She who walks the floors of Hell, finds the key to the gates of her own Heaven, buried there like a seed. - Segovia Amil
Healing and transformation come in seasons of life and death. We embrace and delight in the splendors of spring and summer, when we are filled with warmth and bloom and everything feels as it should in the world. We brace for autumn and winter with fear and grief, praying that the spring would return again, lush and with haste. We are taught to bask in the light and revere the sunshine like no other, we forget that there would be no light without darkness. That there could never be a world where dichotomy did not exist. I find myself reflecting on this notion more often these days as my Shadows have appeared in full force, prompted by the anxieties of moving, the appearance of failure and the dissolution of my old identities. I have been called out and in to re-examine my wounding as the way I have been showing up has led to unintentional hurt and a deep pain that only I can dig my way out. When my internal compass is confused and uncalibrated, disconnection engulfs my mind, my heart and my body.
Self to Self
One month in Ohio and I have hit bottom. It's great.
It's been a slow, expected build for the last few weeks. Coming to this place, removed from everything that is familiar without the true reprieve of nursing to distract me from the void. I was nervous to come down here, I knew what a huge contraction it was going to be. The discomfort of the unfamiliar, the unknown, the insecurity was so palpable. The existential dread would only be soothed by the lightness and sense of home that I knew I would feel in seeing and being around Max, my home, my Ithaca for so long. There was comfort in knowing that he was also nervous about my arrival; living a part for four months where life ebbed and flowed without the influence of each other's presence or energy... we didn't know how we would reconvene.
On the plane, I kept catastrophizing in my head the ways in which we may no longer fit together and that this whole trip would be an exercise in futility. I came to Ohio with this precarious mindset; tired from previous travels, damaged from a recent assault and anxious about what happened next. I hadn't processed all the movement and progress I had made in building traction with my business back home, completing one more travel nursing contract, the whirlwind that is seeing family and friends before another long departure, and finally saying goodbye to one of my dearest friends as she embarked on her next adventure. I kept taking in information, receiving a lot without discerning if any of it was useful, exciting, uplifting, painful, etc,. I cleared my throat a lot, there was this constant quiver in my chest and unease in my belly, an indication that we were on the precipice of change through a discomfort that could only be felt and moved through. I voiced this discomfort as best as I could, but we pressed on, blindly hoping the ball wouldn't drop, and upon seeing Max for the first time in a long while, my unease was temporarily forgotten.
As the weeks have gone by, there's been a constant struggle to circumnavigate self doubt as I move into the health and wellness space in a different way, on my own terms. Trying to find my way has raised a lot of questions and stirred a chaotic wind in me that provokes negative self talk and an impulse to go back to the way things were. I am riding this wave of confusion on what to offer, where to go, who to serve and the imposter syndrome has been real loud.
Self to Other
It's taken time to constructively navigate the newest version of my relationship with Max, and I will say, I am not perfect. Here's this man that I have known for almost my whole life at this point. I know so much about how he ticks, his quirks, his irks, and yet there's a newness that has been exciting and terrifying to navigate. Watching him blossom into this man excited about life, love and science has been extraordinary and presents in stark contrast to the pity I have felt for myself in making the shift to come out here and be with him. To catch up to a life that is clearly his, while I figure out how I fit and what this looks like for me. You can say that I'm maybe jealous, which I have learned in recent years is a good thing. Jealousy is a mirror that reflects what is missing and what needs soothing within me. It is a necessary emotion that can preserve social bonds and motivate people in engaging in behaviors that maintain important relationships. Do I love bumping up against this? Absolutely not, but it is an important thing to keep track of. To see him universally loved in his social space and at work while I have this perceived notion of being humiliated and alone in a different country riding on his coat tails is silly and brings up a lot of shame within me.
These activations have brought opportunity for Parts Work and revealed a nuanced understanding of my jealousy. When a perceived threat or stimuli causes my jealousy, anger, a fear of abandonment and humiliation enter the mix. When you unpack this, the core needs of these reactions are comfort, validation and respect. Moving into this work, the anger must be discharged and all this pain must be felt in order to hear and access the true needs. The true needs can then be met internally or by outward communication. This is not a new phenomenon, I have been unpacking this for years with success and resistance. So to see these patterns return only means that there is deeper work to be done on the matter. Not good nor bad, just more. It's heartbreaking that the people we are closest to bear the brunt of our internal struggles. He deserves so much more than I can offer at times and I constantly try to do right by him; most times with success, sometimes not so much. Finding support to clear these pathways is paramount if we want to stop meeting a new level with an old devil.
Self to Source
When in activation and aligned only with my "Not Self" theme, I don't necessarily recognize the person in front of me. Old patterns are reactivating, new circuits are building as I come to realize success in the novelty of my business and relationships. This dance has shifted me into somewhat of an identity crisis, where I am not sure what is real. Connection to my self has been harrowing, connection to others has been unreliable and connection to source has been clemency in an experience that has otherwise got me feeling chaotic.
Surrendering and succumbing to the will of the World has been an easy choice, simply because I, at this point, don't have the energy to fight it, to hustle, to put pressure on things that simply need space and ease. "We'll figure it out" has become our family mantra as we continue to shift into newness. As I unravel the pieces of my undoing, I connect with my spirit to be able to unpack whether my thoughts are mine, are true and safe. I come back to the feel of the grass beneath my feet, the Sun on my face and the ease I feel when I watch the tree branches sway in the Ohio wind.
Self to Persephone
These complex feelings all came to a head recently, a necessary and powerful moment. All in one night I was reprimanded for being too authentic and not myself. Too loving and not enough. Intoxicated, sad, somewhat regulated and angry, the climax is when every insecurity that I have had, every wound, behavior, thought pattern, betrayal that I have been experiencing in the most recent months were directly articulated and slapped right onto my forehead. There it was. No fight, no protest. I broke down incoherently spinning. My body burst into flames. My heart felt as if the velcro had been vigorously ripped a part and then put back together asynchronistically. My limbs collapsed in a pile of lead weight on the floor. The palpitations rang in my ears and temples felt like they were going to explode. I laid on the shower floor sobbing for a solid hour. The tears eventually softened, my breath slowed and I found myself in cow pose under the water. It felt as if I was being cleansed by hot ichor. The golden light enveloping my body while the shadows lingered in my torso. A very special sensation when you hit your breaking point of dissatisfaction for being in this situation but also relief; a small comfort in knowing that beyond the contraction is the release. The universe is energy dense and packed in darkness before the first burst of light. My system eased and I just felt... tired. I laid in a liminal space for hours before I finally succumb to sleep. Healing isn't linear and somatic work is never pretty, but the more we allow ourselves to drop into the madness, the sooner we create space for newness to spring forth.
Persephone, the Goddess of Spring lived in a state of eternal naiveté, curious and youthful while as the Queen of the Underworld she ruled over the dominion of darkness and shadow. She could grow flowers just to watch them wilt and die. Her sovereignty and delight in basking in sunshine and making love to the devil is unprecedented. She could appreciate the beauty, the impermanence, the cyclical nature that is life. That the struggle is the wiggle through the birth canal. I may have reached a low point or an ego death but I'm fortunate to know what is coming. That there is always an uplevel, a better outcome and a better way of doing things than I could have possibly imagined for myself. Persephone, listening to songs and studying her folklore has kept the faith that shit is about to get real good.