Untethered Soul

I have begun my final rescue mission of myself from my trauma.

This last rescue is all about bringing home the mother, her babies – all of them. The babies who chose me, and all of my inner babies who have experienced the pain of my life.

I did not know it at the time but I started this rescue months ago when I cleared my closet. I donated/gifted away more roughly 3/4 of my wardrobe leaving me with just the essentials; and by essentials I mean, just the clothing that brings me joy. In the process of this clearing I took every single thing out of my closet and cleaned it, top to bottom.

Last weekend I returned to the attic and brought down all my boxes. All of the dust covered memories I have been tucking away in the darkest corners, with lids shut tight.

I opened every lid, emptied every box and found all of my abandoned parts in the heap. I separated myself from the mess and performed a cleaning ritual to cleanse my sacred bits and invite them home to belong to a whole again.

I brought down five boxes, my sacredness fits into one. When I took the lids off and find my special parts they were in poor shape. They had spent years crammed into small, dark dirty spaces, surrounded by junk and other people’s stuff.

You see the message here right? This is not just literal. This is what we do. We tuck away our pain and hurts into the furthest corners of our dark spaces and leave them there surrounded by garbage and other people’s crap that was never ours to be holding on to. Then we spend our lives weighted down by all of it.

It took me 35 years to go up into that darkness, face the truths I was afraid of that caused me to create these boxes in the first place, and rescue myself from all of it.

Now I in the process of tossing the trash, returning everything that is not mine to those whom it belongs to –  I am no longer willing to hold anyone but me- , and holding my truths sacred again. That includes my pain and darkness, it is ALL sacred.

Now my sacredness is held all together, in one transparent box. It has a lid, which sometimes I choose to take off in order to let myself breathe. On that lid words are written. Sacred words. Names. Truths. This is what is holding me now. This box is in my closet, in the space I created for it before I even knew that is what I was doing.

I have allowed myself to be guided by my intuition, my inner knowing, the wisdom I came to this life with, and brought me exactly where I am meant – home in my truths, in love, in connection.

This is what whole looks like for me. This is what healing looks like. This is the BIG LOVE. My capacity to LOVE has grown in a way I do not have human words for. I have a relationship with the dark now which means I will never again be consumed by it; my own or anyone else’s. This is freedom.

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Creating the Path

Now that I have performed all my rescue missions and I am on the other side of the hurt, it is time for the RISE.

This bird has created a nest of safety and now she is ready to LIFT and see just how far these wings can carry her.

Through my visions I have seen some of the road ahead. The places where the path are clear make goal setting easy, this is good AND I am not looking for easy. My focus now is on the challenge.

I have been writing my story since I was 9. I have been sharing my story since I was 28. The time is coming for how I will fully OWN myself, and my story, and all of my sacred truths OUT LOUD. It is time for me to pick up my brick and carry it down the path. It is time to lay it down and take my place in the collective stories of women who have risen when their souls called out for it. I have to take my place where it has been saved for me. My brick will call the next woman to carry hers. We cannot get to where we are going, we cannot return to love without these bricks, without this path.

The time is coming and I am making myself ready.

On the other rise of trauma therapy is about the rising. It is about clearing the way to follow my truth home.

With my hand at my heart I thank you for being here, if these stories have touched you I am grateful – now go pick up your brick.

Speaking from the Same Mouth

I have visions. They come in the form of dreams, pictures in my mind, feelings in my body. Sometimes these visions are for me, sometimes I am receiving them for someone else and I am meant to share the message. I do not call myself psychic, that does not feel like my truth. I feel I am deeply connected to my inner knowing and I listen to her well, I also think that my connection to the place I am from, the place of souls, was never severed.

This year the visions have been coming and I believe what I am seeing, hearing, and feeling.

Yesterday my Yoda and I were discussing the place of souls and suddenly it was as if we shared one mind, one consciousness for a moment; in that moment we were speaking with the same mouth. We were discussing a place unhuman, a place both of our souls remember, and we were sharing the same stream of consciousness. Our words were the same words, our sentences overlapped. Human words fail me in describing what happened.

This is what I know: Yoda is my Yoda for a reason. We found each other again after this all time. Most of all: I have to listen to this voice, these visions; I have to follow this pull.

I am not used to being this spiritually naked. This is part of my truth took a long time for me to come home to. I could not tell this truth until I was ALL IN on my faith in myself and what I know to be my Sacred Truth. I am ALL IN.

Permission GRANTED

Soul Camp has traditions associated with it that I really enjoy and look forward to. One tradition takes place the first night before circle opens; this tradition is permission slips.

We take time as a group to reflect individually on the permission slips we are writing ourselves while at camp. Mine this time were;

Permission to be Mom – which meant stepping out of group everyday to call home and be part of bedtime routine with little bubby regardless of what was happening in group.

