A learning came to head last night for me -- it was partly some lessons I have absorbed from a book I just finished and partly a topic that had been brought up last week in therapy. It has to do with speaking truths -- when the truths arise -- not days or weeks or months later after they have festered, grown and built villages of resentment in my mind.
This is big for me.
I am pretty good at speaking my mind, once I am so pissed off I can barley handle it anymore -- that place of drama is comfortable for me; at that point my communication is aggressive, sharp, overly direct and my relationship with the divine masculine is no longer healthy. My therapist kept asking me last week "what does a healthy relationship with the masculine look like for you"?
A healthy relationship hey? These words really struck a chord within me as I undoubtably have a relationship with my divine masculine, but a healthy one? I don't think so. My relationship with masculine can sometimes be the only part of me I identify with -- at least that would be the truth for the majority of my life; the past few years have been different as I work diligently on creating space and curiosity for the feminine that resides within my soul. Now that I am in a place of stepping into my feminine energies and practicing vulnerability, receptivity and softness what does it mean for the masculine energies? At first this journey was more about placing the masculine aside temporarily as I exercised a part of my psyche I had never exercised before -- femininity. But now both of these energies are starting to flourish and dance freely within my psyche and yet I can still exhibit rather imbalanced neediness -- I suppose I would call -- it for the masculine.
I think the dysfunction appears most for me when I perceive a threat. Once a perceived threat has alerted my senses my attempt at softness shrivels up and the wall of protective masculine energies appears as fast as a blink of the eye. This is where speaking my moment to moment truth comes in -- this is where it is imperative that I learn to speak what my body is feeling rather than suppress it or ignore it, for once I have shoved the feeling down I have denied self and I begin the process of story telling in my mind which casts me out of my body and my experience and leaves me alone and defensive. Once the loneliness, defensiveness, resentment and story has taken root, I find letting my armour down to be next to impossible.
Ask the people in my life. Go ahead and ask my beaded man what happens when my heart feels unheard -- rather than speaking it in the moment, I try to "go with the flow" but my eyes glaze over, my heart shuts down and ice begins to run through my veins. This is why I have an old nick name: The Ice Queen.
Part of the self-care regime I am learning is to understand that this wall, this old defense system is not going to go away any time soon -- if ever. Part of the nourishment protocol is the 'lean-in'; the recognition that this is a part of my current makeup and I must look at this side of me with self-compassion and patience. What I know to be true about this side of myself is that I require more space than I have ever given myself credit for. I require bouts of alone time -- this is a daily need for me. I'm 32 years old and I am only just beginning to understand this need of mine. Without the daily does of space and self-centred-grounding I start to perceive all sorts of threats -- the world begins to feel unsafe and I feel an over baring sense of 'smothered'.
The 'lean-in' moment to moment is the simple process of continually checking in with my body and my heart and assessing -- with honesty -- what I need as each second of the day passes by; and then -- with courage -- vocalizing it. Let's be real here, it's hard to communicate with my out-loud-voice when something does not feel right especially when it is a simple hurt and not a lifetime of story to unleash on someone. I know how to say NO, I know hot to voice when someone has really hurt me, but these little 'mundane' moment-to-moment communications... now, thats new.
This requires that I communicate now, not tomorrow, not 2 weeks down the road, not once I am uncomfortable, disconnected that the wall has gone up and I am aggressive and feeling trapped, alone and stuck in my downward spiral of thoughts; no, it requires the 'right now' communication.
This is where the lessons of the book I just read come into play; at one point Glennon Doyle Melton in her book 'Love Warrior' says, "I know I have to tell the story if my insides with my voice if I want to stay whole. No abandoning myself." And this strikes me as the truest thing I have ever heard -- it hit me las night at the deepest core of my being for this is the work I have been trying to practice, this is the ticket to keeping my relationship with masculine and feminine in check. This is the path to honouring self. How many times have I just 'brushed something under the rug' becasue I was too afraid to confront it, too afraid to simply say, "you know, that doesn't sit well with my heart". All too often I get the message from my body and then I neglect 'telling the story of my insides with my voice' in the moment. Instead it gets filed into the bank of "you hurt me and this is why I should not trust you" stories and it simply affirms the need for ice in my veins and the big wall pf "protection", which then handicaps my ability to exercise openhearted femininity and true connection.
Having my body touched is a big one for me. The stories in my head go a little like this (and they have for as long as I can remember):
"kori your job as a woman is to please your man. sex is about him and his needs should be met. you should be sexy -- you should be kinky and do things a man would want you to do, becasue thats what a good woman does -- thats how love happens. you should want to have sex all of the time and your sex drive should be really high and your fantasies should be really interesting and sexy..." and on and on and on....
Of course I know -- especially as I work on shining a light on these fucked up mind fables -- that this is not the truth, but somewhere in me there is a link that I should want to be sexual all of the time and that I should be a more cuddly women -- but, I am not; I never have been. And further more it says that when I am not these things that I am ... bad. I never even thought of voicing these feelings becasue it felt mean, bitchy, cold, inconsiderate and so on. Me voicing these things felt like all the times I -- as a women -- have always been called:
And so for a life time a hug always felt to me that it was guaranteed to go further -- but sometimes I didn't want that -- but I never knew how to say it. And it meant that a kiss could never simply be a kiss; it was more of some unsaid promise that I was to go further. Hell, I never wanted to be the "frigid woman" (like I had been called in grade five when I refused to play spin the bottle with all of my friends and was cast out to play alone...). So I was never able to stay connected into the moments of body sensations for I was so caught up in my head with my stories of resentment and fear and alone-ness.
I'm lucky to have the bearded man I have becasue he is the one that holds the space for me as I bring these old belief patterns into light and learn too ... love them and nourish them. This goes well beyond physical body stuff -- but for those that are reading my journal you will know that that is the part of me that has resurfaced as of lately -- the part of me that is trying to assess my experience as an actual woman and call on some compassion and curiosity in that realm.
The lesson would be to "tell the story of my inside with my voice" moment to moment no matter how scary -- to have the courage to be transparent in how I feel. To say to the humans in my life with kindness and gentleness ... 'actually this doesn't feel right' or 'this is too much for me right now' or 'can we go slow my insides feel scared' or simply ... 'I need some space'. The key for me is this: exercising these needs with softness knowing that I am not trapped and I do not need to be fierce or sharp.
The other day I got a comment from a human I really love that hit me in my heart in a very sore way. Normally I would just poker face it and say nothing... that was of course until the wound became so large and the ice in my veins so cold that I would either cut the relationship off or assert my truth in a damaging way. This time I simply assessed where I was at, gathered my truth and said it. I told this human that what they had said didn't feel right for me and it gave them a chance to say what they meant and that was it... it was done. I didn't need to create a story of why this person and I can no longer share the deep connection that we have always shared nor do I need to assert masculine energy in an unhealthy way.
& so, the work continues and another layer of my onion self has been seen (by self). Nothing to do and no where to go other than the simple and divine place of... self-care, awareness and compassion.