beyonce

Poison or medicine? A personal story

I recently took a trip to Breckenridge with a group of my soul sisters and their families -- 16 of us together under one rented roof, cooking, playing games, and soaking in the hot tub. Some spent days skiing, some exploring the town. Of course, the trip was not without interpersonal drama among us and our children, but five of us are therapists and adept at processing. 😆 My family stayed one day longer than the others, and on the morning when everyone left the house, my husband and daughter also went off to ski. There I was, suddenly all alone in this gorgeous place, which was left sparkly clean by my thoughtful friends. I sat at the table with fresh flowers, warm tea, fire roaring, and my laptop, ready to dive into some writing while gazing out at the beautiful mountain view. After all the noise and hubbub, this would likely be a delicious scene for almost any other human being on earth, right? But all I could do was CRY. In the cozy quiet, I sensed the ghosts of our weekend moments in the house together, and the warm sun streaming in the windows with fresh mounds of snow outside was just too beautiful not to share. Heart all filled up and registering as empty -- a perfect example of my early attachment stuff playing out in my adult life. 

This very old attachment wound leaves me longing for consistent, deep connection, where all parts of me get to feel truly seen and where I can truly see another. Even when I receive this sort of yummy, nurturing, reciprocal witnessing, like I did in Breckenridge, I feel devastated when it ends. It is never enough. I've done my time in inner-critic land, feeling all thirsty and shameful about this. That's the predictable, well-worn route to take -- the easy way out. I'm done with that mentality because our needs are never wrong. While working on consciously drinking in nourishing moments while they're happening, I'm also welcoming and accepting (and in my more clear moments, truly digging) my insatiable, longing nature. 

A gorgeous side effect to tuning into where we feel most vulnerable or wounded or where we might fear the most judgement from others is undoubtedly where we are most gifted. In many Germanic languages, the word poison is equivalent to the English words for gift or medicine. Our deepest wound can point us directly to the unique medicine we are here to offer the world. Rather than ignoring that thing we feel is most painful or shameful, rather than stuffing it down to be forever hidden, we can try a new tact. Get curious about it, befriend it, be transparent about it, and examine where we might be leaking or misusing our medicine for the sake our egos. This work can lead us to the very thing we are here to offer. radiate. do. be.

My insatiable longing, when I can cleanly welcome it and love it up, is the fire of me that sparks deep connections, creates playful soulful beautiful experiences for others, and weaves kindred spirits together in meaningful ways. Making lemonade out of all those lemons of insatiability and longing has been a process. It reminds me (while we're talking lemonade) of Beyoncé's lyric: "My torturer became my remedy" -- or we could go with Rumi's "Don't turn away. Keep your gaze on the bandaged place. That's where the light enters you." Whichever classic you prefer. 😉  In one of my recent weekly Instagram challenges, #visiblyunmasked, I reveal more about this scenario in my own unmasking post, which you can read here. This is just one of example of how one of my vulnerabilities birthed what I most prominently bring to the world. I have a few of these, as do you. And damn it feels healing to shine light on them and share them unapologetically. Like I said in my last post, this act creates connection. 

I want to mention that big part in my owning my gifts was as a participant in a life-changing program called Courting Your Medicine, which I participated in during the summer of 2017. I'll be one of a few former participants assisting the facilitators in running the same program this summer in Boulder. Check it out here if this topic speaks to you.