navigating liminal spaces

there’s a saying i learned when i was in AA — “the only way out is through”

like many AA sayings, it might not have originated in AA, but that is now my association with it. it came from a woman in a meeting after she described a deeply dark period of heavy drinking and chronic pain in her life.

i’d like to adapt this saying in relation to liminality — “the way through liminality is curiosity.”

i’ve honestly felt like i’ve been in a liminal space since the start of the pandemic. it’s like i’ve been in a perpetual limbo, uncertain how/when to take action.

the thing about the prince of liminality card in the tarot is the figure hanging upside down, hooked by their ankle is cool as a cucumber. not only that, they’re rocking a halo.

so the question becomes, how do you find a sense of calm amidst uncertainty, confusion, dissatisfaction, or a sense of stuck-ness? we become curious about it. we let go of the internal resistance to it (i like to think of this type of resistance as getting in a fight with reality).

anyways, long story short, it’s about acceptance, expansion. instead of attempting to control or change, we relinquish ourselves to it. and in that place of surrender, we find peace.

side note: it’s hard for me to describe something that feels like wisdom without grappling with the sense that i’m spiritually bypassing the inherent human struggle of it. like being like, *in lazily fancy voice* “oh, alllllll you have to do is accept it, my dears”

let me be clear: i will attempt to control with a chaotic vigor before i attempt to reach anywhere near acceptance.

i feel like there’s this idea, and i’m not exactly sure where it came from, that acceptance of reality, of something we don’t want or fear is like giving up. when in actuality, acceptance is always the first step towards true change, right? (can i get an amen?)

the irony of surrender is that it’s actually quite liberating. letting go of control, allowing ourselves to simply be another human trying our best is actually quite relieving.

this reminds me of another AA-ism: Each person is like an actor who wants to run the whole show.

sometimes when we’re in the in-between, it’s simply because we need to be there. and when i’m feeling truly connected, i see it as Spirit getting us ready for the next step.

alright y’all, i’m gonna end there ❤ ❤ ❤

can i be self-honest without being self-critical? reflections on evolution of self

hey y’all, welcome back. it’s been a while..

i was recently reflecting upon/ruminating over my lack of consistency/follow-through. at my ability to be inspired and to then lose the thread once inspiration dissipates.

i reminded myself of a storytelling open mic i’ve tried to established more than once. or collaborations with friends that only lasted a month. or the somatics certification i got that i have no idea how to apply to my life. or my fleeting consideration to be a death doula. or having a freaking consistent writing schedule.

and so i began reflecting, sitting with the feelings of anxiety and disappointment, the sense that i was an incompetent failure. and a question emerged: can i practice self-honesty without falling into self-criticism? instead of falling into despair over all my perceived shortcomings, could i instead use the self-knowledge to evolve?

so i began evaluating ideas i’ve had that have played out and ones that haven’t. to try and work out what are the throughlines of what works and what doesn’t.

i can’t say that i’ve come to a place of intense clarity yet, beyond an understanding that i need accountability and purpose. i need a reason for doing something, and i need someone holding me to it.

i’ve recently been reconsidering human design, and my designation as a projector — the idea behind a projector is that they can’t create energy themselves. instead, they help guide the energy others create. the idea behind this nature is that you “wait to be invited” as opposed to imposing yourself on others.

maybe that explains something about the role that i’m supposed to play in the development and fruition of ideas.

but of course, this raises more questions than answers… i don’t want to think of myself as a person who doesn’t follow through, as someone with great ideas that never goes anywhere with them.

so i’m left at a standstill, trying to work out what i’ve been getting wrong. and where to go from here.

i don’t believe some people are just inherently incompetent. i believe, as diverse beings, we all need different resources and environments to succeed. i’ve recently been craving community and a mentor (to be fair, i’ve been craving these for a while, but i’ve revisited them with increased intensity during some soul-searching).

i need education, i need guidance. i don’t know how to create it myself, how to do it myself. and i guess part of this honesty process is accepting that that’s okay. that in this fiercely individualistic and entrepreneurial society, i don’t need to “prove” myself by doing it on my own.

and i guess that’s why the projector framework brings me comfort. instead of it being some lacking on my end, some lack of discipline, it becomes about my nature. it’s not a framework of “i suck,” but “i’ve been going about this the wrong way.”

so what are the conditions that will allow me to live out my purpose, to utilize my unique gifts in the name of the collective good? this is the question that’s been haunting me. and the more i strive for it, the more lost i become.

so instead, i follow the breadcrumbs of what interests me. i read/listen to the people who call to me. i take notes. i try to participate in my own education. i do tarot.

