Those Days…

 

When your thoughts resemble the chaos in space

That dark, exploding, frantic place

You’ve no-where to crawl, no corner to hide

No choice but to scream through the scariest ride.

 

When tears soak your skin and you rub your eyes raw

When your smile lines don’t work anymore

When your favourite place is the cold, hard floor

You’ve no boundaries of self, no guidance, no law

 

When the moon howls deeply to our prayers of night

To invite hidden fears from the pit to the light

When the lion, the tiger, the bear and the Hawk

Drum hard on your ear as they roar, as they squawk

 

Those days when we dive with no thoughts of how deep

To call on all demons to dance as we weep

Those days come around like a punctured wheel

Those days I shan’t love, I shan’t laugh, I shan’t heal.

 

Those days when the flame in our heart simmers low

A spark still remains as the embers still glow

Through the dark comes a promise of morning sun

And our two halves of broken will glue back as one.

 

Death of a Storyteller

crumbs death of

I wanted to write a story of woe

Where love rides the storm, through the rough and the low

Let’s make it dramatic, man plays away

And I’ll set this scene on a hot, summer’s day.

 

As the sun shines bright, the lovers drink tea

Her fear steps up “what the hell’s wrong with me?”

“It’s been many weeks since you last kissed my head

You’d do this each night as we’d cuddle in bed”

 

He scoffed and he shuffled, as how could he say

To confess that he no longer saw her that way.

You see he’d found love with somebody new

His wife, once she’d heard, would be broken in two.

 

Let’s move to the kitchen; he tells her the news

“I’m sorry my love, you’re no longer my muse”

“I gave you my life!” Her heartbreak pours out

“You’re a low life, disease ridden, scaly trout!”

 

They fought for two hours, then three and then four

They ignored concerned neighbours who’d knock at the door

Her fury ran deep, taking charge of her wheel

She’s out for his blood for her life he did steal.

 

“You wouldn’t bloody dare!” he screamed to his wife

His whole body shaking, his face to her knife

“I’ll kill you, I will”

She said with a shrill

“I’ll fry up your eyes

And cut flesh from your thighs”

 

She screamed and she cursed as he ran to the door

He prayed on his knees, “I can’t take anymore”

But then neither could she as her wits were at end

For what was left, nothing worthy to mend.

 

With one swift pound,

He fell to the ground

He pleaded, “Just wait”

Please, tell me my fate?”

 

His pallor was grey as his eyes stared at me.

Should I write his escape, ‘ this rat, he breaks free’?

See, I mean not to kill this cheating man

I’d made no intention; death wasn’t my plan.

 

Yet now I was wishing his blood on the floor

He feels the pain I can’t take anymore

To watch blood drain from his cold, lifeless heart

So he’d nothing to give to his muse, to his tart.

 

But the blame was neither on her nor him

The pain that I felt rose from someplace within

So that day l left his heart pumping strong

And I packed my bags to move swiftly on.

 

For the story I write was the old tale of me

I was the wife, the Mrs, the her, the she.

But that day something died and those labels died too

So my story starts here as I write something new.

 

 

 

 

Labels

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Labels, I don’t like them. However, being a vegan (yep, a label) does warrant a need for labels on certain foods, i.e. has a cheeky pinch of milk powder gotten into this whole-food power bar, or is there animal bi-product in this bottle of wine? (why ALL wines are not vegan is beyond me). I try to live as simply as possible, not thinking about designer labels and trying desperately not to label and judge others due to their political views or dislike of animals (although in my eyes, animals are the best)

So there you go, I can’t deny that labels have taken on a vital role in our society. We are labelled as soon as we are named as children. We’re labelled at school to help with the testing system, seen as mass rather than individuals. We’re labelled at work with our job titles. We’re labelled depending on the colour of our skin or the god we worship. Labels are un-escapable, not just in the modern world, they’re part of our history and traditions too. It distinguishes left from right, the ‘good’ from the ‘bad’, it can give people a reason to feel powerful, the hierarchy of society – high to low. It’s safe to say we invest much of our sense of self into the labels bestowed upon us, or the labels we willingly adopt to fit in, merging with a tribe that suits us best. However, the most damaging labels can be the ones we give ourselves, building a limiting story and often being so far removed from our souls purpose that ‘failure’ is the most believed label, even before we give life a good shot.

However, over the past few months I’ve been discovering there are moments when labelling yourself can be the most healing decision, the only decision in order to surrender into feelings. To label the pain in order to admit it, no matter how dark, this can often be the only way to move forward.

