I turned 47 years old yesterday. As I have said, I love my birthday. I try to celebrate it no matter if I am spending it with loved ones or alone. I have to admit that I was very glad that I would not be spending it alone this year. But knowing that I would be spending it with my community was not the guarantee you might think.
Being surrounded by community is not a protection against solitude. Being isolated and closed off from others can happen regardless of how many people are in your immediate surroundings. I can be in the midst of many people whom I respect, admire and feel great affection for and yet, be isolated and feel intensely alone. Although I have been a part of my community for over 6 years now, I have always felt a level of separation from the majority of them. Even with my coven, I do not share myself completely.
I take full responsibility for this. They are amazing, giving, loving and generous people. But trust is a difficult thing. It is a treasure that is hard won, with blood and tears and pain, not unlike childbirth. Trusting others is risking rejection or betrayal or judgment. It is risking allowing your Self to be known and measured and found wanting. It is a terrifying guardian of the threshold for me, one that I have been battling to overcome this past year in particular. As terrifying as it is, I need to cross that threshold.
I have been sharing more openly and risking more of my own truth with my High Priestess as well as others in my coven. Even that has been painfully difficult but, with their love and support I have been able to share my fears and needs and desires, and to face them.
I have voiced in sacred space my desire to be known by my community, to be open and warm and loving and to share my heart. I have voiced in sacred space my fear that I cannot be loved, or be open with others the way I desire to be. I have wept and shared my grief over loss and heartbreak. I have voiced my fear that my future holds no intimacy with others, no joy, no pleasure, no warmth, no love; no comfort, no safety, no ability to express my Heart, my Self, my Soul.
I do not want to live my life that way. I would choose to risk anything to live the way my soul dictates, the way my heart desires. Yet, I have found myself paralyzed. Not with terror of being vulnerable, but rather an inability to step over. In my family of origin it is an invasion of respect to touch someone without their permission. I never touch another person without conscious intent and explicit consent. Not my children, not my brothers, not my husband (now my ex). How do you show affection or warmth when you cannot bring yourself to touch another person? Without touch, we die.
So I desire to touch those that I care for, I need to be touched in return. But I cannot move to do so. My body does not know how. My heart cries out to comfort those I care about, to show them my love and my hands cannot move.
But I am Blessed. My friends, those wonderful, generous and caring spirits take me by the hand and lead me over the threshold. They wrap their arms around me and show me that they will keep me safe. They reach out to me and they carry me over. Because I do not know how, they see me and do for me what I cannot. I will never again be alone and isolated unless I choose to be. I do not have to be afraid to show them that I love them.
The Lord and Lady recently told me that I am allowed to accept help. I do not have to fight my battle alone, I do not always have to be strong enough to do what I need to do, sometimes my friends, my loved ones can be strong for me.
They are the light among the shadows; they are what is beautiful in the darkness.
I am blessed by their presence and their strength and their love; and for them I give thanks every day.