Broken Hearts and Burning Stars

by Jennifer on April 3, 2017

Friday, March 31st, 2017

I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life – and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.

~ Georgia O’Keeffe

I’ve been out picking nettles in the cold spring woods.

I don’t wear any gloves because they are my friends…if I am careful with them, they are careful with me…because I respect their fire, and they love mine.  I have heard that there is a way to fold them into themselves and eat them right then without getting burned.  Someday I will learn it.  For now the fact that sometimes the tips of my fingers become flame is part of their nourishment.  It’s the heart of their medicine.  I have been tried by fire so many times, and healed by it just as many…

Sounds kind of pretty, right?  Burning and healing and bright flame fingertips…fearless forests and brave nights?  If you pull away a little bit, it does actually look beautiful.  If you pull away a little bit, it does actually sparkle.  But close up it may be the ugliest thing you have ever seen.  Close up it is terrifying, as you watch what you thought you could never look at in yourself rise up like a phantom on the smoke and engulf you.  As it fills your lungs, you are sure it is the end of you…that you will become the dust lining some forgotten edge of the universe.  It is mud in your face and mud in your mouth and the taste of secret shame.  That is how the fire burns.  And it is never done until you are more free than you have ever been…

I can hear the first frog of the evening outside, mixed in with the bird songs of early twilight.  That bright frog felt the right moment come before all the others did.  That brave frog is leading the way into night…into the ecstatic union they will all share in the darkness, filling my human heart with reckless hope.  I am a fool like the frogs.  Like the first frog that sings at night, before everyone else has noticed the elegant beginnings of the fall…(of sweet night).

I have spent a life taking leaps.  I am the one who lives the inspirational quotes as a matter of course.  It’s not at all a brag, more of a reveal of just how pretty-much crazy I am.  Crazy alive.  Crazy in love with life.  It’s a love that hasn’t lost its glow for me, and a bloom that hasn’t fallen off the rose.  Even though I have torn my heart on the thorns more times than I thought I could bear.  I know you have too.  I know you may have wondered sometimes, perhaps lately especially with the Venus retrograde journey we are going through, if the days of petals and blossoms are behind you.  I am here to tell you that you are dissolving for a reason right now.  Your kingdoms are falling so that you can live in the dream castles you more deeply desire, and that you more truly designed.  The old has to fall away again, even if you thought you were halfway into the new.  Even if what crumbled recently appeared to be your heart’s dearest wish…

Let it fall into the ocean.  Let the waves drink up your tears.  Be glad it fell because somehow you already know you can breathe better on the other side.  After you stop crying, that is.  But no rush, my love.  Cry as long and as deeply as you want to.  Cry as much as your schedule and your weary lungs and your dry eyes allow.  Cry out the water for your new garden.  All the seeds will grow because you cried.  Even the tears you cry inside will add to the wild rain for your new life.  The quiet ones that hurt the most…that no one knows you cry…that no one can even see.

Now more frogs are singing…

The twinkle lights in my window are pretending to be stars on grey-blue skies.

I mentioned taking leaps.  Here’s the thing about it.  Everyone hails the leap of faith, but some leaps lead to a life-shattering crash below…and those moments require even more faith than the first step off the edge.  Those aren’t failures, even though you may feel like a fool and all the people who hailed the leap of faith somehow want to shame you when you fall.  Crash landings are part of flying.  Falling is part of falling in love.  The real faith is about whether you can imagine that the falls will help you eventually fly even more freely, once you heal.  And every time you fall, you are one leap closer to the more whole experience of flying.

Those are my notes from the edge.  I hang out there because I study there, I live there and I love there.  I seek out safety in places that it seems impossible to find it, at great personal expense and even greater personal and larger-than-personal reward.

I am learning to fold the nettles in on themselves, so I can be fed by what burns me…right then as I am stung.  Even if at first I am immobile…it’s okay to freeze before you burn…it’s okay to freeze before you fly.  It’s okay to be lost before you are found.  It’s okay to get rubbed out from your own familiar land, and come back as new grass.  It’s okay to be tender, and wild.  It’s okay not to know what you want next, or how to be any of these things at all…

One breath will follow another.  Just do that.  Just let that happen.  Wait.  You will know what to do when you need to know.  Your body will show you.  You will hear the frogs sing, and hope will return and make twinkle lights in your heart again.  And then you will be shown…

Love,

Jennifer

 

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Maggie April 4, 2017 at 5:32 am

So soothing and beautiful. Just what my heart needed to hear today when I’m feeling low. Thank you. I have that poster in my room and I couldn’t believe when I saw it in your post. I had it in my office at work and loved to get lost in it.

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WD April 4, 2017 at 6:31 am

Wonderful, Jennifer, perfect timing, thank you so much for this beautiful message <3 "Cry out the water for your new garden. All the seeds will grow because you cried." <3 <3 <3

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Joanna Devrais April 4, 2017 at 6:49 am

Dearest Jennifer,
There is a place you live from and write from that reminds me who I am
Thank you for you your gifts and reminders
For it is time for me to jump off and
Dare the flight … 75 years a few days ago
I said why not! Love and gratitude joanna

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geneviève April 4, 2017 at 7:06 am

Exactly the balm I needed….ssoooo soothing….supportive 😉
Thank you Jennifer 🙂

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Penny Keeler April 4, 2017 at 8:00 pm

You are an amazing woman Jennifer Posada. You have become one of my best friends. You know exactly what to say to heal my heart. Thank you so much for this friend I feel truly blessed to have found you. Much love to you Jennifer

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Judy April 4, 2017 at 9:53 pm

Beautiful and thank you. I have been thinking about walking through the fire a lot lately, writing burn stories. But I had not though of burning nettles and how it hurts close up but is beautiful with distance. This hit the spot. thanks for hanging in the crevices and sharing with all of us.

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Maria April 4, 2017 at 10:09 pm

I love you, Jennifer … and I often give thanks that you have come into my life!

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Mariela April 5, 2017 at 5:53 am

Oh dear Jennifer. You wrote this for me. 🙂 I don’t mean to be selfish but every line here is exactly what I’ve been dealing with.

Your words are like a soothing balm; I read them when I first woke up and as I went to sleep last night.

Sending love and deepest gratitude!

Mariela

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