The beauty of fire

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The beauty that shone

Like wildfire in your eyes

Could never be permanently extinguished

Though in time a film grew over them

As it became harder to find you way

Amidst a wild universe that led you astray

But still the fire that shone in you

Was able to keep you set apart

From the mainstream that pretended it knew the way

And if you did not follow would be led astray

For there were other souls like yours

Who knew enough to keep the fire burning

Who decided to trust their deeper heart and soul yearning

Those who had the courage to open their wings and fly

Even when everything conspired to keep them bound

So trust your inner flame and never let it dull

Use it to guide you and never give up

For the fire in you comes from a beauty so deep

It should never ever be extinguished

Or put to sleep

On ambivalence and facing my wounds

I kind of love the word ambivalence.  I break it down into its two roots ambi and valence.  I know valence is a kind of frequency or charge, I guess we could call it an energy or pull, this by-way pulling of contradictory inner charges of though and feeling is something I go through a lot in my relationship with the outer world and my family most especially.

I seem to be torn at times between forgiving my Mum and family for past neglect and feeling great disappointment, resentment and anger about them.   I long to connect and then feeling thwarted and hurt want to get as far away as I can.   The resentment has changed for me in recent months with the realisation that it can, if buried and the true feelings not dealt with cause disease on many levels.  I do feel this together with the many experiences of wounding and emotional abandonment I experienced together with difficulty forming healthy nurturing relationships contributed to my breast cancer last year.

I know acceptance on some level provides relief.  I can accept something occurred or is occurring although I may not like it, I just realise I am powerless over other people and realise expecting change is doomed.  Only the adult part of me is capable of that since my wounded enmeshed child wants to hold on and not accept the truth at any cost.  When I don`t accept or choose to see the reality I can make excuses for bad behaviour or just keep hoping ‘this time it will be different’ and just stay stuck in anger as a defence against grieving, mourning, accepting and moving on in a rational way.

I just watched a second video from Courage Coaching on how narcissistic parents can infantalise a child and it sent some shivers through me.  I have struggled with feeling a sense of competence and independence in my life due to being over involved and enmeshed with my Mum for some years and this difficult situation was made harder by my father’s death when I was 23.  I feel shame and guilt at times when I see how I acted my own fear and pain and feelings of being not worthy enough or inadequate in relationships sometimes through anger and think gosh I really was strongly on the narcissistic spectrum. But I also know that true narcissists try to avoid any possible introspection and that is not me.   I am overly introspective at times and often make things my fault that are not.  As I now understand it, the home I was raised in and influences around me were out of my control then, I was for a time powerless over the unconscious effects. Pain and difficult emotions such as anger and resentment come as teachers to guide me to a healthier pathway and in recovery I need to contain and work through them so I make healthier choices that don’t lead to more of the same.

I never had my painful feelings mediated or learned how to deal with them growing up.  I saw my own family using alcohol a lot and that is what I learned to do, silencing and drowning the complex mixed up feelings of my child within.  I had, even for years into my sobriety, trapped childhood feelings all mixed up inside.  Therapy is helping as is understanding how a regressed brain and wounded inner child forms in such an environment. This child needs help to understand his or her feelings and grow up.  It`s a long and difficult process for many of us.   That painful relationship we got involved in was just a trigger for us to do our own healing and that now is OUR responsibility no matter what wounds we carry.   If we stay stuck in blame and angry with the abuser or abandoner as a defence against a deeper acceptance we are in trouble.  Anger over what was done to us is an essential stage we must pass through to engage and moblise our push to heal and change and form better boundaries.  We cannot by pass it on the road to healing but staying stuck in it recycling over and over is just not healthy.  We deserve a happy life free of that kind of angst and pain after all we have been through.  When we form better boundaries and learn to self soothe and self care we are less likely to be as angry in my experience.  Our inner child needs our inner adults tenderness, discipline and strength.

Birthing through struggle

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Baby

Our struggle is, in many ways what births us.  I think this is the deeper reason behind why we can feel pissed or ripped off when people tell us platitudes like “it was all for a reason” which is something that formed a large chunk of a post I posted earlier with a quote from Debbie Ford on the shadow.  Even as I was posted it I thought how being told that suffering was all part of the divine plan may anger or be intensely triggering for some reason as the last thing we really all want is to suffer and coming to see the wisdom in awful pain and suffering or abuse is something we have to arrive at in our own time and through our own process.

A central tenant of Buddhist wisdom, though is the fact that suffering is intrinsic to life and we only have power over how we choose to respond.  Do we curse it or bless it?  Do we put our focus on the lack or the gain?  And as I write this it occurs to me that struggle  even attends our first moments on earth depending on how easy or difficult our birth was.

