As we move into November and begin to sync in with the season, we find ourselves squarely in Fall. The days are getting shorter and darker. We are being invited, or pushed depending on how it feels, into the darker season and into the darker parts of ourselves. It’s hard to ignore the chaos in the world right now, the underbelly of society revealing itself. All that was hidden within the busyness of summer has a way of revealing itself now. We may find ourselves rushing from one thing to the next trying to fit it all in; trying to behave as if it’s still summer. We stub our toe on the way to the bathroom, we miss our alarm and end up rushing to work, we start letting go of our exercise routine. All of these are signs that we’re pushing too hard in a season that is no longer supporting that movement. It also may mean that we don’t want to slow down long enough to hear our internal voice.
It’s that time again to hold space for the darkness, both within and without. As above, so below. Not something we’re very familiar with, or very good at, as the case may be. We are taught from a young age that only the happy, shiny parts get airplay; the rest should be shoved under the couch never to be exposed for fear of judgement. This is great for getting through middle school ridicule; it doesn’t work so well as adults. When we ignore those parts of ourselves we may be embarrassed by, they feel rejected, and just like any kid that feels rejected, they start to revolt. I was talking with my partner about this and he said it’s like the orphanage of the soul. I just love that image. Maybe if we can think of those dark parts as orphans that need our care we can have an easier time creating space for them, listening to what they need and offering support. These parts of us are not bad, they just need to be loved into existence so they have the freedom to express and to heal. If we don’t, they get louder and louder, angry at everyone outside of them, blaming and judging, wrecking havoc and the abuse goes on, until maybe, we are suffering so much that we have no other choice but to listen.
I took my daughter to the dentist yesterday for her first filling. She hates needles and she freaked out at the idea of getting novocaine shots. She got so upset that we had to leave and reschedule the appointment. All night she was talking about how she had to have shots. The appointment is not for a month. This is how we are. We push and we let our fears run wild and then we bury them so no one else will know. The fear around the issue becomes larger than the issue itself. And what we miss is the delicious information in all the fear, anxiety, anger, or whatever is there.
Have you ever had that experience where you’re terribly ashamed of something you’ve said or done and you hide it away for no one to see? You hermit. Then one day you become brave enough to share it with someone you trust. The minute the words cross your lips and land in the outside world, you realize how silly they were and you say to them, but almost more to yourself, “this isn’t that big of a deal, is it?” Or you see the compassionate look in their eyes and you know they love you anyway, you are safe, and it’s all going to be ok. We can offer this same compassion, and love those parts of ourselves into freedom and healing. They want nothing more from us than to be included and to be loved. Once they know they have that, they often want a much more important job than driving us crazy.
We see this playing out in the larger landscape and it’s almost as if this ugliness is pushing its way up and out so it can find its way into our consciousness, not so we can lay down in depression, but so we can use this information to make change and incorporate the lessons from the grief.
Take time this month to check in with yourself. What dark beliefs are keeping you down? How might you be getting in your own way? And can you offer that part of yourself compassion? Can you sit down and offer it tea? I promise it will be so happy you did, and it will likely dissolve into a puddle, right there on the spot.
All my love, Heidi