Photo from: MauraBertotti@facebook.com
This week was tumultuous to put it mildly. My Shaman Teacher asked me last week how my relationship was. Then, she went on to explain that the astrological influences of Mercury could cause upheaval in relationships. In addition, I was doing a cleansing fire ceremony with the intent to purify any relationships that needed mending or forgiveness. At that time, everything was just lovely between my partner and me. I had no idea of the events that were to come.
It started Wednesday with several frustrating conversations leading to bickering. It seemed like we were speaking foreign languages and couldn’t translate a word. We were able to coexist peacefully in silence and I welcomed the reprieve. Then, Thursday, it happened again. We made amends and laughed a lot before I headed off to work a late night at the Jazz club.
When I got home, I found my sober partner passed out in the bed. I could smell the alcohol and cigarettes. I immediately got angry. We had talked about this many times and he said he would tell me before relapsing. I tried to wake him and quickly realized I didn’t know this person in my bed. I took off for a hotel, feeling lost, betrayed and confused. How could I ever trust again?
When I came back the next day, it was the same stranger; cold, jaded, and heartless. I became so full of rage and reminded myself of my mother. In a flash I was back to my life as a ten year old, watching my mom rage about my dad. At that time, I just thought he needed a lot of sleep and didn’t understand why she was so angry with him.
He would stay in bed all day and she hated him. I now understood…he was hung over from the night before. I recalled waiting for him to return, crying at the window at 4am. I didn’t understand what could possibly make him so late. He forgot me at school regularly but my mom hid the fact that he was an alcoholic. Today, I could see it so clearly.
I was raging as the ten year old, my mother, and the thirty eight year old I am today. It was messy and I wanted to run. My world was unraveling. Then, it hit me. I had been given tools to work with situations exactly like this. I breathed deeply and allowed my awareness to move into the Eagle.
I drove to the beach, while breathing into the hurt. As I was walking out to the sand, I saw a couple walking on the trail. I did not have any plan to talk with them, as the lady yelled over to me, “Good Morning!” I barely inaudibly mumbled, “Yeah”. Then she responded, “It is a good morning!”
Isn’t it funny how the Universe gets through to you in completely random and unexpected moments? I laughed at myself and made a choice.
I chose to stop and embrace all of it. Therefore, I gave the energy to the Earth and water elements. I took a lot of showers and several walks on the beach with the intent to cleanse all of it. I softened in conversation, when I would rather have caused bodily pain. I got the message to forgive…mainly myself. Once again, I was asking myself if I could do this. I knew that I could keep choosing to let go. I trusted that forgiveness would come. I trusted joy would come.
When I let go of my emotions and was able to meet my partner from a place of acceptance, it provided an opening. He was able to cry and express his emotions. Forgiveness came naturally for both of us.
What does this have to do with Shamanism? My answer is: Everything.
In my session with my Shaman Teacher, we released the trauma around my dad. We did a journey to the Upper and Underworlds. When she worked on the trauma I could feel a tightness and sharp pain in my chest. It felt like a knife had been removed. Then, there was just an open wound.
During the Upper world journey, I was given a bag with a wand of strength in it and wings for my heart. They were given to me by the Divine Father, which was incredibly fulfilling. The light of the Divine was filling my heart and I felt joy again.
There was also a feeling of self-reliance. It was much different than the stubborn girl inside, refusing help at all costs. This was whole. All of my focus no longer needed to be on potential loss or abandonment of masculine love. It was already fulfilled inside my own heart. I now have the strength and the wings to fly.
It reminds me of a lovely quote I will never forget.
In many shamanic societies, if you came to a shaman or medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions… When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence?