Breaking the ties that bind… the boab

It was during my first trip to ‘the Kimberley’s’ that I fell in love with them.  Dominating the rugged and dry landscape, the boab trees commanded my attention.  There was something about their bulbous shape that just made me want to hug them.  This I did, more then once and with their wide girth my hands never fully surrounded the trunk.  Adding to my joy and never ending sense of wonder was the uniqueness of each boab, never did two ever look the same.

Whilst the boab trees scattered the land, it was an incredibly rare sight to see a boab flower.  The pods that encase and protect the seed have a soft velvet cover.  They hang delicately from the branches in stark contrast to the solidness and security that the round trunk provides. Whilst I had seen images of the flowers in books and read of their healing potential and indigenous connection it was not until my next trip a few years later that I would witness a boab flower in full bloom.

During this second trip, I was moving through an incredibly difficult period with my marriage ending only a few months prior.   I headed to this region as I knew the land would be very healing.  It was a true gift for me to witness a boab in full bloom, it felt like an offering from the Gods.  I resonated with the flower and reflected upon her process of blooming.   What an incredibly amount of tension and force would be required for her to break free from the protective shell, a shell that once protected and kept her safe yet now it was limiting.  As a seed within the pod, she hung unwavering throughout the rains, scorching sun, humidity and winds.  Clinging to her one substance, the tree.  Yet she knew she was more then the seed.  Patiently she waited until it was her time to push through the shell and break free.   She was still part of the tree, yet she was expressing her uniqueness and shone for those with eyes to see.

The reflection given to me was clear.  I too needed to break free from the shell, to become who I could be, to bloom beyond what I knew was possible.  It would take incredible effort and force; tension would be present through the breaking down of old ways.  Yet it was a process already underway and one that could not be stopped.

My love and connection with the boab tree went to a whole new level throughout that trip.  She is a healer for me.  Some pods had dropped to the ground and opened revealing the innerness.  Soft and velvet the petals still wrapped upon themselves, frozen in time.  Yet those that bloom are exquisite to behold, the large fragrant flower with its fleshy white to cream petals commands your attention.  Its numerous stamens shoot upwards towards the sky.

It’s a powerful healer as a flower essence as it can assist in the breaking of strong, deeply ingrained negative family patterns.  Resulting in deep personal transformation, it is a profound healer working initially on the spiritual level, and then working its way down through the emotional and mental bodies.

If you are finding it difficult to break free from limiting and/or repetitive patterns, behaviours and mental mindsets perhaps consider the boab essence?

The Doctrine of Signatures is interesting in so much that you will often seen groups or clusters of boab trees.  Like a family quite often becoming enmeshed in one another, the boab essence addresses this restriction.

Personally the boab flower essence is the one constant on my bedside table.  Its incredibly powerful and supportive through the personal transformation processes.  Sometimes ‘the ties that bind’ also restrict and prevent your growth.

The boab provides the strength needed to release the old way and enable more of your true spirit self to anchor.

It was through reading Ian White’s ‘Bush Flower Healing’ that I became aware of the connection the Indigenous communities have with the boab.   The traditional birthing practice in these local communities involved the use of the boab flowers.   If they were in season, the woman would dig a hole and line it with boab flowers.  The woman in labour would then squat over the hole and deliver the baby into the cradle of flowers.  As the baby was birthed its first contact was with the boab flower, a cleansing of family patterns.   Truly wonderful.

I do have a love affair/obsession with boab trees, even to this day 7 years on from my first encounter images of them adorn my study.   I make no excuses for this strong connection with this tree that I feel.

A true gift that when prepared as an essence enables us to step fully into who we can become.

 

 

Life happens…

I had been putting off writing for the day when I had ‘it’ all sorted, the day when I would feel no angst, no fear, no worry or doubt.  That magical day when ‘it’, life was all okay, that I was okay and then I would be ready to write, to share, to action the inner force to get it out on paper.

I became aware of an interesting dynamic though, every time I started to feel like I, it was all coming together something else would happen and it felt like I was right back at the beginning, amongst the mess and insecurity of my life.  I realised that if I wait for that magical day, I may never write.

And there is the first note to self, life is not about having it all sorted, life can’t be planned, controlled and organised according to what we wish.

