Lessons of Mars : finding my way through invalidation to self care and healing

Care of the soul…appreciates the mystery of human suffering

and does not offer the illusion of a problem-free life.

It sees every fall into ignorance and confusion

as an opportunity to discover

that the beast residing at the centre of the labyrinth

is also an angel.

Has anyone else out there been subtly aware of Mar’s shift into the sign of Sagittarius over the past few days? I had not been watching the planetary positions in detail, but have been aware during the passage of the planet of action, assertion, activating, boundaries and self protection through the Pluto ruled sign of Scorpio that deep issues of power, insight and control as well as intense emotions left unprocessed or simmering from the past had been percolating and erupting, especially in the small hours of the morning in response or reaction to certain dealings or triggers in the day.

Things became especially intense for me last week following the Sun’s passage over my Pluto in the week prior to that. Early September marks the anniversary of my motor vehicle accident, the major trauma that punctured my life at 17.  At that time in 1979 a number of outer planets were sitting smack bang on 17 degrees of the signs, Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius (strong linkages here to ancestral charts on both the maternal and paternal side). So September is an especially sensitive time for me anyway. And in my reading and experience traumatic imprints can be reawakened on anniversaries.

As an astrologer, watching my own cycles over years as well as those of others I see this all the time. Add to the mix that  during its passage through Scorpio over the past month or so, the planet Mars has been squaring seven planets in my seventh house, together with the Nodal axis between the first and the seventh.

This past week I have strongly felt the challenges inherent in the transit of Mars in Scorpio squaring my natal Uranus at 29 degrees Leo in the first house.  Some major conflicts and boundary challenge have presented themselves in significant relationships and yesterday I noticed that Mars has shifted into Sagittarius which means Mars will be squaring Chiron and Pluto in the seventh and first houses respectively, bringing up the need to separate and bring consciousness to certain habitual ways of relating to others which may have reached their use by date.

Scorpio and Pluto together with Mars bring up issues of inter personal power, transference and empowerment. From my experience, the planet Mars acts as a trigger planet, especially to other outer planet transits. When it hits key points in the natal and transiting chart issues seem to be activated at a deep level to promote consciousness and healing. We may have intense encounters or clashes with others, which can active a powerful  regression to former incidents left unprocessed.

Where the sign Scorpio and the planet of transformation and deep psychological work, Pluto is involved then we are dealing with shadow issues, issues that may promote discomfort for those not so willing to look at the dark side.

While it is necessary to take action during Mars transits, it is my experience that due to the spontaneity and explosiveness of Mars energies battles can occur and the depth of these are indicated by Mars passage through the sign of Scorpio. Over the past week exactly this has occurred, and over the past few days I found it necessary to take some distance from several significant relationships so I can process what has actually been occurred around issues of intimacy, power exchange, emotional expression and repression.

Mars transits mark a time when we need to work to separate and reclaim our power, power that early relationship traumas steal from us, setting us up for unequal emotionally damaging relationships, all Plutonian issues. Whilst editing this blog I came across the following notes from the Joy2 Me website on healing co-dependency.

“Co-dependence is an emotional and behavioral defence system which was adopted by our egos in order to meet our need to survive as a child.  Because we had no tools for reprogramming our egos and healing our emotional wounds (culturally approved grieving, training and initiation rites, healthy role models, etc.), the effect is that as an adult we keep reacting to the programming of our childhood and do not get our needs met – our emotional, mental, Spiritual, or physical needs.  Co-dependence allows us to survive physically but causes us to feel empty and dead inside.  Co-dependence is a defence system that causes us to wound ourselves.

Last week as Mars squared Uranus in my first house, I had the second lot of major dental treatment, a deep root canal to clear up infection  from a former treatment which was, due to a neglect of care,  left incomplete by a previous dentist, without my knowledge.

The first treatment to repair this problem took place two weeks ago while Mars was squaring my personal planets. The first part went on for over 2 hours and left me quite disoriented due to the impact of being held captive in the chair with dental paraphernalia clamping my jaw in place and being taken on and off over five times.

Certainly during this treatment  I faired better than I did two years ago and I was able to use mindfulness during the treatment to lesson tension in my body. Never the less it was traumatizing. The second treatment which took place last Wednesday was supposed to be easier, but my lip swelled a few hours following the end of the treatment and over the next three days developed an infection. But I feel there may have been a deeper cause to this.

Prior to the root canal I had booked a treatment with my cranio sacral therapist on the following day. I was in two minds as to whether or not to attend the session. I had hoped it would help to calm my nervous system, but on reflection I was feeling very tired and wish I had not gone. And yet, if I had not, would I have learned what I did later in the week?

When I arrived at the session on Thursday something triggered me and I blew a gasket.  Looking back I can see it was the unleashing of repressed feelings that had accumulated over the past two years and even further back:  the pain of the 1979 accident, the major head trauma of 2005, as well as a painful (and I now believe unnecessary) sinus operation of last year.  I had felt I would be safe enough there to give it a voice. That was a mistake.

My therapist reacted to the outburst by trying to forcibly shut my anger down, grabbing me about the wrists and saying. “This is not okay.”  I realise I had scared her however I was only expressing the repressed pain and anguish of so many hurts. After grabbing my wrists she yelled . “Look at me, look at me” with a hard cold look on her face. (I will add here that she now appears to me to have certain traits in common with one of my more challenging judgemental sisters.)

In our disease defence system we build up huge walls to protect ourselves and then – as soon as we meet someone who will help us to repeat our patterns of abuse, abandonment, betrayal, and/or deprivation – we lower the drawbridge and invite them in.  We, in our co-dependence, have radar systems which cause us to be attracted to, and attract to us, the people, who for us personally, are exactly the most untrustworthy (or unavailable or smothering or abusive or whatever we need to repeat our patterns) individuals – exactly the ones who will “push our buttons.” This happens because those people feel familiar.  Unfortunately in childhood the people whom we trusted the most – were the most familiar – hurt us the most.  So the effect is that we keep repeating our patterns…

I asked her to unhand me and moved my gaze within. I had felt violated in some way and there were so many echoes within this of other times, with other therapists.  Why the hell wasn’t my anger being validated or empathised with?. All this was going on inside me as I averted my gaze within in an attempt to stop her stealing my power away.

Eventually after some time of my sitting with my eyes closed she directed me onto the table and tears came. By the end I of the treatment I was left feeling dizzy, disoriented and spun around.  I expressed feelings of suicidal pain.  She looked at me with one of those degrading,  therapisty looks. “As your therapist those suicidal feelings concern me greatly”, she said. “Maybe you should consider seeing your doctor and going on anti depressant medication.”

