We are often told that once your heart has been neglected, abandoned or broken that it will carry scars but what they don't tell you is how comfortable you can become with those scars. In the journey of healing, you become aware of your scars and through healthy self-love, you learn to stretch your heart around them. People come into your life, bursting your heart open in ways you never dreamed and you remember what love can feel like. Tears fall as the scars are stretched because you feel something you had forgotten you were worthy to feel. The simplest, sincere act of compassion and love can expose how terribly vulnerable you still are and you feel it in those scars. You begin to accept that this is part of what makes you who you are and it helps you connect to others in a more meaningful way so you treat your embarrassingly vulnerable expressions with the compassion you know you deserve.
As you become more adept at the process of transmutation, no longer seeing yourself as something that needs to be healed but instead someone with gifts to offer others, you will be sent people and circumstances to push your development further so you can step further into your truest potential. It's easy to become comfortable in our aloneness where it's safe and constant. Solitude predicates transcendence and transcendence can become addictive but once it is an addiction it's no longer transcendence. One of the many paradoxes of spiritual pursuits. The continued need to transcend can become a way to avoid what we are on Earth at this particular time to do. It can lead to disconnection when not in balance. When something happens to make you feel uncomfortable, to test your resolve, that is your lesson to unite heaven and earth within yourself and demonstrate it in all you do.
What we aren't told is that sometimes, the deeper the love that comes along, the more uncomfortable it can be but in the best possible way. The best kind of love shows you the atrophied pieces of your heart buried in adhesions and brings it to life again. There's a pain that comes with this, a pain that reminds you of how these wounds came to be, simultaneously showing you how the past can still, ever-so-subtly affect you. If you want to keep growing you will have to let your heart stretch through and around everything that has kept it restricted. You will begin to forget why the adhesions came to be and only care about lovingly working through the pain of massaging and stretching them, knowing that doing this is to expand who you are and what you are capable of.
This kind of love doesn't feel like falling, it feels like a mindful, intentional surrender to each of your greater good. This kind of love comes along to challenge you to decide if you want to remain comfortable and settled in how things are or if you are ready for an adventure that will change you and those you influence for the better if you allow it. Honor the past with reverence in all it had to offer you and release what is no longer helping your (or anyone else's) greater good. Trust yourself and trust the process as you explore love in a wise and profound way. Feel your heart guide you, your body doesn't lie. Learn the difference between your body warning you and your body ready to embrace something wonderful if you allow it to.
Photographer: Ted Scanon of TedScanon Photography from a project we did together titled 'Becoming'
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.
Personal growth, healing, recovery, whatever you want to call your journey, has a way of making you look outside of yourself. Reflection and introspection are common along this journey and you begin to wonder if this state will be permanent; the state of constant observation.
“Look out from within and observe the words, actions, reactions, and feelings that evolve from you. Release the identity with what you have observed if it creates tension and stress. Surely you will dissolve into effortless being that way.”
― Franklin Gillette, Compatibility: The Code of Harmony for Love and Unity
Then you have days where you are a participant. You participate in life, the richness of experience, the rawness of it. There is an ebb and flow to the observer/participant within each of us. A Yin/Yang relationship and finding the healthy dynamic for ourselves, our personal equilibrium as life and our every day decisions thrust us to and fro.
It is no coincidence that Autumn would bring reflection. Nor is it a coincidence that this thought would be pondered so close to a Black New Moon. I have seen myself as mist. Whether I am alone or in a crowded room I seem to quietly observe and participate at the same time. Presence alone being the only influence; moving between and around the other participants and observing the participation. Free, impermanent, witnessing as I am witnessed.
Micah's confessions and lessons that have helped with self-forgiveness, healing and acceptance.