bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Category: self improvement

Month for Loki, Seventeenth: The lesson, in brief.

Today I made an offering to Loki

and received this odd little bit of synchronicity:

From Gravity Falls’ Mabel, of all places.

Point taken, Sir. ❤

 

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the more you know

I love Brene Brown…even when she is throwing out some hard truths.

So you can gather what I am talking about, you might want to watch the video.

Y’see, I , too, am a ‘blamer.’

It’s true of me that when something bad happens, my first thought is often whose fault is this? – and, more often than not, I twist it in my head until I’ve found a reason for whatever happened.

I need to know why.  I am a person that needs to know why.

Even if -more often than not – I end up blaming myself for whatever it is that happened in some way.

Yeah.  I know that that’s unhealthy.

Yep, I thought that that was holding myself accountable.*

This mindfulness and this desire to hold myself accountable for myself and my reactions to bad things happening is often the way that my thoughts go.  And I’ve had enough therapy to know that I’m only doing half the work, too, when I stop and actually think about it.

Why is it only half the work?

Because the full work would be the realization and implementation of the fact that some bad things happen because they are random.  Sometimes there is no reason.

Yes, it’s true that sometimes bad things happen because someone wasn’t mindful of themselves or others – and I include myself in that – and rash decisions get made.   Things get broken, or feelings get hurt, or what have you, and often emotions fuel those decisions.

But the key is – the process of thinking that there has to be reason somewhere.  That there has to be a reason, there has to be a fault.  And that there has to be this endless overthinking and wasting of time and resources trying to figure out why something is, why something happened, or what led to this or that result.

As Brown points out, the fault-finding and blame is a discharge of discomfort and a desire for control of the situation, including getting control of one’s emotions and reactions.

And that gets me to thinking about my zen Buddhist therapist who speaks a continuous refrain of how I need to work on letting shit go, learning that the only person one can control is oneself and one’s reactions to the world, and the constant reminder that the only moment is the present moment.  He talks endlessly of the fact that the present is the only moment in which we can live, and how when one has realized this, and one focuses on mindfulness and control of oneself in the present moment, only then can one create inner peace and happiness.

Oh yes, it gives me a headache sometimes…this zen business.  The letting go, the reactive vs. proactive paradigm, the mindfulness — so much jargon.   I cannot deny that this all feels exhausting sometimes, and I’ll admit that I fall back upon ingrained reactive habits and value judgments, and and and….*sigh*

I wallow in self-blame, another waste of time.

So.

Yes.

I seek control.

But the only control I seek in the end is self-control.

~~~

*This video opens my eyes to the mistake I’ve made concerning what accountability is.

 

 

 

Worldbreaker.

Everything’s fine.

Then, everything’s *not* fine.

2016 has been a rollercoaster..and I don’t think that it has just been a rollercoaster for me.

Look at the rest of the world, I suppose.

i-cant-wait-to-stay-up-until-midnight-on-new-9976352

It would seem that everyone is struggling with something…not just me.

Not just my struggles.

~~~

I haven’t been posting, mainly because I’ve been keeping to the relative safety of writing in my notebooks, because 2016 has brought so many changes to my life that when I look back upon where I was, emotionally and spiritually, on this day in 2015, I am agog at how much has changed in my relationships, my attitudes, my writing….hell, even my devotional/spiritual practices.

As a matter of fact, so much has changed in my devotional practice that my head is sort of… spinning.