Life.  Happens.   Whether we are consciously engaged in it or a passive bystander.

The waiting is the action of the passive bystander.  Waiting for that perfect moment, waiting for the other to change, waiting for more, waiting for less, waiting for what exactly?  Conscious engagement is choosing to step up and into life.

Choosing to be the active participant, choosing the way you want to engage, the way you want to respond, the way you want to feel, to live.  So here I am now, finally getting it out.  For I get it now that if I keep waiting for it all to align nicely that which I seek and feel impressed to do may never be given the air to breath, the water to grow and the sun to nourish.

A safe space

The truest sense of safety come from a place so deep in you it is out of sight.  Yet it is filled with the richest of love, the purest of insight and the warmest compassion.   Once activated its brilliance can flood light on even the darkest, coldest and scariest of places within you.

As a child my safe space was with my nan.  Every school holidays I longed to be with her, in her home surrounded by her love and embraced by her presence.   It was here where I felt accepted for who I was.  There was no fear of reprimand, abuse or isolation. Her house was tiny, run down and in need of restoration.  Did I care? No.  Did I see this? No.  That tiny single fronted weatherboard house in Richmond was a beacon of love.  A refuge for a child who craved acceptance and a space to be who she was.

As I grew this home continued to be a place of nurturance.  Eventually spreading its love to my children who quickly realised the depth of love their great nan radiated and held for them too.  Looking back love was the only thing she had to give.  She wasn’t a financially abundant woman.  Born during the Depression she grew up in an inner city suburb of Melbourne which was heavily hit throughout this period of time.  Times were tough.  She married young, supported a husband and raised 2 young sons,  lived through World War 2 and once her sons were married looked after their children (me being one of them) through their formative years.  Family was her life, her centre and everything gravitated around it.   

It was a natural evolution for me to see family in this way too.  A product of my environment.   “Blood is thicker than water” I would hear many a time.  Referring to the importance of family and blood ties.   This conditioning of your biological family being the single and prime point of focus and safety would prove to provide me with a constant source of reflection and reviewing opportunities as I moved through extreme periods of loss and grief.  I still come up against an internal conflict in many moments of what is my primal importance?  Where does my biological fit in the scheme of my existence, where do I as spirit fit in this mould?  What is my centre and what do I orbit around?

I sense it is a natural necessity that a child relates with their family as their centre and primal provider of safety.  As an infant and then a young child we have no other family as a reference point.  We experience what we have and take it as the way.  We realise quickly what we need to do to be loved, to receive care (in whatever form we can) and to survive.

So my family, albeit not perfect was my centre.  I gravitated around my family, with my nan at the core. 

As we begin to gravitate around someone else we move away from our own centre.  Our reference point is no longer authentic.  We can lose our ability to know who we are and make our own choices.  in the incessant need to orbit around another we can unconsciously seek to be like them, live like them and perhaps become them.  

In my craving for the sense of safety, security and love my nan provided I began to mould myself.  I looked to her.  Like a sponge soaking up water, I began to soak up ‘her’.  I took on her perspectives, her stories, her parameters, her way and in every single adaptation I lost more of myself and my ability to know who I was and how to ultimately stand on my own.  

Somewhere within me I must’ve thought that if I could create the life she had that this would make me feel safe.  That the experience she gave me could be recreated by giving myself a life she had.  It seemed a simplistic life model, one that many used to seek.  Get married, have children, support your husband (who will in return support you), run a household, provide a home for the family, grow old together and look after grand kids. This to me was my sign of safety.  It was based around another and the environment one live in.  

As I moved through my life I rarely queried the parameters I had put around it, around myself.  I rarely looked around or stepped back far enough to look at this model, this family through a different window.  I was in one room of a house and never ventured out. Later in life I was able to see my nan’s life in a different light.  I saw her struggles, her fears of a husband that drank, spent many hours at the pub and in moments was abusive.  I witnessed her attempts to keep us safe in a way that she most likely longed for.  She was giving to us what she crave for herself.  I became aware of the lack of financial security that existed, yet also a mother who gave to her sons what she could financially to ensure they had a good life.   I began to feel a woman who never allowed herself to dream, to never ask herself what she wanted.  Her life existed purely for another.  How suffocating that must’ve been.  Yet I sense she never realised she could consider something else.  It wasn’t what you did then.  You took your lot in life and got on with it.  She left school at 14, worked in a shoe factory, married young.  She spent her whole life in one house, only moving out when her health deteriorated to such a point she needed 24/7 care.  As I grew and began to see her life more clearly I realised it was her and her love that made me feel safe, not her life or the environment.    