and yet, the confusion and anxiety remain. despite distractions or temporary balms.

i think about how this purpose-seeking is one of the greatest acts of faith i’ve experienced — to continue to hope, to believe. in spite of no (easily discernible) evidence in its favor. to trust in the process.

i’ve been coming to terms more and more recently the role doubt plays in faith. learning to understand that having doubts is not a sign of a lacking faith but of a healthy one. this relationship i have with Spirit is a living, breathing thing, so therefore fluctuations are natural.

but fuck does it hurt sometimes, those crushing thoughts and feelings of not being good enough, the fear of never being good enough. it’s enough to devour you, to keep you from ever even trying.

on an semi-unrelated note, here’s an image that’s been inspiring me recently:

two concentric circles -- one reads "discipline," the other "surrender." they overlap, which reads "flow"

much love y’all ❤

Can my pain be a gift to others?

“In order to succeed as an artist we must have two well-developed functions: our artist and its trainer.” – Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way Everyday

there are often days, like today, when showing up to the page feels beyond difficult, toeing the line of impossible, maybe even cruel if i’m entertaining my most bratty, reluctant self.
(with enough emotional distress, i can make myself feel victimized by almost anything, even other people’s victimization.)

the truth of the matter is that i need the trainer, or the parent (as i often think of it) to remind me that this practice will alleviate suffering, not add to it.

everyday, i wake up with something to release to the page – some worry, anxiety, insecurity.

i believe i’ve always been a writer, even the many years of my life when i wrote very little. a writer who does not write is a dangerous thing. our need to release grows and grows, and without our preferred outlet, we become restless, even reckless (at least in my case).

i’ve been revisiting a familiar pattern that has been hard to engage with — seeking out men who are clearly emotionally unavailable and disinterested in the type of relationship i want.
the point where it becomes truly toxic is the moment i clearly see their limitations, their unwillingness, and yet i keep pushing.
i don’t know if this is because i think i can change them, or because i want to abuse myself.. i imagine some combination of the two.

it is a pattern i’ve lived out time and again in my 20s. and it doesn’t take long to spiral into intense feelings of loneliness, desperation, and insecurity.

i start telling myself stories of how crazy i am, how desperate i am, how pitiful of a person i am, how no one could be attracted me in such a state. i start feeding off the emotional drama, getting that odd high of self-induced pain.
i come back for more and more (and more) until i feel weak and delirious, willing myself to stop. or more accurately, becoming too exhausted to go on.

it’s hard to not detest myself for doing this, to not continue to feed the self-destructive monster with the awareness of what i’m doing. i honestly believe it is the grace of something both outside of me and within me that gives me the resolve to stop.

it is often the love of others that convinces me to love myself, because i understand the ways in which my own self-love (or lack thereof) influences my relationships. and because i don’t want to live in a world of cruelty, i recognize that cruelty towards self is often where it all begins.

breaking patterns of self-harm feels like its own version of breaking inter-generational trauma/curses. rising above the narratives offered to women as emotionally desperate creatures, especially in relation to men, is no easy feat. there are many stories i tell myself that have been given to me and to my ancestors for so long, they can be hard to see beyond.

the truth feels nestled in that deep crevice discovered after peeling back layer after layer of stories around my behavior.
and in that core is the reminder that i am human like the rest of us. that i crave connection, security, the feeling of being loved. that that does not make me desperate but human. that loneliness is an element of this lived experience, not an indication of me being broken.

when i remember my humanity is reflected in all of humanity, the ability to be self-compassionate and kind becomes much more accessible. because it’s no longer about me, but all of us. i am reminded that my suffering is the suffering of so many.

laying in bed last night, decompressing from the emotional spiral i’d fallen down, i contemplated all the people in the world experiencing loneliness at that exact same moment as me. and then i thought, heck, how many people just on my block are feeling lonely right now?

this perspective is incredibly helpful. it reminds me i am not actually alone, that my suffering connects me with so many. it urges me to open my heart in those moments when it so desperately wants to close.

it prompts me to not take someone’s inability to receive me as personal, to consider their own loneliness and suffering as well.

it’s truly humbling in the most generous way, creating space to grieve without the unnecessary layer of feeling broken, wrong, or bad.

it gives me permission to be human, which is all i can ever expect of myself.

it reminds me that feeling pain is not a burden or a punishment, but a reminder.

and so i move forward, practicing the question, “can my pain be a gift to others?”

may i remember that love is acceptance of every detail of my humanity. that strength is acceptance. that inter-connectedness is the truest collective nature. that my ancestors hold me even when i cannot hold myself.

happy monday. love y’all ❤ ❤ ❤