feeling it out — “intuition saved my life”

i honestly have no idea what i’m doing with this blog, if anything. i’ve lost purpose, direction, intention.

it’s 6 months or so till i decide if i’ll renew. and why? does anything placed here feel so precious that i should pay for it to not be lost? i don’t think so.. but then again, i’m quite sentimental. so who knows.

for now, i’ll continue to follow what feels true, which is that i do not need to force whatever this is or isn’t. i don’t need to take so seriously the endeavor of starting something and therefore needing to keep it up. some things stick and some things don’t.

i feel exhausted by forcing life, by trying to solve life.

this life is a contraction and an expansion. it’s a breathing in and breathing out. i wonder if i’ll ever learn to not be in resistance? or maybe it’d be more apt to say that i hope i’m always practicing.

i get kind of resentful when people say that happiness is not something bought, that joy is something to be found in the now. as someone who grew up in scarcity, who understands (on a rudimentary level) what happens in your body when you experience trauma, it seems reductionist and often victim blaming to tell people they’re responsible for their happiness, no matter their circumstances.

but i remember that spiritual principles and material reality don’t always line up in a neat parallel. and there’s also science behind the idea that our brains create our reality. i guess my fear in making everyone’s well-being their business is that this is an extension of american individualism and an excuse to ignore everyone’s responsibility towards the collective.

anyways,

it really is nice to have a place to muse. i don’t have many.. i feel self-conscious when i do it in conversation with others, because i feel like i’m “rambling.”

and doing it in my head doesn’t quite satisfy the processing that writing allows.

.

i got rejected from a writing publication recently. one of my partners suggested for me to submit since the editor is one of his besties.

i think the hard part is i didn’t really entertain rejection as even a possibility. so when it happened i was caught hella off guard.

and in messy ass me form, i took my embarrassment, my shame, my lack of worthiness out on my partner.. how unfortunate.

this process of learning is consistently messier than i’d like. and more than anything, i don’t want to be the person who takes my pain out on others. and so we practice.

speaking of practice,

i’ve been practicing meditation. 5 minutes at a time, which i feel wholly satisfied with at the moment.

when i first started meditating, i was sober, in AA, and determined to “fix” myself.

ready to jump from beginner to enlightened, i’d attempt meditating 20 to 30 minutes right off the bat.

and for me, this was way too much. or maybe it was more so that i just wasn’t aligned with my intention. i wasn’t doing it from a place of curiosity but perfectionism.

that was back in 2018.

since then, i’ve had multiple iterations of trying meditation, almost always from the perspective of trying to improve myself as a human.

this time around, i’m really just curious. the idea of a pause like that to explore, to feel into my self, to seek some sort of stillness that isn’t passivity per se.

it makes me think of working out, which is relatively new in my life as well. i heard Jessamyn Stanley say about working out that if it’s not fun, she’s not doing it.

i don’t have much interest in forcing myself to do anything. because when i do that, i grow to hate the thing.

i’ve been jogging in the morning (it’s winter in idaho, y’all), and i haven’t been doing it to improve myself but because it’s fun and energizes and empowers me.

i’m not meditating to master my mind but out of curiosity. i love exploration, and my internal being feels like an endless land to trek. (i also wanna learn to fear myself less — my fleeting thoughts, feelings sensations.)

alright y’all, i’m gonna wrap this up.

long story short: i have no idea what i’m doing, but i felt better by the end of this.

love y’all.

❤ ❤ ❤

tracking ideological lineage | an inventory

i spend so much time reading and consuming ideas that i’m curious about what this evolution looks like mapped out.

[note: many of this books i’ve only read part of
F = fiction]

Feb 2021 – Now (oldest to newest)

  • Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado F
  • Untamed by Glennon Doyle
  • In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado
  • Quit Like a Woman by Holly Whitaker
  • The Age of Inequality by Jeremy Gantz
  • We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby
  • Professional Troublemaker by Luvvie Ajayi Jones
  • Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
  • The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker
  • Wow, No Thank You. by Samantha Irby
  • Women Who Run with the Wolves by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes
  • The Body Is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor
  • Dune by Frank Herbert
  • If They Come for Us by Fatimah Asghar
  • I Would Leave Me If I Could. by Halsey
  • How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell
  • Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
  • The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron
  • Wintering by Katherine May
  • Hunger by Roxane Gay
  • Radical Compassion by Tara Brach
  • The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz, Janet Mills
  • The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp
  • Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart by Alice Walker
  • My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem
  • Elements of Magic by Jane Meredith, Gede Parma, Starhawk
  • Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
  • Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino
  • Come as You Are by Emily Nagoski
  • The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron
  • Emergent Strategy by adrienne maree brown
  • The Choice by Edith Eva Eger
  • Self-Compassion by Dr. Kristin Neff
  • Daily Rituals & Daily Rituals: Women at Work by Mason Currey
  • The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr
  • The Creative Tarot by Jessa Crispin
  • Queer Sex by Juno Roche
  • Atomic Habits by James Clear
  • Polysecure by Jessica Fern
  • Drug Use for Grown-Ups by Dr. Carl L. Hart
  • The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy
  • Belonging by Toko-pa Turner
  • Becoming Dangerous – Katie West, Jasmine Elliott
  • Sex for One – Betty Dodson
  • Queering the Tarot – Cassandra Snow
  • Set Boundaries, Find Peace – Nedra Glover Tawwab
  • Yoke – Jessamyn Stanley
  • A Woman’s Guide to Cannabis – Nikki Furrer
  • The Artist’s Way Every Day – Julia Cameron
  • The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin F
  • Talking to Strangers – Malcolm Gladwell
  • The Year of Magical Thinking – Joan Didion
  • Body Work – Melissa Febos
  • Digital Minimalism – Cal Newport
  • The Guest List – Lucy Foley F
  • Atlas of the Heart – Brene Brown
  • Bittersweet – Susan Cain
  • The Ethical Slut – Janet W. Hardy, Dossie Easton
  • Finding Me – Viola Davis
  • The Witches are Coming – Lindy Weast
  • Art & Fear – David Bayles, Ted Orland
  • Not That Bad – Roxane Gay
  • The Smart Girl’s Guide to Polyamory – Dedeker Winston
  • Sacred Instructions – Sherri Mitchell
  • Shrill – Lindy West
  • In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens – Alice Walker
  • Tarot for Change – Jessica Dore
  • Who is Wellness for? – Fariha Roisin
  • Becoming Abolitionist – Derecka Purnell
  • This Here Flesh – Cole Arthur Riley
  • Paganism – River Higginbotham, Joy Higginbotham
  • Finding Your Own North Star – Martha Beck
  • Parable of the Sower – Octavia Butler F
  • Wild Mercy – Mirabai Starr
  • Generation Dread – Britt Wray
  • Make Noise – Eric Nuzum
  • Mother Hunger – Kelly McDaniel
  • The City We Became – N. K. Jemisin F
  • White Magic – Elissa Washuta
  • The Anthroprocene Reviewed – John Green
  • What We Owe the Future – William MacAskill
  • How to Heal Yourself When No One Else Can – Amy B. Scher
  • Queering Anarchism – Deric Shannon, J. Rogue, C. B. Daring, Abbey
  • Towards Collective Liberation – Chris Crass
  • Parable of the Talents – Octavia E. Butler F
  • The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers F
  • Becoming Wise – Krista Tippett
  • Hope in the Dark – Rebecca Solnit
  • American Detox – Kerri Kelly
  • Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults – Robin Wall Kimmerer
  • How to Change Everything – Naomi Klein
  • Never Enough – Judith Grisel
  • To Be Taught, If Fortunate – Becky Chambers F
  • The Left Hand of Darkness – Ursula Le Guin F

i feel like a loser

it’s a feeling i’m familiar with, one i’ve encountered time and time again. the sense of not doing enough, of never being good enough.

it nags at me, eats away at me, makes me hate myself and those that i envy.

this most recent occurrence has been triggered by a friend who i’ve always deemed cooler than me. the type of friend who when i check in with her has just gotten back from being abroad for a “fellowship.”

“how do you even get a fellowship?,” i question. “you’d know if you weren’t such a lazy loser,” i respond.

i understand that negative self-talk is toxic and counter-productive, but it’s here, and so i must give the critic some space to speak. we know each other well.

in No Bad Parts by Richard Schwartz, he makes the point that the crux of every part of ourself is a positive intention. so what’s the positive intention of the critic? to motivate me. to convince me to wake up earlier, sleep less, go to the gym, write more.

the issue is that this is all to prove my worth, as though merely existing is not enough to be worthy.

it’s also to some extent a distraction, because often what i feel like i “should’ do to be worthy doesn’t feel aligned. it keeps me from figuring out who i actually am and what i actually want. i get stuck in the comparison game, looking at everyone else’s lives and tallying all the ways i’m falling short.

