SISTERECTOMY.

A friend of sixteen years

A boyfriend I thought I’d marry

A lover I wanted to marry

and 

My uterus.

 

All that I have lost in the last two years.

 

I’m sure it will make sense one day. Right now, however, my head and my heart are at war with each other and I cannot get them to communicate at all. 

 

It’s been five weeks since I’ve had my uterus removed. As I write this, I can feel tears wanting to well up in my eyes, but they seem to be stuck in my heart. The middle of my chest, to be exact. There is a hole there, in between my lungs and it feels like The Nothing. I’d say that where my womb once was feels the same, but right now my belly feels like a lead brick, swollen and tight. I’ve lost feeling above and below my incision from the severing of several nerves, and I can no longer see my pubic area over the pooch of my abdomen.

 

But this isn’t all that weighs me down. Weeks before I sobbed in the doctor’s office making the decision to have a hysterectomy- YES! I want to keep my cervix, please!, I let go of a friendship of sixteen years. This friend was like a sister to me; as we often do with family, she started to treat me as disposable. 

 

There seems to be quite a few things I’m excusing lately and it doesn’t feel fair, she texted.

 

At first, I remained silent and open to feedback. Really? I thought to myself days later. Is my behaviour and personality so offensive it must be excused? And more than once? I decided my heart could no longer take the finger pointing and the lack of self-reflection. 

 

Through these weeks and weeks of healing I have had the time, and finally the energy to process my decision. I realized that the weeping I was experiencing was a ten-fold account of all the losses I had just endured. How long has it been since I felt good?

 

Then one month into my recovery, came an unexpected call from a high school friend. 

 

“Guess what?” She says. “I’m pregnant!”

 

“Congratulations,” I reply,“Guess what?!?! I’ve just had a hysterectomy!”

 

“What happened?” she asks.

 

 I vaguely speak of my experience but quickly stumble upon heavy words: “I’ve been suffering since…” I trail off. I can’t remember. It feels like forever. 

 

 “I remember your suffering, ” she says. 

 

We have known each other since we were sixteen, and we are now forty years old. Yes, I made the right decision. 

 

This realization does not take away the pain of my loss , the disfiguration of my body or the scar on my spirit. I’m sure I will bounce back but right now I am tired and alone. 

 

I am also processing so much.

 

I have hardly ever felt connected to my womb. Though I have had dreams of her, danced for her, prayed to her, our conversations always consisted  of me asking her “WHY?!?!?” over and over and over again. Why so much pain? Every. Single. Month. This, followed by screaming, crying, hunching, cursing and sometimes even punching my lower belly in hopes that the torment would stop. Yes, the pain was that bad. 

 

Still the void remained; a wild land. An unknowable cave, icy even after a heating pad, a scalding shower, castor oil packs, acupuncture, yoga, chiropractors, moxa, herbs, prayer and more. So much more. 

 

Now you truly are empty, I say, and touch the swell of my belly. Patches of red still exist from an allergic reaction to the adhesives. 

 

“I want to feel good again!” I cry to my sister, the only family member who was able to visit, two weeks after the surgery. 

 

“It’s gonna take time,” she says. “It’s still so new.”

 

But the battle between my head and my heart will not let me be. I find myself jumping back to the friend, the one I’ve just let go of. She is almost a year into being a new mother, our lives  are completely different. I do not regret closing this chapter, but I am sad that we were never able to elevate our friendship to a higher level than the one we’ve always known. 

 

During the endless nights of hallucinations from the prescription opioids, I came to the realization that several people in my life do not have the tools to communicate with me when things go awry. It seems easier for them to blame me or shut down rather than talking things through. This breaks my heart. I am always open to the growing pains of relationships, but I have grown tired of getting a cold shoulder or being stung. The wounds are deep, and I haven’t the desire to keep trying to make these relationships work. I am not disposable. 

 

My thoughts spiral into a dark grave and I weep for an old self and a friendship that no longer serves. I cannot do the work of others. My heart has taken one too many beatings.

 

When I emerge, I feel clear, though I cannot yet see. It will take time for the soil to settle within the murky pond waters of my decision. 

 

Meanwhile, every month of my adult life I have suffered  more and more. During the last menstrual cycle before my surgery, I hobbled to the bathroom after throwing my phone on the bed, making sure it was near me, as I actually believed I was going to die. Who will take care of my dog I think as I finally made it to the toilet. I’m here alone, who will find her? Who will find me? I 

 

I dug the nails so deeply into my palms that night that in the morning there were half moon shapes embedded in the flesh for two days afterward. My body had peaked: the medicine, shower, oil pack and perhaps, divine intervention, had finally kicked in, but then I was lucid dreaming, unsure of where or who I was. 

