“Feelings buried alive never die” – I’m pretty sure that’s a Wayne Dyer book that has been sitting on my shelf since my awful teen years but has never actually been read.
I’m learning through my life though, that that statement is undeniably true. Maybe if I’d actually read the book while I was trying so hard to bury all of my own trauma and feelings, I could have possibly avoided the illnesses that took hold of my body a few years ago – or at least assisted my body in fighting them rather than hindering it.
My body is teaching me so many lessons. Beautiful, excruciatingly painful lessons that I wouldn’t ever want to give up. It is so common for people with histories like mine to become chronically or life-threateningly ill at some point in their life. This is not a coincidence. I know that this can seem really far fetched for some people, and I’ve tried explaining it to some of the people closest to me and they’ve scoffed it off like it can’t possibly be accurate, but I’m living it. I know it to be true in my body like I know my own name. It simply just is.
Emotions or traumas that are not processed and released, that you believe are gone, are not gone. They stay trapped inside your body wreaking havoc on your immune system, central nervous system and every other part of your body until they come out in the form of physical illness. (I’m sure that this can vary, and I am not a doctor or a researcher, I am simply speaking from my own experience and from what I’ve witnessed in my friends and communities of chronically ill people).
Recently I have had so much unexpected crap coming up to finally be processed and released once and for all! (I hope!) Over the past year (or more, though likely less consciously) I’ve been slowly working my way through the thick sludge of emotions and experiences I’ve had trapped and buried for so long. Some of it since early childhood, others from later teen years or into my twenties, and some that likely aren’t even mine and are simply generational traumas that may have been trapped in my lineage for generations upon generations.
Most recently what’s been coming up for me has been the most jarring because it involves someone that I always had on a pedestal and never expected to be upset with let alone have the strong, ugly feelings that I’ve had arise. This is someone whom I know is always doing the best he/she can, and I never expected to feel like that wasn’t good enough. In my eyes this person is always doing more for others than he/she is for themselves, and is practically a saint. So you can imagine how shocking it was for me when all of these deeply buried feelings of abandonment, grief, denial, not being good enough, and more all came bubbling to the surface out of seemingly nowhere. Let me tell you, its a hard fall when you realize that the person you idolized and thought was super-human is actually just human themselves with their own set of crap to process and cope with. Imagine that – humans being human! I know, it shouldn’t be shocking, but, sometimes it is.
A friend told me today that he heard a psychologist say, “if you have a memory from the past come up and you have an emotional reaction to it, then you haven’t processed it and let it go,”. I 100% agree but I would also add, if you have a memory come up and you feel a shift in your body somewhere, then you haven’t processed it and let it go. It’s just buried deeper than your emotional self is allowing you to feel. For example, I have certain situations in my life that I’d like to think I have processed and released, but I know that when I think of them I feel an ever so slight shift in my pelvic muscles that tells me I haven’t done as much of the work as I’d like to think I have. Other ones trigger a subtle pain in my left shoulder and down my arm, while another triggers my sciatic nerve.
I have spent practically my whole life trying not to feel. I can remember feeling so incredibly terrified of my own mind, never wanting to be alone with it. I spent months, if not years, sleeping on the couch with the television on because I couldn’t even handle laying in bed waiting to fall asleep without a distraction. In fact it was my most feared time of day. I would distract with almost anything – friends, books, television, food, social media, sex, other people’s problems. I surrounded myself with people who had bigger problems than me or who were toxic so that I could focus on them and not myself. I would get involved with emotionally unavailable men or men who were bound to only do harm to me because that’s what I felt safe with. They would allow me to continue burying my feelings and give me lots of drama to focus on in the moment and distract with. The way they lived their lives and the way that they treated me aligned with my very low self-worth and enabled me to stay stuck in my comfort zone of burying my feelings, experiences and traumas while processing as little as humanly possible.
