As I was going to sleep last night, the voices in my head that are not real started talking. This pre-sleep time of quiet seems to be fertile ground for them...all the negatives and the thoughts based in fear. At this juncture in my life, there are many negatives and fear-based thoughts that loop through my consciousness vying for attention. "You're so lazy." "You're such a loser." "You're a failure." Yada, yada, yada and on and on. But, there is also the overlighting aspect of me that knows these thoughts are not true when they move through, the aspect of me that wants to acknowledge, and give voice to, the parts of me that are screaming. It's not possible to stop these negative thoughts with will, or to drown them out with affirmations. They need to be acknowledged and given their space. Not given power, but given space.
The aspects of us that scream in the negative are doing so because they need attention, they need to be heard. There's a reason I think of myself as lazy, or that I think of myself as a loser or a failure. A cause. And, until the cause is acknowledged and brought to light, it runs me from where it's deeply buried. Awareness brings freedom. And, we gain that freedom baby step at a time as we bring more and more aspects of ourselves into our conscious awareness. Once we can see the pattern, or negative belief, it loses its power over us. I've known this as a concept for a long time. But, as time goes by, and I integrate it more and more deeply, I'm now able to give the shadows their due without shutting down the process.
When the shadow voices started to speak last night, instead of trying to stop them or resist them, I just let them speak. And, at the same time, I held myself and comforted the part of myself that, for a long time, believed those voices to be true. And, after a while, the voices faded away and I fell asleep holding myself. Every time we're able to allow the voices to be there without giving them our power, we step forward into more personal sovereignty. We take ourselves back and baby step into empowerment. Each time we can stay conscious as the voices start in on us once again, and give them their space without reacting to them or believing them, we've reclaimed another piece of ourselves. And, as we reclaim these pieces, Life gives us the opportunity to make our sovereignty real through action.
One example of this back and forth between awareness and action that I've had just came into my consciousness this morning. I recently wrote about my awareness in regard to past abuses and invasions of my body while reading "Confessions of a Spiritual Thrillseeker" by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. (RE: Releasing the Wound) And, this morning, while reading "What We Ache For," another book by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, I realized a moment of empowerment that, at the time, I didn't recognize.
This unrecognized moment of empowerment was in regard to rape and taking back the sovereignty of my body. I was in an intimate relationship a while ago that gave me many gifts, and as I realize though my awareness of this morning, those gifts are still showing up. By gifts, I mean the gifts of awareness around my own limitations and misperceptions that the relationship mirrored to me. At one point, we'd had a difficult day, gotten into an argument that triggered a lot for both of us, and then reconciled and gone to bed. I wasn't feeling a desire to be intimate with him, but he wanted--needed--to be intimate with me; to reconnect on a physical level after the conflict we'd had. But, as the foreplay began, he got too rough and I felt like I wasn't real to him anymore, that I was just an object and that he was lost somewhere in his own demons. It frightened me, because it triggered me back into the helpless horror of past experiences. But, the difference this time, was that I gathered my strength and pushed him off of me. I stopped it. I said "no." I took back a piece of myself. And, it only came to me this morning what an act of strength that was.
Our relationship was never the same after that. We continued on for a while, but my wariness of him didn't go away. My realization that he could disappear into himself to the extent that I disappeared as well, and that the only thing present at that point were his demons, gave me pause. And, I was right to be wary. I was right to step back. I was right to later stop the relationship all together. But, as uncomfortable as this experience was, it gave me a chance to step up and regain a part of myself. Until Life gives us a chance at this type of experience, we don't know what we'll do. So, awareness into action. Although, in this case, it was action into belated awareness.
I didn't realize I'd come far enough along in my own development that I'd be able to say "no," to say "stop" in this circumstance. And, it took me months to actually realize the power of what I'd done. And, that awareness only came much later after the previous awareness I'd had around the same issue while reading a book. But, we never know how these things will come or unfold. From the point I'd said "no," the deeper awareness that needed to surface had been struggling toward the light. What finally helps that awareness to push through the surface could be anything, but once loosened, push through it will.
And so, baby step by baby step, I reclaim myself, and aspects of myself return and integrate, and I become more and more whole, more and more sovereign. And, yet again, I find myself on my knees in gratitude, which is always a good place to be.