I was extremely resistant to writing this post, as I know it will trigger tons of people… but fuck it. I feel it needs to be addressed and spoken about and I will not feel in peace with myself if I don’t do it… So here it is.
I saw a video on Instagram today entitled ‘Always find time for your loved ones’ which depicts a typical, so often seen scenario of a daughter visiting her old father, promising that she’ll call him, then she doesn’t, always being busy with other stuff, days passing, missed calls accumulating, she delays calling back and then she finally does call… and bam. Dad had a stroke. (you can see the video here: https://bit.ly/2Lmj1ge )
Well, it is not something that I hear/see for the first time, I believe we have all been brainwashed with that story of ‘do it even if you don’t feel like it, ‘cause you will be sorry when they die’, but for some reason it really pissed me off today and I got to see it in such a different and clearer perspective.
So where to start off?
Firstly, the taste you are left with after watching the video is GUILT. I understand the intention and the idea of ‘reminding’ people to call their family members, friends etc., but how really beneficial it is to anyone to do so from the place of guilt?
You see, in the old paradigm those things functioned, we saw the relationships as ‘give and take dynamics’ in which we are trying to maintain the balance between the two, it was all about physical, palpable action, completely unaware about the IMPORTANCE OF THE INTENTION that’s underneath. And that intention, guys, is 99% of it!
The sole act of reaching out or doing any other "3D action" is only a cherry on the top and quite useless one if all of the cake is made of rotten rats and dead snakes and spiders and all that junk, or of: guilt, shame, obligation, worry of what others might think or what we are ‘supposed to do’.
What passed through my mind watching that video was: if the relationship that girl had with her father was really good, strong and healthy one she would gladly call him, without even needed to be reminded of it! She would do that cause it'd fill her heart with love, joy, tenderness and add an extra sparkle to her day. She didn’t feel compelled and called to do it, for whatever conscious or (more probably) unconscious reason, so why should she regret her decision of not calling him once he’s dead?
I know that this sounds heartless and brutal, but guys we need to get honest with ourselves and this illusionary image we are feeding into just ‘cause we were told to do it that way…
THERE IS ANOTHER WAY.
The way that IS more heart-centered, more honest, fuller and leaves everyone nurtured instead of drained. Because that’s what these kind of ‘give and take’, obligation-propelled relationships leave us feeling - drained and disconnected. It is all a fucking show and there’s no heart in it, there’s no truth in it and the funny thing is we are all aware of the nonsense of it all, yet afraid to speak up and call the things for what they really are.
Since I was little I never understood why we had to pass annual torture of Christmas Eve dinner in our grandparents’ house which no one ever enjoys, everyone wants to escape from as soon as possible and judgment, tension and all different yucky stuff are more present than the oxygen in the air. “It is just once a year, they are old, they will die soon’, that’s the explanation I got.
The thing is, if you go somewhere from the low-vibrational state, bringing with you all the resistance and density with the idea that you are ‘doing a favour’ to someone ‘cause they invited you, you are just damaging both yourself and the other person! Plus wasting everyone’s time. Energies are real thing and doing something (anything!) out of alignment cannot benefit anyone. No one. Please, try to grasp this ‘cause it is important.
Times are quickening, frequency rising and what may have worked quite well some 10, 20 years ago isn’t valid anymore.
Now, back to the girl from the video. Does the fact that she didn’t feel the desire to call her dad mean that she doesn’t love him? Of course not! Well, I cannot know if imaginary cartoon character from the video loves her dad or not, but I know very well that calling someone doesn’t necessary mean we love them. We may hate someone and still call them, no? It doesn’t mean shit really. It is just that 1% cherry thing fueled by 99% of intention that can be literally anything. And I, personally, wouldn’t like nor my daughter nor my friends to call me out of obligation or guilt or any other low-frequency state.
The another reason why I am sure that she might love her dad to the last cell of her being and still refuse to call him is because I haven’t spoken to my parents in almost 2 months. It is hard to say this out loud, because I know how much judgment and disgust with my behaviour is coming my direction right now, but it is ok… I can handle it.