I would like to think that since my most recent processing and clearing was so unexpected and unpredictable, that that means that all of the predictable stuff has already been cleared. Unfortunately however, based on the slight shifts I feel in my body when I think about some of the more predictable things, that doesn’t seem to be true. I haven’t found any particular rhyme or reason for why what comes up at what time to be cleared, or in what order, but that’s okay. As I create space for each trapped emotion or event to come up to be cleared and released, I find more tools and more trust in my ability to process and clear the next ones as they arise. I have no idea how long it takes, and I imagine that it must be different for everyone. What I do know, is that throughout this process I no longer find comfort in the negative, self-limiting things that I used to find comfort in. I now find comfort in things that either allow me to sit in the uncomfortable, feel all of the feelings, process whatever I need to, however I need to, or allow me to release them and move me forward in a positive, healthy direction.
I no longer find comfort or self-worth in someone else’s bed, or in a bottle, or in a knife to my arm. I no longer feel the need to distract myself regularly from my own brain. I stand strong in my sense of self and no longer lose it in other people or relationships. I am the peaceful warrior of my own internal battles and I sit calmly and securely through my internal storms. Each time I sit in the uncomfortable and allow the emotions to be processed and released I heal myself a little bit more.
Incredibly accurate and comforting reading for myself on my new cards that I’m very much connecting to. 💚
I have such a hard time allowing myself to be vulnerable and trusting myself when it comes to my love life. (I’ve been known to make some poor choices!) Over the past few months I’ve been doing a lot of work in and around my heart-space and man has it been painful. Clearing out the old and all of the shields to make space for new.
For this spread I grounded, connected to my heart-space, my intuition, my subconscious and to source and asked where I’ve been, where I currently am, what I need to do to move forward, and what the end result will be.
High Priest • where I’ve been •
Connected to my inner divine masculine as I learned to protect myself. Recognizing I had the power to change my life, taking charge and moving forward with determination, purpose and intention. Keeping a clear distance between myself and others.
Winter • where I am now •
Recognizing and honoring my own needs. Undoing all that society has taught me in order to bring my true self to the surface. Resting and embracing that everyone – myself included – is as individual as a snowflake. Taking some time as a lone wolf, preparing myself before a pack that I can thrive with enters my life. Doing everything I can to be at my best, getting comfortable in the unknown and trusting that my inner light will guide me on the darkest nights. It’s time for me to be the alpha of my own life.
Mother Earth • what I need to do to move forward •
Grounding and connecting to the goddess within myself to shed the old, negative self-limiting beliefs, knowing that I am protected and nurtured as a child of the earth. Allow myself to be vulnerable and seen. As she roots me and surrounds me with motherly healing and nurturing energy I unearth my sense of strength and return to my natural centre of clarity and openness. I am being guided to make only choices of love and no longer of fear. I accept that deep down I do want to be loved and cared for, and that I have the ability to love and care for myself. Feel the feelings of being loved and cared for and those vibrations will attract all that I desire and more.
Medicine Mother • what the outcome will be •
I will be comforted, standing strong with faith in my own inner knowing and sight. It is okay for this chapter of my life to come to an end to make room for new beginnings. Moving forward I will know what I need to do. In loving and respecting myself I release my old patterns and honor what I already know.
Immense gratitude to these cards, the gift of these messages and to my inner self for persevering and now, for having the courage to let go.
Thanksgiving, is not an easy holiday for many people.
All of the gratitude, giving thanks for family and friends and the life you have isn’t very much fun if you don’t feel like you have any.
Now, I’m the first to find gratitude in any situation so I definitely believe that there is gratitude to be found, however, I do feel the need to acknowledge that it comes easier to some than others, and that it didn’t always come easy to me.
For a lot of years Thanksgiving felt like abandonment. It felt like a yearly reminder that my parents had better things to do than to spend time with family. Likely they simply want to make the most of their recreational property and enjoy using it every long weekend and holiday that they can. As a teenager or young adult though, it can be easy to lose perspective on that.
I didn’t go to my aunt and uncle’s for whatever reason, for quite a few years, and instead I jumped around to whatever friends-family invited me to theirs. I always had a great time learning new traditions and I fully embraced all the love that I felt was lacking in my own, trying to soak up every last ounce – so much so that I likely resembled a stray dog, absolutely starving for love and affection.
This year I did it differently. I filled my weekend with so much love and kindness and connection that I even have extra to spare. I don’t feel like that empty, bony, tattered stray that suddenly feels love and never wants to let it go for fear that they may not receive it again; holding on so tightly that the insane fear and need for control end up causing it to all fall apart anyways.