it’s depressing and exhausting. hating myself is exhausting. but then i’m reminded of all the reasons i’m lacking, like consistently sleeping 10 hours. like what non-teenager actually does that? ya, that’s why i’m not more successful at anything.

you see? she’s mean. i’m mean. i don’t know how to motivate myself from a place of kindness. i don’t know how to feel worthy beyond external constructs of success.

i don’t know how to shake the feeling of being a loser. it’s nagged me all my life, and i don’t know if anything will ever satisfy it.

it’s all very sad and short-sighted. i know the measurement of a human is so much more than external accomplishments, but i don’t know how to shake this self-hatred that eats away at me.

i don’t mind the sense that i could do more to live up to my potential, but being motivated like this is heartbreaking, not inspiring.

i wish i had answers, but for now, all i have is pain.

calling out | reckoning | personal responsibility

i’m doing something that feels borderline reckless — i’m telling people how i feel. well, to be more accurate, i’m sharing my long-standing resentments with people.

it’s been a year of reckoning, you could say. a year in which, for seemingly the first time, i felt the depths of anger that’s been stirring inside me for years. from my relationship with my mom to old friendships, i’ve been coming to terms with the ways i’ve been deeply hurt and disappointed.

i’m attempting to speak truth to power. but inevitably, i’m in-turn being held accountable for my deep failings, my inability to name my hurt earlier.

many of the wounds that i’m seemingly naming for the first time have been festering for years, even decades. i have repressed, repressed, repressed until i could no longer pretend. and instead of trying to fix, i accuse. i realize now in writing this how problematic my approach has been, how lacking in accountability.

but that’s not true either.. i’m understanding how blinding my pain is to my responsibility in all of this. i remember that i’m the one ultimately responsible for how i feel.

i am the reason it’s gotten to this breaking point, that the only plan of action i can manage is breaking off the relationship. it’s a problem, i can see this. i am moving very imperfectly through this, and i can tell i’m moving towards seeing the errors of my ways. seeing the ways i have not clearly named my needs or negotiated them in relationship. because that would’ve been too vulnerable..

and to add nuance, because there is always nuance, for many of these people, i have named them. it is the disappointment that comes after naming a hurt and not feeling like it’s being met that i am in avoidance of. it is a lack of trust.

i don’t pretend to act like i’m in the right here, but i’m at a point where i have to name things wildly imperfectly; otherwise, i would not name them at at all. i would be paralyzed in perfectionism.

and so now, i must cope with the inevitable guilt. the guilt of convincing myself people don’t care, won’t show up. for the ways i’ve discounted those i love most. so ya, i’ve kept these pains to myself, and they’ve blinded me to seeing anything beyond them.

it’s tragic, and it sucks. i’d like to say i hope i learn something, but there’s no way i won’t. i hope i don’t cause unnecessary hurt in the process. i hope i’m able to find grace for myself and others ❤

depression as a heavy coat

when writing about pain, emotional pain specifically, it can be especially challenging to articulate the experience without sounding trite, vague, or both.

as i sit with the experience of depression in my body today, the analogy of feeling weighed down by a heavy coat comes to mind.

as someone who’s lived with chronic “mild” depression, or melancholy as an old therapist referred to it, the feeling is both familiar and oppressive.

today, it began with sleeping a lot and not feeling rested. it was the sense, upon waking, that i could fall back asleep for another 10 to 12 hours.

it is the inexplicable fatigue that makes just moving my body from one place to another a challenge.

i was listening to Tarot for the End of Times with Sarah Cargill today as she discussed the Temperance card:

this is a card i hadn’t previously had much of a relationship with, so my assessment of it was quite shallow. the traditional concept of temperance, of refraining from indulgence, is not one that resonates with me as someone in recovery from toxic Christian views that encourage denial of the body.

but Sarah Cargill’s approach was much different from the conventional encouragement of moderation. instead, she approaches the card from a perspective of the healing.

she speaks to pain as a “symptom of dis-integration.” and she also speaks to her own healing journey with chronic pain and physical distress, and her resonance with “alternative” healing modalities, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

inspired by her story and analysis, i googled TCM’s view of depression and came across this assessment:

