bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Gold.

“At some point in time, I was a new thing. I was a thing that had not been hurt, had not been beaten, had not been cast out, had not been rejected. Maybe it was only for a day or two (or maybe more) but I dare to think that, once upon a time, I was even loved wholly and completely, if even for a moment. 

We all start this way: new. We all start with our hearts in tact, our spirits strong, our connection to soul and self: solid. We start with our ten fingers and ten toes and we hold that newness for as long as we can. Or for as long as life lets us….” – from Meadow DeVor’s latest post.

The above quote is taken from today’s incredibly powerful post from Meadow Devor concerning the Japanese artisan practice of kintsugi (otherwise known Kintsukuroi :(金繕い) [Japanese: golden repair] – the artistic method of repairing broken ceramic vessels with lacquers imbued with gold, silver or platinum…

And how kintsukuroi can be seen as a metaphor for spiritual self-repair and moving beyond trauma toward healing and wholeness.

 

kintsugi

 

3 Thoughts for Empaths Who Are Feeling Drained

“…When you’re feeling overwhelmed, like you have given all your energy out to others and need to recharge yourself, always remember:

1.) You deserve happiness; take time for yourself
2.) Your feelings are no less important than anyone else’s
3.) We are all connected – when you hurt yourself you are hurting others”

(Taken from this article by Hilary Gerstler)

Speaking up.

(from 15 July 2015:)

What to do?  I should speak up.

