Posts Tagged ‘depression’

helping-handMy heart goes out to the loved ones of Robin Williams, and to all those touched by his life and death. His suicide has opened a wave of discussion about the impact of depression and what it means to live, and love, and be within the shadow of sadness. This has hit me hard, not least because I know what it is like to smile through sadness, to live with depression and to face suicide. Mr. Williams brought laughter to so many, lifted the hearts of others so often, and yet he lived with a shadow that many of us endure and never speak about. Now people are talking. Everywhere I go I hear people talking about it. The internet is full of people talking about it. Talk is great, we need an open discussion about mental health and its impact, yes we do. But talk is also a trigger, and these last couple of days have forced me to poke old wounds, bringing memories to the surface. (more…)

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Good Grief: A Lesson in Love

RRivers logoGrief comes in many forms, wearing many guises and answers to many names. Time and time again I have found Grief to be my dancing partner, and every tune has been unique. We expect Grief to come calling when we face the hardest transitions in our lives, the times when we must learn to live without the physical presence of our beloveds, the times when we must learn to live with broken hearts, the times when the cycle of life and death must be understood by a soul encased in emotional turmoil. We understand the sad symphony of our lives then and we expect Grief to envelop us in a cold embrace. There are times when Grief touches us unexpectedly, and a little embarrassed we push away her light touch until the insistence and presence of She Who Will Not Be Denied eventually overwhelms us and we admit to our deepest selves that Grief belongs here. The transitions that belong to the realm of Joy are also home to Grief. As we welcome the birth of new life, we still twinge with sadness at the passage of time, at the choices neglected, the paths untrodden, at the loss of who we were. Grief understands and places a hand upon our shoulders in the wee hours of darkness when the light and joy and celebration fades. She knows that life is complex, that the expectation of emotion does not always coincide with the reality of each situation, and that there is room to hold many of her siblings in the same heart at the same time. Grief takes her place as ice within the heart, a splinter in the mind, a burning in the belly. As long as we acknowledge her presence, She responds to our needs. She will not be denied or ignored. Grief will fill our veins with ice until our hearts freeze, and then She Who Will Not Be Denied will crack us open to shatter upon the pretense of normality. For all this, Grief is not cruel.

Grief holds us while we shake and shiver and face our wounds; She holds us so tight she squeezes out frozen tears and we grow numb within her embrace. She honours us for who we are in our most naked and vulnerable form. She acknowledges the depths of our emotions even when society does not. She does not judge us for the dance, nor does She write the tune. She does however whisper to us. It is a message we may never hear over the sounds of our own tears, but it speaks to our very soul.

“I am Love’s twin. To embrace me is to embrace Love.”

For all the pain we feel whilst rocked in Griefs embrace, is simply the reflection of love. We could not grieve so much, if we did not love so much. To acknowledge the depth of our grief is to acknowledge the breadth of our love. She Who Will Not Be Denied understands this, and takes her role as Love’s Loss in our first dance of acceptance. Accept the gentle grief of life transitions, accept the love of a past self; accept the overwhelming grief of loss, accept that overwhelming love is the reflection of grief.

Grief is the twin of Love.

 

 

This post is part of the Pagan Blog Project 2014.

PBP2014

Novembers submission to Moon Books. Find Romany at Moon Books Publishing Blog here

The storm is my life My life is me I am the storm

The storm is my life
My life is me
I am the storm

 

One of the hardest lessons to learn is that life does not just happen to us, we are in fact the authors of our own existence. From ancient spiritual philosophies to modern Quantum Physics, we explore the concepts of reality, conscious existence, human observational effects, laws of attraction, and the impact of the human mind upon matter. When life feels chaotic, hectic, difficult or challenging, it becomes almost impossible to accept that we actually hold the power to manifest these aspects in our lives. Life is balance, and destruction has as much value as creation, for without one the other could not be. Yet we struggle to see ourselves as active participants within the storm, let alone as creators of it. This is a lesson I learn and forget over and over again. Each time my life becomes overwhelming I must learn once more that I need to move into the centre of the chaos. Sometimes I need to surrender to the destruction and sometimes I need to just scream into the storm.

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As the wheel turns, the days grow colder, the nights grow longer and shadows pervade our inner and outer landscapes. Darkness brings with it the desire for introspection, reflection and contemplation of our own shadow selves. Samhain reminds us of the deep descent into the underworld, of the thinning veil, of the influence of ancestors, and of the masks we wear in daily life. At this time of year I find myself following the dark inner spiral and reflecting upon my own shadows, a regular journey that is no longer fearful to me but instead enlightening and, eventually, uplifting. In honour of the seasonal shift, I offer two poems from deep within the shadows and push them into spotlight. They are reflections on my dramatic transition from maiden to mother, a role that brings its own joy and darkness – often in equal measure. From grieving over the loss of my personal identity, to dark and debilitating postnatal depression, these poems lay bare some of the hardest aspects of the emotional shift into motherhood.

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