“According to TCM, depression is caused by stagnation, or blockages in the Qi (life force energy). It is usually related to stagnant energy in the liver, spleen, heart or kidneys. Liver Qi stagnation can cause strong feelings of frustration, stomach pain and digestive trouble, heartburn or tightness in the chest, and headaches. Heart or Spleen Deficiency patterns cause worrying, trouble sleeping, and poor appetite. Chronic cases of depression with anxiety are often related to Yin deficiency, which causes irritability, restlessness, poor sleep, and back pain. An acupuncturist looks at all of these symptoms and treats the appropriate pattern with acupuncture and herbs.” (source)

depression as blocked life force energy rings true to me, because that’s what it feels like — like something is standing in the way between me and experiencing my life fully.

i think about the experience of taking a walk earlier with a beloved, and how simply getting out into the world and moving my body seemed to work to move this stagnant energy.

but now that i’m back in a apartment, laying in bed, writing this post, it finds me again, that sense of deep tiredness residing in my muscles, blood, bones.

if i’m being completely honest, despite dealing with depression for as long as i can remember, it continues to scare me. i remain afraid of its potential to swallow me whole, for hours, days, weeks, months.

i’ve been practicing somatic mindfulness/embodiment, which involves getting still and sitting with what’s present in my body. and i’m consistently shocked by how often the experience sitting just below the surface is one of fear. often this fear is vague, not taking on any specific form. it seems as though merely existing in this world is fear-inducing.

i cried today, held by a beloved, and when asked what i was sad about, i couldn’t help but think, everything. “i cried today, held by a beloved, and when asked what i was sad about, i couldn’t help but think: “everything.”

the world is a scary place, being alive is hella intimidating, and grappling with the existential crisis of humans potentially going extinct sooner than later is freaking heavy.

i think about my craving for justice and healing, and through that lens, depression seems like a logical and valid response. that’s an aspect of depression that i find generally lacking from discussion of it — its validity.

there is always enough tragedy, whether personally or collectively, in this world to justify being debilitated by it. but on the other side of this equation is joy, which is equally valid. there are always reasons with which to be filled with a powerful sense of aliveness.

this reminds me of a story from Viktor E. Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning:

“The story of the young woman whose death I witnessed in a concentration camp. It is a simple story. There is little to tell and it may sound as if I had invented it; but to me it seems like a poem. This young woman knew that she would die in the next few days. But when I talked to her she was cheerful in spite of this knowledge. “I am grateful that fate has hit me so hard,” she told me. “In my former life I was spoiled and did not take spiritual accomplishments seriously.”

Pointing through the window of the hut, she said, “This tree here is the only friend I have in my loneliness.” Through that window she could see just one branch of a chestnut tree, and on the branch were two blossoms. “I often talk to this tree,” she said to me. I was startled and didn’t quite know how to take her words. Was she delirious? Did she have occasional hallucinations? Anxiously I asked her if the tree replied. “Yes.” What did it say to her? She answered, “It said to me, ‘I am here-I am here-I am life, eternal life.” (source)

what gets lost in the experience of depression is a sense of wholeness. i wish i could go back in time and tell my younger self, “it is not that your depression is wrong, it is that it is incomplete.”

a sense of despair and hopelessness is as much as a part of this experience of being alive as hope and optimism. but when experienced in excess, it creates a confirmation bias loop, seeking out all that validates its beliefs and ignoring the rest.

my depression, for much of my life, has made feeling joy seemingly impossible at times. this is largely why i’ve self-medicated with substances as a desperate desire to know what it feels like to feel good.

so how do we move through the internal blocks of depression? i’m very much still learning the answer to this. the most coherent one i have is the need to disrupt the experience, to agitate it. to seek out experiences that remind me what it’s like to feel alive, such as going on a walk in a busy city on a nice fall day.

Sarah Cargill refers to tears as the salt that’s needed to bring out the full flavor of our souls. so i’d say the release of crying is also a part of it.

i remind myself that hope is a practice (or a “discipline,” as Mariame Kaba puts it). and when i’m depressed, practicing hope can feel like trying to lift a car off the ground. so many times it is an exerting of effort that seemingly has little impact. which is where trust comes in — a belief that it’s all valuable, that progress is happening even when we cannot yet see it.

i’m reminded that external manifestation is often the final stage of healing and change, which helps me to nurture patience.

there is nothing easy about healing, or the irony that things often get worse before they get better. all i can do is trust, believe, practice. and when all else fails, i dig deep inside myself to find compassion for the hardship of this lived experience.

❤ ❤ ❤

spiritual trust // rational skepticism — a practice of non-duality

“if you go looking, you’ll find evidence for both” — which do you want to quest for?

and also, how can you practice non-duality? so that these seemingly opposing forces can coexist with each other?

