I woke up anxious today. I was informed that I am now being slandered by a woman who teaches publicly. A person who is regarded by some to be a fellow spiritual teacher. It is a particular kind of discomfort to be openly opposed by people who are supposed to be colleagues.
To be honest, in this line of work it often feels like I am on cloud nine, excited to step up on center stage to share something new with the world that will improve people’s lives, only to be booed off stage. Logically I can see that there are many people in the world cheering me on. But the people who boo also tend to yell louder, throw chairs, sabotage the stage set and do anything they can to discourage me from being brave enough to show my face. It is finally getting through to me that while I create this reality called my life, it is simultaneously true that I cannot control my reality. I cannot control what people do and I cannot control all the conditions of life so that pain never reaches me. I cannot live my life to avoid discomfort. And so, I took my own advice and I let myself surrender to the angst today. As a result, I felt inspired to write a poem about the experience…
Angst sings and howls through the aqueducts of flesh.
It cannot escape with the breath.
It is not softened by thought.
It is not melted away by the passing of time.
Uncertainty celebrates when it claims dominion and leaves what it finds in sensual ruin.
I lie on the floor in a shaft of sunlight.
I close my eyes to let it greet my face.
The dark world behind my eyelids is turned coquelicot.
Warmth is loud as it rejoices in the merciful stillness of light.
The angst is hushed.
It is paroled by the breath.
It is softened by the warmth.
It is melted away by the charity of light.
The angst of uncertainty falls silent and forfeits its fight.
For the light is constant…
The light is constant.
It is incredible what can happen when you do not resist what arises and instead use the arising of it as an invitation to go deeper within yourself. I have made a practice of this. I had a particularly powerful experience while doing this in New Zealand. In fact, I promised to unveil the experience I had with this two blogs ago. I guess today is the day…
An acute uterine menstrual cramp is like the sharpest ache you can ever feel. It stops you from breathing in. No position brings relief from it. Sometimes the feeling radiates down the inside of your legs and up your back. Like a piece of tin foil, the pain reaches up and crumples thought so you cannot think in a linear manner. It confuses the system. Sometimes, it causes you to sweat and even to vomit.
I have been plagued by this experience almost every month since I entered menarche at 15 years old. At this point in life, I have lined up with the experience of having stage 3 endometriosis. Last year, I visited the nation’s medical specialist in endometriosis. He informed me that with the condition being this progressed, I would have to decide between conservative surgery (if I wanted the option of having any more children) and a full hysterectomy (which was his suggestion). Obviously, being a medical intuitive and believing in natural health, the suggestions felt terrible to me. I can see his perspective fully. It made my heart sink. However, no part of me could be in alignment with going to war with any part of myself, especially if it leads to cutting any part of myself out. The car ride home from the appointment was consumed by somber silence.
Traveling has a way of disrupting the easily influenced menstrual cycle. So there we were a year later in Auckland, New Zealand and out of the blue (having made no preparations for it), I started bleeding. The amount of pain I’ve come to expect in association with menstruation has made it so at the first sight of blood I feel fear. I do not suffer from inertia or a lack of initiative. I have tried all kinds of things to alleviate the pain of this condition to no avail. And so, walking down the street in Auckland, I ended up in enough pain that I had to sit down on a bench in a church lot. The pain was disorienting. I doubled over. There was nowhere to go and nothing more I could do and so I followed the pain to the source. I breathed into it as deeply as I could. I sent my womb the message that I was listening completely and I asked it to tell me what is ‘wrong’.
At that moment, a flock of pigeons landed one by one at my feet and began pecking around in the grass, cooing and looking directly at me as if they were waiting for me to do something or to understand something. I felt maternal towards them. To me, they were precious and vulnerable beings that I wanted to care for and protect. I knew that this occurrence was happening in perfect harmony with the law of attraction, so it was linked to my womb. I directed my attention inside my womb again. The despair there was incredible. I could feel my resistance to being present with it. It felt like the kind of grief that causes you to scream out in desperation.
