Eating Love for Breakfast
It’s been a couple of years since I saw my friend Christine , and her arrival to stay with me was due the day before my cousin Molly’s funeral. We had found out the week prior that Molly had suddenly passed.
One thing that was interesting to me was that try as I may I couldn’t get my Reiki class going for that weekend of the funeral. The Universe had everyone in the class reschedule well before and I realized I needed to keep that weekend open for some reason. The Universe was leaving it open for Molly little did I know, and also for a subsequent bridal shower I had planned to be at.
As Christine and I got to chatting she mentioned she recently had pulled Tarot cards on what her strength was and what her weakness was. It was such a great idea (and I wondered why I didn’t have it before!) that I went ahead and asked. For the strength card I pulled the Ten of Swords Reversed. That’s my strength I thought? The guy with the ten swords in his back but reversed?! And then it hit me. Of course it is!
Grief has been no stranger in this lifetime to me and pain. In fact I think in other lifetimes I experienced a lot of pain as well. (More on my lucid dream about that another time! )
Losing my best friend a couple years ago , along with several other key people in my life over the years led me to this aha moment. The swords represented, among other experiences, those deaths I had already walked through in this life. And there have been quite a few.
I grew up fast from all this, realizing quite young that life was very fragile, and that try as I may to prevent it there were people who would only be there temporarily. (Of course I believe they are there spiritually forever, but let’s not deny the fact that they aren’t there physically which is important to not gloss over for people who are grieving.)
And even though I have become somewhat experienced in loss and grief as odd as that is to say, losing yet another family member was a damn tough pill to swallow.
How would I get through it again? What would be the lesson this time? Why? How could I have helped her resolve her physical ailments? The questions were running through my mind without any prompting.
Ten of Swords reversed - your strength is in the overcoming of pain...
Talking with the family about the grief made me realize that an interesting thing happens right at the beginning stages of the grieving process- that if you blink , or aren’t looking for it, you might miss. What can happen is that along with grief comes subtle thoughts of self-blame , shame & guilt.
I can count on more than two hands the number of people who said they wished they had done more for Molly.
“I wish I had asked her more about herself..”
“I wish I had shared with her about my life experiences more..”
“I wish I had been closer to her..”
“I wish.. “
And these wishes are all very real and good, and important on one level. They can create a new reality , if we act on them , where we are more present to those around us. But they also can do something sneaky to our energy systems.
They cover our inherent light in a shroud of guilt.
Let me tell you more about how I know this shroud well , after having done many EFT tapping sessions for grief. Through doing these I began to see it wasn’t really the grief that was holding me back in life- it was the guilt associated with it.
Each time I went to my tapping therapist I would uncover a new layer of it. A new reason why I felt bad or somehow partially to blame in the loss of these people. Or I would find another reason to believe I wasn’t there as much as I would have liked when they were still here on this earth.
But what I didn’t realize was that this guilt was holding me back also from being seen in the world.
Each time I would come away from a tapping session, new bigger opportunities would arise. Opportunities like I had never known before. Being featured in magazines, being interviewed, etc. I wasn’t asking for these opportunities or even expecting or wanting them. They just started happening. And not only this, but I started feeling better- and engaging in activities I gave up subconsciously due to the losses.
When my college professor committed suicide for example a handful of years ago, I stopped dancing. For several years. It just ceased. One of my favorite activities in the entire world. Gone in the blink of an eye. (Don’t worry it’s been coming back in the last couple years! Nobody even knew how brave I was to start doing Flamenco in Boston on Saturday’s a couple years ago. And then back to Zumba. And pretty soon I hope to bellydance again. It’s amazing what people walk through and we have no idea! )
I am going to be really vulnerable with you all. My professor had actually come to me two years before his passing and asked me for healing work. Due to complicated symptoms he was presenting as well as my inability to be as neutral as I had wanted to be, I referred him out to other healers. I made a judgement call that it was too much of a dual relationship , which in our line of work can be tricky.
I often wondered after his death if I had just taken him in as a client if the outcomes would have changed. I ate this guilt for breakfast .
I quickly realized through tapping that part of me was trying to stay small because of this. I believed some of these stories I was telling myself- that I was partially to blame. That I could have done more. I was holding onto not just grief but also the burden of guilt. As I unraveled these beliefs one by one, it began to lift the shroud that was keeping me hidden from the world and from my own life force and joy.
And as I looked at the people around me this weekend I realized that some of them , too , were beginning to internalize their own guilt and shame. Had I not worked through some of that this past year I wouldn’t have been able to see this happening at all. It would have seemed completely normal that people would ask those questions and I would have eaten my own guilt for breakfast again alongside of them. But now I can spot it and am actively releasing it before the tendrils take root in my psyche.
You see the truth is: it’s not normal and it’s not helpful to do this if you want to thrive and be seen in this world with all the love you have to give. And if we can catch this early and release it through self-forgiveness and other tools it can keep us from creating more darkness in ourselves.
Because here is the thing- no matter how hard you try, the only thing you can do when somebody passes is to choose how to move forward . The only thing you can do is be more awake to the temporal nature of life and be more present with those around you now.
What you can’t do is undo what has already been done.
It’s like chasing your tail around and expecting it not to be a tail once you get it.
The reality is that sometimes we don’t do our best, but instead of beating ourselves up about it, it’s more important to choose to do the best we can today. And there is always the possibility of : even if you did your very best, it may not change the outcomes around you. Life and death is a mystery nobody has fully uncovered yet.
You can choose to either bare the ten of swords on your back, or you can release them back to where they came from and free yourself from the pain that is made worse by guilt and shame.
The pain may never fully go away. You may bare the scars from it, but you can choose to release the self-judgement.
If you need support along this path I recommend seeking out an EFT therapist, or doing work on self-forgiveness.
A quick ritual you could do around this might be:
Get out a piece of paper and a pen. (Full moons are a great releasing time if you want to be in tune with planetary cycles but really you can do this anytime.)
Write down anything you feel ashamed or guilty about.
When you have written all you can say out loud:
“I forgive myself for all that I perceive that I did and I release it back to where it came from.”
Then either burn the paper, or tear it up and throw it away.
You could also take a flower essence for self-forgiveness.
A great essence to work with this would be Meadow Rue which you could get at www.deltagardens.com.
I also really love using Hyssop essential oil during times when you are trying to cleanse yourself of guilt or forgive yourself.
Take several drops and apply to the bottoms of your feet daily.
Let it sink in and apply your intention to let go and release your guilt or unworthiness.
Again this may not take all the pain & shame away, right away, but placing your intention on letting go will begin to shake off the burdens you have added onto yourself, not knowing any better.
I am so grateful my friend planted that seed to learn what my true strength is. And now that I know, I will invite you each to lay down your swords with me , and live to enjoy another day. Life goes by so fast and it’s so important to live it to the fullest.
For sure, love those around you more deeply. For sure, be more present. For sure, ask people around you how they are really doing. For sure, be honest with how you are as well.
But also : make damn well sure that you also are loving and honoring your soul in the process of this journey we call life and giving yourself lots of grace and forgiveness. Lots of room to make mistakes, big and small.
And if you can, don’t stop living in accordance to what brings you the most joy. And I know at times you will have to be super courageous to do so. And I know that you may struggle to get there. But I also know it’s so worth it, because your light shining in this world is valuable beyond measure.
Health is determined by the beliefs and thoughts we consume everyday. So when you can , eat that kind of love for breakfast. And for lunch. And for dinner. And you will come out on the other side truly nourished, healthy and whole.
That is my new moon wish for you, for me and for all who need it right now.
Happy New Moon & Blessed Be.