I’ve got so much in my head right now.  It’s almost obscene.

~~~

A Pathological Liar : A Story and a Situation

-As a member of the kink community, I see certain situations happening a lot.  These situations lead to discussion that often concerns consent and manipulation, and whether or not members of the community have a responsibility to the community to broadcast the details of those situations wherein people have been manipulated or victimized by others in the community.   If a person has been manipulated by another member of the community, does that victim have a duty towards the community for reasons of safety, to warn others?  This is an endless debate and I have witnessed over and over  these explosively emotional situations  that ensue when someone was mistreated, shamed, manipulated or used by another and it all becomes a witch hunt.  Case in point, I recently watched a rather popular member of the kink community leave the community of his own volition in an effort to protect himself from being outed by others for being a pathological liar.  He was about to be found out, so he decided to come clean pre-emptively before others could expose his lies.  So he admitted that he was a pathological liar, and he expected to be shunned and shamed.  Instead, the community response of most members was to refrain from responding to him at all.  Certainly, many who knew him were shocked and it became a drama unto itself – but otherwise, he left in relatively embarrassed silence.  Most in the community expect that he will never be heard from again, and so it was assumed that the community will carry on, and anyone whose life he touched might now breathe a sigh of relief.  Most people hoped that with his leaving that the worst part was over.  Because he left quietly, it was assumed that no more lives could be damaged, no one else could be manipulated anymore.  As I said, as a member of several communities –both online and offline – that resolution is a common hope.

But I cannot help pondering that question:

Does the victim of a manipulative person have a responsibility to their community to speak up?  Some would say yes.  Some would say no.  Generally speaking, it is often assumed that no one would want a manipulator in their midst, and yet it would be difficult to find a community that has never had one.

There are those who would hide behind their self-imposed positions in the community.  There are those who would twist the structure or the mission statement or even the rules of their group to advance their own needs.  And in the case of religious community, there are still others who would hide behind the voice of the Gods to advance their personal agendas.  So whether or not someone recognizes manipulation in the community, or whether or not an individual is being manipulated by another in the community, where does the responsibility rest?

I want to talk about this – I want to tell you about a particularly well-known [ETA: now former] Lokean godspouse  –  who manipulated me  -but I don’t know how.

(Update, 15 July 2016 – edited to add:  Y’know, it’s not that I didn’t know how: it was that I was afraid to stand up for myself, back then.  I was afraid of what people would think of me.  And even worse, since this person and I both live in the same state, and we actually share the same first name, I was afraid that others who didn’t know me would conflate me with her.)

A Realization

I am horrified to realize something about myself in regards to one of my blog-followers on WP.

This is an acquaintance who has recently been ‘claimed’ by Loki.  Not surprisingly, her blog concerns her latest adventures which are rife with sickeningly sweet discussions of an overabundance of NRE.

I have discovered that she is friends with (this Local Other Lokean who shares my name [LOL].)

Any day now, I wonder if and when she will suddenly receive a nudge that she *should* leave her mortal partner in deference to ‘Loki’s wishes.’

I have known so many others – who had been told  this (by LOL) at one time or another – that Loki is nudging things in that direction.

It would seem to be a rather common experience, and it would seem many are familiar with that particular story.

I mean, LOL was by no means the only one who subscribed to the belief that if Loki doesn’t like your boyfriend/lover/husband, He will let you know.

But I remember when I had first been told by LOL that Loki wanted to nudge a certain mortal relationship of mine out the door in late 2012.

(And then again, concerning my marriage of 20 years…in mid-2013.)

So, as you might imagine, just when I thought that I was finished with a relationship overhaul, there’s another problematic relationship that needs tweaking, and if I refuse to overhaul, it … it goes.

 

Or does it?

Who do you believe?
Who will you listen to
Who will it be?
It’s high time that you decide
In your own mind…

                -Natalie Merchant, Life is Sweet

It’s all a matter of personal discernment, isn’t it?

And suddenly I am forced to look at the source.

Whom did I believe?

Whom did I listen to?

I listened to LOL, actually…thinking that I was listening to Loki.

I also listened to another of LOL’s close, trusted friends, P – who also claimed to know Loki and who also claimed to routinely channel Loki.

Though LOL’s and P’s readings would often corroborate each other, this fact strengthened my belief, rather than raising the red flags that this situation normally would have for me.

I wanted so much to believe, you know.

I wanted to believe that the Gods could talk to us directly.

And I considered myself headblind.

So I trusted LOL and I trusted P, since P identified herself as a natural medium with strong psychic gifts, whose psychic readings were ‘eerily accurate,’ as I’d been told by several other members of the online community group of which we were all members.

We were all part of the same kindred.

Both LOL and P claimed to have my best interests at heart.

Even aside of the ‘channelings,’ P and I had spent months chatting and interacting online, on Skype and Google hangouts, and in private messaging.

I’d even met P in person when P came to see LOL in April of 2013.

In short, it’s a rather clichéd story: I thought that LOL and P were my friends.  **

So you may imagine that there were several conflicting directives for me – do I listen to what I wanted to believe was LOL’s discernment of Loki  – or do I listen to my own discernment?

Well, it took me a long time to figure it out for myself.

And, as a result, in the meantime, I made many poor choices based upon my avoidance and refusal to take up the reins of my own life.   I fell into the trap of allowing myself to make decisions and choices based upon the validity of others’ truth rather than trusting my own truth.

I trusted that LOL and P wouldn’t mislead me.  I should have trusted myself.

So…what was the message?

getthemessage

Trust your own discernment.

 

A Lesson on Community Dynamics

I think about what another BNP and Lokean [D]  had said to me a little over 2 years ago concerning the ‘Loki-wives’ community dynamic.’

And surprisingly, D warned me specifically about LOL by name.

And that should have been another red flag…that I should have listened to.  But I did not.

But I wish that I could talk to D and I would tell him,

‘Hey, you were right.  I only wish that I’d listened to you then – but then again – perhaps I wouldn’t know now what I didn’t know then.’

But if I had listened – if I had grasped what he was telling me – I wouldn’t have learned the lesson that I needed to learn.

But I mean, I am a Lokean after all, and if there’s any way I learn, it’s the hard way.

I know that I don’t owe D anything except a thank you, but I am grateful to him beyond belief.

But sometimes one learns best by making mistakes.

See the Pattern?

I tried to write my angry whiskey bravery entry concerning patterns of manipulation but I didn’t post it widely.

My husband, V was supportive and encouraging, however.

The same person whom Loki supposedly didn’t like.  The same husband that I was informed that I should leave by Loki Himself.

But it was not until almost a year later that I realized.  I made choices that were based upon my trust in someone elses’s discernment rather than trusting my own discernment.

