Some wounds go deep. They burrow down and take root in the mud and mire of life’s little pains.
They are wounds that we glimpse out of the corner of our eye, like a ghost or a shadow.
They are the thing we pretend is not there.
They are the wounds that twist fear in our stomachs, way down in the dark of our being.
Just a flash.
Ooops, there’s a thing I should be looking at, working on.
Abandonment. Resentment. Neglect. Abuse.
These things scar us, and direct us. They take us on a journey whether we look at them or not.
They are in us. They are us.
How do you learn to be in the world, after abuse?
How do you trust that the next time won’t be the same? Or shades of the same?
How do you go on to invest time in another person when your own instincts have been trampled and tricked?
How do you even know what’s enough and when’s enough anymore?
What’s over reacting? And what is sitting by, your heart screaming, while someone new pushes your buttons and triggers your fears?
How do you ever tell the difference anymore? How do you trust anyone ever again?
How do you trust yourself?
You have to do things differently, try a different thing, if you want things to change.
When you would normally panic, stay calm. When you would normally crumble, stay firm.
When you feel like running, stand your ground. When you’re sure you’re drowning, swim.
Easy enough to say. The mind is a stubborn creature. It’s hard to change. And when confronted will always do what it knows best. It will always return to type.
But what if the brain’s not really in charge. What if the heart decides?
I am strong. I am smart. I can cope with what’s coming.
It won’t always be perfect. It probably never will be.
But I’m climbing towards the light, stronger, clearer.
And the light is beautiful. And it’s waiting for me, to be me.
The dark waters are pulling me down again.
They pull me down to awareness, they pull me deeper into myself.
And I know I shouldn’t panic. I know I should have faith.
I’ve been strong, I will continue to be strong.
But fear is ingrained. It is learnt and it is taught.
And unlearning is hard.
Fear is the place I go to when challenges arise.
It is the never ending thing I keep returning too.
It is punishment when the punisher has left the building and moved away.
Surrender, because what we resist, persists.
And I don’t want to be in the dark anymore. Not forever.
This year, after years of knowing him, I looked the devil in the eye. I stopped running, stopped scrambling and stood up.
I stood in a place I’d asked others to stand because I was too scared.
I was a coward for so long, convinced of the lies that were whispered in my ears. They rang loud, louder than the cries of innocents.
But the devil is just a man. A clever man. A liar. A trickster. But still just skin and meat.
As powerful or weak as anyone. As me.
He reaches out sometimes, with words that twist my stomach. But I’ve faced him and survived. And I will do so again, for as long as we both shall live.
I’ve prayed for help. I’ve asked God to make me strong, asked my spirit guides to show me the way. I’ve beseeched the Universe to open her heart to me – to see me, and make me whole. I’ve stood under countless full moons begging for guidance and release.
There’s not another human being on the planet more open to change and healing than me.
And yet – there never seems to be a reply.
Reminds me of this joke I heard years ago.
John, who was in financial difficulty, walked into a church and started to pray. ”Listen God,” John said. ”I know I haven’t been perfect but I really need to win the lottery. I don’t have a lot of money. Please help me out.” He left the church, a week went by, and he hadn’t won the lottery, so he walked into a synagogue. ”Come on, God,” he said. ”I really need this money. My mom needs surgery and I have bills to pay. Please let me win the lottery.” He left the synagogue, a week went by, and he didn’t win the lottery. So, he went to a mosque and started to pray again. ”You’re starting to disappoint me, God,” he said. ”I’ve prayed and prayed. If you just let me win the lottery, I’ll be a better person. I don’t have to win the jackpot, just enough to get me out of debt. I’ll give some to charity, even. Just let me win the lottery.” John thought this did it, so he got up and walked outside.
The clouds opened up and a booming voice said, ”John, buy a f*cking lottery ticket.”
You have to be willing to do the work.
I have to be willing to do the work, that’s what I’ve learnt.
I can ask for all the help in the galaxy. I can ask someone else to show me the way, but the truth of the matter – the bare bones reality, is that the help I need is already here.
I have everything I need.