One of issues I struggle with is duality within me. Now, I know in the world duality exists. I get that. On my journey, I’ve become very aware of the duality within me – my shadow side. Every day for me is a choice to live in freedom from the old beliefs of my mind. Some days I am successful and other days not so successful. The pull of the past is great – the programming intense – the belief systems run deep. There are days I feel I am living free and standing in my truth and other days that I feel what right do I have to live. Truly what positive have I brought to this world. “In Honor of Me” a book of poetry I wrote in the 90’s is a lot about the darkness I lived in.
“Pain, twisting contorting pain, grasping me, wrenching me reminders of the past. The past remains inside of me. Hopelessness is all I see. Fear washes over me, the dread of the night. Every nerve in me longing for flight.” (In Honor of Me-Mary Auda 1997)
By exploring my shadow side – the part consumed by programming from the past, beliefs from the past – I can come to an understanding of why I do what I do and feel what I feel. Although it is a far easier and pleasing experience to live freely, both states are equally valuable. What may seem “crazy” and “abnormal” to other people really makes sense when I see it from the shadow side. Because I see it from the shadow side, doesn’t mean I choose to live there. The truth I gain from the shadows is fertilizer to move to the side of freedom. Painful as the shadow side is, I am grateful for its lessons. I am finding harmony between the two.
Although I see the value of exploring the pain, sometimes it presents as negativity to other people in my life who love me. It becomes frustrating for them because they see the outcome that is mine to embrace. I, too, can see that outcome now. I know that the outcome is not the prize. The prize is the transformational process of my journey. Each day is a new day of lessons and opportunities. Is there pain? Oh yes. Because in looking in the darkness I have to face the reality of being sexually abused by my father and emotionally and physically abused by my mother and father. I have to face the reality of the effects of the abuse on every aspect of my life. It affects my relationship with all people. It affects my relationship with authority figures. That is one of the hardest. Authority figures abused me and anytime that there is anything resembling my parents, I react internally and go back to the time of the abuse being a little child in my mind again and reacting from that place. Ugh.
“Although so painful, memories are a gift, giving reality to feeling. Remembering the painful caress. Opening up a window for healing. Remembering the painful words. Opportunity now for words of gentleness. Remembering abandonment and rejection. Room for grace.” (in Honor of Me – Mary Auda)
I am willing to hurt, to feel the pain, to be judged, to be criticized in order to receive the gift of freedom that I choose for me. I was imprisoned by the choices of my parents. I choose freedom from prison and every day I have to make that same choice even when the darkness is great. The light of freedom shines through the darkness and what I fear and feel is greatly reduced in the light.
I used to be defined by the experiences of my past. I used to define relationships and experiences by the past. Today, I am defined by my heart and soul through reconciliation. Yes, the past continues to have some effect today but its value is bringing into my awareness a wound that needs cleaning and healing.
Embrace all of life – the darkness and the light; the pain and the joy; the ugly and the beauty; hate and love. By denying nothing, you embrace life. By embracing all of our experiences we come home to ourselves. I welcome myself home. Virginia Satir sums it up the best:
In all the world,
there is no one else exactly like me –
everything that comes out of me is authentically mine,
because I alone choose it – I own everything about me – my body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions,
whether they be to others or to myself –
I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears –
I own all my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes. Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me – by so doing I can love me and be friendly with me in all my parts –
I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me,
and other aspects that I do not know –
but as long as I am friendly and loving to myself,
I can courageously and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles and for ways to find out more about me –
However I look and sound, whatever I say and do,
and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically me – If later some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought and felt turned out to be unfitting, I can discard that which I feel is unfitting, keep the rest, and invent something new for that which I discarded –
I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do.
I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive,
and to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me –
I own me, and therefore I can engineer me –
I am me &
I AM OKAY