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the soul desires expression

the soul desires expression

Soul expression

we are all broken

each one of us

not just those who so generously

let us let it witness it,

but every human being

tied to her human family

with the pain, strife, war and famine

that have lived before us

and so live IN us also

 

we are here 

to learn to live in the unique joy

and the excruciating pain

of our humanity

 

we are here to acknowledge

our vulnerabilities,

to encounter

our shadows

 

we are here to be humbled

by the depth of our ancestral pain,

to walk into our shadowlands

accompanied by

the compassionate witness

who waits and watches

and comforts,

who knows

that this baptism of fire

is the first step

towards our next evolution.

 

we have survived

that is true

but now we must learn to heal,

to spend time

giving to our ancestors

that compassion

which they didn't

have the luxury 

to gift themselves.

 

we must make room for each other's suffering

we must not look away from each other's agony

or hide from our own.

 

we are survivors,

but that which we ignored

in order to move forward

must now be brought

tenderly

into the light.

 

only the strong have survived

and so we are terrified

of our weaknesses

our damage

our despair

our defeat

our sensitivity

our hearts

broken beyond repair

 

but these precious defeats

live inside us

alongside our stories

of survival,

 they are silenced.

 so that the strong

can continue to inherit our earth

 

these rejects

ignored and shunned,

hold knowledge

we can no longer

afford to do without

they call out from within us,

they are desperate,

sending the best of us

to graves dug by our very own hands

 

these untouchables

 

 

connect us

with the ground beneath of feet

teach us the necessity of humility,

open doors

that have been locked

for the millennium.

 

they wait to guide us

gently

back

to our wholeness

both the darkness and the light

acknowledged at last.

 

our brokenness

is our way forward,

may we embrace it

may we acknowledge it

may we make room

for our greatest teacher.

 

Our brokenness is a legitimate part of our humanity

Our brokenness is a legitimate part of our humanity

For some reason this sentence has been on my mind almost every day for the last few weeks.

 We are all broken, just as we are all perfect in our imperfection.

We have recently become aware of the suicides of two people who inspired us, and showed us better ways to live. They seemed to have it all, they were people we admired. What went wrong? Were they simply unable to live with the unrealistic expectations we have of ourselves and each other?

 I believe that we are all broken in unique and different ways. There is not one amongst us who does not suffer and yet this suffering is for some reason shameful - clandestine, hidden away, as if we will be forever shunned if people see who we truly are.

 And yet I think that this is exactly what we are here on earth to do – to find a way to be more authentically ourselves. To know and accept ourselves, to cradle ourselves when we are suffering so that we can cradle our friends and family when they hurt in the same way.

Our heroes should not have to suffer alone. We should be able to accept the full humanity of ourselves and others. And this true acceptance means sitting with the parts of ourselves that suffer, and not being afraid to share those parts too with others so that we don’t leave them alone and despairing.

I believe the heart of the world is breaking apart at this time as it has so many other times in its long history. It seems that we are being asked to consider the prisons we have built for ourselves. We are being asked to embrace the emotions that have been shadowing us our whole lives.

 Our spiritual teachers don’t shy away from suffering and pain. In fact these were the very reasons they came amongst us. Our suffering and brokenness is a legitimate part of our humanity, (some would say an integral part), and it is something that we can acknowledge, understand and eventually share with each other.

It is the shame we carry that keeps us hiding from each other and leads to great suffering. Shame is another legitimate part of our humanity and yet it is the most feared and least understood. Once we acknowledged it and understand its causes with true compassion, we make room for transformation and we are able to help each other find true wholeness.

It can start with asking each other how we are feeling and really listening to the answer. It may be necessary to ask more questions or sit in awkward silence for a while to find the depth and trust in each other (and ourselves) that allows true healing to begin.

 And if we are unafraid to reveal ourselves as suffering, vulnerable and flawed human beings, then we can open the door for others to bring their whole truth to us.

Society has made us uncomfortable with each other’s dark places with each other’s pain and suffering, as if we think that if we can just distance ourselves from pain then we will be free of suffering ourselves.

But as we know this is not true. There is suffering within each of us that needs addressing, and far from being something to avoid, this suffering can be the gateway to our true connection with ourselves and others.

We can simply sit with ourselves in silence for a short time each day, and eventually this inward focus will help us to recognise our pain and to understand it a little more fully. When we learn to trust our inner life, we find we are able to commune for a time with the mystery that lives at the depth of our being.

And when we invest our time in this way, slowly things will begin to shift. We will see our suffering with less panic and more understanding and we will recognise that same pain and suffering in people and situations outside of ourselves. We may never welcome these difficult emotions, but as we feel more comfortable, we may be able to sit with them a little more peacefully and lend our presence to that which we once so heartily rejected.