~~~

And then, last night I had a dream – two dreams actually – and He definitely appeared in both of them.

The first one took place at the beach.  It began in the midst of a horrible event:

There I was, face up looking up blearily at the pale sky, feeling exhausted and disoriented.

Someone off to my left was informing me that I had almost drowned.

Evidently, I was being informed, I had been attempting to swim in the ocean but my skills were weak, so the strength of the ocean had become too much for me.  (What an apt metaphor.)

My chest ached, likely from having coughed up so much water.

I looked over to my left, to see who had rescued me.

Loki was crouched down in the sand beside me as I lay there gasping and exhausted, and He was reprimanding me for allowing myself to drown.

He told me that He had sat by me for over two years, listening to me whining about a particularly static personal situation and that He was now there to inform me that the time of my whining was officially over.

He demanded that I stop trying to drown and actually learn to swim.

He was supportive, but in a sly, harsh way.  He reminded me that I still haven’t done what I intended to do.

I know what that is.

And then the second dream, I was over LOL’s house, attending a gathering of the local Lokean ‘kindred.’

Of course I had been invited – and I should have felt welcome -but I was there and I was feeling rather awkward.  I had just arrived at LOL’s house, with my arms full of groceries and alcohol.   Feeling socially anxious, I remember inwardly cringing over the possibility that I felt the need to bring all the food and booze as compensation for my awkwardness.  The possibility that I could engage the process of cooking and drinking –rather than socializing with others – suddenly seemed like nothing more than one of my typical avoidance maneuvers. As well, it suddenly became obvious to me that there was a part of me that hoped that nothing else would be required of me.  Of course that was true; I would hide in LOL’s kitchen as I always did, grateful to have the distractions of cooking food and serving food.   Didn’t I always hide in the kitchen?

I was both surprised and horrified to realize this, and I suddenly wanted nothing more than to go home.

I didn’t want to be there anymore.

But I don’t drive, so I began stressing over how I could get a ride home.

I tried calling my husband, V.

I tried calling on my older kid, N.

No answer.

Then the doorbell rang.  When I opened the door, there was a delivery-person on LOL’s front step, holding a massive bouquet of flowers.  The bouquet was so large that I couldn’t see delivery-person’s face, until the delivery person peered around it.

I shouldn’t have surprised that it was Loki (and it was obvious, as He was using one of the more common mundane faces that He uses in my dreams) and He said:

Hey.  I see that you are still not doing what you promised Me. 

Stand up.  Stand the fuck up, and stop being afraid. 

What have I told you?  

