Personal Growth

Discovering My Inner Lionness

You’ll never know how much my heartbeat quickened when I saw your email. Or know of the waves of nausea that hit me at the same time.

After eight months of energetic work, set intentions, cut cords, here you were again.

You were like the Ghost of Spirituality Past, back to haunt me.

You. My first spiritual teacher. The one who I opened up to about the most dire elements of my life. You were the one who introduced me to the entire world that I inhabit today.

How did you change so quickly from the role of sage, guide and mentor to that of inquisitor, jury and judge?

You were upset that I didn’t ask you if I should move and that I didn’t follow your advice regarding a relationship.

You told me that my sexual behaviors were wrong and I was energetically corrupted. You said that I was a joke and all my family and friends knew it.

The things you admonished me for weren’t even true and didn’t affect you in any way.

So why were you reaching out to me? To slap my hand? To punch me in the energetic gut? To clear your conscious?

Interestingly, you had given a different perspective than I may have had. You complained and berated and bashed and condemned a former student of yours to me a while back. One who hadn’t “followed your advice.” You tore her to shreds for not doing what you told her.

And here I sit, as you attempt to do the same to me.

But, I’m not her. I’m not going to engage in your petty games of control and delusion.

My reply to you was simple enough: “Do not contact me again via electronic means or otherwise.”

Your Scorpio soul wanted to pull me into the depths with you, but I wasn’t willing to go for the swim.

Lions don’t swim.

I felt so much freedom when I sent you that message. The previous months had been a passive route of disengagement. Unfriending and unfollowing you but not dealing with your passive-aggressive behaviors directly was not enough.

But, a lioness doesn’t concern herself with the opinion of the sheep. So I paid you little heed.

You wanted me to be one of your sheep and blindly follow whatever you said or suggested. But, that’s not my style.

I lead the pack. I am the lioness of my own pride.

Hitting send meant that I was done with you and your manipulations.

I should have known the Universe has an interesting sense of humor and, like any good villain, you would make a dramatic reappearance.

Much to my surprise, you gingerly made your way down the steps to where I was seated at a lakeside spiritual retreat. You had showed up in a foreign country at the same event I was at, seriously?

How was this happening?

You surely saw my pulse quicken and my skin thum-thum-thum against my heart threatening to escape. You had to have felt the anger, annoyance and disbelief radiating off me like the sun off hot pavement.

I centered myself as you took your seat and took a deep breath. I never imagined air filling my body to be so nourishing.

As the topic of the course became more specific, I laughed and laughed. Not out loud, where you’d hear me, but internally.

We were immersed in a course about just the topic you had told me I wasn’t “spiritual” for doing. You know, how all my “loose” behaviors had created negative energy and were attracting entities to me.

My laughter danced through my soul as you were called to confront your demons regarding sexuality, femininity and masculinity.

The time for looking in the mirror was here, Ghost of Spirituality Past.

We had plenty of opportunities to break bread. Maybe we should have. But, I choose not to associate with you or feed in to your energetic games.

I would not be where I am today without you. I’ll always be eternally grateful for all you exposed me to and taught me about. Even your absurd behaviors were beneficial for me to learn from.

You don’t get to me anymore. The thought of you, now, elicits compassion and sadness for all you must have faced and be facing to treat those around you with such flippancy and disdain.

But, that isn’t enough to stop me from hoping, on a semi-regular basis, to have completed any karmic work with you this time around

Kudos to you for putting me “on blast,” as you call it. In doing so, you helped me find the lioness within.

Because of Your Darkness, I Can Now See the Light

The million thank-you’s I am now just able to offer are not always enough to wash away the heartache, confusion and grief I felt when I was with you.

We called what we had a relationship. But, now I question if you ever saw it that way or if our definitions were too far from one another to ever coalesce.

From the beginning, your focus was on you. What you want and when you wanted it, with little regard for anyone but yourself.

Those instances when you were able to keep your fingertips from throttling the bottle were tolerable and nearly enjoyable.

The joy was hard to accept knowing that it would so quickly evaporate and leave me wondering if it ever really existed at all.

As I would watch you sip from the Big Gulp, ¾ full of booze and ¼ full of pop, I began to brace myself.

However, I believed I had to be a pliable branch. To be a tree that bent in the breeze, never to break. So, that is how I lived my life for over a year.

On the outside, I had a job I was great at, was meeting new people in a new place, and dove more deeply into learning about spirituality.

I accepted, graciously, from the Universe and moved through my life, not allowing myself to be dragged down by you.

Not on the time when you were 90 minutes late to pick me up at the airport you lived 20 minutes away from.

Nor did I lose my mind, the many times I came home and had no idea where you were and you wouldn’t respond to any calls or messages I sent you.

My life continue on an even keel as you tipped drastically close to the chasm, calling me names, telling me I was worthless and that you could go out and meet and hook up with as many women as you wanted.

I stayed with you because I believed that I had to help you. My purpose was to help you see the real demons you carried on your back. If I was just patient enough, you’d be able to.

You helped me learn about myself and I hope, on a regular basis, that I learned it all that time around. I surely do not want the Universe to grant me the opportunity to learn those truths again. To show my gratitude, I utter the million “thank you’s” in hopes that the Universe knows I’ve got it.

As I zoom out to understand why, I know that we agreed to play a particular role in one another’s life. I know we had differences to work out. I am certain that I asked you to do what you did so I could come out the winner this time.

I’ve seen flashes of another life we had together where I had to stay by your side until death parted us; after which time I had a wild celebration at your passing.

Somehow, I made it through the storm with only a few hairs out of place. No one was able to see below the surface where I paddled madly until I couldn’t paddle anymore.

Today, all my hairs are in place, on the rare occasion I actually comb them.

My life is full of absolute joy that is no longer threatened with impending darkness.

You helped me to clear out the old to make way for the new. You helped me to find a new pathway that is a better fit for me than any I could have discovered with you.

For all the times I wanted to hurt you, as much as you hurt me, I’m glad I didn’t. That would have filled me sorrow, guilt and left us connected.

Thank you for darkening my vision to allow me to better see the light.