I can see my truth. I can see myself hiding and scared, afraid to show my true self. I can imagine the rejection, the shame, the discomfort. But this is where I need to go—into the darkness—where I am hiding. Because it is in these dark places that my light resides.
Plumbago connects you with the depths of your psyche and assists with your understanding of your shadow side. It is understanding that allows you to practice self-compassion and forgiveness and release feelings of shame, blame, guilt and self-judgement that may hold power over you and prevent your growth.
I am not a therapist, not a counselor, not a psychologist, teacher or self-help guru. I am obviously ultra aware of all the things that I am not. The question is, what am I then? And what am I doing? What the hell is Soulflower anyway? These are the voices in the shadows. You are not good enough, you are not qualified, you don’t know what you are talking about….etc etc. And so, out of fear, and from a place of self-judgement and shame, I hide. I hide my truth. I hide what I think, what I know about myself, my world, my life because I don’t want to stand out, don’t want to be the freak, don’t want to offend or be misunderstood. I put on my mask, the one that I have worn since childhood, that helps me blend in and conceal all the flaws or truths that make me feel something other than loveable and acceptable.
No one told me about the long-term health and mental issues associated with wearing a mask over a long period of time. How you forget who you truly are. How your body starts to ache and suffer through the untruths, and how it won’t let up until it gets your attention. And mostly how it blocks, and even deflects, all of the love and joy and abundance that the universe has flowing constantly towards you so that you feel only the suffering and pain. Literally.
Plumbago tells me I am not alone. I am not the only one that wanders around with a mask on. It is human nature, and cultural conditioning, especially as a woman, to feel like some parts of you are “sugar and spice and everything nice” and acceptable and other parts need to be hidden or masked for fear of ridicule and humiliation, or worse, being burned at the stake. And so I have tip-toed around on the fringe of modern society feeling like an alien most of my life, because that’s what you do to get by. And when things are rough, you look for someone to blame, or a medicine to fix you because that’s what you do. And life’s hard and then you die….
What you do is you become aware of your mask(s). And as you become aware of them, you become aware of what you are hiding. Those spikey, awkward, unloveable parts of yourself that you would rather not show the world. But eventually you find the courage to have a much closer look at each of those spikes and, upon close examination, you realize that maybe they aren’t so scary after all. Phew! In fact, as you embrace each one you realise that it is a unique part of yourself, not something to hide, but something which actually contains a beautiful bud, an amazing flower, just waiting to bloom! And ultimately you realize that the parts of you that you had deemed unworthy, might just be the keys to your personal truth. The truth of who you are.
And it’s funny because as each flower blooms it obscures the spikes for a while so that you forget about them. You may have a new mask to wear and then a new set of spikes to contend with. So it’s a process really. An unfolding. This is growth. You just go to deeper and deeper levels of understanding. And I suspect at some point, when you have it all figured out….and maybe this takes thousands of lifetimes...you become one of the enlightened souls.
But until then, you practice. Every day. And you honor and respect the journey because wow, it is bloody amazing! And this is where Pumbago shines her light...showing us our shadows and the masks that we wear to hide all the things we deem inappropriate and unlovable about ourselves. Because our light can be found in our shadows.
So who am I then? I am a mother. I am an artist. I am an obsessive gardener. I am a nature lover. I am Soulflower. And I am on a mission to deeply understand myself and my life. What are my credentials? My honesty as I do the inner work and my self-compassion as I discover my truth. My humanity and my willingness to share are my certificates of achievement. And my mission statement is my hope to inspire others to do the same.
With growth we will reconnect with each other and our common humanity, and we will reconnect with the Earth that nourishes and supports us all. As we heal, so will the Earth.
It really is so simple. Flowers bloom effortlessly it seems. I am being urged to open my heart and mind to the beauty that surrounds and is within us all. I am being urged to love myself more. I am being urged to embrace joy, collaboration and connection so that we can rise together out of the paradigm of suffering, separation and competition that we find ourselves in. I can see all this. And I can also see myself hiding, and often scared to share my truth. It is a process after all.
Plumbago can be found in my Soulflower Plant Spirit Oracle Deck.
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The more I fight and struggle and suffer, the more I create all that I am not. And the more I sink into the watery depths of despair, which I have done over and over as I have unpacked my personal suffering, the more I pull others down with me. Rose tells me over and over that what is in my highest good is indeed in the highest good for all.
On our metaphorical dance floor that is life, we are faced with many choices every moment about what steps to take next. Lady’s Slipper asks if our steps come from within, guided by our connection with our higher selves, or if are they choreographed by others?