Signs of Me Reappearing

I burst out of bed today wanting to write a blog post.  It’s been a long time since I’ve had that feeling and it feels like such a relief.  A relief because writing is an integral part of who I am and so if I’m not wanting to write, then I most likely am not doing too terrific, you know?  Not that I’m likely to admit that I’m not doing well, but it seems okay to retroactively admit to it.

Wanting to write, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that I have a topic in mind.  I’m out of practice of forming topics in my head that would work in a blog post, so I’m free-styling it here.  There are so many ideas and topics to choose from.  Do I write about personal feelings I’m going through?  Politics? (I hear a collective roar of “No!” coming from the ethers.)  The weather?  Astrology? What it’s like being married to a Dutch man and living in another country?  My 2 cats and their endless antics?  The chaos and madness engulfing the planet?  Spiders and how they’re misunderstood?

Really, I’m just wanting to write something from my heart.  (Did I just hear someone rolling their eyes at me?)  Which may seem like that would mean writing something sappy and emotional, but then you don’t know my heart.  There is something of a court jester in there.  Mischievousness written all over it.

I’ve been pretty serious (and MIA) the last couple of years, and understandably if you know all that’s gone on.  But I’ve recently been seeing signs of recovery and healing taking place in me.  Like learning how to laugh again.  Being able to think of my son without pain crashing in on me.  Remembering myself when I was whole and becoming that again.

Some things take time, like healing.  Which I have no patience for.  I mean, I’ve learned to try to be patient with it, but the whole time I’m pretty much looking at my (non-existent) watch and tapping my foot.  I want to be fine now.  You know, live in the moment, the only moment is now.  So I’m like, okay, I’m healed NOW.  (Looking around to see if it worked.)

The crazy thing, is that I know that that could actually work, but it would require that I felt and believed that to be true all of the way down to my bones.  Which I don’t, because I’ve been here long enough to have accumulated enough examples from experience that have shown me otherwise in which I use that ‘evidence’ to allow doubt into the process, slowing it down.  My healing process involves slowing down enough to understand what my doubts and fears are, and then seeing them with new eyes.  Are they really true?  Like big picture, let’s be straight with ourselves, true?  I then ease my way into the new perspective until *pop*, there I am with more room to breathe inside myself.

For example, I’ve had many experiences with individuals who have aimed their own personal fears and projections onto me, so much so that over time I came to feel and believe that I was not loved or liked.  When that is your environment’s response to you day in and day out, you can start to become confused about what is true or not true about you.  Was I doing anything I was doing for the reasons that those other people in my life thought I was?  No.  Did they bother to ask me or find out?  No.  Did they continue to declare their ideas and reasons for my behavior with the fervor of a southern baptist preacher to me and all who would listen?  Yes.

In that kind of environment, I’m not getting any feedback from the outer world that I am loved or of any value.  I do not get to have a say or voice in that situation.  Me and my side of the story have been effectively silenced.  The truth of me gets lost because I’m the only one who knows it and who is trying to keep it alive in myself while others treat me as if their own story or other’s of me is true.  This is not loving or supportive behavior.

By the way, this isn’t about judging or blaming them, or me being a victim.  My only interest lies in understanding what happened so that I can free myself from it.  I’m observing and taking notes of what I’ve been able to piece together so that I can understand where my own pain stems from so that I can help myself.  It just happens to involve other people and so it’s hard to omit them from the story.

So as I was saying, over time I came to feel and believe that I was not loved or wanted in the world by others because that’s what was reflected to me.  Saying that and how that feels are actually two different things.  How it feels in day to day life is like I’m a constant disappointment.  That no matter how hard I try, no matter how much I overcome, I will still not be liked or loved or seen or valued.  It feels like I have nothing to offer the world.  It feels like I have no place here.  Like I’ve come to a party that I wasn’t invited to.  Like nothing I do matters or makes a difference.  That there is no point to me or my existence.

Which leads me back to my healing process and this example.  What’s the truth of that pain in me, big picture, let’s be honest?  “I am not loved or liked.”  Is that really true?  Well, I mean, the hurt part of me wants to say yes, yes that is true.  It’s so sad. (blubbering madly into my handful of Kleenex)  But is it actually true?  Okay, it’s true in that those people that treated me that way were not coming from a loving place.  But does that really have anything to do with me?  Or is that more to do with the state of torture they are living with inside of themselves?

