So that is the final work of the exile who finds her own: to not only accept one’s individuality, one’s specific identity as a certain kind of person, but also to accept one’s beauty… the shape of one’s soul and the fact that living close to that wild creature transforms us an all that it touches.” ~ Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes
One of my favourite things to do is read magical fiction – but a very specific type of magical fiction. I like a magical/ powerful woman, a good story, and a ‘normal’ setting. Books like Garden Spells, Practical Magic, or Chocolat all make me indescribably happy. I don’t read books, I gulp them down. When I find a good one, I pretty much ignore everything else until I finish, and then I rise, blinking back into reality like a long-distance swimmer. But books like those are sometimes hard to find…
So I am only partly ashamed to tell you that recently I have recently been reading Nora Roberts. Not only do some of her books revolve around magical women (and yes, an awful lot of romance), in a fairly normal setting, but she writes them in threes. I started with Dark Witch and now I am reading the Three Sisters trilogy.
I have been reading because I have felt drawn to be quiet. To go in. I’ve been hibernating a bit again; gathering my thoughts and my energy as I tried to find out who I was and where I fit into the world I now inhabit. I was feeling overwhelmed with all of the look-for-the-light-I’m-selling-brightness of the online world. It was getting so that every time I signed off I felt like a kid at a party who has had too much ice cream and orange pop and then played for too long on a bouncy castle: fried.
I am an avid believer in the light. In magic. In joy being our prime directive. But I am also a believer in the night. In the darkness. In balance. Without the dark, how can we enjoy the light?
But I didn’t know where to put myself. I am not and never will be a beacon of unrelenting light. I will never be a totally-committed-to-kale-as-a-drink yogi. I am also not a deep, dark creature of the night. I’m a healthy, complicated, complex and often changing mixture of all of it.
It’s an old old story, but we are still and always being sold all of the ways we are not good enough. In my opinion the current wave of wellness, goodness and light is just adding another layer to the ways we feel like we are not measuring up. Nobody. NOBODY can sustain goodness and mercy and joy and positive thoughts all of the time.
And the more I think about it the more I realize that we are not supposed to.
There is light and there is dark. There is masculine and there is feminine. There is yin and there is yang. There is night and there is day. A tree, no matter whether it grows in the middle of a field or in the depth of the forest has just as much of its energy growing into the darkness as it has reaching for the light.
It’s about the peace that comes from knowing that there needs to be balance, and that any of our trips into the ‘dark’ are not cause for guilt or shame or self-loathing, but instead important steps in our growth.
I knew it was how I was feeling, but today I got the final nudge – from Ms. Roberts, of all people.
In the current trilogy the women are all witches, but it is their differences that make them powerful as a circle. To put it simply, one is nurturing, one is about justice and one is full of passion and fire. As I read, I found myself wanting to be like the nurturing one: wishing I was the cooking, caring, kind person in my world.
I was not using that desire to see where I could grow or where there were messages for me, but instead adding guilt and shame for all of the ways I am not already there. I was not celebrating all of my actual gifts: the things that make me special, powerful, interesting, powerful…and magical. I was not remembering my value, my power, my joy.
I was judging myself. And I finally really got that doing that was just wasting my precious time. And time is all I’ve got.
It’s not about getting there. It’s not about balance. It’s not about searching for the light. It’s about living: all in and all good. It’s about joining forces with the universe and God and your complex and very personal support squad of friends and family and angels and ancestors and guides and remembering that all that there is, all that is guaranteed, is change.
It’s about freeing ourselves from suffering over all that we are not.
It’s about having faith that by walking, dancing, creating, and yes, surviving this thing called our life, in all of its hues and challenges, we will know the true light when we see it.
It’s not about balance. It’s about freedom.
From my heart to yours ~ xo