Posted in Fear, Shadow Self, Trauma

How to recognize your shadow self

It’s been awhile since we last talked about the shadow self. In previous posts we learned to find the courage to face and to embrace our dark side, to meet her/him/it with love and compassion and understand that the actions from our shadow self usually stem from unsealed trauma. According to the witch of the forest here are a few more signs of how we can recognize this unsealed trauma. We might see it through weakness and not upholding healthy boundaries. Perhaps we self sabotage ourselves. This could come in the form of setting ourselves up for failure, of not believing in ourselves and low self esteem. It ties into a lack of confidence. We might be afraid to speak up for ourselves and swallow our words. Perhaps we say “yes” when in reality we want to say “no.” We could have feelings of jealousy and anxiety, or being passive aggressive all together. Have you entertained a round of comparing yourself to others? Do you struggle with addictions? Do you usually put yourself last, putting everybody else in front of you? Do you struggle doing the things you know are good for you?

These and many more behavioral reactions could be a part and the voice of your shadow self. Pain crying out to be acknowledged and validated. To be worked through and no longer banished into the darkest corners of our being. I believe that soon or later we all face these shadows as they will reappear and reappear until we do, bringing new chances and opportunity to release the trauma. Or we experience the pain of these wounds anew, over and over, each time they are triggered.

Posted in Anxiety, Fear, Life

“The Call”

Being so far away from Germany, the home and country I grew in has always had it’s challenges. And it’s not just my own internal struggles that I’m talking about such as not knowing where I belonged to and what to call home for many, many years, but a multitude of things. In later years as Mom grew old and sick, It was “that call” that I feared. As long as everything was silent the world was ok and so was she, although I knew it wasn’t always the case. Call it ignorant bliss, what you don’t know can’t worry you, it’s just how it was. And Mom never wanted to worry me, “what are you going to do anyways, so far away” she would say, warranting her thoughts and feelings. Today I feel for my poor cousin in Germany who has always been my informant, my right hand kind of person, my family. She has kept me posted of the good, the bad and the ugly. Like I said when it was silent things were good (presumably) and for years now she has taken over the tough job of telling me about the not so good things. She has a heart of gold and a compassion that is unmatched. I know that she has kept stuff from me to not unnecessarily upset me, but only to protect me. And she is 12 years younger than me, you’d think it should be me, the older cousin protecting her, but that is who she is. A strong and independent woman, always doing the right thing, always being sensitive to the needs of others. Always lending a helping hand regardless of leading a busy life and being stretched into multiple directions. She has tackled things with a smile for me, while never complaining. I don’t know what I’d do without her and I can only hope that I can make it up to her some day. I have a fantastic plan and hope to see it come to life within the short future.

When Mom was sick, I was afraid of getting “that call.” It was always like a ticking time bomb, I’ve constantly prepared that something could happen at any moment. During her last few years she was in the hospital more times then she was at home and it was always tragic and hard to support her from so far away. The only thing I could do was pray and wait for “that call.” It always left me feeling like a bad daughter, like I wasn’t there for her. Of course when things got really bad, I hopped on a plane to be by her side, but for the most part she always had to fight through everything herself. I often felt that my cousin was like the daughter she never really had in me, and it no longer causes pain today, for it brings me more comfort knowing that she wasn’t totally alone while I couldn’t be there. Once Mom passed it became obvious what heavy burden the fear of “that call” had placed onto me. I couldn’t help but feel a certain relief, no longer having to be afraid of it. Her suffering was over and in a way it was the end of mine too, although it was only the tip of the iceberg.

Later “that call” took on a new meaning as responsibilities in Germany remained and once again I was so far from it all, living here in the States. The fear about Mom had transitioned and changed into the fear about the House. Whether it was paperwork that needed to be completed, maintenance or just seeing that everything was ok, that the cellar wasn’t flooded, that the wind didn’t pry open the garage door, what to do with the fruit trees in front of the house, mowing the yard etc., the house has always kept me in check. It is here too that my cousin has jumped in and has handled everything with so much care and so lovingly during my absence. None of it is here responsibility and she’d tell you that it is what family does. I can’t thank her enough.

The end of August was the plan, to go back to Germany and handle my affairs. To finally get a headstone for Mom and to go through personal belongings, getting the house ready to sell. This plan was undermined dealing with a major flare up with the RA and I am still struggling. The thought of this undertaking instilled fear and seemed like a huge project to tackle by myself. Just getting there, the flight, when you barely walk, not knowing how you can rush to your connecting flight, all of it were valid concerns. I doubted myself under the conditions I am in, unable to envision how I could manage. Still it has to be done and I know that it is keeping me from my own life and from achieving my own goals and dreams. Sometimes I wonder if I even have the strengths and energy to chase it. I need a major boost, a break, an adrenaline rush to power through.

