Monthly Archives: September 2013

Romancing With My Shadow

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Imagine putting all the bad thoughts and anger you have ever projected towards anyone, all the times you have judged somebody and any other unpleasant feelings you have ever repressed into a shadow…then set it right in front of you.

I have been lost in a dark sea of negative emotions the past 1.5 weeks.  Feeling weighed down by my heavy ego-controlled heart and overcome with anger, sadness and grief.  I really did not enjoy feeling this way so I decided to use this time wisely to re-think and re-evaluate my life. I mustered up all the faith and courage I had to face my pain and to take a closer and honest look at my heart and ask myself “What is wrong?”.  In looking to my heart, I did not expect to meet face to face with the monster that appeared to me last night.  That monster was my own Shadow self.

This previously unconscious shadow is seeking the light of awareness, and it is calling out for my help. That’s when the dance of romancing my Shadow can begin.  When I start romancing my Shadow, I seduce the Shadow figure out into awareness and explore it – Who is there? What is she trying to tell me? Why did she form? What does she need? How can I help her?

I will try and describe how it felt to meet my Shadow self…Imagine putting all the bad thoughts and anger you have ever projected towards anyone, all the times you have judged somebody and any other unpleasant feelings you have ever repressed into a shadow…then set it right in front of you.  Your own mirror of all the things you have ever been ashamed of or hated about yourself, right there inside you.  Your own karma created by none other than you. I wanted so badly to run, but I knew I could not run from me, and that was one of the most terrifying realisations I have ever had. I felt trapped by my own fears.  My heart was pounding, I was anxious and shaky.  I kept reminding myself over and over again to try to breathe and relax, but my stomach turned with a dark eerie sick feeling. And as I looked into the mirror in my bathroom, what was staring straight back at me was years and years of neglect, repression and unresolved pain. She was raging mad and I had kept her locked up, sealed, chained and denied like a prisoner – like I was ashamed she existed. At that moment, I was delivered the biggest piece of humble pie I have ever received. This is proof that the truth is not always pretty.

What would I do now that I have seen my awful and wounded ways so clearly?  Part of me could not stand to be in my own body consciously knowing these parts of myself.  I felt so guilty and ashamed at myself for hurting so many people with my mean and selfish ways.  How could I be so cruel and cold?  I knew I had to pull myself together and think rationally – and more importantly, from a loving space. Trust me, it was hard. Yet this was darkness and the perfect opportunity for light to shine through.

I needed to decide how I was going to handle this monstrous piece of myself.  I knew I could either condemn myself for all I had seen in my shadow, and let it take over my life, or I could use this experience as an opportunity to forgive and accept these ugly and neglected parts of myself I had hidden for what seemed like lifetimes.  I decided I would love and forgive these nasty parts of me.  I spent many tears feeling the repercussions of my own actions, and much time sending out etheric apologies to all the people I had wronged, silently asking for forgiveness.

I now know, first hand, how everything you do has an imprint on your life and the lives of others.  This imprint (or karma) stays with you until you are able to step up and take responsibility for your actions, rectify the situation and clear it.  With this new found awareness, I have taken a vow to do the best that I can to be wise and loving in all of my decisions – thinking of all those involved and acting with compassion and thoughtfulness.

I am my Shadow. My Shadow is free. Together, we have birthed into the Light.

“Perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave.  Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.”

–Rainer Maria Rilke

An Apology to the Divine Feminine: From a Warrioress in Transition

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Divine Feminine

I apologise for my inability to distinguish the benevolent warrior from the heartless warrior, a reflection of my own confusion dealing with the battlefields of yore. When I opened my heart too wide, I was vulnerable to attack from warring factions. I was conditioned to believe that I had to stay rigid, focused, prepared for any eventuality, in the desire to protect myself and others from attack. But I went too far, and closed too tight, and eradicated the bridge between our hearts. I am seeing this now and I am sorry.

I apologise for my perpetual absence, a reflection of my own inner absence, my inability to connect from a heart jammed tight by unresolved emotions that I did not have the tools to work through. I still lack many of these tools, but I am open to their emergence.

I apologise for my inability to distinguish relationship from war. Like a warrior in enemy territory, I would sneak in and out of your life in the night, plundering and selfishly taking what I needed, then crawling back to the other side of the abyss with the spoils. I gave little back for fear that I would become vulnerable to attack. I had war on the brain and I could not see the river of love waiting on the other side of the battlefield. I now recognise that love is the antidote for the armoured warrior, but I could not drink the antidote in my driven state.

I apologise for not seeing you, my eyes blinded by congealed rage and unshed tears. If it is any consolation, and I imagine it is not, I could not see myself either. I saw only that which served my hyper-vigilance, my warrior focus. My mirror was a battlefield.

