On Suffering- Pain the Great Catalyst 

​It has occurred to me on a very deep level recently how what we experience as pain and suffering throughout our lives truly can become our greatest catalysts toward inner healing and freedom.
I used to view myself as a victim of life’s circumstances, many situations i have experienced were beyond my control, some were a result of poor decisions i made along the way and almost always presented themselves as a result of me ignoring my intuition and being a people pleaser i just did not have it in me to say no out of fear of potential rejection.

We often blame others for our suffering, but if we are brave enough to take a long, hard look at ourselves we will almopst always discover that we were seeking something in return.
We can call ourselves martyrs, lovers, or righteous, but that only keeps us in a loop of denial and we go on continuing the same pattern.

I don’t want to go too far down the ‘primal wound’ rabbit hole here, i’ll save that for another post, however the bottom line is that in our current relationships with others that we experience as challenging or even abusive we tolerate mistreatment in a feeble attempt to settle a score from our earlier, more formative years with our closest providers.

This does not only apply to romantic relationships, but how we interact and relate to all personal connections.

Those we allow into our inner circle are the ones who most often trigger us the most. We then attach labels to them and either choose to avoid them, bond with them or form a love/hate relationship with them.

Healthy connections with others can only be obtained when we are open and willing to be honest and authentic with one another, and this requires vulnerability and trust, and that is fucking terrifying!

However change only occurs when we ourselves grow tired of our own bullshit, we are the only ones who truly have the power and ability to change, to grow and evolve beyond past conditioning and unhealthy patterns.

Vulnerability does not mean baring our souls prematurely and exposing ourselves to others before trust has been established. No vulnerability is often times more a slow unfolding, one layer at a time and simply holding a safe space for one another in the process no matter how long that process may be. 

New Beginings

“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.”

-Lao Tzu

Painful endings seem to be the theme right now for so many. Whether it’s a career change, a move, a relationship, old beliefs being stripped away, or old patterns that no longer serve us or others. Yet in order to create space for the new, we must let go of the old. Though no longer fruitful, the old is familiar and offers a sense of safety and security albeit false.

It is a painful process, this stripping away, especially when we cannot see even a glimmer of hope on the horizon. It is like walking through a thick fog not completely sure where we might end up. It is scary and can really throw us off balance pretty easily. The trick, i think is to just keep walking and somehow come to terms with the not knowing. This takes radical faith to say the least, and complete surrender, but really what other options do we have?  It feels like the final stages of labor. And through wave after wave of pain and discomfort we tend to lose sight of the beautiful, miraculous gift thats nearly ours to embrace. The tangibility of new life realized at long last. A few more pushes beloveds, surrender to the process from a place on non resistance which only brings more pain and exhaustion. 

We are almost there, very soon the substance of what we’ve  hoped for, the evidence fully seen. ❤

A New Garment 

​It isn’t what we DO, or accomplish that defines us,  it’s who we ARE. 

Embracing who we are in both the shadowy realms of darkness and under the illuminating brightness of daylight.
We are both and, above as below.
Through the long arduous journey through the deepest valley of suffering, to the highest peaks of joy, who have we become at our journeys end?
Have our sorrows birthed in us greater compassion, empathy,  kindness and strength? Have we abandoned ourselves in the valley of sorrow and allowed darkness to consume us, become blinded by the blazing sun choosing the comfort of denial to avoid the fear of night?
Each and every part of our journey carries deeper truths along the way; from bloody battle ground to quiet moments of rest and recovery beside still water, we carry each and every experience within us as we make our way back home, delicate threads now intricitally woven together into a garment of strength, beauty, and quality of character. Once stripped naked and exposed, we now find ourselves clothed in a new garment of our own original design.
We then offer our experiences to others through living our passions, our purpose creating fertile ground for connection,  inspiration and ultimately healing.

The Hidden power of Grief

The number one block that prevents us from healing our deepest wounds is not allowing ourselves to fully feel pain and grief.

Instead, we chooses the easier emotions like anger or we suppress our emotions altogether by keeping busy or turning to cheap fixes.

I realize now that I have suppressed my grief and sadness for most of my life. 

