Summary: B.L.A.M.E, Truth, Fear & Purging

Guarded -- Chad Perrone

My teeth they hurt from grinding
And my head will explode from holding it in
I pictured myself standing over you
One foot on your chest
Victorious

Well I'll hate this place forever more
Because the world looks half of what it was
And I know that everyone won't be like you
But I'll still keep my hands up next to my face

And I blame you
For my headaches
And I blame you
For my mistakes
And my bad ways

I wake up tired from dreaming
Because I fight you best when I'm sleeping
Because I dreamt that I stood right over you
I had both feet on your chest
And I stood victorious

Now I blame you
For my headaches
And I blame you
For my mistakes
And my bad ways

There are days I thought I'd give up
I'm just trying to get back from you what I brought
I said there are days I swore I'd give up
But that's not today
That's not today

Because I blame you
For my headaches
And I blame you
For my mistakes
And my bad way
For my heartache
And this fucking bad name
For my mistakes
And my bad way

Well I don't need you to wish me well
I don't need you to wish me well.


I haven't been able to get this song out of my head, repeatedly playing it over and over again since September, when my Distilling the Shadows had begun.  It was an interesting moment of hearing various songs play in my mind as it all began to unfold, all of them suitable to what I was going through, but this one in particular struck me as interesting in the beginning.  I couldn't stop hearing the first few lines in my head at random moments of the day.  Normally I can find the distinction fairly quickly to the deeper message a song is sharing with me, this time I just knew I had to play it over and over and over again... I can recall a 30 minute drive one evening where I listened to nothing but this song on repeat for the duration of the drive.  Even then, it wasn't enough.

It occurred to me that whenever I wrote in my distillation journal I was grinding my teeth.  Hard.  I would take a breath, release the tension, and go back to writing, only to find myself grinding my teeth again, particularly in parts where I was addressing anger or shame.

This song is pretty much my theme for that time -- in battle with the dysfunctional Shadow Self, I would be extremely tired from restless nights of dreaming, and I still get choked up when he proclaims putting one foot (or both) on their chest, victorious... many migraines pounded my brainwaves during those seven weeks.  I honestly couldn't remember a time without a migraine, it was that intense. 

I didn't have much expectation of what would happen when the journal was burned.  I was ready, but I didn't want to let it go in some ways.  It contained pain that I didn't know if I could let go, because I somehow wanted to hold onto the proof that I could be that honest with myself, to reveal those pieces that we hide away from others, because I didn't want anyone else to see what I could barely stand to see myself, and yet the familiarity of this being, this side of myself that I gave life, I didn't know that I was ready to embrace its letting go.

Burning them... it was more symbolic in its pain than I realized it would be.  I wasn't emotional about it, I was almost indifferent, almost defiant, yet reminding myself that this was all choice.  I chose to distill, I chose to journal, just as I was choosing to throw it into the bonfire to let it go.  It never caught fire.  It kissed the flames, then nothing.  Nothing.  It just sat there, with everything burning around it, in front of it, even behind it!  Yet, my journal remained flame-less.  I stood there and realized that I hadn't let it go yet.  I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and heard nothing... the loudest "nothing" of all...  

It spoke, not whispering, not even yelling, just this tone that quite familiar, telling me "you have to let it go to see it burn".  Then panic struck.  Not panic for releasing, panic at the notion that it might stay there, surrounded by ash and yet never rising from the ashes itself.  I needed to see it burn.  I told the journal just that, that I needed to see it burn... I needed it.  Then another deep breath came as the wind spiraled around me, and I said "I am ready to let you go"... and it caught fire instantly.

Kali-Ma joined me in initiation just as She had several years ago when I did my first Shamanic apprenticeship... just as fierce, I welcomed Her back in this form.  She asked of my flesh as an offering, and what was surprising in that moment was what specific part she was taking -- my left arm.  Flesh from where my sacred tattoo sits, a healing art to remind me just how One I am with the Goddess...

Kali-Ma returned again in the coming days, as we were honoring Her at our Womyn's Circle, and the download of the ritual She shared with me came instantly.  Dancing Fear with Her was something I was truly looking forward to... I didn't know then that She had one last initiation for me.  

Earlier in the year I had spoken about my guides telling me that this year would be all about spiritual vulnerability and rawness.  I was meant to share and shed -- share the stories of my past, divulge more of my depression since youth, of my attempted suicide, even portions of the assault that led to it all, as well as the voice of the Goddess so prominent in rescuing my Light from trying to kill myself one November evening.

I obliged, out of curiosity for how this would enfold, out of fear (as contradictory as that may sound, because I am quite like a moth to the flame when it comes to fear: can't resist), and out of understanding that while fearful in the moment, I knew it would bring deep healing; and it has.  I became more honest about my past, and that journey into embracing my vocation as Priestess/Healer/Teacher... however, I knew that I was willfully holding onto one piece, the biggest Shame I was carrying that made it into virtually every distillation journal entry I had written...  Saturday night Kali-Ma asked me to share it... no... She doesn't ask... She TOLD me to share it.  She said "It's time now", and I found myself terrified.