It’s been an interesting year, to say the least.

~~~

At the end of 2015, I was coming out of a major depressive episode.

Certain aspects of my life were either stagnant or evolving in a direction that I didn’t want to travel.  I felt stuck and sad and angry.

I had decided to end relationships with several persons whom I’d come to over-value so much that I’d thought of these folks as the basis of my spiritual community….so deciding to cut ties with those friends felt like cutting ties with my sense of community.

As well, I felt stagnant in my spiritual relationships.  I needed something to change but I didn’t know what or how

 

Though I had hope for 2016, I’d never in a million years expected the changes that were in store for me regarding my marriage, my circle of friends (or whom I would have considered my circle of friends), how I’d come to spend my free time,the people, places and things I would come to value, the skills that I would develop or the way that my devotional/spiritual practices would be completely overhauled.

Yes, my spiritual practices would suffer a complete overhaul in 2016.

And that is why I have chosen WorldBreaker as the title of this post.

Because, oddly enough, in retrospect, one of the only constants I see in the pattern of 2015 to 2016 was …Loki

And yes, that is true…I am working with Loki now.*

Though in late December 2015, I’d even gone as far as to pack up all of my altars -including His – because I was feeling disconnected from all of Them.

I was throwing what was essentially a tantrum of enormous spiritual proportions.

homerissues

I was trying so hard to feel and to do, and yet all I could feel was an immense sense of frustration and disconnection.

I was feeling what I thought that I was supposed to feel and I was doing what I thought was the ‘work’ that I needed to do…

And yet I was ….not.

Though I will admit what I did feel was this:

I wish you all had one neck and I had my hands around it.

(Those, by the way, are the second to last words of convicted murderer Carl Panzram, just before he was executed at Leavenworth Penitentiary in 1930)

(Do you see the WorldBreaker yet?)

Because that, my friends, is how I felt (inwardly, of course) about the whole business of not just the day to day functionings of my mundane life, but my spiritual life as well.

In late 2015, I definitely felt that if Life were a person, I wanted to choke that motherfucker out…and hard.

But I am not a violent person, so I could not even begin to guess where those feelings of rage were coming from at the time.

But I do…now.

dont-be-upset-1

(Yep.  That was me…being upset.  And oh…not working on my shit.  But boy, did I think I was!)

So, what changed?

Well, I can’t exactly write a recipe book now, can I?

It was my journey from 2015 on and through all of 2016 that  required a change in attitude towards a lot of situations that I didn’t particularly like that involved people that I didn’t particularly like.

I was entrenched in a battle of control and blame in my mundane life, and I was believing that these situations were somehow within my realm of control… but they were not.

I was the face of acceptance on the surface, but underneath all of that, I was angry and withholding.

I kept telling myself that I had let go of the past, but I had not….not entirely.

I was full of assumptions and waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I was waiting and hiding and grumbling to myself.

I had expectations based upon assumptions, and I was feeding an ugly vicious cycle of blame and insecurity.

In short, I was living in the past, but thinking that I was moving on.

I thought I was open.  I thought I was being accepting and fair and loving and generous.  I thought that I was letting go.  I told myself constantly that I was holding myself accountable.  I was convinced that it was I who was fair and open and honest…and others were not.

It wasn’t me who refused to be, it was them.

And in my spiritual life – well, there’s a mirror.  I was insecure, tentative…also angry.

I had so much stuff on my altars.  I was meditating every day.  I felt like I was constantly giving Them time, giving Them energy, giving Them thought.

So why was I having the dark night of the soul?  Why was I feeling a fallow time?  Why did I feel so disconnected?

Because…you refuse.

You refuse to be open.

You refuse to be generous.

You do not allow….

You do not permit….

It will begin…when you begin.

BEGIN.

And so, in 2016, I began without even being aware of what I was beginning.

(Enter the WorldBreaker, stage left.)

Looking back upon the year, I realize that there were many occasions wherein I was thrust into many uncomfortable situations.

I look back upon these uncomfortable moments and I recall feeling forced to explain myself in many ways.

A lot of these moments featured me being forced to examine myself – my social anxieties, my prejudices, my decisions, my beliefs.**

But 2016 also rewarded me – the year even brought me a lot of growth, and even some new friends – or rather, I re-connected with myself in re-connecting with several ‘old’ friends – which led to my social circle increasing exponentially and unexpectedly at the same time.

As well, 2016 brought me joy in unexpected places (Arizona) and heartache in others (Washington DC)…but in the end, the slow change toward actually letting go of my need to control/create a specific outcome led to unexpected and entirely unforeseen outcomes.

While I do not have a lot of the same people in my life that I had had in 2015, I do have people in 2016.

As well, in 2016, I have done things that I never thought that I would do, I experienced things that I’d never dreamed of experiencing before, and craziest of all, I am actually working with yet another God that I had once insisted that I would *never* work with.

(Hel, as recently as two months ago, I would have refused to even look at Him, let alone work with Him in any way.)

Funny, how things can change so completely and so abruptly, eh?

onedecision

But that, my friends, is the story of a decision for another day entirely. 😉

 

So that was the trajectory of my 2016.

A year of rapid, dramatic (sometimes even melodramatic) emotional and spiritual change for me.

Courtesy of a relentless Breaker of Worlds.

Hail Loki, indeed ❤

~~~~

*In retrospect, I realize that up to a point, 2012-2015 was essentially ‘making a good show of working with Loki’ compared to  actually ‘working with’ Loki  :-/

**I felt ashamed, exposed…and about three months ago, it peaked in that a few folks even vilified me for speaking my mind, for writing what I wrote in this blog.  And yes, it stopped me.  A lot.

someday

 

 

 

buriedwithin

9 Days.

Beginning on Wednesday 31 August until Friday 9 September, I did Dagulf Loptson’s 9 day ritual, Breaking Loki’s Bonds.

