yesterday i went for a jog with music. when a current favorite song came on, at my favorite part of the song, i sprinted, letting out every feeling, turning myself into a panther. my legs felt like feathers, my heart felt liberated and i ran swift as the wind. could only do this for about a minute or less maybe, before i lost energy, but it was so pleasurable. that experience created a new neural pathway in my brain. during that minute sprint i felt i could do anything, i felt free, i felt happy, and i felt strong. when i got home all sweaty and exhausted, my energy was transformed. the emotions are still flooding through like the nile though, and after talking to several friends, seeing several clients, and tuning into the collective, i realize i am not the only one. it’s being passed around in the collective unconscious- these feelings, this anxiety. work was slow and i let out my shadow spew to ruby, who always brings out the most real parts of me. by giving voice to my shadow i gave my shadow love and realized the persona i was creating out of fear. tara brach calls the persona, the spacesuit. listened to a podcast by her last night about it, called “bird got my wings” and understood in more detail how the ego creates limiting identities when contracted in fear, trying to hide shame through feeling inferior, or from feeling superior too. i am very hell-bent right now on not trying to fix myself or stay in the daylight and avoid the underworld. everybody says the same thing in the community, me included, “i am sick of the lessons, when is it going to be easy?” but it’s dawned on me lately, in the heart not just the head, in this visceral way, that it is never going to be easy, nor is it supposed to be. i find myself surrendering to how hard life is and with this surrender, feel an ease wash over me. how’s that for a paradox? i am changing the way i operate because i see with falcon eyes that trying to fix myself to be more this or more that, is fear based, shadow avoidant, and it makes life harder. i am loving my shadow. i am loving the anxiety and sorrow i have felt this week. i am loving the spacesuit i created that is not my authentic self. i am loving my authentic self. i am loving every part. this love is the medicine, the healing, the nectar, the movement, the ease, and the surrender. it is everything. i understand though, how long it has taken me, how many years of diligent self work, mindfulness, dedication to daily practice, and constant focus on my internal self, to get to a realistic place where i actually can give love to the shadow. healing is an organic process. you cannot tell somebody to love their shadow before they are capable of it, then it will just sound empty. the capacity to love is just like a muscle, the more you work it, the stronger is gets. i surrender to being half shadow as we all are, i surrender to life being hard, and i surrender to us all being one. everybody suffers until everybody is healed and we all just have a different fingerprint of what this suffering looks like. suffering from not having your basic human needs met, from being the victim of violence and abuse, from being mentally ill, from being oppressed, from losing what we value the most, from illness, from injustice, from neurosis, from addiction. we all suffer and we all have the opportunity to transcend suffering if we choose. buddha understood this and developed a psychological technique for transcending suffering through detaching from temporal external circumstances enough to feel the oneness of spirit within, where peace and love are ever flowing and available to experience no matter what is happening outside the body. i practice this and have found that wellspring within and rely upon it as my root…and that’s not the only story. what about the feminine story? what about investing in the temporal external more and caring about it so much that you change it? what about not buying clothes made by slave labor, or eating meat that were once animals treated inhumanely, or using plastic and making trash unnecessarily, or ignoring the homeless and downtrodden while only focusing on the goals of the self, or ignoring racism and oppression because you have the privilege to do so? what about giving pain a voice and allowing the victim story to be truly heard and not fixed or solved, but just loved? the shadow needs love for balance to come about. the problem is that everybody keeps trying to make the shadow go away by fixing it because there is still so much resistance toward loving what is scary, ugly, shameful, and terrible. on the other end of the spectrum, the tendency to wallow in victimhood and dwell too much in the shadow is a consequence of the shadow not being truly loved. if love was given to the voice of pain, and honor was given to tragedy that is real, then balance would begin to come about and wallowing would cease. both avoidance and dwelling are symptoms of lack of balance which is rooted in a lack of love. it is all about love, and yet this sounds so cliche which frustrates me because love is not a cliche, it is not fluff, it is not an idea. love is action. it is giving space, it is nurturing, it is tender, it can be fierce, it is always healing. love can say no you cannot do this without giving a mental fair trial as a lion would protect her cubs from a predator, and love can also allow for the voice of pain to be truly understood and welcomed no matter how painful and how long it needs to space to be heard. i get the strong sense that quality is what is lacking because there is a knee jerk reaction to hurry up and get beyond the shadow. but we will never get beyond the shadow, we need to accept and love the shadow so it can return to balance with the light, and this takes time. it took me twenty years from the time i began my journey of healing, to be done giving pain a voice. i say all this in reference to how long it will take for the voice of pain to be heard about racism, oppression, abuse, sexism, sexuality and gender prejudice. hundreds of years to heal is what is natural in terms of allowing pain to tell her story and honoring the story. i cannot control anybody else as much as i want to. i wish i could make everybody love everybody and i am fully aware of the fear in my shadow as i say this. i am afraid of lovelessness. we all have love and fear in our hearts, we are animal, we are human. the danger is when it falls out of balance and fear turns to hatred and hatred turns to prejudice and prejudice turns into oppression. oppression cannot just be fixed, it must be understood and healed. i am speaking of only one aspect of healing, there are many, as these issues of humanity are complex. i am dialing in on one very important detail only. a core detail. ok…breathe. i needed to get some spew out, but stopping now. happy this is my own diary and i am allowed to not wrap up my message or sound eloquent. we are all in this together.