Mo Machnamh

Reflections of a phoenix as she rises from the ashes…

Month: September, 2014

Day 8…

AriAndMyself

My daughter and I have always enjoyed the most invigorating, mind-expanding, and inspiring conversations, and today was no exception. Some enlightenment I’d like to share today stemming from our talk:

* Just yesterday it occurred to me that The Church judges and practically condemns to hell people who have and use the ability to do the very thing that I was doing on a semi-regular basis as a 4-5 year old child: levitation and/or astral projection. Does this mean they would have tried to cast Satan’s demons from me at age 5 if they’d known? (For *some* reason, I was always aware that my parents could never know about this ability I had to “fly,” as my innocent child-self referred to it.) What struck me about this was that I know I was innocent. I had not let the Devil inside. I had not been playing with Ouija boards or dabbling in “other worldly” activities. I was even being raised in a God-fearing home. God-fearing – ugh. I hate that expression, but sadly, that’s what it was, and that’s what led to my eventual turning away from it all for so many years. But I digress…I was not possessed by the Devil. I was pure. In fact, I was probably more connected to God then than I have ever been. And yet, had I done that as an adult, or had others learned of it, this ability would have been demonised. Since that does not add up to me or seem in the least bit right, I have concluded that this ability is not something to fear –¬†a direct answer to my daughter’s prayer for me the other night, I learned! ūüôā I’ve concluded that this ability (and others that I’ve let wither over the years) is from God and is meant to help others. I intend to discover how. I know that I am very drawn (and always have been) toward empowering others toward their Truth, especially young ladies, so maybe there is a place for my God-given powers there. Who knows? But God does, and as I continue to seek His¬†Spirit and¬†His¬†Truth, rather than depending solely on The Church’s, I know my calling will articulate itself.

* Along those same lines above, I find it interesting how The Church and the Secular World battle over powers. Both are guilty, in my opinion, of rather conveniently, it would seem, picking and choosing which powers are acceptable. The Church has no problem with speaking in tongues and translations thereof in the form of prophecies (aka “channelling” in the Secular World), nor does it have any problem with the laying on of hands for purposes of healing (aka “Reiki” in the Secular World). And The Secular World has no problems with all other powers, but would mock and/or judge as “insane” those Christians who practise speaking in tongues or who prophesy and do Pentecostal hands-on healing. I’m sure there is more, but these are the obvious observations that immediately come to mind to make my point that there is a double standard happening here. I’m concerned that there is so much battle over powers. And I’m embarrassed and saddened that The Church is actually far more judgemental over The Secular world than vice versa in this regard, as they would go so far as to condemn these other practitioners to hell when in fact, having lived in the West Coast for so long, I was privy to such practitioners on a near daily basis, and many of them are healers and give God the credit for their abilities. Many of them follow Jesus, just like those in The Church. Are they going to hell, just because they call it something different? Why do we get so caught up on terminology when it comes to such things as this? I mean, when I was growing up, my parents consulted me frequently for major life decisions. They said I was given the “Gift of Intuition” from the Holy Spirit. In other words, to the Secular World, I was psychic. So what’s wrong with this word? Why is that such a dirty word in The Church, if by its very definition, it’s achieving the same results as one who has the “Gift of Intuition?” There are verses all over the Bible that support having powers, and excuse me, but I don’t think they were labelled as they are now, am I not correct?¬†This is the kind of stuff that makes my head spin. I get so tired of all the battling between the Two Worlds. And The Church even uses its powers to try to “cast out” or even¬†annihilate¬†those of the Secular World. Such close mindedness. Is this really what Jesus had in mind? Is this really what he intended? So why do we care so much that we’re actually battling and judging people over it? It’s so sad to me…Sad because it causes people like me¬†to go on for years not doing anything with the powers bestowed on them, and all those years, who knows? Maybe those people were meant to heal and minister God’s Love to the lost?

