this is a picture of the ever resilient dandelion that’s like 3 feet tall in my parking space but I have a story about a turkey vulture & a squirrel.
in Hannah Gadsby’s comedy special Nanette, she talked about being “soaked in shame” and how a child cannot develop the neurological pathways to maintain self esteem when they do not have support in cultivating it. it was an epiphany & a heartbreak for me, all at once. I felt free from what I didn’t know was holding me back & also deep in what feels like a never ending process of death.
death takes on so many shapes & forms. it is as familiar as it is fresh every time I feel it. attachments have died. love has died. innocence has died. relationships have died. fear has died. lies have died. colonial programming has died. lifetimes have died. versions of myself have died. all within me.
I find myself in another metamorphosis (a word for death). I don’t want to focus on the rejection & abandonment in my story. I needed to be able to name those things & be honest about their impact. it is an essential step in boundary & healing work. what’s interesting is that paying attention to how trauma has made me feel about myself has not been the same thing as healing the trauma.
another epiphany provoked by Hannah Gadsby was, “we learn from the part of the story that we focus on.” I need to focus on the healing, transformation, & abundance that has eclipsed the very long but very over stories of abandonment & abuse that has helped shaped me. because what we give attention to grows* and I crave more healing, transformation, & abundance. which is so much more work than being satisfied with what is or assuming we’ve arrived. to crave is to stay curious & that is harder than defaulting to self-hate.
I am tired of fragile confidence. I am tired of the cycles & spirals that come with how hard it is to trust. I am tired of my default reaction to any discomfort being to question, distrust, & reject myself. I am tired of feeling stuck in the defense mechanisms that I have due to needing to mentally & emotionally survive. and I am grateful to be nourished enough to be able to slow down and notice-that I’m tired.
I was sitting in my car with these thoughts yesterday & feeling so much anger for the deprivation of my birthright to feel like I’m an important contribution and deeply loved.
at a stop, I looked to my left and saw the largest turkey vulture I’ve ever seen right next to me car. in its mouth was a skinned squirrel it was clearly doing its ecological job on.
turkey vultures are death totems. the indicate you’re in a period of transformation & rebirth. squirrels are playful, curious energy. childlike. I was the squirrel, a victim of violence. and I was the vulture, cleaning the blood & guts, turning it into food. completing the process. claiming power.
I am ready to put this particular pattern of fragile self confidence/esteem/love-as-a-verb to death. to use the fertile ground of rebirth to plant the seeds of self worth deeply. watering often. I know this will take time. nonlinear, cyclical time. I know I will need all the incredible support in my life & more tools than I currently have to do this work. I am finding these tools/supports and they will find me. this I know.
because how mind-blowingly synchronistic is it that I would see myself in nature at the exact moment I most needed to?
this is a rebirth story. an eclipse story. one of mine. one of many.