It isn’t really me that they are seeing.  So if it isn’t the truth of me that they are seeing, then my belief of not being loved or liked is back on the table for negotiation.  Also, I think I may need to find some people who are not lost in the sauce in their own pain.  Which is what I did and is when I started to get validation that my hypothesis (that maybe it *is* them and not me) might have some merit.  Getting some distance between me and those blind to anyone but themselves, and then seeing the contrast of how it feels to be around people who can see past themselves, was the difference of night and day.

But it is a weakness in me.  When things become challenging in my life, I have to really watch this part of myself.  It’s something that is too easy for me to believe.  I have had to learn and relearn over and over, what it feels like to be loved.  I don’t mean in my thoughts, I mean in my whole body.  Because being loved is something that is felt from the top of your head down to your toenails.  It warms, relaxes, and calms you.  It is a full state of being, not a mental construct.  It is something experienced within your being.

I feel like there is a general consensus that if you are a good person then you are a loving person.  We lean too much on looking like a good person regardless of how we feel inside.  We don’t want to be unloving or bad people.  But I’ve personally met a lot of good people who were not loving and a lot of bad people who were in fact loving.  Understanding the difference is critical for me to make better choices about who I let into my inner circle, and doing this is important for my healing.

Along with this I’ve had to learn about all kinds of other things such as boundaries and what my rights are as a person.  That I don’t have to be walked all over.  I can use words like “no” and “I don’t want to”.  I’ve even had to learn how to feel my own feelings again versus what I had been told my feelings were.  And that just because everyone else is going along with something, doesn’t mean it’s right, and in those situations I will stick with my feeling even if it means standing alone.  Listening to myself even when no one else will.  <– And that, was the beginning of me building self trust.

I began to provide and give to myself what others had not been able to.  I started to listen and trust myself more, even if it seemed to make my life harder.  The more I did this, the more I stayed true to that voice deep inside my core, the stronger I began to feel.  The stronger I felt, the clearer my life became.  The more aware I became of what was and was not okay in my life.  Which led to me making changes.  Ultimately walking away from everything I had once known.  I became more focused on what was actually good for me instead of wondering what others might think of my actions.  They were going to think whatever they wanted to anyways, but the difference being, I stopped trying to control that by limiting my own actions.

Allowing for that, made room for me to focus more on what I personally felt about myself.  Did I think I was evil manifested?  Does it matter?  If I was, then really, what could I do about it?  And way to paint the world white and black, as if it’s really that simple.  Way to dehumanize me and invalidate me as a complex person with many different faucets of my personality.  No, I don’t feel that I am evil incarnated.  So what does that mean?  Well . . . it probably means that I can start lightening up a little, ya know?  Be a little gentler and kinder to myself then I had been treated by others.

Which lead me to finding love within myself again.  And when you’re not cowered or hunkered down in trembling fear, it opens up your world again and memories begin to return.  Things like the memory of the truth of yourself.  It begins a spiraling up in self instead of spiraling down.  Feelings like relief of being able to let go of all of the dumb dumb things about yourself that you had come to believe, watching as they break and fall away from you.  It is simply liberating.

By the way, I’m like smooshing years of processing and trial and error into one post.  It may sound like I figured it out in a matter of hours, but I assure you this has been a monumental undertaking in my life.  In the moments that I’ve hit the sweet spot of balanced and healed in myself, there comes the realization that I could have gone into that place immediately if I hadn’t got hung up or identified too much with what was wrong or out of balance in me.  That if I were to fully believe in the real me inside, that it would have brought me straight there to that place of wholeness, which suits me and my patience levels just fine.

The problem is, when I’m not in that space, I forget.  I can’t remember how or why that is true.  So I go the longer healing route and then remember again.  I get knocked out of there and then walk there again, but then I begin to see that I’ve left myself bread crumbs to show me the way back.  Again and again I’ve walked this path, hoping to wear a groove into the road to make it easier to find.  Because I know one day, I’m going to go there, and I’m not going to come back.

