From the ashes

4 min read

If you’re very perceptive, you may have noticed, that I have not written a blog in more than three weeks when I said I planned to write one about The Artist’s Way, every week until the end of the year.

I have kept my promise of doing my morning pages and going on artist dates, but for the past weeks I have not done The Artist’s Way. It was too much. This past month has been an emotional rollercoaster the likes of which I have not experienced before. My life has come to a screeching halt, for the simple reason that due to processing the emotional trauma that got unearthed a month ago, I have little to no focus, energy for or interest in things other than trying to stay mentally healthy. This is a lot and this will take time. And that is okay. 

In order to prepare for a diary burning, I went through almost two decades of diaries. What I already knew, but what stood out while reading, is that we always seem to go in circles. The themes may be the same, but the level at which we process isn’t. We go higher or deeper, however you want to look at it, at every round. And sometimes, we stumble across a memory that defines a theme, that makes everything fall into place, like I did four weeks ago. 

12 years ago, I wrote:

Looking back, I see this confident and vibrant woman. She stands tall, she radiates peace and love. She is present and aware, open to all this world has to offer without judgement. I look at her in amazement, in awe. That woman is me, one year ago. I miss her. I need her to tell me that everything will be alright, that she’s still here somewhere in this mess. I need her to guide me back to where I was, for somehow I got lost, trapped in traumatic memories, reliving a painful past. [..]

My wise self tells me everything is alright. She tells me this is exactly what I need in order to heal.  She tells me that everything that doesn’t root in love is part of the illusion. She tells me that I am loved, that I am whole, that I am part of God’s perfection. She tells me she’s always there to guide me and protect me. And, what I need to hear most, she tells she will rise from this illusion, stronger and wiser, more beautiful than ever, like a phoenix from the ashes.

However hard this round, I am grateful. For this time, I am able to be the hurt and the wise self at the same time. I am present to hold the wounded child in myself, to hold my hurting self when I need it most.

Where I am in this process I don’t know, I would love to think that I have had the worst, that I am emerging on the other side, rising from the ashes, but the truth is I have no way of knowing. I am grateful for all that I was able to give so far, and I’m thankful for the respite I am getting to come to my senses, even if it turns out to be temporary.

I miss light-heartedness, and ease. I miss the brightness of a world not covered in a shroud of grief. I am learning to make peace with this particular grief. I know this too is temporary. I know this too shall pass. But I cannot wait for this veil to be lifted.

For the moment, loving myself means that I don’t force myself. I am learning what it means to ‘let the soft animal of my body love what it loves’, as the poet Mary Oliver describes it so beautifully. This too is a process. This too will take time. And that, too, is okay.

In short, I may write a blog when I feel inspired, or I may not. The Artist’s Way will have to wait until the next stage of my Hero’s Journey, until I’ve befriended this multi-headed dragon. Until, I am ready to continue my journey.

For now, I am wishing you a wonderful end of 2021. May you feel at peace with all this year has brought you, and may you start 2022 with a new slate. May you allow more joy into your life, and more life into your days. Grace and Peace, my friends. Grace and Peace.

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Picture by Tú Lê Ahn

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