WIDE OPEN. (Wild Card pick)

WIDE OPEN. (Wild Card pick)
Liquid Crystal Oracle

Spent too much of my life, livin’ in the dark

‘Til you made me see I’d rather be livin’, than not livin’ at all

Sometimes it’s hard to keep the faith, but you know it’s all we’ve got

Better to let love take over than to be afraid to fall

‘Cuz I have learned a thing or two, from you

If I let your love in my heart, it’s gonna carry us through

and if we are all just mirrors, I wanna be more like you,

I wanna be wide open, with you

I am about as Plutonian as they come; I’ve always had an undertow of intensity. I also lived much of my life with massive walls. Of course, this was a means of control. It was easier to keep everyone at bay than it was to do the work necessary to heal my heart. Experiencing a tremendous amount of pain meant doing whatever it took to prevent more pain. Of course, this actually caused me more pain.

I was fortunate through a series of events to have hit a crisis period in my twenties that woke me up to see that my fear of intimacy was at the root of much of my chaos. Pretty much everything was a means of control. When trying to control we close ourselves off from the blessings of the divine. I began the uncomfortable process of change and healing by doing the work to face my pain and to learn about building healthy boundaries as a means of keeping myself safe.

I am a survivor of abuse and I’ve used abused dogs as an analogy many times to give insight behind the walls of a survivor. Imagine how timid a dog is that has been rescued and clearly mistreated. A dog can go years, sometimes forever, afraid of people or certain things/situations, and you are not going to get close if so. You can sense fear all around the dog and it will definitely remain in fight or flight mode, ready to fend or flee. It doesn’t know you! It doesn’t know what you’re capable of, alright! All it knows is what happened before.

Obviously, it’s the same for people. However, we have the intellectual capacity to recognize that in adulthood we have the power of choice. We get to choose who we are now in the present moment. We have the ability to rationalize and understand that we all operate off of our capacities—what we know by what has been modeled for us. Through this acknowledgment, we can ignite the current of forgiveness. We can forgive those that have hurt us or were bad examples. We can choose to develop the tools to honor our worth and protect our hearts—again, through healthy boundaries, not walls. We don’t have to keep our hearts closed, because we have the power to assimilate through self-trust.

I met a man in Bali that I experienced love at first sight with. He was so open emotionally that it was confusing to someone like me that had lived closed off for so long. Naturally, I made him my muse; he inspired the lyrics I wrote above. He mirrored to me at the time, what I wanted to be more like. I wanted to be completely wide open.

Coincidentally he was from Brasil.

Today’s WILD CARD pick is from the Liquid Crystal Oracle deck:

AMAZONITE

(The Middle Road)

Amazonite is derived from the Amazon River in South America.

The color green is associated with the Heart Chakra.

Set an intention to forgive the conditions of yourself and others by lining up with the unconditional. How can you open your heart just a little more, forgive, and grow? Consider how far you’ve come in your life and celebrate the middle road. If negative thoughts creep in, see it as a reflection of your humanity and use that as an opportunity to cut others some slack as well. We are all representations of God and through this understanding, we remain connected to our spiritual selves. Open your heart to see beyond judgments and dichotomies—yes/no, black/white, right/wrong. Allow yourself to see all the colors of life. Be brave enough to tear down walls and learn to live life… wide open.

“…[make] windows where there were once walls.” – Michel Foucault

I’d like to offer—try smiling or saying hi to everyone that walks by, at least for a day. Don’t give with an expectation to receive in return, do so because you are making an effort to open your heart. Trust that when you give love, it will come back to you in some form or another.

 

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How Abuse Gifted Me Trust… In Myself: My PTSD Story

How Abuse Gifted Me Trust… In Myself: My PTSD Story

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“You say you’re too damaged, I still say you’ve got the goods.” – from a song I wrote many moons ago

Out of all the things that I have been through, one of the greatest complications to resolve has been the ramifications of abuse throughout my adolescence. I was physically abused and verbally assaulted by masculine rage on a concurrent and regular basis. My experience of the abuse at times felt like torture, was unrelenting, and my space never truly felt safe.

Trust has been profoundly challenging for me to invest in, that of which I have learned must first begin with myself.

Due to my crippled capacity to trust in others, and a sense of self oppressed by an abuser, over time my ability to develop trust in myself became stunted and plagued by static noise and doubt.

It is interesting though the complexities that have come about as a result, the product being the woman I am today. What I’ve become is a woman with a presence of impenetrable strength, which of course, in a society infiltrated by a masculinity crisis, hasn’t gone over so well.

I have attracted great opposition from those that struggle with their own masculinity, or another way of looking at it — one’s repressed/rejected, misunderstood, and/or unacknowledged femininity.

Throughout my twenties, I strived towards a path of healing. I was blessed enough by the grace of divine intervention and my own willingness to change that resources flowed regardless of my external means to begin this process.

Yoga and meditation were definite introductions that changed my life and in many ways saved my life. I discovered that I am not actually held hostage in my body, that I do have control and that my power is always there. I discovered that no one can take my power, but realized out of programmed habit I was throwing it out like expired produce.

