As I walked into the park this morning I found myself surrounded by a group of volunteers sauntering together. Mixed in with the crowd, I heard in charge greet them and say, “we have a destruction project today. This path is starting to look too much like Alice in Wonderland”. I looked down and saw the ripped out plants piled by his feet.
I paused and then slowed my gait. Alice has actually been appearing to me regularly lately. She did this once before, perhaps a year ago, for a short while. Servers in coffee shops with her name, stores called Alice, spray painted scrawls on city bridges. Seeing her resurface again this week has made me smile.
What is she trying to tell me?
I wrote a story the other day. One of magic teacups, secret staircases leading to a gateway of light, climbing into a dragon’s eye, and hearing a prophecy shared in an actual dream that I had while traveling in Ireland. In the dream I was told by a wise woman dressed in blue, “you coming here helped heal a significant hole in the Western Hemisphere”. After a brief flutter of acknowledgment, I was flooded with fear. Flooded with fear at the realization that I’m important, needed; and scared because it feels like I’m hunted because of it.
We have a destruction project today.
I was reminded last week that left-handed people have always been thought to have magic. That’s part of why they were forced through so many means to become right-handed. Rational. A painful process in so many ways set to destroy something.
When I was little I used both hands evenly. Moving from one to the other with ease. My parents thought I might be ambidextrous. Once I started school, I favoured the right hand for writing. Was it the energy of centuries of conditioning I picked up on? Fear of being reprimanded? Or was that what just came most naturally?
When I was nine or ten I decided that I absolutely had to learn to use my left hand to write. The urge was so strong that I imagined my right arm had been broken. I felt it was a preventative measure – I mean – what if I actually did break my right arm? How would I survive? How would I get by? I obviously needed to strengthen and train my left hand. I spent hours writing out lines with my left hand, the wobbly writing getting more and more clear.
Was I trying to reconnect to my magic?
Nevertheless, the right hand persisted, the left brain growing stronger, leaving the intuitive side to languish and feel cut back. Cut off. Getting by as a rational person in a rational world. That has served me well in many ways, and all the while hiding something significant of myself.
All the while feeling like none of it made sense. The way the world works. Nonsense.
The fear that came over me in the dream was strong. Fear at being important. Significant. Even now, I struggle with the concept of the balance of self-importance and humility. Somewhere in that balance is power. True power. Not the kind that is used to take advantage of people or to control. The kind of power that flows and goes out into the world. The kind of power that it’s an honour to have. Only it must be blocked somewhere if it feels like I’ll be hunted because of it. I won’t let it be there. I won’t let myself be important.
I’ve been looking for the hunters coming at me throughout my life. I can see that now. Looking over my shoulder and around. Being on guard for the attack. Waiting for the hit. They’ve had different faces and worn different guises over the years. I’ve been hiding and concealing myself to try to not have to experience it. The pain, once hunted down. Trying to not be seen until a couple of months ago when I started to let myself open up to the possibility that it is safe to let myself be seen.
Not long after my jaw started to become tense. It became so tense that I couldn’t move it. Locked. In there, I sense a lifetime of stored, unexpressed, anger.
In part, it was stored anger at taking on too much for too long. Right now it’s the anger of having my voice taken away. Or feeling like it has been. My ability to express myself. Because so often when I did, so often when I shared what was real to me, it wasn’t met with acceptance. This is still the case. It happens all the time and I feel myself start to defend what I’m doing or to stop sharing it. To become silent. Cut off. Why does my reality have to take a second seat to others? If it’s real to me, then it’s real. Just like if something is real to you, it’s real.
Why is my reality worth less than yours? Sadness and depression underlay the anger at being diminished. I must be worthless then. If my reality isn’t accepted. If my voice isn’t heard. If I’m worthless, then I’m fearful at being important. One negates the other and yet the yearning to feel significant is strong.
I can no longer cut these parts of myself off to satisfy the disbelief and judgment of others. Or to satisfy my own disbelief and judgment of myself. My own limiting views.
The intuitive side of me went underground for a long time, and it was never lost. Perhaps it was waiting until I could meet the teachers I needed to help bring it along. To help allow it to be real and expressed.
