All alone with my shadow For far too long I have been swallowed up Only my shadow remains Empty shoes where I used to stand A formless fraud Pretending myself into being Laughing, crying, raging Anything to feel alive So so tired now Yet unable to find solace in sleep Peace evades me I keep getting back up After each knock down I can’t seem to help it My longing for love is greater than my sorrow The seductive void calls to me Trust, trust, trust… My mantra Will the light return? Or have I finally been extinguished? Sweet surrender is where I’ll find my bliss.
“He, who had done more than any human being to draw her out of the caves of her secret, folded life, now threw her down into deeper recesses of fear and doubt. The fall was greater than she had ever known, because she had ventured so far into emotion and had abandoned herself to it.”
― Anaïs Nin
Years ago… A brutal betrayal.
I was gaslit, shut down, silenced.
I was crazy, over-emotional, paranoid…
An “Angry Woman.”
I shed bitter tears,
The betrayal impossible to face.
You denied it with an expert sleight of hand…
You called me damaged when I spoke my truth.
I had no proof, no hard evidence,
only my deep intuitive Knowing.
I chose to betray my Knowing…
Too scared to face what I had to do….
to walk away.
I swallowed my fear, my anger.
I will prove my worth to you by Doing.
I will stay too busy for the truth to catch up to me.
I will quiet down my too muchness, my voice.
I will ignore the lies, the treason.
Your shadow will be a fine place to hide.
In your shadow I’ll pretend I am happy, loved, secure.
I will join you in your dreams and put aside my silly longing.
I will play small and not rock the shaky foundation our life was built upon.
Your false narrative of who I am…
angry, damaged, judgemental
Was too strong for me to fight against…
So easy for me to believe
because you used my wounds against me.
Knowing where my shame lived, you aimed it at my heart
Breaking it into pieces.
I didn’t know I was holding your shame too.
Protecting you from the consequences of your actions
Actions designed to hide from your shame.
You avoid it at all costs,
no matter the suffering it causes.
Your Doing for others is not motivated by kindness
But to prove your own worth, deny your shame,
protect your image as the hero.
Your patterns are rooted in the trauma you refuse to acknowledge.
Habits in place to shut out the truth of your emptiness,
your closed heart.
Then came another betrayal.
You expertly deflected, lied, manipulated.
This time my Knowing would not be silenced.
My sacred anger rose up and would no longer be ignored.
Anger had a story to tell…
my boundaries were being violated,
I was being lied to, dishonoured.
You gifted me another chance to rise up and speak my truth.
You thought no one knew,
but when your deceit was revealed,
it was pointed back at you.
No more denial.
No more excuses.
No more hoping.
You look for love,
but true love isn’t found in lies.
True love isn’t found in the shadows
Or kept hidden in the closet.
I was once the woman in your closet.
You lied and hid me from Her.
It’s just to protect yourself from the Angry Woman, you said.
I believed you.
Now, I’m on the other side of the closet door.
I’m playing the part of the Angry Woman to the new lover.
Is your story the same?
Am I the one who doesn’t show you affection,
or pay you enough compliments?
Did you tell her the truth of your betrayals?
Did she know we were still together?
Or did she not mind being the other woman?
You play the victim well.
No accountability, no integrity.
I’ve seen this movie before.
Same script, different actress.
Same leading man.
You will drive her to become the next Angry Woman in your story…
And the cycle continues.
But I am free.
The hurt of your last betrayal has lit a fire in my soul.
I am rising and claiming back my power.
I will let go of your shame and leave it on your doorstep,
To bypass, pass on to another, or bury.
I will not clean up after you anymore…
I see the truth of who you are and what you do.
Another one who sees under your mask….
You took her out of the closet and called it “new.”
But NO ONE believes you. We all know the truth.
You played your hand and lost.
I am finally free.
For the next great love that awaits me won’t be born from deceit.
It won’t be hidden or require sneaking around in the dark.
My love will be enjoyed in the light of day,
not in the shadows.
There will be no casualties, no collateral damage.
True love is coming for me
and my heart is open to it..
With my integrity intact,
with courage and honour by my side.
Your many betrayals closed my heart to love.
I didn’t want to believe you when you told me you don’t love.
It was the truest thing you ever said.
I am free now to be loved by those who know how.
I am no longer carrying the heavy weight of that which is not mine.
I will share these powerful lessons with the world
So I may help those still held back by shame and fear,
their own or another’s.
I will no longer betray my deep Knowing…
My heart will show me the way home, back to my heart,
To my calling, my dreams, my gifts to offer up to the Universe.
I hold my sacred anger with love.
I will allow my voice to be heard.
I will embrace my divine power and stand quietly in my truth.
Nothing more to prove.
I benefit no one by playing small.
My worth is no longer defined by you,
By busyness or Doing.
My gift is my authenticity…
My mystical powers of sight.
I am truly grateful for your lies…
that brought me back to truth.
Thank you for showing me just how brave and strong I am.
Thank you for forcing me out of the nest,
For making me spread my wings and fly.
It wasn’t your mind’s intention, but the results are the same.
Our soul contract is complete.