* And finally…I was not meant to be a “career womyn.” I was not made for this. It isn’t in my dna. It isn’t a part of what makes me tick. It isn’t Me. For years, I’ve judged myself for not being a career womyn. I’ve judged myself for having been, for the most part, supported by another, and when I wasn’t, for supporting myself through meager means that gave me more time to be creative and play. I don’t know how or what sparked my sudden realisation that I wasn’t made to be a career womyn, but at one point in our conversation, it just hit me. But the best part about this realisation is that it softened me toward myself. It made me see that there is no shame in being different. Just because I grew up during the second and largest feminist movement does not mean that being a different type of feminist makes me less than. I’m proud of my Sisters. I’m proud of their fight toward equality. And I’m grateful. But just because I’m not on somebody’s salary and rubbing shoulders with executives 40+ hours a week wearing designer pant suits does not mean that I’m any less a feminist, any less a strong, independent, powerful womyn. Independence: what does that mean, anyway? Freedom from a man?¬†Financially self-supportive?¬†Merriam-Webster states “self-sufficiency” as a synonym for independence.¬†So I ask, what makes me any less self-sufficient just because I have a man financially supporting me? That’s only one aspect of my livelihood, but that’s not Me. He’s not the reason I am who I am. I’m¬†the reason I am who I am. I have chosen to live in my Truth, and part of that is that I am not a career womyn, and I’ll never fit into that mold, so why try and squeeze myself into it? Part of that Truth is that I am a person who marches to my own tune, not the tune of Societal Dictates. And I love this about myself, and guess what, so does my husband. It’s one of the primary reasons he was drawn to me. And guess what else? He likes supporting me financially. This feeds a need in him. Why should either of us deny that need in the other? I love making money! And I’d love for my husband to make money doing something he enjoys more than what he currently does. And I believe that the sooner I can come to FULL terms (because let’s not kid ourselves here – I’m writing all this mostly for my own benefit, eh?) with who I am and embrace Her wholly, the sooner I’ll be able to make money doing what I love.¬†Could this be one of the benefits of my self-compassion journey? A little gift today? How nice!

Now…time to let it all percolate.

ladyHoldingWorld

Day 4…

“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.”

Oscar Wilde

I’ve been quoting Monsieur Wilde for many years, and this has always been one of my favourites. Probably because I’ve always wanted to master the art of self-love, yet even in my most confident hours, I secretly knew that I hadn’t and probably wouldn’t come by that coveted romance easily. Today, I fully realised that I’ve spent 48 years verbally (and eventually, physically) abusing myself. FORTY-EIGHT YEARS! That is a long time. So needless to say, day 4 of trying to the very opposite of this engrained and learned behaviour has been tough, to put it mildly.

My commitments seem simple enough:

1) daily meditation *

2) daily, compassionate self-talk

3) yoga as often as possible *

4) and absolutely no self-abuse whatsoever – physical or verbal

Check, check, check, and…..mmmyeahhhh, it’s that last one that has me going a bit nuts over here. That’s why it’s a good thing that my husband is leaving tonight to stay with a mate for 6 weeks; whenever I get really anxious and want to self-injure, I remember that damn 4th commitment, and instead, I lash out at him. It’s horrible. Then, of course, I feel like a piece of crap, so I want to abuse myself even more, which, you guessed it, makes me lash out even harder at him. And who has the ability to bring out my anxiety more than anyone else on the planet? My husband. Oh, it’s horrible. It’s just so horrible.

(You’ll be relieved to know that we start marital counselling tomorrow, and starting next thursday, we’re going to a marriage conference that meets weekly at our church for 7 or 8 weeks.)

I hate that it’s so much easier for me to love myself when I’m not in a relationship with a man. I hate that I distrust men so much that it comes between me and Jesus, the only man that won’t ever hurt me. I hate that the one man I seemingly find impossible to leave is the one man that can bring me to my lowest form of self on a repeated basis. I hate that at forty-eight years old, I’m only just now getting that to love oneself is not just the beginning of a life-long romance, but something that I may not have ever¬†really¬†done.

Or have I? Is it possible to love oneself and then fall out of love with oneself, or is Oscar correct in his assessment of it being “life-long?” Because I can swear that in my thirties, thanks to Sark, The Artist’s Way, countless meditative baths, and a husband who embraced living in Truth, even when it meant losing me to my own…I can swear I loved myself then. I really felt happy! From ages 33-41, I grew toward increasing confidence,¬†and I was gentle with myself. I lived in honesty, both to self and others. It hurt, at times, but I was so supported by those around me on this venture that it was possible to do without regrets and self-abuse. I flew. My Phoenix wings were spread so wide and far that it took me all the way to Paris, my dream – alone, no job, no place to live, and not even a grasp of the language. I never felt such bliss.

What happened to me? Why did I stop loving myself? How could I betray myself like this? How could l go from making my dream come true through sheer confidence to…this?¬†These questions lurk in the pit of my Soul on a daily basis.

And for the past 6 years, since I was 42, I have shrunk. I have gone from Phoenix with wings spread wide to a crumpled heap of withering bird on the ground, wings flat and lifeless, covered in grey and black ashes of despair and hopelessness. Dramatic? Yeah, it is. But it’s truly the closest to expressing how I feel without frightening my children (in case they’re reading this). It devastates me that I stopped loving myself….

So this is Day 4. This is how I feel. But I’m going to plough forward. I’m going to maintain my commitments. That’s my commitment to You, my Reader, because promising You is more valuable right now than promising myself.

One day…

sadphoenix

 * Angel Guided Meditations (find on Spotify!)

* Yin Yoga Collection

Self-Hatred to Self-Love in 40 Days…

selfabuseThis is yesterday.