Anyways, I was walking that road again the last couple of years, marking it even more fiercely than the last time I was there.  Like, m*therf@cker, I am NOT going through this again, you WILL remember this and not forget again!  (She said to herself oh so compassionately.)  I hate seeing the same tree trunk that I passed years ago.

So yeah.  Yay! for the ‘wanting to write a blog post’ marker I reached this morning.  I don’t remember what comes after this, but I do know that it’s the road I’m wanting to be on.  🙂

Will My Real Inner Voice Please Stand Up

At a recent write-in meeting where a group of us writers gathered to well, write, someone mentioned how there are already so many stories and books out there and so many more on the way.  So why are we doing this, what’s the point?

I had been having thoughts along the same line myself, but not just about writing.  Anything that I have an interest in, whether it’s writing, astrology, music, or even Excel spreadsheets, there are already so many other people doing it and even better than I could ever hope to.  Who wants to work hard to be mediocre, to just be lost in the crowd of one of many.  This leads me to feeling defeated before I’ve even had a chance to begin.

While the feeling was swirling around in the background in myself, I had no answer or response to it, as if it was the whole of the argument.  That there was nothing left to be said about it, only something to come to peace with.

But when the question came from someone outside of me, surprisingly an answer came to my lips.

Every person has a unique way of viewing the world.  All 7+ billion people could write the same story and none of them would be the same.  Provided that all 7+ billion people had found their own unique self inside and had learned how to give it a voice.  That’s the difference for me (I realized in hindsight) between feeling defeated by my writing and it bringing me immense joy; which voice am I using?

Writing for me has always been about self therapy and helping me to find my voice.  I write myself silly when I’m alone trying to get all of the garbage and conditioning out of me so that maybe some room will be made inside of me to hear what it is that I have to say.

Sometimes I drift away and forget why I write and then it becomes more about trying to write for other’s enjoyment, when the only way it really works for me is when I write for my own enjoyment.

It’s not easy for me to keep a hold of myself and what I really feel and think.  Everyday I’m bombarded with so many opinions and popular beliefs of others in the world, that the delicate thoughts and feelings of myself (when I’m not around or influenced by anyone else), start to get buried and I forget that I didn’t feel like others did to begin with, especially if I’m tired and worn down by life.

Which I have felt tired and worn down the last couple of years.  I feel a little frustrated with me that I’ve lost ground and have to start the steady climb back up to uncover myself from all of the crap (news/politics, thoughtless/parroted opinions, awareness programs, shaming, etc.) going around, for the umpteenth time in order to rediscover my own voice.

But I know I have one.  I know how much joy writing brings me when I’ve found that voice and start using it, and so I know that while I’m tired of climbing this mountain, it’s completely worth it in the end. {Just keep swimming}  <– I’m trying to swim up mountains, maybe that’s a part of my problem.

I find that with anything I do, my motivation can’t be about doing it to be the best or for any kind of recognition at all.  It has to be because it brings meaning into my life.  Because it’s something that nourishes my spirit and soul.  Because it helps me find the places in which I’m in hiding and covered up, and washes it away so that I’m renewed.  Because I think ultimately what I want (if you were to hold me down and make me put it into words), is to give my soul an uninhibited voice in this world.

I feel the truer me inside rattling the prison bars that I’ve put her in with what has become too limited of thinking that I have arrived at with so much grief about things turning out as they did with my family.  Overwhelm of emotion and a feeling of powerlessness over what happened in my life led to parts of me having to shut down temporarily so that I could process everything in smaller chunks and gulps instead of trying to take it all in at once.  Necessary for short-term survival, yes, but it’s not an appropriate place to live permanently.

And so comes the uncomfortable part of the process, where it’s time to start walking beyond the hurt and grief and stretch myself back to more wide open skies so that I can see and breathe again.  Otherwise, my grief will become a habit and I’ll be stuck there for the rest of my life.  I have to rejoin life again even if I have to go kicking and screaming the whole way.

This part requires more courage on my part than surviving the hard times, because it requires that I trust in life and love again after being shown just how ugly life can sometimes get.  It requires that I trust in something bigger than myself.  It requires vulnerability at the deepest level.