Do I love my parents? I do. Of course I do. (Well, not ‘of course’ - I am sure there are people who don’t love their parents and I hear you, guys, no judgement at all about that.)
Lots of shame comes up when I admit that I am refusing to talk to them other than exchanging few short messages on a weekly basis, but that shame… that shame is not my own. It is a cultural one, societal one. I am ashamed because ‘good kids’ call their mums and tell them what they are up to, ask their dads about lower back issues or whatever. That shame is not mine, it is imposed.
The shame that WAS mine was when I talked with them for an hour or more, dryly exchanging the information, playing the role of a good daughter, acting as if we have ‘that connection and relationship’ that we - let’s be honest - don’t have. After every single call like that I’d feel super drained, triggered, disconnected, unheard, unseen and.. triggered once again - feeling small, unworthy, wanting to cry and punish myself and my body in some way.
I am jealous of my friends who cannot wait to call their moms and share their lives over the phone and get their fuel that way, but I cannot pretend I have that kind of relationship with my mom, because I don’t. Should I try to act it out so I can ‘fit in’ and feel normal even though after talking with my mom even for 5 minutes I feel the urge to cut my face with a razorblade?
I still do love both of my parents and things can change in any moment, but at this point I need to protect myself and have my own well-being as a priority. It took me so many years to come to this point, though.
All of my life I lived out of place of ‘owing something to my parents’, as if needing to pay them off for all the food, shelter, education and clothes they provided to me. I don’t know where I picked up that storyline, but it ruled my life up until, maybe, one year ago.
I had to have good grades, cause dad works hard to buy us food, I did stuff that I didn’t want, again, just to ‘give back’ and I know I am not the only one - many families function in that manner, especially in the part of the world where I was born. Who does really benefit from that on the emotional level? No one, that’s righ!.
It is give and take, economical exchange, deprived of love, deprived of meaning, deprived of connection.
Correct me if I am wrong, but the motivation to bring kids to this already quite messed up world should be LOVE, wanting to pour love into a new creation, new being, guide them and show them the way, be the vessel through which they will come through, but not making them your slave or programming them to always feel as if they 'owe' you something.
They don’t owe you anything.
Not calls, not Christmas presents, none of that. ‘But they ‘should’ want to do that’, you say.
Well, if you showed up in the loving, compassionate, trust-inducing ways when you were supposed to, they’d probably want to continue the relationship once they are out of the house. But, if that's not the case, don’t expect silly things. Don’t obligate them or guilt them into ‘showing you love’ - cause that won't be love anyways. You can try to fool yourself into believing that it is love or at least use the material to show off to your neighbours and feel loved while talking how you son calls you threee times a week... But, that is not love, my dear. Far from it and, let's not bullshit youself - you know it.
At the bottom, you know it.
You cannot beat someone into loving you. Accept the truth of the state of your relationship, accept the emotional blockages you hold within and, if both parties are ready to work on their shit, release the blame, be vulnerable - maybe one day you will receive those unsolicited calls and visits. And maybe not.
Love comes in many ways, not only through phone calls and heart emojis.
Please, guys, let's stop.
Let's stop doing things ‘out of sense of duty’. We are just fooling ourselves, feeding the collective illusion and, which is the most important probably: we are preventing yourselves from having the most magical, alive, nurturing relationships with people around ‘cause we are continuing to act out of rubbish, low-frequency intentions.
Let's come back to our hearts and stop this nonsense.
It is the time.
I love you
I can still recall the flavour
of excited anticipation
whenever you arrival
I can still feel the flushes
of hope and terror
stepping over each other
dripping from the sides
of my neck and cheeks
while trying to foresee
what the familiar wrapping
holds for the day
A bittersweet risk
A guessing game
All or nothing
I refined my senses
Attuned my inner ear
in order to perceive the subtleties
the ingredients of the air
that spoke before you did
so I could protect myself
put up the blinders
to reflect the arrows
and stay immune
to the unconscious sharpness
of your words
I became a master
of crafting the thickest cloth
and wrapping it around my chest
until it impeded my movements
there was only so much poison
that the tiny room could store
so I redirected the rest
to my legs, arms and bones
At evenings, though,
as my grip would grow softer
silent streams of torment
would find their way into the cave
and my eyes grew duller
my vision blurrier
as if trying to soften the image
to make it all easier to digest
and the sequence of motions
in which I wrapped the cloth around
escaped my mind
so I suddenly found myself
in a permanent desert
of my own creation
unable to recognize the water
even when it was offered to me
unable to let it inside
as the cloth would soak it all in
before it even got the chance
to surpass those
heavily sealed gates
In the midst of the floods
I’d stay dry
and guided by the
I’d wander the roads
nights on end
drinking from every puddle
getting swept in a trance
on even the slightest taste
of what I was looking for,
yet never really finding
the exact match
to fit the mold
made on order
mold that has your shape, dad.