HOW do i create space for both?

let’s talk a walk through my recent tarot spread since i’m struggling to grasp what i’m trying to say. which is okay because i’ve been instructed to let go of logic for a while. so maybe it works for me to be scattered, to be piecing together a quilt of which i have no tangible vision. to choose intuition over striving. if i just surrender to the page, allow instead of “come up with”…

first we have The Fool, which represents setting out on a journey with a childlike sense of optimism and wonder. if you look at the card, you’ll also see someone blissfully unaware of the fact that they’re about to walk off a cliff.

so there’s a couple of messages at play here — is the fool, well, a fool? or are they all of us when we choose to embark on something new and exciting?

dramatic changes require risk, and to some extent, naive optimism… if you decided you wanted to open a business, get married, have a kid, it’s probably best to focus on the rewarding aspects of the venture versus all the draining, mundane, frustrating ones. if you focus too much on all the scary, hard, boring parts of change, your rational mind may convince you it’s better (read: more comfortable) to just stay where you are, even if it’s killing your soul a bit.

next up is The Moon, a truly lovely and mysterious card. for obvious reasons, when i look at this card, i immediately think of Women Who Run With the Wolves by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

there’s a lot going on symbolically in this card — femmes worshipping the moon with wolf/dog masks, their subconscious emerging from the water behind them.

this is a place i think many of us might be confused by. or, to be more clear, it’s a place that confuses me. i both know this place of deep mystery, and i don’t. it’s like, unless i’m in it, i can’t really fathom it. which maybe makes sense considering it’s inherently mystifying nature, similar to the experience of dreaming. it’s those experiences that take place in the cover of darkness, that we struggle to name…

it’s a stirring from deep within to commune with something wild and ancient, to embrace the chaos of existence. i find the way i access this place is typically through my body, especially if i can really let go dancing, allowing myself to enter a more trancelike state. in this way, i can connect with something primal. and oh boy is it cathartic and invigorating.

last in this three-card spread is the King of Cups. like any tarot card, there are multiple ways you could interpret this as far as the ideal expression of masculine emotionality. which at first i was like, oh, that’s stoicism. or maybe meditative practices in which you allow the emotions to come and go without becoming too attached to them…

but then i read an interpretation by Sabrina Scott that i found to be much more captivating. which caused me to question, what does strength and power, from a place of action, look like in relation to our emotions? to which she explains,

To feel feelings deeply is a form of expertise: hard won, gained over time through practice and intention. This card has big emotions, thick like the ocean. And it has just as many gifts for us, just as much solace, just as much beauty…

This King embraces a different type of masculinity, a different relationship to gender and strength and intimacy. Each round of tears is an initiation into freedom, a fuller expression of how we feel who and how we are.

the place where ideal action meets intense emotionality is the practice of feeling. there’s a lot of courage involved in giving yourself over to a big and scary emotion, to trust that, in the end, it will not destroy you. [talking to myself here.]

and the only way to build this trust is to practice, over and over and over again. it is the courage to allow yourself/your heart to be broken and mended back together, endlessly. it is the work of a king willing to truly show up for all that is at play within their [inner] kingdom.

to show up for myself emotionally is one of the hardest practices in my life. i still feel so new to it, far from the expertise of this king.

so to sum it all up: limitless, naive optimism –> communing with that place of deep mystery, surrendering to it –> the courage to brave the storm of emotional turmoil and hardship, trusting we’ll come out stronger, freer, and more in touch with our personal knowing and power

much love, good luck out there ❤ ❤ ❤

the act of writing as self-validation

“if I meet myself, if I am holding my own pain, naturally it’s easier for me to hold yours as well. I’m not waiting to be saved by someone else’s validation. I’m validating myself. Writing has been that journey for me, and though this process, I’ve made some of the most intense connections of my life.”

Who is Wellness for? – Fariha Róisín

I’m holding 2 ideas inspired by this excerpt:

  1. learning how validate myself and hold my own pain
  2. the ways self-compassion ripples outwards/extends towards others

i heard ashe phoenix on Dear Jessamyn talking recently about her experience being poly and navigating the hard emotions of multiple partners (and i’m paraphrasing here) — “when i start with ‘it’s not my fault,’ i can begin from a place of much deeper compassion for the other person.”