This began shortly after I lost my mother to cancer when I was 12. It wasn’t until I was in my forties that I began allowing myself to fully grieve.

The thing about grief is that it is not a linear process,  and you can’t put a timeline on.it, you just have to walk it out however long it takes.

This healing journey is not for the faint of heart by any means. At times it feels as if there are so many layers that the grief will never end, but one thing I’m recognizing is that after another layer is dealt with and healed there comes a deeper level of freedom and joy. I suppose that’s  what fuels me to continue in a deep desire for freedom and joy.

To those who wittness this process from the outside it appears that just the opposite is taking place, as if the person doing the tough healing work is stuck and choosing to live in the past, that’s because we have been so conditioned to conceal our wounds and wear masks as a form of survival, stuff those uncomfortable feelings and hide our wounds from others.

We all need a safe place to heal, free of judgement, free of well meaning advice and free of criticism.

After experiencing this deep level grief, I want to be that safe place for others.

We can’t fix others or expect others to fix us, but we can offer others a safe haven to be their authentic, true vulnerable selves scars and all.

On Forgiveness

“Let today be the day you stop being haunted by the ghost of yesterday. Holding a grudge & harboring anger/resentment is poison to the soul. Get even with people…but not those who have hurt us, forget them, instead get even with those who have helped us.” 

― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

Forgiveness
I’ve been working toward learning to forgive others who have hurt me. This is no easy task.

To forgive when there’s no apology or acknowledgement of wrongdoing is an act of faith.

The reality is, if we continue to hold on to anger, pain and resentment we are the ones who remain imprisoned. Held captive in a prison of our very own creation. It’s here where we become bitter and angry and sink deeper into darkness and despair.
There must come a time where we stop trying to make sense of injustices brought against us, stop questioning, stop analyzing and just let it go, forgive and move on.
By remaining in this place or darkness we close ourselves off to the good that God/The Universe has for us. And the thing is, the people who hurt us go on without a thought or care for our suffering. We punish ourselves. By holding on to resentment we slowly become mirror images of those who hurt us. We allow darkness full access to our hearts and attract more of the same from the outside. A vicious cycle.
Yes, people will hurt us, yes they will betray us, yes they will lie and use us. But really karma will bring Justice, it’s not our job to remain captive to the behaviors of others. We have a life to live here and now, we have a purpose to pursue. We give our power away by remaining captive to the actions of others.
Let it go. Move on.
What we put out there in the ether we attract. Put out the love that you are and those who truly love and value you will be drawn to you.

Forgive yourself. We are all doing the best we can.

Forgive them. They too are doing the best they can.

Learn from past mistakes and resolve to change those patterns. Our biggest struggles can become our greatest lessons.

On Grief-Allowing Ourselves to feel it all

The only way to fully heal from our deepest wounds is to allow ourself to fully feel the grief.
We are wrongfully taught to suck it up and move forward past pain, yet this mindset leaves us in a state of stagnancy.
Through silent meditation we give space and honor to our painful emotions without judgement or definition.
We simply feel
For many of us, I think our greatest fear in allowing ourselves to feel our pain is that we might fall so deep into the abyss that we’ll remain there, unable to recover.
And yes, part of this journey involves seasons of darkness, this is never our final destination.
Eventually we find the strength and courage to look up and we are met with a glimmer of light; and like water to our thirsty souls we embrace it once again and find ourselves experiencing a deeper sense of joy, unlike anything we’ve known before.

Authenticity and the Great Falling Away

I’ve discovered over the years that true friendship and love is revealed when we are no longer of use to someone. When all we have to give is our vulnerable, imperfect selves.
This becomes a major weeding process. Anyone can say ‘I love you’ when you’re offering them something, but those who say ‘I love you’ when you’ve nothing to offer but your authentic self are friends to be be treasured ❤
As we begin to love and value ourselves to such a degree that we are no longer willing to tolerate mistreatment, just sit back and watch as those in your life begin to fall away, and those who truly love and value you draw closer. 

Being true to ourselves, our values, our personal convictions will piss a lot of people off, but it will also forge deep meaningful connections with others who are dedicated to living a life of truth and authenticity.