I prayed for your heart
and cursed those
that having their own closed
made you lose yours
I craved for the warmth
for a moment of presence
sacrificed my ways
to assimilate your projects
hoping that then I’d be deserving
of your fullness
to be seen
to be heard
to be felt
to be held
to feel safe.
instead I searched for safety
in the unsafest of places
overdosing on danger
treating the pain
with another layer of its same
using my drawing skills
for tracing the lines
along my forearms
in foolish attempts
to get rid of the guilt
through the daily
never fully realising
what I was even guilty of
what was I even guilty of?
Come here, sweet child.
It is over.
They can no longer hurt you.
Let me wrap you in my arms
Let me be the daughter
and the mother
all at once
Let me glue back together those broken glasses
Let me mend back together your little bones
Soothe your aching heart
that they so effortlesly broke apart
You can breathe out, child.
You don’t have to be strong for me
You don’t have to be strong
It is safe now.
Let it go…
Feel it all…
They can no longer hurt you.
Allow those walls to crumble down
and receive the love
that’s trying to reach you
Let me teach you
I love you, dad.
it still sometimes
here she comes again
the one that cleanses
the one that rebirths
wanted and unwanted
despised and craved
sending tides to announce
that she’s on her way
never revealing though
the exact time
she walks boldly
agitating the sand
lifting it to the surface
together with all that's
been thrown down there
whilst she was away
no one is spared
when it comes to revision
there’s no escape
when she pulls things
from the bottom
and leaves you marinating
in those foul waters
and your mother’s
and your mother’s mothers
and your mother's mother's mothers
is it time yet
to collapse the dam
unleash the rivers
back to the ocean’s embrace?
i am running out of space
out of patience
remind me of
those warm streams
with magical properties
enveloping their branches
around my knees
anchor me to the soil
allow me to melt once again
into the arms of the Mother
be absorbed by the ground
so I can reemerge unbound
Sometimes I think I have done too much hypnosis, ‘cause every time I walk down any stairs I find myself getting more… and more… relaxed…. So, I take advantage of that and I walk down the endless stairs that chain the Cathedral to the Ribeira, indulging in the increasing inner softness that culminates as the river appears in front of me.
I am not sure of the origin of its name nor I am about to bother myself and look it up.
I prefer having my own stories about the names and I like to believe that this river is made of gold (de ouro, in portuguese), nurturing the city with its flow which energies are so strong that we are not able to handle it so we throw junk into it, unconsciously trying to volume down its loud healing properties. Eating the fish from the river made of pure gold sent people into mystical experiences and sacred revelations, which was unheard of and highly disturbing, so we polluted the river and all the inhabitants of its palace.
Our systems are not trained for magic. We don’t want purity and revelations.
It is interesting to take note of the names of the places and people. The city in which I was born and spent the majority of my life is named Split and that’s exactly what it has done to me - it splitted my psyche into million tiny fragments that I am still trying to glue back together. Then few unexpected turns and premature actions brought me to Porto, which is portuguese for ‘port’, a place of exhange, from which the ships part on a long journeys and come from the faraway lands, the place of letting go of what is no longer of service and opening up to receive something new that may potentially transform our lives in unimaginable ways. A passageway, a busy place, but not in the way that some big, intense cities are, but busy in the sense that there is always something flowing - flow of pilgrims on their devoted caminhadas to Compostela or Fátima, flow of the strong winds that cleanse thoroughly and without asking for permission to do so, flow of the time that is taken far less seriously here in Portugal than in my home country, flow of comments and compliments and catcalls that Portuguese men so freely give around, flow, flow, flow… Allowing, seeing, noticing, appreciating, but not getting too strong of a grip on anything.
