An FB friend wrote:
Pain, both physical and emotional, has made me more humble and sensitive. I was always a very sensitive person, however, for years I numbed it in various ways, preferring a Mute button to reality. Now, I am sober and alone. I am free from the chains of bad situations and toxic people. I tend to prefer isolation to interactions, because it feels safer for me. Right now I feel very much like an exposed nerve….a hapless little crab without my shell. This group is full of strong and beautiful women. I read the posts daily, and want to express my gratitude. I am hoping that one day I will feel as strong as many of you feel.
I feel perhaps many women, at this time in our collective “herstory”, are in that space of her life path. The space of exiting the pain, and learning to live, free of chains that bind, and toxic people and situations. That post triggered the following response. My hope is that this article will support women in growing a new type of shell, and learning to really take up ALL their space on the planet, living from ease and grace, with loving kindness and heart-felt love for all.
Give yourself the alone time you need to heal. I REMEMBER that feeling, verbalized so clearly in the message above.
Give yourself time to heal.
Know that those of us who present a strong front, didn’t get there sitting in front of a fireplace, drinking champagne, congratulating ourselves for our accomplishments.
MOST of us got there by running THROUGH the fire while wearing kerosene-soaked underpants. And when we finally found ourselves on the other side, we were like you — feeling shattered, and alone, and vulnerable and bare naked — a crab without a shell or a rock to hide under. NEEDING to be alone.
Running through the fire taught us empathy and compassion. Taught us to stand in our strength. To stand FOR what we believe in. To stand for what’s good and right. To stand our ground. To take up our full space on the planet. To be loving, kind and gentle, while being strong and standing our ground. We also learned how to adapt to change with a little more ease and grace. When we learn something new that contradicts everything we thought we knew before, we learned to go with it, and allow ourselves to be changed by the new learning, if it was for us to do so. That includes letting go what no longer (or perhaps never did) serves our highest good. All of which we only came to understand after we had been outside the flames for awhile.
While running through the flames, we also learned what we DO NOT want in our lives. We may not know exactly what we DO want, we know what we don’t, and furthermore, most of us learned how to not get thrown back into the fire.
As we began to heal from our time in the fire, we came to understand some more important life lessons, that were not clear to us immediately upon exiting the fire. —-
- We learned that we are not a messiah and we can save no one but ourselves.
- We also learned that we can’t change, or heal, anyone but ourselves.
- We learned that our story is valuable to support others in finding their own way.
- We learned to stand strong, while being kind and gentle, with empathy and compassion.
- We learned that we can’t change or heal anyone, other than ourselves – louder for those still in the flames!
- We learned that, at some point, EVERYONE has to go through the shadow of the valley of death themselves (i.e. the dark night of the soul). Does not mean they have to do it alone. We, who have already run the gauntlet, can be there, at the edge, reaching out, holding hand, supporting, offering encouragement as needed and requested.
- We also learned that often our loving support can help others to get through the fire sooner, and with more ease and grace, than what we, ourselves, were able to accomplish.
- We came to understand that supporting others through it, also deepens our own healing.
- Supporting others through the flame becomes the life mission of many who have gone before.
- After exiting the fire, many women go through a time of self blame — “I SHOULD’VE known better.” We learn self forgiveness and to stop killing ourselves with coulda, shoulda, woulda.
- We learn that healing is not an overnight process, and just about the time we think we have healed, some event shows us there is more depth to plumb.
The most important thing *I* learned from my time in the fire is: I can support others unconditionally, allow them to have their experience, and to not judge the experience. I can be there to reach out, lift up and support without judgment of their path. I also learned that as I support others, I open my own wounds for deeper healing. And I can support others, even while I’m “going through it” myself.
The second thing I learned is that the new shell I grew, which helps me move through the world as a strong woman, is not, and will never be, as dense and thick, hard, and all encompassing as the one I had before I fell into the flames. This new shell is thinner. Leaves me feeling MORE. Leaves me more vulnerable. It also leaves me free to live life in a more magical way – FROM love. It also is where I get the empathy and compassion to support others who are going through the flame, now. Without the time in the flames, I think I would not have the compassion and real-world understanding to support others at the depth I’m able to do now.
AND . . . I DID NOT (at a conscious level) KNOW all that about myself, until that post triggered me to start writing! The writing actually triggered in me the memory of the pain and fear of running the gauntlet of the flames, the exit day, and the rawness of the feeling of being in a million pieces, with no place to hide, for quite a long time after exit. The post, and writing this article, reminded that I very much needed a great deal of alone time to heal.
The post also triggered the memory of the ah-hah moments as each of those insights about my path and myself surfaced. Although I live those insights – they are just part of me, like breathing, I had forgotten the actual insights themselves and the power the “ah-hah” originally had on me. THANK YOU, dear soul sister, for the reminder!
I wish for you, the reader, love and forgiveness of self. Forgive everything and everyone. I wish for you deep soul healing. I wish for you enough-ness. I wish for you learning to walk in your own strength and power, with ease and grace, while always being gentle and kind to all. I wish for you all-encompassing peace. I wish for you a joy-filled life of love and happiness.
YOU are the one you have been waiting for!
My mantra – Forgive everything. Forgive everyone, including yourself. Let God sort it out.
Look into the mirror and say to the person you see there:
“Please forgive me.”
“As I also forgive you.”
“As I forgive myself.”
“As I forgives My Self.”
“I love you.”
This is THE BEST way I have found for dissolving the prison walls I created around myself, due to being unable / unwilling to forgive. Saying this a couple times a day simply allowed the healing to get in.
P.S. Many of us have learned that The Gauntlet was an initiation into the wholeness of ourselves and have accepted that being forced to run it or die, was maybe the best thing that could have happened to us!
LOL! THAT is an insight that probably only comes after a long while on the OTHER side of The Gauntlet!
If you have reached the point in your life where you are ready to step out of the flames, contact me. Perhaps I can take your hand and guide you out of the flames with ease and grace.