Mo Machnamh

Reflections of a phoenix as she rises from the ashes…

Month: October, 2014

Day 29

I’ve been collecting some things I’m learning and accepting about myself since starting this 40 day Self-Compassion experiment – some happy realisations, some not so happy, but all things I think I’m ready to finally share with you on this 29th day…

The following is a text I got from one of my closest friends of the past 10 years or so:

“Atta girl. I love how you are meeting these challenges and taking them head-on with a positive outlook. So much more different than the Lily I knew 9 years ago. This one’s more take control take action type of girl. Love you.”

My response was one of shock and gratitude. He went on to write:

“I sincerely mean it. You’ve gotten more aggressive and taken on responsibility more directly. You’re more like, “Let me do it. Then I know it will get done right.” When you lost that money in Frisco, you moved on. Something didn’t work, you moved on. I love how you don’t look back and whine about stuff. These aren’t just words, I sincerely mean it. Very inspirational. Your daughter should look to you and take example. As well as others. Keep going strong my love! You are a force to be reckoned with.”

I was so touched by this, that I literally took a photo of the texts and placed that image in a special album on my i-phone. I felt I would need to see it again someday, in case I sink as low as I was 29 days ago. And, of course, I secretly thought to myself, “If he only knew.”

I’m blessed to have people like this in my life who take the time to reflect to me the growth they see in me. Too often, I spend time reviewing all my weaknesses and how much further I’ve yet to go (is that “whining?”), and rarely, if ever, do I spend even a fraction of that time on recognising how far I’ve actually come. I  attribute the failure to give myself kudos to the fact that I’ve been emotionally breaking down for 6 years, at the very least.

Which brings us to the “not so happy.” (And I realise I’m risking making a liar out of my friend here, as some would deem the following as “looking back and whining about stuff,” but I like to see this as purging.)

My marriage. The hysterectomy. Paris. The combination of the three.

When I met my husband, I was soaring. I was happy, living my dream, manifesting on a daily basis one of the main things on my “list-of-things-to-do-before-I-die-so-I-die-happily” list. I’d only one thing left, and even that seemed possible, at the time. But he was in a different head space. He hated Paris. He hated Parisians. He was depressed. And like a good empath, I absorbed all this ugliness. I let it in. It’s my fault for doing this. Not his. But, oh, how tempting it is to be angry at him for this, to say that he destroyed my dream. Yes, I’m afraid I’ve still a lot of work to do on that regard….

And the hysterectomy. I wasn’t sick enough to get that hysterectomy before I met him. I was making progress, healing, doing all the energetic work necessary to keep the poison in my body at bay – to remove it, in fact. But the strain and stress of a relationship gone quickly south, along with the invasion of negative energy (replacing all the positive I’d learned to so effortlessly manifest) had its way, and soon enough, the poison began to grow and infest my power chakra to a dangerous level. I had no choice but to get it removed through further invasion –  this time, by way of French doctors who botched the original plan (to simply remove the poison manually by hand – no cutting) so who ended up cutting – unbeknownst to me, at the time. Needless to say, I felt violated.

Feeling now lower, weaker, and more helpless than ever, or at least in a very long time, I grew to depend on my would-be husband for emotional support. Emotional support that I never got. And not for years following. Any mini-rejuvenating I’ve managed to experience in these past 6 years has been of my own doing. I realise it’s my job to take care of myself, ultimately, but it would’ve been nice to have my husband’s support. I hurt a lot over this one.

And the three of these major life setbacks get all intertwined, becoming one huge, ugly, messy, angry, confusing blob, for lack of a better word. And that blob keeps me from moving forward in my relationship. It keeps me from believing in myself. And far too often, it has kept me from the one thing that I always had in my darkest hours, the one thing that kept me going: hope.

Until now. Doing this Self-Compassion experiment has given me hope for the first time in far too long. It’s only a tiny modicum of hope, but it’s there, nonetheless. Sometimes, I wonder if what I’m feeling really is hope, but then, I realise that if it weren’t, I wouldn’t be getting up every day to meditate and do yoga and say loving things to myself and go on auditions and love my pets and cook delicious meals for myself and dress pretty and try new things and make space for creativity and smile at children…I do wonder if I’m only able to do all this because I’m alone. I do fear that when he moves back I may regress. I do worry that I’ll never be able to move past the blob. But for now, I have hope. Pray it stays this time.


Day 23


I can hardly believe it’s already Day 23 of my Self-Compassion journey!

It’s going well. The other day, I even awakened early enough to attend our local cafe’s group meditation they host on sundays. I hadn’t known of this before, but it was very rewarding. I learned that I am far more capable of meditating in the midst of would-be distraction, such as coffee machines, voices, footsteps, etc., than I had assumed. That was nice. And one of the facilitators is a healer who studies Chi Gong, and as she began to discuss how breathing relates to how we give and receive, I decided to share with her a personal struggle with breath I’ve noticed of late, particularly during yoga. When I first began doing yoga in my thirties, I was able to inhale very deeply and exhale very deeply. But lately, I am seemingly incapable of inhaling deeply, despite the fact that I can still exhale deeply. I found that strange and unreasonable, needless to say, but when I shared that with her, she replied that our inhales indicate our ability to receive, and our exhales indicate our ability to give. She suggested that I may be struggling with receiving compliments and love and such from people, but I didn’t resonate with this, so I was ready to toss aside this theory until I realised that although I can receive love from others, I struggle receiving it from myself. To test this, I did a quick memory scan of my emotional state when I last recalled being able to inhale deeply, and sure enough, I recall being in a far more gentle space back then. I was doing all kinds of stuff for myself as I journeyed toward self-healing. That was in my thirties. And as I said at the start of this blog, all that went out the door in the past 6 years…

But before I digress into a place of bitterness and anger along those lines…

I am doing a lot for myself again. And it is my intention to continue for as long as possible along this path. I think the key is to never feel you’ve arrived. To just “keep on keeping on,” as they say, never letting any outsider intrude upon your sacred space of self-love in a damaging way. I won’t do this ever again. That is my plan, anyway.

