The end of last week was full of tender heart anniversaries - ones that made me want to hide from the world a bit and cocoon, distract myself with movies and books and sob quietly. It seems that Octobers are a bit of a tender month for me overall.
As I was thinking and feeling all this tenderness that comes with being truly alive, I realized that there are a couple of things that feel so different now than they used to. The achingly painful tenderness in my heart on these anniversaries is mostly the same (though I can see and feel more nuances every time) but a big thing that has changed is how lost I would feel, how utterly alone and floating in a void whenever I met these tender moments in the past.
Even though these moments still feel challenging (and sometimes it still brings up a whole lot of stuff for me), I now experience these moments also as moments of deep connection. I feel held - so deeply held, I feel connected and like I truly belong right where I am - with all of my stuff, with all of my heart.
Because I know I'm held, I can let go even more. Because I know I belong, I can lean in even more. Because I know I am safe, I can take my time.
How do I know all of those things? Before any of this work came into my life, I was really struggling with feeling utterly alone (even in company), it was something I couldn't shake. I had this inner sense that I was somehow misplaced and not really belonging in this world. To be brave and really honest, tender moments used to send me into a spiral of self-abandonment and quitting all self care.
In one of my first journeywork sessions, I found my wise ancestral guide for my great grandmother's lineage. When I met her and we healed the traumatic imprints of this lineage (so many wounds around alone-ness, self-abandonment, and feeling misplaced), this deep sense of belonging returned to me.
I use the word return because that's what it truly felt like - like coming home. A deep sigh of relief. I didn't have to do anything to belong here with her. I think what's even bigger than healing the traumatic imprints, than healing the inherited emergency responses is the arrival of deep belonging through this work.
Because when we feel like we belong, we make bolder choices. We feel comfortable trying. We say I love you. We dance. We make art. We live more wildly and openly. We listen to the whispers within. We write the book. We let go. We begin. Because no matter what - we belong.
Belonging is the ultimate health that lives within our lineages. Belonging to the self. Belonging with others. To the earth. To the spirits. To Love.
If you only take one thing away from this love note from me to you, , may it be this:
No matter what - you are not walking alone.
Even when tenderness reaches for your heart, when sadness crosses the threshold of your body, when the ache and longing spin around you in circles - you belong.
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