‘Cause the ship will stay in the port only for couple of days until it has to leave again. Can you learn to drink from the juiceness of the experience without having to make it your own, lock it into a drawer and overdose on it until you are sick to your stomach?
There are those times when vomiting comes easily.
In one go we are able to release everything that was poisoning us and there isn’t even the need for sticking the finger down our throat to unlock those gates to liberation. Simply, the moment is ripe and we are free of resistance.
There are other times when we are green in our face, filled with acid fumes all the way up to the back of our lips, but something’s preventing to let the foulness out.
When we are younger we may still hold hope and try to calm the storm down and reverse the situation, but soon enough we learn that provoking the release is faster and more beneficial, so we stick that finger or bottom of a toothbrush and become witnesses and sources of the eruption, at the same time. Sometimes one go is enough, sometimes two and sometimes we need a break between several visits to the bathroom cause the amount of liberated space makes us light-headed and dizzy.
I’ve always cried when I vomited.
For the long time I thought everyone did, that that was just the way it worked, but I learned that wasn’t the case one month after I turned 10 years old. We were on a school trip with a boat and I won my first (and so far last) Vomiting Competition with a score of 3 times in 2 hour journey from one island to another. None of other participants cried.
It made me wonder, you know, that thing of crying when vomiting. As if there was some deep horror of letting go, even if what I am letting go of is something highly damaging and detrimental to my system.
At this point in my life, I know there lays the core of my experience in this incarnation.
I need to vomit so much that tears no longer come to my eyes, or if they do, I am completely fine with it, but - vomit, vomit, vomit….
Make a sacred and devotional practice of it.
Make it a central theme of my life.
That’s what the North Node in Scoprio is all about.
My shoulders, as golden balls shimmering in the light of the midday Sun, reflecting the warmth back to my earlobes, where it gets absorbed as a melody whispered to me by a fairy of a place that I once called Home.
One of the thousand places, that is.
(This is another, I believe.)
My feet, hidden and caged in a light pinkish cloth dangle from the edge of a thick wall, losing their depth seen from the above and animating static dryness of the grey, rocky background.
I can see the particles of sand, vomited by the Ocean, sparkling like pieces of crystals around rough massiveness of dark grey stones, making them seem somewhat less intimidating, as if the glaze had been poured over them - a kind invitation and comforting touch of encouragement to those still in doubt, still in reconsideration of the value of what they are about to give away.
It is true, though, you know, that there is a magnetic force being created when we intensely focus our sight toward a thing.
A pull of a sorts that requires willingness and concentration to resist.
A vertigo that comes as the consequence of that deliberate resistance to what occurs naturally.
One cannot then than question the utility of that resistance and seek the ‘why’ behind it. It has been programmed into us, labeled as our ‘basic instinct’.
But, what when it doesn’t come by default no more?
Who are we then when something that’s supposed to be automatic and instinctual transforms into something that’s pain-inducing and tastes more as the description of its opposite?
In that case, one cannot help but to seek the antidote on the other side of the rope and wonder if they had been lied to.
Or maybe, at least for them the poles switched sides.
Wind’s playing on ‘my side’
I am not sure
if I have opted for the side
It is pushing me backwards
further from the Open Sea
and back into
the Embrace of
this wise and quiet
built by people
of a Language
the one I had been given
this time aroud;
try to integrate within the space
of my cells,
get used to its presence
in my speaking organs,
unleash it from the guest role
and make it
a dominating one
to tap all the holes
from which my story
leave the roots
underneath the ground
covered in leaves
of the Tree
So funny you, humans, are.
Praying for help
terrified of having to change any of your ways.
Praying for change,
for a miracle,
a mystical intervention
and then holding with your
palms, teeth and feet
prefering to die before
shifting the way you see.
There are undiscovered lands
of joy and abundance
waiting for each one of you
if only you trusted a bit more
and controlled a bit less,
listened a bit more
and talked a bit less,
WERE a bit more
and DID a bit less.