I am a recovering alcoholic, I don’t follow the mood altering pathway with any substance (except perhaps food), over many years of recovery I have tried to deal with my feelings, not very effectively at times, but without putting on bandaids.

I have experienced suicidal feelings many times before, often in response to similar invalidations.  The feelings have always passed when I have been able to process,  work through and validate the reason for the feelings in the first place.  Before paying her and leaving (?”£$uurrgh)  I expressed to her the view that suicidal feelings are a natural reaction to feeling angry and not being able to express and release that anger, feeling trapped, disregarded and invalidated.

Despite standing strong on one level I still walked away from the session crying and in a very low state with my lip swelling more and more. By Saturday it was infected and I had to go to the doctor for antibiotics.   Over the next three nights I was sleeping only  two hours awakening  with intense anger towards her for what I felt to be her invalidation of my anger and her lack of empathetic response.

Over the same period I had an incident with my sister where she tried to step in and take control when I was not feeling well railroading me on another health issue that she felt I had not been addressing but at a totally inappropriate time.. The following day sent her a text to tell her in no uncertain terms to please show more sensitivity and back off.

In a final repeat yesterday, as Mars passed out of the square to natal Uranus, and began to square  my natal Chiron in the seventh another clash took place.  In my Monday my support group a woman who sets herself up as arbitrator (not a part of our usual way of sharing) and has a holier than thou attitude, interrupted me mid share to take me to task for using the “F” word whilst trying to debrief from the past week of Mars clashes.

She tried to force me to sensor my expression while the rest of the group watched in horror. I stood calmly and firmly for my right to speak. But I was rattled and quaking inside.

Another member of the group who is also an empath and had experienced something similar was almost shaking with anger, holding her throat and in deep distress as this clash took place.

With Uranus and  Pluto in the first house, these kind of clashes are not unusual. I’ve experienced them many times before.   Last night I was reading an interpretation of Pluto in the first house. It said people will either be strongly attracted to your intense energy or irritated by you.

Steven Forest says of the person with Pluto in the first house that they are the child who is the uncomfortable teller of truths and dark secrets, the one who has the courage to say the emperor has no clothes and then gets in trouble for it. Luckily I am aware of this Plutonian curse now.

Last night it occurred to me to check the daily planetary positions and sure enough yesterday Mars had moved into Sagittarius and was beginning to square my Chiron Pluto opposition.

The clashes of Monday and the later part of last week made sense to me in the light of this.  I was starting to feel the effect of being the shadow carrier again, a situation with which I’ve been saddled many times before.  Was exile close? Was I going to be sent to my room?  These were powerful old feelings and fears I felt yesterday.  But quaking inside I stayed in the chair and faced the enemy down.

When I stood up to this woman yesterday I spoke about how important it is for those of us who have been made to feel bad or wrong for feeling and expressing ourselves as we truly are to find ways to protect ourselves and stand for our right to express our truth. It is only when we have a strongly developed Mars that we can do this. As astrologer Liz Greene points out, it is Mars that goes to work for us in the service or our Sun and helps us to fight for what we believe in and helps us to know and take action to go for what we need to be authentic and  protect ourselves. This may mean retreating from hurtful situations or confronting them openly and firmly. With my own natal Mars often repressed by Saturn this has never been easy.

On returning home yesterday I was drawn back to a wonderful book by recovering alcoholic, John Lee, called The Anger Solution. In this book John addresses central issues of anger , boundaries and self care that affect us as recovering co-dependents. Using a process called the Anger Detour process he helps us to see what happens when we are triggered to regress to earlier injuries and wounds from childhood or earlier times.  I would like to share more about this process in a later blog.

In a very revealing paragraph John  writes

“The codependent is one who “is so afraid to tell you what he really thinks, feels, and really needs for fear of what you might feel or think about what they are saying..the fear of what someone might feel is a regressive tendency… you will find more rage and sadness in those who don’t exercise good self care, because they can’t say no, are extremely exhausted, are resentful, are depleted and are depressed.

Co-dependents break their value system constantly, resulting in guilt and low self esteem and thus increasing their tolerance or unacceptable behaviour because they give another person or process power to determine the course of their life, their moods, and their feelings.

They often feel trapped and that they don’t have the power to choose for their own destiny and all of that makes them very angry.”

And often I would add co dependents aren’t even conscious of the way they are feeling, due to a disconnection from and awareness of how they are feeling. In childhood our true feelings and needs, perceptions and values were not respected or validated, thus we lost our way home to ourselves.  A sense of deep emptiness and loss is a result.  To be armed with this knowledge, even though it hurts, it seems to me, is essential for us to recover and to go into fight for our own self care and protection in loving and assertive ways.

We cannot learn to Love without honouring our Rage!

We cannot allow ourselves to be Truly Intimate with ourselves or anyone else without owning our Grief.

We cannot clearly reconnect with the Light unless we are willing to own and honour our experience of the Darkness.

We cannot fully feel the Joy unless we are willing to feel the Sadness.

Joy2Me website

Many more feelings were triggered for me over the past week around issues of closeness and freedom in existing interpersonal relationships. Several confrontations and clashes with my mother, in particular, have shown me that empathy and an open willingness to engage with my feelings has been absent for most of my life. Her immediate response to confrontation has been to make me wrong and tell me that if I need to confront an issue she will no longer be a part of my life.

As a child I was often sent to my room and isolated when I was upset.  I was rarely talked to or comforted. As I mentioned above, at yesterday’s meeting I had this same feeling that I would be excommunicated and sent away for expressing my feelings. It did not happen as I stood firm, though I was tempted to walk away. But inside I was shaking with fear.  The only way through was to experience this fear and make friends with it, realising its reason for existing.  I remembered how many times I have been sent away or rejected, simply for being myself.

All of these realisations have come out of the current passage of Mars through Scorpio. I am not out of the woods yet as transiting Mars still has a little way to travel before passing out of the  square to natal Chiron and Pluton over the next two weeks. However, armed with the understandings that have come from the past years of recovery I feel in a much stronger place than ever before. Some of the twisting and uncoiling seems to be working its way out of my system, together with the shock of having to hold inside so much anger over invalidation and abandonment abuse over so many years.