 

I woke and called in sick to work. The tears welled up as I made the call; I was trying to hold it together. Nobody knows, unless they know, and those women out there whom have known this pain, my heart is with you. Your silent suffering is understood here. 

 

On the day of my surgery, the first nurse blew the vein on my left hand while trying to set up the IV, the second had a go on my right hand and struggled as well but finally succeeded. My veins are massive blue-green rivers rushing on the tops of my hands, it was hard to believe they were having difficulty. This mishap caused anxiety. Needles scare me and I started to cry.

 

I wish I had a mother here, I think to myself. I wish I had a partner.

 

My friend, who is my life support system at this point, comes in after the IV incident. We talk to normalize the scene, yet I am not fully present as my fear takes a hold of me. We meet the anesthesiologist and he makes an off-handed remark about how he doesn’t think that people should take pain meds unless they are actually feeling pain. This is a bizarre remark, as once the pain has peaked, the meds do little to bring it down. I glance over at my friend with fear in my eyes. I should have known that this was a foreshadowing of what was to come, as I woke up screaming and began hyperventilating from the pain. Somebody made a huge mistake. I felt EVERYTHING upon awakening. The pain was unlike anything I can describe or can be imagined. Through the blur, I could see the anesthesiologist and the nurses scrambling to find a proper pain medicine, and finally, after being pumped full of four narcotics, I started to pass out. Thank you for yet another layer of trauma to work through. I still can’t talk about this without tearing up. 

 

While in the recovery room, I’m so full of drugs that I begin to hallucinate- or maybe I am dreaming. I glance at my phone and see a text from my former lover, a man I feel in love with. I am surprised to hear from him as we had ended it just a month before my surgery. I am so happy to see his text, with a heart emoji at the end, but my eyes are getting so blurry and I feel excruciatingly tired so I decide to sleep before responding.

 

When I wake, I remember the text and excitedly grab my phone to respond, but there is nothing from him in my text feed. Did I delete it by mistake? I think. No, Amy. There was nothing ever there. I imagined this. It was all in my dream.

 

I am heartbroken and let myself fall back asleep after pushing the button to administer more pain medicine, but even the strongest drugs can’t help with the sadness now living in my chest. I am reminded of the book My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh. I want nothing more than to disappear into the ethers. Wake me in a year, I think, maybe then my heart will be done grieving. 

 

Back at home, I must relearn to walk, sit, stand and move, barely, as it feels like my insides will spill out. My legs are like wet noodles, ready to collapse at any moment. I look down at my distended belly. Never lose your belly. It’s so beautiful, I hear my lover’s voice say. I wonder what he would say now. I begin to cry, but only gently as every movement hurts, and I try to imagine how I will feel the next time I sleep with someone. Will I love my body as much as he did?

 

At least I will no longer have monthly cycle pain! Is the pep talk I give myself, in hopes that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. But this is a new pain and therefore a new growing. A place, I’m sure, of evolution. 

 

 Meanwhile, back on the phone with my high school friend, I say, “I basically had a cesarean but without giving birth.” She reflects on this a moment and then responds:

 

“I saw you giving birth to your inner child.”

 

I get chills when she says this and I start to get emotional, yet it’s been two years since we last spoke so I try to keep it together. We have the sweetest of conversations and when we hang up I proceed to sob. This must be why I put a picture of me at seven years old on my mantle months ago. 

 

My neglected little girl self was left to her own devices. I can’t remember ever being played with by either of my parents or hardly even being paid attention to- unless I was getting into trouble. An alcoholic mother, an abusive sibling and my absentee father, no wonder my womb is broken.

 

I sit at my altar and hold the picture of me as a little girl. Barely a smile upon my face and already a life etched with sadness in my seven year old face. I gaze at her for a long while before speaking a prayer out loud:

 

I promise to love you, always.

I promise to listen to you.

Play with you.

Pray for you.

Remember you

And hear you. 

And I promise to never abandon you again.

You are safe and loved.

Always.

 

I put her picture to my chest, the same spot that’s been empty for years. Perhaps empty since the beginning of my life. I begin to sob as I think of the babies I will never have, the relationships I’ve lost, the friends I’ve let go of and for the body I don’t yet know. I cry about the pain my beautiful, disabled womb suffered for so many years and then I cry about the life I’ve had up until now. 