“What’s happening to me, why am I feeling like this, am I going mad? Oh shit, I’m a crazy woman!” Leaving ourselves open, like a free for all for every emotion, not knowing why or how or what we’re experiencing can be the scariest thing of all. This has been my reaction to life for the past… well many years now. I’ve not wanted to label any of my thoughts, I’ve been leaving my front door open for a miracle to casually float into my erratic space and clean up the trash I’m pilling high. All has been a whirlwind because of my refusal to admit to myself; to lean into my discomfort, to scoop up the rising issue that I’ve been battling over the years. The truth of the story is, the agoraphobia I once ‘suffered’ many years ago has returned and it ain’t going anywhere, not right now anyway.

I didn’t want to admit this to myself as I’ve been here before, riding the road to recovery when I was 15. Being labelled agoraphobic at such a young age was one of the most difficult paths ever I’ve taken and this is why I don’t like labels, this is the story I’ve been running from, trying so frantically to erase.

“You can’t do this again, you’ve already battled this, you’ve conquered this already so don’t let it come back, you’re too old to be going through childhood trauma again… GET OVER IT! You have to, your future depends on it” Yes, I’ve been that harsh on myself and when I see those words written, just as I hear them in my head, I know I’d certainly never speak to another being like that, so why so hard on myself? This is why writing is so healing and marvellous on many levels. Reading the hateful words I genuinely felt, seeing them on the screen has been the dose of medicine I so greatly needed.

Battle, that’s the word I needed to see, battling myself, battling the labels, battling my way through life so I don’t have to sit through that pain I once persevered. Battling against myself. What craziness to be at war with ourselves, yet it can be the easiest habit to fall into, so readily done each and every day.

I did battle agoraphobia when I was young; I refused to go to school, as it became such an impossible task. I couldn’t socialise, I felt weak, pathetic, the black sheep as I couldn’t do all the things my friends were doing to live a ‘normal’ teenage life. I was at home, all the time. I was reading about alternative methods to heal (blessed with a mum who believed in the holistic path, who shared her knowledge and who loved me unconditionally) as I refused to take drugs, knowing even then that mood suppressants were not the fix I needed. However, as my whole family was included in this battle and we were being inspected regularly by social services, the need for my recovery was getting stronger. The law instructed that I had to get back into the classroom so it became a necessity to find a way to immerse myself back into the scary world, even if that meant jumping before I was ready.

Every effort was made to mask the open wound; I had GCSE’s to take and due to persistent reminders from the external world that I’d surely fail in life if I didn’t take my exams, I had no choice but to plaster up and face the world. I hated being the sensitive girl; the girl who wouldn’t go to the pub or the sleazy clubs that seemed so vital in the girl-snogs-boy process (it was the 90’s, snogging was our favourite word). I didn’t understand why I felt this way, even after a year of therapy the mystery of this complex mind matter continued. I’d been classed as mentally ill and I needed to be like everybody else to prove I was no longer sick.

I see now that although I did recover in order to continue with school, finish my exams and go onto university, I was running off the wrong fuel, adrenaline was overriding the pain, I’d planted my seeds in completely the wrong conditions, they were suffocating.

I did get back into the world, I did make it to the pubs and clubs and drink vodka most weekends even though it tasted like every sip was stripping away a part of my intestinal wall. Although I was back in the game, I’d made it, I’d battled an illness that was only working against me, my soul was deeply aware that I was so far removed from the real ‘me’. The cracks were deepening and I was craving something else… of course at the time, I didn’t know what.

The label of agoraphobia that I’d once found so debilitating, so isolating and uncomfortable is one I never thought I’d be facing again. “I can do it, I’m powerful, I’m bigger than my fears, I’m strong, I’m strong, I’m strong” Yes, I am all those things but I am also sensitive and shy and scared sometimes and I cry about things that happened over 15 years ago. And that is all OK. I’m done with battling, war never leads to peace, war never leads to forgiveness and love and acceptance.

So here I am, I’m labelling myself as agoraphobic, not because I want to slump into the pit of despair about the difficulties in my life at the moment or feed the struggle I face being in busy, public places. It’s not because I want to throw my hands in the air and say, ‘you got me agoraphobia, I give up, I’m not trying anymore’. I’m ready to step into this label again because I want to honour the girl I was, who fought so hard to become the woman I am today. I’m honouring her tears and pleas for self-love when all she could feel was shame and guilt and distance. I want to breathe hope and compassion into every moment of panic; I want to cradle the inner child that never recovered properly, who never got to express her true feelings or desires. I want to edit each page, adding words of strength next to words of fear, to become the healer I wanted to become before the filler of quick fixes hardened across the seeping wound.

I’m labelling myself agoraphobic as sometimes you have to take full ownership of something before you can let it go.

Agoraphobia is only one part of my story, it’s part of my now but that doesn’t mean it has to be written into my future. All I can do right now is inhale light and exhale acceptance until this chapter ends. If anxiety must live alongside my true being then all I can do is promise my soul that I’ll continue to listen and never declare war on myself, ever again.

 

Shadow

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Avoiding my shadow, that yucky place I don’t want to go, feelings I don’t want to feel, actions I don’t want to remember… avoiding the shadow, I’m good at it. I’ve had plenty of practice over the years. Thoughts such as… it shouldn’t be part of the human experience to feel the darkness; it only creates bad things, right? Bad thoughts manifest bad experiences, right? Avoidance is easy… make a cup of tea or a pot of coffee if the craving of adrenaline gets really strong. Watch some easy television, something that doesn’t make me think about anything, full stop. Text a friend about nothing in particular, maybe write a comment on their Facebook. I’ll flick through instagram again even though I looked 5 minutes ago or I’ll eat crisps even though they make my tummy sore. I’ll plan my life for the next 2 years, getting pissed off when the plan NEVER works out as I only made the plan to distract myself from what was really going on inside.

It’s tough to really know yourself, most of the time. It’s like an unlearnt language happening inside, our bodies have this way to communicate with us but we don’t have a clue what it’s saying… when did we get so disconnected! This language flows through every organ, every cell, and every spark of electricity that keeps us alive and moving and growing.

Body is like “What, NO that’s not what I meant, listen, I’m going to tell you again until you understand what I’m trying to say”. Then, I believe myself to be discovering some sort of system within this hazy language but in truth, the more I think I know, the more baffled I become. My example of this is before I even thought about the connections between mind, body and spirit, back in the days when everything just ‘happened’; all was a random string of events. There was no God and no connection to spirit. I got sick because that’s what happened to me. My body was failing me, frustrating me. My body wanted to rest and get better, damn body I don’t have time to rest and get better! I never noticed any synchronicities or signs from the universe, I didn’t believe in all that black magic and woo-woo ways. Life was purely physical, I believed in the material world and all that existed was only all that I could touch and see. Feeling was a curse, not a gift. I just didn’t understand why I had to feel things so deeply; maybe there was something wrong in the head, why couldn’t I be ‘normal’, just like others (now I realise, what’s normal anyway!). Back then, life almost felt easier as no thoughts were geared towards any deeper understanding, maybe I wasn’t ready to let go of the lies, the BS that society feeds us… in my world, as in many, what I was being told, I believed. Or did I?

The material distractions worked for the few moments I needed it, then came the next craving. My faith lived in shopping and luxuries, often quick-fixing my bad mood. Or buying the expensive high-street ready meals after a stressful day at work, craving the temporary rush of feel good that high salt and sugar meals provided. The words “God, I need a drink” were everyday occurrences and once that alcoholic medicine had worn off, it was back to the drawing board… what will my next external hit be?

See underneath all that, I didn’t believe that all was well in the world of Emily as I hit a very dense and painful wall. My world began to fall apart and I had no idea why or what to do about it.

“Emily, You’re taking no notice so I’m showing you what I mean” This subtle language that I’d ignored for so long grabbed my wheel and slammed down the breaks. My engine was running off the wrong fuel and my body and spirit couldn’t survive on what I’d previously fed her.

I mean, I still don’t ‘get it’, who can hand-on-their-heart say they understand every single moment that crops up in our existence. There is so much more than our human brains can comprehend. We discover pockets and we share enlightening stories but our earth is still dying, destruction increases and it appears we are still incapable of working as one – many still work as a separate entity from everyone and everything else. Attitudes of ‘I’m right, you’re wrong’ are not ceasing. The world is dysfunctional and I guess you could say I substituted my previous destructive actions with only positive thoughts, thinking this was the miracle I’d been waiting for, to steer me away from dysfunction. I believed that if I could train my brain to ONLY see the positive in everything all would begin to make sense, life would get easier. I’d no longer need the alcohol or the high salt foods or the dark thoughts that I’d so desperately been trying to avoid for the past 20 years.