It was through the crisis of many unhealthy relationships and my absolute plea to not suffer from the pain of power struggles that I began to see the signs. I didn’t want to hurt anymore so it became unavoidable that I had to dig in and do the work.

It was during a heartbreak from a very damaged Pisces lover, and coincidentally a potent Pisces full moon, that in my typical woo-woo fashion I sought out not a therapist, but my version of such — I wanted to see a healer that cleared chakras… yep. I was ready to wipe the slate clean, but unbeknownst to me, this man had a profound purpose. As agonizing as it was to dive in, he was a gift. He served as the beginning of an awakening. He was a Marine veteran struggling with PTSD; he was also my mirror.

The next day as I was walking down the street, there was a massive sign outside of a crystal shop nearby where I lived that was not usually there. In all its colorful glory stood the flag of chakras promoting sessions with a particular healer. I tend to be like The Fool of the Rider-Waite deck, springing forward, acting on leaps of faith when such moments present themselves. With a chart full of Aries, this generally rules in my favor.

My session with a self-proclaimed clairvoyant doused me in the cold hard reality that I had not so much been in denial about, but rather completely oblivious to. I knew I had been abused as I had shared it prior. I knew it was wrong and that I was in fact violated, but I had no idea the magnitude of wreckage it caused. As a little girl knowing nothing different, essentially it became the only normal I knew. And while living it, I was battered into believing I’d deserved it.

When I first entered into the backroom to proceed, a typical aroma of palo santo engulfed the space. The stillness of the room’s aura rested as rainbow lights (also known as color therapy) swirled above the bed, while a gorgeous array of gongs and singing bowls aligned it. I always look forward to these sessions. My total openness to them is how I’ve been fortunate enough to reap the wanders.

I have worked with countless western healers and now a couple of eastern ones; although, this was one of my earlier experiences. I was anticipating what she would pick up on. I felt sure the foremost would be mention of my brother’s death, or my absent father, or possibly the turbulent codependent relationship with my mother… never did I see coming the yet mentioned.

I will say that I am able and willing to share the account of my abuse; however, for deeply personal reasons I am not ready to share by whom.

“Did you have [****] that was very mean to you?” she delicately asked.

I sat there stunned. An instant surge of tears burst forth like an appropriate tidal wave. Out of all the shitty things in my still very privileged life, I couldn’t believe that’s what she pointed out. Her take on it was that we were bound together in this lifetime due to past life events, but I’ll spare you of that for now.

I went home feeling like the earth beneath me had been shaken. How could I not have seen this before? The light had not only gone off, but it was also about to blind my eyes. What ensued from there was an all-nighter of research on the unique relationship of abuse I experienced. Limited information was available on my specific circumstance, but nonetheless, a turning point of acknowledgment transpired — abuse is abuse. I was a ripe candidate to all the possibilities of aftermath as anyone else that’s survived it. Wait, so I am one of those people? It wasn’t until I accepted that I am that, a survivor of abuse, that I could begin to move towards a healthier future. It was through this discovery that I was able to understand I was also living with my own degree of PTSD. It had been the underlying factor to so many complications in my life. I didn’t know that my usual somatic experience was not normal. I thought the out of control sensations in my physical response to situations were my fault, that it was simply who I am and that I was doomed to be a prisoner to it.

For many years, I attracted lovers that did not physically abuse me, but I was in heavy, emotionally tormented relationships. The real moral is PTSD often controlled my life.

After the eventual breakdown of these relationships and my own chaos looming overhead, I strived to transcend my experiences. I couldn’t control what happened to me, but I could begin to heal the consequences. I chose to kill the script and say, fuck that. I chose to shift from victim to survivor. I began my transition from bondage and everything happening to me, to being wide awake staring into the mirror — recognizing the patterns and the common denominator. This was not an overnight fix, of course. It was an incredibly painful process that took years and years of resolving. Still, till this day there are remnants I have to work through. Scenes, lines, and characters from the old script all like to come out to play every now and again, and it is my work to not get disheartened by this reality. In the past, the discouragement of its existence would send me down a spiral of self-loathing.

I spent years unable to communicate how I actually felt. I had zero sophistication as far as emotional intimacy was concerned. I would panic, cognitively disassociate and shut down. And, I would hate myself for every bit of it.

Almost a decade later, it is bizarre to even recount those memories — from total physical overwhelm to perpetual fears of the rug always being pulled out from under me. By always assuming the worst, I attracted it only to prove itself true.

Now, it’s almost as if I don’t even know that girl anymore. Yet, again, there are still those tiny remainders of the script wanting to come to life on stage once more. But, I harnessed new tools and coping mechanisms that overtime have integrated.

Most of all, my journey was to silence the noise and experience a life of learning to trust myself. Despite being figuratively pummeled into believing all the things that had derailed me before, I began the journey of discovering my light, my power.

Of course, none of this would be possible without also learning to forgive my abuser, and to forgive the masculine rage that permeates throughout my culture and our world. I have had to send love and light to the beautiful, divine feminine energy yearning for reciprocation from us all.

