lionheart

i’ve been having nightmares almost every night for two years now. i’ve grown accustomed to the nightmares, and i can get up in the morning and move on. Other than the nightmares though, i don’t dream often.

Since leaving Texas last year and starting over in a completely new place, i started dreaming again.

i’m not always a very spiritual person. I am acutely aware of the line between reality and fantasy. i like what i can see and touch and confirm to be real. When you are recovering from trauma, it’s important to know where you are. What you can feel, see, and touch. It’s important to know you’re safe.

But there is still a very large part of me that is driven by my heart. i can be more directed by emotions than logic. i’ll risk the busy street to pick the flowers that grow along it. It hasn’t always served me well, but it’s a tender part of me i’d never give away for anything. it connects me to people, the earth, and most importantly, to myself.

i don’t remember when it started exactly, but it was definitely last year, at the start of winter. i stopped having as many nightmares, and started dreaming about cats. Big cats, to be specific. i love cats, but my focus has always been on house cats, not big cats. i’ve never felt a connection to big cats before, and so it was strange to start dreaming about them.

At first, i brushed it off. Maybe i had seen a picture of a cat, or watched a movie with a cat in it, or something like that. But the dreams started coming with more frequency. i mentioned it to my boyfriend. “Maybe they’re trying to tell you something.” he suggested.

Maybe. i couldn’t think what they would have to tell me though.

Finally, after months of dreaming of cats, i had a very intense dream. It kind of scared me, to be honest.

In the dream, i was standing in a forest, unable to move. i was scared, alone, and unsure. All the emotions i feel everyday because of the PTSD.
Suddenly, there was a big cat in front of me. Not a tiger, lion, or panther. Something only from a dream. It was pulsing with colors, and it had several extra eyes resting on its head. i immediately got scared and tried to look away. It followed me, keeping its eyes glued to mine. i could hear it asking me why i was so scared, but it never opened its mouth. As much as i tried, i couldn’t get away from its gaze. i was very unsettled when i woke up.

i’ve always joked that my cat, