Beauty in a heartbreak

When a heart breaks magic happens. It reawakens qualities in us we forgot existed.

Ever since I was young I have been an advocate of feeling. Feeling deeply, openly, letting your pain spill out into the world like a cry from a place of the darkest shade. There’s beauty in suffering and sorrow and that is because something in us awakes when we are broken hearted, sometimes subtly, sometimes profoundly and we all know that nothing can be the same again and we are changed by it. It often goes unrecognised as we are programmed not to feel, shamed and punished for it from tender age and so it goes from one system into another. For as long as I remember I have been revolting against the oppression that is ‘no dark feelings are allowed’ and have been fighting against suffering in silence. It damages the soul to the extent of it being either abandoned or exiled.

Do you know what a gift it is to be able to feel to the deepest places which only soul can touch? Sorrow speaks of the depth of feeling one is capable of and most of the time it speaks of the power of love that is immeasurable and precious. Through the pain it shines like nothing else.

If only we let ourselves feel to the full open capacity, with honour and compassion not only healing occurs but a transformation that takes us to another level of being present in our authenticity. There is nothing more real than a broken hearted being. It’s raw, it’s tender, vulnerable and beautiful.

In my practice I work with feelings more than anything else. It is the work of carving the light out of a dark cave that is pain and trauma. It is hard, labour intensive, emotionally taxing yet when the break occurs and the heart turns to healing through allowing feelings to flow, results are stunning in its beauty. One touches the soul place once more and it speaks of all that’s been forgotten and suppressed. It offers gifts to us that we had always had within and now we can use them.

Feelings are wise. They live in our bodies and attempt to bring us back to who we are truly from the first moment before the world stamped its hard armour onto us. Through opening up to pain we recognise and accept and visit all the places within that had iron gates on them for what seems like eternity. It is that stepping off the predictable, lit and well-walked path into the dark woods where treasures lie and transformation back into the soul beckons.

Winter, anxiety, death…

It has all been rather grey and moody this month as if life stopped at this place of no particular interest, a downward mood yet not particularly depressive. Confusion, uncertainty and anxiety have been at the centre of the feeling of it all although with a clear awareness of everything actually being all right. There has been motion yet it felt dragging. There has been laughter and warmth with odd moments of grief flying in from nowhere. Most peculiar presentation of the season I’d say, however thinking about it there is nothing really surprising about it. Winter and grief go hand and hand and death and anxiety are good old friends.

I have experienced it all it seems in just one month and something in me can’t help but wonder what the next month could possibly bring.

My body has thrown up another mysterious ailment. Usually these happen in spring for me, but this time it came in winter and I believe it is linked to both grief and anxiety. Those two human issues have been present in my life always and I have come to take it for granted and somewhat my body, the wise old vessel that it is, decided to remind me or rather slap me in the face with asking me to revisit what both of those mean to me. Is it actually good for me to be exposed to it all the time or is it time to admit it is not always the best? I realised that I abandon myself over and over again when faced with grief and anxiety and not only that both signatures go right through my body and always manifest in curious things. I am completely disarmed by them, it seems.

This time I was faced with not being able to breathe. That tapped into my death anxiety and having to face that and look underneath of what that presentation meant, not to mention lung being directly linked to grief and death. How vulnerable I am to it all and how clever my body is to jolt me into considering the consequences.

I don’t want to die gasping to air and I don’t want to live my life waiting for the moment when I can’t take another breath and die. I can’t placate my anxiety or avoid it with doing the exact thing that takes my breath away in a sense of killing me. There is so much connection and meaning to it all. All quite sad, dark and paralysing.

What I am trying to say here and learn from is that our body is so wise and knowing if only we listened to it and for sure there will be consequences if we don’t. That much is clear. I know my body for being friendly and always on my side despite a life-long abuse thrown at it. How much it had to put up with yet never left me and when the ultimate function of air in my lungs became compromised suddenly death stepped in with a possibility of taking me. Truly awakening.

