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I like knowing that I am more than my wounds.
That I am not just a collection of mud and sadness and trauma—the echoes of all the terrible sh*t that’s happened to me.
There is this thing within us that burns and blazes, it is always there.
It utterly drips with life.
I am grateful.
I am grateful for the ways my wounds are unwinding every day, from the spool of string that leads to the broken, but healing bits of my heart. I am grateful that my eyes can finally relax, that I can see into the world without the old, accompanying lens of fear and anger and pain.
My vision is clear. My heart is full of fire.
I step across the sh*t and pain like I am dancing, like the ruby silk of a dangerously red dress clings to my body as the sides blow back from the wild heat, the steady determination of my flames.
And as I have unpeeled layer by layer—I am so naked.
The skin underneath is flushed and pink, and newly-born.
Yet I don’t feel exposed.
I feel stronger than ever.
Sexier than ever.
More in touch with my body, my power, my needs—than ever.
More womanly than ever.
I feel utterly in love with the pulsating richness of life, the possibilities, the way that I am in contact with my own mind and heart. It feels sweet and bold, like the overflowing nectar of a brazen scarlet flower in mid-July.
So I see that it’s not impossible: we can let go. We can heal.
Yes, even from the things that seem tragic, hopeless, raw, utterly unfair, and completely un-healable.
We can love again.
I had no idea.
For a long time, like many of us do—I lost hope. My suffering was a sea, the all-consuming kind that swept me away in the undertow with all the intense and scary symptoms of PTSD.
But as I clear the way in front of me, the past is not so alive anymore—it becomes a string of memories, it becomes dust and smoke and wisdom.
I walk forward from the flames of it all, the hell of emotional abuse, the confusion, the fear, and all the ways I lost myself.
I step forward.
I am summertime, and I am in full freakin’ bloom.
‘Cause I love the ways we are resilient, how we shimmer and grow in the cracks of sidewalks, how we can split rock and move mountains if we have to.
I love our phoenix hearts, the way nothing can keep us down. That’s right—nothing.
And I feel you out there, fiery one—I know you’re digging deep. I know you’re gritting your teeth with a fierce tenacity to make it through the day sometimes. I know it can hurt so much. And I know the ways you might hold it together for the world and how you fall apart into an ocean of tears when you come home at night. Yes, I know that like the back of my hand.
But day by day—
You are doing it.
We peel off the pain, we touch it, process it, kiss it, understand it, honor it, and feel it in our bodies most of all—
And then we let go.
We make the impossible possible.
We do it with the sheer grit of our will, by the surprising softness of grace.
We do it with our bravery.
We dance with our demons, but we don’t become the shadows.
With our jaws agape, we see that even rage can be transformed. Yes. Even brokenness. Even fear. Even trauma.
For I will never tire of making my pain into art, into words made on the vapor trails of tears and the hardest times ever.
And so maybe it’s like this—our wounds ache, then fester, dissolving into glorious compost—and then they blossom. A rich nectarine grows. The juice drips down our chins in jeweled glory…
Oh, yes. I lap up that sweetness like it’s gold.
And in the wake of it all, my heart softens. I never expected that, for my armor was so thick and sharp. I needed to protect myself for so long, to fight this ongoing war.
And yet, as I make my way out of the darkened caverns, I lick the light of day.
The war is over.
And yes, my heart softens.
It’s all these things I never thought were possible.
How could my wounds lead to greater cherishing of life?
The ability to understand myself in a fuller way?
The tenderness to care for others and this world more intentionally?
But that’s post-traumatic growth, baby. It’s a real thing.
And I love our phoenix hearts, the way we can transform everything. That’s right, everything.
I love the way we take what was hurting and turn it into a temple again—lush, smelling of incense, truth, and the earthy musk of sandalwood.
And we don’t need to pretend the wounds aren’t there, heck no—but it’s our responsibility to see them as part of the story. Not the whole story.
Sure, the ghosts of my old pain crack and leak out sometimes still, but I am summertime in full freakin’ bloom.
I am not defined by the past.
I am not defined by my fears or mistakes.
I am made more interesting by the hairline fractures, the cracks and breaks, and all the wisdom and stardust that poured inside me during those tough times.
I am deeper in love with myself and others, more intimate with the strength of my femininity, the lusciousness of my hips, the sound of my soul when it howls forth in lines of poetry.
And so, phoenix heart—we squeeze drops of the pain—and we make love. That’s what we do.
We make joy.
We make beauty.
We make a healthy, flourishing life from the shuddering mud of nothingness and hurt.
We make mosaics and murals, we make masterpieces from all the broken pieces.
And it won’t be perfect—but perfect is not needed here, thank you very much.
Let us catch every drop of this messy beauty on our tongues.
Let us get intimate with the gritty art of this process. With the ruby river that pulses in our heart, with all that we feel as we ignite these words together.
And I love our phoenix hearts. The way nothing can stop us. That’s right, nothing.
I will never stop being inspired by that.
And we have help, fiery one–don’t forget it. From our dear families and friends. From the Great Mother herself as she holds us when we cannot bare to hold ourselves. From the green earth, the whispering sapphire the sky, the silver glow of the moon.
We have so much help.
And what I feel now after it all—is a gentle smattering of tears as I write these words.
I have tasted the shores of worthlessness, heck, I have lived there. I breathe in and suck in the fresh rush of oxygen.
I was ripped open, and now—I can love like never before.
I look at my beloved man and feel joyous as we lean in and kiss, because this sweet, real love is a diamond treasure that I worked so hard for.
No longer drenched in the icy shivers of my shadows—I let myself be loved. I soak in it. I bathe it in, like I’m on the turquoise shores of the goddamn Mediterranean.
Our tongues dance, our bodies quiver. I sink into a trance, the kind that can only happen when our skin is touching and our hearts are beating loudly with passion and the deepest reverence and care.
And I know what I am meant to do, I know what I am here to do—to know love, completely and fully.
I am here to transform the pain into beauty.
I am here to kick ass, in my own soft, wild way.
I am here to enjoy it all.
And that’s what I uncovered in the jagged rocks of it all—
This endless stream of desire, of strength, of curiosity, of truth, of love within me
It feels like a freakin’ waterfall.
And I want to share it with the world.
I will never stop this journey.
I will only keep going
Keep speaking to the truth of it every moment I can.
And I wish to whisper to you across mountaintops, through buzzing, electric cities, past rolling, quiet hills and thick, succulent rainforests, cracked sidewalks and winding, country roads—and I wish this whisper to land on your skin with a tingly spark that sears into your soul—
You are more than your wounds.
So. Much. More.
There is this thing within you that burns and blazes, it’s always there.
It utterly drips with life.