Vulnerability because there are no promises that I won’t be subjected to something painful again.  There’s no way life can promise that.  But if I don’t take that risk or chance, then I also won’t get to know love anymore because closing to one, closes me to the other.

I didn’t go through all I’ve gone through to be here (being born, surviving puberty, etc.) just to lock up and die a slow death inside of myself just because tough things happen.  I came here to accomplish something and that something requires that I be of sound mind and health.  It requires that I be alive and feel all of the things that come with being alive, and not just the things that I want to feel, but ALL of the feelers.

Only when I reach that more balanced state in myself, only when I have healed myself, am I capable of beginning to understand and figure out what it is that I came here to do.  Until I’ve rediscovered myself and my voice, I don’t really have that much to offer anyone else.  I don’t have advice, solid opinions, clear perspective.  All I can really do is parrot what I’m hearing from others (or sharing confusing muddled half opinions of my own), and I don’t like doing that.  That makes me feel like a plastic robot and my soul yells and scratches me up from the inside in protest when I do that.

My authentic self, my truer voice, is what I’m searching for and the only way I want to express myself.  Which I *have* learned doesn’t necessarily mean being blunt, callous, defensive, etc.  I’m learning a softer more agreeable way.  One that works much better for me as well as others.  <–  It’s a process of trial and error.  So while I don’t like sharing anything less than my truer voice, I have to start somewhere which means practice and showing the messy road that leads me back there.

But it is *that* voice I feel is worth sharing in the world, even if it gets lost in the sea of a million other voices.  I am okay with that, because I’ve known no greater joy and satisfaction in life than when I’ve found and am using that voice.  And that’s something that comes from within me and that I have control over.  It doesn’t require that anyone else around me change or do anything differently.

when-you-find-your-voice-your-life-takes-on-grace-quote

Hello?

Loneliness is a strange thing in my mind.  It’s not always obvious to me when I’m experiencing it.  It’s not always obvious to me when I’m trying to hide from it.  It’s not always obvious to me whether it is me that is lonely because of cutting off from everyone else, or whether everyone else is cut off from me.

As I speak, where Venus (What we love) is currently located in the sky (Taurus 3 degrees) is the same degree that my natal Chiron (Wounded Healer or Deepest Wound) is located.  Even when a planet as lovely as Venus comes near something that owie in our chart, it is going to hurt.  I don’t relish when any contact is made with this degree on my chart . . . but I also learned not to run from it.  At least with Venus, it helps soften it enough for me to summon my courage to keep my eyes open as I look at it, even as I’m saying “owie owie owie owie owie” through my tears.

Because I do want to see it.  Even if it’s gross and gory with broken bones poking out of the skin, and makes me wanna throw up.  How else can I take action to make it better if I don’t know what I’m dealing with?  Either way it’s going to hurt, but at least this way I have a chance of some day being free of it.

While in most cases I don’t have any problems going where angels fear to tread, Chiron is one area of my life that I pretty much have to be tricked into facing.  “Oh look Jenn, what’s that over there?  Is that cake?  That’s definitely cake.  You should go check it out.”  Otherwise it’s a whole bunch of nope.

Nope Finger

 This is in my 1st house of self, so it’s like a linchpin anchored into the core of my psyche.  It’s also conjunct (right next to) my natal Mars & Venus which are very personal planets.  Well, and them both being in Aries, you can’t get anymore personal than that.  So inevitably, to get to my personal Self, I have to navigate the ninja land mind that is Chiron within me.

Chiron in mythology was an immortal and revered centaur who was a great healer and founded the ‘school of heroes’ in which many greats were trained.  One day he was accidentally shot with a poisoned arrow (one of Hercules) and despite his extraordinary healing abilities, was unable to heal the wound.  He was in incredible pain, but because he was immortal he was unable to die.  He had to learn how to come to peace with it.

One day he comes across Prometheus who is going through his own miserable existence from having stolen fire from the gods and was being punished by being chained to a rock and every day having his liver eaten by an Eagle and every night growing a new liver.  (I have to hand it to the gods for coming up with some pretty gnarly and yet creative punishments.)

Because of Chiron’s own personal experience of dealing with an agonizing situation of his own, he felt compassion for Prometheus’s situation.  He couldn’t heal himself, but he could help Prometheus and in doing so . . . he *did* help his own pain.  Chiron offered to give up his immortality to Prometheus which would free him.  Prometheus became immortal and broke free from the rock he was chained to, and Chiron dropped dead.  It was a win/win.

Actually, Chiron was given a place in heaven as a constellation for his great sacrifice and is now all sparkly and magical.

I have to tell you though, I’m less than thrilled about this being in my first house of Self.  It’s not in my house of Other where I come across others that are wounded in life.  It’s not in my house of Humanity or large groups of people that were wronged in history.  It’s not this thing that I encounter outside of me where I can see it and look at it objectively and figure out how to help from the comfort of my own skin.  It is this *thing* that has always been present with me since birth.  And I can’t be who I really am unless I walk smack straight into this pain and just stand my ground within, until I am strong enough to be able to bear it without passing out.

It’s like trying to get emotionally strong enough to be capable of performing open heart surgery on yourself.  You obviously have to stay conscious and fully present the whole time along with great discipline and endurance to stomach some raw gory shit.

There’s a point where you have endured so much pain for so long with no let up or relief, that something else starts to take you over.  Something that transcends normal everyday existence.  It’s too much to hold onto and live with, and so your choices become to either die or to let go of things that really do not matter.

I think it’s also important to understand that this pain I live with, I was born with.  My mom said I suffered night terrors from birth.  I remember having dreams that were so real and lucid that I was traumatized by them over and over.  One dream I remember when I was six, was of being a girl of about the same age in a house that was on fire and the smoke and flames were getting into my room.  I was trying to get out but the doors and walls were too hot.  I was trapped and forced to my bed where I started to lose consciousness from not being able to breathe.

I became fully lucid during that dream which felt as real as real life, but I could also feel my current six year old body thrashing on my real bed and me screaming at myself to please wake up and even scratching at my eyes trying to force them open so that I could end the nightmare.

I have never really been able to talk about this ever present pain in me.  There are no words for what I experience inside.  I wish I could.  I want to.  Not for sympathy . . . not for pity.  Not for attention.  It’s this burning need to try and reach anyone else out there that is going through this same pain and have lost their own voices to express this indescribable *thing* that they live with every day and who nobody ever truly hears and who are never allowed to truly speak and who feel alone in life because of it . . . to say that I understand your pain and that you are not alone.

There is one thing that living with this pain does not do, and that is procure a desire to compete with other people about who hurts or suffers more.  My need, my desire to be heard is not one born out of selfishness and need for attention.  It is not to get my way or to excuse my behavior.

You know how sometimes a person will yell out when they’ve cut or hurt themselves unexpectedly before they get control of themselves?  That is the same need in me that pushes me to find a way to express it.  I don’t talk about my stuff to whine, never moving on with my life, I am driven to find words to say it, to share it.  And something about sharing it, heals something in me.  When it reaches someone who knows this same pain, it has the ability to help heal something in them too.

In fact, if I go too long not actively working on this and doing this, the pain becomes crippling in me to the point that I can barely function and then I have to start all over again to get back to the same point I was at before.  Just like Chiron where he was in pain but couldn’t heal it for good, but he also couldn’t die.  I have no choice but to deal with it in the manner that it needs to be dealt with.

If I had to put a name to what it is that pains me right here and right now, I would say that it is the same as the night terrors I had when I was a child where I am conscious and lucid both in the sleep state and in the awake state.

I am aware of my soul Awake state at the same time that I am aware of my sleep human state and my soul Awake state is thrashing around trying to wake up from this night terror that we are all living in and think is real.  It’s not.  This is exactly like a bad dream.  You have to shake yourself awake, it’s time to wake up!

Please remember who you really are.  Please remember your soul and who you were before you were born here and lost all of your memories.  Please shake off the amnesia.  Please become present and come more fully into your body.  Please drop all of the petty and trivial shit now and remember yourselves!

I don’t want to be alone in this anymore.  I need for you guys to start showing up.  Where are you?  Are you out there?  Anybody?