I AM LIGHT

I AM LIGHT

I AM LIGHT

This worked, for a time and yes, there is no longer a need for alcohol or processed foods, phew. Yet like the cravings of substance, I was craving more light, more positive, more manifestations of my desires that I was still creating out of ego. I was painting the walls yellow but the undercoat was black. It stopped working, I lost faith in myself, I was yet again on my hands and knees, surrendering to the subtle language inside that I still couldn’t understand and so continued to ignore.

The truth is it wasn’t my faith that had gone; the yellow paint I’d slapped on with a song and dance was peeling away from the black wall. I had no more tins of bright to mask the dark. Now, as I’d invited more light into my soul, the dark was growing too. Rising up, stronger, louder than ever before. Demanding attention like the naughty kid at the back of the class who really only needs to be acknowledged, heard, loved.

So here I am, cradling my shadow. This is the part of the journey that hurts like hell. I cannot find any stone to hide behind anymore, the curtains are open and as Shakespeare observed ‘all the worlds a stage’ except the audience is me looking in, the player is my ever present dark side, the shadow self that needs to be observed in order to fully enjoy the wholeness of my life.

For supressing our innate naughtiness, wild nature, chaotic thoughts and dark dwellings only feeds them with a poisonous tonic, they manifest in ways that seem beyond our control, often projected onto others as we don’t want to witness the primal side, the behaviour that’s been shunned throughout our life for being ‘bad’ or ‘distasteful’ or just darn right annoying. We judge in others only what we see in ourselves, our words can be bitter and once we transfer that energy, we lighten but only for a short while, the cycle gets bigger and our surroundings soak in the hurt that we cannot absorb ourselves. Needless to say the shadow is NOT our entirety either, we need not surrender to only one side of ourselves.

“OK shadow, you’ve become the whole of my being, you win (although it’s never a battle), you make living so fucking hard sometimes that I give up, I want others to feel the pain you make me feel”. These thoughts, although this can seem like our total reality when things get uncomfortable, are not our truth and hurting others comes when we cannot witness our hurt, our pain and own it completely, no one else can take that load for us, the responsibility to soften into our dark space is nobody’s business but ours.

We are equal to both light and dark, as much as some would protest this, for without the dark we would not know the light. The dark is integral to our existence. We are the colliding stars in the cosmos (as above, so below), we are survival of the fittest within the wild and often violent natural world. We are the bush fires, the deadly venom, survivors of the epic floods and dramatic storms. We are all those painful moments when all we want to do is hurt ourselves, to burn away those lifeless roots that draw all our energies away from the sun. We are all of that, we are all a part of the suffering that’s happening all over the world, like it or not, that’s the truth. We ARE the suffering and until we own our own shadow, to witness and nurture our wholeness, how do we even begin to love outside ourselves and nurture this planet that bears the brunt of all our internal affairs.

Am I ready to embrace my shadow? I don’t feel like I am but it seems that decision has been taken out of my conscious hands, it’s never a good idea to bury something that isn’t dead, for reasons I do not need to explain. I am light, I am dark too and I’m the moments in-between, tying desperately to understand the internal language that bridges the totality of me.

 

Next Life

next lifeI’m sat here thinking as clouds pass me by,

That one day my body will pack up and die.

But its not so depressing, not so much as you think

I could fly in my next life, be purple or pink!

I could wear candy clothes that feed hungry birds

Express only love and much kindness through words.

I could dance on the sea and I wouldn’t fall in

Make my own drum out of tree bark and tin.

My hair would be silk and my skin velvet soft

And my house would be glass, from the basement to loft.

I’d never see war but if anger did rise,

They’d fight with balloons and throw strawberry pies.

Each tree would talk, a sweet greeting for all

The flowers would sing through the springtime to fall.

The sun would shine bright on each winter’s day

From morning till noon we’d do nothing but play.

But the best thing of all would be meeting the souls

Who once lived as humans or hamsters or moles.

Their next life is bright and cheery I bet,

A freedom for all, not owned as a pet.

I cherish this life but I no longer fear

The end of this life… and the next to appear.

Control

Over the past few days my desperation to write has resulted in me not actually writing anything at all.‘Don’t force it! You can’t push a steam train on your own, you gotta fill it up with coal first and let that fire burn’ (I’m not too sure where that analogy came from, it makes little sense written down but in my head, it’s perfect).

