Do You Remember Your True Names?

If you’ve been a woman alive on this planet for more than a few years, then you have been exposed and subjected to shame. Since you were very small others helped you understand shame is simply what we do here.

And then there were the things others did to you, and you did to others; things that brought you a full, close and intimate understanding of the architecture of shame. You were abandoned, or you abandoned them. They commoditised and consumed you, or you them. They violated you, or you them. They used you, or you them. They desired you, or you them. They wronged you, or you them. You needed blessed relief from the burden of guilt for what was done, and what you did, when you were afraid, and bound in the dark, or taking flight in terror, or fighting to keep what you had.

They introduced you to Eve, your mother in sin, and explained your ruination was inevitable because your history, all your mythical past and all your moral present, are steeped in deceit and ambition and lies. If you lay down your power to this god and his representatives, you will receive rest and protection for yourselves and your children. So you gave away both your right to know any other myth, and to your power, and made a home in the grounds of the new masters household, bound to endlessly repeat genuflectures of obedience and submission and confession of the sin of being a woman, in return for respite from the battery of accusations and your own suspicion they could be right, and you would never, ever survive out there.

Yes, I am bad, and I am ashamed. Now please, just let me be.

We who believed we were naked, who have believed the story shame told us, that the things that hurt us were made of ourselves – we need healing, and we need help to become whole. And we must bring that healing and wholeness to ourselves.

The healing we bring will be made of ourselves; our true selves. The healing from shame we need will not come from some other place or some other person, other than from other fellow healing, and fellow healers. The shame we felt wasn’t made of us, not really. We once were tricked, fooled and held to ransom. But we are not fools, and we are not victims. Those are names given us to cripple us, to hold us down, and back, and out. To begin to walk toward wholeness and healing – which is all any of us can ever do, walk towards it – we must connect back in, back to our true names; the names of our beginnings, the names without end. Small and Pure. Good and Beautiful. Joyful, Powerful and True. Strong and Smart and Clever. Formidable. Free.

Do you remember your true names?

What Happens When The Broken Become Wild.

Sometimes, when people have had to become very wise very early in life, when they’ve had to grow up quickly, or make themselves into a partner or a parent when they were not quite finished being childish or gotten to spend much time alone, they might go a little off the rails later on.

When you make vows and promises and covenants and pacts in your youth, you often have to break them again sooner than you thought you might. It’s not a thing to feel ashamed of. It is what it is when you can’t stop a thing from falling apart, when you realize love really isn’t all you need. It simply is what it is.

But when it happens, the person who is breaking it, or who gets broken away from, might scatter for a little while, then do this other thing where they seem to run in five directions at once, all of them terrifying and dangerous and risky and apparently self-destructive.

When this happens, we might be tempted to rush in and save them from themselves. We see the wild abandon and the tightrope walking and we cry out, stop! It isn’t safe! You’re vulnerable right now! Come back, come back! Be small for a while! Let us protect you from yourself!

Grief is a peculiar animal. It has this way of making us long to force the unfinished parts of us into process. It drives us towards dangerous people and dangerous places, because we long to feel something other than numbness and loss. We want to feel like conquerors, instead of conquered. Grief makes us feel around for the young, vulnerable, untested aspects of our psyche and grasp them to us tightly, kissing them tenderly on the forehead, before we drag them out on the town to get tattoos and meet dangerous strangers wherever they can be found.

Breaking a promise you made in your youth is often a kind of death to hope. But it is also often the rebirth of the self that stopped exploring the wild, wide world when that premature promise was sealed.

If you do not finish your exploration of the wilds when you are young, the wilds wait until you are free again. Then, if you allow them, they come back to claim you.

You will heal all your grief with process, my friend. And the school of process is out here, in the wild.

You Belong In The Wilds.

This is what I know. Life in the wilds offers us not exposure, rejection and confusion, but confidence, self-direction, autonomy, and independence.

You are not going out – you are coming in.

You will not be alone. You’ll need to learn to become self-directed, but you will not be bereft of company, or support, or teachers.

This is no forlorn exodus. There are many of us on this journey towards wholeness and healing. It’s a homecoming. We are students of each other, and ourselves. We have all suffered loss and damage, and indeed, lost parts of ourselves. We have been broken, and we are scarred and tired. But we are survivors.

We learn to make fire, shelter and new friends. We have all left tribes, families and homes. But we discover how to feed and clothe ourselves – emotionally, spiritually, creatively. We make those social and psychological deserts and woods and coasts and forest our realm and our domain. We create new rituals, ceremonies and celebrations. We no longer need to seek approval, protection or wear others names for us.

Freedom to be who we are, and always were, is our birthright, our ceremony and our song. Come with me. Come with me.

Trust You. God Does.

Why don’t you listen to your own good heart?

Why don’t you wrap your arms around yourself and soothe your troubled soul?

Why don’t you give your power to yourself, and not to others?

Why don’t you acknowledge those feelings as visitors, as mirrors, as signs of life?

Why don’t you treasure your intuition? Why don’t you trust you?

God does.

She Has You.

The you that you once were – that small, good and vibrant child who once was – that’s the real you. All the things you were then; those things are who you really are. Still. Now.

You wonder what you’re made of; you’ve spent your whole life seeking and searching, holding up mirrors to yourself and picking up labels and sticking them to yourself. You’ve rejected the story of your inner child, because there was so much shame around that space, and that place. But you are not those shameful stories.

You are the you who wondered, questioned, asked why, thought those hundred thousand thoughts. You are the you who felt all the feelings. You are the one who knew just what you knew. You are the you who always was, and always will be.

When you wonder now, in your confusion and your memories, in the mess and the sorrow and the fear and at the rock bottom, what to do… go to her. Go to the one you have always been – the small one, the pure one. The one who questioned. The one who sang. The one who ran, who read, who wrote. The one who stood, hands on hips and said no, I won’t. The one who loved and held on tightly. The one who knew beyond knowing what was truly right, and what was absolutely wrong.

You had so little power then, and you suffered. But it is not too late. You can listen to her now. You can empower her now. You can take her on your lap, and hold her until the tears and fears are gone. She has you, now. She has you, and you have her, and that is a very, very great thing.

The Place Where You Buried Your Truth.

You know who you are. You know the truth. You know.

You know the steps. You know the notes. You know the way it felt to colour and fill the page with your marks. You know your brilliance. You know your truth. You know where it is. You know where you lay it down, and you know why.

A time is coming, and is now here, when your feet will dance, your voice will sing, your art will make hearts break and weep, and your truth will break heaven open and cause chains to fall away.

Will you go? To that place where you buried your truth? Will you go?

Do you dare not to?