I am not suicidal this week, and I understand those feelings as a reaction to invalidation and feeling trapped in a situation where I am not seen and heard and validated, or am made to feel crazy by crazymakers such as my therapist, mother and sister.  The body knows the truth.  It never lies.  Its truth may be buried but never the less it is there.  It comes through our intuition and through aches and pains.   Today I was able to text the cranio sacral therapist to say I was uncomfortable with her treatment and would not be returning.  She was happy to let me go and owned no part of the problem  I am beginning to trust that inside myself I have enough awareness to move forward alone.  My body has a deep integrity. It is always giving me signs and I now know where Mars lives inside my body and how it moves its way around in response to life.

Armed with that understanding I am feeling in a much more powerful place to heal and feel joy and promise in being alive.  In her closing words the therapist said “I hope you find a way to move through your pain and find peace.”  I texted back to say peace is with me when I am not re-traumatised and invalidated.  She had made it clear she had no tolerance for pain and so she was not a safe harbour for me .  Maybe that safe harbour now needs to be found within the most important place  Deep within my own heart and mind. To be honest I have had enough of therapy I know I have said this before.  But this time I really have learned the lesson.

On a final note while editing this blog and posting it this evening I have just been watching an SBS television programme Insight on Post Traumatic Memory.  A therapist on this programme has just addressed the issue of how ineffective the majority of therapists are at effectively helping people with Post Traumatic Stress.  He claims that their training in no way equips them to enter the reality of the patient, and until they can do this they are not only of not use, but can do further damage.  Judith Herman in her brilliant book Trauma and Recovery addresses this same issues, ie of how ineffective and damaging the majority of mental health systems are in understanding and effectively helping people heal, especially from early childhood trauma.

In time I will be posting some of what Judith has to say about damage to those who are traumatised from the medical and psychiatric profession.  However the paradox is that we don’t heal in isolation.  The key to healing lies in developing a healing relationship with someone.  Without this we are up shit creek without a paddle.  In my experience it is not the professionals that have been willing to be with me in the truth, but only some friends.  Without them I don’t know if I would have made it through.  My ex partner nearly destroyed me by his abject rejection of my post traumatic reality.  There has been deep anger about this and it has taken some time to move through to acceptance.  Hopefully this blog goes someway forward to resolving some of that anger by voicing it and finding a channel of expression.  It is my passion to bring healing and understanding to what traumatised people endure.  There is so much trauma in our society.  It needs to be addressed so that in giving the trauma a place we find a way to honour the integrity of even our most painful experiences, for surely there is deep within the heart of this beast an angel just waiting to be freed to spread its healing wings over our wounded bodies and souls. The beast becomes angel in the healing light of our acceptance and love.

Entering the wound – Liberating the body’s truth

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I have been sharing a little about the craniosacral treatment I have been undergoing lately to help me unwind from a life time of trauma.   My body began to bear the impact from a young age of being in a family where feelings and needs were not noticed, mirrored, affirmed and attended to.

As the youngest child in a much older family that was geared towards achievement and success there was no time to spend with anyone much.  My creative solution was to turn inward, towards books and imaginary friends.  There was a fairly happy period between the ages of three and seven when our family moved next door to a family with two children around the same age as I.  I nearly lived at their place and finally had the siblings I longed for.  Sadly this was taken away soon.

At the age of seven we moved into a shell of a house in one of the more affluent streets of my home town that was being constructed and away from the cosier comfort of our little suburban home.   Mum and Dad were working hard and wanted to upgrade to a better environment.  Energetically it was empty, dead and cold a symptom of my family’s empty focus on things rather than relationships.   I see that home as the place where we all went finally into the dark. Dad never came out of that home alive.  It was an 88 house, the number of death, destruction and regeneration.

Throughout my childhood my parents were  preoccupied and involved, they showed a dismissive, jokey attitude to my needs, as if my needs made so sense.

This was highlighted this year when following my eldest sisters death some letters my mother wrote came to light.  My eldest sister Jude took me out of that environment from time to time.  I don’t remember being cuddled or hugged.  I remember longing for my Mum to stay home from work just one day when I was sick.  She would instead leave me with a plate of jatz crackers and cheese and the recorded version of the story of Peter and the Wolf.

I have never looked into the deeper psychological dynamics of that tale, but suffice to say it was a fairly scary and traumatising tale to leave a little girl alone with.  I remember one times having so longed for my mum’s attention I developed a stomach ache and a doctor was called in and I was given an enema.  I felt sick inside and although I did not have words for the feeling then – violated.  I now know that to have been a form of emotional abuse.  That realisation has taken some years.  My mother lacked the empathy to see into her daughters heart.

Just sharing this brings up inner voices of admonishment and castigation.  “You think you had it tough?”  Today it is important that I know how alone I felt.  What the true inner reality of it was. When I started to heal the real work began.  To have my emotional reality validated was a huge ask.  And often I went to the wrong people.

Learning who I could and could not ask for validation and empathy is, of course, one of the hardest issues to confront when we have been abused and are healing from narcissistic abuse.  We are used to not being understood or validated and as a result we question our own reality.  Also when the truths we have to tell and share in order to find freedom are confronting for others, especially the narcissistic abuser who sees nothing wrong with their actions or justifies them, its doubly hard,

Luckily the craniosacral approach for me allows the living felt, embedded experiences of my life to arise naturally to awareness in order to be connected to and understood.  Under the warmth of the therapists touch I am accessing the hurting places especially deep in my abdomen where abandonment traumas, imprints and memories are stored.  Tissues of our inner body, the fascia, tighten in response to trauma.  We don’t always feel this tightening but in my case, over many years of repression and struggle to express with the wrong people, it has led to a twisted condition that never allows me a full nights sleep and pulls at me in the day, affecting digestion and assimilation.  On some days the tearing has completely immobilised me.

Today in writing this blog I lost a portion of it, The was a painstaking period of typing whilst Worpress went into extreme slow mo.  I had been sharing about how under the touch of my therapists hands I was swept back with the cranial rhythm by 30 years (an entire Saturn cycle for the astrologically minded) to the first anniversary of my fathers death.  January 1986,   I am in Switzerland staying with a woman my friends and I met while travelling and partying in Greece.  We had gone to her place in Switzerland after being invited there, my friends hoping to find work, me following the thread of connections I had made at that time.  My friends eventually left me there to go back to Belgium.  I found a job working for a UK company based there  Early that year I fell pregnant following a one night stand.  I decided to terminate the pregnancy.  I felt ashamed and alone.  In Switzerland such a procedure was performed under general anaesthesia.