Each one of your prayers
The question then is:
are you ready to
hear the answer?
are you willing
to let it all crush down
what you’ve put years into building
from the place of no heart
and act upon the call
that cannot be explained
it does not need?
are you ready to face the fear
that arrises as you’re about to
step on the path without
destination in sight
while the soul rejoices
and mind panically pulls you
to at least consider other choices?
You have the answers.
Your prayers have been heard.
Release the reins and watch with
how much ease and grace
The wall was covered with circles, drawn by the hand of a child.
Wobbly and insecure circles sprouting in the greasiness of a thick pencil against the illuminating whiteness of the background, yet circles all the same - no doubt about that.
Anyone could see it, but they didn’t agree.
They told her to look better or, better yet, not to believe what she sees, but to switch on that creased thing located in the top of her body and try to think her way out of it.
“It is important”, they said and seemed very worried ‘cause no one can live knowing that those were circles. That much they knew.
So, she thought and forced her eyeballs to conform to the imposed vision of non-circular nature of the images on the wall. Her eyes were burning under the pressure of injecting the illusion, but she was determined to succeed and see what others see and get help in the way that they can offer her help, because… who could help her with circles if no one sees them as circles?
She looked around to see how others did it and adopted some of their tools, putting them to use diligently and devotedly, like she did everything in her life. Vision started to blur and circles lost their sharpness and even though she never lost sense of their presence, she could not see them anymore and she started to dance to this new rhythm of chaotic abstraction that follows some linear thread and everyone is facing the same direction, in eternal waiting of the arrival to the place of the unknown name.
Their waiting is not calm or enjoyable, though. It is nervous and fidgety. It doesn’t allow you to stay present with the scene you are performing, rather you are already on to the next one with the upper part of your body while the lower part is still trying to catch up, never succeeding in that mission. It is as if you are constantly scattered between two different timelines, terrified of them meeting at the same point, as if you could ruin your pace by doing so. Cut in that manner, you never breathe to your full lungs’ capacity, but only halfway - which is of the benefit to the game and surviving longer in it.
What would happen if you pulled in double of the amount in a single breath? How would that suddenly ingested space affect the happenings within? Would you be able to deal with the rise in the temperature, the heating of the lymph, the rush of clarity passing over the blazingly dull blurriness of your deadly comfort that leads you no place at all and you know it?
You know it, my dear.
Don’t breathe in, then.
Continue to dance to the rhythm you don’t even like, performing the steps you avoid evaluating, ‘cause if you did that would mean facing the tragedy of the time lost in doing something that was deprived of any meaning, beauty or pleasure whatsoever and embarking on the quest of finding self-forgiveness for accepting the deception of those things on the walls not being circles, when you very well knew they were.
Or breathe in - it is already too late.
Let that strike of clarity cut through your perception and multiply it until you see it all from as many angles as you can and feel the terror pumping through your veins as the hardiness of the soil underneath your feet withers away and you find yourself groundless and clueless, ‘cause nobody here teaches you how to fly. Of course you think about flying - the forced movement is the only movement that you know.
But, how about floating? Can you do that?
You cannot learn it, but you can let go of everything that you learned and make it happen. You can strip away all of the tension, density and resistance, release the grip to the fragmented aspect of perception that kept you anchored and dizzy on your journey to No Land.
Those still forming the part of the crew will raise their heads in disbelief and judgment, seeing you departing in the air, giving up on the game you played together for so long, feeling deceived and abandoned. What they’ll also see is that it is possible, that there IS another way. Even if it doesn’t occur immediately, the seed will not miss the hole. Then it is upon the gardener if they will allow it to sprout and blossom or dig it out and burn it in the fireplace.
It is not your job to go around convincing people that those were circles.
You know it for yourself and that is enough.
You can leave your legs to rest, they jumped in the place for a long time.
You can allow yourself to feel the sweetness of the realisation that the road led to nowhere and that the starting point is the finishing one at the same time and all those in between.
There’s nowhere to go, honey.
Those WERE circles, indeed.
I’ve been pondering a lot upon this concept of “alone-time” lately.