Permission to accept help when it feels safe now – This was me giving myself permission to Yes when I mean it instead of always leading with a No when help is offered because I am used to being an island.

Permission to change my mind – This permission slip is self-explanatory.

I did well with the permissions I gave myself, and I am excited to share that I brought the energy of permission home with me.

 

Three or Four years ago when I was still in college, I was driving home from school and I was stopped at a red light. I looked out the window and on the ground near my car was a potato. Yep, a big old spud was just sitting there in the middle of traffic.

I was really bothered by this.

He felt abandoned to me. I did not like the idea that this little guy worked as hard as he did to grow into the potato that he is, spending the first half of his life in the agony of growth underground alone, just to end up rotting in the middle of the road under the hot summer sun. This felt very wrong.

I debated for multiple minutes about quickly parking the car, getting out, grabbing him, and bringing him home to die in the backyard around all the vegetation on our property. I debated so long that the light turned green and my opportunity passed. I drove on feeling like I abandoned a piece of myself on the side of the road as well. The piece of me that wants to champion the underdog and fight for the vulnerable. I felt as if I was turning away from the pain of another living thing and that felt as wrong as the potato being there to begin with.

I did not pick up the potato that day because I would have made a scene. Everyone around me in traffic would have seen me park, get out, and rescue that potato. I was not ready to be SEEN on that level so I ignored the piece of me that was crying out to help this abandoned potato. It didn’t feel good.

Fast forward to present day Jillian, fresh off a Soul Camp experience, I once again found myself face to face with an abandoned vegetable.

Little bubby and I ran an errand yesterday and when I parked in the back corner of the parking lot I immediately spotted a sad little zucchini baking in the afternoon sun. She was all alone in the middle of the parking lot. We were not even at a grocery store, I have no clue how this poor thing ended up here, just like I could not figure out before how a potato becomes stranded at a busy intersection.

I walked passed her as little bubby and I headed to the store, then again when our errand was complete and we returned to the car. I settled little bubby back into the car and then got into the driver’s seat. There I sat for multiple minutes staring at the zucchini in front of me.

This isn’t right. I cannot leave her. She did not spend her whole life growing in some garden somewhere to one day become parking lot trash. 

Next to me a man was sitting in his car on his phone.

If I get out and rescue this vegetable that guy is going to see me and think I am nuts!

SO WHAT?

Am I going to let the judgments of others stop me from being exactly who I am?

Nope.

Then and there I wrote myself a few very important permission slips that I will now and going forward keep close to my heart:

I give myself permission to become a collector of weird looks from strangers.
I give myself permission to listen to my heart.
I give myself permission to allow my actions to reflect her voice only.
I give myself permission to live a life other’s do not understand.

With that I got out of the car, grabbed the zucchini and brought her home with us.

Once we were home little bubby went down for nap and Lu and I took the zucchini to the backyard where I said a few kind words before inviting her to join the other vegetable scraps and parts in our compost pile. Now she will go back to the earth and help create new life in my one day garden.

I will live a life I am proud to call my very own, created with this heart and these two hands and led from a place of love and connection.

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ALL IN

On the other side of Soul Camp I am noticing some differences. The first major difference; no emotional hang over. This has NEVER happened before.

I normally feel emotionally jet lagged for about a week after a Soul Camp experience because I am doing work at Soul Camp that I am not actively practicing outside of the retreat in my real life. The act of allowing myself to be seen and vulnerable/real on that level always took a lot out of me. This time was different. I left feeling myself, and truthfully a bit energized. A weight had been lifted and that weight did not bring with it any form of hang over, just relief.

It took me no time to understand why this time was different; because I am different. I am truth speaking outside of Soul Camp, I am holding myself sacred in BIG ways outside of Soul Camp, I am not playing small and allowing myself to be seen outside of Soul Camp. I am no longer energetically asking Soul Camp to hold anything that I am not already actively holding on some level.

Another difference is intention.

My husband and I have been practicing intentional living in some form or another for years, this truth was certainly amplified when little bubby was born.

This Soul Camp I went in with very clear intentions and I followed through. I was committed to the work, no matter how hard, and I was committed to making every moment count because I understood what I was setting down at home in order to hold this experience. I was not going to dishonor this commitment I made to myself and my family.

I am excited as hell for what comes next. The shift is happening and I am ALL IN.

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Kisses Can Hurt

The story will be told in parts because that is all I have had for so many years, parts, not the whole. I am working my way back towards the whole, I am working my way back to being whole.

I don’t know how or when I arrived at my high school boyfriend’s home. I do remember laying on my back across the width of his bed staring at the ceiling, disconnecting, as tears rolled down my cheeks. The light was out, it was night, his room was dark, everything was dark and stayed that way for a long time.