My friend had promised to collect me from the hospital.  After a hour of waiting for her she did not show.  I called to find her drunk at her local tavern.  “I’m not your fucking mother.” she screamed at me.  “Find your own way home.”.  Outside it was minus 5.  I made my way to the bus stop in the snow.  At home I crawled into my little bed, a single mattress on the floor, folded up inside myself.  Inside my womb the cold dark emptiness of hollowed out need mirrored by the cold outside.    It was just another or many secrets carried for years.  I am not sure if I was capable then even of tears.  Those tears came many years later.

I have just recalled that just over 10 years ago as part of my healing I wrote the baby who I called Freya a letter.   It speaks of somethings I did not recall today.

The blackest pain, the darkest night.  I had travelled to the UK a short time following Dad’s death and my partner Jim telling me he didn’t want to see me any more as Dad’s death was too hard.  I connected with him for a time overseas and he betrayed me a year before I fell pregnant with you, Freya.  Everything was unresolved – I was a fierce creative, suffering wounds I didn’t know consciously.  Onto a mad binge of drinking and sex.   After my time on the Greek Island Ios I tried to break away from that excessive party world and crowd and travelled alone through Spain, Italy and France  – returning to Lausanne only intending to pass through. 

Blind, unconscious I got caught up with Heidi.  Sue and Carmel left me in Switzerland just before Christmas and in January you were conceived in a night of passion but I was shamed for the encounter was with a friend of Heidi’s who was involved with another woman and this I did not know.    The termination took place in a Swiss hospital.  I have deep images of a white room, of coming around alone.  Heidi did not show.  There was snow on the ground.  I waited in a bus stop on the top of the hill.  I was very scared.  

Heidi cursed me when I got home.  “I’m not your fucking mother.”  She hated her own mother.  Her mother hatred fuelled her addiction.  I was drawn into her web by resonances between us.  She must have been an echo of my mother abandonment wound, the deep wound that fuelled my own addictive hunger, Freya,  I don’t want to imply I was a victim, but I was alone, unconscious of the roots of my own deep abandoment.   

I  slept on small single mattress, A few days following the procedure Jean Pierre, your father, brought around a single rose.  I was not home.    Writing these memories now it seems impossible that I could have borne the isolation of carrying this secret for so long.  I shared it only with Sue in a letter I wrote.  She to some degree expressed the loneliness and anguish that I split off.  I treated myself and allowed myself to be treated as a discarded thing that was not worthy of attention.  In the process you were conceived and then your life was sacrificed, Freya. 

I have remembered the pain and anguish of loosing you Freya.  I am reminded every month when my blood flows  At this time I remember it all.  That was 17 years ago this January.  I accept it now, I allow this grief a place. The grief got buried deep, but over these past few years it has begun to be grieved.  Like all of the griefs we suffer,  a portion remains and becomes the seeding of who we become.  You are always with me, the memory of you living inside me, if only briefly.  I won’t forget you or that part of my past, hard as it was.  Today I can even see some light in it.   If you had come to term, today you would be 17.   I could not care for you, darling, sweetheart.  I did not yet know how to love and care for myself. 

I have just retrieved that letter from my underwear draw where I keep it in a white mesh underwear bag,  It feels good to give it air.  To release it, to understand more the part of me that suffered such guilt over these things.  To realise it was all part of a far larger pattern than I could even see then, when I wrote it in 2003.  I can see today that having Freya could have been part of my healing, too.  But it was not the decision I could endure at that time.

One year after writing this letter, my marriage went into the fire.  I could not give my husband the child he longed for, had terminated another pregnancy which occurred less than a year after I got sober.  In unthawing I was suffering depression at times.  The depression followed a termination of  therapy in the UK that could bring me healing and understanding of the core of the narcissistic damage I suffered in my family.   But my journey was to lead me back to Australia to the cocoon that was the genesis of the wound, so that over 10 long years I could wrestle here with my demons and my angel could be birthed through the process that seeds new awareness.

My husband told me in 2003, not long after I wrote this letter, along with five others to the other aborted children  “I want back the happy girl I married, not this person I see in front of me now.”  It was a slap in the face but he spoke for his own need to erase a deeper truth about painful choices that wounded my capacity to connect deeply.

Within a year or two he left me and shortly found a less damaged partner who could eventually give him a child.  The ultimate hurt, he shared this with my mother many month before he told me.  Was he protecting me?  It must have been hard for him.  He could not hold me in my pain.  Over long years I have been no stranger to invalidated pain.

Maybe my need to heal, to feel my pain not only over this but over the loss of my father was too much of a mirror.  He had lost his own Dad to cancer at the same age as I.  He was suffering a similar depression (from unresolved feelings) when we moved back to his home town in Cambridge.  I now understand why.  It was all part of our journey.  I was to spend 10 more long years in the dark, bringing this all to consciousness.

This morning I awoke following a craniosacral session yesterday.  Miraculously my body after a week of severe twisting and contorting, settled.  The Sun crossed over my natal Pluto in the first house on Tuesday, awakening the imprints of Chiron Pluto, Saturn, Mars, Moon pattern laid down over 52 solar cycles.

The 35th anniversary of my car crash is very close at hand. I have had a wracking cough and my body has been throwing up a lot of gunk this week, purging me of the impacted secret and embedded substance that has choked and clogged me over these cocoon years.

I am aware of how much love it takes to heal.  And of how far I have travelled and of the gifts of sobriety which allows me to feel the truth of what I had to repress and struggled so painfully to truthfully feel and heal.

This morning I am grateful for the sunshine, for my little dog Jasper who has waited so patiently and is longing for the company of the dog park.  I am grateful that today I am not stuck in Post Traumatic freeze, that I can venture out and embrace the light, warmth, company and sunshine and connect with the present, not sucked down by the past.  Mostly I am grateful for the love that allows me to feel and to heal what has been buried.

The body bears the burden : and is the place of healing

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One of the legacies of unresolved trauma in my life, and of not having formed a good connection to my natural instincts was that over years, I became disconnected from my body.  The pain in my body or the joy that comes from feeling, at least to a significant  degree, embodied is a great gift.  Trauma and the resulting lack of embodiment in my own life, not only led me to addiction, but addiction, contributed to the numbing and loss of embodiment in my life, of my true soul.  A kind of soul loss.   Healing from addiction and putting down substances, meant coming alive to painful buried truths that lived in my body.  It has made me aware that the often dismissed or neglected symptom in trying to get our attention, reminds us of our true story.   As Alice Miller has written, while the mind may lie to us about what we have experienced, the body never does.  We just need to develop the ability to listen to what it has to say.

