We do not have to ‘get over’ our emotions

The deeper a heart breaks

The more love it can hold

Jeff Foster

Only an unfeeling world tells us to get over our emotions and here I am talking about the real and true and human responses to hurts in life, rather than the angry grievances we can keep on stoking when we refuse to affect some hard facts about this emotionally numb and wounding world.

Alice Miller called her first book on narcissistic child abuse The Drama of the Gifted Child originally, later it was renamed to The Drama of Being a Child. I wonder at this now, obviously we all started out as sensitive and porous but some of us may have had a special magic, gifts or attributes our families could not value, see or nurture in us and how sad it it then, when our only solution becomes one of making ourselves numb or seeking safety in the towers of intellectualization or rationalization. Sadly our modern world is so full of these thinking/feeling schisms.

When I think lately of the lovely sensitive male spiritual and emotional teachers in this modern world, two names immediately spring to mind, Jeff Foster and Lee Harris.. Today I would like to share with you a piece of writing from Jeff Foster’s book The Way of Rest :Finding the Courage to Hold Everything in Love. My guides directed me to it this morning. In this reading from page 87 of the book, Jeff addresses that stupid platitude so many of us get told when we go through hard losses, that somehow implies there is something wrong with us if we cannot move on from hurts or losses easily.. In it he makes the case grounded in his own experiences of processing sadness and pain that it is more helpful to go through these things fully feeling our feelings rather than splitting them off or just labelling them ‘ego’. That is not always the case..

Some of us endure a lot of loss and that may take us away from the mundane world, we may have to go to a very deep alone place in that loss in order to make sense of it, especially if the world around us mocks us, not ever really having any insight into the reality.. I have most certainly experienced this.. Feelings will move through us in time and with the help of being acknowledged and being told to ‘get over’ them not only makes no sense it can be and is very damaging.

Do not believe the biggest lie of all that you are supposed to be ‘over’ something or someone ‘by now’, that ‘by now’ you should be better, immune, healed, or at least, ‘more enlightened’.

If you are ‘over’, then who is ‘under’? If you are ‘better’, then who is ‘worse’? If there is a goal, then who has reached it yet? DON’T SPLIT YOURSELF IN TWO.

Don’t attempt to ‘get over’ your grief, your sorrow, your confusion, the empty feeling inside. Feel these friends and allies totally, allow these sacred and misunderstood energies to move through you like tidal waves of grace. They are not ‘negative’, they are only parts of consciousness, fragments of the totality that want to be felt deeply in your vastness. They have come to cleanse and heal, not to punish. Stop naming them, stop judging them, and start feeling their raw unbridled power.

Don’t compare yourself with anyone else. You are unique, awakening in your own way.

From the perspective of the universe, there is no ‘by now’, there is only Now and no image of how Now should be.

The moment you’ve photographed a wave in the ocean, its already vanished,

Some things about the highly sensitive

We feel things intensely. There is a sense we hold of being connected at a deep level even when others are not, we sense that energy of defense as a wall but its seems to be a wall inside the person that we notice when we are very young we may not understand at all. Indeed in many of our families it is we who come to feel like the outsider.

Sometimes the people around us carry all kinds of feelings and pains, that are not obvious but to our sensing and intuition and when young it may cause us pain as the feelings land on and deep inside of us and we become carriers for them. As young ones we had no defenses against this, we just absorbed the onslaught unconsciously, and if unrecognized these things alter our self concept, we make it about us (rather than working to understand what happened to us) then we can begin to develop a lowered vitality, depression or experience a desire to retreat and seek refuge in kinder places

In addition if we are shamed or mocked or devalued about the ways we sense, or relate or communicate we may tend to shut down the way of being that comes most naturally to us just to ‘fit’ in but the cost to us will be lowered energy and vitality a kind of soul loss that must be addressed later through some kind of healing crisis.

