Finding Strength in Dark Times

Although I have wanted to post many times over the past few months, drafted entries in my head, sometimes made aborted starts on writing – there’s just been so much going on I have to relegate this work to the back burner, but that is becoming increasingly hard as my creative energy wells up into a volcano that has to erupt or I may actually, physically explode. Over the past year I’ve been dealing with the challenges of a partner who basically lived 1500 miles away all year, an INSANE workload, and the seriously traumatic pressure of suddenly having to leave my home of 12 years..stress…stress…stress. My health is holding, but it took a hit – and the constant uncertainty about where on earth we will live, is terrible. It’s a tough time – but it pales in comparison to what’s going on in the world stage, and by that I mean, of course, the election of Donald Trump to the White House.

I can sum this up simply by saying, I just have no idea how this farce ever got this far. Or as the meme goes:

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But, it is happening, and it is terrifying – and the waves of despair, outrage, anger and fear have hit many of us who are sensitives, empathics – Hell, I think it’s hit anyone with a heart, really. And people are responding in various ways…outreach, demonstrations, escapism and denial – I see a range, and my own feeling is, do whatever you need to do, to get through it and be strong. If you feel up to working for change right now, do it! but if not, or if you are unable to/more inclined to inner work, don’t feel bad about that…prayer, is always needed…and so too, does personal outreach, a shift towards kindness, forgiveness, solidarity, make for some powerful Medicine in these challenging times.
And this last thing,this focus on an inner shift – is what I plan to do, my small bit, over the next year at least. (After that, if I’m more settled, time to reassess).

When I look deeply, I see how personal experiences – negative ones, or superficially so – have influenced behaviours well beyond what is reasonable, for me. Professionally, I enjoy overwhelming good results, great clients, and love the work I do…but, one difficult situation or unreasonable person and that seems to overwhelm all the good I am able to do, and calls into question whether I can continue in my calling or not ( not for long, but it happens). Likewise, I’ve chosen a fairly reclusive lifestyle, and while I’m very comfortable with that, there are many cherished people in my life whom I have often failed to keep up with, and that is a sad state of affairs. In 2015, I had some truly awful personal experiences, losing three people I would have called among the most important in my life, for various reasons (one, a long series of disagreements and differences arising; two, a bad mismatch, wherein I thought I was dealing with a friend, but was in fact, not the case at all; and three, I actually have no idea about, she just vanished without a word). That year damaged me, in ways that haven’t been clear until recently – I allowed the hurt and anger to drive me away from people in general – well, that and incessant exposure to animal cruelty (thank you, Facebook) combined to push me further away from feeling like “people matter”…. and into feeling more and more, that we humans are just parasites and channels of negativity here on this earth.
Not a good place to be in.

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Recently, a number of personal events called attention to the fact that I have buried my pain in workaholism, avoided my anger with a cloak of “forgiveness” I didn’t really feel, and allowed my reclusivity to become isolationism and estrangement. With the election of Trump into office and the terrible threats to so many of my friends and so many, period – the threat to all strides made in protecting the environment and animals in general – I felt slapped upside the head, snapped out of my focus on the personal. I can no longer allow myself to be weakened by unresolved conflicts and emotions, I cannot afford the apathy and bitterness that comes with resignation and retreat. I have accepted that I will never receive the apologies I am owed, the hand in reconciliation I waited for, and that is absolutely fine – we should not expect nor crave relationship with those who are not capable of it, in any adult and meaningful way. So those chapters close. And I am amazed, even after all these years of Innerwork, how intense is the response once we turn our attention to our pain, and how rapid the healing once we make it a priority.

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How does this relate to our troubling world situation, you ask? I believe we all have to do something, have to act in someway to offset the energies that have made their presence known of late – I am not going to use the darkness/light paradigm, as for me, darkness is not evil – it is as holy and as  much a part of “goodness” as the light. But there are…energies, now, awakened. And  I do believe this:
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So – for me, I intend to reach out more to my community, to those I love whom I sometimes don’t check with for months, I intend to set up my initiative to bring accessible herbal medicine to low income people (I mean for humans and pets!) and to start up my local classes once we have moved, on a pwyc basis. I’ll call friends more often and invite them over, go out and visit just a little more – strengthen the bonds between me and my loved ones, my new and old friends, and my community.I decided FINALLY to set up a woman’s group (again, once we are moved) and share support, healing and celebration with like-minded sisters. All of this will be supported by intensified personal Work, and reflected too, in a shift in attitude professionally. While I have long been irritated to the point of distraction by what I see as quackery, undermining the validity of my profession, I plan to let it go and just focus on my own contribution. A kinder, gentler me – with more social outings.

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These are hard times, scary and surreal, but we have to stay strong to face them. And we have to face them together. If there is any personal good for me in  the situation, it’s that it has taken me out of the slump – maybe even the depression I’ve been in for a year and a half now. I’ve worked on myself, worked on my spirit, I’ve studied, learned and grown for close to 60 years now – I hope my own contribution can be that of solace to others,  a sanctuary to visit and be held in safe space, even from afar – to bring what I can through the conduit of my spirit and outwards to those who may need it. And do so with good cheer, good humour, and  above all, good coffee.

Much love to the world, I will leave with this quote, which I believe to the core of my (somewhat recovered and optimistic) being.

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