(once again, that wasn’t the exact wording, but that was my sense of her message.)

the way that landed for me is: if i can refrain from seeing another’s hurt as a reflection of me and my worth, keep myself from entering that defensive position, i’m much more open to simply receive their pain. [this makes me think of the harm of white fragility]

there are certain spiritual/psychological truths that my human brain struggles to wrap my mind around, such as the idea that if i did something that made someone feel some type of way, their hurt is not about me. see, where this gets tricky for me is that we are accountable for our behavior and in turn any harm caused by it.

so now we enter that space of holding two seemingly contradictory things as true. to quote don Miguel Ruiz from The Four Agreements, “Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally. Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves.”

i’m especially thinking about this in relation to a partner who shared with me that they’re struggling with a lack of affection from me…

so i have two options:
– fall into defensiveness, make a strong argument for all the ways i have been affectionate
OR
– start with not taking it personally and simply be present for the pain they’re feeling. not feeling enough love and care from a partner can be extremely painful, i know.

once i get past the “nuh-uh!” phase of the conflict, i’m able to get into the juice of the matter. and in-turn, i get to validate the pain i’m experiencing caused by feeling like i hurt someone i love, like i’m failing, like i’ll never be good enough (without blaming them).

“You take it personally because you agree with whatever was said. As soon as you agree, the poison goes through you, and you are trapped in the dream of hell. What causes you to be trapped is what we call personal importance. Personal importance, or taking things personally, is the maximum expression of selfishness because we make the assumption that everything is about ‘me.’”

don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements

ultimately, taking things personally, like someone feeling hurt by my behavior, makes their pain about me. it’s an act of humility and compassion to be able to start from, “it’s not about me.”

it’s makes me think of the difference between someone calling you something you know you aren’t, and someone calling you something you have insecurity or shame around.

for example: someone calls you a slut and you’re like “ha, that’s not even true.” but then someone calls you stupid, and because your intelligence is not favored by capitalism/society, you question it.

the only reason one lands painfully when the other doesn’t is because one’s a personal wound and the other’s not. so even in a situation where you feel hurt by something someone said to you, it’s not about them. because only the things we’re willing to believe about ourselves can penetrate.

[also, because i’m perpetually fearful of seeming like i’m victim blaming… this point makes me think of the adage, “the wounds aren’t your fault, but your healing is your responsibility.” and as much as that can seem like it sucks, it’s ultimately empowering. it puts the power back in our hands, away from those who have hurt us.]

anyways, i’m feeling kinda preachy now and that’s not at all my point. i’m ultimately grateful for the division because my internal work and another’s. i’m grateful to be given permission to start with, “it’s not my fault.”

especially since i’ve spent a lot of my life feeling very responsible for how others feel and adapting to accommodate them. i’m continuing to learn the difference between taking responsibility for my actions vs feeling responsible for how my behavior makes someone feel.

if something i’m doing makes someone feel threatened, it’s then on me to do the internal work of figuring out if my behavior is problematic, or if that’s something they’re projecting onto me.

cause to quote a famous AA saying, “feelings aren’t facts.” they’re valid, yes, but they’re not necessarily telling the full story. we can’t constantly shift our form to keep people comfortable (which is different than safe), because we’ll eventually become a nebulous being with no grounded sense of self and worth.

we need to be uncomfortable to grow. as far as lessons i’m continuing to learn on this healing journey, one of the biggies is the necessity to show up for discomfort. and the odd irony is that when we stop resisting, avoiding, running away from, the feeling/experience becomes much more manageable, less terrifying. [this makes me think of how i feel in a dream when i finally stop running away from the monster chasing me and just face it – relief]

which isn’t to say it’s not hard. some things, when we sit with them after avoiding them for years [trauma], feel like they could rip us apart. which is why having support, feeling resourced, and practicing things like titration are so important.

this healing is a lifelong journey; there’s no need to rush the process.

plus, i recently got a new therapist who specializes in trauma, so i’ll also try and pass some helpful nuggets along.

clarification moment: the ideas presented are meant to be applied on an interpersonal level, not in relation to systemic issues of violence and oppression. not taking white supremacy personally does not liberate a person of color from its impact.

also, i feel like there’s an argument to be made that self-help is generally made by resourced people for resourced people [essentially, folks not struggling on the day-to-day to survive]. this is where spiritual truths can get tricky — without rigorous discernment and paired with a sense of collective responsibility, they won’t necessarily free [all of] us.

individual and collective healing needs to be an interconnected process. if your healing hurts another, that’s not it. the healing is in finding out why/how something that makes you feel good causes another harm. [talking to myself here — thinking about my yoga practice, cannabis, white feminism]

anyways, just needed to throw that in there for balanced perspective type vibes (i mean it is Libra Season).

good luck out there ❤ ❤ ❤ much love, y’all