In addition we suffer a loss of power. If, as society encourages us to do, we begin to become externally referenced, in time we may end up moving further and further away from our true selves.. We may even meet actively hostile forces to our intuitive and creative selves as writer Paolo Coehlo did when he was young when his parents tried to shock him out of his desire to be a writer..

If we bury our real self and dreams and feelings and intuitions, later in life a so called breakdown may be the result but really such a thing should be called a purpositive crisis, an individuation conflict. In the absence of spiritual and emotional understanding of how our temperament differs from others, we may be diagnosed or committed to institutions or in some other way closed down in our body. Some of us suffered invasive surgeries when young that also affected us energetically for a long time into adulthood.

Many of us will turn to things like self harm, addictions to drugs and alcohol, risk taking activities and/or eating disorders in our pain.. These are only ever symptoms of our hunger for a more complete existence where we can taste the mystical or the miraculous or just come in touch with heaven of being able to live as inwardly referenced authentic beings alive and awake in deeper aspects of ourselves, that we must come into a more vibrant and free relationship with, in order to feel whole.

The fire in you

The fire in you moves like lightning

Across an open field

Glimmers of sunlight streaming

Across every blade of grass

Bedazzling my sight

Draw your honey colored body closer to me

My love

Let me taste the sweetness you radiate

You are my heart and soul’s true gift

A manifold blessing

There was a dark day

And then a golden dawning

When the light of your loving

Drew close to me

And as unfamiliar as I was

With your brand of fire

Now my heart and soul and body

Just longs for you

To taste the warmth and heat

To sense every cell of my being

Burning

Burning

Burning

A terrible insecurity

I started this post today before my chiropractic appointment. I am working with a new lady Judy and am finding it so helpful her husband acts as receptionist and is well.travelled we had such an interesting chat before my treatment. This meanders all over the place but I’ll post it anyway. I am working through so much in my relationships right now with Uranus in square to my Sun Mercury Venus Jupiter squares to Neptune, the fog around my distant Dad gives meaning to why I connected to two men so far away struggling to be with me but it all being derailed by financial issues.. I cannot trust a lot of people with this and yet I take the risk to share about it in my blog to be authentic and real.

Lack of nurture, attunement and support in childhood leaves big wounds and empty voids deep inside of us. I can only really begin to own this now. I never got to fully stand upright as who I was being too tall was a part of it and often I had to force myself into clothes not right or have bigger sizes cut down and remade at least for school uniforms. Part of the problem was having Dutch parentage on one side, that part of me only started to make sense when I first visited Holland in 1985 the year after Dad died with my Mum. There people were tall like me, I didn’t feel so set apart by my height but the truth was I also learned to shrink myself in other ways because the feeling I got from my family was that I was a bit ‘too much’ of everything they didn’t really understand or even approve of and my therapist thinks this also has to do with being born to older parents as a mistake, one they did not have a lot of time for.

I love the Dutch part of me now, it makes sense of how I am in other ways too, Holland stayed neutral during the first part of World War 2 and suffered by being invaded in May 1941. Dad had got out in 1938 and got a traineeship with the Dutch East Indies Air Force as a mechanic then. He would not have met Mum if his squadron were not sent to pick up B56 bomber aircraft from Australia in 1940. The planes were not ready and so they ended up spending a lot of time in my home town and Dad met Mum at a dance, he proposed about 3 months later.

Funny how fate works out and driving to my chiropractic appointment a moment ago half way through writing this as I saw the blue hills circling our town dusted with gun metal grey and white rain clouds I thought of how a fortune teller in Indonesia told Dad that he would travel to a place ringed by hills, met and marry a dark lady and have four kids and that all came to pass. Dad was often eerily predictive in his life and a great fatalist.

I seem to have digressed though, just been sitting with my coffee outside reading a portion of Sarah Woodhouse’s book on trauma, You Are Not Broken in which she discusses why relationships are so challenging and painful for so many of us due to the following deeply embedded relationship and attachment issues so prevalent in those of us with trauma. Tying this back to the heading of insecurity it is not possible to feel secure with others if we never felt safe TO TRULY BE OUR FULL SELVES, and we get wounded when we are :.