So as I grew I fell in love with a young man who became my husband.  We married young, travelled overseas and had steady careers.  We built a home, had 3 children, went on family holidays, moved interstate a few times.  Our life together was mutually supportive and the foundation was steady.   We shared dreams and our 3rd space our relationship, our family, our life was precious.  I gave myself to it in such a way that on reflection was unhealthy.  I was doing what I thought was necessary.  I too wanted to create a family life that provided me and my children with a sense of safety.  I invested my life in my family.  Craving security from it, getting my identity through it and handing myself over to something outside of me.  I had found my new centre to gravitate.

My safe space was in my family.

When my marriage ended, it felt like I ended.  My world imploded.  I had no centre. Nothing to gravitate around.  I was completely devastated and utterly lost.  I had no reference point to be my own centre, to find within myself what I needed to give myself, I had no ability to feel safe within me for me.  I had never experienced myself like this before, I was freaking out because I didn’t know who this person was inhabiting me.  I felt like a complete foreigner.  Yet for all that I screamed no one heard, no one saw and I couldn’t get out.  I was in this experiencing in this life and I didn’t want it.    

Throughout those initial despair ridden months i was surrounded by few people.  

My children by necessity were in my space.  How confronting it must’ve been for them to watch a mother crumble.  A woman who previously held a family and home together, who was efficient, functional and always present.  A woman who know could barely move, cried continuously and was engulfed in grief that looked like it would completely swallow her up.  It wasn’t for them to save me, yet I know they tried.  I had to protect them from my experience.  It was a continuous dance of feeling my way through without impacting them too much, yet also being in the space as they moved through their own feelings and allowing them to do so with as much love, support and respect for them I could muster.  It was tricky and messy.  I knew I needed help and it wasn’t for me as a mother to lean on my kids for it.  

We were all going through this family breakdown individually yet also as a whole.    

My external family were on the other side of the country, and whilst my mum came over for the first week , after that we were all on our own.  I knew my kids had their friends who would provide support as needed.

My prime support system consisted entirely of one person –  my counsellor.  One sole being who stuck close by me and gave me what I needed until I reached a point where I could start to give to myself.   Sometimes this is the way.  Temporarily we may need support from another and that is okay.  I was guided to find my way through this fog.  Time and time again I was encouraged to go within myself, deeper and deeper, feeling by feeling to discover my own answers and truth.  

She was my sounding board, my reflector, my compass, my beacon.  It was not a place of dependency, it was a space of confront through truth, it was a place I could be messy.  I felt cocooned, embraced, championed and supported.  Where every thought, feeling, word, action, reaction, response I brought in was okay.   Everything was validated and in allowing this – I began to realise that one of the first steps is to allow yourself to be exactly as you are.  For as long as I tried to ignore what I was really feeling and hear it and feel it and see it and touch it – i was being untruthful to myself.  

I was pushing away huge parts of myself that i didn’t want to own.  Once I was shown and encouraged to lean into myself, true healing commended.  I discovered how to hold a space for myself wherein I could be okay with whatever was going on – I learned to listen to me, to see me.  I dove right in.

It was a space where:

  • the words could just come out
  • the emotions could be expressed
  • congruency was beginning to establish between my inner and outer worlds
  • the connection with self as a human spiritual being was strengthened
  • untruths i had told myself for years were lovingly confronted
  • time and time again I was encouraged to go beyond my experience and look for the gift
  • I would continue to look for where my choice is in what i am experiencing
  • I would rise above by going to the depths of my existence
  • I could heal through compassion, nurturance and integrity

Nothing was ever skimmed over, being thorough all the way in, nothing was left unturned.

Transformation through acceptance.

This was the space I was held in and ultimately I learnt to give to myself.

This is the safe space.

That I have co-created and continue to nurture and respect.

In this safe space.

I am okay.