This blog is prompted by the fact that I am back working with a cranio sacral therapist, who I linked up with in 2008.   Sadly I have had two aborted therapies with so called “somatic” therapists who rarely ever laid a hand on me.  While I appreciate the gift of being able to talk about what has happened to me, I feel there is a greater integrity and genuineness of letting the body speak to me of its truth.  There is a reality there that is alive and burning with energy, longing to find a vessel or avenue for expression.  It is amazing to me that when the energy of the therapist’s hands meshes with my body and spreads a warmth into it, the places that are contracted. hurting, or hold old painful imprints, become awake and have a story to tell that emerges into the mind spontaneously.   Release occurs as energetic imprints shift and transform prompted by the warm, trust and holding of the therapist.  This is work that reaches far beyond the mind. 

In session, while lying there I am conscious that there is a pulsation to life which runs through this body and which in energetic intonations of tingling, or stabling or vibration speaks a language that, in the hands of empathetic mirroring and validation can help lead me home to embodied truth and wisdom. 

I have shared before on this blog about my painful, middle of the night symptoms.  I have become aware that in the depths of night the body unconscious is more awake and sending messages.  They are energetic messages.  Sometimes I will get a vision or a sense of the association back to some trauma in my past, but dealing with this alone has been very difficult.  Dreams images are another way the unconscious speaks to me about these kind of truths through the body/psyche.

I shared in an earlier blog about a dream I had, at the end of my marriage about a little girl who was in a change room with a barbed wire coat hanger sewn through her shoulder, that I was trying to disentangle but was so deeply enmeshed I could not.  It is interesting today that after moving from my legs to the sacrum, in feeling her way and dialoguing with me, my therapist and I were both led towards this shoulder and an area to the right side of the heart. 

The right side of the body is associated to masculine energy.  This side was also the site of the major trauma of my first accident, when my lung was punctured by a broken rib.  It deflated as I was trapped in a crushed vehicle.  It took over an hour to be cut out and in that time the paramedics came from behind me with an oxygen mask.  Feeling as though I was drowning and being unable to breathe this was terrifying.  This imprint (which I have worked with before) came up but what also emerged was my attachment to and longing for my father’s emotional presence.  As I do sometimes when I think of him I hear in my head a call coming from a long way off “I’m in the garden.”  My father died just a month before my 23rd birthday.  He wasn’t an abusive man, but neither was he emotionally demonstrative or present and engaged.  He took flight from Holland at age 18 at a painful and scary time, the outset of World War Two.  He didn’t speak a lot. My memory of his presence was that he would come home from work and say hello, but then retire to the garden. 

There was a deep sense within me of our similarities in nature, gentle, thoughtful, a little withdrawn, but also of an emotional disconnect or absence. My father lost his own father at age 7.   This theme of disconnect or loss around the father is one that has dogged me and has led to many painful relationships with emotionally absent or shut down men  It is also an ancestral pattern.  My mother also lost her father at 7 years of age.  Separation from or loss of a father was a theme that has gone back over three generations on my mother’s side of the family  At present transiting Mars is on Neptune in the third in square to the Sun in the seventh house which signifies not only the outer but inner father.  Developing a strong inner father has been a major theme of past years, for me, especially of the midlife transition.  And I have had five major relationships which ended in some kind of loss.  Today I was very conscious of the pain around my heart and emptiness that was present inside. 

The beautiful thing today, though, was that once I could feel these feelings a warmth and tingling began to flood into the area that before had felt empty.  My therapist felt it as well.  Much came up to speak about. There were tears but also a calm recognition of some powerful inward truth.

It is now some day since I wrote the above.  On the night of my treatment, the warmth and relaxation, the profound sense of homecoming led to a beautiful sleep. On the following morning I awoke, pottered around home, and listened to The Carpenters song.  We’ve Only Just Begun.  It was deeply resonant for me. This traumatic journey has been long but to feel the sense of opening to my body, of being held and supported through the cranio sacral work took me into a place of hope and peace.  Like a flower unfolding my petals felt open and love was flowing through my heart and indeed I felt like at the age of 52 my life was indeed beginning on some level. 

Further travels with pain and trauma : bringing light into the dark

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I just spent some hours writing the following blog.  As I read it back it struck me I am just really struggling with loss and feelings.  The inner censor is making some comments. But after a few corrections to typos I putting it out there anyway.  🙂

Last week was really painful and tough. I wish I knew the reason why, then I could make the change to make it better and to feel more of the strength and positivity in the good feelings which are there on many days.  But sometimes, there is a tide that is pulling me back into the darkness and pain especially surrounding the burden of my family history.  With one sister recently passed away and the other struggling with depression, I too, struggle in maintaining a sense of separation from other people’s pain and feelings.  Most  especially I struggle to maintain a sense of happiness and hope for a better future in the face of that darkness.  And I do know that on any day there are a number of choices I can make in placing my energy and time in nurturing, rather than depleting directions.

I have been very aware of being there to support my mother in the face of the difficulties surrounding both siblings.  In the wake of my sister’s death there are the tasks that follow the ending of a life, administrative things to do with death certificates that need to be witnessed  and the issue of the collection and handling of my sister’s ashes.   In this task there is only my mother and me present   None of my sister’s children live close.  Separated from her by the circumstance of her own trauma and their father’s struggle to survive and cope all fours sons live quiet far away.  It was great to have them with us in the time leading up to and just following her death, but now with these other issues to deal with,  it is  quiet a lonely task.  I am grateful in one way to be able to front up ad be there but at other times I am conscious of a deep emptiness that stretches back in our family, so much separation and emotional absence, over many generations which I am trying in some small way to redress.

At times the entire task seems too big and I feel like I am drowning or, at least, struggling to live and breathe and maintain a sense of self and boundaries within it..  I am trying to remember to breathe, move, not to clamp down, not to struggle so much and yet there is so much banked up feeling.

My body suffers a lot on some days.   Its a struggle to get moving and I have body spasms and twists, especially at night.  There is a suck in, push and pull out  out dynamic that happens.  Over the past three years there have been at least seven different hospitalisations of three family members and I have been the one in the middle going backwards and forwards, trying to be supporting, living on my nerves, trying at the same time to support my own life and care of my home and dog, is it any wonder, at the moment that I am feeling so exhausted and longing for some one to care for me.  Oh the joy of Saturn transits!!!   Transiting Saturn is moving back towards natal Neptune and will be squaring Sun, Venus, Mercury, Jupiter and the South and North Nodes over the next four months.

