...both joy and grief.
Just as you deserve to laugh with reckless abandon; just as you deserve to smile as wide as your gorgeous, open heart desires; just as you deserve to belly laugh until it hurts with the close few who truly see you … you also deserve to weep deeply. To let grief inch its way out of your pent-up nervous system through wild screams and streams of tears. To let the aching spots in your body become vacant. To wail through your sacred tear-soaked face exactly how you feel, exactly as you feel it. Both/and. Both unabashed joy *and* weeping deeply.
The individual and collective grief is extremely potent at this time. So much is coming forth. So much is being collected, swallowed, chewed up, and digested. Let’s not forget the elimination phase. Laughter and joy are sacred paths of elimination. Of releasing waste that is wasted on our spirits. Of purging lies that you’ve swallowed, chewed up, digested, and haven’t yet eliminated.
What needs eliminating for you? And what might that path of elimination be? Laughter? Joy? Feeling deep pain? Grieving that pain all the way through? All of the above?
Honestly, suffering has always felt natural to me. Most of the environment that I grew up in perpetuated the narrative that I needed to suffer because I was wrong and my existence was wrong. The dogmatic, religious environment that I was raised in constantly affirmed to me that my existence was problematic. That my sensuality was to be tamed. That my sexuality was in need of conversion therapy. That my self-expression was to be squashed and cornered into the realm of “pure” and “celibate.” I was fed the messaging that I was a sinner; a bad girl who was going to Hell if I didn’t get it together. And so, I squashed myself and I shrunk myself - both literally through anorexia, and emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
Anorexia was both a physical manifestation of what I was doing to myself on a soul level and of the messaging that was programmed into me - be small (not bright and bold), hide (your queer-ness), don’t for one second think you could ever move into a leadership position (that role of priest? yeah, only for cis-men), and - by the way - you’ve got no chance, God hates you, and you’re going to hell for your “repulsive lifestyle.” I remember asking my mom when I was eight years old, “Mommy, what would you say if I told you I was gay.” She said to me, “I would love but I wouldn’t accept you.” So, I continued shrinking, and codependence-ing, and people-pleasing, and playing the “right” role.
What I also learned four years ago in codependency recovery was how I organized my family through my eating disorder and codependency. As long as there was something wrong with *me,* parent one might stop drinking and being verbally and emotionally abusive or parent two might stop gambling and ignoring me. Trying to save my family by squashing my existence and becoming wildly addicted to codependency (hi my name is Heather and I’ll emotionally save you!) was how I functioned as a human being. I didn’t know another way. It was my survival mechanism. And it kept me from developing really amazing friendships - because when people didn’t need me to fix them, I didn’t know how to relate to them. And those potentially beautiful connections just fizzled out.
Now, I’m in my Saturn Return and two years deep into healing another layer of this and I’m now practicing allowing myself to feel deep joy and to let out deep laughter. I’m not going to lie - it sometimes feels so fucking awkward. It’s so much easier for me to only go deep, to heal, to feel the suffering of others, and to caretake. I’ve got that shit locked in. But now...here...I am giving myself permission to feel total, utter joy. To let in the medicinal laughter. To take my power back and validate my own existence. You most certainly don’t need me to tell you how much you deserve to feel joy. Yet sometimes, we do need other people to tell us the exact thing we most need to hear. You are worthy of great existence. You are worthy of unabashed joy. You are worthy of weeping deeply for yourself and this messy-as-fuck and achingly beautiful existence. And so am I, dammit.