 

I’ve spent more than half of my life in pain. 

 

I pull the picture away from my chest and vow to never disregard myself again. I glance one more time at seven-year-old me and swear I see a flash of a smile slightly bigger than before. I smile back at her. 

 

“Let the healing begin,” I say. And with that, I make peace with my sisterectomy.

It’s a New Year.

It’s a New Year.

Shouldn’t we feel grand? If you had a year like I did, you were probably glad to see 2019 leave without even saying good-bye. ‘Good riddance, asshole!’

Yes. I said it.

I feel like this new year, which I am also in my fourth decade at this same time, is the beginning of something major and beautiful. But I still can’t seem to shake the 2019 blues. It would be unwise of me to think that I would wake up this morning and feel like everything would be brand- spanking new, yet I had hopped to feel this essence of freedom overtake me the moment I woke up. Though I did feel hopeful, and truly a tiny spark of joy, 2019 was such an ass-kicker that I’m still trying to get up and shake off my boots.

With a hysterectomy behind me (Oct.2019), a sibling in and out of incarceration, the loss of a deeply loving and tender relationship and the news of my ex’s recent engagement, I pleaded with God to let up as I could take no more. I don’t know if my prayers and my pleas have been heard…yet.

I hear my grandmother’s voice in the ether, “God never gives you anything you can’t handle.”

Really? God must think I’m a pro-wrestler and a heavy weight champion. Indeed my heart would have shattered into pieces had anything else come my way in the last few hours of the year.

I have friends who have struggled just as tremendously as I have in the last few years. At least I’m not alone; doesn’t misery love company? Why am I still spinning my wheels in the mud and getting nowhere?

Perhaps I should let off the gas and get out of the car.

Years ago, after leaving a manipulative and abusive relationship (I’ll own it, I played my part as well), I saw a tarot reader who told me that by the time I hit forty, I’d be a powerhouse. So, when my fortieth birthday hit, I thought the world would explode with fireworks in my honor and I’d levitate off the bed and know my purpose.

I think it’s obvious none of this happened. What next? I thought to myself. Where do I go from here? There are so many things I have yet to accomplish that if I don’t stop comparing myself to everyone else, I may just shrivel up and die.

Will I ever marry? Will I ever own a home? Will I ever be happy? 

Sometimes I feel like the hamster in the wheel. I think I’m going somewhere- I mean I am exercising!- but I don’t feel like I’m going anywhere.

Are things really that different from when I was in my twenties? With the exception of some smiling crow’s feet and ONE grey hair, not much has changed. I still feel lost, empty, alone and broke. I’m still working a job JUST TO PAY THE BILLS.

I’m sure one day, this will all make sense. But the hole in my heart is still there and everything just feels so empty. Like my womb. Like my bed. Like my life.

Manifestation takes time.

I know this. I just hope I don’t feel like this for another forty years.

How To Be A Friend.

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Breaking up is hard to do. In fact, for some, it is worse than someone dying. This is true for me, and surely, somewhere down the pipeline of your life, this was true for you. During this iteration of a separation with someone I have loved deeply for the past four years, I have been presented with many well-intentioned thoughts and phrases that, though sympathetic, caused me to turn inward and ask myself, ” was hearing that really helpful?”

As I sat with some of the things that have come my way, I decided to share what has provided relief and what has caused more grief. Please remember that my disclaimer is:

 I know nothing.

I am only sharing a bit of my story in case there are those out there who may benefit from my journey.

This being said, I have come up with some do’s and don’ts for friends that are supporting someone who is grieving the loss of a partner, lover, boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse…’the ONE.’

Here I go.

DO’s:

LISTEN. I will repeat this time and time again. People going through a break-up need someone to listen to them. We need to talk and process, and we need to just spit it out. There is so much grief and regret and anger and frustration coming up during the first few months- remember there is the possibility of shock here, and so most of what the broken-hearted are sharing may not make sense or may even seem far out. IT DOESN’T MATTER. We just need to talk. So please, just listen.

COOK. Yes, you read that right. Offer to cook for your friend who is devastated. Invite them over or go over to their house and cook them a yummy, delicious and HEALTHY meal. Most people, when dealing with heartache, don’t know how to feed themselves, let alone eat. Use this as an opportunity to let them know they still belong to a community and that they are loved. Support them by allowing them to share in the gift of a meal cooked with love. Even if they barely eat, your company will be appreciated. Also, let them cry into the bowl of soup or into the pasta, with snot running down their nose or tears falling into the tea. This is HEALING. So yes, let us cry while we pretend to eat.

