I had a dream where I was standing over my body that laid sprawled at my feet. Its shape was contorted with my limbs twisted and bones gnarled. My edges were frayed and in many places threadbare. It's been a long time since I've been asked to bare witness the skin that I've shed, and if I hadn't done this once before I imagine that as I write this, the tears now brimming in my eyes would be in fear instead of relief and of joy.
In the dream, I took a deep breath and looked at my new self, slowly following the line of my bare hip to my knee, my knee to my calf, and calf to my ankle. I allowed my eyes to trace the edge of my heel, and as I bent down, I began to tug lightly on the few rogue threads that still bound me to the mess on the floor. They surprised me by being tight but elastic, like the root of a child's tooth that's not entirely ready to be free from its home yet. It may dangle and spin, but all it needs is a single, courageous pull into liberation.
I asked these threads why they won't let go. Is it because they need me to survive? Surely this decrepit version of myself would need a lifeline to continue existing. But what could it possibly offer anyone or anything as it is?
No, it is I who chose to keep it attached. Despite its brokenness and shame, its weaknesses and flaws, I recognized this skin. It was familiar. It was comfortable. I knew from experience how it would wear and the weight it could hold. Yet, I couldn't help but marvel at how small it looked. I began to think about all the times I wanted to stretch out into something better, only to be held back. I wondered if these limitations were for safety or a hindrance.
Freedom is painful, this I know for certain. Don't let anyone fool you otherwise. The true release from habits and patterns worn thin can only be shed if you have the courage and desire to let go of them for yourself. As I gazed over the tangled limbs upon my floor, I was forced to witness the damage caused by dismissing warnings and alarm bells, for ignoring my intuition and knowing.
I could see all the parts of me that grew at a different pace, and with that had to acknowledge which parts of me I didn't allow to change at all. For that, I feel incredibly responsible and therein may lay the meaning of the dream.
For me, and as I know for many of you, September not only harrowed in the traditional trials of Mercury Retrograde but began a seven-week process of revelation during which I experienced events that took me to depths so low I wondered if I would ever look at the heavens in the same way again. And when I thought I couldn't do this for a single moment longer, I would be rewarded with new breath in my lungs and a conviction in my heart that all is just as it should be. As exhausting, and frightening, and exhilarating as it all seemed, it served a great purpose—to remind me that the choice to continue is mine to make.
There were times I let go of the dreams and I let the bullies win, choosing to stay beside my well of infinite sadness and drink from its waters from a swollen cup. But there are many times where I have chosen to act with bravery, and that bravery demands a celebration what I let grow in love and goodness.
Isn't that what this is all about?
To let go of the mistakes we learn from and to celebrate ourselves as we are?
Recognition and responsibility; the alternative R&R. If you have come into awareness recently about what you've been doing to hold yourself back, whether that's by not celebrating the good bits or choosing to nurture what keeps you stagnant and weighted, questions you may want to ask yourself are:
- If I were to view my ego/body/spirit/ just as it is, what would it look like? Which parts would be tattered? Which parts would be well loved? Which parts have not been used at all?
- What am I hanging on to, or what is hanging on to me? Does it serve my dreams and my growth to keep it attached?
- Moving forward from this moment today, what can I do to help grow the parts ignored? What small steps can I make this week and acknowledge that they are important to me, even if I can't understand why?
- How do I celebrate my goodness? How do I reward myself for showing up when I really want to lay down?
May the truth set us free.