I took myself on a two hour date Saturday night. In my fortress of solitude. There was sacred cacao, candles, meditation, chanting, yoga and dancing. I capped it off with some time in my journal. This is self care for me. I am all for manicures and massages and highly recommend them, however, sometimes (often) I need a big dose of self care on a soul level. On Sunday morning I took myself to “yoga church.” Yoga church recenters me and connects me to myself like nothing else. It reminds me of where I’ve been and where I am going. My body was so open during my practice. I’m sure it helped that the heat was on, but more than anything the time I spent with myself on Saturday showed up in my practice. I felt strong, centered and so open. I can measure what’s going on inside of me emotionally by what my body does physically on the mat. I had a tough time in therapy last week and I wrote about it. Sharing helps me to heal. It helps me move through the process. This week I went in fully prepared to be the best at EMDR again. Only this time there was no EMDR. I actually did my “homework” and we had more than enough to work with. I’ve heard in AA meetings that the real work doesn’t start until we are 5 years sober. I’m obviously an advanced student because at 4 years in, this is feeling like the real work. My mood has been a little “off” since last week, but it’s ok. I’m learning to dig into the darkness and then leave it so as not to stay stuck in it. My therapist assured me that I’m strong enough to stay stuck in it for a bit. In case I was doubting myself. Which I do. The one thing I don’t doubt is that I will be ok. In fact, I am sure that the work I’m doing now will make me stronger, healthier and happier. Eventually. First it’s going to piss me off and make me sad. I found this parable in a book I’m reading. As per usual, the message was right on time.
The Prisoner In The Dark Cave
“There once was a man who was sentenced to die. He was blindfolded and put in a pitch dark cave. The cave was 100 yards by 100 yards. He was told that there was a way out of the cave, and if he could find it, he was a free man.
After a rock was secured at the entrance to the cave, the prisoner was allowed to take his blindfold off and roam freely in the darkness. He was to be fed only bread and water for the first 30 days and nothing thereafter. The bread and water were lowered from a small hole in the roof at the south end of the cave. The ceiling was about 18 feet high. The opening was about one foot in diameter. The prisoner could see a faint light up above, but no light came into the cave.
As the prisoner roamed and crawled around the cave, he bumped into rocks. Some were rather large. He thought if he could build a mound of rocks and dirt that was high enough, he could reach the opening and enlarge it enough to crawl through and escape. Since he was 5’9”, and his reach was another two feet, the mound had to be at least 10 feet high..
So the prisoner spent his waking hours picking up rocks and digging up dirt. At the end of two weeks, he had built a mound of about six feet. He thought that if he could duplicate that in the next two weeks, he could make it before the food ran out. But as he had already used most of the rocks in the cave, he had to dig harder and harder. He had to do the digging with his bare hands. After a month had passed, the mound was 9 ½ feet high and he could almost reach the opening if he jumped. He was almost exhausted and extremely weak.
One day just as he thought he could touch the opening, he fell. He was simply too weak to get up, and in two days he died. His captors came to get his body. They rolled away the huge rock that covered the entrance. As the light flooded into the cave, it illuminated an opening in the wall of the cave about three feet in circumference.
The opening was the opening to a tunnel which led to the other side of the mountain. This was the passage to freedom the prisoner had been told about. It was in the south wall directly under the opening in the ceiling. All the prisoner would have had to do was crawl about 200 feet and he would have found freedom. He had so completely focused on the opening of light that it never occurred to him to look for freedom in the darkness. Liberation was there all the time right next to the mound he was building, but it was in the darkness.”
And there it is. So powerful. And right as we approach the winter solstice. The darkest night of the year. The work I’m doing isn’t easy, but I’m not the first and I won’t be the last. I’ve found a good guide on the path and I have an amazing tribe of loving and supportive people who have my back through the process. I am a warrior. ❤️