Even now, with all that support I have, I sense a block. Something is still holding me back. I put too much weight and value on what other people believe, think, judge. Fear of not belonging, and of not having worth, still wrestling around within me. What is it I need to be accepted? Can I accept myself so fully none of the rest matters? Can I let myself be important? How do I heal that severing and cutting off that I’ve become so practiced at?
I keep coming back to the fifth chakra in all this. The energy and emotion stored in my jaw, letting myself be seen, after the first massive release in my jaw I no longer needed the earplugs I’ve used as a sleep aid for over sixteen years. Eyes. Ears. Mouth. Seeing. Hearing. Speaking.
The fifth chakra in some traditions is referred to as your center. My center. That feels important to understand. A key to the lock.
I’m being seen and being heard. Still with an immense amount of fear yet to be transformed.
I’m learning that I want to have a voice. That words hold immense power and because of that they need to be used well and with care. Towards myself and with others.
There’s another layer here to do with all that anger. I’ve got very adept at storing anger. I’ve finally started to understand the relationship between being hurt and anger. All those times I wasn’t believed or listened to, it hurt. When it felt like my voice was taken away, it hurt. It still does. And so I stopped speaking. I still do. It hurt and I became angry because I was hurting. What I just started to see is that I always took it all on. The anger and the hurt. I never gave it voice – not skillfully. (Sometimes while drunk the energy would come out. Now that I don’t drink, I need different avenues for it to be channeled).
The curious part for me is now starting to see that being hurt and angry often then leads me to resentment towards the person who said or did the thing that hurt me. Without me consciously realizing it, resentment then has turned to revenge. The way to punish those people has been to take all the anger for myself and then cut them off. To withdrawal. The taking myself away is meant to hurt them, I think. There’s some weak sense of importance in that exchange and it’s one I’d like to shift into a place of strength. It’s also painful to me to cut the person off, which leads to more anger and resentment.
The hunters aren’t outside of me, they’re within. It’s my own reactions and responses and way of managing the pain and internal distress that lets me feel exposed and hunted. I think I even seek it – so that I can keep the cycle of energy going. Keep quiet, get hurt, withdraw with anger. Remain unseen and unheard. Only to let the whole cycle keep playing out.
Resenting too that I take everything on. Yet, it’s been the only way to stay safe. To feel safe.
I need to walk into the eye of the dragon. To speak my truth, even if it’s pain and hurt. Before it turns into anger – or even after it does. To not be afraid of it or afraid that experiencing it means I have to leave or that I will be left. To place the anger where it belongs and not hold onto it all. To not cut it back or off. To let it flow.
I’ve been afraid of letting myself have importance and worth because I want that magical side of me to be cherished and loved. In my own doubts that it will be, my own rational skeptic appears too. In those times, it’s the voice of others I hear coming through as my own, trying to knock me down from the inside. So much of my true nature is in that intuitive, sensitive side. I hold it dear and protect it at all costs, even by moving back to that more rational side, which limits the wonder and beauty of it all. Limits my ability and connection. Holding holds me back.
The definition of Alice is Truth.
Truth in Wonderland.
There is truth in wonderland. Truth in magic and all that nonsense that has always made complete sense to me. There is value in both of these worlds. The path to wonderland can be destroyed and it always grows back anew. Alice always resurfaces.
I hope we can let the world of magic that is all around and also experienced within us remain in tact. To accept and appreciate it. I hope I can do this for myself. To know the invisible world that is real too, even if the rational mind can’t quite allow it. It can be touched, seen, and heard if you let it. If you’re not afraid of it or try to deny it or cut it down. To believe and allow and make space for it and for those people who can travel within it. After all, if it didn’t exist, why would generations of people spend so much effort trying to cut down the path? Force the rational to take over. What power is in this magic? And how can we no longer be afraid of it? To heal the split and severance within each of us. To be grateful for both sides. All sides having worth and importance.
We can live in both; held in both hands.
It’s all one.
This path is starting to look too much like Alice in Wonderland.
So, what? Let it.