Do what you promised Me.  Do something.

~~~~

** In retrospect, I have come to realize that LOL and P were something else.

LOL and P were two people who were simply those who – whether they are aware of it or not – allowed their filter to color their channeling of Loki.

In short, LOL and P were a harsh lesson in discernment for me.

But I am here to tell you today – 1 August 2016 – that I allowed LOL to manipulate me.

As well, concerning their close association, I’d even allowed P to manipulate me in LOL’s stead, as well.

So, as a result, I don’t think that I could support anyone else going through what I feel was a pattern of grooming and manipulation that began in late 2012 and ended in November 2015.

But perhaps, that’s a story for another day.

Trust me, you’ve heard this all before.

I have been wanting to write and I promised to write – it was the reason for this month’s writing project (which was not so playfully named ‘Keeping it 100’*) – but as you might notice, I haven’t been keeping up with it this particular July/Month for Loki.

There are reasons, and I am trying to decide if I really want to get into all of them, because Heaven knows, I had plenty that I’d planned to write about, plenty that I’d promised to write about.

It’s more serious than usual in that not only had I promised myself that I’d carry the project through the whole month, I promised Him that I’d write about these topics and that I would carry it through by writing in this blog every day for a month.

We struck a deal of sorts, and I reneged in the sense that I did not follow through on my part.

I had promised to tell a story that I have not told.

It’s not that I had a shortage of posts, or that I never intended to tell the story.  As a matter of fact, I have enough posts sitting in draft as well as several other posts written that only require that I cut and past them from the file folder on my laptop where I’ve stored them.  They are in order, as I had planned.

You see, it is not that I stopped writing.  It is that I did write but I refused to post, and that was what I promised Him that I wouldn’t do.  I promised Him that I would share as much of the story as I could, no matter how uncomfortable things got, no matter how controversial the topics were….and yet…

I have not.

So what happened?

I got sick around the 15th of the month, as I may have mentioned in several of my latest posts.

A few of my friends pointed out that if I hadn’t been keeping up with my writing, of course that was understandable.

If I was ill – and I still am recovering from that double ear infection and sinus infection – that it stood to reason that I should rest and recuperate.

Several opined that I was being too hard on myself to think that He wouldn’t understand, that He would insist that I write anyway.

But I wrote every day.  The writing is not the hardest part.  It has never been the hardest part.   He knew (just like anyone else who knows me well) that the purpose of the project had nothing to do with a writer’s block or an inability to express myself.

In essence, what He asked for was that I stop censoring myself; that I stop hiding – privatizing posts, or posting my thoughts in my less-frequented blog.  He was asking for me to make my writing entirely public and highly accessible, to post ‘where it counts’ meaning where people could see and respond to my thoughts if they so chose.

He wanted me out of my comfort zone.  It was an exercise to force me out of my social anxiety.

And so, He wanted me to stop keeping secrets, to be authentic and unashamed of who I am and what I am and what I do — for one month.

Just for one month, and then I could go back to ‘hiding’ if I so chose.

He didn’t care (because, if you know me, you know that I argued with Him) if ten thousand other people had written about such things ten thousand times before I wrote about them, before I would write about them.

He wants His people to express themselves fully, and He doesn’t care if you’ve all heard the stories before; He places great value on self-expression.

Perhaps it’s more than that: It’s about self-knowledge.  It’s about fearlessness.

He wants us all to tell our stories….or at the very least, be fearless and unashamed about telling our stories.

~~~

*Believe me, you have heard this story before:

