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Rediscovering gentleness

Updated: May 17

It feels so good to finally feel myself again. My strength and fire slowly coming back to life. I’ve missed it so much. Ever since I came back from Guatemala five years ago, my body has been struggling to fully recover. Be it of the parasites I had or lyme disease or all the chemicals I took to fight it. Be it of the growing awareness and dealing with the integration of my shadows that was mostly self-taught or the lack of compassion I’ve had towards myself in the after run. Be it because of a sense of homelessness, wandering around, not sure about my direction or purpose in life. Probably a combination of all of the above and far more that I wouldn’t even know how to mention at this point. It’s been a tough ride.

For the past seven years I’ve been on the move. Exploring all those different parts of me. At first mainly passions, dreams, hopes, visions and desires - Following my heart where ever it wished me to go. Basking in the light of my newly developed consciousness and showering those around me in the same light and awe of being alive. It felt very golden. Very much like a long dream, too. I used to miss those times. My radiance and the sense of „I know“ that I carried everywhere I went. And like all golden times, this one, too came to an end. It wasn’t a sudden change but it also wasn’t a smooth one…

Sometime during my training in spiritual therapy was when I actually had to face my demons for the first time. I mean, actually face them. I had to face my helplessness. My fears. Insecurities I thought I’d had transformed a long time ago but turned out have never fully integrated. I had to face the realization that being a human in this life wasn’t all about the glitter and the glorious and that this, too wasn’t all I was or was ever meant to be embodying. Life isn’t about chasing the next high, the next thing or person to hold onto, the next experience to mirror back to me that I belong. Or that I am loved. That it’s okay I exist.

I had never integrated my dark side. I have run and run and run to never truly face it. My sense of purposelessness. The sense that my life is utterly meaningless and that I don’t feel like I belong anywhere. The thoughts of never being able to fulfill my purpose, to actualize my life’s mission or even to ever truly be myself beyond all circumstances. Inside all of my seemingly confident appearance there was still a little girl hiding that was utterly scared of life and unsure if she was supposed to be existing at all. Reconnecting with my inner child taught me everything I needed to know about where I was actually at with all those different parts of me combined.

One of my biggest teachings until today is learning to not want to have it differently. To actually be with what is. Which is easier said than done. If you’re used to feeling high, you won’t just happily agree on feeling low all the time. I went through a process of feeling so much pain in my physical, emotional and mental, even my astral body - that I thought it would never stop. As if I would never smile again. Never breathe in the nectar of joy again. Never truly be alive again. When an old wound faces, it’s not like it just says „hi babe what’s up“. It’s more like „aaaaahhhgrr“ and „oooouuhhhh“. More like: „Finally you’re acknowledging me! I’ve been sitting here waiting for you almost your entire life!! I’m dying!“ Wait, what? Who’s dying? What is..? What??

It’s not the pain itself that’s the worst part. The images I saw that were connected to the wounds that showed up were very touching in a sense. But of course it’s also not so nice to remember your traumas while at the same time feeling through them with all parts of yourself combined. Healing by bringing the traumatic experience to an end, the emotion you could not feel when it happened in the first place. That’s the work. It can be hard but it feels so right with every cell of my being that I can’t help but walk the path. I couldn’t find one single excuse in my mind. But… That’s still not the worst part.

When an emotion is felt through until the end and the storm has slowly settled, a new sense of groundedness emerges. A new sense of home settles inside of you with the healed parts slowly adjusting, finding their new place among the rest of you. It’s like getting an update. It feels vulnerable and gentle, soft and sweet, even a bit scary sometimes.

But most times we don’t feel the emotion through until the end… Sometimes because it’s too painful, too hard. We think it would take us too much out of the present moment (which is ironic) or the lack of control we see we’d have to face simply scares us too much.

Very often the reality appearing to show us our wound isn’t automatically the safest place for healing it. Like the subway for instance where a deep cleanse looks like a nervous breakdown for most people unfamiliar with deeper layers of transformation. So we are there with all our coping mechanisms and trauma responses that we have developed for dealing with this wound, not because we are stupid or weak but because our bodies showed us that when the event happened in the first place we simply weren’t able to handle it. Like when you’re two and daddy leaves and you just don’t get it. I mean why would he? Wasn’t he made for loving you? I mean what else are you going to think of it when you are two?

