Around Valentine's Day there is a lot of focus on Love.
I'd like to acknowledge another side of that which all of us feel at some time - Grief.
Both Love and Grief are felt through connection to others. When we lose someone we love, we grieve. When a relationship with someone we love changes, we grieve. When someone we love is hurting in any way, we feel grief. Underlying Grief is the Love we feel for them. Sometimes, this can also bring up anger if the loss or change feels unfair, sudden, unexpected or out of our control. All of these, and more, can be our teachers. Teachers who offer us suggestions, growth, gifts and presence.
I appreciate the way that Clarissa Pinkola Estés communicates this. Last week, in classes, I was reading from her book titled Women Who Run With the Wolves...
Even raw and messy emotions can be understood as a form of light, crackling and bursting with energy. We can use the light of rage in a positive way, in order to see into places we cannot usually see. A negative use of rage concentrates destructively in one tiny spot until, like acid creating an ulcer, it burns a black hole right through all the delicate layers of the psyche.
But there is another way. All emotion, even rage, carries knowledge, insight, what some call enlightenment. Our rage can, for a time, become teacher... a thing not to be rid of so fast, but rather something to climb the mountain for, something to personify via various images in order to learn from, deal with internally, then shape into something useful in the world as a result, or else let it go back down to dust. In a cohesive life, rage is not a stand-alone item. It is a substance waiting for our transformative efforts. The cycle of rage is like any other cycle; it rises, falls, dies, and is released as new energy. Attention to the matter of rage begins the process of transformation.
Allowing oneself to be taught by one's rage, thereby transforming it, disperses it. One's energy returns to use in other areas, especially the area of creativity...
So rather than trying to "behave" and not feel our rage or rather than using it to burn down every living thing in a hundred-mile radius, it is better to first ask rage to take a seat with us, have some tea, talk a while so we can find out what summoned this visitor. At first rage acts like the angry husband in the story. It doesn't want to talk, it doesn't want to eat, just wants to sit there and stare, or rail, or be left alone. It is at this critical point that we call the healer, our wisest self, our best resources for seeing beyond ego irritation and aggravation. The healer is always the "far-seer." She is the one who can tell us what good can come from exploring this emotive surge.
Healers in fairy tales generally represent a calm and unperturbed aspect of the psyche. Even though the world may be falling to pieces outwardly, the inner healer is unswayed by it all and maintains calm to figure out the best way to proceed. Every woman's psyche contains this "fixer." It is part of the wild and natural psyche and we are born with it. If we have lost track of its whereabouts, we can call it back again by looking calmly at the situation causing us rage, projecting ourselves into the future, and from that vantage point deciding what would make us feel proud of our past behaviour, and then acting that way.
I wish for this to be supportive to you through whatever you may be feeling and experiencing at this time. May all emotions point us back to Love and our inner "healer."
Happy Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse!
Be gentle with you,