I will love myself when _____.

Please take a moment to fill in this blank & use as many bullet points as you need. What conditions do you put on loving yourself?

~~~

I thought I’d love myself when I:

  • became a parent (I only hated myself more)
  • lost 50 lbs (then it became 10 more)
  • found love with a partner (then I still found myself single)
  • completed another race or PR’ed (an endless pursuit of races it then becomes)
  • passed my certification test (no, I then felt shame for the pride in my own accomplishment)
  • reached a certain level of spirituality (then I would raise the bar again)

So now that I’m recognizing many of the “conditions of my parole” and how they’re harming me, I see it’s time to stop the conditional love. It’s now time to bless myself with the grace of my own Agape Love; the same Love, validation and approval that I have spent most of my life seeking from others.

What loving me now means is being my own friend. Eventually I’d like to be my own BFF, yet right now friend is a good place to start. No longer can I avoid withhholding loving myself for all of my “good and bad” bits. Or as Carl Jung says “sensical and non-sensical” parts. 

So now I ask, what will it take for you to love you?

Namaste : the light and shadow in me honor the light and shadow in you. 

This is part of the Own Your Own Shadow Series, an investigation into seeing and integrating all aspects within to recover inner peace. Only with loving ourselves can we be the change we wish to see in this world.

Balancing the Edges: Creation & Destruction

All systems seek balance including our inner and outer selves. We often become unbalanced when we suppress the expression of our hidden, or shadow, aspects. This suppression is learned during the process of being raised, as we are taught to deny parts of ourselves to fit into society. We cut ourselves off from our truest expression of self as a sacrifice for the safety of others (imagine society if everyone acted on every urge felt). However, the complete suppression of our shadows creates an imbalance in our lives until we choose to look within and honor these hidden aspects; even if only symbolically. This is the first in a series about returning to a place of balance within by uncovering our hidden and at times golden facets.

Once the match is struck, it creates a flame which results in its own destruction. To create is to destroy. While I have posted about this topic repeatedly, even this week with the Necessity of a Broken Heart, today I have a new perspective to share.

For a new wave to be formed, the old one must crash. To build a new house or road, the land must first be cleared. To create a new thought, we must destroy the old beliefs. To create a new life, we must allow the old life to die. The maiden must die before she becomes a wife. I could list different things all day that follow this cycle and the possibilities are endless, yet to create such a list would destroy the point of this post. (smiling).

We can see these examples of creation coupled with destruction in the external world when we allow ourselves the sight to do so. For instance, when we watch the news we see where the world seems to be caving in on itself. Yet, so few of us see within ourselves how this is merely a reflection of our own inner desires for destruction. When we can allow our inner world to balance these two halves – without shame or judgement – then we can begin to be whole and complete – finding the keys to our true inner peace.

A beautiful wave crests just prior to its destruction, yet the water flows back to the ocean to create a new wave. In the process of creating new shoreline, something else must be destroyed.
When we fight our dark urges we give them more strength to control us. However, when we allow ourselves without judgement to have dark and “negative” or culturally unacceptable feelings – instead of blocking them or acting them out – then we can free ourselves from this burden of right or wrong. Accepting that the path of creativity also means that we destroy something, even if only in our minds, or even if only symbolically, then we can free the edges of our psyche to co-exist and we can move beyond duality. Balance is then restored and we come to a place of peace, even if it is briefly held as if “on the head of a pin.”
Some creative ways that we can get our destructive fixes: meditate and walk through our “dark sides,” write a story where everyone dies, paint (destroy the canvas with acrylics), sculpt, Dream and even daydream. These activities diffuse the ticking time-bomb within: when we allow them to be as they are – keys of free expression of our dark sides – we free ourselves and become the whole we are meant to be.

img_1897
Superheroes Needs Super Villains. The Movie ‘Unbreakable’ is a beautiful explanation of this need for balance.

When we block the destructive side of ourselves it just wells up within. Then we take it out on others through road rage, passive-aggressive behaviors, or maybe even directly abusing others. So much of the world makes sense now from this perspective. Look at all of the examples of “great real life heroes” who commit acts of atrocity.

From this vantage point, we can now see how great societies fell: when their destructive mechanisms outgrew their creative ones. I can now see how many serial killers were also sometimes model citizens. Ted Bundy, for instance, volunteered at a suicide hotline and talked people out of killing themselves. Yet had no problem brutally raping and murdering brunette college-aged women. Now I can understand my own fascination with war, war machines, and serial killers, of all things… This may be scratching the surface of BDSM as well.

This new awareness has shed so much light for me. I now see why I can be so patient and calm with clients and then short-tempered later. If someone cuts me off in traffic I thoroughly enjoy cussing like a sailor as it helps me to release that darker side of me. I have also seen how health care workers and other service providers have the darkest senses of humor. Yes, that absolutely includes me!

img_1561
So often the greatest artists destroy themselves with their nihilism. To create so beautifully, there is a requisite balance of destruction that must occur. Not understanding this, many artists destroy themselves. Perhaps as more artists embrace their darkness, fewer will die from their self-destructive behaviors. Special thoughts to: Jim Morrison, Heath Ledger, River Phoenix, Jimi Hendrix, Janice Joplin, Van Gogh, Whitney Houston, Kurt Cobain. 
It is now my belief that mystery schools and societies understand this need for destruction. Many believe Masons are devil worshipers. I never understood this, especially since my grandfather was one. He was one of the kindest & most gregarious men in my life. Perhaps this is why there is so much secrecy about what Masons do: men acting out their need to destroy can be highly misconstrued by the passer-by.

Each of these examples is seeking balance. By telling off-color jokes, cussing at other drivers and, at least mentally, indulging in dark sexual fantasies, I am finding balance in my own ways. This also explains phenomena such as “preacher’s kids.” Now I can even understand why for the past two weeks my children have been acting out so much at school. I had been blocking many of my darker thoughts lately. Now to dive in and free my children from finding the balance I was unwilling to find within.

So please, allow your darkness to express itself within you or at least in ways that allow you to release without harming yourself or others. Finding creative ways to express the need to destroy is a way of creating a controlled burn instead of having wild fires sweep through your  life. As I continue to understand this concept better, I will write more. 

The light & darkness within me honor the light & darkness within you.


The Lady of the Water

Images: google

Today No One Wins

The stakes of today’s election are high. Emotions are fever pitched and yet within others who are boycotting the vote, there is a stark indifference and apathy.

Today, no one wins. We project onto and vilify the candidate who triggers within us the darkness parts we wish to not see that are within us. Until we see and accept that undesirable aspect within ourselves, we will continue to blame and point our crooked fingers at others.

What part of ourselves do we not want to see? What demons lurk within our shadows? It is only when we see the boogeyman within and accept that aspect of ourselves that we will be free. Until then, we will continue to be disturbed by others who display for us that unwanted and suppressed feature. 

Today, no one wins.

Namaste

Resisting Self-Acceptance

Last week I decided it was time to step up my game and face some fears I had been skirting. So I meditated 5-8 times that day. Each day since I have continued at least 3 bouts of meditation per day to help clear out my fears…and to meet my spiritual goals.

In this time I’ve noticed some shifts that were positive. I’ve had a greater sense of peace and calm, overall. My intuition has become more on point. It has become easier for me to have clarity where once confusion reigned. It also seems some of my most challenging patients are improving suddenly (unexpected bonus).

Yet, I’ve just recognized that it is as if I am at battle with myself. In my quest to become a better person, I am resisting where I am right now. This is building more resistance and no wonder my craving for “sweet treats” is on the rise (and my libido and creativity have all but disappeared). While I’ve been healing on many levels, I’ve also been at war with myself on others. The loss of my creative drive and the increased sweet tooth are signs for me that something is “off.”

While it is important to “shed my old skin” to grow into the next level, it does not aide in my growth to resent or resist the skin I am in now (figuratively and literally). 

Once again I see where Love is still conditioned. To love oneself unconditionally, that means accepting myself for who I am today and then paving the way for greater growth (and I don’t mean my waistline).

So again the edges can be sharp in finding the balance between what is and what is to be…the razor’s edge sometimes can cut deeply when unaccepting of what is; focusing on pushing the advance. Learning to truly Love oneself means loving the parts that seem less than ideal.  For these are the areas where the Love is most depleted…and thus the most needed. 

Feed Love to the parts that are depraved of Love to be able to feel complete. 

“Clark, you can’t run in fear. Your gifts are who you are,” Martha Kent on Smallville.

Namaste and Metta

Guided Meditations:

Connect with the Love Within You

Metta Meditation 

Be the Rainbow You’re Meant to be

tiffanybeingfree.com is now “unfiltered from the heart”

So often we embrace some aspects of our lives while trying to resist others. We judge what we feel is “good” to feel and seek more of it, then we shun the parts that do not fit. This puts us at the mercy of our external environment and causes us to ignore our internal one. We become seeds on the breeze when we are un-rooted in the full experience that the spectrum of life has to offer.


Our emotions are the dashboard upon which we can navigate through our troubles, yet so often we allow them to consume us. They are just part of the experience. Blocking out part of our emotional spectrum through judgment is like turning off one of the colors of the rainbow. We then begin to feel incomplete and unwhole. This shame blocks our personal power and growth.


Rainbows represent the light spectrum in all of its component parts. They can also represent for us hope, for a rainbow needs both rain and light to be seen, often born after the storm. I like to think of rainbows as the sun’s gratitude for the rain. 

Rainbows can also represent a return to childlike innocence, trust and the belief in miracles. The belief that everything really is going to be okay (and already is), despite the seeming difficulties we face. 

So I wonder, what are some ways to return to that childlike innocence? How can we return to being a whole and complete, living the full spectrum of life (and not be so damn serious)? While I’ve written about this recently in various posts, I’ll share again some things I’ve started doing recently:

  • Superhero Socks
  • Dressing Up for Fridays instead of Down (PTs always dress casual, anyway)
  • Glitter nail polish
  • Dancing in the morning while I get ready to Happy Music
  • Believing in & loving myself again
  • Being okay with the emotions as they arise, even having gratitude for them (once I can see them, I can move through them so that they no longer control me)

How can we each embrace another aspect of ourselves today?

You are capable of more than you know! ~Glinda

Namaste

The Dance of Love: Divine Balance

Don’t drink at the water’s edge,
throw yourself in.
Become the water.
Only then will your thirst be quenched.
~Jeanette Berson

In The Battle of Love I chose to isolate myself in my Castle’s Keep. At the time, I felt defeated and it was time to retreat. I felt like I had repeatedly fallen in the mud, and was seeing so much of my own muck at that time.

Today I see a new vision of love, having found a new level of balance within myself. Last night I discovered the quote below which is a wonderful illustration that mirrors some of the understandings I have been gaining in my work with femininity. This quote is from the Hindu stream where Lord Vishnu is the protector of the world and Lakshmi is the goddess of abundance. Divine archetypes worth repeating.

Where Vishnu is speech, Lakshmi is meaning;
where he is understanding, she is intellect,
where he is creator, she is the creation;
she is the earth, he is the support of the earth;
she is a creeping vine, he the tree upon which it clings;
as he is one with all males, she is one with all females;
as he is love, she is bliss.
The Path of the Priestess: A Guidebook for Awakening the Divine Feminine by Sharron Rose

The following poem is the result of a vision I had when asked to experience Agape Love.The truth is that we are never truly alone, we are surrounded by love if we choose to see it, if we choose to be it.

My feet whisper along the path,
my heart flutters as if filled with brilliant butterfly wings.
Delicate and resilient all at once: lightly weighted.

The scent of freshly uncovered earth,
the wind on my back,
the sounds of birds singing embrace me.

Bare roots under my toes rain slickend.
The light rain cools my skin,
and taps on fallen leaves in staccato fashion.

Pine needles turn a brilliant orange
matching the new fire that burns within
a brighter, yet softened flame.

A misty fog rolls in,
the moment pure Zen
while the surrounding trees embrace me.

No longer in my Castle Keep,
choosing again to be free.
I move forward in a new vision of Love, of me.

Agape Love creates the inner peace.
Gently, this love shows me my hurt places.
It allows me to pour golden love into the open spaces.

Learning more & more to love and accept me,
yes, this is the right place to be,
seeing now I am already complete.

How we view Love is a reflection of how we view ourselves. Just the other day I was talking with a spiritual friend about how many of my friends do not truly “see me.” He then shared that this reflected two things: 1. how much of me they were able to see/receive themselves and (the clencher), 2. how much of myself I was actually showing them. Ouch! I then recognized how much I hold back. Those who have conversed with me off-line may disagree that I hold back, and yet for as much as I share there is a treasure trove that I keep in reserve.

In holding back what I share, I reveal to myself where I also hold back in love; still afraid to fully immerse myself and jump in. 

It’s no wonder that I am continuing to learn these lessons. To truly love, I just need to dive in and trust that the water is where I am to be. The person I most need to love and nurture is me. I so feel the broken record in my learning, repeating the same lesson.

So the Dance of Love is truly, underneath the veneer of Romantic Love, the dance we dance first with ourselves.

The divine lover is spirit without body;
The physical lover is body without spirit;
The spiritual lover possesses spirit and body.
~Ibn Arabi

 

In the innocence of our youth, in the hopes of being loved we:
– placed ourselves as offerings on the altar.
– anted up our hearts in the poker game.
– stepped out of our shells in the hopes of something greater.

In return we were:
– sacrificed in a non-sacred way.
– fooled, trumped and cast away.
– crushed, unsure of our own footing.

In the hope of staying safe from the heartache we now:
– fear and run from the very things that can set us free.
– repeat the same lessons & games, choosing to crush or be crushed, not loving nor trusting ourselves fully.
– create new barriers to love, calling it a myth, and find ourselves in power struggles.

~~~

On this day of the Equinox we are in the energy of balance. Being the first day of Spring, we are also in the energy of rebirth and renewal. This is a fantastic time to choose balance and a new path, if we so desire it.

Yesterday, Kate Rose posted an article about the different types of lovers, here. An insightful read that may help in your understanding of love. 

BeTheChange_Gandhi

Painting Josephine Wall

 

 

Submitting to Femininity Part I: Into the Pink

From Steel to Mercury

As I have long considered the feminine to be weak, I have consistently drawn upon my inner Animus or masculine seed when in need of strength. It has become my habit to use a steely “take no prisoners” attitude of will and strength to exert myself in the world on a daily basis. His strength has been instrumental in getting through things like PT school and Divorce. Even a good deal of my writing has been with a steamroller approach, force feeding my readers snippets of my adventures and avoiding some of the deeper inner work.
Animus is not taking a beating, instead, I have asked Him to fall back to the FOB. He’s there in the command tent if I need a QRF, growing in his own masculinity while I surrender further into my own femininity. He very much still has His place.
With this change in command, I find myself having difficulty adjusting to this new level of surrender while I adjust to the liquid feel of my mercurial strength. I am further submitting to my understandings of the Divine Feminine mysteries through submission vs domination, through allowing vs steamrolling.
A series of books that have helped me in this endeavor: He & She by Robert A. Johnson, Understanding Masculine & Feminine Psychology, respectively. I highly recommend both of them for men and women alike. They are quick and powerful reads, both less than 85 pages each. I read He first and began to see where I use my animus excessively. In She I began to understand how to embrace my feminine essence more fully and plan to reveal what I’ve learned here and later in this series.
First a poem!

Pink!

How many ways can I hate the color Pink?
Stifling, suffocating, robbing of my
strength that evil-doer: pink!

Weakness to me: kryptonite
pink screams meek (even its name is weak)
Truly, this color is foul: it stinks! pink!

I did not learn the gender of
my children before they were born.
Their nursery painted green; no fucking pink!

Old fashioned, perhaps,
or was it that I didn’t want
to throw up pink?

Pepto bismol everything
seemed so dismal,
I couldn’t think! Pink!

In neutrals, browns and blues,
I dressed my daughter as a toddler,
now at 8, her favorite color: yep, pink!

Having begun to embrace my feminine.
Slowly, sometimes begrudgingly
embracing this color: pink!

Gaslighting the Past: 20/20 Hindsight

In having my Animus as the ruling King of my inner landscape for so long, I can now see why ex lovers have often resorted to gaslighting to control me. Gaslighting is an extreme form of passive-aggressive behavior that is used to diminish the target, to bring her under the control of the aggressor. It is incredibly undermining and I personally consider it a form of brainwashing.

My ex-husband did this to me for years without my awareness. Through poking at my hot buttons (and I had many in my wounded state), he lead me to feel like I was completely crazy. While I’ve readily admitted to some of my own inner crazy, I do not feel I was ever completely crazy, or at least not for long.

Several years ago I started to see the pattern. Then when he began to act like he was my father and treated me like I was 16, when I was 38, my eyes were suddenly wide open. Within days of seeing this I was asking for a Divorce: it took a few days for me to gather my strength and figure out how to approach him.

When I began to see the early emergence of this pattern with a younger guy I was dating back in December, I told him I was bothered by his behavior. When this continued, I broke things off just a few days before Christmas (he did ask when I stopped responding to his messages if we were fighting or broken up, I’m grateful he made it easy for me). He was use to dating women half my age who I guess would put up with this (after all that was the age I started dating my ex). Needless to say, I saw the signs early having lived that for so long I was not willing to take that path again. He later asked me out to lunch

If you would like to read more about gaslighting, follow this link. Thank you to Violet for sharing this so that I could read about it and gain a better understanding and name it!

 

Earning Bling: Running and Racing

Following the demise of my marriage, I relied heavily on my Animus for launching me out onto my own two feet. To increase my Animus’ power, I began running to raise my masculine energy. I needed to feel strong again, protected.

It was when I learned to surrender into my internal emotional waters that the excess weight truly began to drop off. A hip injury kept me from running, so it was soon thereafter that I started blogging under “Tiffanyrunningfree.” Then in October running became being – an outward expression of my inner softening. Now I find myself surrendering further into a place that is even more mind altering.

The Mighty Oak Tree

The mighty oak tree has been a symbol of strength for me. Most of my adult life I have desired to be this tree. Solid. Strong. Unquestioning. Unwavering. Now, I am beginning to realize it is not my job to be the tree.

According to yin energy I am the water and I am the earth. I see now where it is my place to support the mighty oak tree as it would not exist without me. While I am not the structure of the Oak, I am the matrix, the hidden strength that allows the Oak to be its best. Without my essences, the tree dies of thirst or is unsupported by the earth; falling, failing without nourishment and nurturing support.

By allowing the strength of my inner feminine to rise up through the phloem and xylem, I give strength to the tree. Replete in my own feminine strength, I allow Him to be full in His. By submitting to my truth in trust of myself and of Him, I allow Him to rise up stronger as the mighty Oak.

I am beginning to see this forest through the trees. Just as I am finding strength in my perceived weakness, the true strength of divine femininity is found in nurturing.

Now I see myself as water spreading into the branches and the leaves. Evaporating, turning to steam, melding with the Air that is Him. Falling back down through His air as Rain, filtering myself through the soil, being wicked back up by His roots and the cycle begins again. My travels are the infinite path of lifting and falling, traveling inwards (involution) then outwards (evolution). This infinite path will be revisited in another part of this story of recovering the truth of the divine feminine.

The Feminine Role

The feminine locus of control is found in the emotional, internal realms through nurturing. Both as men and women, our internal feminine role is to manage the internal emotions to prevent emotional flooding and burning. As such, we must learn to swim through our emotions without allowing them to control us. Likewise, we must stoke the hearth fires to keep the fires lit without allowing it to rage uncontrolled and burn the household nor to scorch the earth.

To manage the internal waters, it is our job to go within to swim through the rivers of our emotions and to come out unscathed. This cleansing helps us to shed the dross of our past, so that we attract less and less of that old energy to us. When we allow life to pass through us, instead of trying to grasp it and hold onto the pain or the pleasure, it is then that we free ourselves to be present. By being more fully present, we collect less dross. Our pain, our dross, our grasping at the past and fearing our future, prevents us from experiencing life to its fullest potential: the present moment is truly a gift we give ourselves and the people in our lives.

The Feminine Supports The Masculine 

As previously mentioned, feminine strength is found in managing the internal and emotional environments through nurturing. By giving ourselves permission to live in our strengths as women, we give men permission to live in their strength as men. Much like the support that the Mighty Oak tree derives from the earth and water, the feminine strength is nurturing from the inside, whether this is within the home or within the internal emotional environments.

Masculine strength is found in managing the external environment through physical protection. Men who are strong in their divine masculine energy on all levels seek to protect, and not harm, women. In Traditional Chinese Medicine Yang protects the yin energies and yin supports the Yang energies. This pattern is true with the expression of the balanced masculine and feminine: He protects her and she nurtures Him.

Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance

When humans feel we are lacking our own personal power we often feel the urge to control others outside of ourselves through force or manipulation such as with the aforementioned gaslighting. On the contrary, when we are strong in our power, we have less and less desire to control others. “The more at peace I am with me, the less I feel I need to control you to keep me comfortable” is the thought I have here.
When out of balance in our own masculinity and femininity, we create relationships that reflect this state of being. Feminine energy when out of balance has a tendency towards enabling behaviors that support the abuser (I am NOT blaming the victim). Masculine energy when out of balance has a tendency towards striking out through emotional, physical, sexual and/or mental abuse. This reflects my marriage where I was a co-dependent nurturing the gaslighting man who “protected” me from myself (no blaming).

Denying the Feminine

When Animus ruled my inner world, my Queen was weak and could not protect/nurture my emotions. Her absence meant my emotions were unprotected as I was not receiving her feminine energy of protection. So I was wide open emotionally; my internal immune system was even weak (and it’s still recovering).
Stealing from the masculine energy, I believed I was stronger, but this was not the truth. In fact, I was more vulnerable that way. While I recognize I will need to continue to borrow from the Animus from time-to-time, to live only through Him means that I am ignoring and starving my inner feminine. To be healthy and balanced as a woman, most of my power needs to be drawn from within my feminine ability to nurture and manage my internal emotional landscape.
Since changing command, I feel my work here has changed. No longer is this inner work about attracting a mate. Now my work is about a return to All of me being in balance, with my Queen in command and the King back at the FOB. Yes, I am woman! I no longer have a need to roar.

 

**

“The Turning Away” speaks to me of my own turning away from femininity as well as my conscious choice to re-align with my divine feminine. There are so many lines in this song that have always resonated with me, and in listening to it play as I re-read this piece, I see my muse is far more brilliant and genius than me! “No more turning away from the weak and the weary….On the wings of the night…using words you will find the strength…it’s not enough to just stand and stare….is it only a dream that there will be no more turning away?” No pun was intended with this song being by Pink Floyd, though I’m sure my muse intended it!

Namaste

Image: Google reflects how I felt when I read “She” for the first time.

Shame to Blame

Oh wow! Amazing realization 

Came to fruition

A shame to blame myself

For the actions of others

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? 

Really, WTF?! GTFO! 

Yet, guilty, all my life

It was my fault if YOU did

Something bad to me!

Walking the thin red line 

Of being good, of being chaste-like

Of being fat and dressing down to hide 

My assets. Mental burqas?

Being quiet, being invisible

To avoid your attention

To avoid your lashing out at me

Or mistreating me sexually

Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning

To keep you happy

Fuck!

Now to see so clearly 

The many ways I took

What was yours all along

A thief in the night, I was!

Responsibility for actions 

That are mine is mine

That are your are yours.

Not mine if it’s yours 

Giving back what’s yours

Responsibility, Accountability 

Taking back what’s mine 

My Power and freedom to be me!

Another degree of freedom

On another way

In Another day

Yes to me today

No more shame to blame 

~~~

Namaste

__/|\__ Ananda & Metta

2016.03.02

Image: wiki

Trust

In looking over the broken shards

Placed in jars,

A greater understanding comes over me.

It was simple to see where my

Lack of trust was born,

Oh so early.

To have submitted to his seduction and manipulation,

Before I could have known what was even happening,

nor what he was taking; my sweet innocence.

Dimming my light in an act of self-preservation as a teenager and adult,

I sought males who for me caused minimal intimidation,

Instead, their power was a passive-aggression,

Subverted manipulation.

Unable to trust a man to lead me,

Not even dancing at my own wedding.

Now I’m choosing oh so differently,

Seeking instead a man of steel will,

whose valor moves him through darkness,

who can respect and love all aspects of the divine feminine.

A man who can lead me:

a woman of mercury without being poisoned or made mad.

Come my lover, show me the path to trust.

Teach me, the dance of love that is more than mere lust.

~~~

Namaste

__/|\__Ananda & Metta

2016.02.16

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