So my thoughts on this don’t-write-now action obviously meant I’ve made zero documentation over the past few days, does this mean not forcing it worked or was that just an excuse to control the process some more… like ‘I’m running this show and if I don’t wanna write, I’m not gonna write’. But now I am writing so all is well, in this moment, as I press the keys on the computer, right now all control is momentarily restored.

Things happen beyond our comprehension the majority of the time. I guess that’s the point I was trying to reiterate as I wrote the above jargon. We project, we plan, and we decide that we’re heading in one direction, our steps are determined and our strides are purposeful. Then, low and behold, an elephant or giraffe or some other wacky distraction crosses your path (I’ve never seen a giraffe or elephant by the way but I’d love to one day), halts those defiant strides and convinces your internal compass that what you need is this way not that way. In this very moment I’m imagining the white rabbit in Alice in wonderland… which way did he go? See, it doesn’t really matter which way, adventure and circumstance finds you whichever path you take and if you find yourself in an unwanted circumstance, you take another route. Alice managed it so why can’t I.

My frustrations soar when I feel out of control. I consistently feel I need to be in control over something, mainly myself, my thoughts, my emotions, ME. I never considered myself a controlling person; I’m not towards others. I am my greatest critic, l must be in control, I must be in control, I must be in control. Yes, as you can read, there is a great need for me to feel some control, I am a control-a-holic, and there it is, the words I’ve needed to hear myself say for a very long time. Now what?

I don’t have a clue.

What I do know is that I can now begin to witness this behaviour, watch those feelings rise and fall, asses their strength (in a non-judgemental way, hopefully). Remembering, I’m a human being, not a science experiment. If I try and actively do something about this I know my ego will take over and the controlling of the process will set in… ‘In so and so days I need to feel like this’ or ‘if I’m not feeling a change soon then nothing is working and it never will, it’s all useless, I’m useless’ (I know, that’s incredibly self pitying but I won’t judge if you don’t). Obviously that is not the approach I’m going for so, for now, I need to sit back and let go.

Love, now that comes unexpectedly, without force. It could be a random string of events that leads you to the guy who melts your heart. You don’t plan it, you can’t. Watching the parakeets fly from one tree to another, the shimmer of green, owe-struck by the magic of their synchronicity, that shit can’t be planned. The movement of stars, the planets, fluffy white cloud formations that memorise you as you gaze up at the morning sky. It just is what it is. Us humans have no say over the forces that govern this complex and magnificent universe. So if all that happens around us, the seasons, the weather, the blooming of life and the death of life, if we cannot control that then why the hell do we demand having so much control over our own lives?

Some people find it bright and easy to just kick back and let fate honk its horn, directing operations. I’m not talking about laziness here; I mean some find going with the flow a more natural approach to life. Or is this a personal assumption that because there approach is different to mine, their lives much be easier. When you meet others who seem less tense, or at least that’s the way they allow you to see them it doesn’t mean their life is ‘better’, I guess we all just process information in a very different way. Cheers to being unique!

I’ve felt disconnected the past few weeks, hence my intensity to find some control. Firstly, I’m two weeks late on my monthly cycle, that’s enough to put the body into anticipation mode. I’m swelling and I’m ready for release, like I’m sat on an aeroplane yet I’ve no idea where it’s headed and it’s taking ages to leave the runway.

Oh, Ok I get it.

I want it, I need to control it and it ain’t happening. The body is so fucking smart. HELLO, Emily, you’re trying to control EVERYTHING but you can’t and I’ll show you. Nothing teaches us better than physical manifestation. It’s like illness being that slap across the face, the wake up call to re-evaluate what’s going in your life, what you’re putting into your body food wise and thought wise. Right now, my lesson is… you’ll begin your moon cycle when you chill out!

So, I know I wrote firstly above but I don’t think there is a secondly, my body showing me that I’m to loosen the control reigns is enough for me to chew on right now. I truly believe that our souls are always learning and if they don’t learn from one circumstance than a similar circumstance will try again, over and over until the lesson is learnt, on a soul level, not intellectual. Control is a huge lesson for me… oh boy, it’s taking ages to genuinely relax and loosen up. I think I have a little way to go yet but each day is progress and the fact that I can write about this and notice my how my body is trying to teach me… well it’s all baby steps in the right direction. Maybe I need to chase the white rabbit, not worrying about where and how and when, just riding life. Or maybe I don’t, it’s not healthy or nice to chase small animals anyway. Who knows, I’m opening my arms and letting go, for now, anyway.