"As Pluto continues its occupation of your sign, you begin to appreciate what is liberating you, as it peels away tired facades of history. This leaves you raw, exposed to the world around you." ...
I created this year as the Year of Vulnerability for myself... I decided I needed to be raw, to be exposed, to peel away those layers of illusions that I so skillfully crafted over the years. A friend of mine commented on how she felt it was both brave and scary, what I was doing, and asked why. Why would I put myself in such a position to be so exposed? In all honesty, I'm not sure how I actually responded to that. It doesn't feel "brave" to be walking that tightrope, it feels partly stupid, and unlike some adventure junkie, I'm not feeling motivated by the "thrill". It was something asked of me from my guides, advised from Spirit, and ultimately something I knew I needed to embrace to shed...
More than half the year is over, and so much of myself has been Open, so incredibly open that at times it felt so out of body, because of how much I allowed to flow. I would love to say that I feel lighter, more liberated, and while I know that will come, I'm feeling those old surges of terror, of feeling the exposure like fire to my skin. It's not that I'm ignoring the pain, I realize that the pain is partly an excuse, it's the distraction to convince myself to shut down and retreat, and so I safely push beyond the boundaries of my own core, and I do partly feel stronger for it, but this week I feel scared... I want so desperately to retreat, so desperately to vanish and become the invincible self I once was... Others will share the advice "go within, be gentle with yourself", as I have muttered those same words to others, as well as to myself, before. However, sometimes the obviously stated can be unproductive.
My cave calls, like a sordid lover, and I'm enticed and aroused by its manipulation tactics. Do I follow the familiar scent? Do I expose the cave for what it really is: a brothel of illusions? Or do I tear it down and reveal the more functional entrance?
I watched this documentary a few months ago that left me pretty rattled... a seemingly simple question became an exposé into my mind, and I paired it up with the Vulnerability and took off in flight. This author began to speak about the differences between Guilt and Shame: Guilt being about a moment of action -- "I feel bad ..." while Shame was "I AM bad..." and my breath caught, so quickly and so painfully like barbed wire, and I realized I had to seriously look at myself in the triggered role of Shame... I used to say that I rarely attuned or even fully understood the energy of "guilt", not because I was heartless or that I haven't done things in my life that I am not pleased with, but the general energy of it felt rather foreign to me... not shame... no no... shame and I became fast friends... perhaps shame became that sordid lover calling me from the cave...
I understood where the shame came from, and this year has been a release and healing of much of what I have held onto.
I have been very open this year about my past -- of what led me to the Goddess, my (several) attempts at suicide, the darkness of my depression and the skillful mask worn to protect that illusion from others. People in my life now didn't know me then. They didn't see how I was, how lonely, how scared, how broken I became... they didn't see me in my darkest moments, only one person has ever seen that, only one. To many of them, I'm a beacon of Light, and I so willingly share it. But the Darkness and the Shadow, it's easier for me to dive into that realm, more so than the realm of Light at times (or so it feels)... similar to Marianne Williamson's quote, "It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us."
I didn't want to necessarily share these stories, yet I trusted my guides' direction in the necessity of it. I see now, outside of the direct emotion of it, how it became beneficial, to me in the (partial) release, and to others who have held their darkness so close and secret. Christopher commented earlier this year that I was the true definition of what magick could do, how it could heal. While he knew me most of that time frame, he has never seen me in the deepest of that darkness, but he is one of the very few (less than a handful) that knows everything of that time and space, and he knows just how much I've had to do, how much I've had to trust and release and just dive in to get to that other side... however, he also knew that bringing up the accomplishment is still something I shy away from integrating.
After this weekend I had some time to sit quietly, and I felt the familiar flashes that arise when I feel like people have gotten too close; when so much of myself has been easily shared... it's a defense, I recognize that, it's the Shadow Dance doing its thing, and while I've amazed myself this year in the open rawness, I can't help but feel almost judged... no, that's not the right word... my Inner Self says the fear is more attributed to the understanding that this is just not something many facilitators do -- they don't open their closets and allow their skeletons to be revealed -- so why the hell am I doing it? Others will see, judge (discern), question... they'll know... and yet, there's this understanding that by embracing the lessons of Shame and healing them, well, my shame becomes no one's weapon, instead it's a tool.
I'm uncertain what this short period of fear-driven retrieval is asking of me... and yet even as I say it to myself I realize that's not entirely true. Much like what was shared with me last week in meditation -- I heard ever-so-clearly: "You don't have to hold onto that Darkness anymore... You can let it go..."
That's where I am at: coming to terms with the reality that who I was is a chapter of who I am, and that I don't have to embrace the illusion of a (now) false reality to continue my evolution. That Darkness isn't my definition, though I have allowed it to define me over these years. Who am I without it? The same person I am with it... it's literally that simple, yet my mind wishes to make it that much more complicated. I'm working on unraveling the complications, the ironed-out illusions that seem so perfectly fitted in this dreamscape that I'm confusing it for actualized reality.
The fascinating piece of it all is that it's all movement -- none of this has become stagnant once this year... I accept that accomplishment.