Like you, perhaps, I occupy an odd place in society. I am at once venerated and in-between the judgements. This society rewards youth and beauty but is incredibly afraid of age, what’s known as infirmity, frailty, darkness and death.
I am 28, with a face unlined enough to still be called young, I have lean limbs, big eyes and a white smile – I’m welcomed. Society is designed for me, marketers are aiming at me, I look like the women in the adverts on TV, except not. Because I am also feared. I have for many years been a living embodiment of the power of ying, the strength in weakness.
I live with disabilities, I live with my shadow side and I work in magic and stories.
A story is told, in Wales, about the goddess Cerridwen, who is the holder of the cauldron of wisdom and immortality. Cerridwen is the Welsh crone goddess; she is old, older than age itself. Her hands are wrinkled, the grey lines, the slack skin and callouses echoing the lines of the land she has built, part of her power to create and to midwife death. Secrets of passing, stories of the ancients weave through her rough grey hair, and her eyes see beyond what is in front of her and into a reality that has not yet come to pass. The Crone has beauty in her wholeness, she gives death as she gives life.
The Crone is the most feared and least understood aspect of the triple goddess archetype. Many can identify with a Maiden, just beginning on her journey, stepping out into a brave new world. Or with the Mother, fully in bloom, living her power and nurturing love. But the Crone is something else. Cerridwen’s cauldron gives birth to us, and takes us back into the void upon death. We live and die many times in our lives. Aspects of ourselves arise and fall away, we are surrounded by birth and death in every breath.
What’s in your unconscious can trip you up time and time again. You can’t work with it if you can’t, or won’t, see it. If we are going to claim our own power back, it’s not going to be all white light and chanting. We need to get real. And there’s darkness in reality. Down in the dirt, soil under fingernails, the old scars, in the guts of you, in the roots of your soul so much pain and power is crawling, unseen. Excavating our stories is about claiming our power from ground up, being witness to the shadow side, being willing to make the unconscious conscious.
Many of us have lived through a trauma, a pain, a diagnosis or something which still wounds our heart. But are we still carrying that story with us, and do we need to? Our wounded-heart story can overshadow everything that comes after it.
It’s natural to wonder why things haven’t changed yet, that maybe you’ve been going over these pains for years and struggling. But old habits and thinking patterns build deep neural pathways and we are working to shift them.
Beginning by investigating the situation, by sharing your story, we deal with issues merely by acknowledging them – attention is powerful.
But it’s our story and so it’s up to us how and when we tell it, as well as if we want to change it. It can keep reforming, you may at some point out-grow your wounded-heart story and need to review or reform. Just as a business wouldn’t leave it’s ‘About’ page to become outdated year after year, we don’t have to keep carting our story around without edits. And you may not even realise how much you are carrying with you. It’s time to unpack.
Imagine you are sitting in a room with me, there are sage green walls, soft cream chairs and mountains outside. I’m listening to you, and you feel held and safe. I’d like you to tell me your heart story – as much as you’d like, if you feel safe and ready to do so. You can begin at the beginning or just share the story-shards as they emerge from your centre.
You are putting the story down here and with it your preconceptions – your story is not fixed and may shift, just as you are changeable because you are alive. This is a detox moment, and it may feel scary or liberating.
You can free write your story, speak it allowed or share it with a trusted friend.
After you’ve shared your story – pause. Stay in this space a moment and ask yourself what else is there?
Are there any aspects that this story was blocking that are now able to come free? After letting this heart-wound come to light, is there anything else that comes up with it? In releasing your story, just a little, perhaps a part of it is falling away, leaving space for some new aspect of you to be born.
I hope that in excavating your story you find a deeper connection to your spiritual roots. That the cauldron offers up wisdom from it’s depths, a treasure brought back from the darkness.
If you’d like me to hear your story in the kind room with the sage green walls and the soft chairs, we can book a time here.
Originally published in Her Story Magazine