Warning: naughty language ahead!
I am not my story. I am not the sum of all my traumas. I am not my past. I am not my circumstances. I am not fury, wrath or anger.
But I will feel fury, wrath and anger for no other reason than to release them and not let them burn me up from the inside out. I will acknowledge them, give them the recognition they deserve. They’ve been with me for a long, long time, and to give them anything less would be completely disrespectful, because they’ve served a purpose. A big one. They’ve helped me go on—they fueled my survival.
But that fire didn’t come without consequence.
Emotions and stress are their own entities, and regardless of what anyone says, they’re physical. They wreak havoc on your mind and body. Everyone who’s ever laid their hands on my back for the purposes of healing has always asked the same question: “Have you been in a major accident?”
Nope. Not a one.
We don’t realize the physical impact stress has on our bodies until it really shows up; not until we’re hunched over, immobile, at the end of our rope with pain. Not until the pain gets in the way of our daily functions do we recognize it and decide to deal with it. Our bodies will kick and scream and throw tantrums, but until our bones have had enough and decide to really sucker punch us with agonizing pain, most of us continue to turn a blind eye to the messages our body is sending.
They start as whispers, gently nudging us towards small changes, like eating better, actually moving, retreating to nature. Anything that promotes slowing down, being mindful and making our way back to ourselves. Every physical manifestation of pain is a red flag that we’ve gotten off course, and the more we ignore the pain, the louder the whispers will grow until they develop into diseased, arthritis-laden, earth shattering screams.
Screams that will cripple our bodies and mangle our spirits.
They seem to come out of nowhere, but we know that’s not true. They’re an accumulation of every abuse we’ve ever imposed on ourselves, every toxin we’ve ever introduced, every memory we’ve ever repressed. Everything that we’re not dealing with rears its ugly, contorted head in different forms, physical and emotional. Don’t ever try to trick yourself into believing that everything isn’t connected, because it is.
Everything is connected.
Fighte Fuaighte—Woven Into and Through Each Other.
Everything happens for a reason. Everything has a silver lining.
We have the power to tip the scales whichever way we want, and the fucked up part of this whole scenario is that we let self-sabotage take over. We invite it. We cower behind it. We ignore the promptings of our bodies and hearts until we can’t ignore them anymore—until they paralyze us, staging a full-on rebellion. They wage war on us until we wake the fuck up and decide to listen.
For some people, this is a life-long battle that is never won, simply because they can’t see beyond; beyond themselves, beyond what they’ve been told. Beyond conditioning. Beyond fear and hate and agony and fury.
Which is why it’s so important we acknowledge and embrace these emotions—tip our hats to them, bow and nod. The more we deny what we’re ourselves and what we’re feeling, the longer and more painful the road back will be. The more we deny who we are and simultaneously hold onto where we’ve been, the longer we make our road out of hell.
We are not our stories.
Say it with me: “We are not our fucking stories.”
We are not merely the sum of everywhere we’ve been and everything we’ve seen and done, and we realize that when we stop long enough to reflect on those places and events to see how they have molded us. The “us” that we thought we were. The “us” that we thought we became.
But we really haven’t. There’s that spark, that warrior, that pure, untainted, unscathed, powerful spirit that’s been within us all along. It never left us. It may have been reprimanded, squashed and repressed, but it never, ever left us.
It’s that spark that is whispering…or speaking…or howling at us now.
It’s that light that’s still there, after all this time, beginning to be seen and returned to. And it may be awkward at first, this shift in perception, in sight. It might be uncomfortable to actually perk up and listen, to allow this light of truth to speak and be heard. It’s going to shake your reality, take everything you thought you were and hold it up to the naked, revealing light to be exposed.
It’s going to challenge your entire existence.
Great creation and love is always preceded by an earthquake of simultaneous chaos and destruction. And the greatest love we can ever allow is that which is burning within each and every one of us.
The greatest gift—the greatest miracle—we can ever give ourselves is the time and space and silence to return to the smoldering warrior spirit in our guts, allowing it to cut and slice and blast through all the years of damage and deceit and darkness that took its precious place.
It’s time to clear out the pit so we can begin to heal from the inside out. It’s time to clear a space for love and light to take up residence again. It’s so easy to allow a bottomless hole of despair fill us up and tear us apart, but that’s the work. Love is the work; light is the work; hope is the work. Faith and trust are the work. These are the easiest emotions to feel when we feel them, and maybe because they’re so fucking beautiful and radiant while we feel them is exactly why we’re so afraid of losing them.
I’m sure you recognize my noise and you heard about the Pit
Been told to be afraid of everything that lives within
But it’s much worse where you are
So will you go for it?
~ Silversun Pickups
It seems the only way to stop being afraid of losing them is to not. And it seems the only way to do that is to truly cultivate a love for ourselves.
Find yourself again. Love yourself again. Over and over and over again. Love yourself like you know you deserve to be loved and sooner rather than later, you’re going to be surrounded by it.
It’s natural law. It only makes sense. So let’s start reversing the rebellion of fear and hate and start rebuilding it from the inside out.
It only makes sense.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Catherine Monkman