We adapted those strategies so we would’t have to face and feel the whole range of our emotions. Which is natural. It’s just that the emotion gets stuck inside the body because it wasn’t felt through until the end. Maybe because mommy told you to „stop crying“ or maybe because no-one was ever there to hold you and support you in feeling the pain, the loss, the heart-break. It’s not easy to feel it all alone when you’re grown up and for infants and young children it is literally impossible. Their brain capacity simply hasn’t developed that far. They need us to regulate for them. To hold them so they can release it.

So even when we are aware that something’s coming up and decide to be with it… I know from my own experience… Sometimes I leave the situation and immediately start crying. So then I would lie down to hold myself for a bit, weighing me from one side to the other, rocking me like the little girl inside wants me to rock her and that usually feels great. You know the kind of great when you’re all in pieces but you slowly get the idea of how you’re actually being pieced back together and can’t help but secretly love the beauty of it.

Sometimes I would feel my sadness being stuck somewhere and would try to shake it out or grab my guitar and improvise and if I manage to stay honest I usually get the idea and often reach the feeling that before I couldn’t access. But that’s me having a run. So often I don’t like what’s coming up. I don’t want any of it and so of course I refuse to feel it, too. So often instead of acknowledging the deeper state of my being I prefer to stay stuck in my frozenness, hoping to go numb forever or for better times to come or projecting all of my pain outwards by focusing on the other person’s behavior and how offended I still am.

The worst part for me is those times in-between. When you know you are sad but you just can’t fully admit it. When you know you’re not being honest with yourself but you just can’t help it. When you long for re-connection but you just don’t know how to access it. I wouldn’t know how to ask for it, I couldn’t see a way out of the pattern even though I was aware of it repeating.

What I learned recently is that in all of which I was healing and I was brave and strong and brutally honest while immersed in my feelings - I was still lacking gentleness towards myself. I was lacking compassion, consideration, care, regard, love, celebration. I missed out on the recovery, on nourishment and aftercare. On actual self-love that is soft and slow and patient with the pace and rhythm of my healing.

Sometimes not knowing how to feel the emotion through causes us to believe we simply have enough of it all. Which is another way of trying to escape the actual feeling and therefor preventing ourselves from healing and releasing it. I am going through different cycles of not wanting to feel any more. What happened is because of that I trapped myself in the in-between. Where wounds are present but instead of healing they are just triggering and hurting, distracting me from what is love because they crave my attention so bad. They crave it because they know it’s technically at hand. If I could just reach out to them they would finally have a chance to be freed. But sometimes I just couldn’t. Sometimes I can't. And I’m learning that this is okay.

What’s more important is that we don’t ignore them, those parts of ourselves. Maybe in this moment we can’t feel the whole range of the traumatic event and it’s connected set of emotions. Not every moment is made for it. But in most cases we can offer our wound, this part of ourselves, a tiny little smile and a sense of „it’s okay, despite“. We’re okay. And we will be fine. And maybe sometimes that’s enough.

It’s definitely better than being stuck with all your confinements unable to neither heal nor actually move on with your life. Healing is a process. My best medicine is to take it moment by moment. To be gentle with myself and present. To allow what is appearing, little by little. Honor my rhythm, celebrate my pace. Allow my wisdom and my softness to emerge from my journey in the exact time that it is supposed to unfold. Allowing light to emerge out of darkness naturally, not because I yearn for it but because I created space for it. Because I have bathed in darkness unafraid of it swallowing me alive.

This world was made for you. It’s made for you and I. It’s made so we can evolve and heal and reconnect with all that belongs to us. It’s made so we can shed all that no longer serves our growth in love and the becoming of our soul. So that we may unite as one in each our own remembrance and bring what we came here to bring. Ourselves. You. Me. Each of us. Everyone is made for it. Otherwise we wouldn’t be. Existence is for us, never against. This we must understand. It is only us that is continuously working against ourselves but only in service of the whole. So we may realize to shed all which isn’t us and is only preventing us from embodying our soul. Life is made for you, my love. It’s made for all of us.

So let’s be gentle with our unique understanding of reality and allow our true colors to slowly come alive. Life is such a mess. But it’s also a miracle. So often I don’t know what to think of it. But in the end it’s what’s appearing. We might as well make the best of it. So my medicine today is gentleness. Softness. Grace. Slowly learning to love what is. We made it this far. Wouldn’t it be interesting to find out who we are to become if we make it a little further? If we trust ourselves a little more, the uniqueness we came here to embody? Step by step. Shedding skins, unfolding and unraveling what it means to be you in this life. I love you, souldier. You can be proud of yourself now.

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