I expected to find the grief there to be the result of all the abuse I went through when I was young. And even though there was an element of that there, the memories I was taken back through were memories of being turned against my own womb. This is the real unhealed wound. It is the way I made an enemy of it that has done the real damage. I was taken back to being educated by the Planned Parenthood staff about the dangers of sex. They tried to frighten the girls off of sex by traumatizing us about pregnancy and birth. I was taken back to my mother’s reaction when I bled for the first time. I was taken to all the times I panicked about the possibility of pregnancy after having sex. Back to washing myself out and using chemicals to make it impossible. And back to the traumatic birth of my surviving son.
For thousands of years, women have been destroying femininity by turning their daughters against their own wombs. I cannot blame them completely. In a world where your life is so affected by bearing children and in a man’s world that does not support the process at all, it was a liability. But this is what we are taught… That our wombs are a liability and are not to be trusted. We could get knocked up at the wrong time and it could ruin our lives. We feel like our bodies will betray us. We suppress our cycles so we can control this liability. And while it is empowering for us to be able to choose when to get pregnant and not, it also kills our relationship with an aspect of ourselves. We have controlling relationships with our wombs. This is a state of cruelty. We do not support the motherhood aspect of our daughter’s lives. We condemn it and then expect that when they grow up and the day comes that the time is right to step into motherhood, they can just immediately undo all that damage that has been done. But this is not the way that deeply rooted programing works.
When I finally listened to my womb, I heard it screaming at me in desperation as if I have been bulldozing it, completely oblivious to its needs and wants. And for the first time, I became completely aware of the absolute division of desires within me. Here is my womb, whose primary reason for being is the creation of life. It wants to receive, to germinate and to bring forth new life. It feels as if that purpose has been denied. It feels as if its strength of receptivity has been condemned as weakness. It feels as if its beloved creations have been ripped cruelly from it. My womb wants to bring forth life.
On the other side, here I am with an international career. I am the breadwinner for my household so far. I have no calling to be a stay at home mother. I already feel guilt for being a career mom with my son. I have ambitions and find myself in circumstances that are less than conducive to the soft, receptive, care-taking energy that pregnancy and motherhood demands. I am not in a place to be able to stand up on stage with crippling morning sickness, like I had the first time. I am not in a place to be breast-feeding before and after interviews. I am terrified of the idea of trying to drag an infant across the world and trying to do what I have to do in a day with the hormonal fluxes and sleep deprivation that comes along with parenthood. I could list a million ideas that support the idea that having a baby is a bad idea. And yet, here I am with this aspect of me that feels the calling and my womb that is completely clear that it wants it and this entity that follows me everywhere I go.
But to my surprise, every time I bleed my womb is mourning for a baby. The physical pain I feel, is a manifestation of this grief. I saw an absolutely amazing truth while I sat with my womb and reassured it that I am done bulldozing it and that I am done denying it and that I am dedicated to building a harmonious relationship instead of a controlling relationship with it. That truth is about the endometriosis itself.
I had to cut myself off from my womb when I was young. There was not one person in my life that taught me to embrace it. It was a liability. I could not let woman-hood be a part of me because it was weakness and could be used against me. I was raised to see it as the enemy. It was abused over and over. I sort of isolated my womb from the rest of me. This caused the energy to stop flowing and it caused a stagnated coagulation of energy there. I continued to violate my own womb by ignoring its wisdom and wants and needs and so it lost its boundaries. It became displaced from my being. It lost its identity. But there was nothing my womb could do about it; it couldn’t release the grief of that condition. Knowing that, take a look at how that reflects in the physical condition of endometriosis…
With endometriosis, the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus begins to grow outside the uterus. "Displaced endometrial tissue continues to act as it normally would. It thickens, breaks down and bleeds with each menstrual cycle. Because this displaced tissue and blood has no way to exit your body, it becomes trapped. When endometriosis involves the ovaries, cysts called endometriomas may form. Surrounding tissue becomes irritated, eventually developing scar tissue and adhesions, which is abnormal tissue that binds organs together, sometimes resulting in a frozen pelvis." -(Mayo Clinic Staff at Mayo Clinic) It is infamous for the pain it causes, especially during menstruation and also for the fact that it causes infertility.
The time has come for me to make peace with my womb. The time has come to re-own and integrate it with my being. It is a crucial step for me to take in accordance with this re-birth into becoming an embodiment of divine feminine. We shall see what transpires as a result!