Right now, I’m involved in a specific type of healing training, and a major part of the work we’re doing is digging through our own shit in order to be more competent healers. One of the main topics we’ve discussed is projection. Despite my being in a professional counseling graduate program for almost 2 years now and having taken classes on counseling interventions and theories where we covered Freud and projection, I’d never really “gotten” what projection was until I was reading a book on shadow work by Debbie Ford and read her definition of projection which comes from an energetic (instead of purely psychological) standpoint. Basically (I’m heavily paraphrasing), I understood her as having explained that when we “disown” traits or parts of ourselves, we’re disowning that energy and because the universe is all about balance, that energy is going to keep flying in our face until we recognize it and own it as a part of ourselves. In my spiritual path, I’ve found the same thing true when it comes to life lessons.
It is much easier for me to spot other people’s lessons than it is to see my own. Since some time around Samhain, though, I’ve been trying to work on this and check in with myself whenever I notice what I think is someone else’s lesson to see if it is mine as well. However, I hadn’t bothered to really look back to see if there were some previous lessons from prior to Samhain that I had missed. Until today when Momma, surprisingly gently especially given how much time has passed, brought one to my attention.
For the past few months, issues with my body have catapaulted to the surface. Over the last year, I’ve lost almost 20 lbs (pretty unintentionally). I was not overweight at all to begin with and hadn’t set out with the intention to lose weight. I just stopped exercising and began eating a lot less when my appetite began to decline. I’ve known I had body issues to work through for probably several months or so now, and I was slowly (as in, a turtle looked like The Flash compared to me) beginning to delve into them. My beloved and teacher, however, over the last two visits we’ve had, began to kick my ass – per Momma’s instructions – because the situation had escalated to the point where I was (and probably still am, though I’m now consciously working on it) malnourished.
Earth, which is the element associated with the body, is my weakest element, and I’ve been working for a while now on bringing it into balance with my other elements. One of my challenges is that I have a hard time staying present in my body. I frequently focus all my energy in my mind/head (associated with the element of air, which I find amusing right now). But today, something clicked for me. I thought back to a conversation my beloved and I had over a year ago concerning some of her body issues. At the time, she was having difficulty honoring her body and drew the parallel that she would never leave the element of earth out of ritual, so why would she leave it out of the rest of her life (though I think she said it much more eloquently on her blog). And though our specific issues with our bodies are different, when I step back and look at my situation with hawk vision, there are important parallels that, though they now seem obvious, I had not realized.
If I acknowldge that everything is sacred and say that I want to be (though it is a definite work in progress) living my whole life honoring the Goddess and the God – that, in essence, there should be little difference between the time when I am in circle and the time that makes up the rest of my days – how imbalanced and incongruent it is for me to be neglecting and thus dishonoring this part of myself. Furthermore, since another one of my lessons over the past year or so now has been surrender, how can I surrender completely to Divinity on the levels of body, mind, heart, will, and spirit when I am not even in my body enough of the time to be able to surrender it in the first place? I cannot give what I do not truly own and inhabit.
And because it’s exciting for me to be able to see how I’ve grown, I was almost as excited about the fact that after I experienced this obvious revelation, I was not upset, discouraged, self-deprecatory, or dejected as I would have been several months ago. I was uplifted, joyous, and energized in recognizing this piece that has been missing and encouraged to begin working on it and moving forward.