I continue to put my hand up for tasks that are often not my responsibility due to the fact others cant, or wont front up.   It my first instinctive response, one that comes naturally to me.  Only after I have volunteered do I realise that I have overcommitted myself and energy not allowing enough time for my own tasks that need attention and yet, if I don’t give love in this situation the emptiness will go on with no light in the darkness at all.

Today I am still in my pyjamas at 2 pm.  We are moving into winter and had a lovely fall of rain last night and throughout the morning it could have been a peaceful morning but  marring the day I had a major cuffufle with my mother this morning.     I wasn’t really aware that the lingering resentment around her own emotional absence over earlier years which lies dormant (and I thought I had dealt with) was about to rear its ugly head  today.  We ended up having one of our painful tussles and I said somethings which hurt her and were probably best left unsaid.  The conversation left us both in tears and with my insides feeling like they had been scoured out with a huge wad of steel wool.

“Maybe its best if we don’t have as much to do with each other for a while” she said. This is her default setting for not dealing with conflict and issues which cut a bit too close to the bone.   I know she is struggling with a lot of painful feelings herself and most of the time I try to go gently on her. But  today I guess I was just feeling angry, sore and raw and a trifle put upon having spent the day yesterday nurturing my sister, driving her back and forward from hospital on a weekend where she is totally institutionalised and sees no one much.  My mother’s comment really hurt.  In the process of grieving my sister’s loss I have very few places to go to share the sadness, as usual it was all about my Mum’s wounded ego.    Earlier she had tried pulling out the guilt card.  “I don’t have much longer left on this earth”.  I called her on it.  This is another one of her tactics for trying to  making me feel bad for addressing painful feelings which she would really rather deny.  “For God’s sake isn’t it time you put it to rest?”.  Most of the time I do and I wish I remembered this one fact :  its not possible to deal with these feelings with my Mum and deep down I am angry at having tried to deal with a challenging situation which has endured over so many bloody years.

We two and do at times  get into some terrible tangles.  They say oil and water don’t mix but sometimes air and water have a lot of trouble too.  Sometimes it really sucks having a parent whose Sun Mercury Saturn hits all of your personal planets, especially the Moon and Venus,  planets of closeness and relationship.  These interconnections can be cutting at times and its not always easy to get a deeper connection and understanding.   And maybe its not even her job  Maybe that responsibility is mine now.  It  was her responsibility at one point and she failed pretty miserably at it and that has left a painful legacy for all three of her daughters, something I am not even going to try and point out.  She couldn’t give what she never got from her own mother in the first place and she has tried, over the past years to make some kind of amends.  After our terminated call I was left questioning myself a lot.  Did I place too much of a burden of expectation upon a parent who is now struggling herself?   Not an easy feeling.

I was lucky enough following my upsetting phone call with my mum to call a very kind and gentle friend. ! Maybe these feelings you are having towards your Mum you can put in a letter”, she said.  “And if you would like to read it to me I would be happy to listen”. This friend has the same name as my sister Judy.  I could always go to Jude with Mum issues and she would understand.  Now I no longer have that older sister to go to who understands but maybe my Higher Power did provide someone else.  I was very grateful for her attempt try to understand where I was coming from and show empathy.

I must say its a huge relief just to be on my own today.  To be in the quiet and peace of home without any obligations or responsibilities pulling on me.  Jasper is sleeping quietly and doesn’t seem to perturbed by having missed his usual morning play in the park.  In a moment I think I will light the fire and read a book.

I’m praying this week will be a little easier than last.  I wonder if its the pain body that has been giving me trouble last week. This is a term Eckhardt Tolle uses to describe the entity that can live inside of us and rear up from time to time.  My own pain body is pretty large.  I have had three major physical traumas, the last two following the painful separation that attended the ending of my marriage.  Its taken me some time to be able to feel deeply into the pain body and the traumatic footprint left by physical and emotional trauma that is more active at night….To find ways to be with it while breathing in the pain instead of reacting to it.  Its taken some years but bearing with this process I have found is beginning to bear fruit.  When I can be with the pain without magnifying the pain the pain does lessen and dissolve and usually if I just concentrate on the breath or a lovely song in my head, I manage to fall asleep.

No one will ever know how hard some day are for me with my Post Traumatic Stress.  Its not something you can see and its not always there.  At times pain that is submerged, emerges as tides of consciousness recede as I attempt to let go and slip away into sleep.  On some days my body contorts a lot in a way that I have seen in images of shell shock victims following war.  I read somewhere in book on Buddhism that traumas cause a twisted “tsa” or energy.  At times I feel that twisting is trying to find a way to unravel.  It is not ever present, it comes and goes.

I’m making an effort to try and find words for my experience because at times its lonely.  In the end its my responsibility to deal with it.  There really isn’t anyone else.  I have tried a lot of therapy and was once told by the astrologer Melanie Reinhardt that my kind of trauma is often not helped my most therapists.  Instead I try to find ways of dealing with it alone having gone through repeated let downs and frustrations with therapists.   Maybe this is my Saturn Moon Mars legacy.   In the end it is what I must carry because I can’t check out with any kind of pain relief due to my sobriety.  In any case this kind of legacy is beyond pain relief of the pharmaceutical kind.

Instead I look to life  I look to the breathe.  I cuddle little Jasper and feel the healing of his soft tummy lying close to my sore tummy  And I continue to commit to seeking the light and to remembering that although the darkness does exist there are still tools available to build a fire, to bring light, warmth, energy and healing to the dark places.

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Better to Light a Candle, than to Curse the Darkness

Bodies at rest, and in motion

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I really enjoy the still quiet moments in life.  I think that is why first thing in the morning and dusk are two of my most favourite times of day. There is either a quietness and a stillness that is pregnant or the feeling of things winding down as we  move towards the close of the day and I find that time of dusk particularly poignant and special.  If I could have designed my life, perhaps the feeling is that I would have been most comfortable living inside a cocoon where it was warm and safe and loving.  My growing up years were not like this, so probably its what I was missing then that I yearn for now.  And sometimes it hard to face that so much has been left behind and I am living on my own with my lovely dog Jasper, who while writing that just came to say hello and remind me its time for an early morning walk an opportunity which will be lost if I continue to write this blog.

The truth is that following the ending of my marriage I did go into a retreat.  It was self imposed and I think in a way it was a reaction not only to the grief of that loss but the others that I was trying to process after years of substance abuse which numbed the pain.  I Iived alone and wrote and wrote, trying I guess to birth myself as a writer, to feel deeply into myself and my past, to grieve, to understand, to make sense of it all.. to heal.. very difficult to do in isolation and then a relationship came into my life which was very challenging and I started to be pulled into someone else’s world but since mine was not yet fully birthed it was a constant struggle and so after time, that struggle ended in yet another painful separation.