I guess when you think about it, we can be so cruel to our dear Mother Earth. If we can’t respect our own mother, then I guess in a way that sums it up, doesn’t it?

It’s a shame, this reality. We have so far to go on a collective scale. I can only hope my story of forgiveness, resilience, and journey of self-love is emblematic of the new script we can write together.

 

 

Story originally published on:

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Be Yourself

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What Angels Want Us to Know: Life After Guilt

What Angels Want Us to Know: Life After Guilt

Even when things seem so grim & a realization of so much loss pierces deep within, it is these moments that my angels are there to rescue more than ever. Without fail, the dragonflies come out to swirl around, reminding me I’m not alone.

When I think of the confusing and complicated guilt I experience for being the last one left to stand, I take my evening strolls out to the azul water that is my backyard, siempre in search of peace. The other day while in a dark head space, I thought, maybe my angels actually got the better end of the deal. This world, as beautiful as it is, can be so very painful… at least they are together, in peace. But, just as I was beginning to slip down the rabbit hole, the dragonflies began to dance against the masterpiece of a backdrop, a pink lit sky and blistering ball of solar energy beaming over the water.

As I returned back from my evening with the divine, my best friend that channels had reached out to me. She said my brother, unclear which one, had softly contacted her to send me a message. Just some days before, I had been suffering then as well from a plummeting feeling of feeling lost. I was seriously questioning my own existence in the very scary kinda way. My friend shared with me the message of simple and touching relevancy, that I am ‘right’ and to keep doing what I’m doing. So just when I was feeling the crash that is life with a mood disorder, and or just life… I realized what a blessing it is to have angels intervene when I’m pleading to know if I’m going to be okay. And, how miraculous it is to have that sort of love surrounding me at all times, protecting me, and sending me clarity when the fog moves in. To let me know I am still here for a reason. To let me know that I am indeed shielded by love.

I do have to say, I’m pretty fucking ready to leave this experience behind… that is, the first one-year anniversary of my brother’s death… and basically, all the terrible memories that coexisted with this time last year. As much as my guilt may want to hang onto them, I know to move beyond surviving to thriving is to release the guilt. The present does include pain that has yet to fully heal, so the reality is the past, unfortunately, exists within the present. However, I can stay there, or choose to try to move forward one more step of the way, as the pain stays one step further behind.

What I’ve discovered is the guilt keeps me “safe.” The guilt, the pain, the story… it is all a toxic high that of course is superseded by a crashing low. It’s moving out into the unknown space of joy that is the real work. It has been easier for me to be afraid of more pain so that I stay in my excuse of pain.

I started dating again a few months ago after moving literally and figuratively into new space. I have vaguely shared already that I went through a pretty bad breakup as well this time last year, which naturally was what exacerbated the already gut-wrenching period of mourning. It was the core-shaking, yet illusive experience of love-at-first-sight, in which crashed & crumbled during the time one would presumably need support the most. The truth is though, I had everything I needed & still do. But, those lessons were to be learned in the most hardcore of hours. When you’ve lost that much, it’s kinda like, fuck it… I guess I’m sorta liberated now. Or, so I thought…

As I found myself back on the dating scene and after meeting someone I was actually interested in, I was overwhelmed with vulnerability. Bombarded by a surplus of “what-if’s,” I didn’t know if I was capable of enduring more pain, so instead I would not let myself leave the pain behind. I was bound to it out of survival, without realizing it was keeping me from living my life… it was keeping me from joy. Even as I proclaimed that I wanted otherwise, I was actually avoiding joy by avoiding imagined pain.

I was self-sabotaging because of survivor’s guilt. It’s a difficult thing to articulate, but perhaps it’s as simple as this… I have felt guilty for wanting joy. I felt guilty for believing there could be joy without my brothers in the world. Or, that I owe it to them to stay in the misery of their loss. Which of course, though, this I know… a life full of joy is exactly what my brothers want for me.

To live the life I have left. And if anything, for them, that is the way to truly honor their loss —to live so fiercely & courageously on their behalf.

So today on August 1, it is my brother Patrick’s birthday. This time last year I was thousands of miles away saying my last I love you over the phone, as he was bedridden in the hospital, struggling to speak. A week later after his 33rd birthday, he was gone.

The months that followed thereafter were a nightmare, yes. Those days and nights where I felt like a walking zombie, unsure if I was going to come back to life or not… I really didn’t know if I was gonna make it through. But it is these memories that I must no longer attach to so that I can grow with my brothers in a new way. By putting my hand out to accept a dance with the divine is how I get to experience… the magic of the dragonflies.

And you know, it’s really fucking hard sometimes. It really is, but I have to believe I am still here for a reason and they are not… AND THIS IS OKAY. I have to trust the cards were supposed to be dealt this way, and that yes, at least they are together in peace. A life left full of guilt will never bring them back to physical life…

But the magic that is pure love… will always keep them alive.

A Happy Birthday to my late brother, Chef Patrick

Right Where He Belonged, RIP Chef Patrick & Chef Bourdain