I’ve had a difficult couple of weeks. I have found new depths in this experience – facing difficult truths and emotions that I have avoided for a long time. I’ve felt afraid, sad, desperate and hopeless. Mostly these feelings alternated but sometimes they hit me all at once. I’m learning that part of the mastery of this path is to be with these spaces, without avoidance or a desire for them to be over before their completion. When I can soften into deep sorrow my being is glad to finally stop resisting what already lies within and to let the sharp edges of grief and loss diminish through their expression.
I haven’t posted mainly because I have been busy feeling and exploring these new (old) spaces but also because it’s harder to post when I feel fragile. It feels like a different quality to vulnerable to share when I am still in the sad space and when I know there are now people who read who are critical of me. But I remind myself that the reason I began to blog was to share my story. For the past couple of weeks I have been rediscovering parts of myself and my story that are both painful and poignant.
I have a half a dozen posts half written, about green tree frogs, a woman named Freda and finding the strength and joy in striving, but these will remain incomplete for today. I thought instead I would simply share some broad strokes and snippets from my journal and hopefully they can tell the story for me.
I’m struggling with two major sets of emotions at the moment. There are each overwhelming and intertwined. I’m grappling with the emotional acceptance of my identity. The mental and emotional pain of truly accepting that I am Mary Magdalene feels quite honestly in most moments more than I can bear. I tussle with just sitting with the reality of what I feel to be true and the implications of that for any length of time.
I’ve also been braving the experience of emotions of Soulmate loss. These were triggered sharply when I first met AJ and I felt him as Yeshua and me as Miriam. The feelings of grief were so intense and, at the time so confusing, that I suppressed them furiously. In the intervening years I have indeed been furious with AJ, blaming him for this grief and resolutely refusing to venture into truly experiencing it.
I’ve made some forays into these emotions in the past month but honestly I still struggle with this. There are parts of me that want him to pay for my pain. I want him to prove to me over and over again that he loves me so that I can avoid the crippling feeling that somehow his death was a rejection of me and something I deserved. These feelings are tangible. There is an anatomy to my pain that defies explanation unless I accept that we are indeed these ones who shared a life and great loss in another time. To submit to such emotions of course only triggers more issues about my identity. Sometimes I have the feeling that in order to stay sane I must allow these emotions that are undeniably a part of me but that in doing so I become to the vast majority of the world someone who is not sane.
I resist connection with my mate, I have us on this desperate merry-go-round of repetition.
I fear so much the level of grief, the past loss of our connection. Now I feel if I connect with him he can be taken from me. I don’t want to connect. I never want to feel that bad again. If I open my heart completely I will give people the power to hurt me so much – they could take him from me.”
Today I have been wracked with the grief of loss.
Memories of the torture and death of my Soulmate.
A feeling that all of the goodness had been stripped from my life and my person.
A tragedy for myself, my unborn child, for the world
My heart hurts so much with the grief of longing and loosing, God help me to stay with this pain.
Later that day I wrote:
To love someone with all of who we are, to desire them completely and with an open heart, to share ourselves without reserve, is one of the most – if not the most – courageous things we can ever do. It is also the most worthwhile.
Feeling the presence of my spirit guide very strongly during heavy processing, feeling unworthy of her love and attention, feel that I must get through all of the resistance alone.
I received a channeling in answer to my feelings.
Reading a book on grief, loss of a spouse. The book triggers so much grief surrounding Yeshua’s death that I don’t want to feel (powerful, overwhelming). I want an easier way out than to feel them.
I feel angry with God – why should I have to do this?
– In order to connect to God, to receive the Love of God, I must have a relationship with Him based on me being who I am.
– If I am Mary Magdalene this means I must accept this if I am gong to relate with God and receive His Love.
I feel like I can’t do this. I’m not capable, I’m not suitable for this role. I don’t want it.
God, why did you let me do this?
I’m not strong enough.
I’m sick of trying to be strong. I can’t do it anymore.
How much rejection must I face?
How much uncertainty?
How much loneliness?
How much striving for connection with my mate?
I’m sick of not getting it. I’m sick of the struggle. I’m sick of resisting feeling how hard this is.
This is hard. Its uncomfortable, it hurts. Everyday to stay connected to you God, everyday to stay connected with myself, everyday to stay connected to AJ I must face some terrifying truth about myself, who I am, my family, our life…
I know this is horrible but sometimes I find myself wishing I had other people’s trials and troubles. I love God and I love this path, in fact I want to dedicate my life to it. I just don’t want to do this as Mary Magdalene. This feels so hard and yet I cannot go on avoiding the memories inside of me. I’m exhausted from trying to.