Not being encouraged to talk about our real feelings and needs nor having them recognized, attuned to, seen or validated,

Not being fully accepted for all the parts of us, even difficult ones.

Not having our feelings, beliefs and questions about life met with care, empathy, attunement and interest.

According to Sarah all of these deficits lead us to difficulties being real and open as well as communicating well in relationships. She shared this after giving a very lovely example of a dear friend of hers opening up about all of her insecurities and issues with a new partner who himself finds the courage to be open and honest with her at the same time. Sarah’s friend’s partner is attracted to her because of the work she has been doing on herself but his own wounds are being triggered and so the two of them GET REAL.

This never happened for me in any relationship in the past.. I did not have a close, loving affectionate Dad or Mum and so I seemed to attract those who were also shut down.. Now that seems to be changing a bit but I am usually the one being asked to do a lot of the work and this is raising for me a deep wound, a wound over really having needed Dad to see me in a way that he could not and so because he could not I had to try extra hard to be loved and in so doing give myself away but not now.. Lately my inner child has just been crying out for me to love her and start setting better boundaries, only my fear is (and I do not know if this is also down to being a super responsible metal ox and also a seven planet Aquarian) if I do not try extra hard I wont get anything given to me at all.

I have been crying a bit lately but its been a different kind of crying.. This crying has been about the grief I felt in my family at longing for my Dad’s love and not getting it in the way I needed and yet also coming to a kind of forgiveness around this too, from knowing what my father also lived through in terms of loss..

Luckily now I have two lovely soft men in my life Scott and Jackson who seem to be trying their best even as they had to ask me for help with things in a way society will not allow.. Its painful and hard but I cannot give up on either of them.. This retrograde Mercury transit also only has about 8 days left to go so lessons should start to be hitting home as it starts to slow down before moving forward at 26 of Taurus on the 5th of June.. We have a new moon in Gemini before that and are heading into the final closing out of the last New and Full Moon eclipse cycles in Taurus and Scorpio.. Old patterns have reared up so we can get a good hard look at them and see what really needs to change.. hopefully those changes will be easier to make after Mercury gets back to the degree at which it turned retrograde in a few weeks time. That will be in square to my generations Chiron in Pisces which has to do with wounds of separation and abandonment. Wounds that run so very deep for so many of us survivors of trauma, neglect and attachment wounding.

Sadly my Dad never communicated with me at all really. Due to his own past he was a stoic and distant father. I also think he kept so much locked up inside, none of my siblings know anything of his past or childhood and it has taken me some exploration to be able to piece things together with the help of a Dutch relative, including the fact he lost his father at the age of 12. Having to leave his homeland behind was a big thing.. He was so adamant he didnt want to go back.. He wanted a better life in Australia, but sadly trauma began to derail our family from 1979 onwards and by 1985 Dad was gone. And there have been complex mental health issues in his three daughters. For my brother he stays as distant as he can emotionally like a lot of men.. I try my best now to enter his world as I know he does not get me or mine.. To him I am the loose cannon the baby sister with no ambition who seems to have to purpose in her life. That is something that is not my fault.. its just the way he is wired.. and since he never lost a father at 22 I do not think he could understand.. Dad and he worked so closely together, but still did he really ever know my father at all? I do not think so, because sadly, so often while parents are alive so many never think to ask, what happened to you? That, to me, is a question I find supremely interesting.