I have always been someone who charged their batteries in solitude and really enjoyed their own company. However, I noticed recently that the ‘quality’ of the charge I’ve been getting in last few years or maybe even a decade is far lower and less nurturing than the charge I was getting when I was a child, pre-teen or even in my early teens.
I heard myself saying so many times how I am my own best friend and the company I enjoy the most at the end of the day, no matter how much I might also enjoy being with some of my closest friends. However, that’s not really true, because I haven’t been really meeting myself for a looong time, other than in bits and pieces and even those were bitter and uncomfortable and therefore short-lived.
What do I mean by I have not been meeting myself?
Well, if you are with a person whose presence you truly cherish and enjoy, with the person who you want to see in the depth of their soul and absorb everything they are trying to communicate to you, hold the space for them, offer compassion and understanding - you wouldn’t be scrolling on your phone at the same time, or reading a book, or watching a video, or daydreaming about your ideal vacation, or… whatever. Not that there’s anything wrong with any of those, but they have their time and place and you wouldn’t be engaging in other activities (even if they are only mental) if your intention is to be really present for another - their feelings, their thoughts, their experiences.
You see now… I haven’t been present for myself for so long that just the idea of doing so is terrifying. Meeting the wholeness of my experience and facing all the shadowy aspects that start crawling out of their shelters once you direct the light of awareness on them is quite uncomfortable, to put it nicely.
So, we don’t do it. We find so many excuses. We trained our minds to redirect its focus so rapidly to some outward phenomenon or maybe even to some better-feeling thought if we have been religiously following ‘positive thoughts only’ concept, afraid as shit of anything that feels yucky and sticky and off, ‘cause it could bring forth some unwanted manifestations. However, just because you chose to suppress and redirect your sight from the thing it doesn’t mean that the thing will disappear.
I also think we are not meeting ourselves because we don’t know how to do it.
Most of us don’t even know how to fully meet another, which is of no surprise actually if we don’t know how to offer that same presence to ourselves. If we happen to encounter that empty space where we are not entertained and distracted by some activity and have a glimpse of what is happening inside, chances are the story will kick in as soon as we acknowledge there is something unpleasant there, being it sadness, shame, fear, blame, hate, etc. We immediately start to judge and shame ourselves for feeling that way and the momentum of toxic, self-depricating thoughts starts, gaining the speed, enriching itself by more bad-feeling thoughts and memories, nurturing and expanding its power, making us feel worse and worse, until we are so deep inside the hole that the only way ‘out’ is to actually distract ourselves. Grab a phone, a drink, a book, take a fast walk, go to the gym. From one side it can be a self-loving way to deal with the situation when we get too deep into that self-pity mind story, but the real solution lies in learning how to meet ourselves with love and compassion, without giving in to ego’s stories and succumbing to the judgment and shame.
If you are not sure where are you with meeting yourself, observe how you meet another.
Do you run away when they show sadness, rage or low self-esteem and want to be with them only when waters are smooth? Do you feed into their stories of victimhood and self-pity or try to aggressively pull them out of the low-feeling state, invalidating their emotions and maybe even getting afraid that those low vibes would somehow stick on you and make you less ‘vibrationally clean’?
When I was younger, I spent tons of time staring at the wall and feeling. I spent tons of time being with my parents and their friends, but really being with myself inside and feeling. I knew myself. I didn’t have the conscious awareness of any of it probably, but because of the lack of the available distractions at hand, the only way to somehow ‘entertain’ myself was to retreat inward and it was nice and comfortable and interesting. I haven’t yet learned to judge my feeling states, so I’d just observe and play with them. I loved being inside more than anything. I enjoyed my company the most at those times - when I was seemingly ‘doing nothing’.
Then we start to learn how to numb, how to distract, how to ‘deal with pain’ or sadness or shame with all this tools and techniques and if you are physically alone and doing nothing… it is like, wtf, go do something, go read a book, go call a friends, go help with the lunch, do, do, do. No time for being.
I forgot how to be. I left my safe shelter abandoned for so long that now is full of dust and dirtiness and all kind of old, weird objects that need deep-cleaning and rearrangement.
