Today, I am sharing a place of deep wounding and shame with you, which is, to my great surprise, changing into a place of power. Both, the wounding and the power, are profound, and they are totally interconnected. It feels a bit scary to share these words, and this is precisely why I do it.
In the past, I was reminded quite often that life is hard, that I am dwelling in “pink clouds” and that I should “face reality”. I was ashamed of not being sober enough, and I did my best to be “normal”, coping with the hardness of surviving. Yet, this hardness was just unbearable to me, and I broke again and again when trying to “manage it”. I felt wrong, and full of shame. I did not realize at that time that the people who told me to be “normal” were traumatized, and that their definitions of “real life” and their stress on the struggle for survival were seen from the perspective of trauma. Even less did I understand that I was traumatized myself.
It has taken me many years to breathe through the shame and sense the wisdom of the dissociating child that feels lost in a merciless world. Dissociation has its origin in a profound wounding – when being on earth was unbearable for me, I split from my body, and later sought refuge in the “spiritual” and “artistic”. Beyond shame, I see how precious the impulse is that let me withdraw from the unbearable. My body dismissed me so that my essence would not be destroyed, and let me return when the circumstances for healing and wholeness were given.
When I was a child, I learned that I live in a hard reality where I am separate from everything around me, where love does not exist, unless I deserve it by doing my damned best. And, when I was totally exhausted from doing my best, I discovered that I am still “not good enough” and have to strain every nerve to at least perhaps become a decent human being. The message was: shut up, work and forget about love. There was hardly any calming and nourishing intimacy with other bodies – an abyss of loneliness. The very wisdom of my cells told me to withdraw from this world I could not support to live in. A bodily wisdom so deep and pristine, that it could not be confused by my crucification in hardness and strain.
When I contemplate this now, I am fiercely grateful for my dissociation and the “pink clouds” of my imagination. They protected my intuition for what is true, my passionate desire for love and the explosive power of my despair. And this felt sense of the wisdom of dissociating, this agreement with my soul is what, when time had come, let me take myself from the cross. Let me take care for my wounds, let myself not function and just rest, taking seriously that in a crucified, traumatized state I am severely dysfunctional anyway, though I try so hard to cope with everything. This agreement with my life’s wisdom let rivers of tears flow, let rage do its job and eliminate toxins from my body and surroundings. Saying yes to the dynamics of my soul makes me let go of all tools, let despair circulate and detonate in “not knowing”. It lets me ferociously do nothing, just breathe, slowly letting the body relax. In this relaxation, I am taken by surprise by tenderness that moves through my body, always unexpectedly. It is so subtle and yet so kind and comforting that there are no words to describe it.
It is this indescribable tenderness I missed so much in the crucified state I grew up in. So much, that life didn’t seem worth living and that it let me withdraw. The lacking of this tenderness is the source of dissociation. Feeling its gentle touch now, my body melts, expands and becomes round. The spine is defrosted and begins to dance again, the pelvis is blossoming, and the grid of ice that permeated the body thaws into millions of dew drops which are kissed by the soft morning sun. My hearts bursts in awe, and my arms are lifted in a desire to praise. I sense that I can fly while standing on the earth and surrendering to the gentle pull of its gravity. There are no limits. Embodiment is being the whole earth moving in the endless blue space with the stars and planets. Not less. Anything less is wounding my natural being, my essence.
In this unfathomable tenderness, there is endless space between and in the depth of the atoms. It is this tenderness with her delicate perfume, with her gentle touch and her refreshing breath, that makes me feel that the earth is impregnated with Love. And, o yes, even the “pink clouds” are there! The gentle touch of tenderness at times feels like pink gold.
It is interesting that everything I was ashamed of as “woolly”, everything I thought I have to get rid of in order to become “normal”, reveals itself as totally real and powerful, when embodied. Including the fairy tales, the music, the poems I loved as a child. In the movement of the blood, the dance of the organs and deep in the marrow of my bones, tender whispering tells me that this felt life is Goddess. She changes her form constantly – She is a rose, a drink, a song, a sigh, a tear. Reality is not the fixed thing I was told she was. Reality is so real because she changes her form in every moment. Sometimes she is hard, it’s true, but more often not, and that makes all the difference. Life is saturated with tenderness, and when I feel this, I know without a doubt that Love is real, and that it is immeasurably mighty.