Well its been quiet around here I know. There hasn’t been much time for words on a screen. Life has been happening thick and fast and it feels to me that in the past two months a light bulb has gone on behind a kaleidoscope of emotional baggage, fears, anger, pain, resistance, unresolved addiction and projections still very much within me. And when I say kaleidoscope I’m not really visioning one with pretty colours! To be honest it feels murky and so very, very humbling. I’ve realised how hard I still try to present an image of myself that is more developed than what I truly am. I desperately seek to have ‘gotten it’ before I’m humble to feeling it, all of it. There is a desperation to not feel humiliated, less than, or alone that keeps me clinging to addictions.
I have had to admit that in my desire to keep avoiding all of these feelings, I am not truly loving or living this path as fully as I would like to tell myself I am. For if I did embrace it, I would realise, I would know, that there is only to simply feel these feelings completely, and that love and liberation waits patiently on the other side. That I do not do this (this feeling bit) nearly as often as you may imagine, only spells out to me how much my faith is still lacking in what I speak to you all so passionately about i.e. God’s process designed to bring us home to Her.
On our trip home from Greece I was confronted with another truth about myself that adds to my resistance to God’s Way. I realised how much a spirit of rebellion, and an attraction to ‘lawlessness’ and defiance has been a part of my life, indeed a part of my character that I have taken pride in. I used to be the kind of girl who would show up at a family gathering with a twinkle in her eye and convince everyone (including Nanna) that doing a tequila shot and dancing on the coffee table was the most fun we could ever have. I could always be relied on to start the dancing or the drinking or the tree climbing or the daring act that was just that little bit out of everyone’s comfort zone. For a while there in my 20’s I was the life of the party.
I became a ‘humanitarian’. I wore op-shop clothes, watched foreign films and went to folk festivals. I could (briefly) hold intelligent discussion on Middle Eastern politics, I could deliver to you (possibly over your delicious dinner in your comfortable home) lectures on international arms trade, infant mortality in Africa or the treatment of cattle in feedlots. I could even tell you who was to blame for it all – McDonald’s & Starbucks, Imperialism & Nationalism, foreign policy, the ignorant western masses, Bush, Blair & Howard. In my smug state of being ‘aware’ and ‘informed’ I bought fair trade products, and wanted to meet more and more interesting people (read – similar rebellious spirits who shared or had only a slightly different take on my own philosophies) and I planned to spend my entire life traveling the world and helping refugees and having ‘experiences’. I didn’t want connection, I wanted to live. And if I had any sense of sincere self reflection back then I would have had to question why I thought the two were mutually exclusive.
I was a post-modernist girl with no clear take on spirituality or life. In short, the truth is – I was angry. I couldn’t figure life out, but I felt I had to, in fact I felt driven to. I felt oppressed by my family’s emotional demands, inside I felt worthless and I didn’t want to feel either of those things, I didn’t really know how. So I simply found a lifestyle that provided a sort of ‘socially acceptable’ way to live in my anger, the kind of rebellion that my Dad approved of. To add to that I got to feel pretty cool and worldly about it all (read – shove that silly girl who feels like she doesn’t fit in further down into a dark corner, keep her out of sight). I was feeding an image of myself that was illogical and unloving, believing it to be conscious, enlightened and educated. I was angry and lashing out in ways I didn’t even understand. I thought I desired to love and heal the world but I was full of judgement towards ‘wrong-doers’ and condescension towards basically everyone who didn’t share my views.
More than that, I found rebellion sexy. I believed that rebellion meant freedom and, wow, do I want freedom. A man whose own emotional condition validates and expresses my state of rage with the world; a man who lives in the state I have craved, i.e. the perceived freedom of no attachment, no emotional engagement, no pressure on me to give (which really means not that interested in connecting with me), well that kind of man has been my ideal.
Its been a big deal for me to admit how much these emotions are still driving my life, my attitude to relationships and most especially my connection with my soulmate, Yeshua. He, who is gentle and kind and patient with me, I push away because I still want to guard my heart. I want to demand that he live in rebellion with me so that I never have to face and feel how emotionally demanding my parents always were. I feel that my entire role in life was to make them feel whole and happy. And in the end, because this damaging role stifled the development of my own sense of self, I began to rely on them to make me feel happy and whole. It created a horrible dynamic in which I felt oppressed and smothered but also bound to them to reassure me that I was OK and loveable. So now, when AJ loves and longs for me I just want to keep the walls up. I’m terribly afraid that instead of giving me love he will be taking from me in the same way my parents did. The sad irony of such a state is that I become the person always taking reassurance and never giving anything.