Speak to me

Speak to me of things you’ve felt

Of inner burdens you have carried

I will stay close by

And listen

There is no need to fear

For any single painful detail

Shame makes us deny far too much

Unearned guilt keeps so oh so

Solitary and quiet

And yet there among the loneliest of places

Spaces of love still live

If only you can learn to give to others and yourself

Presence

Deep listening

And compassion

In this way

Encouraging support

To blossom from within

Yes

Our healing does not take place in isolation

Connection, although an inward gift

Is also needed from friends

Who see deeply and acknowledge

The beauty and strength and truth

The healing wisdom

That lives in you

This affirmation is

So badly needed at times

For truly you are not broken

Only traumatized

And this wound of yours needs to assume

The right size

To be tended to with care

Not made deeper and far more painful

Through dismissal

Avoidance

Denial

Or neglect

The most brutal story of all

Tell me your stories

They fascinate me in every single

Painful detail

Reminding me of how often

Hell is created by humans

Who say you will only avoid it

If you follow their way

I do not want to be led by the blind any more

Just how long did it have to take

Me ransoming my truth for crumbs

Falling from a table that has no sustenance

For my soul?

They were cruel to the young

And felt nothing of the pain

That is what seems to me

Most evil of all

To be that hostile to love

To have so totally turned your back upon it

Is that not

The most brutal story

Of all?

(this poem is inspired by novelist Deborah Levy’s exploration of her abuse at the hands of both a teacher and headmaster as a young child growing up in South Africa.. she tells the story in her book Things I Do Not Want to Know. In the same part of the book she explores the disease and abnormality of the white people who abused the dark writing these words :

White people were afraid of black people because they had done bad things to them. If you do bad things to people, you do not feel safe. And if you do not feel safe you do not feel normal. The white people were not normal in South Africa. I had heard all about the Sharpeville Massacre that happened a year after I was born and how the white police shot down black children, and women and men and how it rained afterwards and washed the blood away. By the time Mr Sinclair had said “go back to your classroom” (after beating her) he was panting and sweating, I could tell he did not feel normal.)

germination

A bright dawn follows much later

On the foggy days

And its an act of trust to open our hearts

When the sun has disappeared

Where is the sun in my heart??

What made it depart from me??

There was a grief for the loss of light

And it was one impossible to name

And yet it lived like a haunted ghost inside of me

There were many tears

That also revealed so much wisdom and healing

Over all of the years

And so I am grateful for them

Sunlight dawning now

Makes all of these tears so much more

Meaningful to me

There is both light and shade

Inextricably woven into the way in which

We are made

So let us celebrate the sunlight

While remaining ever so grateful

For the rain showers

That in falling

Watered deep inside us

Fallow spaces in which hidden seeds lay

Ripe and anxious

Longing for germination

Some times my body cries

I have cried so many years

Not only my own tears

But lately the weeping is

A whole body thing

Little drops of water leaking out

There is not as much bleeding as there was

Before

After I got so terribly spun

And came undone

On the run from a grief

I could not name

That you hated me for not

Being able to tame

Was it too much of a reminder to you?

I forgive

Believe me I do

I will no longer blame myself

And yet there is a time

After the fog clears

That we must become our own shelter

And suffer the welter of storms

That others bring into our lives

Hoping to help

But forgetting the wounds they also

Carry

Sometimes make our own

So much harder

To bear

skating on thin ice

Yesterday was intense, more pressure from Scott, and big spins. It is so hard to be in a situation where someone is pleading with you for their life, then you have those who know you have overextended yourself for so long, you even know it yourself, but you did it out of love meeting so much opposition along the way.. I did not know if I would stand up today but I did and I ate and got us out to the park and was rewarded by Jasper being able to connect with another little dog called Wolfie who was ripe for a big run around, that was so good for Jasper who absorbs so much of my stress.. We then did a brisk walk before heading home to get a coffee on the way.

I had not seem my local barrista, Miguel for a while, I have such a soft spot for him and its lovely to have someone in your life who asks after and missed you.. He had not been that well either, the guy works two jobs and is so fast and friendly working in the cafe.. I just told him vaguely its been a tough two weeks and that was enough..