I spent Tuesday collecting the supplies.

I bought a new red 8-hour candle, three white 4-hour candles, a bottle of Jameson Irish whiskey, and a thick red double-sided satin ribbon.

The other things needed – a fire-proof container, a Sharpie pen, a large needle for carving, and sharps/lancets – were items that I thankfully had on hand.

( Much to my dismay, I realized that I had misplaced the knife that I’d planned to use, and since I did not have  a suitable knife on hand, I ended up purchasing a new one later on in the week.  Trust me, certain items – the knife especially – turned out to be something you need to trust in, whether or not you ever find yourself using it again.)

As well, this ritual, as it is written, involves a lot of rune writing/carving, so be aware of the runes.  While I don’t consider myself a rune-master by any means,  I am familiar with runes enough that I was able to spell out what I needed to.  You will be writing in runes on days 2-7.

(Here is a handy rune converter if needed.)

31 August: The First Meditation

The first meditation concerns asking.

On Wednesday night, I approached Loki, and invited Him to aid me in transforming my life.

By the way, I am terrible at guided meditations.  While I’ve no doubt a vivid imagination, I have especial difficulty in visualizing if I have to jump between reading a text and visualizing the effect, so I spent a good half-hour recording myself reading the text aloud so I could set the visuals of the first meditation in my mind that first night.

Though I feared that the first night would be excruciatingly intense, in retrospect, the first night was the easiest night of all.

And just after I finished the first meditation, I went to bed.

And just before I dropped off to sleep, in crazy-town (commonly referred to as my head post-ritual), I heard my name called out (loudly!) twice.

I couldn’t figure out if it was coming from inside or out.

Perhaps He wanted to talk…but I fell asleep. 😬

This was His question during the first night’s meditation:

Are you ready to claim responsibility for yourself and the fruit of your own actions? Are you ready to see yourself as you truly are?

~~~

1 September: The Second Meditation:

Sigyn: Look in the mirror. What do you see?

Loki: Who do you have bound here?

-The other Heathir*

The one pinned against the wall, disassociating, feeling humiliated.  The one who is strong and creative who hides her light, dulls her shine, full of fear, feeling defeated. The one who waits in the dark.  The one who cries.  The one who has lost hope.  The one who was trapped by duty, trying to fill the void that did not originate in her/with her.

This realization – and those visuals – unhinged me to a great degree, but in retrospect, I should not have been surprised: I am the one who is holding myself back.

I wrote ‘the other Heathir’ – in runes -on the bottle of whiskey. (I also wrote that phrase – in English – above the runes, in case I forgot what I wrote.)

The whiskey represents the hidden ‘poison’ as it were, that is staining my life.  This is the truth I am hiding.

~~~

2 September: The Third Meditation:

What are your fetters made of?

The other H is bound in fetters made of iron.

This is the strength of fear, the fear that holds in place, fear that seems insurmountable.  Also anger, despair, and hunger for freedom/understanding, but fear mostly.

I wrote ‘Fear made of iron’ in runes on the red ribbon.

~~~

3 September: The Fourth Meditation:

Who holds the bowl for you?  Who are your allies?

Today, I see the box – with 9 locks! – where the weapon Lævateinn is kept.

K is my first ally: K.

K has always been my first ally.

Young and strong and full of love, K is the key and I am the door.

I fucked up.

I misread the ritual script, and I thought all 3 allies would show today.

so, after K, I immediately saw my father and then, I saw Loki.

I carved all three candles – easy enough –  but then I had trouble drawing blood from my fingers.

I hacked up first two fingers before realizing my left ring finger (finger I wear Loki’s ring) bleeds rather well.

So I blooded and galdr’d (spoke-sung aloud the rune names) for all three candles.

K’s initials.  My father’s initials.  Loki.

I unlocked the first three locks.

 

~~~

4 September: The Fifth Meditation:

I woke up this morning, and there were spots of blood all over my pillowcase.