I apologise for my ungrounded materialism, my power driven tyrannies, my obsession with accumulation. Somehow I imagined that accumulation would protect me and those close to me, but I failed to recognise that it just perpetuated the madness. I also apologise for my egoic abuses, a reflection of my own misguided ego, pumped up to deal with an inherently competitive world. I couldn’t distinguish the healthy, confident ego from the cocky, unhealthy ego. I went much too far in the wrong direction.

I apologise for a sexuality that was objectifying and disconnected from the heart. I know you longed for real intimacy, a merging of our souls along the heart-genital highway. But there were too many defences around my heart, and no bridge could form between our souls. There were moments when your loving ways freed me from my body masks, but I had no template to stand in that heart-fire. I am sorry for this, for I know that the path you longed for was the path to God.

I apologise for my horrifying acts of violence, a reflection of my own rage, my own inability to distinguish real enemies from friends. There are no words that can undo what I have done in those moments of madness. I know this, I do. I would hide my face in shame, but that won’t make things better. I need to own my misdeeds, and then find a way to believe in my capacity to move from a more loving place. I call out to other male warriors to be accountable for the actions of our gender, not in a way that is self-hating, but in a way that is courageously self-honest and genuinely compassionate. The heartfelt warrior acknowledges the error of his ways, and has the courage to do all he can to make amends over time.

I apologise for my inability to develop a conscious relationship. You were right there with your beautiful heart on your sleeve but I was too attached to my individualism and afraid of this unknown terrain. I know the forests, the marketplace and the ways of the outer world so well, but my inner geography is foreign to me. You called me to a place I was ill-prepared to go, although I sensed, below the surface of my bravado, that you called me home.

I am grateful for your willingness to believe that who I was in those rare moments of vulnerability was the real me. You were right – the real me lives inside of my heart – but a few moments now and then was the most I could handle. I saw you as dangerous, for in your presence I began to taste a surrendered way of being. Nonetheless, your faith in my goodness kept me going through many a battle, and restored my faith in life when I most needed it. You were the light at the end of a barbaric tunnel, and I am blessed.

I am grateful that you stuck with me through thick and thin, and I also understand those times you had to give up and let go. I now recognise that there is meaningful difference between a love-ship and a relationship. Love alone is not enough. Without a shared willingness to become conscious, there can only be frustration. I was so often impossible, clinging to my unconsciousness like a soldier clings to his weapons. I recognise the courage it took for you to keep your heart open in the presence of my resistance. You had every right to seek an authentic relationship, as your spirit was ignited in its presence. Your beautiful heart had every right to be met in its openness and willingness. I am grateful for the time you gave me, a moments respite from the hiding places I mistakenly called home.

I am grateful for Grandmother, for no one saw my tenderness more clearly. I am grateful for Mother, for choosing to bring me into being and for nourishing my body until I could find my feet. I am grateful for Mother Earth, for grounding my expansion and enlivening my spirit. I am grateful for the Divine Mother, the real Mother of us all. I now feel her divine presence, so close. Fiercely compassionate, she was always right here, breathing life into me, holding me safe. I sit in her lap as she breathes me.

I look forward to the day when the only thing that ignites relationship is two souls calling out to one another, two soul-hearts beating in the same direction, a whisper of longing that bridges one essence to another. I want to want you not because it gratifies my ego, not because you are outwardly beautiful, but because your very presence invites my Godself out of hiding. I want to touch you with my heart on my sleeve, to know chemistry between us that is not gender identified, but that is essence sourced, loves liquid lava flowing from the heart to the genitals to the great beyond. In this love-struck world, relationship will always be experienced as spiritual practice, a devotional expression of our God-self.

I had always believed that sensitivity is impossible to hold to in a harsh world. Yet in this moment, I feel sensitive, but without the fragility. I am still wearing armour but there is a shift in the direction of my intensity. I can linger in the heart-space a little longer than I once could, I am softening in so many places I never thought possible. After so many lifetimes with weapon in hand, a tender warrioress is being birthed in the core of my being. She is confused, but she intuitively knows that this is the way home.

Please do not give up on me or my fellow warriors and warrioress. Forgive us our misdeeds, or, at the least, be open to the possibility that we will shift as the trail expands to meet our shifting intentionality. The day will come when our warrior spirit loses its harsh edge, and comes into alignment with benevolent action. Some of us are already there, and many more of us will follow. The road to transformation is dependent on a bridge between genders, a benevolent bridge that celebrates our differences with respect and kindness. That work must begin with healing the rifts along the gender continuum, working hard to heal the collective heart until one day we can stand on a bridge across forever, hands held together, hearts open and alight, embracing the sacred masculine and divine feminine living at the heart of us all. I will meet you there.

May you feel the love of the Divine Mother crashing down on your heartfelt shores, graciously lifting you up above the madness of the world, nestling you in the grateful arms of those you have nurtured. Those of us who have received your blessings may not always acknowledge it, but your acts of love have landed within us, growing us stronger and infusing us with love’s light.

Thank you.