About 2 weeks ago, my phone got broken and even though my automatic response was to open the laptop and google how and where I can fix it or get a new one maybe - I stopped in the middle of it, took a breathe in - and decided not to take any action on it. I prayed the day prior to my phone falling apart for something that would help me on my path, whatever it might be, something to bring me back in touch with myself… and it happened. Universe never fails to give us what we need. It might not necessarily be what we want, but it is always what we need the most, as bitter as its taste may be at the moment of receiving it. Staying without my phone was exactly what I needed. The space that opened up without checking social media, taking photos and videos every day, listening to podcasts, going blindly around with eyes glued on the Google Maps as if there are no living, breathing humans all around that I may ask for directions as well… Scary amount of space, scary amount of silence.
It was just what I needed.
I am coming back to myself, re-teaching myself to be okay with whatever there is in those dark depths I left unvisited for years. I am learning to really BE with myself, as with a friend. As with someone I love.
And I hope that, eventually, it will start to feel again like the safe shelter where I enjoy residing that it once used to be, instead of the damp place that I am trying to escape at all costs.
Healing is a messy, dirty and painful process, but it doesn’t need to last as long as we make it last.
So, why does it?
Why do we keep on going back to our old wounds, talking them over, forgiving who needs to be forgiven and still, after all of that, we end up feeling like shit and those wounds continue to get triggered?
Because we do it through the mind and we are not even aware of it.
There’s no judgement here, because I have done it for years, as well, without even understanding what was really going on. As a society, we are so resistant to feeling and so attached and identified with our intellectual understanding of the world that we think that we can solve the emotional trauma with the same tool with which we solve mathematical equations.
If you tried, you know it doesn’t work, because the pain remains. Maybe it is a bit less sharp, once you revisited painful events from your past and understood that your alcoholic uncle used to beat you because he was struggling himself, or that that kid who stole your lunch money everyday at school was insecure and jealous of your grades, or that your mother was never able to love you how you wanted and needed to be loved ‘cause she didn’t love herself, so there was no extra love to give around… You may understand all those things on the intellectual level and feel some kind of relief when doing so… but it doesn’t really do much on the emotional level.
Our emotional bodies do not function the same way our brain does. You may have already discovered that just because something happened 5 or 10 or 15 years ago, when you revisit the wound it still hurts, it still hold the energetic charge, if you didn’t do the work and healed it.
Time by itself doesn’t heal. Time doesn’t really exists outside our minds that are programmed to organise reality in linear fashion, and therefore all the past events and the ways they made you feel are as present in your energy field as are those happening in the present. You don’t even need to have a conscious memory of what it was that caused certain emotional response, but that emotion, if not properly processed, still lives in your energy field and influences your vibration and consequentially - your ability to attract good things into your life.
If you have unresolved trust issues with your mom, per example, who was the principal female figure in the first stages of your life, you will keep on seeing women who you cannot trust in your life and get disappointed with female friendships all over again and finally deciding that you just get better on with boys, even though the reality is somewhat different. (Story I’ve been telling myself for years.)
So, if you still feel all that pain inside of you and are losing patience and hope, wondering what are you doing wrong, searching for another tool, method or book that may teach you how to forgive, how to overcome depression, how to… whatever. Stop thinking, please. You are going in circles and not making it easier for yourself. It is a great first step to gather the information and understand why of so and so, it calms your mind a bit, but your emotional body doesn’t understand shit of it. Your emotional body still may be stuck at 5 years old you who equals abandonment with death and there’s no ‘logical’ way to explain it that that is not what will happen.
See your emotional body as a garden and things that keep you imprisoned and in pain as weeds that grew over time and are sucking life out of healthy plants. You can research and understand why do weeds grow and it can bring you some relief as you figure out that it happens often and is not something so terrifying and scandalous. However, just you understanding it, it doesn’t make the weeds automatically disappear from the garden. You’ll have to go in and pull them out yourself and shed a tear or two, maybe sweat a little, maybe bleed some more… That is the only way.
I love you so much.
Now go and feel what needs to be felt.
A close friend of mine is going through some extremely dark times and I feel this huge necessity and desire to help her, even more so ‘cause I’ve been down there and know what it’s like.