CALL. Please call and check in on us. The broken-hearted are spiraling OUT. We need you to reach out to us because we may not know how to reach out for what we need. And please, answer the call if you can when we call you. You may have heard the same story over and over again out of our mouths but… we just need to talk. We are feeling lonely and need support. A familiar voice is all we need.

LOVE US. Love us for who we are and where we are at in our lives. Nobody’s perfect and yet, all of us are perfectly imperfect. We are all Divine and exactly where we need to be on the journey. Thank you for holding space for us and seeing our Mastery even in our despair.

TIME. Please give us time time to figure this all out. We may not be a good friend immediately following the loss. And, we may not be a good friend for a while. Our world has collapsed and we are re-directing our compass so please, give us time to figure our selves out.

SET BOUNDARIES. Do set boundaries with us if we are too far over the edge or are skirting the line with needing therapy. You are our friend and we need you right now-more than ever. But some of the stuff that may be coming up and out of us might be a little harder to listen to. Ex: worthlessness, abandonment, thoughts of dying, etc. Set a boundary with us on how you can and can NOT help. Remember, we really need someone to just listen to us in the beginning, so it may just be chatter. Listen with your intuition and heart and navigate from there.

KNOW. Please know how grateful we are for your presence and your friendship. We are so lonely right now and probably feeling very empty, yet somewhere, deep inside the well of our Being, we are so unbelievably grateful for you, your friendship, your time, your energy, your presence and your LOVE. So know that we thank you.

DONT’s:

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT TELL US THAT…

-Our person- whom we’ve just ended it with or been broken up by, is not the one. Let me say this again. PLEASE DO NOT SAY THAT WE DESERVE SOMEONE BETTER. This statement negates our decision making process- as well as the life we shared with someone we loved, and makes it seem as if you know better than we do regarding our own life. Each and every person that we meet and share our lives with serves a purpose. This meeting was divinely planned, woven together by the Godhead, and has unfolded exactly as it should. If there is someone else out there- which surely there is, we will come to this understanding in the exact time we are ready to. There is no need to say this within the first hour (day, month, months, etc…). So please, spare us your two cents regarding our life and the partner you think we deserve.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT TELL US THAT…

-We need to love our selves… more. AGAIN-Please do not say that we need to love ourselves more!!! EVERYBODY NEEDS TO LOVE THEMSELVES MORE!!! You- the person telling us this, could probably also benefit from loving your self more. Indeed, you are not the expert, for surely you were weeping in someone else’s lap- perhaps the friend who is now crying in yours, not so long ago about a love lost. We need to stop the myth that if we just loved our selves more, than we will meet the right person, find the right job, make the right amount of money… blah blah blah. There is no consolation prize at the ‘end’ of loving ourselves more. Thus is the journey of life and there is no end to this loving ourselves more so please, don’t say it.

And please, do not base our relationship only on what we have told you. There are two sides to every story and ours is only a fraction of what the TRUTH really was. No matter what comes out of our mouth’s, please help us to remember the DIVINE TRUTH of the situation- that both parties came to learn new skills and grow from what has unfolded.

Earth is a meat-grinder. There is no way around this. We come here to remember who we truly are. Not to learn- we already know. We simply need to remember. And every encounter that we have is to aid in this re-membering.

During the hardest times, let’s all remind each other of how Godly we really are.

Thank you.

 

 

This Must Be Okay.

This must be okay because this is what’s happening.

I am recently separated from my partner of four years. To say that I didn’t expect this would be an understatement of the Century. I thought that he was my life partner. Is it true that I still hold a fantasy of ‘happily ever after?’ Perhaps it was this energy of a fairy tale that was stopping me from being present in the NOW.

I find myself responsible for so much here. I projected all of my loneliness and unfulfilled dreams onto him, and expected him to be my everything. This is a pattern of mine and he wouldn’t be the first partner I have done this too. I’ve been a spitfire in all of my relationships- holding a flame while pouring gasoline on an open wound. Memories of my childhood and my mother screaming at me to give her space while I pushed and pushed and pushed her to respond. I felt like I was never heard and no one cared for me. So, I picked partners to fight with me so we could make up and I would feel loved.

Oops, I did it again.

This time, I am so wrought with the grief of knowing what a good man he is and that I caused a lot of this to manifest that the first month I could barely speak to anyone without crying a river.  He told me he couldn’t take much more of the fighting but I couldn’t let go of an old pattern that had become so familiar. Please call back and tell me that you love me, I thought to myself every time we fought. And then, one day, in the back of my mind I heard a voice say- one day he won’t come back.