I have given myself 40 days to go from what you see above to what you see below.

selflove

This inspiration can be attributed to two people: my daughter and Kristin Neff. After a horrible day spent verbally abusing myself, my daughter (who knew nothing of this) sent me the following message in a text late last night:

“Hey mom. Going to sleep. But it just occurred to me that I think you should be told that you’re Perfect. I love you” (This was followed by some emoji gold stars and half moon.)

We’ve always been extraordinarily connected and close, but synchronicities like this never cease to amaze me. So I called her and asked her what provoked this message. In that short conversation, she reminded me of Kristin Neff’s talk on “The Space Between Self-Esteem and Self-Compassion.” When I first saw this, I was intrigued, but was so low that I thought I’d never be able to achieve the kind of compassionate self-talk that Kristin exemplified. I wanted to, but it just seemed so far-reaching. But yesterday, I hit a new low in verbal self-abuse. Perhaps it was my lowest? They say you can only go up from the bottom. Regardless, I knew something needed to change.¬†I decided to try it before going to sleep. I put my hand on my heart, and I said all the things to myself that I wish someone had said to me after and during the provoking incident earlier that day. I spoke aloud as I did this. I immediately began to cry.¬†Who was the first person we’d run to when we were little if we had a boo boo? Provided she wasn’t abusive, it was our moms, yes? And as soon as they’d say or inflect in their tone of voice anything along the lines of “poor baby,”we’d sob even harder. Maybe we weren’t really crying in the first place, but if our moms or anyone nurturing paid attention to our boo boo, we’d surely start, wouldn’t we? And I don’t think this ever changes. I know that if I’m hurting and putting up a tough front and someone comes along and says in that perfectly soothing voice, “How are you, really?” (or something derivative thereof), I start to cry. Don’t you? That’s what happened to me. I finally spoke soothingly to myself, and instant waterfall. ¬†And the more I spoke, the more keenly aware I was of my heart. My heart actually felt hurt. I could feel its aching for love. It was as if the need was insatiable and that this insatiableness was what made it ache. This, then, made¬†me realise that my self-abuse has gone on for so long that I may never be able to give myself enough love! It was a strange but oddly comforting feeling. To know that I could but put my hand on my heart, at any point in time, and speak words of compassion and understanding, and things would instantly improve. So simple. Yet so hard to remember. Why? Why is it so hard to remember to do something that will make us feel so much better? And then, even if we do remember, why do we so often refuse to do it?

I hope to do this daily. I hope to change my default reaction of self-abuse to one of self-compassion. Make it a habit. I think if I do this every day for 40 days (til Halloween, to be exact) and then, on top of that, disallow myself any bodily self-harm, I may stand a chance at really changing. It helps that I’m not allowed to drink until 31 October (thanks to a deal I made with my dear friend Alecs), because talk about bodily self-harm! Seems I have a hard time saying no to just one or two drinks. ūüėČ

I also plan to spend these 40 days meditating as often as possible. I began today by choosing a few different ones on Spotify that focus on empowerment, the Holy Spirit, self-compassion, Jesus…In church this past weekend, I was reminded through the sermon that too often we forget that this whole path we’ve chosen is about relationship to and with Jesus, rather than facts and knowledge and such. When we focus on the latter, that’s when all the uncertainty sets in, and this uncertainty separates us from the Love, which is Christ. That’s definitely been my experience lately. I’ve literally felt my Heart turn off, become numb and reactionless, as I’ve gotten more and more in my analytical headspace. I miss my Heart. I think true enlightenment comes when you stop¬†caring about what you don’t know. I’m not quite there yet. I still care about all the things I don’t know or to which I don’t have definitive answers. I long not to care so much. I long to get in that headspace of silent peace and acceptance. Is that intellectual suicide? Or is that what faith is? I don’t know. I don’t know anything. There are just too many answers out there. Too many differing opinions and philosophies. It makes my head spin sometimes. Maybe I’ll discover more after these 40 days of meditation and self-love.

I’ll be in touch…

Addendum.

Hello, readers.

This is a very short addendum to a former post in which I negatively referenced past and current relationships I’ve shared with significant males. I would like to qualify that statement by saying that both my daughter and son’s father (two separate men) have turned their lives around drastically and have, thus since, apologised to me, taken responsibility, and asked forgiveness with regard to the ways they hurt me, and I have, likewise, done the same with them. I am a blessed womyn to be on such good speaking ¬†and relational terms with both my children’s fathers and stepfather. I was very angry when I wrote that post, and they were merely mentioned to make a point, not to hold them accountable. I am happy to say that the pain experienced in those marriages is truly “water under the bridge,”and I would like to publicly apologise to them both, as well as to the other influential men who played a large role during my children’s educating years, for making it seem otherwise.

Respectfully,

Lily