Another thing I’m doing is attempting to develop a relationship with Mother Mary. I have been searching for a mother figure for so long – someone who will fill up with love the holes of pain my birth mother drilled into my psyche with her abusive tongue and violent temper. Needless to say, I’ve often attracted more dysfunctional womyn (and some men) who behave exactly as she did and bring up many of the same triggers she helped to create in me. After years of being hurt by the protestant Church within its varying sects, my beautiful and courageous cousin Louise turned to the Catholic church for the message of God’s Love to ease the damaging scars of legalism and judgmentalism that her experiences as a protestant had brought her. Some would say that this is crazy – that the Catholic Church is responsible for damaging so many in the same regard. But her personal experience has been anything but, and that is what matters most – one’s personal experience with God. She has found the beauty of God’s Love worshipping as a now converted Catholic, and much of this has to do with the comfort she finds in Saint Mother Mary. She sees Mary as the ultimate Mother to all. As someone who, being without sin, is incapable of wounding any of her children, as so many of our earthly mothers do. To hear her speak of Mary is an eye opening experience for me, to say the least.

The subject of her understanding of Mary came up in conversation today as I relayed to her, through tears, my very justified sadness and anger I feel surrounding my parents and how poorly they raised me. Part of this Self-Compassion journey, as you may have read in “Day 12,” is to finally be coming to a place of realised empathy for that little girl in me who was so deeply wounded by her parents…and still is. Louise, in all her infinite wisdom, suggested that I turn to Mary as my mother. I’d never considered this before. I began to ask a ton of questions, and by the end of the conversation, I had her promising to send me links to meditations I could do to meet Mother Mary, and tonight, I did my first one. Nothing profound happened in that meditation, but I’m going to continue this journey at least until I feel I’m aware of her  presence in my life.

Years ago, a psychic I went to (and only at the recommendation of a girlfriend whom I trusted on such matters – and even then, I remained sceptical enough not to give the psychic any information) told me that she saw a womyn around me. She described her as being dark, with very long, dark hair, and dark clothing. She said that this womyn has been a presence in my life for a long time and is a protective energy or something to that effect. I now wonder if this is Mother Mary. I also did  guided meditation recently to meet my personal guardian angel, and when instructed to ask its gender, I got “female.” This surprised me, as I’d always envisioned and thought of angels as male up until that moment.

Well. There you have it. Some of my discoveries. All of them little gifts I feel I am receiving. I’ll close by sharing a link with you that was recently shared with me. A message about God that I’ve never heard before, and needless to say, it’s still percolating. I’ve a hunch it may have to do that for a good while before I’ll finally be able to wrap my mind around this kind of God. Be prepared, though: if you suspect that we have anything in common in regard to our pasts, you may find yourself sobbing frequently throughout this message. Let the tears flow. They’re healing.


Day 12…

You know, it’s funny. I didn’t plan to post every 4 days during this 40 Day Self-Compassion journey, but yet, here I am, doing just that. I have a significant relationship with the number 4, both in numerology (birth date) and my own “OCD thing,” for lack of a better way of describing the strange obsession I seem to have always had with this number. But that’s not why I’m posting tonight…


I had I breakthrough in couples counselling today. It was so unexpected. I’ve been feeling so numb and shut off from my Heart for what seems like at least a couple months now, if not, more. But without fail, for the past 12 days, I’ve maintained the promise to show myself compassion through daily meditation, rejoining and restarting my yoga routine, compassionate self-talk, and absolutely no self-abuse – physical or verbal. With exception to once in the past 12 days, I have felt virtually nothing whenever I meditate or pray. Nonetheless, I continue to practise loving myself. I’ve definitely noticed that I’m going easier on myself about things and feeling lighter, but not much beyond that…

But tonight, in couple’s counselling, something happened.

My husband was going on and on, venting his anger and bitterness about me, and I found myself going numb and regretting that I’d ever made the decision to stop self-injuring for 40 days. I worried that we’d leave the session, and I’d have no recourse by which to protect myself from being too vulnerable around him. I could feel myself drifting – not into a sleep, but something like an awakened sense of sleep. It’s hard to explain. It’s a rather dreamy place, but not in the romantic way. Get it? Anyway, there I was. I was occasionally noticing the clock and that the session would end in 4 minutes. (There’s that 4 again!) But instead of ending the session at 6:50, our counsellor checked in with me. She started asking me the usual questions, and then, I don’t know what she said, but next thing I knew, I’d begun to cry. She asked me if I needed anything from either herself or my husband, but I answered that I felt too vulnerable to express any needs. Then, she asked me if I’d ever read any books on trauma. She recommended the book Waking the Tiger, by Peter Levine, and I asked if it would help PTSD. That’s when the floodgates started to open. Aware that I wasn’t alone, I tried to stop them from opening all the way, and I fairly succeeded in doing so, but not enough to stop my counsellor from pausing and checking in with me again. And this is when it happened – the breakthrough, because for maybe the first time in my life, I let myself cry for that little, precious girl inside who was so wounded – without feeling shame. For the first time in my life, I didn’t need anyone else to comfort her, because I was comforting her. My husband didn’t reach out to me at all, but this was ok. Oh, sure, I’d have preferred that he’d shown some compassion, but something in me knew I’d be ok even if he never did. Something in me knew that my wounded little girl would be cared for and loved regardless. Because I would care for her and love her. And I did.

And I do.