That day has come.

When he said we should separate I sat in disbelief. This can’t be happening!!! I thought we would marry and have babies and travel and blah blah blah. So much living in the future that I forgot to love the present moment. And, here is the hard TRUTH- I also swept under the rug the places where I was feeling desperately empty.

I was born with a hole in my heart, and I often say that I feel like I have walked around trying to fill this space with everything and everyone. It wasn’t until the rug was pulled out from under me that I realized that only I can fill that empty space, and that, low and behold!, I am here for my own Divine purpose. Whether I am in a relationship or not, I still must fulfill my OWN SOUL’S PURPOSE.

I wish I saw this years ago.

Hindsight’s a bitch and I am now an expert in the should have’s. I welcome the wisdom that comes from loosing what I thought I was and knew. I just wish it didn’t come with so much pain.

There are other factors to be reckoned with regarding the last four+ years of my life. Things that must be unraveled, revealed and understood. I know that it takes two to participate in a relationship and this is NOT a piece about blame and shame- for either he nor I. This is about recognizing the places in myself that still need healing, understanding and forgiveness. The parts of my fragmented SELF that are desperately seeking Susan. And Susan being ME- my whole and complete and REMEMBERED self.

So, to get me through the days, the hours, the nights, the sadness that lies ahead, I say to my SELF over and over again:

This must be okay because this is what’s happening.

I do trust in the Divine timing of my life.  Soon, I’ll see what’s on the other side of this.

AROOOOOOOOOOOO!

~Amy Jones

 

 

That Wild Woman is Me.

I scrolled through my Instagram feed, trying to pass the time. What did I do before I had this? I’d become obsessed with checking it every couple of hours, as if some sacred message might come through. If I posted my own picture, it became worse; I’d have to check my gram every 30 minutes in hopes that someone would validate my existence. The more likes I got, the better I felt. Instant ego-booster. Like a shot of alcohol that strips away the inhibitions and lets you live footloose and fancy free- until you’re hurling in the toilet and wondering whom you slept with the night before. “Oh God, please say I didn’t catch anything!”

I was on a mission to get more followers than so-and-so and you-know-who, after all, what did they have that I didn’t? Half the things they were posting I already had; all the things that fall under the oh-so-over-used “boho, gypsy, vintage, hippie, blah, blah, blah!” movement. The pictures people were posting were all starting to look the same; a Free People ad on every feed. But this isn’t me. I will never be that girl or that woman. You know the one I’m talking about- the one that looks the opposite of me. She is tall with long hair and she has breasts that fit into those perfectly beautiful dainty bras that come in every shade of the color spectrum- all the colors that my bras never seem to be available in. In my mind, she only eats fruit and drinks herbal tea and plays in the forest, while wearing all these amazing fairy clothes that seem to adorn her in such a way that she looks like a painting from “The Lady of Shallot.”

Now I see that I’m a wreck, as I come up for air from my feed just long enough to gulp a lung full and swing my head back down to go under again. I stop on a picture of a woman wrapped in a native blanket and draped in enough turquoise jewelry to fund a pueblo school for a year. It triggers something in me and I start to drift into a memory of a series of dreams I had as a teenager…

  1. Move to San Francisco with Best Friend
  2. Open up a vintage shop called “Funkdafied Monkey, and
  3. Sing in a band in coffee shops. No fame, just fun. Just to get away from L.A. and my family.

None of this happened.

“I will not have any starving artists living in my attic!” says a woman’s voice in my memory… which woman was that? Grandma? Mum?

Needless to say, I found myself becoming obsessed and jealous of all the other women I was sure were following their dreams. I craved their power and their dedication. I became insecure around them, shriveling in their confidence and beauty. I’m good with kids, I would tell myself, and hear my mother’s voice in the background, “you’re so good with kids, work with kids!”

So I did.

And then I got so burnt out on being powerless over someone else’s DNA, that I stopped even wanting to have my own children. The constant demand of  “give me, give me, give me… more, more, MORE!” from the parents  is enough to send every nanny to get her tubes tied or never have sex again.

Neither of those choices were an option for me, so I walked away.

That was so long ago

I shake off my thoughts and come back to the picture.

I stare at it for a long time.

And then the Voice speaks to me. I hear it clear as day.

“This is not for you.”

Gentle, yet firm, I start to understand.