It is the hardest work we’ll ever do but also the most deeply rewarding.

We are all in this together.

Stop, look and listen

Stop, look and listen

Some things are just infinitely sad. And they always will be. We all have memories that are sad and traumatic so we tiptoe around them, shut them out, or actively run away from them.

And that's as it should be. Life is tough, and at times cruel and it does no good to dwell on these things. It's important to just to get on with life... to block out those feelings and memories and move on.

How many of us have heard this advice? And on some level it is true. No one wants to get stuck in the darkness of memories and regrets that cannot be changed. We, as humans are hot-wired for survival, and to do this we must be able to keep moving forward.

There is nothing wrong with moving forward but sometimes we leave too much of ourselves behind, so that we become only a shell of the whole person that we could be.

But how can we leave ourselves behind? What does that even mean?

Well, it means that we often abandon those parts of ourselves that we don't think are worthy of love. We abandon our shame, and our anger and our sadness because they don't fit in with the person we want to be. We leave them behind and we move on.

But then what happens?

For many of us, that is the way we live our lives. We keep moving through without claiming back our shadows. And there is nothing wrong with a life lived like this. But for those of us who (for whatever reason) have had to sit with our darkness, we start to navigate life in a slightly different way.

When I was first faced with the abandoned parts of myself I wondered who this needy wounded child was that was calling for my attention and filling my life with fear and anxiety. I couldn't recognise her, as I had been running from her for the entire first half of my life.

It was time to spend some time with my own darkness. It was time for me to go and sit on a rock, and commune with nature while I constructed a new identity for myself.

And of course we are never alone when we choose to travel this path. In the midst of my searching I found a deeper connection with Jesus who had always been my friend but now took on a key role as he sat with me and showed me that he loved me in every part of my being.

The best news is that each and every one of us has access to this spiritual assistance. It may be Buddha, or nature or our ancestors or our guardian angels but each one of us has access to this divine guidance and all we need to do is ask for it and surrender to the love that always comes.

And if you feel you need to talk it all out, the comfort found in a counsellor, therapist or trusted friend can also be a companion that helps shine a light of clarity into the darkness. That was yet another aspect that helped greatly in my own healing.

The funny thing was that after all that soul searching and growth, only those closest to me noticed any difference in me. To most, I was the Emma Farry they had always known, but inside I was a completely different creature.

I had learned about my wounds, and about my sadness and eventually about my joy, and I was finally able to feel present in my own body, with my own emotions... belonging, first to myself, and then to my world.

So stop, look and listen has been on my mind lately. Some of us will have no choice but to stop, look and listen to the parts of ourselves that we reject, to our stories of shame and to the eventual wisdom that is revealed when we have the courage to look at what reject, right in the eye.

When we take this journey we can reconcile the good and the bad within ourselves and find love for both. And then almost by magic, we are able to see the good and the bad in the world and understand it more fully for what is it, without judgement and anger.

And from this place we can move forward healthily, embracing and understanding the whole of ourselves, and so understanding our world in the same way.

These times seem to be bringing much that is dark, out into the light to be acknowledged. It is difficult to navigate all the sad news and as sensitive humans our empathetic natures can sometimes feel overwhelmed.

I suppose the purpose of this post is to reassure those of you going through the dark night of the soul that the hard work does pay off and that sometimes our pain is actually a sacred messenger and a wise teacher.

I believe that all of us, as human beings, have both light and darkness within and together they make us who we are. Most of us enjoy contemplating our own lightness, and the great things we bring to our world, and that's the way it should be, as that is the truth of our nature.

I have found though that there is also great value in contemplating my own pain when it arises. It feels uncomfortable to stop and to sit with the parts of myself that feel the most unworthy but given some silent time and a little patience, these feelings start to reveal their stories, and once I hear those stories I can understand them and myself a little better.

With more knowledge, I can comfort those parts of myself and perhaps parent them a little more compassionately than they have been.

And I also believe that this hard work is the best way to build a truly loving foundation within myself so that I can, in turn, share my grounded and unconditional love with the world.

Meditation is another good way to navigate the hard times in our lives, as it brings the focus back to our breath and to our bodies so we can stop our brain from getting stuck going over old pain, or running ahead into future anxiety.

Here is a link to my guided meditation which is an easy and no fuss 16 minute  introduction to the practice.

https://www.emmafarry.com/pages/meditation

And if you don't have the time to meditate I find that even lying down on my bed for ten minutes listening to my own in breath and out breath can bring some much needed perspective when I am in pain.

There is nothing wrong with you if you feel the pain of the world and your own pain very deeply. In fact, it can be your super power if you are willing to explore your feelings, especially the difficult ones, and understand and unravel the messages inherent in the depth of your pain. And the best part is that you are never alone in this process, but loved and supported through every breath.