Last night, I realized that I had made a mistake.

So I burned off the two rune sets off the two candles #2 (my father) and #3 (Loki) to re-set.

Set second candle.

Who is your second ally?

And I Immediately saw a Fox.

Bright green eyes and surreal red fur.

I could not shake that image from my sight.

I quickly realized that Fox is cunning and quick, and upon a closer look, I saw that this Fox wore three colors in the form of three threads twisted red, yellow and green, that twined down the back and around and around the tail.

The Fox had threads in his fur that are red and yellow and green.

And Fox licked my face and I asked if he would lead me out of the dark cave when it was time.

And Fox nodded.  As I prepared to carve the runes, I realized something important.

Do you know there is no letter x in runes? I learned that today.

Because I had to carve his name into the candle. F O K S

And when I had finished blooding and galdring those runes, Fox bowed again and licked my face, saying:

I will lead you through the darkness – my eyes are light in the dark. 

Trust me.  I am the spirit of Wisdom and Cunning that you must trust to help you. 

I am the Pathfinder! I will show the way, the secret way…soon enough.

And with that, Fox turned and ran off, making tiny silent tracks soft across the snowy field.

I unlocked the second set of three locks.

5 September: The Sixth Meditation:

Who is your third ally?

I spent quite some time in intensely deep meditation upon my 3rd ally.

It took some negotiation before the 3rd ally would finally come forward.

You see, my father didn’t come forward this time.   I think my father had said no. 😦

Then I heard someone mention that it should be (my older son) by name.  (I heard his name).

It seemed that my third ally is the far-seeing Hawk-woman.

(Just as the Fox seems likely to have been Loki, it seems entirely possible that the Hawk was a shapeshifting Freyja.)

I saw a woman cloaked in burnt red robes.  And then I saw an enormous raptor – a hawk – who was somehow Her too.

Like Fox, She sees far above and she is another guide through the darkness.  She is strength and perseverance in the face of battle.

So I carved the runes to spell ‘Hawk’ on the third white candle, and I galdred them.

Then, as the ritual directed, I set the candles and began to chant the meditation again to thank each ally, as now I been approached by all three:

Thank you K for your assistance.

(interruption!)**

Thank you Fox, for Your cunning.

Thank you, Hawk, for Your sight-gifts

_

Thank you K for your faith.

Thank You Loki for Your help.

Thank You Freya for Your strength.

_

Thank you K for your alliance.

Thank You my Beloved for Your Love.

Thank You My Lady for Your Guidance.

 

 

I unlocked the final set of three locks.

The ritual then directed that the three candles should be allowed to burn to socket.

Oddly enough, the candles were labeled as having a 4 hour burn time, and the ritual lasted about one half hour, all told.

But within the next hour, all three burned out completely. O.o

Powerful stuff!

~~~

6 September: The Seventh Meditation:

What is the source of your liberation?

Today the meditation focused on the blade which is the sword that was forged by Loki, Lævateinn

This day’s meditation had me opening the – now unlocked – box where Lævateinn is kept.

A word, concept or image will be revealed to me as appearing on the surface of the blade.

I chanted to Loptr to reveal to me the source of my liberation.

Suddenly, an image of a(n anatomically correct) heart flashed through my mind.

(As well, an image of tear-stained face of my child-self also flashed briefly in my mind’s-eye. Her eyes were dark with tears.)

Suddenly, a thought flowed through my mind: Do you love her?

Suddenly I looked down at the blade and thought: Love.

Love was the source of my liberation.  My love for that other self, that other Heathir, would free her from her bonds.

So I wrote the word ‘Love’ in Futhark runes on both sides of the blade and blooded each rune as I galdr’d their names.

~~~

7 September: The Eighth Meditation:

This is the day that I will use Lævateinn

Tonight, it was difficult to visualize the cave.

I couldn’t see Them, but I could sense the sword in my hand.  It is rather heavy.

I feared that I would not be able to lift it high enough and get a good angle to cut His bonds.

My mind gets so hung up on such particular details, I suppose.

I started to think about what His bonds were made of vs. my own.

Earlier in the meditations, He had said that guilt kept Him bound – the guilt of not having been able to protect His children.

And I thought of myself, and how interesting to think that my fear was the means that I had been holding bound that other Heathir within myself.

