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. 

Lessons from an Old Appalachian Mountain Man

​Every morning and afternoon as i make my way to town along the long winding 2 lane mountain road that runs through the heart of these majestic mountains, i pass by a small shack that is bordered by pasture land full of grazing cattle. And like clockwork, there he is. A hearty, old mountain man faithfully working in his small, yet abundant vegetable garden. 
I’ve observed this process that began in early spring as he plowed the soil, planted seed, meticulously and faithfully weeded his little garden, and now as he reaps the harvest of his dedicated effort.
I observed as this rather stoic old man began losing weight, and slowing his pace, yet faithfully he continued with the job at hand.
I never saw anyone else with him, aside from his faithful four legged companion, by his side.
As i passed by each morning,  a quick wave and smile were my gifts to him.  There was something about this man that touched my heart. I found myself making a habit out of sending him love and a short prayer as i drove by.
Then this morning i noticed a strange car parked in his driveway, the drivers side door left open, indicating a sense of urgency. 
And there in the middle of the drive i saw a rather heavy set old woman facing the gruff old mountain man, holding both of his rugged, yet frail hands in hers, looking deep into each others eyes, tears streaming down both of their faces. 

Something about this rather intimate moment touched me deeply as i found myself tearing up along with them. I have no idea what was transpiring between the two of them, but what i did know was that love was at work here. I could feel it so deeply, a profound connection.
As i continued on i began meditating on love and the powerful effect it has on each and every one of us.  I got the impression that this man had become hardened over time, isolating himself as many do who are struggling. Yet this one, tenacious old woman took the risk. She dared to love and reached a place within him that had been closed off for many years, she took the risk believing that the power of love could break through his walls and bring healing.
How often do we dare to take such a risk? Do we allow ego and pride to take over and move along, giving our gift of love only to those who openly receive? Or do we cast aside our own pride and fear of rejection, push past moments of frustration to offer our gift of love to another, willing to face rejection time and time again for some greater good. 
I received a deep lesson this morning and i choose love. Again, and again i will always choose love.

Words

​Words

How often it is said that actions speak louder than words, yet words spoken from a heart that loves deeply, unconditionally, burning with passion and desire,  carries it’s own unique fragrance . 

There is little room here for cliches,  ‘sweet  nothings,’ or inspired quotes borrowed from another’s sacred muse.
 A Love that reaches way down to the hidden depths of the heart and soul, a place where unfinished poetry and unfufilled longing reside,  waiting for the one worthy of its expression to penetrate those secret walled off chambers, carrying a sacred release of longing fulfilled at last.
Deep calling unto deep.

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.

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.

  

On Receiving 

  
I love this Paulo Coelho quote. How many of us spend our entire lives dreaming of success however we might define it, love, purpose; and then we find it and we have no idea what to do with it. 

So we run

We run as fast and far as we can back to that old ‘comfort’ zone of perceived safety.  Yet we quickly realize that nothing will ever be the same, we cannot tuen back to a previous life without being haunted by discomfort and discontent. 

No, once we’ve tasted all else tastes bland in comparison.  I came to realize recently that I had a deep rooted fear of success, of achieving my dreams. How will I maneuver this new path void of longing and nagging? When presented with opportunity and success how will I feel deserving enough to openly receive it? There’s this nagging little voice that whispers in my ear “who do you think you are? What makes you think you deserve this?”  And then of course the fear…

Fear of loss

Fear of failure

Fear of not being good enough

Fears that try to keep me locked into a pattern of complaisantsy and discontent.  

How will we respond if big love enters our lives? Big opportunities come our way?  Do we choose safety and run back to that which is familiar and empty, or push forward through the fear and embrace the gifts presented to us?

There’s just no easy answer. But as I always say, I would much rather face the terrifying unknowns through wobbling legs and trembling hands then spend the rest of my life with the haunting pain of regret.

Life Will Break You-Yet we Break our own Hearts

“Life will break you.Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning.
You have to love.
You have to feel.
It is the reason you are here on earth.
You are here to risk your heart.
You are here to be swallowed up.
And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness.
Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”
~ Louise Erdich, The Painted Drum
 

We break our own hearts by allowing others to determine our worth, our value, our beauty
We alone place our fragile hearts in the hands of others trusting that they will offer protection and safety.
We break our own hearts by trusting in words without actions to back them up. Our hearts so hungry to receive love and affirmation, the validation we never received, yet always longed for.
We settle for crumbs, and quickly gobble them up, leaving us hungry for more, a perpetual state of soul starvation.
We break our own hearts when we place others happiness, comfort and peace above our own, expecting the same in return, yet left empty time and time again.
But just as we break our own hearts, we also have the ability to heal our hearts by recognizing our own value and worth, by feeding ourselves with unconditional love, and by speaking truth backed with action into our own lives.
We become whole once again.