And therein began the process of creating my own safe space, a place that already existed and in doing so began the process of finding me.

A time to be still, a time to move…

I would hear it often from people “just move”, “ just make a start”, “keep going” as helpful as they thought they were being – it just didn’t help.  It’s a really tough gig to be told to move when you don’t want to and you have no idea where you are moving to.  It is scary as hell.

I simply didn’t want to move.  I wanted life to stand still.  Actually I wanted it to go backwards.  I wanted to be able to rewind my life back to certain moments.  I longed to undo conversations, I yearned to put in conversations that I didn’t have, I craved to relieve the glorious moments and to have the opportunity to play it all out differently – but I couldn’t.

Having someone to tell me to look forward when all that looked like was a big black hole was like having salt poured onto an open wound.  Of course their intention was not to cause harm, however it didn’t help.  If anything it put more pressure on what was already a pressurised environment.  I was in a pressurised environment.

Internally I was cooked, my nervous system on high alert, my heart was pumping its hardest to keep up, my lungs were doing their thing on limited activity, my eyes were dull and my complexion pale .  My emotions were in a constant state of flux, my thoughts were having a wild old time and every survival strategy I had been taught to put in place was activated.  The warning bells were loud.

No one knew what my internal world was like.  So whilst I looked okay, I operated relatively okay – no one actually knew what was going on within me.

So yes it is important to keep moving however it is vitally important to get the support system you need to heal.  There is a time to go within to stay still, to feel and heal.  Like the seed in the ground.  Hibernate and do what is needed.  There will be a time to move and begin anew.

Do not force the healing process, it takes time.  Be gentle, kind and compassionate.  Your heart will let you know when it is time to move.

Taking a step when you don’t know where you’re going

I am not exactly sure where to start.  I know I need to move, make a start and being creating a new life.  One chapter closed, beginning a new one.  But where do I start?

The beginning?  Middle?  or End?

Do I start at the beginning? Do I know where the beginning ‘is’?  Not sure I can pin point where this journey started.  Depends what perspective and approach I want to take.  Is the beginning where my life journey started or when this hugely challenging and confronting chapter of my life started?  and when did it actually start?   Is it possible it has been slowly unravelling over a long period of time in such a way that I didn’t notice?  Like roots of a vine spreading underground popping up through the soil randomly.  Is it possible that my marriage – the one thing I adored and prized more highly then life itself – was slowly transforming that i didn’t even notice?  I imagine it may have been like cancerous cell.  People have cancerous cells within them for years before they are diagnosed with the illness.  Perhaps a marriage starts to disintegrate in such the same way.  Where we are oblivious to what is actually going on within as there are no visible signs.

Do I start in the middle, in the midst of it all?  The middle is messy.  I sense we are always in the middle.  Because I sure as hell don’t feel like I am at the end.  How would I know that is has ended? and what exactly am i referring to here.  What would the end look like? What would it feel like? What am I doing? How different would my life be?  Is that how we know when something has ended.  Is this a way to ascertain when we have finally moved through a tough time and the chapter has ended?  Maybe there are certain markers we can look for that would suggest that for now, a large percentage of what was needed to be experienced, felt, healed and transformed has been done.  Meaning that we can move into another phase.

Perhaps its not so much, one phase ending but of a continual rolling motion through experiences.  Maybe its not of looking for where something began and ended but to sense yourself in the midst, in the centre of your self, your experience.  If we place ourselves right in the middle, the core we can see all around.  We have a 365 experience.  Maybe viewing life this way enables us to find a pivot point from which to view and move.

As it ends it begins

Maybe from this vantage point we can see that nothing really begins or ends.  It never really leaves.  It is all around us, within us.  Nothing is ever separate.  Perhaps we are not walking a linear time line, one straight line that our calendars and clocks would endure and dictate.  How different would it be if we experience being right in the middle of our life, and that our life is right in the middle of all of existence?

So if there is no actual beginning, or end to this chapter, to this experience – all of a sudden the way forward becomes clearer.  I don’t have to worry about starting or finishing in the ‘right’ moment.  I can choose from ‘here’ what needs to be experienced, related with and the direction I move.

I decide the direction, impressed upon by the life force within me.

Simply move.

One step, one step, one step …. that is all that is needed.

