reflections on the Inner Critic and the Inner Child

Many thanks to a fellow blogger for inspiring the title of this post.  I just reblogged the post in which Laina Eartharcher addressed two powerful forces of our inner world : the inner child and the inner critic.   I could also rename those two ‘The Joy Maker’ and ‘The Doom Merchant’.

As in inner force and compatriot of the force of the Undertow the Inner Critic’s game is to get us swirling into a negative downward spiral.  In some books on spirituality and emotional recovery the Inner Critic is referred to as the negative ego.  It works against acceptance, mercy, gratitude and enlightenment as well as against connection.  The negative critic only sees what is bad or hard, it keeps its focus on what you or others did wrong, how bone crushing that was, how unforgiveable and horrific. That’s not to say what happened to you wasn’t absolutely awful and negative but the truth is are you going to live with the negative power of it going over and over and over in your mind day after day after day convincing you that life will never be safe or joyous again.

On the other side of our mind scape is the joyous, innocent, soul infused Inner Child.  Full of radiance and life this inner child sees hope, she sees the mystery, he feels the pain and suffering and looks upon them with eyes of innocence.  He or she naturally or instinctively reaches out a hand to hold yours when you are in pain. He or she does not recoil in fear.  He or she is the quiet still inward voice that can dissolve the critic’s ceaseless shaming and admonishments.  Loving soulful inner child just says “I am so sorry you are in pain.  I am here.  You are not alone. What you went through really hurt.  Lets just be calm and still for a time and open our heart to what needs to be heard or felt.”  She then says “Don’t you think it would help to touch base with beauty, mystery and awe somewhere say music, nature, poetry, a hot bowl of chicken soul, a frolic in a meadow with your dog.”  He or she restores us to naked simplicity.

Often all of this is what the wounded hurting inner child in us most needs to hear, see or do never moreso than when he or she has just been besieged, attacked or assailed by the pain mongering of the Inner Critic pulling her down deep inside the soul sucking vortex of the painful undertow.

The undertow is not always to be resisted though.  Smetimes we need to be taken down.   There can be a healing power in an undertow that is calling us to descend to the bedrock or bottom of oceanic consciousness that as yet contains unfelt pain or need or longing or grief which is waiting patiently and silently there for us to recognise it and ride its upward surge as it carries us on a powerful wave of soulful love towards a distant shore or recognition, embodiment of suffering, soul awakening and peace.

Insights that hurt us may be contained here, but never the less their healing power and intention may be love.   It may be the necessity of our recognition of ways in which we stumbled, failed, fell short or missed he mark (the real meaning of the word mistake), ways in which our own unacknowledged pain, hurt, shame, anger, need for retribution or fear kept is locked up and imprisoned, barricaded from love and its winged accomplice miracle consciousness.

We may need to be pulled down into and by that undertow for a time.  But I do not believe we should allow ourselves to be held hostage too long by that other negative force the Doom laden Inner Critic who in showing no mercy or deeper insight into the tangled byways of living and journeying towards consciousness keeps our level of awareness frozen, pinned, fixed or sucked downwards in a yawning, empty, hungry soul emptying place.

Such a critic is actually a cadaveur of the soul’s birthing genesis, laying to waste our blossoming as soul conscious individuals and savaging our emerging inner child who may as yet have no legs to stand on, but must crawl or be rocked and cradled for a long time before he or she begins to walk and sing and dance again.

Along this pathway of becoming and emerging we must instead learn how to shrink or shut the door on that voice of doom and unrequited pain and shame and turn instead towards the open radiant loving face of our inner child, pregnant and rich with as yet untapped possibility.  We must not allow the critic to savage his or her innocence but recognise instead through her instinctual reactions to what maimed or hurt us powerful ways of resisting and saying ‘No!  This is me and I am innocent.  I am not wrong or bad but good and strong and most of all I deserve to live! And I will. I will find my voice.”  Our Inner Child must never be killed off or buried by the Critic because he or she is the deepest, profoundest, wisest, realest, most connected and uncorrupted force in our soul.

Facing reality : some reflections on the body, being, recovery and the sad cost of dissociation.

I am on my own but I am not alone – today’s realisation.  I see the past I came out of.  I see the young me that struggled.  I see the familial patterns that repeated.  I see how hard it would have been for me to break out of this conditioning before pain could have revealed what it was.  And then I see how for so very long the truth seemed far too bitter a pill to swallow.

As I write this I am reminded of the necessity of acceptance and how acceptance means I face reality instead of arguing with it.  While I am arguing with reality I am in an adversarial relationship with it and the truth is that reality has some deeply dysfunctional and painful elements which  cause hurt and pain and so this is life, sadly but truly at times.  The best I can often do is to meet it mindfully and with compassion and help the pain show me what it is I need to reach for to soothe it.  My difficulty with the past I didn’t want shows me longing to reach for more and yet not really knowing how to go abou that….how can I find the way to it?