I see myself back in the desert of New Mexico. I am walking in the arroyo with Angel, my roommates husky. We would spend hours here together during the time I lived with her. We mostly walked in silence, yet the communication and bond between us was beyond anything I had ever experienced before. Angel had become my closest companion.

I took her everywhere with me, and soon, I found myself preferring her company before humans. I started to notice that when I was sick, she stayed by my side; when I was lonely, she demanded my attention, as if to keep my heart from going dim. She always seemed to know just what my spirit needed.

My memory flashes to a time when we were alone for a winter weekend. It had snowed earlier that day, so the ground was covered in a beautiful white blanket. There was a full moon, yet I had paid little attention to this, until it was time to go to bed. I lay there, cuddled up, almost in dreamland, when a very eager and antsy dog stirred me.

“Lay down, Angel. It’s time for bed,” I tell her. She lies back down for a few seconds before she’s up and at it again. This routine continues for a few minutes before I realize she probably has to go to the bathroom. I get up and head to the front door. She is almost leaping now, and I am laughing at how much she has to pee.

I bundle up and open the door for her. A blast of icy air encompasses my face and I am taken aback by how cold it is. I blink for a second and regain my bearings. I look at Angel, who is now in the street, staring at me.

“Go on,” I say. “Go pee. It’s freezing out here.” She continues to look at me, as if I’m crazy for rushing her, and waits a bit longer.

“Go!” I holler.

As if awaiting my permission, she takes off full speed toward the arroyo. She is gone in the bat of an eye. I start to chase her across the street, shouting her name. The moon is so bright; I can see her ahead of me. We are now both running, as fast as we can, under a full moon, and I am laughing and hollering.

“ANGEL!!!!!!! COME BACK!!!!!! WAIT FOR MEEEEEEEEE!”

She stops dead in her tracks, and I finally catch up to her. I am now gasping for air. She looks at me and then looks up to the moon. She lets out the biggest howl a wolf has ever known. “AROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

And in between my laughter and gasping, I realize the magnitude of what I have just experienced, and I start to cry. I wrap my arms around her and she lays her head in my shoulder. I am sobbing now because I know she understands. I jump back and forth, a hundred times, between “I’m sorry” and “Thank you” before I start to settle and realize I am speaking to my Self. She waits patiently because she knows it is how every Woman and every Wild has been feeling for a VERY LONG TIME. It has been far too long since we have run free.

Just like that, I am back at the picture of the woman in turquoise. Tears are streaming down my cheeks as I remember that Angel is now dead. She changed worlds a few years ago, yet I feel her presence stronger than ever. I glance at the picture again and suddenly, I see the woman as me. I see the years of sadness and strength etched into her face. I see the joy and the grief of love as it emanates from her chest. Her heart scars are ours to share; my triumphs are hers as well. And everything that has been sung from a Woman’s heart into Creation, whether silently or loudly, whether gently or harshly, belongs to me. All of me.

And now, my simple life, in all its glory and madness, seems far more bountiful and beautiful than I had ever imagined.

 

Seeing Red

Several years ago I had a dream where I was walking alongside my Sister in the desert and, in the distance, saw something move. When I realized what it was, I started running towards it, and the Wolf, in turn, ran towards me. I could hear my Sister’s voice in the background, begging me to be careful, as the creature may not be trustworthy.

When the Wolf and I finally came face to face, I fell to my knees and we placed our foreheads together, rubbing cheek to cheek. Tears fell as I cried out, “Finally I have found you! I have been looking for you for so long!”

This is all I remember from the dream, and in truth, it is all I need to remember.

At the time, I had no idea that this dream would be one of many involving wolves that would change my life forever. Fast forward, years later would have me diving into the Underworld, my Shadow Self, and learning to embrace what I once thought to be terrible.

It is far too common that we caution ourselves from taking the risks necessary to deeply dive into what we fear and devouring our Darkness. I choose to be the Alchemist, and so, in this lifetime I must learn to embrace both the Predator and the Prey within.

As Women, I believe, there is still this invisible blanket of expectation that surrounds our every move. I know this based on media in regards to aging. We are taught and expected to look ‘pretty,’ always; to be reserved, quiet, polite, clean and ‘pure’- like the so-called Virgin.

This is not our Truth, nor is this a form that Women and young Girls should be forced into.

Purity is a delusional noose that has been so tightly placed around our necks, that if all Women were to scream out at the same time about this injustice, it would shatter glass in other dimensions.