He cried when I told him. I don’t know what I told him. I don’t think I had told my mother yet so the decision about the abortion was not yet made. I could have the timeline wrong. I just don’t know.

I do know that he did something that broke of a piece of my heart.. He brought his crying face down onto my belly and kissed it.

……I need to pause…..

 

 

 

 

He fucking killed me when he did that.

Up to that point I was actively disconnecting from my body and this reality AT ALL TIMES. There was no denying this truth when he did that.

For one excruciating moment this was true, and we were an accidental family, and I was a mother, and he was a father, and this was our baby.

I remember nothing after that. Nothing.

The curtain came down hard and all I had was the safety of my ability to completely disconnect from this.

I see now how I dishonored this life. He existed. I do not get to deny him that. My boyfriend acknowledged him immediately. That was the first time I did and it was only because my boyfriend’s action made it impossible for me not to. I could not handle it the truth though and I immediately turned everything off.

The only other time I acknowledged this life was the day of my abortion. I do not remember waking up, I do not remember getting dressed, I know my mother dressed me because I do remember what I wore. I do not remember seeing my brother, what lie had they tole him about this day? I do not remember seeing my parents at all until my mother is ushering me into the building passed the protesters.

That morning I am sitting in living room in the dark, it must have been early. I am alone on the couch and I am nauseous. This is my acknowledgment that life exists here. I am eating a saltine and I am with my baby, aware he is with me too. I can only be with him in that dark. This has always been true – until now.

I am getting closer now, closer to love and connection in this place of darkness and pain. I will find myself, and my babies, and hold it all in love. I know I am getting close because it hurts so bad, which means I am finally feeling it. I have to feel all of it to feel the love. I am getting close.

I buried the piece of my heart that broke off when he kissed my belly and forced me to acknowledge my baby and this connection. I am ready to bring that piece home. I want that connection back.

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1 in 3

The summer of my 16th year was a blackout that only in recent years has begun to resurface for me.

Three things happened that summer:

I lost my virginity and became pregnant
I was confirmed into the Catholic Church
I had my first abortion

In that order.

These things did not belong together. I cannot be Catholic AND be a teen mom. I cannot be Catholic AND be a girl who had an abortion.

I do not get to be both, and I HAD to be Catholic to belong to my family, and I HAD to belong to my family.

There was no other way, so half of me was left behind. 16 and pregnant. 16 and a childless mother.

I disconnected from myself so hard that I lost my memories. This is a skill I learned in childhood. I have talked before about our magnificent minds and the lengths they will go to in order to protect us from painful, frightening, devastating realities.

I told myself; This is not part of my story. This never happened. The level of disconnection I experienced was severe, complete-loss-of-self severe. I was lost for a long time, and I only became more lost in my twenties.

I remember sitting in the gymnasium of my church the summer of my 16th year, unaware of the change likely already taking place in my body. I was sitting on a metal folding chair between two girlfriends from my CCD class, we were listening to a guest speaker. This speaker was warning us of the danger of premarital sex. This speaker was impressing upon us the importance of abstinence.

This speaker was not telling us about consent, or affirming our rights to our bodies, or empowering us to make choices with our bodies from a place of being informed and connected. Our bodies did not belong to us, they belonged to God or the Church or our parents or our future husband’s or something?

It was clear that sex was dangerous. I remember the speaker recited a statistic meant to scare us, something about 1 in 3 of you girls will end up pregnant out of wedlock or something. The statistic is not what stands out, what I really remember was looking to my right at my friend Megan, then to my left at my friend LeeAnn, and thinking Well I know it won’t be me.

It already was.

My patron saint was Mary Magdalene. It was my way of thumbing my nose at the church. I had always felt other-than, their rules had always chafed me, felt like nonsense. I had questions that could not be answered. I had questions no one appreciated me asking. I always felt wrong.

I chose Mary Magdalene because my Catholic brain saw her as the persecuted whore, I felt sisterhood with her. I was struggling with the fact that only weeks before I had lost my virginity, I needed someone in my corner and she seemed like a good someone to me. I liked that no matter what society said about Mary Magdalene, she and Jesus knew she was inherently worthy; that she was part of the divine, that we all are. On some level, even in my darkest corners, I have always known too.

This truth is why I did not stay lost. In my Found place I know I am worthy, I am whole, I am enough. I know this because of my connection to the divine.

This part of my long walk home is not just about picking up that mother and her babies and welcoming them all back in love; it is about the repair of my connection with my own sacred holiness.

I have to unravel from the untruths I learned about belonging and worthiness. The Church does not get to define these things for me just as they do not get to withhold them.