In the meantime, I was continuing to make arrangements, for Cinnamon, for myself, preparing for the end of August, but instead of better I got worse, to the point that I felt I had run out of time and the window was closing. I was wondering if there was a message in all of it, what was the universe trying to tell me! Eventually, after not coming with an answer, I relaxed around the subject and I was trying to go with the flow. Everybody I talked to thought it might be better to go in spring, after I got better (hopefully) and the craziness in the world around Covid and vaccinations, and restrictions might have eased up a bit. With it I started to feel a bit better with slight improvements about my health. I was still on the long and winding path of getting better while popping pills every day, but the pain was muffled.

And then “the call” came, due to no fault of my cousin at all who once again considered not to even telling me about what was going on, only to protect me. It was a matter of time and many times I have felt the calls urgency and that it was due. Two years had passed with a house standing empty, unoccupied, unheated, with too little fresh air running through it’s veins. A house in repair, a house no longer safe from moisture entering the stairwell and causing it’s own path of destruction. I am wondering if it is even safe to be within those walls, even for a short time as mold is growing. And now I am scrambling and the tears flow freely again. I find myself back in survival mode and the thoughts and worries about how to tackle it have taken a backseat row. It’s almost as if there is no other choice again and I have to figure out how to go, asap. Worrying about Covid and not being vaccinated doesn’t help of course and are only a portion to the rest of what’s going on. Once again I feel that that Warrior has to pick up her shield and just power through somehow. It’s amazing really how strong we can be and what we can accomplish when being strong is the only choice we have. Maybe it’s exactly what I need, that survival instinct to hopefully invoke the adrenaline rush and power to make it through this.

Posted in Disaster, Earth, Fear, Fire

Sadly it’s that time again

Wildfire season has started here in the states. Especially in California. A dream/ state to many with beautiful scenery, the ocean and it’s beaches, the mountains and it’s breathtaking wilderness trails. California, idolized by TV shows such as “Streets of San Francisco or Baywatch” it’s a must visit tourist destination. But there is also another side to this gorgeous state bordering Nevada my home state, and some of us have battled these monster fires last year, perhaps way too close to home, making it very personal. It definitely brings a different meaning to the table when one ignites in your own backyard. A meaning of fear and terror, of helplessness and times you involuntarily hold your breath, praying for the best, for the winds to shift, to be spared and lucky enough to walk away with a giant scare.

The biggest fire in California is burning and has started only a few miles from me. Called the Beckwourth Complex, by Thursday good progress was made with a 68% containment. So far 100,531 acres of land have burned and have turned into a dark, ominous wasteland. And yet new life will sprout once more, even though we will never see it’s glory and beauty of how it was in our lifetime again.

Lucky in an unlucky situation I call myself, and thank the winds for not turning on me, blowing the flames away from me vs. into my direction. As much as I love to listen to thunder and lightening, the consequences and chances of a wildfire starting are just too great and last year was awful. Many predict this year to be even worse since it is so dry and we are well on our way. For me it really puts into perspective where I want to settle down and perhaps build my home in the future. Fire insurance for a home is through the roof here, understandably why and I can see myself wanting to live with such a huge threat every summer. In an instance all could go up in smoke, and perhaps this is a state I will always love and visit but most likely will not put my roots down.

Once again I bow my hat to all the brave souls, our fire fighters and volunteers that fight these monster fires, risking their life to keep ours safe. May everyone stay safe and protected, may all the animals escape unharmed and find lusher meadows to graze on. Blessed be…

Posted in Challenges, Fear, Fire, Inspiration

Close to home – The first fire

We had the first fire close to home, and all of a sudden fire sirens pierced through the silence and idyllic settings. I was taken by surprise to hear such a sound, here, on a dirt road, and it wouldn’t be the only time a “what the hell” moment was visible on my face for that day.

I turned and could see the plume from the lake where Cinnamon and myself were cooling off. Black smoke rose to the blue sky, coming from the same direction of our new home. I had cooked chicken earlier before leaving and I’m not sure why it even crossed my mind, questioning myself if I indeed turned the stove off. Of course I did, I had cleaned up afterwards and I would have noticed. I would have burned myself. Either way, we cut our visit short and drove back towards home and the direction of the ominous plume. I was relieved to find the fire extending further south, but it was still close and the breeze of the wind could shift and push it through the miles in no time. I had to know where it was coming from and how bad it was.

Apparently it was a downed power line that started the fire in a nearby village. Fire crews were able to get a good handle on it and contain it within a few hours. I’m not sure of the damage but I’m sure glad that everything ended relatively harmless compared to the thousands of acres that burn during wildfires. And it is that season, which brings me to my other “what the hell” expression.