I think back to the Wolf dream and the Jungian philosophy that all things in my dreams represent an aspect of ME. With this theory it was I, not my actual Sister, that cautioned me to be careful.

And yet my Truth, which is the unspoken Truth of every Woman, is to know my Wild Self; to free Her, to embrace Her, and to look upon Her without judgement.

To do this takes courage. It demands absolute alignment with the desired outcome- to know Thy Self, and to not just be ‘okay’ with all the things that make up me, but to give them a voice and celebrate them.

Little Red Riding Hood, as a simple visual tale, is a perfect example of how our society fights to keep Females from exploring our Wild Selves. As it goes, a young Girl decides to venture out and visit her Grand Mother, a journey that requires her to pass through the forest alone. Throughout the tale, we are given the symbolism of a sojourn through life- a lifetime to be exact. The time it takes a Woman to become a Grand Mother or a Crone.

Red_Flowers_Red_Riding

On this journey, the young Girl is dressed in a red cloak- a symbol of her passion and the vitality of her Blood. This journey represents the juiciest part of life- to go from Maiden to Mother; to evolve from a young Girl to a grown Woman. But sure enough, here comes the ‘Big, Bad Wolf’ to stop her from exploring what unfolds when left to her Self, alone in Nature.

‘God forbid’ we should seek out that which feeds our passion, that which makes our Hearts sing! ‘God forbid’ we seek out that which brings pleasure to our yonis and our wombs!

According to this ‘fairy tale,’ that Wolf will stop at nothing to keep a young Girl from discovering her own true power

a deep relationship with her Self.

And how dangerous can Self-Exploration really be? Quite.
Because it is in our Nature to be free. It is in our genetic make-up to be Wild. And until we understand this- until Women are given Sacred Space and Sacred Time to truly explore who we are, than you damn well better know that we are dangerous. If you back anything or anyone into a corner long enough, you can be sure they will attack. A Woman caged is unlike any Beast you have ever known. She will always seek her freedom. She will always remain Wild.

So I bring it back to the Wolf and to the plight of Wolves, which in reality are Woman’s ally, and I ask you, do we not destroy what we fear? Are not Nature and Beast a reflection of who we are?

With this in mind, perhaps the story of Little Red Riding Hood was not as it seemed. Perhaps Little Red was actually braver than we had ever imagined, having journeyed through life in all it’s twists and turns, exploring her passions, her loves, her losses, her triumphs; her ‘dark nights of the Soul’ which ultimately led to Enlightenment, and the Beauty of Life.

And I bet Red rejoiced at finding her Crone Self at the end of it all because it meant she survived. At the end, she was still full of the Love that had tempered her Soul, for she had the scars, the stories and the wisdom to prove it.

And I guarantee you, all along Red’s journey, that big, bad Wolf walked beside her, and that Wolf was her best friend.

~ Amy Jones

We Love You!
AROOO!!!

The WAW Pack

It’s Okay to Receive.

Since the passing of my Grandmother, I have received several emails with words of support for this delicate time of transition. Thank you to everyone who has expressed their Love. As I shared in an earlier post, I have been in an altered state of being- perhaps what an out of body experience is like, as it has felt like I am somewhat floating along each day.

There is a beauty to this raw and vulnerable newness that I am experiencing. It is unlike anything I have felt before, and I must say, it has been a painful, yet amazing journey so far.

One of the greatest gifts that I have seen unfold during this time is my new relationship with receiving. For some of us, it is in our nature to give, and, as a Woman who has a tendency to give until I feel depleted, receiving is a concept that has felt unnatural, guilt-ridden and manipulative. Because I have only known 50% of the cycle of giving and receiving- and that 50% has been out of balance, I have not known the beauty of truly receiving.

With the death of the Matriarch in my family, I have felt absolutely stripped of anything and everything- I have been incapable of giving to anyone. And in my emptiness, I have experienced the state of no agenda and no ego.

In my absolute existence, where I am neither the Seeker nor the Sought, in this place of just BEING, I allowed myself to truly open my Heart, and I decided to surrender to the pain rather than fight it or resist it. I made the choice to face my grief and I let go.

And this is when the receiving began to pour in.

In all my years of cultivating friendship and connection, I never realized that I have had a resistance to letting love in. I have put up a wall, a block, an excuse and a story to stop people from truly seeing ME. I have halted the gift of receiving a praise, a gift, a gesture or a moment by whisking it away quickly or not fully letting the compliment sink in before I have returned the ‘favor.’ By doing this, I have stunted the cycle of sincerely receiving, which means, I have stunted the cycle of fully giving.