I have really understood now why all of my previous relationships have been with guys who weren’t desperately in love with me… it feels like a scary place..
I know that the way to heal this resistance to loving and allowing myself to be loved is to place the hurt and oppression where it belongs (in my childhood) and to feel it. Until I do, I keep expecting everyone to be like my parents, i.e. needy and emotionally demanding. When in fact I see rationally, that no-one in my life, and especially not my mate, is really like them. This is the damaging power of unhealed emotions.
I see more and more the resistance that I, and our entire society has, to just acknowledging where the true hurt has come from. I believe it is because we fear the anger and rejection from the people who we have always wanted to love us the most (our parents) when we finally feel the truth of what they did in the name of ‘love’. So instead, we live in the anger and, if you are like me, we find a way to blame God and blame society for oppressing us, instead of taking the hurt home, to the space where the real grief of oppression lives; to the little girl who doubts her own worth and feels exhausted from providing to her parents.
My soulmate once said (slightly famously) that we should seek to ‘be in the world but not of it’
I believe he meant that while we may exist here, in this realm, that is largely dictated by fear and vengeance, we have the choice to walk as gentle ambassadors of God’s Peace and Promise here on earth; that we may be surefooted in His Grace; not full of the pain and punishment of the world but most certainly present amidst it, loving and forgiving it all.
I have felt in the past week that I don’t even want to be in the world. I don’t want to feel the hurt and potential for harm. I don’t want my heart to open wide to love and share and long and create because I refuse to be humble to the pain that is already there within it. I don’t feel that I can be free amongst the projections and rejections, the expectations and demands of the world… or do I mean… my family? Instead I want rebellion, I want to hold onto the belief that I can only be liberated while I hold my heart back. I fear being depleted by the hooks I have, the sensitivity I feel; only I do not let myself feel it is the depletion of the past that I still carry that burdens me.
It is somewhat energizing (amongst the shame and sadness) to simply recognize and own how much I want freedom. My soul literally cries out for it. In my haste to ‘grow up’ and ‘know it all’ I have believed that the sweet smell of this exotic animal, has wafted towards me as a danced on a table or smoking pot on a balcony in a far off city. Slowly I am coming to see that this scent of ‘freedom’ was merely a cheap perfume, that left me with a rash of shame and a pit of unresolved anger in my belly bordering on hatred. I have yearned to be ‘lawless’ in an attempt to break the chains that lie not only on the globe around me, but the ones concreted into deep places in my heart. I have learned that no matter how much I rebel, how much I run, or how much I mold myself into the kind of rebel that even Mummy and Daddy would ‘love’, I still feel confined, I still feel smothered and unable to embrace my true desires, lest I loose the approval of those around me. I raced out into the world to find my ‘freedom’, only to discover that I carried within me terrible feelings I could not escape. No matter how much I have tried to act out my rebellion there has remained in me the feeling that I am not free. My desire to be ‘lawless’ is bound up with wanting my daddy’s love, while at the same time I desperately attempt to escape the burden of caring for and sharing in his emotions.
I am yet to embrace again in my heart the knowledge that true, and lasting, beautiful and ever-expanding freedom comes from becoming a child who loves Law. I believe that there is a distant memory of this place stored within my soul. A feeling, a remembering of joining and creativity with my mate, of a capacity to love and give that was only made possible through a willingness to be humble and respect the Laws that a loving Parent had set in place. This kind of freedom is sexy – its sexy in an alive, vibrant, and engaged way. There is a voraciousness for life and loving of your mate that sustains itself because every part of you desires to move in harmony with Love and Law and to express and share your own self with that other part of you.
My guides say it best:
‘Sister, you must come again to the emotional acknowledgement of God’s infinite Love, Wisdom and Justice in designing the laws that govern our existence. You did not always find such acknowledgment weak! On the contrary you found this reassuring, safe, you took joy in honouring and acknowledging God’s Greatness and Goodness and your own pleasure was heightened at your capacity to grow and develop in the fastest, most expansive and loving way when you recognised and obeyed His Laws. Your soulmate has remembered such Truths and experience. There is great strength in that and it is only your links to D’s emotions of rebellion and ‘tantrum’, his complete lack of desire to take any responsibility for his life or actions that you absorbed and observed as a role model that keeps you bound to your judgements of ‘lawfulness’.
You do not trust that your true Father is good beyond measure and would not set in place laws that keep you small, weak-minded, weak or stifle your uniqueness. You have not yet come to acknowledge again that abiding by God Laws actually enhances and promotes your unique expression and passions. They, by their very nature, encourage and support you to discover the unique, magnificent, creature God created each of us to be.’