It was so fun to take part of this project. Hearing everyone's expressions was so heart-warming. For me, being a better human means acknowledging our own pain and traumas with love and compassion first so that we can live a fuller life. The deeper we can understand and love ourselves the more we grow in empathy, the less fear and anger controls us and our connections with others can become more meaningful. Discernment and compassion can become powerful allies.
What does being a better human mean to you?
Let's Be Better Humans Etsy Shop
When we recognize others we are recognized. When we validate others we are validated. What we offer is what we inevitably receive. Life is cyclical; seasons, planetary orbit, love...
Have you ever read a quote and loved it but not enough to share it? Something didn't resonate but you weren't sure why? That's what the quote, "Take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic." by Marty McConnell to Frida Kahlo has been for me.
So often I have been tricked into seeing what I so desperately wanted to see in someone's eyes; I fell for falsehood, for lies only because I was more focused on what I was missing and not on what I already had.
So for anyone who believes in their own magic but would appreciate having it reflected by someone who believes in theirs equally, this quote is for you - with all due respect to Marty and Frida.
This is for the wounded lovers, the women who have known pain and violence in sex or their relationships. This is for anyone who has felt shame or guilt for finding a healing salvation in a well-intended, intimate connection with another human.
This is also for the men that know how to care and nurture these women knowing that sometimes this means they are inadvertently daunted with the eximious task of righting another man’s wrongs - in her mind and heart anyway.
I debated dividing this into more than one part but doing so would feel like sliding a knife through a healing process and I just couldn't do it. Ride the wave, it'll be worth it.
I want to begin by saying that the most important thing to remember throughout this archetypal narrative is to trust your instincts. The best men (and women) would only respect you and love you more for it. Reading further will be, in a way, an act of surrender...
Your heart and body have been bruised and battered. You have known glimpses of love, just enough to fill your heart up so that when the love ends, or becomes something you no longer recognize you are acutely aware of the agony of crushing emptiness. You are a survivor and choose to no longer be a victim but instead a warrior on your own path of self-forgiveness, self-acceptance, self-healing, self-discovery, self-expression and most of all, self-love.
There will come a time when a man on a similar journey will be on a path that will intersect with yours. This could happen more than once in a variety of different ways but you will know when it happens. This man will unnerve you because he will look at you differently than other men have. You will have an instant choice to make and if you trust your instincts it will be the right one. The men that are meant to be part of your journey will look at you no differently at perceived rejection; in fact they may even respect you more but not always say so out of respect for your boundaries. You are learning how to use the word ‘no’ as a tool for vetting who will respect your space and boundaries and for those who won’t.
If you are using the word ‘no’ in order to avoid something, however, somehow the universe knows this and it will try again. The people who are meant to help you to the next level, (whatever that means for you at any particular time or place in your journey) will reappear and it will seem much more than happenstance for both of you. Years may go by, but whatever this particular person has to offer you, God, the Universe, fate or whatever forces that are at work greater than we will cause your paths to intersect again and it will continue until you have the courage to face the lesson this person will have to offer you.
Here’s what I can assure you, when the timing is perfect and you have faith in yourself you will be challenged by someone else. For this writing I will speak from my own experience with no intention of limiting what your experience can and will be…
Standing before you will be a man seemingly bathed in light, so much so it will be unsettling. Make no mistake, his darkness will be evident, he doesn’t hide it, he doesn’t hide his light either. He greets you with tempered enthusiasm. He does not fear what you may see as his eyes meet yours with genuine intrigue; the smile he offers you expresses his willingness to be open and vulnerable with you, even if for only a moment.
You have seen desire many times before. In fact you have trouble recalling a time when men didn’t gaze upon you with lust for what they wanted to take from you or, at the very least, you were educated by well-intended adults on what to watch out for. Some men hid it better than others, sometimes under the guise of “helping” you but inevitably you were left feeling stripped raw and thrown away when they were done with you or when you didn’t live up to the expectations they forced onto you. You have had so much experience with these kinds of men your body can sense them before you lay your eyes on them. This man though, he will be different. He doesn’t look at you from a space of empty longing, what he stands to gain, what he intends to take; he looks at you from a space of wholeness. He will recognize your light, your darkness and accept it for what it is.
Patient isn’t a word to use for this man because he waits for no one. He is whole and continues his own work as he walks his own path and he remains open to those that will flow in and out of his life, accepting the divine wisdom in nature and universal synchronicity. He embodies the Yin of sensuality and Yang of sexuality almost perfectly and you can feel it before you even touch. Maybe because you have grown stagnant on your path, maybe you’re curious, or maybe it will be sheer will that offers you the courage to face him. When you do turn towards him you know there will be no turning back. He will meet your gaze as an equal. He will not try to bewitch or enchant you with his words. He has no interest in manipulating your heart. He will make you no promises. This is a man that has no need to prove himself, he would never attempt to force a bud to open. This man appreciates the divinity in watching a flower bloom and the moment he touches you, you will understand why. His primary interest is to just be with you as you desire.
You have invited him to temporarily join you on your path and he has accepted. He proceeds with caution, reading you almost as if he already knows you better than you know yourself. Even if you begin to behave in ways that had been expected of you in the past, he will pause you. He will ground you. He will not let you get away from yourself. His eyes, filled with life, acceptance, and compassion hold yours until you realize that he is there to be your mirror. His role is to reflect to you how far you have come on your journey. He shows you how tired you have become and he recognizes it. He shows you that you too are looking at him from your own wholeness. You realize you aren’t in want, you aren’t surrendering because of an empty need but because someone is offering you their wholeness. This is the beginning of the gift he is offering you, the gift you will share.