I wish you well on your journey.
May you find the courage to face your shame and be transformed by it.
May you break the patterns that keep you stuck in ancient trauma
and heal your wounded heart.
Remember…. a broken heart is an open heart.
May you allow a crack of light into the dark chambers of your heart so you may see the work to be done.
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love for your dream for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon… I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain mine or your own without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy mine or your own if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful to be realistic to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure yours and mine and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes.”
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
“Through love all that is bitter will be sweet. Through love all that is copper will be gold. Through love all dregs will become wine. Through love all pain will turn to medicine.” ~Rumi
Throughout the Covid lockdown, I read about so many people world-wide taking this time to rest and reset. What a beautiful idea that was. Sadly, that was not an option for me. I have spent the past couple months just trying to keep my head above water. Seems every time I come up for air, I get hit with another wave of chaos and drama.
I try to rejoice in the negative karmic seeds being burned off, but have been unable to conjure up even a tiny bit of gratitude for this. I have mostly maintained my daily meditation and yoga practice but find I’m not with a single breath. I am truly thankful for all the blessings in my life, but am surprised by how easily the anger and sadness overwhelm me. I am applying every single tool in my toolbox that I’ve amassed these past 27 years and believe them to be the only reason I’m able to find the strength to get to the surface of the raging sea to catch that single breath of air before the next wave hits sucking me further underwater.
I have no sanctuary, no place to seek comfort. Even my home is under attack. Among the stress and betrayal I’ve endured, I now have to stand guard to protect my dogs against those that seek to seize and destroy them for no other reason than their need to win is greater than their capacity for kindness. I’m heartbroken to have given up my beloved Ruby, but comforted in knowing she is safe from harm. I’m on alert and every sound has me peering out from behind the blinds to see if the dog police are here to take my other fur babies away.
I know I’m suffering first world issues and have been mostly spared from the very real problems of senseless violence, severe poverty, starvation, illness and racial persecution.
I try to keep my pain in perspective by practising gratitude for my abundant life. I truly aspire to be of service to others, but, lately, can’t seem to find the energy. My sleep is poor, my stress levels are dangerously high, my blood pressure is often worryingly elevated, my vision is consistently blurred now and I have headaches that are sometimes debilitating. I don’t say all this to seek out sympathy. I say this because I’m genuinely fearful for my health.
I’ve been in survival mode for so many weeks now, I can’t seem to catch up on any real healing. My adrenals are long since worn out, despite my best efforts to support them. I’ve received so much wonderful advice and have really endeavoured to apply it, however, I’m so tapped out energetically that I fear one more helpful suggestion of something I “should” try will push me over the edge.
The most painful realisation has been how weak I feel, despite decades of spiritual practice, emotional work and just plain sheer will. How could I be in such a pit of despair when I have every tool and every advantage available to me? I feel ashamed, which only adds to the struggle.
Outside, I continue to present my stronger self, but it’s a lie. Inside I’m collapsing. The sheer weight that’s been heaped on my increasingly narrow shoulders is too great. This groundlessness has been difficult to embrace. Leaning in to the pain has long been my practice, but have I leaned in too far? Have I embodied the suffering so completely that now I can’t see a way through it? There is a numbness that’s threatening to form…. a well used survival tool from my past, along with anger – my old shield used to deflect overwhelming sadness.
I go out into the world and try not burden others with my pain. I laugh and joke instead of cry. I smile instead of frown. I try to keep my darker feelings to myself and engage all my energy in listening to others and how they are doing, but I fail completely. My self-centeredness knows no bounds these days. All the meetings, workshops, podcasts, yoga, meditation and breathwork inexplicably seems to only add to my anxiety. I’m truly bewildered by this. The warrior in me is wilting…
My mind knows that the sun is shining behind this black cloud. I know everything is impermanent. I know love conquers fear. I know getting out of bed everyday and continuing to do all the things I need to do to stay afloat are not a waste of time and eventually this too shall pass. I know that I matter and my value lies in my BE-ingness, not in my DO-ingness. I know that I deeply love others and that others truly love me. I know all this pain serves to strengthen me. I know I am fully supported by the universe and one day I’ll look back on this time as a time of great shifting toward my awakening. I know that I’ll one day be grateful for these opportunities to learn just how strong I truly am. I’ve said it before… a broken heart is an open heart. I know I’m feeling the depths of this pain because my heart is wide open.
However, this doesn’t ease my pain. I need this “knowing” to find its way into my heart.
I will resist the urge to shut down and go numb. I will strive to be fully present to everything as it unfolds. I will be vigilant against the dark thoughts and practice compassion for myself and others.
My salvation lies in creating a sanctuary… a bubble of love. I will continue to call in the forces of light to illuminate my path and show me the way through. I will remain open to healing and insulate from useless negativity. I will find the balance between opposing forces and walk the line. I will move through the discomfort of change, this shedding of the old skin that no longer serves me. I will continue to stand up to injustice and endeavour to protect the vulnerable.
I will call the cops on this pity party and find my bliss! In the meantime, please continue to send some love my way. I could sure use it!