Birthing as a physical being is also not the same as birthing ourselves on a psychological or spiritual level.  For that birth is something that can be stymied or thwarted depending on the environment we were born into and how well it matched out intrinsic soul need.  And then we have the thorny aspect of family karma.  If we come from a family where in past generations traumas, loss and separation from love manifesting in alcoholism or addiction were strong themes.  Add to this the fact of the collective traumas that our families of the past were subject to, to greater or lesser degrees and that is a lot of historic struggle to unravel and unpack.

Understanding my own family karma and patterns has made it a little easier for me to reach for forgiveness lately.   I see how much my own two families, of mother and father were impinged upon by collective events of war and depression.  I see how a battle to survive meant my family was full of struggle and so the issue of nurture was a difficult one.  At times I have felt a bit selfish to be honestly lately when I realise how my own mother struggled in the absence of a dead father and mother who was constantly absent due to providing for her daughter.  At the age of 13 my grandmother also wanted my Mum to go live with a family and become a domestic servant.  I think by then she had a new man on the horizon or maybe she just thought this would give her daughter a better chance at survival.  My Mum rebelled and found herself a job as a tailor’s apprentice.

At age 13 I went into the family business, a clothing store, part time and on weekends.  It was on one of the weekends 4 years later that I had my major motor vehicle smash which aborted my entire last semester of school.  I never formally graduated.  Times of transition or cyclic new birth times are therefore difficult and full of fear for me.  I fear at these kind of times I will literally die.  I had the whole thing retriggered when my marriage ended taking myself far away and smashing up.  I see that this is what I chose to do even though a large part of my soul hungered to stay close to my own Mum at that time.   Separation, transitions and new steps forward are especially fraught for me and that isn’t my fault.  I undergo a lot of separation anxiety.  The best I can do lately is work to become more conscious of the pattern and love myself through it.

Yesterday the beat up voice was back telling me how little I have amounted to my life, casting its distainful gaze on my home and telling me I should end my life.  I was lucky enough to cry from the inner child and then the loving adult showed up and told the critic to back off.  I know the critic is trying to protect me from something but the cost of his criticism on my tender soul is too brutal.  Would the world really be better off if I were dead, as the critic said yesterday?  I don’t think so.  Am I really such a fuck up? And is my life over yet?  NO!

I know in my life I have struggled in all sorts of ways.  I don’t carry deep within me an implicit feeling of trust, security and safety in this life.  I tend to see the negative side and anticipate disaster.  I know more now and that it is a protective mechanism but it isn’t one that always serves me well.  I struggle with believing all the harsh things that happened to me were all part of a plan but in another way I do believe it.  And I was so blessed to get sober at 31.

I may have struggled in later years but my sober life is a big achievement and all the emotional work I have done since.  I don’t check out for the most part,  I front up and try to live and engage to the best of my ability.  And my struggle on many levels is both what births me as well as keeping me realistic and grounded.  Much of my own shadow is not full of darkness but full of repressed light and love.  Its only lately  I am feeling that it is finally putting in an appearance after years and years and years of living in the closet. As someone who almost drowned in her own shadow I am so grateful now that I don’t have to identify myself as permanent scapegoat or victim.  At one time I was powerless over all kinds of things and they did victimise me.  But I also now choose to say, that these things were things I survived and chose to face, not that there is any sin in not doing so, for some darkness weighs too heavy upon more gentle souls and can drown them, especially if there is no one there help with the grand archetypal battle with the inner critic/shame based/shadow.

That is a profound truth that I most implicitly understand.   Yesterday when my inner battle was going on a voice inside my head asked me this.  “Deborah, which voice are you going to give power to, the voice of love or the voice of fear and hate?”  Yesterday I chose love and as I consider the entire thing this afternoon for the rest of my life I want love to be the final word, most of all love for myself, love for the struggle and love for my fellow humans.

Tears : the soul’s rain shower

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Falling like gentle rain

Your tears will soften you

They will moisten your soul and your heart

So that it never becomes a fortress

Or a wall of barbed wire

To permanently keep others out

At times you may fear

That letting the hurt in will kill you

It will not

Not if you surrender

While holding on to your own sense

Of deep self love

And self value

For only from this position

Can you honour soul

Only from this place

Can you allow love

And it is soul and love that allows the tears

It is soul and love that also

Forms the container

In which they are held

So that their healing elixir

Can work its magic on your heart

And soften you to truths

You mind will only comprehend

After the soul’s rain shower

Has passed