Posts Tagged ‘identity’

“Some would even say that love is the most complex [emotion] of them all. If for no other reason than within those four letters lay all emotions.”- Tony Lantz

BW Sex3We love in cycles and waves, in tidal pulls that tug us off our feet. We speak of love and loss each time we lose our balance and are swept away on the currents. We ride high on the crests of the waves, soaring free. We are dashed against the shore and rise shaking and exhilarated. We turn our backs and try to find our feet on shifting sands. We take a deep breath and dive headlong back into the swells. We fall in love, we fall out of love. We fall.

Love is what it is, for the heart wants what the heart wants, and yet love is also an emotion that can be nurtured, grown, discovered or revealed. Love is sometimes not enough to sustain the kind of relationships we want, love is sometimes not enough to meet the expectations of those around us, yet love is always enough. Even loving into the void between us is enough. Love is pain and pleasure, heartache, heartbreak, joy and laughter. Love is the twin of grief, for we could not hurt so deeply if we do not love so deeply. Love is vulnerability. Love is release. Love is without expectation. Love is the altruistic act of being open, present, and compassionate, with honour and respect for others regardless of their response.

Love is a storm that we can hide from, shutting our doors and windows to the chaos of feeling, or we can choose to stand in the centre of it with open arms, raise our voices to the winds, and let the wildness lift our spirits and cleanse our souls. Its power and fury can overwhelm us, knock us off our feet, even send us running to safety. In lashes of rain and whipping wind we are stripped bare and raw, exposed and vulnerable, blinded and unbalanced, but our very being soaks in the nourishment to be found within the raging tempest. Love beats down upon our upturned faces or bowed heads, seeking entry to our deepest selves. It feeds us, refreshes us, gives us fuel to grow.

We love, even when it feels like love has left us behind. We love even when the walls that contained it crumble around us. We love even when the well is drying up; we still thirst for the last drops hidden in the darkest recesses. We love with salt tears, wet cheeks, tired eyes, and bitter taste upon our tongue. We love when there is nothing left but love. We love because that is all we can do.

Love is what it is. And it is both simple and complex, for we are both simple and complex.

We are love.

 

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This blog post was inspired by random conversations with Tony Lantz. Thanks for the thought provocation sweetheart.

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triple-goddessSeveral times in the last few months I have come across individuals in several communities who are looking to create Red Tents, and I have seen an incredible backlash against the idea. In our ever expanding and diverse Pagan communities there appears to be a pendulum swing between private and exclusive, and public and inclusive. I think there is some confusion about what it means for others to host a restricted event – restricted does not mean rejected. Refusing to cater to one segment of society because it clashes with caring for another segment of society, does not mean that we are disrespected or rejected, it means that we are all respecting and accepting the differences between us. By celebrating the diversity of the human species and creating a safe space for certain groups of people to discuss specific issues and ideas unique to their form, we are not excluding others in a harmful fashion. We all need to understand how to accept, respect and celebrate the differences between us as well as the similarities. We can all learn to enjoy quality time together, and quality time apart. (more…)

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…)

RIMG0269“And ye shall be free from slavery; and as a sign that ye are really free, ye shall be naked in your rites; and ye shall dance, sing, feast, make music and love, all in my praise.” – Doreen Valiente

Wicca is not alone in extolling the virtues and benefits of ritual nudity, but it is possibly the most thought of path when we envision naked spirituality. For many, stepping out of our clothing and stepping into sacred space as naked as we were born is a form of rebirthing ourselves into the sacredness of our lives over and over again. But let’s not be naive, nudity may relieve us of our clothing and still add layers to our psyche. Nudity can furnish us with challenges from body issues and self-consciousness, or gender, sexuality and identity concerns, to reliving the trauma of assault and rape. To be naked in ritual is to be vulnerable and exposed, and for some people this does not make a sacred space – in fact it may not even make a safe space. The act of letting go of our clothes, stripping away our perceived identity, dropping the roles we take on in daily life and simply being in our skin can be a powerful tool of transformation and growth; but it is only a tool. When used carefully and with compassion it can be the skilled tool of the surgeon, exposing our issues one layer at a time, stripping us down to truth and bone and blessing; when used with expectation and dogma it can be the blunt hammer upon anvil, creating change through force. (more…)

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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