bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Tag: lesson

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

 

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 21: A Drunken Heathen rants.

So here we are, over halfway through the month of July for Loki, and I still haven’t done the thing that I should have done a long time ago.

Not so much for Him, for  mind you, it’s more for me.  It pertains to something that I have been struggling with and thinking about for the past six months or so.

It is a thing that He’d likely approve of – being a God who values, above all, being true to oneself– but I have hemmed and hawed and struggled with these things for a long time.

And if Loki is anything, He is a patient God.  But He knows that this isn’t so much for Him as it is for my sanity.

~~~

Tonight I read a post that a kink community acquaintance of mine wrote back in 2013, and I left a comment to that post.

I commented about how finding the post again seemed like a very happy accident, and how I was glad to read it again.

And then, I clicked on a related post.

I do not know why I thought to click on that particular ‘related’ post.

It wasn’t until I was in the middle of reading that related post, that I realized that I needed to hear the message again – and maybe that part of it was not an accident.

There were many details of the post that I’d read before – and I remembered those details – but there was a lot of information (in the form of musings) in the post that I don’t remember being there before.   But that didn’t strike me as strange as much as it struck me that it is very possible that I didn’t notice certain aspects of its message before now.  We often see what we want to see, and it is quite obvious to me now that I wasn’t ready for the message that was so obviously within that post back then.

alice rabbit

(reads: I could tell you my adventures beginning from this morning, but it’s no use going back to yesterday because I was a different person then – Lewis Carroll)

And so here we are.

I have learned some difficult lessons in the past three years, and I must admit that I was reluctant – stubbornly aggressively reluctant – to even acknowledge how deep that rabbit hole is.

These past six months have been the real lesson, however.

And I am by no means done learning, either.

What did I learn?

I learned by the most difficult means possible that what I thought were good, sane relationships – were not.

I realized that I valued the wrong things, and I valued the wrong people, and I’ll tell you what – while the Universe was not kind, it was persistent.

Someone – no several people – tried to tell me that I had been looking in the wrong direction – but who listens to those people?  Not I.  I am famous for that.

I had to learn to listen to myself in regards to solutions, especially concerning issues of discernment.  Not just that, I had to learn how to do, well – a lot of things.

I had to stop looking so hard for the messages outside of me rather than what was within me.  It’s not as if the Universe wasn’t trying to hit me over the head with a clue by four over and over, but I was reluctant to listen.

Instead I got involved with and foolishly trusted some people that I should not have trusted, because I wanted so badly to be loved, to be seen, to be understood.  Those people that I trusted took advantage of my weakness, and I let them.  I LET THEM.  Why? Because I was weak and I wanted it out of my hands.

I traded one dependence for another in so many fucking ways.

I tied a lot of knots.

Usually I am really proficient at untying knots – well, I created a doozy that I’m still trying to untie.

At first, I thought that knot had to do with my upbringing, and then I thought that it concerned my marriage, and lastly, I thought it involved my love life, but it concerned none of that.  It was me.  I was the knot.  My name is within the knot.  My name was all over that shit.  I’ve got no one to blame but myself.

And I want to say:

No one knows better than I what it is that I need.

I learned that loving myself, trusting myself and trusting my own intuition are the answers and the source of all of my tools.

I learned that it is imperative that I own my own shit.

I learned to speak up for myself, and as much as I was afraid of the fallout, I had to SPEAK UP.  No one else was ever going to do it for me, no matter how much I devoutly wished that someone else would have spoken up for me.

Nope, I sat on my hands and watched the process happen over and over concerning others, and I never thought that it involved me, or what I could have been doing.

I thought those people were my friends, and when I lost some of those friends, I didn’t know what to think.

And I learned that some people in the Heathen community were not my friends.  They manipulated me, and they will manipulate others too.  But I feared that I wouldn’t have a community if I spoke up, or if I walked away from those folks, those citizens of the Omelas …and for that reason, I preserved the status quo in many ways, without even realizing that I was becoming the sort of person that disturbed me.

I even fell for some verbal masturbation in another group dynamic of the highest order and *that* spread across several other communities (including non-Pagan communities).