Life will unfold in this manner, like the rose buds blooms.

The importance of acknowledgement as you start to move once more

One of the most helpful processes I undertook was taking stock of where I am at right now.  This can be done many times.  Quite often I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere.  I was in a constant state of uncertainty and overwhelm for many, many months following the ending of my marriage.  All I could see was where I wasn’t.

But this incessant activity of looking at what ‘wasn’t’, totally invalided where I had come from.   Take it from me, where you are right now means you have moved, you have stepped, you have healed and you have survived.  Yes you may not be where you would like to be, just yet, however you have moved and made progress.  If we don’t take time to stop, look around and review where we are right now, what is in our lives now (that previously wasn’t), what is no longer in our lives (that had to be let go) we are doing ourselves a huge injustice.

Self compassion guides us to say “Hey, well done, look where you are at now.  Look at the steps you have taken.  You did this, no one else – you did it.  Nice one.  Self compassion then takes our hand and says “keep going”.  We have a way to go, work to continue, we are on our way.

So take stock of where you are at right now.  Grab your journal and write some answers to the following:

  • What have you healed?
  • What do I have in my life now, that I didn’t and I am grateful for?
  • What is no longer in my life that I am grateful for?
  • What have I let go?
  • What I have I stepped into courageously?

Waiting

There came a point along my healing transformational journey that I realised I was waiting.  Sitting in a holding pattern.  Not moving.  Sitting within my existence.  Grabbing my writing journal I sat and allowed this one to share with me.  Fascinating what was revealed when I invited ‘the waiting one’ to be heard.

Keep writing, allowing free flowing stream of consciousness … what is in me waiting to be heard, waiting to be written, waiting to be expressed, waiting to be born.. I wonder… in the deep recesses of where I am …what and who is waiting?

Listening to the waiting

Why was I in this position where I felt I had to wait? Did someone tell me to wait?  Perpetually waiting.  Yet in this state of waiting, much was put off, put on hold and stifled.  Perhaps it is this itself that has been waiting, the state of waiting has been waiting to be heard.  In this free flow the waiting is now speaking.

It feels no barriers, no limits, no restriction, no need to filter or no one to tell me off.  Tell me off for speaking inappropriately, behaving inappropriately, not doing, not acting out of fear of reprimand for doing whatever it is ‘wrong’ or not correct.

What if I don’t want to wait anymore? What if there is no longer any need to wait?  What if all those ones who told me to wait are no longer here or play a part or influence me? What if I have been waiting for those who told me to wait, to let me know it is okay to go.  To move.

What if I think I have been told to wait but in actuality I heard it once and never knew it had expired.  How long ago did it expire?  How long have I been waiting, holding, putting off out of a fear of reprimand?  How long will it take to stop?

What is it I have waiting for?  At what point did I start waiting? Did someone tell me? Did I think I had to wait?

What waiting needs

Waiting for the go ahead.  I have been looking and all I have seen is that I have been waiting for ‘them’ to tell me it is okay to start, to be me and live my life.  I have been waiting for ‘them’ to let me know I don’t have to do their way anymore.  That it is okay to live a life that is fulfilling to me, in  a way that feels so, so, so right for me.  A rightness that comes from deep within my core, the place where my inner voice speaks.  The one who keeps saying “I have your back”.  “I have your back” from what?  From being hurt by others.  The one who seeks to protect from further attack.  The one who guides me and the rest of my team as to how best look after us, to nurture, to love to heal.

The consequence of waiting

Waiting can result in patterns of procrastination, putting things off, stifling creativity, inhibiting growth, limiting the experience of joy, creates patterns that whatever is done is not enough, creates perpetual doing in order to achieve.  To achieve the go ahead to live, to be me.

Why is it that I still feel a sense of having to get approval, the okay to stop waiting and start living?  Heavily engrained.  Observed.  Set in place. The way.  The family way.

Wait until the kids are grown, till they have finished school, till they have left home, wait until you have enough money, wait until everything is sorted, wait until you have been told you can, wait until it works for everyone else, wait until your husband says you can, wait until your parents have died, wait until you know more, wait until there is nothing else left to wait for.  The thing is waiting in itself creates more waiting.  It is not the answer it seeks.