And could the meaning and purpose of my life be purely about expressing my own pain and truth in some way to help others, just as when others expressing theirs helps me too?   Is there not some great comfort in that?   For the truth is that openness to reality can heal and I can find ways to love myself and others through it without allowing it to embitter me and block me off fully from trust, hope, truth and love.

I am seeing lately how the bitter pain of the past kept me locked off from new possibilities of love in the present moment and yet I still had to navigate that past and pain until I reached bedrock.  Mine has been an inner healing path that led to addiction and then emotional recovery.  As I do more and more work to overcome the power of an intensely powerful inner critic I am beginning to see that in many ways I have not done anything wrong as my path has been my path and it has been a path of breakdown and breakthrough.

When I put down alcohol in 1993 I did not know that I was a stranger to myself in so many ways.  I had years of unintegrated trauma behind me and for a time I had found love and stability with my husband but so much of myself was, as yet not known so I am not sure how much of a true self I had to give him at that time.   Together we made the cosiest life possible and then we tore it up on a dream and tried to build a new life overseas but the trauma power energy of my family drew me back.

In many ways I was possibly born different to many members of my family.  For one thing I was a lot younger and of a different generation.  Those of us born in the 60s saw a lot of revolution in music, in life and in relationships.  Old patterns were breaking down and we were part of that breaking open and breaking apart.  Is it any wonder so many of us went through our own breakdowns which to my mind now appear more as break throughs and waking ups with all the pain and confusion such a process entails?

Are we not still in the process of building new lives which are based on stronger more soul and heart centred values than those dictated by a social collective mindset that was so much stronger on ‘doing the right thing’ and had fostered in us such a profound split between heart and head?

So many of us have suffered in a body that we often betray and run roughshod over.  I do believe as a result of my own understanding that in culture presently we are often self rejecting of our physical and emotional selves to extreme degrees.  We were so often taught such self rejection.  In my own family we never learned to take care of our bodies or of our souls in bodies.  The deeper message of my own religious schooling was that in some way the body was flawed, mistrustful, disgusting and evil.  What terrible things to have a child believe, the realisation makes me cry.

Over the past few weeks I have been reading an intensely moving autobiography Love Warrior based on one woman’s struggle with her addiction and the breakdown in her primary relationships. What she finds midway through the journey is how divorced from her own body and being her own conditioning has made her.  And what conditioning forced into her shadow brought her into a relationship with a husband who sought a connection to the primal body and rejected soul shadow energy through internet porn.

As the story progresses it becomes clear that due to her own distance or disconnection from her body, soul, being and heart she has attracted a partner with similar issues only expressed in different ways.  Together they go on a healing journey to find what is really leading to their powerful disconnect.  In one very moving section she realises the truth is that so long ago she learned to fear and disconnect from her body and being, to seek distance and to dissociate.  I am sure so many of us will relate to this.

In trauma the body becomes a fearful and very unsafe place.  We experience emotions through a body so when we start to numb the body we also numb emotions.  If we fear the arising of primal feeling from within, our habitual defence is to reach for something to stop our feeling.  If the feelings long ago were what we learned to mistrust or if we suffered in young bodies at the hands of those dissociated from their own, our own split, dissociation and fear only deepens.

And yet part of us longs to feel, we were born to feel and we do not fully truly live until we come fully awake and alive to what has been rejected, dissociated from, feared or neglected in our body.  Our body/soul longs for our absent self, to  find the way back to what was lost when we started to dissociate but what is longed for is also feared, as imperfection and shame researcher, Brene Brown has pointed out in many of her talks and much of her writing.

Could it be that on some level some of us actually fear the feeling of being alive as such feelings open up our most tender vulnerability and associated fears of death or losing control?   Can we be strong enough to face this fear in head on instead of projecting our deeply unconscious intrepidation on others in fear, criticism, attack or blame?  These are just a few of the realisations I am having at the moment.  I found myself shedding tears so often towards the end of the book Love Warrior especially in the paragraphs where she spoke of reminding her young dauther how to be truly beautiful is to be full of the beauty and joy that comes when we learn to fill up on the beauty in life and nature.  We come alive most fully when we connect to life and each other nakedly, vulnerably and at our most honest, stripped back with open hearts to a body and soul that is finally able to feel its need for life, rawness, richness and love.