Suddenly it made a weird kind of connection and I thought about how fear was at the basis of a lot of things in the situation, in the world – guilt and fear. Fear of change, fear of the unknown, fear of the inevitable future. And the choices that are made because of the fear of loss.

And for a moment I could see His eyes and the weariness and pain in them, and I raised the sword.

I cut the bonds at His shoulders, and thought about fear of not being accepted, of not being loved or understood. (The fear that leads to hatred/judgment and misunderstanding) Fear of the past.

I cut the bonds at His pelvis and thought about fear of judgment, fear of failure, fear of pain. And I found myself sobbing at the difficulty, as I could see the face of that little girl, that other Heathir, my child-self, sobbing too.

I am tired of being afraid, I am terrified of being trapped here, her eyes seemed to plead….

I cut the bonds at His knees, and thought about fear of inevitable change, fear of loss, fear of what the future holds…

And I thought about love.

How I used to think that love dies in the presence of fear, but here, love was the means to overcome fear.

Then it was time to cut  away my bonds; to cut the ribbon I had made.

I momentarily entertained the fear that my own actual blade would be too dull to cut through the ribbon, but it flawlessly sliced through the fabric, into three pieces.

As clear as day, I saw the vision of the other Heathir, bound there before my eyes…and just as it was with Loki, it took three strokes.

And with each stroke, I chanted my intent:

I see you.  I recognize you.

I know you. I value you.

You are free.  I am free. 

I told her:

You are safe.

You are strong.

You are powerful.

You are loved.  

I love you.  I love you. I love you. 

You have not failed. You are free.

There is no need to hide.

There is no need to punish yourself anymore.

There is no need to fear happiness or freedom or change.

 

And I allowed myself to cry and feel and know that I would never deny that – or her – again.

We are. We are. We are.

I am free.

We are both free.

 

~~~

8 September: the Ninth Meditation:

Today is the end.

Today He is free and so am I.

Today is about recognizing Him and recognizing myself.

Today I ritually burn the three pieces of the ribbon

As well, the bottle I put aside -that signifies the venom of the snake becoming the medicine – that was a powerful metaphor.  We are going to drink it in celebration.

(So do not forget to bring a cup to drink from on the ninth day! 🙂 )

They had a personal message for me, and I realized that I have traveled a long road to Them.

The message was profound and personal and Their words meant everything to me. I was almost in tears all over again – tears of catharsis, tears of release.

This was such a cathartic and necessary ritual for me.

So I placed the three pieces of ribbon in the miniature firepit I created. His (Loki’s) candle threatened to go out several times throughout, as one is to use the flame of His candle to burn the ribbon.***

Wax was everywhere.  The scent of apple cinnamon candles, whiskey and burnt ribbon permeate my altar space, even now many hours later.

But it is done.  And it was definitely worth doing.

And I feel lighter in spirit and more connected to my Gods.

Thank you, K.

Thank You, Loki.

Thank You, Freyja.

~~~

~~~

~~~

*The second meditation was so intense and vivid that I dedicated a post to just the specific visuals here.

__

**K walked in right as I set his candle thanking him for his faith and steadfastness defense/aid.  He startled me.  And I felt disheveled for the rest of the meditation. O.o

K was the first ally and I had just finished saying- ‘thank you K—-‘

and I hear K—- say ‘Hello.’ 

I startled – and I look up and K is standing there, standing just within the doorway to my meditation area.

I didn’t even hear K knock.

‘I’m going to bed’ he says.

(K had mentioned that he had asked Loki for permission to enter the circle; K told me, and I quote, that Loki had given it, saying:

OK — but make it quick!

And that’s why K was there.

But GAH. I almost jumped out of my skin! 😬

__

*** The ribbon –  being satin and likely polyester – didn’t burn very well.  But again, I sat with it but it took a long time – with several re-lightings – for it to burn to ash.  But 20 long minutes later, it was done.  I hope I did it right.  What a perfectionist I am!

If I recommended this ritual to anyone, I would suggest use a ribbon that is made of paper or another fabric besides satin – that satin fancy shit doesn’t burn well and it smells awful. 😦

As well, again I didn’t read the ritual script as closely as I should have, and I poured way too much into the cup!  The protocol is to drink the entire contents  in one draught while you [and They] watch your bonds burn.  So I am not the slightest bit ashamed to admit that I was pretty well lit by the time the ritual was over as  3 large shots’ worth of Jamesons’ will definitely fuck you up quick. LOL

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)

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 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.