September 13, 2012

Waking Up to Love: It Can Be a Real Bitch!

Part of the human journey involves waking up from the deep slumber of forgotten love.

Know any Rip Van Winkles who have fallen asleep here?

The thing with awakening to love is that it’s pretty much impossible to sustain for two reasons.

First, falling back to sleep is so familiar. It’s where most of humanity lives. Hence the violence and aggressive stimulation that passes for entertainment or the cultural entrenchment in global societies.

Second, staying awake requires facing fears tracing back into early childhood or teen trauma. And who wants to do that? The answer is people who are desperate to let love back into their lives.

For years I fluctuated in a state of perpetual motion rocking back and forth like a pendulum between the elation of feeling in love with life and crashing into the bottomless abyss of depression where I wanted to end my life.

When riding the love end of the spectrum, I was shocked to discover that it wasn’t always safe to express this love. And when I nosedived into depression, I directed all my energy into pretending that nothing was wrong. Can anyone relate?

Prior to being married, dance was my great love. Moving my body to music was the soul expression of my heart. But in my teens I quit dancing along with other expressions of my love. Why? Because I didn’t feel good enough. Plus I was too busy trying to prove my worth by pleasing everyone else. In an heart-backwards-way I was trying to build some sense of self-esteem.

For moments when the pendulum swung back, I’d catch glimpses of a spiritual truth in my heart—and I knew there must be a path back “home” to it.

Every day I practiced yoga and created nurturing heart spaces to hold and adore the children whom I brought into this world. But I just had no idea how to stop that cursed pendulum from swinging back the other way.

As my little ones got older, I began seizing opportunities to develop my skills as a healer and reclaim dancing as a sanctuary ritual in my life. On rare occasions I got agreement from my husband to leave home for yoga teacher trainings, Danskinetics, teacher intensives and belly dancing workshops. At these retreats I began feeling empowered in my center and in love with life. The currents of euphoria were like a coming home to my heart.

Then I’d return home to my family. Each time within a few days I’d crash. Feeling overwhelmed by the pendulum swinging into fear, shame, doubt and the muck and insanity of my mind. I was awakening to my true love. Yet I kept losing it. It wasn’t anybody’s  fault. My mental distortions just kept getting the better of me.

The next installment will answer how I got the pendulum to stop swinging.

Editor: Lynn Hasselberger

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