I am home now and the day that started foggy and cloudy is clearing with sun now shining down on me in the little nook where I write my blog in the mornings, is that a metaphor? I made a new friend on Instagram they wanted to support me in what I was going through but after opening up to Jackson and getting in so much hot water financially I had to just not reply, its best if I manage my own life, its the only way.. I did put a call through to my brother and just as well as he is off to America today after 2 years of not being able to go there.. He has a place in Utah and usually spends their winter skiing and missing out on summer, my therapist always jokes about how he prefers an icy place to the warmth of Australia. There is no easy way to be close to my brother, I have wept over it, he has devalued me so many times but I still love him, never the less I did feel so spun around after our chat on Tuesday. I keep the communication open even if there is so much I cannot speak to him about.. He was telling me how much he also struggles with his sinuses and about an awful medical procedure he had done on them as a child. I always learn something new from our chats.

I was so happy after our walk yesterday to the wild reserve close to us.. I sang and wrote a number of poems.. I then watched the movie A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood with Tom Hanks all about a man who is so angry with his emotionally abandoning father.. It made me realise the unconscious so often draws us close to those things that resonate. Earlier in the day my guides had directed me towards a reading in the Al Anon reader on being there for an unavailable parent by being able to accept them as an imperfect and deeply flawed human being.. the movie helped me to see how so often my anger and resentment derailed me and can still do.. I am trying my best to find ways to forgive my father.. he did his best I know that, I also know that he loved me. Our closest times were riding the Cha Cha at the Hanging Rock fair, because on those early coast holiday fishing always came first and I abhorred being out on the boat as did my older sisters who always jumped ship and swam in to shore.. Being young I could not do that and was just stuck there. I remember one day throwing up an apricot yoghurt after being seasick. I had so little power or control as a young one and the still carries through today and as much as I blame myself I know the entire thing goes very much deeper. There are just so many deeply unconscious reasons I get drawn to men with problems and try to save them when really I should be saving myself and yet that his how deep our longing for connection goes.. nothing to be ashamed about at all.

My living sister is very on my mind.. I miss her, I do.. We have not spoken for weeks.. Seeing Lloyd sitting by his dying father’s bed in that movie called to mind my Mum later days.. Dad was taken so quickly we never got to speak as the drugs took him under prior to us losing him after they tried to perform an emergency tracheoctomy on him in January 1985. I carried that terrible loss, buried grief and guilt for years in my addiction, it only began to burst out of me from 1999 onwards and then the seas churned so wildly in my life as I was pulled this way and that forwards and backwards to family and my ancestral lands in the UK. One’s soul journey is enormous that is for sure and MOST CERTAINLY HAVE ENDURED MORE THAT MOST

SEVER BODILY INJURIES INVOLVING BURNS LACERATIONS OR DEEP CUTS UP TO 4 OR 5 TIMES

NEARLY DYING AT 17

HAVING MY SISTER DISABLED IN 1980

HER SUICIDE ATTEMPT

MY FATHER’S DEATH

ADDICTION

TERMINATIONS OF PREGNANCY

LOSS OF MY OLDER SISTER AFTER A PROLONGED PERIOD OF ILLNESS

SECOND SUICIDE ATTEMPT OF MY SECOND SISTER AND HER ONGOING INCARCERATION AND SHOCKING WITH ECT

EMOTIONAL ABANDONMENT BY MY BROTHER IN HIM NOT BELIEVING ME AFTER MUM DIED

I need to write all of this stuff out so I get a more realistic sense of how well I actually have coped up to now… no one really understands, except maybe my therapist.. the important thing is that I do.. and i no longer consent to drown in toxic shame for having admirably tried to help someone also in a very difficult situation, my own emotional neglect set me up for this and God knows unconscious patterns can take years and years to get an adequate handle on.

Break me down (riot act!)

You endlessly tried

To break me down

To fit your mold

Scolded me for feeling so deeply

Even my period was an inconvenience

Oh and then the time you said

I was jealous as I cried

For the baby my ex husband finally had

Not knowing the profound mix of feelings

Inside my soul

Why did you judge me

Was it your right?

How did you sleep

So soundly at night

Being such a prick

Sorry I kept the anger inside

For so long

Trying to appease your ego

And make nice

When really what I should have done

Was read you

The riot act