Now I see the importance of the Balance.

When we come from a place of true gifting, where we are neither taking nor depleted; when we allow ourselves to fully give and receive from a place of deep and honest Love, we allow the cycle of giving and receiving to fully complete itself.

And this is when we are in Balance with the Rhythm of Creation.

This is just the Beginning, Sister. But I am here to tell you NOW- it’s okay to receive.

~ Amy Jones
AROOOOOO!

WE Love You!
The WAW Pack

 

My Exquisite Broken Heart

Many Moons ago, I wrote a poem with the line:

my exquisite broken heart bleeds everywhere

Little did I know when I wrote that, that years later, I would be experiencing grief on a level that I had never felt before. At the time, this was meant for a break-up, as I was processing a grief I had felt many times over, each time the pain being unique to my story of Love.

Nothing in my life had prepared me for the beauty of truly letting someone go.

Last week, my Grand Mother- who was a Mother to me, passed away. Though this was expected (she was 90!!!), her death still came as a shock to my system. The grief that I have experienced so far has truly been an altered-state.

The evening of the day she passed, I could feel her presence more strongly than in the last few months of her life. At one point, I reached my hand out to feel her, and felt a warm, soothing presence in the palm of my hand. That was one of the things we loved the most, visiting and holding hands. It is this that I miss today, as my desire to hold her close to me is hanging in my chest.

Yes, it will take some time.

Most people at her funeral shared how she was a beacon of Light and Love. The last time I saw her alive, I could still see the beam of Love that shined from her Soul. I will always remember how she had an endless supply. She taught me the importance of being kind, even in the midst of adversity, and she taught me the importance of forgiveness, something I have struggled with most of my life.

There are innumerous bits of treasure that she shared, so many I could not list all of them. These are the pieces and parts of life that get left behind: the teachings and the Wisdom of our Ancestors. And of course, the Love.

Betty Jane Cumberland- I say your name with the greatest honor, love and gratitude. I miss you deeply, yet you will never be forgotten. Sweet peas, apple pies, roses and tomatoes- this is where I find you now. And in my exquisite broken- open, Heart. Forever.

Granny

“There is no death.
Only a change of worlds,
Only a change of worlds.”

– Chief Seattle

Pause and Paws.

 

WAW recently posted a quote on Instagram that had such a profound resonance with mthat it became the basis for what I want to share today:

“The psyches and souls of women also have their own cycles and seasons of doing and solitude, running and staying, being involved and being removed, questing and resting, creating and incubating, being of the world and returning to the soul-place.”

~Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Woman Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype

Tranquil_Boat_Ride

As I sat in solitude and silence for a few days- with the exception of the wind and the occasional humming of birds, I realized the importance of Ms. Estés statement.

Yes. Women have cycles.

And though it may take a lifetime to get to know and even understand these cycles, it is crucial we discover them. Our survival depends on it, our future depends on it, and as Wisdom Holders, we must honor the internal dialogue of what our body, soul and psyches are asking for.

In order to do this, we must first learn to Listen- because Listening is Revolutionary.

And Listening is the only key to the door of our Whole Self.

To truly listen to the internal, we must Pause… and sit in the Seat of Silence and Stillness.

And from this seemingly elusive place, we dive into the deepest knowing we have ever experienced, and we abandon all ego and agenda for the time being. We let go of the ‘people pleasing’ and the caring-for of others for the health and love of the Self. We unlearn all of the roles, rules, and regulations we have been taught and told to follow, and we listen; we Pause, and we discover.

It is in the pause and the listening that we become the Great Weaver of our life. We unravel and unbind our trauma and our wounds. We set free the pain held in our Wombs- all the heartache and grief, all the unspoken stories and dreams, the losses and let-gos, and we find the buried treasure of who we truly are.

We do this for our Sisters and our Daughters; our Mothers and Grand Mothers.

We do this for our Self.

Our inner rhythms are where we find our Medicine. Our cycles and seasons give us insight into our Mystery, our Magic and our Freedom. It is only within that we will truly discover our Wild.

 

Lilith.

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Sweet Mystery. Let me bask in your Light. Let me be at Peace with what is Unknown. Pull back the curtain of Time and allow. Allow for the Nothingness that is Pure Potency. I Am a blank slate- the Great Creator’s Canvas. I Am Birth. I Am Death. I Am Everything in Between. In this- and only this, is My Truth. I Am the One with A Thousand Names.

~ Amy Jones

(painting-artist unknown)