He will likely have you take the lead and soon begin to follow. You squeeze your eyes closed trusting this process, trusting that this experience will continue to be different than anything before while simultaneously hearing your body tremble in fear that it will turn out the same. He will say nothing to quiet your fears. He can see all the empty words still etched and seared into your flesh. No, he won’t add to those words, instead he will gently brush them with his lips and his fingertips. He will gently kiss away the invisible grip that remains around your throat from the violence of past lovers hands and their stifling words. He won’t force your eyes open. You find yourself continually realizing that he doesn’t need anything from you and at any moment you could stop him and he wouldn’t look at you or treat you any differently. He finds no shame in a woman standing up for her honor and her dignity. In fact, he would applaud it, one warrior to another. This awareness however only draws you deeper in and the trembling now is no longer fear but surrender.
You have the courage now to open your eyes, even if only for brief moments and he is completely enveloped in pleasing you and watching you. His reverence for you is profound but somehow you know that you must join him in recognizing yourself for it to continue… and that’s when you feel his hands glide along your arching back and he thrusts you deeper into yourself, heat from your combined energy coiling around your spine like a serpent as you throw your head back. He has brought you to a precipice surrounded by the dense fog of a lingering past and you must continue to trust if you want to feel the euphoria of falling through and past it. You let go and he falls with you, assuring you with his body that you will both land on your feet as his grip intensifies. He guides you into the deepest realms of who you are. The fall is your ascension and he remains your mirror. Time is lost as you explore each wave together, reflecting all that has made you whole, all that has brought your paths together. There you remain, in the stillness between time, intertwined in the richness of each other and what you continue to share, releasing whatever has been holding you back and embracing the flood of expansive light.
To say that this is a form of healing may have some merit but it is more of a transmutation of things past. The past may still remain with you but your experience together begins to show you the power of transmuting the remaining scars into something more powerful than the pain, something that you can take into the world with you when this moment has passed and offer to those who are tired of trying to heal or being told how to heal and wondering why so much still lingers. The deep knowing that you are not alone. The further release of shame and guilt that you may have forgotten you still had. Roadblocks from the past fall away as your clarity deepens and your purpose becomes visceral.
The beginning of this intersection promised nothing more than the present moment so as you part ways there is a foreign but liberating sense of freedom in not knowing if your paths will ever be meant to intersect again. For the first time you are feeling completely fulfilled regardless of what will come next. You won’t be able to help ruminating over the profound gratitude you have for this person and the experience you had shared. You will have an even deeper understanding of the sacredness of sex and of detachment to outcome. You will also have a deeper understanding of the intimacy of our interconnectedness as humans along with the value and spiritual power in being able to let go. And once you have known this, I can assure you that you will be far less likely to ever settle or compromise yourself - not ever again. You have seen yourself and you have seen what kind of men do exist and you will continue on your journey feeling a bit lighter with a deeper faith in yourself and others.
October is a big month for delving into the shadows and after I read about the potential impact the Dark New Moon in Scorpio may have had on us I began to self-reflect on my own love for shadow work. This New Moon reunited me with memories from my past so I went with it to see what I was meant to learn.
As I layed in my bed in that space between being awake and asleep (research Yoga Nidra to know more) I felt my body sinking down, deep into the earth, into the past, into the bed of the one man who was once my ideation of love. I was the addict and he was my heroine and as I surrendered to this memory I was forced to face one of the greatest paradoxes of the love addiction cycle and that is not only was I addicted to the euphoric highs but also the devastating, soul crushing lows...
Life offers experiences that move our emotions like a pendulum and when in any kind of addictive cycle that pendulum swings almost violently from one extreme to the other. To cling to and pursue (even by avoiding - the opposite extreme of the same addictive cycle) an idea of a person, the fantasy of what "love" is supposed to be is to feed the addiction.
Have you ever noticed that if you read any "great" love story, the more painful and agonizing it is the more drawn in we become? We become addicted to the intensity, the euphoria can't be as high if the lows aren't hellishly low so when we see the opportunity to thrust ourselves into our fantasy we take it, and we revel in the glorious manifestation of that Oxytocin release and revel just as much, if not more so when things go "wrong", when we are betrayed, when our fantasy is betrayed. So we look for any way to get that hit again, that Oxytocin high and the cycle starts up again, either with that one person we have idealized or surrogates in the meantime.
Everything in life is filled with polarities and we create our own paradoxes based on our unmet needs, our fears, our empty and obscure hopes. We curse our pain, we curse ourselves for finding ourselves right back where we swore we would never be again. Why do we do this? I suppose it's different for each person. For me, I'm a deeply intense person that desires peace; I am a walking contradiction, but the thing I fear most is being suspended in the in-between of life. I crave all the richness life has to offer, I get too eager and swallow every experience whole and then need countless hours alone in order to find my balance again.
Breaking any kind of addictive cycle means we must recalibrate, find a new homeostasis. Finding your homeostasis isn't just about your physical body finding its healthy balance but also your mind, heart and spirit. So for me, I have released any idea of what relationships are "supposed to be" and am open to learning about what they are in each moment. I remain as present as possible and then share what I've learned after a cycle of learning, processing and integrating has passed.
This will prompt many questions for each person and with my experience and training I find greater joy in helping others find their own answers than any other work I have done. Know that your balance, what is healthy for you will continue to evolve as you do and people will come and go as you grow. The change of people in your life is a mere reflection of the work you are doing and how it's paying off so be patient, trust the process and trust yourself!
And by all means, allow yourself to grieve what was, no matter how unhealthy it may seem to you now. Free of judgement, blame, rationalizations for self or others, just be with your grief and love yourself for caring that much about your heart, your health and your safety. This isn't looking back, this is processing what was, allowing it to move and make room for what will be.
Micah's confessions and lessons that have helped with self-forgiveness, healing and acceptance.