The only answer to waiting.  Is to stop.

Stop.

Stop waiting.

There is no ones whose permission I need to stop waiting.

What will be different when you stop waiting?

The land stripping me bare

El Questro Station, The Kimberley, Western Australia

“I don’t know why you do this to yourself!”  His words penetrated sharply into my heart. The awkward silence between us had been shattered.  Feeling his frustration toward me shook my core.  My husband always been my lighthouse, my rock, my safe shore.  Ever dependable he was my steadier.   Never had a harsh word been said.  Until now.

This outburst of exasperation had rocked me.  Leaving me vulnerable.  My lighthouse had turned his light off. 

It had been a long, hot, exhausting and challenging day. Today had been the beginning of our trek into one of the remotest regions of Western Australia.

We had done what we could to prepare for the journey.  The back of the 4WD was full of food, water and other necessities.  Where we were heading there was no phone coverage, no internet or shops.  Whilst we had travelled to Central Australia many times this journey would be different, we knew that and were aware of the need to take this trek seriously.  Remote outback Australia it not to be taken lightly.  The land commands respect.  She is both rugged and harsh whilst being breathtakingly beautiful.

My response was lightening quick.  The words flowing like water from a damn that had just been burst.  “I do this to myself because it helps me to grow.  I love this country deeply and passionately and I want to experience it, and experience me in it.  I need to get out and explore more of what I think I am.”  I too was feeling frustrated.  From the moment we hit the track I was engulfed with fear.  I was scared and uncomfortable.  The voices in my head already ripping into me far more than his words could.   How stupid I had been to think that this trip could be done? 

Silence once more permeated the air between us.  Our outbursts releasing pent up emotions.   I looked at him, searching his face for some resemblance of the gentle and caring husband, I had known for close to 20 years.  Nothing.   He had gone.  The man with his hands on the steering wheel had his eyes fixed diligently on the 4wd track in front of us.  Concentration taking its toll.

Months of planning and preparation had gone into pulling this ‘holiday’ together for just us.  Our first time away for many years without our children.   I thought it would be a great opportunity for us to connect more deeply and get to know one another once more.

I didn’t see this coming though.   How was it that with every kilometre that we drove deeper and deeper into Country the more further away from one another we seemed?    How was it that the more remote we travelled, the more suffocated and claustrophobic I felt?  The silence so deafening, I wanted to scream.  I needed to run back.  Back to the safety of the life I had known.  Keeping all in order.  It was too late though.  We had begun.  The journey commenced.   Unconscious and out of sight we had agreed to undertake this experience. 

There is only one road in and out to El Questro.   What was becoming increasingly clear was that who I was going in would not be who I was coming out.   Already on day 1, I was unravelling.  We were both challenged. 

This was not a trip of coming together but of journeying deeper into ourselves.  Two souls.   Once we turned onto Gibbs Rd, it felt as if we had entered a completely different time paradigm.  Nothing we knew would be the same again.  What we felt we needed, we didn’t.  What you think you want, you don’t.  There was only one road in and out.  No where to run or hide. 

I was being stripped bare.

Are you running an internal comparative dynamic?

comparison

kəmˈparɪs(ə)n/

noun

  1. 1.  a consideration or estimate of the similarities or dissimilarities between two things or people.

Comparing oneself to another can be detrimental to one’s sense of self.  Always will there be differences.  We are all unique individuals endeavouring to be the best version of ourselves.

Is this the only comparison?  Between us and another?  Recently I discovered an internal comparative dynamic running unconsciously which has been having detrimental effects to self and my ability to step fully into the new life.  The comparison of myself as I am ‘now’ to the self I was, before my divorce and the changes (to my life and self) that ensued and necessary.   Two Libby’s clashing and comparing against one another.   An internal battle hidden deeply out of sight.

The roles deeply imbedded of being a wife and full time mother had created a persona that I solely identified with.  Here now, the roles have gone and with it the ‘Libby’ I was for over 20 years.  Loss, sadness, confusion and grief experienced deeply.  I have changed through the divorce process and it has been necessary to let go what I was and begin creating me ‘anew’.

As the life I had continues to dissipate into the ethers, more and more spaces frees up for me – here – now.   I have found this space to be a terrifying experience.   The silence of an empty home deafening.