A few party people arrived the other day. Loud, drinking, partying until the morning hours, with little consideration for the otherwise pretty quiet surroundings and neighbors. It was early evening that a few decided to do some target practice right next to the park. Single shots, and rapid fire echoed through the silence, lasting a good 20 minutes. Now that was a sound I wasn’t expecting to hear, especially here, and it took me equally by surprise. It definitely added a different element to lying in the hammock, relaxing, looking at the trees. It was just the sound I wanted to hear. While a fire was raging just miles down the road, wasn’t anybody thinking about that shooting bullets into a dry, high fire danger, could ignite a spark and therefore another fire, this time far too close to home?

Posted in Anxiety, Depression, Fear, Life

Seeking “Emotional perspective”

The energy remains strong for me and something has definitely shifted. It’s the end of the line, an unwillingness to continue on said path, unable to be unhappy, any longer, sad, the change that’s been lingering, slowly approaching, the put up and shut up moment or the do something about it and finally face it moment, regardless of whatever the consequences might be. It’s been coming for awhile, years even, but the intensity has grown to unbearable degrees, and is overwhelming most of the times. It’s exactly how it needs to be, because otherwise it’ll just continue like business as usual.

I’m sure there are many of you who feel the same, whatever the circumstances may be, and I know that you understand exactly what it is that I am talking about. There comes a final point of no return and mine comes very very late with too much patience and endurance. My fuse is way too long, much too patient, even in my own opinion.

I had a great post scheduled for today with morning rituals and affirmations. A great way to start the day, and yet that’s not really what’s going on in my world today. It’s hard to spread cheer when you feel down, I’m not gonna lie, and I rather be honest than feel like I am not authentic to myself, including my feelings and needs. Sure I could have let it post anyways and not worry, but somehow it feels like a fraud, a pretending, a cover up, masking the emotions when in reality they need to be acknowledged. Since writing is a great outlet and because it is my belief that others, maybe even you struggle as well, I feel this would be more relatable and needed.

Something was off this morning and I’m not surprised since I went to bed irritated and upset the night before. What was suppose to be an early night with plenty of rest, I needed so badly, turned out to be a overly noisy one that ended up keeping me awake for hours. So much for going the bed early, but hey…eventually I fell asleep. Nothing out of the ordinary happened once I got up, and there was nothing really to trigger anything, besides a message from Germany that my aunts condition (fighting Covid) is hopeless and the doctors told the family to prepare for the worst. And now that I actually put it into words, it might have been the icing on the cake and one of the exact things that pushed me over and into an emotional tailspin. There was something else, but I think my feelings were related to underlying fear and a sense of having reached a crossroads I can no longer pass up.

Soon I felt down, out and emotional. Overwhelmed and sad. Scared and worried. Holding on to my thoughts, keeping it in, trying to be a better person, avoiding judgement. Fear paid me another visit and the once too long fuse was running out of patience. I recognized the feelings and yet I couldn’t sort them. I knew they had to surface and I knew that most likely I’d say something I regret later, if I choose or was pushed to talk about it. I always do when it happens and while it does relieve pressure, it also leaves me feeling like an awful person, especially when this pressure releases to the ones that love me unconditionally. It leaves me feeling ashamed of myself. Yes, I know that I am not perfect and I am not trying to be. But I do try to spread hope and inspiration, despite of having days myself when the goblins come out and shake up my world. Today was such a day.

I felt I needed a good cry and I wish the tears could freely flow across my face, washing it all away. But this is not so and due to a medical condition, the tears don’t come, but the pain remains. I know I will be ok, I’m always are. After all this is a warriors journey like I called it so myself. One day I will no longer have to be this darn strong all the time, but until then I nod my head, embarrassed and all and just say “today was an off day and I’m sorry.”

If you relate or have felt lows, out of character experiences, sadness, depression or whatever struggle, please know you are not alone. Please know that it will pass. See it for what it is, digest it and pick up your shield once more. This I am telling to myself and to you and I know we will overcome once more.

Posted in Emotions, Fear, Life

Under the umbrella of fear

So much of our life is ruled by the underlying emotions of fear. The fear of not being good enough. Of not being accepted, of not fitting in. Of not behaving the way we are expected to, which can cost friendships. Perhaps we are viewed as strange, an outsider, different, unique, but why do we label this as a bad thing?

Further there is fear of loneliness. Anxiety is a form of fear and life is filled with things to be anxious about. Being in constant control is fear. Being afraid to be vulnerable is fear. Being misunderstood is fear. We fear to be hurt and taken advantage of. We strive to be prepared, for anything, at all cost. It’s scary to think of what could happen if we aren’t. After all, we go to great lengths to avoid pain and anything that brings discomfort. All are action and response driven by, and under the umbrella of fear. What we fail to realize is that we are held prisoners, while falling victim to a life driven by fear.

Once you come to realize that this is not the life for you, a burden will lift and there is only one thing stronger than fear. “Faith.”