What is Holding Your Pain for You?

A major part of my journey towards growth and wholeness has been unlearning, or as I call it, Unraveling.

Over the years I have coped with my pain in harmful ways. Harmful to me and harmful to others.

I had trouble holding my pain so I tried to gift it to others through projection.
I have had a long affair with food as a way to numb pain.
I used alcohol at times but it was never my numbing agent of choice.
I also dabbled with certain drugs, again, not my go-to though.
After I was raped I actually used sex to numb because I thought it would help me feel back in control, it didn’t.
My number one harmful coping device was shopping though. Above all else I LOVED to shop.

Shopping was great because it did the job of numbing the pain so I didn’t have to feel my feelings AND it is a socially acceptable action so no one would be trying to intervene and raise concerns. Yep I flew under the radar for years, I was just another woman with a closet full of clothes.

My shopping addiction had been riding shot gun with me for years by the time my husband came into the picture. This is when it started getting complicated. He was the first person to ever energetically hold up a mirror and say, I think we have a problem here.

I had been avoiding that mirror for over a decade – Now this guy shows up and wants to love me and care for me by telling the truth? Who the hell does he think he is?

Even with his compassionate honesty and my coming to terms with a really uncomfortable truth, it still took 6 years to get a handle on my unhealthy relationship with shopping. What I learned in the process is that it wasn’t just the act of shopping that I had to address, it was my deeply unhealthy relationship with money in general.

Since the age of 18 when I got my first job I had been using money to hold my pain for me. Just like I used food, and alcohol, and drugs, and sex, and even other people through projection. I was doing everything I could to run from my truths and NOT hold the pain they carry.

Last year I worked on my relationship with money, that work continues, and it has changed everything. It is part of what got me to the place of actively wanting to hold my pain, I know now this is the only way to the other side.

I have had a few epiphanies since unraveling my relationship with money. One being that less stuff actually brings me more joy and peace. Another a-ha moment was paying attention to what I spend money on when I have a more connected, intentional relationship with money – art supplies. It is not clothes or shoes or bags or anything to impact my appearance, it is art which is one way my soul communicates.

So, like the alchemist I am, I am turning my pain into something beautiful to share through art. My healed relationship with money is going to support me in this venture, so are my own words from this blog. I understand now that nothing and no one is meant to hold my pain for me AND it is okay to allow myself to be supported. Money can support me, my writing, my art, those whom I love – they can all support me as I hold my pain.

I believe I am stepping across a threshold into the life I was meant for.

This is BIG.

I am grateful for the knowledge that love heals and I no longer have to run from myself. I can hold my pain and all of my truths in love and be WHOLE.

 

what is holding your pain

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Animal Guide

tortoise lesson

I am continuing this animal mediation even as we speak. I am recognizing how animal wisdom will be able to help me when I am feeling unbalanced.

A visual animal representation of my root chakra becoming unbalanced would be the gopher tortoise on it’s back. What message is present here to help me find my balance again when I am not feeling grounded.

Give myself the time I need. A gopher tortoise can correct itself on its own but it takes time, and often times determination.

You can always find safety within. When I am feeling a general feeling of disconnection or overwhelmed, all signs that my root chakra is unbalanced, I can take a moment and retreat within myself no matter where I am. While yes, the gopher tortoise has a physical home under ground the tortoise also carries his home with him thanks to this shell on his back. At any moment when he feels overwhelmed or scared or unsure he can retreat within himself until he feels safe again to reemerge. When I am out in the world my inner wisdom is my sanctuary I carry with me, it is always there when I need it.

Remember the earth. The tortoise walks slowly, methodically across the earth with intention in each step, he makes his home beneath its surface, the tortoise has a deep connection to the earth and relies on it to survive. This is no less true for me and I can rely on this connection whenever I am feeling unbalanced.

 

The mocking bird; my throat chakra. What message does this animal hold for me about speaking my truth?

Stand up for yourself/your truth. The mockingbird is territorial and will chase off birds much larger than themselves, even predators like hawks, to protect their nest. When I feel my nest (representing any part of me) is being threatened it is time to stand in my truth and set a boundary much like the mockingbird.

Be open to learning from everything around you. The throat chakra is not just about speaking, it is also about listening. It is the energy space for communication and all good communication encompasses both giving and receiving. The mocking bird is unlike other birds in that it does not sing just one song. Most birds species learn there song early on from a parent, mocking birds listen to the sounds of their environment and interpret what they hear. They are not limited to bird call either, they can mimic other animals and even cell phones. This amazing ability to listen and speak the language of their environment represents universal communication. The ability to listen intuitively and speak the universal language that all speak, love.

Don’t forget your own song. I think it is important to recognize that while it is an amazing feet to be able to listen and communicate in a language that transcends so many barriers this gift is not solely intended for others. The mocking bird was given its name because of this amazing gift it has to interpret others so accurately. That is all well and good, it is of equal importance for me to know what my song is and sing my song for me as well. I do not want to be labeled like the mocking bird and be known just for my ability to communicate with others. I need turn my gift inward and listen/speak my own wisdom as well.

 

 

 

 

Animal Meditation

animal medi

The second half of my meditation today was spent not on philosophical ponderings like the first half but instead on an inspiration shared by my new soul friend last week.

She was talking about how each of her chakral energy sources has an animal representation in addition to the colors and symbols already applied to the chakras. I totally identified with what she was saying and so took some time today to see what my inner knowing had to say about this.

I may explore this further in future posts, today I am only sharing the vision that came to me as I moved up my energy pathways starting at my root chakra.

My root chakra came to me the easiest, it is the gopher tortoise.
My sacral was blank, I cannot see anything yet.
I will come back to my solar plexus.
My heart chakra was also very apparent, I immediately saw the rabbit.
My throat chakra is the mocking bird.
I will come back to my third eye.
I do not have a clear knowing about my crown chakra yet but it feels light and airy, a winged animal like a butterfly, humming bird, or dragon fly. I will know when it is time.

Back to my third eye and my solar plexus. When I was done meditating on my throat chakra instinctively without realizing I was doing it I closed my eyes and put both hands, finger tips only, on my forehead on either side of my third eye. At first cognitively I thought I was doing this to brush something away from my face but then I turned my mind off and knew what I was doing. I massaged my third eye with my finger tips with my eyes closed and started seeing the color orange and red, like veils lifting, first orange then red then orange then red. I opened my eyes and saw in my mind’s eye the red fox. I sat with this for a moment and knew it was true. What was unclear was where he fits in. He came to me during my third eye meditation but he feels connected to something lower down, my sacral or what really feels more true is my solar plexus. Some how he feels connected to both my third eye and solar plexus. I feel like there is another animal that solely represents my third eye, as I said that I saw the two large eyes of an owl looking into me. I need to sit with all of this a bit more. The ones that came easy were the energy sources I have relationships with and where I most often experience balance. My middle and top chakras are areas where I am still building connection.

Now that I have put this out into the Universe I am wondering what kind of symbolisms and signs will begin popping up. I am open to receiving what I am meant to receive.