And yet, you’d better believe He never gets tired of hearing that story.

~~~

So, as you might imagine, I haven’t any VALID excuses.

 

 

Month for Loki, Day 20: Another lesson.

“You can accept or reject the way you are treated by other people, but until you heal the wounds of your past, you will continue to bleed.

You can bandage the bleeding with food, with alcohol, with drugs, with work, with cigarettes, with sex, but eventually, it will all ooze through and stain your life.

You must find the strength to open the wounds, stick your hands inside, pull out the core of the pain that is holding you in your past, the memories, and make peace with them”

― Iyanla VanzantYesterday, I Cried

 

On a related note…

To this entry.

This song will not seem to get out of my head.

I have heard this song at least a dozen times today, through various channels and means, so I thought that I’d post it….

Y’know, just to acknowledge to the Universe that I’m hearing it.

If anything, it seems to imply that I have some ways to go in dealing with my anger issues.

:-/

 

Month for Loki, Day 19: in the deep

inthedeep

What struck me the most about this quote is that is unattributed except for

written by him

The Universe is funny.

When I saw this on my media feed this evening, it had all the earmarks of  a message as if it was written by Him.

For it is true, you know:

If you seek Him, you will find Him

in the depths between

All these places you’ve come to know

And all those places you’ve yet to go.

Month for Loki, Day 18: Lost…and found.

Since I am still struggling with several overlapping illnesses at this time – ear infection, sinus infection, and general malaise – you may that I haven’t had much of the wherewithal to write these past few days.

Hence the reason that I’ve gotten so behind in keeping up with my daily posts this July in the Month for Loki.

But I have been reading a lot – and this powerful post came across my WordPress feed today, concerning Loki as a God Who is rather popular with folks who have struggled with various forms of abuse, difficulty, and dysfunction in their lives.    I agree with her especially in this:

One of the biggest groups of people who tend to find themselves interacting with Loki are those who have been abused in some way. The ones who have lost themselves and need to be guided back – who need to learn who they are again. Loki teaches us that it’s okay to not be okay. He teaches us that it’s okay to be wounded and feel the wound so that it can heal properly.

While my experiences were not exactly the same as those of Ms. Kyaza, I can relate to a lot of her experiences, especially in regards to dysfunctional family relationships.

I can definitely identify with the ambivalent feelings that arise out of having suffered physical and emotional abuse at the hands of those whom I trusted most to love and respect me.

In fact, there were several occasions wherein I found myself dangerously close to tears while reading her post, as her description of her thoughts and feelings about her mother and their relationship so closely resonated with my own experiences so powerfully.

Reading her post made me feel a strange mixture of feelings.

I felt both a sense of exposure and a sense of triumphant relief in reading this post.

I felt an incredible sense of exposure and shame – as in reading her words, I was so acutely reminded of the immensity of my own desire to please my mother (and in turn, my siblings) who often rejected my efforts by responding with anger, ridicule or outright dismissal.  And yet, I remember that guilt, that shame.  I had grown up feeling that somehow, if I could just do better, work harder, love more – then finally, I would receive love; I would deserve love.

And yet, while reading, I also felt an undercurrent of strange relief – here was someone who writes so eloquently of navigating emotional landmines that I understand.

I felt understood.  I felt heard.

I am not alone in this pain.

I am not the only one.

You see, I have both loved and hated my mother and my siblings – and as a result, in turn, as a woman and as a mother, I have both loved and hated myself.  I struggled – and still struggle – with the emotional scars of my upbringing.  I crave to feel understood, to feel safe, to feel loved, and yet I have been skeptical of the existence of a relationship wherein I can feel understood, safe and loved.  Sometimes, I find myself skeptical of those who have tried to nurture me, so deeply ingrained was my belief that I did not deserve even my mother’s love, the love of my brothers and sisters.

It took me years to decipher that it was not my inadequacy or failing, but the lack of self-love and incapacity to receive love that my mother (and perhaps of those even further back) suffered with that continues this horrible chain.

It affects all of my relationships. I have tried valiantly to be the mother that my own wasn’t, and yet, I still find myself wondering if I’ve fallen short, if I’ve done a disservice to my children.  As a person, I have endeavored to be emotionally reliable, compassionate, and kind, and yet, sometimes, I am a victim of my own perfectionism and pessimism, and my own distorted habits and worldviews.

I am estranged from my family, even today.

But the truth is, I am no longer estranged from myself.  I am no longer lost.

I had to learn to break the cycle of the past.  It is daily work to remain mindful of my emotional responses and reactions whenever I interact with others.  (Is it kind? Is it necessary? Am I responding from a place of love and understanding rather than from fear or anger, for example.)

I have learned to be acutely aware of my own negative self-talk and self-limiting behaviors and beliefs.  I am learning to accept myself and recognize my strengths and weaknesses, as well as accepting and recognizing that everyone else also has their own struggles with similar issues, with similar emotions, behaviors and beliefs about themselves – and none of us are perfect.  Perfection is stagnation.

I am learning to allow myself …to feel vulnerable.  To feel angry.  To be open to my own emotions and not fear the emotions, reactions, or responses of others.  I am learning to be accountable.  I am learning to let go of what doesn’t work and focus on what does.  I am learning to let go and trust the process.  Trust Him and trust myself.

Loki taught me a lot of these things.  He has taught me to embrace imperfection, to confront fear of loss or change, to let go of the need to control outcomes, to work with what I’ve been given, and most of all, to allow myself, to open myself to love.

Love the process of living, love the process of learning.

Just…LOVE.

~~~

Hail Loki, God of the lost and…found.

Thank You for finding me.

 

 

 

 

 

Month for Loki, Day 17: Distraction.

So.  I am still sick with the flu that I’d caught from V the week before last.

And I was talking to a friend – who is spirit-touched and a Reiki practitioner – about my symptoms the other day.

You see, I have been suffering a great deal of sinus congestion, a headache, and most concerning of all, I have had a near-constant nosebleed for the past week.

My friend was pointing out that the combination of sinus congestion followed by nosebleeds could indicate the opening of my third eye.

