I had an interesting experience this morning as I was preparing to write for my latest book, I Am My Own Daughter (publishing this year) about self-mentorship.
My morning ritual is to meditate before writing in order to face any obstacles that might come up and clear the path so that I am fully available to write. Being a conduit and keeping the flow open for the creative voice seems to bring forward the debris that threatens any creative project. The internal dialogue of “the peanut gallery” (or parts of self, what I call the Inner Tribe), who would often prefer to remain small, can drown out the true fluid voice and wreck the project, derailing even the best endeavor.
This morning my higher voice, what I call The Big Self (and what I deem the “divine self” or the intelligence that is bigger than my egoic consciousness) said, “Embrace your dark self.” I took to the refuge of my journal to record the experience and share it here with you because it was so powerful.
Journal entry March 11, 2015
Awakened before the alarm at 4:45 and was asked by HV (Higher Voice) to meditate. I sit in my Thinking Chair and before I meditate begin to inquire about “The Abyss”, the great pit of despair that I have been encountering since I did some TRE (traumatic release exercises).
(Note: The Abyss is an old and familiar place, one that I’d thought I left behind in therapy more than 20 years ago; the wound created by trauma in my early life created a convenient chasm to push parts of myself that i didn’t like into and became a kind of “grave” for anything I didn’t want to see about myself or my parents. It is not unusual for trauma survivors to disown parts of self in order to continue to stay alive and function; it becomes a problem later in life when we have healed enough to do good things in the world and the energy of those disowned parts is required in order to be powerful in our efforts.)
My HV tells me to “Embrace my darkness” in response to my inquiry. It says, “Embrace your dark self, your shadow self, the one that follows you around that you hold separate from you…your Dark Twin, the one who speaks her mind, who is angry, and who has the longevity to do what needs to be done.”
I see it as clear as day in my mind…the me that is in the light, the one I see daily, and the sooty one that growls and crouches behind me, eyes red and smoky. I feel twinges of fear. My first impulse is to deny that it exists, but I immediately recognize this as an egoic and frail attempt to scramble for control. My Big Self steps in immediately and calmly urges compassion, neutrality, non-judgment, acceptance. And then I begin to see her for what she really is.
She’s the accumulation of all the things I don’t like about myself. The TRE broke down the separation between me and my Dark Self; I had her heaped in with the wounding that I ascribe to my childhood. I’m given to understand that most of us, even those not dealing with significant trauma, disown the Dark Self because we are afraid that it is the true self …but it is just a part of the self, part of who we are.
HV says,”Own your darkness. Make peace with the things you’ve disowned. Embrace the power that you’ve suppressed.”
I set the intention in my usual way, asking for the help of All Creation to embrace my darkness and heal the chasm/wound that I pushed my Dark Self into…backfilling from the inside out with unconditional love. I watch as a large earthen hole begins to fill up with “lit up” soil, lifting any remnants, little pockets of darkness up into the light, to the surface. I am determined that nothing will remain buried. The pockets poof into nothingness as they are exposed to the light, becoming one with my wholeness. Except for one.
In my left field of vision, on the left side of the hole, is a black snake. It is getting buried under the “lit up” soil, covered up where it can remain under the surface. No more burying! I must embrace this part of me, whatever it is…but I am terrified to do that. This black snake is the common symbol in my dreams of my mother, a frightening and unpredictable water moccasin. I lift it out with my mind, will it to the surface by reasserting my intention to embrace ALL of myself. It comes up to the ground where I can see it; I am afraid it will strike out and bite me. I once again reassert my intention to embrace it, and suddenly the snake is in my arms. I just know that any second it will strike, but what it does instead is flick out its tongue and “kiss” around my mouth.
So surprised, I notice I now hold the snake in my arms like I would hold a reclining baby-there is so much love here. The snake dissolves into nothingness, and at the same time I hear myself say, “I love you, mama.” I sense a connection between me and my mother that feels very young. There is forgiveness. The tears come. And then I feel a splitting, sudden pain in the left side of my sex organs…my left ovary, Fallopian tube, into the uterus, and expanding up into my hip. This is an area where I have felt constricted and stuck; the pain clears and my hip relaxes. My inquiring mind asks what just happens, and my HV says I just released tension that I’d been carrying in my body for a long time, since I was 3 years old.
Oh. My mother first told me I was evil when I was 3 years old.
My HV tells me that my Dark Self is healing, that progress is being made. I notice The Abyss is filled in and that I feel better than I’ve felt since the TRE. An opportunity was created by releasing the tension I held in my body to heal something I’d been carrying almost my whole life. There is hope that this part of me that I’d been suppressing will now support my creative efforts and my joy instead of sabotaging them. I’m so grateful.
As I continue on my journey to write and record my healing, it is important that reveal the parts of psyche that have been pushed down into the depths; they are the parts of me that can help to do my work in the world. I need them on board, we need to be working all together as a whole so I can do and offer great things for the folks that also want to do and offer great things.
May we love and embrace all the parts of ourselves…because it is the kind, sane thing to do…and because on the other side lay our authenticity and our freedom.
P.S. You can learn more about my journey to wholeness in my 2012 book SOUL COMPOST, on sale for Women’s History Month (and thank you for supporting an independent author)!
P.S.S. You can read my popular article The 5 Stages of Healing from Trauma here