Better

by Jennifer on March 21, 2018

Monday, March 12th, 2018

If you desire healing,

let yourself fall ill

let yourself fall ill…

– Rumi

The winter that I was seventeen was strange and long…as the season went on the tendrils of darkness reached further into my friends and I’s hearts, but even then I knew it must be for a healing reason…to draw the poison and then the medicine from within us when we needed it most…

I was a senior in high school and my sister and I had moved out of the house for a while because of trouble at home.  At my after-school job the weirdness of the winter filtered into all my interactions, and all I wanted to do was stock drinks in the walk-in fridge to hide from everyone, where it was quiet, and simple and cold.  Where a jacket was enough.

But I had something better.  I don’t know how it started.  My body must have carried me one day toward the ocean, and I discovered that in the time of my lunch break I could precisely walk down the long back road behind the cafeteria, through the woods and down to the water and back just in time to return to class before the bell rang.  Every day that winter I walked to the ocean, and every day it saved my soul.

This is some of the essence of self-love I teach…it isn’t just useful for the easy moments of pleasure and joy…it is in the soul-saving moments in the dark, and sometimes most beautifully there.

I brought something into this world with me.  A teacher many wouldn’t expect.  One of the finest teachers I could ever ask for.  I have known health in this life, beautiful thriving health.  But I have also known profound illness…staggering, heartbreaking, shocking and unspeakable illness.  Illness, and dare I forget the other equally-powerful teacher I brought with me…trauma.  Together they wove a path for me that might have looked terrifying at times to others, because it was, but which also allowed me to access magical worlds I could never have known.

Let me say now, before we go any further, that I am not recommending these kinds of pain or putting them up on a pedestal, nor am I saying that these types of pain are the only way to these magical realms.  They are, however and most assuredly, one way.  And whether you have experienced something like my situations or not, every one of us has known pain.  Pain we hoped to god was worth something, and would take us somewhere wonderful when it healed.

I know pain does not feel like a wonderful gift when it happens.  But pain always brings us a healing gift eventually, even if it takes longer than we ever could have imagined.  Because, however often it may feel all to the contrary, the Universe isn’t out to hurt us.  It only wants to help us return to freedom and love.  I hope my story today is a reminder of this.

Ever since I was little I could communicate with pure knowingness, with the Universe itself and I felt the love within all things.  I also experienced trauma and illness from the time when I could barely hold my own head up.  It’s just true.  I could talk to beings, perform “miraculous” healings, knew how to work with energy and had profound psychic abilities.  I have managed to keep those abilities intact and make a life teaching from my ancient memories as an Oracle, Priestess, Nymph and Sibyl.  It brings tears of joy to my eyes to write those words…it means the world to me that I have been able to do this.

I can walk through the woods and hear the voices of the trees…I can tune into the larger movings of energy in the cosmos and understand their messages.  I can access the wisdom and rituals of ancient lives and bring them back to the world, and help others be able to do the same.  I can access and embody indescribable levels of bliss, and communicate with my body, or any cell within it, for any reason.  You would not imagine that a girl like that has also known a crippling illness extending, in waves, throughout her lifetime.

“Why aren’t you better?” I imagine many people wonder.  Haven’t you been treating Lyme Disease now for years?  And ill longer than that?  Don’t you have healing gifts that should allow you to just make it go away?

To that I have two responses.  One, why would I send away a friend?  True friends can be hard to come by in this life.  And while it may sound straight-up masochistic to call Lyme or trauma my friends, if I were to lay out the gifts I have received on this journey it would be too magnificent to look at all at once…like looking at the sun.  My intuitive abilities, my connection to my body, my ability to live like a true animal, and my ability to appreciate life and love have only grown.  And so, even in the darkest nights, I have tried to trust, knowing that the gifts weren’t done being shared yet, and trying to hold on.

It doesn’t mean there haven’t been times it seemed like all of those abilities had slipped into some deep abyss, like my pearl ring.  It doesn’t mean there weren’t times I couldn’t even stand up, or walk, or speak.  It doesn’t mean I never wanted to give up.  I just knew I never could.  It doesn’t mean it was “just a little phase”…while I had “episodes” as far back as childhood and my late teens, I have been solidly facing the flare up of Lyme Disease for a decade now.  In fact, I am literally writing this at the heart of my ten-year anniversary of experiencing unwellness.

How can I want to cry with gratitude?  Where do I begin?…

I am grateful because I am alive, and I am learning.  I am in love.  My capacity to feel is so phenomenal it awes me.  My body awes me.  I am on my knees at its feet.  Except that I am not separate from it, so I am on my knees at my own feet.  And I have gotten good at being on my knees.  Close to the dirt, so close I can smell it, and it heals me…

Which brings me to my other answer to the question of why I am not better yet.  You see, I am.  Better.  I am better.  Yeah, I’ve got a little ways to go for “all” better.  Some nights that little ways to go suddenly looks impossible to cover, like the last phase of running a marathon I would guess.  But I’m not even running anymore.  There’s nowhere to run.  If you look to the side of all the running and the finish lines you will find me lying in the grass, pressing a flower to my nose, roses in my cheeks.

You see, I’ve drilled so deep I struck wellness.  I opened my body so deeply that a spring emerged where once the earth had hardened.  Because it is easy to harden here in this world, and the body needs time…deep, patient time, to soften hard places sometimes.  Even if the rest of you is open to the sun.

I belong in that field.  We all do.  I live there now, more than ever, and thanks to the pain that has taught me so much, I always will.

Please pardon my french, but if some of you are feeling like telling me to fuck off right now because you don’t feel that way at all, that’s okay.  It’s good to be angry, and anger can be a great healing friend too.  But I can tell you, if it’s a comfort, I know of which I speak.  I couldn’t even say these things if I hadn’t lived what I have lived.  But instead I know both the ultimate truth of love, and the extension of pain.  And, like the Goddess Innana who traveled to the Underworld and died there before coming back to life, I too have the freedom to be Queen of all my inner worlds.  Not just the heavenly.  For there is beauty in every world, unlocked for the brave who knock.  The brave like you.

I guess this is a long-winded way of saying I have reached a state where I am better every day.  No matter what happens, or what life wants to show me.  No matter whether I feel more or fewer symptoms, I am better every day.  Because it can’t be less than perfect, every day, even when it doesn’t feel that way, and I give myself full permission to feel everything it makes me feel when that happens.  Everything.

And it’s also a long-winded way to say I am taking winter walks again.  Not because this winter has been hard like the one when I was seventeen.  I am just finally well enough to withstand the cold again and be out and physical every day, early enough in the day even in the winter.  I took selfies in the snow this year that brought tears to my eyes.

It doesn’t make you more spiritual to be well, or to be unwell.  It doesn’t make you more wise to be one way or the other, or more advanced.  It isn’t a sign of greatness to be one or the other, but anything can be your teacher…and everything is.  And everything, whether it seems like it could possibly true or not, is simply drawing you closer to the field of flowers where you belong…the one where you are at total peace with your own true nature, and can live from that place.

For the rest of my life I will be able to share the gifts I have received from pain.  It is the real loaf of bread that never runs out, the real wine that never runs dry, and I will be able to help others be able to suffer less.  I will draw from the well I dug with my hands for the rest of my days, and we will gather there and laugh, and feast, and dance, and there will be no trace of what inspired my need to dig the well…the fact that I needed to reach that water to survive.  There will only be the plenty that came next.  Because that is what follows…

I love you all.  No matter what the plenty is coming.

No matter what, it gets better.

Love,

Jennifer

 

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