Re-Membering & Compassion - My Journey from Grief into Wholeness
As 2017 came to a close, I received a powerful vision in my meditations. The images of Quan Yin, the Blessed Mother Mary, the Black Madonna and Tara, all came to me sharing insights from the past decade. There had been so many changes, that I have had to take my time in reviewing it all for setting my intentions for 2018.
I was searching for a way to connect with the wisdom and inner guidance I so dearly needed then and now. My spiritual practice includes a discipline for safely entering an altered state of consciousness (drug-free) through the use of yoga-like body postures in a ritual context. As I researched the images of the Divine Feminine that had presented themselves to me, I discovered one image of the Queen of Compassion that "spoke" to me.
This posture of Quan Yin's was calling to me to try it out. I did, with amazing results. On December 29th, I facilitated a journey for others who were willing to end 2017 on a compassionate note. Something that our world needs more than ever for our collective healing, as well as our planet's health.
What has come from the sacred circle most profoundly are the memories and the integration of my own struggle for compassion and wellness on all the levels of my complicated bio-mechanical being. I wanted to call in the wholeness of my Self. And was pleased to find that others were willing to explore these concepts for their paths.
For I know, that as we gather in sacred spaces, practicing our rituals together, we are able to grow healthier, evolving farther in unison, building momentum faster and more powerfully, than we ever could on our own. When we are unified, we are amazing forces for gathering and building energies for creating transformation. When we collaborate and unify in harmony, we are capable of so much more.
Unfolding within me, were surprise and delight, as I listened with my heart open to the others sharing their experiences with the new pose. Each person present shared a bit of a larger story being told. A story of healing and compassion beyond what I had imagined possible. I am deeply grateful to each person who shared their presence in that sacred circle. I have learned more about my own process, enriching the integration of my path over the past 10, 20, even 30 years ago, when I was first called to explore the spirit worlds through the creative mysteries of being an artist and a human being.
I've never shared this much of my process with others before. I am a very private introverted and shy person, by nature. I offer my story for the compassion, healing and blessing of those who struggle with their own journey.
The gift I discovered about my own journey of healing and compassion was this...
When my mom died at the end of 2011, I was devastated by more than just her passing. I felt as if I had lost my whole family, again, with her death. It didn't help that I had fought with my sister the day after she died. After returning home from the eviscerating experience, I gave myself the year of 2012 to heal and recover.
I thought I was doing well with healing from the grief and pain I had kept within. I was taking my time to be alone with my grief. To remember, to cry and to rest. My beloved husband gave me the space I had asked for and went to all our social events in 2011 on his own, per my request. I am still amazed that he didn't find someone else to spend his time with during those dark years of my life.
Then, 6 months later, I was in a car accident that pushed me into a deep, bone-rattling and terrifyingly scary place within. I was recognizing all the unresolved pain and wounding that I had worked so hard for so long to heal. It was still with me. I was wounded beyond repair, in my view. The accident had served to awaken me, metaphorically, to where I was broken open and bleeding profusely now. But there was so much more to learn...and to lose.
Here I was, an accomplished facilitator of others' healing journeys and I had so much work to do on myself. It was overwhelming. I didn’t sleep for 3 months. I sought medical help for the lack of sleep and it only made my mental, emotional and physical state worsen.
I turned to my spiritual practices, my meditation, yoga and other movement exercises, as well as my creativity. The creativity well as dry and I had to find something that worked so I could face each day, not to mention the long nights without sleep. I also thought about my past and what made me feel good when I was hurting and alone. I did those things that supported my process of coming back from the abyss that I found myself in.
Finally, after a few years of mental and emotional fog, (compounded by the peak of my menopausal hormonal shifts) I slowly began to seek out the light again. I tentatively found resources that helps those return to living life again, instead of the ones who supported those who were in the depths of their grieving. That's when I knew I could no longer stay in my solitary state. This was a revelation for an introvert like me.
It was a long and difficult journey to find my center again. My identity was lost amongst the emptiness and pain, combined and multiplied by the events that followed Death's cold touch. It took me 5 years to begin feeling like myself again. I was alone for most of that journey by choice and by chance. Now I encourage you who are mourning to take care of yourselves, as if you were a precious child, reborn.
I remembered who I was, only after plunging into the depths of who I no longer was with compassion. I finally learned how I defined forgiveness. Something that had eluded me over the years.
If you have access to groups who will support you in your process, please use those resources you are comfortable with, keeping in mind that you are growing and will be uncomfortable for a while. Being alone prolonged my grief, but that is what I chose. I don't recommend it for long periods of time unless you are a seasoned loner and even then, we all need others for a healthy life.
Blessings of Gratitude, Love and Compassion for your creative, healing path in 2018 and beyond.