The situation we were living in had been torn apart as my ex had wanted to travel.  I was longing instead for a home, having done heaps of travelling in my early twenties, but because I wanted to be with him I went along on his journey.  When he chose to end it suddenly, after I had made the decision to travel back east to spend Christmas and some more time with my mother and a cousin who had come to Australia for the first time from Holland, as well as with my sister’s family it was a very deep pain.  This new loss occurred around the anniversary of my father’s death. At that time I had also suffered the ending of another relationship. This time however I would not be sent away and when I consider the repeating pattern that occurred perhaps offering a new opportunity for repair, maybe at a subconscious level it was just too hard to rejoin my partner again as that return would have reminded me of the hard leaving that took place as I began my earlier travels so quickly following my father’s death, all at my mother’s insistence. I have noticed with this a current loss she very much uses distancing tactics when painful emotions threaten.

My partner’s decision to end our relationship due to my delay in returning to meet him caused me so much pain. I just could not go back to the situation in which I had been living when I met him.  A very quiet and solitary life at the South Coast in the house my father built just a few short years before his death.

I do believe all these griefs and my response to them did lead, in time to a kind of paralysis or at least the desire to build and inhabit a cocoon.  During my South Coast retreat and prior to meeting my ex partner I just was not moving or exercising much  I was also suffering the Post Traumatic Stress of two accidents on the anniversary of my husband’s leaving which were in some strange way repeats of a far earlier time of trauma where I nearly lost my life and my sister had a cerebral bleed.  I was in a lot of pain and the pain had four components, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

The planets of sudden change and trauma are Uranus and Pluto.  Both planets are placed in my first house of identity. As I look back at this life I see that change, trauma and loss are indeed huge factors that have shaped who I am as a person.  I tend to be very inward, I do love to relate to others, but I feel deeply and am introspective.   I find groups difficult being a more one on one person and due to the pain and consequences of the PTSD at times it is very hard to get moving.  As a strongly fixed sign person at times I get stuck in ruts and like to have certain routines, perhaps its a need for control of some kind after all the sudden change I have been forced to go through.

This week I am really becoming aware though that some habits of mine need to be changed.  I did recently suffer the loss of my eldest sister which was yet another shock though in some way a relief for her as the situation she lived in and the bodily difficulties she had made it very difficult for her every day…. she lived with a lot of pain.  That I now see was and is a necessary ending.  The fundamental structure of my life is changing.  I have spent the last few weeks sorting out her things and treasuring her memories and possessions in the absence of any other care in my family for these things.

I went to see someone the other day to deal with my grief.  She was telling me that the way we have dealt with grief has roots in the responses of those to the massive deaths that befell them following the First World War.  At that time there was not much talk of trauma and there was an implicit belief that people had to just get on and let go.  She reminded me that in this day and age we are too influenced by this ideal, for if we suffer a loss the loss is always there and yet we can and must at some stage I guess make a decision to not let that sadness stop us in our tracks totally and keep moving forward holding the grief lovingly with both hands but not making a trophy of it.   Those later ideas or image are actually mine.  She also reminded me that there is a dual process model of grief that is now understood, That is at times we are going to be deeply immobilised by the loss and unable to concentrate and function and yet on other days we will be back in “real” time and able to move forward.

Yesterday I had a day of immobilisation.  My grief  was submerged and I was so tired all I could really do was rest, garden, potter and rest more.  I had a light dinner as I was feeling so clogged up yesterday.  Today there is a different feel to the day and I am aware of the need for movement.  At times its hard to keep moving forward and I guess at times its not always ideal.  Its good too to be able to be still, to be able to inhabit the body fully and meet and accept the emotions and thoughts moving through us.  And perhaps there is a need to be able to achieve a balance of both as the pendulum swings back and forth to call us towards what ever is necessary for us to experience at the time.  I kept getting a phrase going round in my brain while Mars was retrograde for the past few months.  It was “bodies at rest, and in motion”.  Perhaps it was an intuitive harbinger of this blog.

Today I am aware how precious the ability to inhabit a moving body is, even if at times the body can be a source of pain.  I am glad today to have mine and will go now with my dog out into nature to experience it and give thanks for the life and body that is mine and for the gifts even of these painful losses which have in so many ways shaped who I am.

The Inverted Mirror

After spending this evening reading several posts from children of narcissists I’ve been really considering what self blame is about.  As a child I learned to be very scared and to hide anything that went wrong from my parents, its taken me a long time to realise it just wasn’t safe to do so…

Much has been coming to light as my therapy is deepening about traumas that happened to my body.. at one point I was swung around so hard that my arm was torn out of its socket..on another I suffered third degree burns to my foot due to one of my mothers manic cleaning frenzies on a caravanning holiday…on another I ended up with a fishhook lodged through the webbing joining my big and second toe that Dad had left lying tangled in the sea grass matting at our coast house.  All in all it was hard to relax and just be, as we were constantly on edge trying to live up to impossible standards of perfection.

For the past eight years following a major head trauma after very painful incidents with my emotionally neglectful family and following the end of a marriage where I committed the cardinal sin of seeking therapy to heal my trauma, I have suffered post traumatic stress which wakes me in the middle of the night. I experience this spinning vortex and a twisting where my left arm spins out, just as it would when being pulled out of its socket. In the past six months I have realised I have been re-experiencing on a deep level this trauma from so many years ago.

I believe the body bears the burdens of our unresolved traumas..  In our family we were not to admit that we had pain.. On three occasions my mother broke or tore ligaments in her ankle and on each occasion my father told her that nothing was wrong.. Not only that if you were in pain or suffered an injury you may even be laughed at.. Is it any wonder that from the age of 14 I began to use alcohol to increase my denial of pain and sought refuge in substances such as dope and other drugs since no one around me could hear my pain and so my loneliness (which was the sign of a terrible schism between me and my real self and deeply hidden feelings) just grew?….. In fact it seems that for so many years I have been on a journey to have the truth of my pain and feelings acknowledged.

I remember at age 31 when I finally admitted to my mother that I had joined AA to help deal with my alcohol addiction.  She just looked at me and said  “Well you know I do admire you, but you always were a late developer and of course you are the only one in this family with any problems”.   WTF   two of my sister’s have tried to take their lives……

What happens to us when all the mirrors around us are not only broken but instead invert out image to the wrong way up?  Maybe that’s a good analogy for how it feels to be a child of parents who don’t see you or get you and cannot mirror your deep feelings.   You do come to believe that you are just a little or a lot crazy and also that you are a strange person in an alien land. There was something I used to hear a lot in AA meetings. You know I just feel like an alien, like I don’t belong on this planet. Where is the recovery group for children who have never been seen or mirrored?… Oh but hang on its their fault.. I guess I was just born an alcoholic?

One of my mother’s favourite comments is “well everyone is different”, yes that is true on one level but what about our common humanity and our shared feelings? Where do they go when we can’t express them, or when we are told they are wrong or that no one else feels that way?

One thing I know for sure they don’t go away.. and the longing for them to be seen never ends…even if it has to be buried and masquerade as so called “mental illness”. Our history, or true feelings, our longings and deep desires and buried instincts, they continue to twist and turn within us, just as we had to twist each and every way looking for the light that has been denied to  us over so many years.

Its a terribly long journey to find the light, its a massive undertaking to move from self blame and confusion, towards a true recognition of the nature of our suffering and the distortions we have been subjected to. We don’t get there without affirmation and sharing our stories and experiences certainly helps.

So I am very grateful to this medium because through it we find a venue to express what is in our heart and to read other people’s experiences.. in the long run we are not so different, we are human and partake of the human condition being born to parents who being limited themselves caused damage to us that it is our legacy to understand and heal. In the end what is missing may never be truly replaced or compensated for, but our suffering can bring awareness and with that awareness healing, a deepening capacity to be present to all of our feelings and growth in wisdom and self love which by extension we can share with others.

Emerging through the Dark Night

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I sat with you

I held your hand

I kept the all night vigil

While you unleashed an ocean of tears

A flood that almost drowned you

Sucked deep by the tidal pull

Of that underground swell

You held firmly to this place

While all the fears and demons threatened

To unfurl you from this mortal coil

Pulling from every direction

At times they were not even conscious

But the pain was deep

It was the body that wept

Expelling slowly the silted up debris

Of ages

The pain of many generations

Over many years

You were held deep in the silent embrace

Of this house by the sea

Cast adrift

This house was the boat within which you undertook

The perilous night sea journey

Into the unfathomable depths

Of the collective unconscious

Somewhere from deep inside your belly

I hear a child is crying

Longing for its pain and loneliness to be heard

Over how many lifetimes

Was she torn away from her mother

By the fickle restless winds

Of change and fate

Which blew with gale force all round her

Sweeping everything away

From somewhere close

Not too far

The silent witness watched

As death took everything into its mouth

Chewed it round

And digested it

It wasn’t personal

It was just life

Entering its dark phase

The winter before spring

Where the ground of essential being

Seemed to fall fallow

While inwardly new seeds

Were incubating

Through this process

The witness could only hold still
In that shattering place

While everything broke apart

Loosened, dislodged and dissolved

By a greater force

Some higher power

Had its way and begged you

to awaken to a knowing

That could not have come in any other way

But through the dissolution of breakdown

The deeper realisation

So long in dawning

That you were not to blame

For failures that stretched

Such a long way back

And bore painful seeds

That had to germinate slowly

Within the subtle body

Within this hall of mirrors

All turned back to back

You finally saw the truth

And recognised with awe

Where hunger and longing led

To the pain of addiction and promiscuity

Cries of the soul

That arouse out of the unmothered self

Passed down over generations

Whispering from deep within

The rejected body

Now you must hold

And love your rejected being

Back into life

Deeply you feel it

This, the calling to awaken and to understand

The longing to be seen

To be held

To be mirrored

To be cherished

To be nurtured

To hold and to be held

What a terrible storm we endured

Over those 7 years

A storm that had to be weathered

That could not abate

That blew up king tides

There was no other way

But to endure it

But while you were in the midst of it all

The mist and fog swirled around you

It was hard to see ahead

And nothing was clear

Could not be clear

Until the storm and tides did their work

Of changing the psychic landscape

How else could it have been

And yet you longed and longed

With that burning hunger

That could only be understood

And healed through the suffering through

Of those storms and tides

Yet for years you beat yourself up

For whatIn the end

Was not even your fault

So you fell to your knees

And in prayer

Summoned up the witness

Suffering the final defeat

Which led to the ultimate surrender

In this admission of powerlessness

In the crypt

In the arms of this final defeat

Is an unending victory

And though you only sense this

Having reached the end

Through realising ultimately

The fruitlessness of any further action

You surrender completely

And begin to finally grieve

For all that was lost

For what can never be changed or replaced

Such a bitter pill to swallow

It took nearly all your strength

To digest it

Grief was the pain

You coughed up

Over and over

Until recognition came

And now the past is finally being released

In this place by the ocean

Where day by day you suffered such doubt

Something deeper knows

Tormenting voices float away on the breeze

Saying you are nothing

Have nothing,

Mean nothing

This is the voice of the outside world

That sees without depth

That does not value

The essential soul and spiritual deep

Some truths can’t be shared or spoken

Can never be fully understood

By those who fear the depths

Or see them as madness

And in that fearing would cast you out

But that’s okay

Is how it must be

For at the ending

Comes the acceptance

And the reconciliation of everything

And this ending is simultaneously

A new beginning

A new beginning that can only come

After all is stripped away

For so long you were strung

Over an abyss of change so deep

It split you open

Right down the centre

Night after night over many years

You stretched and held yourself still

In the post traumatic burning

While balancing and trying to align

Each energy centre

That ran along the spine

You were twisted

And had to balance

The twin currents

The dual poles of the cadeucus

To birth your wholeness

Out of fractures

Over those years

You dissolved in the ocean

And became the ocean

It was an ocean that you crossed

And the suffering of that crossing

Had to be borne

There could be no holding back

And the fear of extinction had to be confronted.

Don’t hold back out of fear, Deborah

Have the courage to dive fearlessly into that void

Into the undoing

To face the searing emptiness

That scorches flesh from bone

Throw it all into the fire

Submit to burn to dross

All that is not real

Was never real

Allow yourself to be singed

By the fire

That purifies and resolves

Through its burning

All the pain of the past

Then what is essential and timeless

Will be revealed

Let the cords that bind you to the past snap

One by one

Until the tightness and resistance

Passes away

And melts int he open spaciousness of being

All through those years

At the time of darkest despair

You heard the voice of the Goddess saying

You will emerge

From the Dark Night victorious

And see one day

The dawn of a new day

Bright and clear

After the storm of the dark night has passed