And I was surprised to hear that, as I have always felt that I am almost completely headblind, but since my return from Arizona (following the ritual that occurred there), I have felt more ‘open,’ and as a result, I have had several rather vivid experiences.

Though I hadn’t thought to connect the increase in my experiences with the frequency of my nosebleeds.

~~~

(8:30 AM)

I have been stressing about what I should be writing again.

I woke  up about 30 minutes ago.

I hadn’t intended on getting out of bed.  I was still in that hypnogagic state, when I rolled toward the edge of the bed, and ‘sensed’ Loki there.   He was standing there by the bed, and I distinctly remember muttering, ‘Let’s go.’

I had just awakened from a vivid dream concerning a small body of water, because I could recall seeing Him standing in the water, naked to the waist, waiting for me to join Him.  And how, upon wading in, I received a clear visual of a short poem.

It looked like an Internet meme tile.

It was a poem about an experience – a magical experience – written by someone named Walter.

Unlike other times when I have dreamt of written words, the visual image of these words appeared surprisingly clear and easy to read, in black ink on a yellow lined paper.

I think that I had been reading this paper.

But something had distracted me.

(Oddly enough, I could still hear the TV in the bedroom in the background — and it was distracting me.  I could distinctly hear some news channel commentary concerning Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton, and all of that.)

I recall that I had been reading this poem to myself, as if I had been trying to memorize it, as I may have been intending to make a post of it today.

But then, I’d begun to wake up.

I am trying to think of what this poem had made me think and feel – as I’d felt that I’d almost had it memorized – but then I’d let the TV distract me.

All I can remember was the first line:

Let us go to the well, and you will chart your first experience here…

I recall that the poem had a lilting sort of subtle rhythm as I whispered the words to myself – possibly an ABBA or even an ABCD-ABCD rhyme scheme.  I was amazed that I’d been able to see the words so clearly as I’d spoken them aloud, and I remember thinking that I wasn’t that deeply asleep and yet, so deep and so clear were the words that I was speaking.  I repeated them to myself several times – but somehow – how? why? – had I allowed the TV to intrude, rather than to ignore it and focus on what I had been saying?

Maybe this is not about my memory of the poem at all.

Perhaps this is the lesson:

The words, the experiences would all be clear to me if I allowed them to be.

And yet I jump away from away from these experiences and cast about for a distraction to take my focus away from them, from the possibility of recalling them.

(Perhaps this is what He means when He insists that I am still running; I am still afraid.)

We are standing at the Well of Memory and I am fussing over poetry?

Relax. 

Relax.  Let yourself be like water. The words were flowing over you, were they not?

You asked for a session.  This was your session. 

You heard [the television], yes, but you still had access to your vision of Me, and what We were doing…

These things can and do co-exist.

These ‘realities’ are nothing more than undercurrents of each other and you can tap into these multiple streams at any time that you wish.

(Am I so skilled as all that…or is it simply that easy?)

Yes…and no.  It is that simple, but, as you might guess, it is not EASY.

Do you see the way you struggle with relaxing, with remembering? Let go of your need to describe every detail and just allow the flow.

That is the lesson.  Stop putting these rules and  all these parameters on it.  Stop trying to document the experience as you are experiencing it and just let yourself see, let yourself feel, and you will remember it.

Stop thinking of these experiences as something unusual that is only given to you in pieces with all those attendant fears that suddenly you will forget.  

Let yourself remember. Let yourself relax.  

The fear drives it away from you, pushes it away from your understanding.  

You will forget if you are always afraid to forget.

~~~

When I realized that I’d fully awakened, I blew my nose.  There was blood coming out of my left nostril again.

(Clear out this logic…trust this process rang in my head.)

Perhaps this is what was meant when another Lokean friend and I were discussing this project at the beginning of the month.

I’d asked Him for a clue, a means to begin the project, and He’d said (through her, through some automatic writing):

Be fluid.  Be more fluid.

~~~

And related to these hypnagogic conversations, here’s bit of pandoramancy:

 

 

 

 

 

 

TomGrasso
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