Force of love

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Force of love

Pushing me on

Rising like a tidal wave

From deep in my soul

Is calling me home

Is saying for the first time in my life

You belong

You are here for a reason

Remember all the seasons

Which you weathered

Beaten down with paralysis, fear, agony or pain

And the days on which your soul rose again

From a pile of ash

You were either being cleansed

Or shaped for some new purpose

Do not fear any more

Sweet darling

Trust yourself

Trust your life

Trust others

And know that deep inside

You have the capacity to weather

Any storm

And that you have finally solved the puzzle

By recognising

How much peace is found through surrender

That deeper surrender that only comes

When you learn to let go

And open your heart and being wide enough

To embrace all feeling

Allowing it to have its way and move through you

Carrying you on with the force of its power

And its love

Like a tidal wave

To a new shore

From where you will look back

And realise

How necessary everything you went through was

To the evolution of your soul

The healing power of witness consciousness

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How often have you had the powerful realisation of a witness consciousness within you that removes you enough to help you look upon your past self or inner baby, child, adolescent or adult self that struggled with so much over your life with healing love and compassion?

I had a very powerful experience of this today in therapy with Katina when I was sharing about and feeling the burning energy in my chest around my heart, I had the sudden insight that it was exactly this time last year I started my radiotherapy for breast cancer very close to the second anniversary of my sister’s death and I was talking to her about body memory and the post I wrote prior to this one, and realised my body was remembering how it felt to be burned over that month of treatment last year, all around the first anniversary of radiotherapy, my body remembered.

I then had a two visions, one of me having to move myself onto the operating table just prior to the operation with no sedation and of the many times 30 in all I had to put myself on the table for radiation therapy.  Katina said to me, “Perhaps a year on you have enough time and distance to begin to grieve for all that you went through” and that is how it felt, I saw so deeply into my soul and felt that oceanic swell of grief, love and compassion.  On some level I was conscious of this most beneficent loving presence that was there witnessing the emotional truth with me.

It is not a new experience for me.  I had many visitations from a goddess kind of figure in the darkest days following the ending of my marriage and the accident I had that saw me living in almost complete isolation subject to ongoing panic attacks, along with experiences of being savaged emotionally by negative voices and demon like figures that on some level wanted me dead.  As I look back on that time I am full of sadness for myself but also acceptance.  That was where I was taken in my recovery journey before the Pandora’s box of my past suffering opened up and I had to experience much of it on a somatised (body) level before I finally found good therapy quiet some years later.

That is why when I write about the fact that I believe our soul has the inner power to contain and witness all we have suffered in our lives, it’s not supposition or just an intellectual or philosophical insight,  I just KNOW it with every fibre of our being, and I see how little we speak of soul in modern times and how often we forget it is present in every dark symptom we undergo, trying to make its voice heard.

I felt so much lighter after leaving my therapist this afternoon.  I was speaking to her of how my past grief is now like a dead animal on the side of the road I want to leave behind, but prior to this we were speaking of how my past pain and trauma will always be a part of me, but now it is no longer the whole of me, possessing me entirely from within,  I am no fool in that I know there will probably be lots of other painful dark days but my experience is that the more this loving witness presence is present in me the more I recover and the more light I retrieve from the darkness.  I am a firm believer that we don’t leave the darkness behind, by facing it we illuminate it and in time it is dispelled, like clouds it can come back and obscure the sun again but we know on some level it is not the whole of us, just a huge part of what it was to struggle so much darkness and trauma alone, at a time we were so ill equipped to deal with it.

The one powerful thing I heard the goddess/witness say to me in those dark days mentioned above was this “in time you will emerge from the dark night victorious”.  I often remember y dead sister saying to me in the final years of her life,  “Deb, you know in the end everything is going to be okay”.  Yes, she died but that death bought my nephews back into my life and grief made us all aware of the power of love to unite souls forever.  Witness consciousness fills my heart and soul with so much compassion and love, which I struggle to express here.  And want to bear testament to it, for a I am sure so many of you may also have had this experience and if you have not, perhaps this will give you some hope, some light.

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When dreams die

There are things

When our dreams die

We fall into the darkest place

A place where all we longed and hoped for

Seems an impossible dream

And it becomes so hard to love where we are now

For the pain is so deep

And inside we feel so cold

Where a warm fire once burned

Of faith

Of hope

Of love

We only feel wreckage

Something inside of us is breaking apart

And the breaking hurts

We cannot see yet

How this breaking is also an opening

To a new state of being

One in which hope

Though removed from view

Leaves in its space

A place where we are touched

By a deeper understanding

A deeper reality

And often this takes so long to birth

And we spend years inside the chrysalis

Of our broken dreams

Spinning and spinning

Out of our suffering

A new life and perspective

Philosophy cannot ease the pain

For philosophy is only born once pain is passed

By wiser souls

So death of dreams and loss of hope

Is often the highest price we pa

For a far deeper descent

Into a more profound reality