And I fell for it, because I wanted so badly to believe, to be accepted.

My father used to say, Question every damned thing…but I have no excuse but to say that my blind belief in the infallibility of my own discernment, let alone others’ discernment – led me to believe what I wanted to believe.  And that was my downfall.

I learned that lesson hard, and I am still dealing with the fallout of my mistakes.

There are manipulators out there who will try to convince you that they have your best interests.  They might  tell you that they speak for the community, or that they speak for the Gods (in regards to Pagan communities).  If I learned anything in the past six months, I learned that it is best to let others speak only for themselves, and in the case of Gods, that is best left to one’s own discernment rather than someone else’s.

Watch out for the human agendas.

Pay close attention to the behavior of the members of your community.  How does the community deal with dissenting/unpopular opinions?   Issues in most large groups always have the potential to devolve into human political drama, but when what started small goes unchecked…communities can quickly become polarized, and things can get ugly before you know it.

Sometimes, often, people are fallible and don’t understand as much or as well as they hoped that they could.

I don’t even know how to put it into words, but you must trust yourself.  You must trust yourself first.

Please don’t let anyone else tell you that they are saying something to you for ‘your own good.’

And please, in the regards to possessory work in the Pagan community, question those whose messages begin with

‘[This God] told me that I must tell you…’

Question that message especially hard if that message comes out of the blue, especially if it comes unsolicited.

Look for patterns in your own life.

Do they jibe with what feels right to you?  Trust your instincts.

In the case of Gods, does what you’re being told jibe with the impression that you get from Them on other occasions?  (Because if a horse/spiritworker has an agenda, that agenda will become apparent… eventually.)

And so I must thank that person who warned me a full year and a half in advance about some of those people that I allowed myself to fall in with.  The person didn’t exactly name names, but I ignored the warning because I wasn’t ready to see what was being said, just like always.

But nearly everything that that helpful person had warned me about has come to pass, but I ignored zir words.  I ignored the pattern.

As well, regarding my spiritual relationship,  I had a spiritworker tell me, don’t feel as if you must have the devotional relationship that you think that you should have.  Let Him tell you what He wants.  And He did…oh He DID, but I, being me, being human, wanted what I wanted.  In the end, He still got what He wanted…but I learned some terribly difficult lessons in that interim of three years ago to now.  Am I angry with Him?  No, because all He ever asked of me was that I should trust Him, and I didn’t.  Sometimes I still don’t, because my dad taught me to question damned near everything.

One would think that I would know better, but I didn’t.

So with that in mind, the good mentor welcomes being challenged, being questioned.  You are learning, and the purpose of the mentor is simply to assist you toward your inevitable path.  But it is a path that only you must walk, that only you can walk.  The mentor doesn’t necessarily walk with you, since we all must must walk our own paths.  So don’t be afraid to question your mentors.

And on that note, you don’t have to listen to me, either.  You can discredit this post entirely if you’d like.

Hel, if you choose, you don’t have to listen to your friends, or your mentors, or even listen to Them….no matter how many clue by fours that They –and the Universe – throw at you.

Believe you me, you’ll get the message if you’re supposed to hear it.  Eventually.

And if you don’t get the message, then the message becomes a lesson.

If you don’t learn your lesson, then the lesson becomes an issue. 

And if you don’t recognize the issue, then the issue becomes the problem. 

And if you don’t fix the problem, then the problem becomes a full-blown crisis.

And me being me, I’ll admit that I chose to ignore the messages until I had moved the story all the way to full blown crisis mode.

I’ve gotten the gist of the fact that often the melodramatic is what I notice best at times….and so such things being what they are, that’s always been my work.

Shit wasn’t just about to get real, shit got real, moved in with a squatters rights mentality, and lived rent-free in my head for quite a while there.

So I’d like to point out that you can trust yourself, you can trust Them if that helps you, but you don’t have to trust me.

I’m learning just like you.

~~~

I was angry.  I was sad.  I was afraid.

I may have even been a bit too into my cups there, but I am more than sober now…and I don’t care.

Let them come.

Let the community – kink, Heathen, Pagan, Lokean – let them come and say (and do!) what they will.

Loki’s my God, and if He’s your God too, you know what to do.

Speak your mind.  And stand up for what you say.

And don’t you dare stop speaking the truth …even if it gets you kicked out of the goddamned party.