I feel whole today. That’s not a feeling I’m overly familiar with but its good. I feel that I am enough, today. Exactly as I am.
And this is because I have filled my cup. I have surrounded myself with emotionally intelligent people who give and receive love so freely that you just know you’re going to be okay. My future looks brighter today, and I’m grateful for that.
I started my weekend with a girls night with my friend Jamie, she fills the cup of everyone she’s around. Her beauty and light and willingness to love is a gift that she shares with everyone she meets. We talk for hours and fill our bellies with pizza and never get bored until suddenly its late and I need to go home. I leave with a full heart and knowing that we will do it all again in a few weeks with just as much to share all over again.
Saturday I started off my day with coffee with an amazing young man, Guy. Despite the many challenges he has faced growing up in foster care, he has devoted this time in his life to advocating for other youth in the system and reminding everyone that they are enough. That they are worthy of love. That the challenges that they face right now do not have to define the lives that they live for their future. This is a man who at only 25 years old is so secure and stable within himself and his own network of friends who are family, that he is able to see the love and light in everyone. Even the adults who hurt him, it seems. And that, to me, is a feat. That is Everest, my friends.
Straight from that beautiful meeting I went to an incredible afternoon filled with silence, women, meditation, painting, intention, and love. I am not a crier, and typically at these things I don’t feel that it is my place to share, even when asked. So I shocked myself when, as I’m sharing my brief writing “there is beauty in letting go of the need to control” I start to hear my voice crack and more words coming out of my mouth, thanking all of the women who surrounded me for their motherly energy that I so needed to be enveloped in. Even as I write that I feel a lump start to form in my throat again and I don’t even know anymore if its from the sadness or the beauty of it all. Likely, both, as I’m starting to find that those two often come together.
Saturday evening I got to meet my friends new baby girl, Thalia. Oh-em-gee she is amazing! Poor mamma was so stressed, as new mothers often are. I suddenly got the call to be very intentional with my energy. Like anyone in a heightened state of stress, it is hard for new mothers to put all the fear aside and be intentional with their energy. People who love me have done this for me many times when I can’t do it for myself and this was my turn to do it for someone I love. And it was beautiful. Baby calmed down, mamma calmed down. This perfect tiny human slept on my chest for almost two movies (Pocahontas 1 & 2, so it doesn’t really get any better than that 😉 ) and I enjoyed every second of it. The light and love and innocence that babies exude is undeniable and irreplaceable. They are the best things in this world and, I believe, when loved and nurtured, can potentially be our greatest gift to the world. No matter how you end up with a child, if you can influence them to love the planet and everything on it, there is no greater gift to the future of the planet than that. I am grateful for every moment that I will get to spend in Thalia’s life and I cannot wait to see how her and her parents grow, and who she becomes.
As if my weekend has not been good enough or filled with enough love (I feel like I’ve had a years worth of love and light and healing all piled into one amazing, transformative weekend!) I am currently waiting for my brother to drop off his 7-year-old step daughter Emily so that we can spend the afternoon before Thanksgiving dinner, painting mandalas. I am going to use the video* that Tama (one of my teachers) recommended to me to teach her how, and I am looking forward to three straight hours of loving goodness from this incredible child that lights up my family’s life in so many ways. Her bravery and fearless ability to be her true self is something I can learn from.
Just when I think this weekend can’t get any better, I receive an invite from a beautiful indigenous friend, also my amazingly talented tattoo artist, to join her and her mother for a New Moon ceremony tomorrow evening. I’ve been saying a lot that the synchronicities in my life recently are unbelievable, and I cannot think of a better way to finish this long weekend than to spend it in ceremony with a mother and daughter, of our indigenous community, sharing with me their ways of ceremony and inviting me into their love, light and healing practices.
This weekend has reinforced in me the path that I am currently choosing for myself. Letting go of the past and many of the people in it is a painful process; but it is a necessary pain if I want to move forward in love and healing. Perhaps I don’t have to fight so hard to force the people that I think are supposed to be in my life, to be in my life. Perhaps, maybe if I allow it, there are a lot of incredible people who are everything I need and more, just waiting for an opening.
The video for teaching children mandala painting can be found here.
Tama and more of her workshops can be found here.