Why does God want the parts of us that are the hardest to face?
Why do I have to face this pain?
Any other pain seems paler in comparison to dealing with this.
Where is my faith God? Where is my commitment to what is true? I want to shy away from it because it hurts me, it confuses me, it unlocks my deepest pains.
AM I WILLING TO FACE MY PAIN IN ORDER TO KNOW GOD?
Note: It’s difficult for me to attempt to have others understand the emotions about identity.
I realise in reading some of what I have written people could be forgiven for asking ‘Why on earth are you bothering if it feel so bad/ hard?’ or that somehow someone else is forcing me to consider this reality.
Believe me no-one could ‘suggest up’ or ‘implant’ the grief that I feel. The truth is that my pain and desperation comes from the knowledge that in order to grow I must face the things already inside of me. And the things inside of me say I am this other person.
The memories that I hold are from a life filled with hardship, followed by a brief, bright period filled for the first time with beauty, love and hope which sharply ceased. It ceased and we endured the time of Great Loss and my life again became one of hardship and sorrow. Facing my identity means accepting these memories and also experiencing the pain of others’ rejection of what I feel.
I feel I am a horribly flawed person, unable to change, unworthy of love.
I feel psychologically disturbed and in pain to consider emotionally the Truth that I am Mary Magdalene.
God, please help me with these feelings. I am so stuck – I don’t want to open-heartedly desire my Soulmate. I want instead to blame him for our ostracism. I want to protect my heart from hurting.
I am resisting so much. I am hanging on by my finger nails, white knuckled and stubborn.
I ‘like’ the addiction of him making me feel good about myself and me being passive. I get to have him ‘prove’ over and over that I am important and that he loves me. I risk nothing in this exchange. I don’t have to examine my true feelings about him or about myself.
What are the feelings inside of me?
They feel confusing. I am angry but underneath that is the feeling of being rejected by him at his death and my own feeling that this must mean I am worthless.
When I am brave enough to feel those feelings under them is a longing for him, a fear of loosing him and a fear of expressing this longing (lest I be ‘rejected’ again).
My heart is hard on the surface – angry and resistive,
Underneath I am afraid.
Beneath my fear is an ocean of grief and longing
A soup of loss and desire
I fear that I may drown in
Is my being strong enough to survive the torrent of emotions that threatens to overwhelm it?
God give me faith that I may grow and thrive in such a brine – this mix of sweet and salty water.
I’ve learnt two things in the past few months. They are this:
Firstly that our emotions truly begin to change and shift in the moment we fully surrender to them. I don’t need to make sense of them. If I trust the process and long to God for Truth and Love as I go through them, my emotions guide me to a place of more understanding and freedom.
Second, I have realised that the issues and emotions we resist the longest, that feel the hardest to deal with, what we seem most blocked to, are the ones that have the most negative impact on our lives and conversely when we decide to deal with them, have the most inspiring and relieving results. Also, when we truly decide to face them, then very rapidly a whole truck-load of emotions comes bubbling up. Of course they do! We carry the most pain about these things; it makes sense that when we go looking for them our emotions will arrive easily.
I always thought I was so ‘stuck’ on the big issues – but the truth was that I just feared that I couldn’t handle the pain. When I decided, in my heart not in my head, to face the truth of what I really felt, the emotions were not elusive or difficult to access. They were and still are extremely present and intense and the challenge is allowing that experience.
I was thinking this morning of our lives, as if lived at sea. In the storm we cling to our (by now leaking) dingy. Each of us has a dingy, constructed with the weathered timber of our addictions and the things that make us feel safe and in control.
In our panic at the wind and rain, we wish to hold onto our dingy, believing it has brought us through thus far. We dash around plugging up the gaps, exerting ourselves, believing this is our only way to survive.
Meanwhile, the steady steam liner, that effortlessly maintains calm in the turbulent waters, has thrown us a lifeline. All we need do is dive into the powerful sea and reach out to God and we will be carried to peace and calm.
But instead, our fear keeps us believing that the leap is impossible. It tells us that the dingy is the only certainty we know.
Right now we are each of us weathering some kind of storm. Even if we’ve become so adept at plugging up holes and building sails that we believe the sun is shining, somewhere inside there is a tempest of grief unfelt. We all carry pain and I have found the effort to avoid that pain has become exhausting. All that is left is to dive in deep and trust the tides and that life ring to carry me somewhere safe and warm.
My dingy in sinking and I’m starting to trust that a new reality may be possible, certain even.
With love and in shaky vulnerability,