A huge gapping whole was present when my marriage ended and my husband moved out.   This took many years to adjust to.  Since that moment both my sons have moved out of home venturing on their own.  Each one leaving a void, an emptiness needing to be filled.  My daughter now on the precipice of her own journey.  Each departure stripping me bare.  The role as wife removed, the one as mother shifting and changing.   Roles that I came to realise I identified as.  Dangerous on reflection.  Yet many of us do.   No judgement.

As I learn to be with me now and explore my innerness I am clashing up against who I was.

Two worlds colliding; married with kids compared to divorced with an ever emptying nest.  The worlds don’t match.  How could they?

I have been comparing who I am now to who I used to be, what I sense to do with what I used to do, how my life is now to how it used to be.   A constant comparative flow.

Against the lovingly familiar ‘old’, my ‘new’ has had trouble stacking up.  It has no strength.  It is newly forming, like an embryo it needs nurture and care.   Yet in the looking back and seeking who I was, I have been neglecting who I am growing into now.  So much energy has been invested in looking back and seeking ‘her’ that is has been at the expense of creating a space within something else can grow.

Comparison of self to self is damaging, restrictive and not supportive to growth.

Who I ‘was’ is loved however full attention and presence must be brought into the here and now.  As I free up all the angst, wishing for what was, judgments and frustrations of these two worlds colliding, I can create a pristine environment within which a new life can be created.

Compassion oozing into the spaces previously taken up with comparison.

I wonder what the new will look like?

Grief, loss & divorce

Divorce is an ending. Endings result in a sense of loss. Grief ensues.

Below are some of my personal wonderings of loss and grief through the divorce process.

  • Is the grief for me or for them?
  • Is it a sense of loss for what was?
  • Feel how it feels
  • Drain the grief pool
  • Feel, allow, don’t judge
  • Waves, ride the waves
  • Depth
  • Let it pass through
  • Exquisiteness of moving through the other side of the wave
  • Let it wash over you
  • Deference of what will be now
  • Acceptance of what is
  • I will be changed through it
  • Loss of what was
  • Loss of what is
  • Loss of what was to be
  • Letting go of the life and being (self) as I created it
  • Letting go of who I think he is
  • Letting go of who I choose to see
  • Death of my life as it was
  • Youth
  • Attractiveness
  • Sex, physical intimacy
  • Loss of future moments, shared goals, dreams and visions
  • Loss of family unit
  • Loss of Love
  • Loss of everything I have valued, worked for, lived for and cherished
  • Keep going

3 things grief gave me

Grief as a transformational experience

Whilst I have battled around in loss, grief in all its glory has also given to me.

  1. Grief is a very powerful force.  It’s intensity governed by how great your capacity has been to love another and to be loved by another.  The depths of grief is often in direct correlation to love.  This force can be destructive and will wipe you out like never experienced before, yet it is also a creative force unlike any other.  When my marriage ended grief was my faithful companion for a couple of years, and even now there is residue of this loss.  Fighting against this force though intensified my experience. When I allowed myself to succumb to it and rides it waves, my experience began to change.  I worked with this creative force, through its destructive nature.
  2. Grief reveals you.  Never before had I felt so vulnerable and exposed.  I felt I was naked to all who saw me including myself.  The defences were down, I crumbled in front of my own eyes and I had to own aspects of myself that I had spent years trying to hide.  Grief is messy, it has no timeline or structure.  It doesn’t care who you are, what you’ve done and what you have.  This can be scary.  Embracing the revelation of who you actually are is a gift she gives you.
  3. Grief is a reservoir.  When I was battling my ‘divorce grief’, I found myself feeling this loss within previous loss experiences.   My brothers death, my parents divorce, family breakdowns, my nan’s battle with dementia it was all there within as if waiting for the light to be shone on it.  Anything that I had not previously felt and healed was stirred up.   The ‘sludge at the bottom of the pond’ is what it felt like.  Grief is like that, classic Freud – its repressed, out of sight, unable to be dealt with until this force pushes back on itself enough so it is brought to light.

If you are battling with grief I encourage you to get the support you need.

For those in emergency crisis please contact Lifeline www.lifeline.org.au  or call 13 11 14.