What would people think?  Would this reveal change how everyone sees me?  Would any source of Light others see be tainted by the dark shame of a "secret" I was carrying?  Would these sacred systers in the group look at me and only see that story?  

In the end, I knew it was time.  My guides had been saying over and over to let go, so it was fitting that the final piece would be urged from Kali-Ma.  She demanded, and I watched Her stand over me, waiting.

Up to this point I had shared deep fears I was carrying, of being forgotten if I disappeared; of not ever embracing my Truth because I stand so centered at times in dysfunctional Illusion; of never fully appreciating or loving my Willendorf image because of bullshit perceptions from people who loathe the image of the Willendorf, and who try to shame me for that; to fear of success, and my own Inner Light... to the deepest secret of others finding out that I was once a cutter, and that it's a constant battle with Self to not return to old ways of shame.

I was a cutter.  It started at 16 when the biggest portion of my pain began.  When my first attempted suicide began.  I don't know how well I kept it secret; I know that I had bullshit excuses from the family pet's to walking into something to being clumsy... all easily embraced excuses, I was/am a klutz at times, however, no one really questioned me further.  It was the dark secret I carried that was only shared with my husband, as we began dating 6 months after all of this had begun.  Since then, it had only been shared with less than a handful of people.  

I carried the shame, and I knew from the onset of this raw task that I would need to reveal this piece, to let it go, to truly have no secrets in my life, to be free of denial and say that while I was in pain, I was also in healing.

The last time I cut?  February, 2005.  The last time I tried to kill myself.  I was laying on the bathroom floor, bleeding, so engrossed in pain that I couldn't see or taste anything else.  I won't ever forget the look on Drac's face when he walked in and saw me.  I interpreted it as shame then, because I needed to be stuck in that dance, but it was only until years later that I could just see his own pain, to see the womyn he loved, someone he sees in ultimate bright Light, laying there, thinking she's nothing but a worthless piece of shit, loved by no one, and convinced this world wasn't for her.

Two weeks later I found out I was pregnant... I vowed then it would stop.  I wouldn't transfer this energy to my child, and I would work on even deeper release than I had.  How fitting that during that time I was doing deep Shamanic training, deep in distillation then, so sucked into pain, but not really having the support I do now.  Yes... I know I have the support, even when I deny that truth to myself.

In 2009 a healing artist helped me to bring healing to that piece, to the cutting.  The tattoo that everyone loves on my arm so much, it's symbolic of a reality that isn't my path.  A Goddess standing on my arm where much of the pain was inflicted, an image-less face staring back at me, a mirror that I, too, am Goddess, surrounded by the chant: She changes everything She touches and everything She touches changes.  If I cut me, I cut her, I cut my daughter, I cut wombynhood... 

So as I listened (and continue to listen) to this song over and over again, I can't help but feel triggered by the word "blame".  I don't necessarily resonate with it, but it pushes me, so I had to look at what it meant... in a moment of journaling I heard: Believing Lies Abstractly Made Everywhere.

I was believing lies.  My lies, your lies, everyone's lies.  And I created pain out of that.  In that pain, I chose to stir up a cauldron of Anger, Fear, Jealousy and Shame.  Instead of dumping it out (for fear of contamination), I became the martyr, and took it all within myself, thinking I was helping the greater good, when instead denying my Truth and Light was the biggest disservice of all.

I've been going deep.  Deep into the last of the rotted roots that need destroying.  The final cycles of this distillation says it will start to complete itself this month, as I become rooted in rawness, ready to come back to the cycle of Light.

Just as "Guarded" kept me purging and digging deeper, "The Walking Dead" has helped me to balance, and cry, and heal, as most of Chad's music has done for me over the many years I have known him.

The Walking Dead -- Chad Perrone
I would have driven myself crazy
Had I tried to predict
That everything I had ever worked for
Would bring me to this
Nothing ever works out the way you want,
Despite your best plans
The final product seldom looks like
What you drew out by hand

So if I could trust in the things that you've said
If I could cherish what little is left
Just breathe new life into the walking dead
Would there still be this sentiment?


I might have told you
That I am not one to believe in much
Blame it on years of falling apart
On the absence of luck
But I am no different
Than anyone else with half a heart
But it feels like the wrong feet
Keep on leading me out from the start


So if I could trust in the things that you've said
If I could cherish what little is left
Just breathe new life into the walking dead
Would there still be this sentiment?


All of the wrong words keep rushing out
Exploding like fireworks when they leave my mouth.


So if I could trust in the things that you've said
If I could cherish what little is left
Just breathe new life into the walking dead
Would there still be this sentiment?


You can blame it all on my bad habits love
You can blame it on me
You can blame it all on my bad habits love
You can blame it on me


Someday I'll learn to let go of it
Someday I'll learn to leave
Someday I'll learn to let it go, let it go
Someday I'll learn to leave.
So if I could trust in the things that you've said
If I could cherish, cherish heaven.

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