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.
Hail Loki, God of the lost and…found.
Thank You for finding me.