Nurture Newsletter April 2023
We enter April with the sun in Aries, the self assured, independent, fiery ram which is met by the moon for our first of a set of eclipses on April 20th. This eclipse is strong & will ask us to step into our authenticity & perhaps take on the empowerment of the ram as we move forward in 2023.
When we consider what aids our empowerment, we often focus on all the action we can take for ourselves, our needs & our rights. Often, we get very busy in the “doing” of life & forget to consider the opposite; “being”. When we are being, what happens? Let’s come out of action & consider, when I am being, not doing, what happens to my sense of empowerment?
Often, it is in “being” that we feel our insecurities arise & what our endless “doing” helps us to stay away from. Yet, when we sit with our insecurities as they arise & really meet them with understanding & compassion, this is the place that forms a foundation of true empowerment. You see we can run from it or we can project it onto others, we can even blame others for what has occurred, but true empowerment is probably not about running from ourselves or pointing the finger at others. It is not about masking the cracks but looks more like facing the internal dragon & embracing these parts within.
With that it means embracing ourselves more in our entirety.
With that, I wish to begin our month of empowerment on the theme of validation so that we can name what has happened to us & acknowledge for ourselves where we feel wronged, mistreated, disempowered, oppressed, helpless, hopeless etc.
This is not to victimise ourselves but to self-validate for our own empowerment because bad things happen to good people. We experience atrocities in life that are not nice, good, helpful, just or on any level OK. Unfortunately, when we stay in the place of saying “That shouldn’t have happened” or “It shouldn’t be that way” or “It’s their fault”, we are holding resistance to the reality that it did actually happen. We cannot change that fact but we can move to accept that this is our reality now & we have choice with how we deal with it.
That is where our choice, responsibility & empowerment now lies.
Eventually we may find meaning for this part of our journey but for now let us begin to acknowledge that it is so, perhaps we got hurt, maybe it was not what we thought it would be but we are here now and life has occurred as it has.
So, let us allow ourselves to admit this as our first step towards empowerment. Here is an example of how this might sound:
“I have experienced this in my life.
It hurt me & had a huge impact on me & on my life.
I am not wrong for having experienced that.
I did nothing to encourage or welcome it but it happened to me & it was not OK.”
Now I invite you to write out your own validating statement to acknowledge what has happened to you & how it impacted you.
What I have found in this work is, when we experience difficult circumstances we often turn against ourselves with blame, shame & guilt because of someone else’s behaviour or an event that occurred. The lack of acknowledgement of the action not being OK can have a detrimental effect on our self-esteem. The subsequent action of turning against ourselves & abandoning ourselves in our time of need, is the very thing that holds us in a bind of guilt & shame & therefore continues to attack our sense of self. So let us draw a line of separation between the action which hurt us and who we are as individuals.
These are two different things.
“I am not what happened to me.
I have been hurt by what occurred.
I am not my wounding.
Again it is something that I have experienced & thankfully wounding can heal.”
Now I invite you to write your own validating statement to acknowledge
your sense of self, separate to the wound.
From here we go to our response which is often where we guilt & shame ourselves further, rather than accept our natural human response which aids our survival of these awful events, atrocities & traumas. You see, we do our best to survive & often that doesn’t look pretty. It can be that we shut down, we might get angry, we lash out, we run away, we freeze, we might appease, people-please & care-take. Every human being has a limit to how much they can take & every human being adapts to their circumstances in the only way they can access at that time. So we must acknowledge our humanness. We are not saints, we are not enlightened ones, we are human beings with layers of wounding & defenses that we are not even aware of. Our response is triggered by our survival need therefore is most often unconscious & usually the best we can do with the resources we have available to us. Let us acknowledge this:
“My response was not wrong.
It was how I coped with the resources I had access to at that time.
I did my best. I did well to survive.
That may not have looked like coping but it was the best I could do with the cards I was dealt & the supports available to me at that time.
Thankfully I am here now & I have choice to support myself in alternative ways & opportunities to grow in awareness.”
Now I invite you to write out your validating statement to acknowledge that you did the best you could & it was not wrong in any shape or form. It was the best you could do then. You may have more choice now that you have learned more & isn’t it so lovely to be able to acknowledge our growth & maturity as we move forward in life.
Finally, our last step is to choose to forgive ourselves & others involved in order to free ourselves from the past. This is usually the most difficult part & it takes time to allow ourselves to drop the hold of accountability. I find it helpful to look at it from a Karma perspective. That is their Karma, I have my own. I don’t need to hold anyone else accountable, I can only look after my own Karma & take responsibility for my own freedom from the past. I also find it helpful to look for my innocence & the innocence of others. See the wounding separate to the individual. See the behaviour separate to the individual. See the light that has occurred from that darkness because if you look with a willingness to see, I guarantee it exists. Challenge tends to be our teacher.
To support my movement forward in life, I ask myself:
“What thoughts, feelings & behaviours are keeping me back there?
Can I see my wounding separate from who I am?
Can I see how that wounding has informed me & contributed to my future path?
How can I choose to move into now, leave the past where it is & concentrate on my forward movement in life?”
When we allow ourselves to see our innocence, we create a safety within to hold the darker elements of the human psyche. We allow ourselves to return to the love of our humanness rather than holding shame, guilt, judgement & persecution of these parts of us. This, I believe, is how we begin to empower ourselves as we allow both the light & dark of the human-being to co-exist. We no longer need to run from it, project it onto others or judge it. It just is as it is & perhaps there is something much bigger at work than we know of.
As Carl Jung said:
“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. The latter procedure, however, is disagreeable and therefore not popular.”
I feel we cannot become empowered by denying the dark, the light or even the grey areas between. Life is much more nuanced than that & true empowerment is essentially born from humility & is why I wish to begin our month here. Let us acknowledge today where we are stepping up from & not lose sight of our experience.
Let our empowerment be born out of these humble beginnings,