What a month it has been so far. Scary, up and down and everything in between yet nothing at all. In the stillness of winter, indeed, we are often faced with the darkest faces of existence. It is stark in my mind the true meaning of the season this year. There’s a certain old and murky wisdom taste to it this year. Perhaps this will only amplify with myself getting old, who knows, but one just never knows what awaits us.

grief and loss

Run away or stay

The urge to run away is natural on one hand and on the other is contradictory to our innate capacity for compassion and staying with pain. There are millions of examples of open-hearted compassion and humility from humans in times of extreme crisis throughout centuries, yet parts of us want to run away and not feel. It is always way easier to hide, stay in the vibration of fear and non-connecting than open up to all horror and sorrow of the world and connect to as much and as many aspects of us as humans. It is understandable and sometimes we do need to withdraw just to catch our breath. Sometimes things make us freeze following trauma. The most difficult thing to do seems to be our connection to ourselves. We no longer in touch with who we are and what we are doing here. Often we become ‘robot-like’ and desensitised to all that surrounds us. It is a way of avoiding the harsh and painful, the unthinkable. It is a coping way, when life becomes disabled. At that point hope is lost, defeat prevails and we continue as we were on the road to nowhere, not feeling our own bodies. Again it seems something that happens naturally these days yet what about our natural ability to feel again, what happened to parts of ourselves that feel through life and live through all experiences that life offers, dark and light. We have potential for all things.

Tragedy carries a vibration of shattered hopes, dreams, connections and explosion of an array of uncontrollable feelings that seem impossible to contain. Connection with others will help that, safe and accepting holding will do the job, unity in sorrow will provide a refuge from the attack of extreme emotions. Tragedy can also propel us all into action, into feelings and into becoming more ‘us’. It can potentially get us in touch with life, with our own beating heart. It is an opportunity to be you! Please take it. Please choose compassion for the world and yourself as a part of the complicated system of connections and human life.

Blessings to the world! loss

Sacred Land Trinity 

Scottish Highlands

Snowdonia, Wales

Connemara, Ireland

I worked with a bereaved client at the beginning of my psychotherapy training called Margaret. She was 83 years old and what a force of nature she was. Such passion for life, such grit, commitment, devotion, determination and inner strength like I rarely have come across in life, perhaps, only of my own mother. She was Irish. I loved her stories of growing up on a family farm in harsh conditions and amidst complicated family dynamics, but a place so beautiful that whenever she spoke of it I heard a song full of beautiful lyrics and melody of her voice changing into a sweet poetry with each breath. Our relationship was pure enchantment.

Ireland, I seemed to love the place without knowing why or how, I felt I knew it on some level. I married an Irishman first time round. I found the accent musically pleasing and lulling to my senses. Margaret spoke of returning to the land at the age of 83 after the death of her husband. Connemara. Perhaps she’s there now.

Years later I find that particular place is calling to me. Ireland. Through very subtle feelings, round about connections and encounters and things I have read it is as if I am weaving a plan, a map that will eventually take me there. I remain in wonder and curiosity with a sense of peace of getting to know that land one day.

Perhaps it is the completion of the sacred Land trinity for me, the first two being Scottish Highlands and Snowdonia, Wales. Perhaps I am on a journey of rediscovering some Celtic heritage of the British Isles, the path of Druidry that yes, lives in my DNA.

What a joyous journey I often stop to reflect, the one with soul at the centre of it all and spirit that is held in the land, in nature.

Dying gently

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Take my frail body into your warm embrace

Lull me gently into oblivion, not of dark Abyss, but of deep purple spirit

With space expansive so I feel reborn in the whole of the spirit’s grace

Take my frail spirit and reunite it with the eternal light

Not of endless joy and glory, but of human love and warm compassion

Let me bask my soul in the golden light I merge with for eternity

Take my frail body back to mother, back to Earth

Let her natural instinct wrap me in her ever knowing blanket

Of moist soil and warm darkness

I rest here now and I rest forever knowing I arrived to where I started from

I am home

When death comes…

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One comes to realise that we are all but a temporary expression on an eternal canvas of the universe. This time last year she came in black clothing with a sombre expression on her unmerciless face and with a single gesture of her bony hand she froze us all in despair and sorrow.

When death comes in the final hour, when all stops in frozen time, when breathing comes to an end and there is no life left within a chest, it feels final… Is it? Is it really? We cling on to the indescribable feeling within, confused, lost. Is it really that the loved on will never again feel the warmth of life, tenderness of touch and laughter of a human beating heart? Is it really the end?

We are bound to a period of moaning when death comes. We are to revisit again and again that space in the chest that grips all senses and throws us off our feet. We are to make sense of it in our own time, in our own way and at a pace we can allow ourselves. Is it final? Yes, it is, but once a hope of virgin new light begins to creep in once again in time passing we can feel that beating heart of theirs within ours and we feel comforted once again. They live within us for eternity.