“I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t love themselves but tell me, “I love you.” – Maya Angelou. This is a quote I read recently, and it is a set of words that leapt off of the page they were resting on. They rose up and stood in front of me as if they were a living breathing entity. I questioned it. I cursed it. I think I even resented it because I was reading words that were me in different points of time. I felt as though I was getting pelted with shards of ice crystals descending from the sky. It was a combination of the hurt I have felt and any hurt I have caused. At first it felt painful, but then the sensation brought understanding. It brought a sense of clarity as I recognized that I have been there, and I had to own the fact that I have been one who should not have been trusted. I have been the purveyor of these words when in reality they should not have been offered up for consumption.
We do it though. We speak easy and loudly within moments that move us but maybe we’re just not ready for. We want to be. We wish to be. We yearn to be. The gentle humming of vibrational goodness entering our sphere. It is deep and connective. It finds its way in and swims around for a bit. It has this ability to do this thing, and when that happens the ego from all things that feel familiar that lead to harmful things and pain rises from the deep. It grabs onto you like the legs of an octopus wrapping its suctioned cup appendages around you and dragging you down. It drags you down just far enough to remind you that the good feelings won’t sustain because they never have. How could they? There have been so many darkened hallways and hideaway caves in your existence where the shadowy things took hold. They took hold in the form of hands of those you trusted and in the form of those who knew nothing of your existence but harmed you simply because you were there. You were robbed. You had things taken away that could never be returned. It takes a lifetime of existing, and sometimes existing is all that can be done. It is an unfair game that one never signs up for and somehow we continually find ourselves as taking on the shape of playing pieces we never asked to move.
We fluidly move in and out of the existence of our day to day. Working on projects that bring us meaning. Traveling the wooded trails to breathe a sense of relief from the energies that are heavy in weight. We wish to escape them, but how do we run from things that have imprinted themselves into our bones? Things that have carved themselves so deeply into our skin we are convinced others must be able to read our pages even without asking for consent. So, we offer up. We offer up things that feel good and things we want so much. We allow ourselves for brief moments in time to expose ourselves and be brave because we feel the truth of it all. It’s not that it isn’t real, but sometimes the real is what shakes us to our core. And, when the core shakes it makes uncomfortable because it’s not familiar. We allow ourselves to believe in everything it is that we are feeling. We allow for this until the shadows tell us to shut it down. “Shut it down, shut it down!” they scream. They are voices that no one else is privy to. Only you can hear them, and that is just how they like it. If they are loud enough to catch the attention of others then they might get discovered. They might meet their match and slowly be turned down and away. This is not something of which they are willing to do. Instead they keep you captive and eventually wear you down again. They don’t want you to stand. The pain is what we know. The pain is what is familiar. The calm we allowed ourselves to feel is foreign, and we’re unable to allow ourselves to trust it so we fight it. We fight it until it goes away. If it goes away then that is something we know how to manage.
I have been carved down by tools not carried by me, but I work hard to keep my weaponry at bay. I don’t want the scars of my battles to imprison me and not let me remember who I am. A warrior. A human of strength who has fought their way back to know the value of who they are (even though there are days when I can struggle with that as anyone can). Life is a balance, and I know there have been times in my existence where my ability to give was not how I wished it to be (despite the surface showings that others could see) as my inward feelings of self-love did not exist. It is a constant growth plate, but with each increment in my course of living I like to think I have arrived at a place of peace despite the moments that can still rattle my cage when the shadows rise. I will always be in a place of working on me, I believe that is a basis for constantly wanting to go to greater heights of unknown origin(s). My cage is rusty and has broken bits of shard metal pieces. It’s okay though. It’s okay that I am rough around the edges and still have work to do, there are still points of entry where the light can get in.