My heart is heavy. I stood in ceremony with the Goddess ISIS last Sunday, and crossed the threshold to let go of anything that is not complete and total truth in my life. This means letting go of the belief that LIFE=Pain, something I have come to understand has been my modus operandi for a long time. Life=Pain has left me with an inability to handle the challenges that have come my way without serious numbing or dissociation of what has been most intense. And while I have written post after post about how I am committed to this opening, of shedding the layers of gunk I have equated with safety and protection, now that I am smack dab in the middle of this rawness it feels like my heart will break with pain. This crossing has been in conjunction with my family leaving for 2 weeks, without me. In finishing work and deadlines, and moving into more training as my role as Priestess, I had not allowed myself to tap into how this alone time might be. I felt it looming a few days prior to their departure, and yesterday a deep well of loneliness descended upon me like a thick and immobilizing fog.
This loneliness is old, one I backtracked to residing in my being as early as 5 years of age, likely earlier. This is just when I have concrete memories of feeling scared in the face of the community I called my family, my school, my neighborhood. Children were cruel to me from a young age, and I had no adult super-heroes coming to my rescue, as many of them were committing crimes against me as well. Life=Pain was seeded young, as it has been for many of us. It is so hard to have faith that there is something beyond this, that there is a way out of the sticky web of self-doubt and depression that clings to you like Poison Ivy, spreading every which way without serious intervention.
There are no accidents. I have been asking for authenticity for a long time, have taken two steps forward and one step back in this dance I am doing with truth. I have gone back and forth with consuming agents of self-sabotage, anything to make it easier, more bearable, to let in what is real. I now know there is no way to what is real except through this unbearable pain, to transmute it.
Years ago I crossed another threshold, one that brought me to a place of just feeling my grief, which had been boxed up and shut away my entire life. Every time I got close to it I ran, never letting myself have the experience of grieving what I had been through in my years of living. Feeling=annihilation. Through time I learned this was not so, that in feeling what was there and shedding my tears, tremendous release could take place.
Now I can be vulnerable. I can feel and cry with ease, and have experienced true empowerment in my ability to be an open channel with my feelings. But I can’t stay with it. I have not fully let these experiences go as my feelings continue to remain more pain than joy. I have learned how to co-exist with them, but it is clear they are still running the show.
I had thought that crossing the threshold meant rising above my story of LIFE=Pain, that in my deep desire I would magically release this way of existing in the world. Now I see that what I crossed was a threshold of willingness to be in it. Of being in this pain so fully that I have no choice but to transmute it, or let it kill me.
I don’t know how I will do this, but I do know I am not going to hole up and let myself retract till I’m broken. I need to reach out; to the sisterhood I have found, to the others out there who wish to heal, not only themselves but this beautiful planet that continues to care for humanity despite our mistreatment, and to the wonderful teachers that are so readily available in this day and age of instant connection.
I can only continue to move forward. I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂
Diana Ray/April Aronoff
Photography by Diana Ray