What surprised me, though, is that my automatic reaction, words and tools I run to in order to try to help her were exactly those that, from my personal experience, being even more damage and pain to someone experiencing a depressive episode. I was shocked at how easy it is to forget and then started to wonder how difficult it must be to someone who never went through depression themselves to offer appropriate help to a struggling friend or family member.
In all of our eagerness to help we often bring even more pain to a suffering one that consequentially provokes even more closing and further isolation, shame and sinking. I remember that I’d often feel so discouraged and worse than prior to the person coming to me with the intentions of helping and I’d think to myself: “Can they just fucking Google ‘What not to say to someone who is depressed?’”
So, I am writing my version of it. It may not resonate 100% with every single person facing depression, but I believe most of the principal things are universal. Here it goes.
What NOT TO say to someone going through depression
My dad always uses the Croatian version of it and it makes me want to slit my throat even when I am not legit depressed, even though I know it is absolutely true and it seems to many people like a great thing to say when someone is swimming in those dark waters.
You may think it might bring them hope and make them see a bigger picture - it will not. It’ll do exactly the opposite.
First: you are not discovering anything new and ground-breaking to a person, they heard the phrase before and would prefer not to be reminded of it.
Second: they do know it is true, they do know that it is one of the Universal Laws and that what goes up, must come down, and then up again… and this makes them feel even worse, because they have been down and down and down for days, weeks and months. So, now they are not only failing themselves and people around them, they are also failing the very Laws of Existence. How hope-inducing do you think that realisation is?
2) “Everyone has their own struggles.” (and stuff like “Many people went through depression and came out to the other side. Look at xyz…”)
I understand the intention behind this - again, it is to awake the hope in healing and also to try to make the person feel less alone. However, it doesn’t feel good really on the emotional level.
People who struggle with depression are often ones who for very long time suppressed their emotions and pushed away the reflector from themselves onto another. Now, when they are finally seen in their authentic emotional expression of the moment… you gotta make them feel seen and authentic and keep that flashlight right on them.
It doesn’t matter who else got through it. Make it about them and them only. Honour their pain for what it is. Make them feel special and unique in their suffering, however fucked up it may sound.
There are years and years of unacknowledged emotion inside of them, so help them savour it. Bring the focus together on the particular aspects of their pain body and examine it thoroughly. We are so conditioned to shy away (shy is not enough of a word, we RUN AWAY like fucking maniacs) from any dark and unpleasant feeling state, but that is not the way those states go away. We need to look at them and illuminate them with the light of our consciousness.
The more awareness we bring to them, the faster they will stop giving us hard time, ‘cause they will get integrated.
3) “Look what a wonderful day it is! Doesn’t it just make you feel so much gratitude for LIFE??”
No. It doesn’t. The person wants to die in order to make the pain go away and you are trying to make them appreciate LIFE just because the sun happens to be shining brightly on the sky. Seriously?
When you are depressed, every day is torture and chances are life itself is your greatest enemy, together with people who are overly stoked about it. When someone tries to lift you up so abruptly to their vibrational point which is centuries away from your low state of being - it feels extremely painful, because it reminds you how enormous is that “gap” between where you are and where you ‘should be’ to be considered a healthy, ‘normal-functioning’ human. It brings up lots of guilt that leads to even darker mood, self-judgement and shame and all of those are favourite treats for depression and make it stick around for longer.
Again - good intentions, disastrous outcomes.
Ok, so we got over few things NOT TO tell someone going through depression, but what to say or do then to make them feel loved, supported and seen in their suffering?
One word: presence.
Complete, full, unconditional, undivided presence. Presence that doesn’t ask anything in return, but simply is. It doesn’t have to be for 5 hours at the time, it can be 15-20 minutes, but it is crucial to be present with the person’s state with no intention whatsoever of trying to change it. It will change when the time is right and you are not there to influence that. Instead, take their hand and let them walk you through the museum of their hurts, look at each piece and give them your presence while they are getting to know their darkest insides, very likely for the first time in their life.
The only way out is through.
And if you really, truly want to help, keep that in mind at all times.
Lots of love,
#depression #anxiety #recovery #bipolardisorder #therapy #healing #darknightofthesoul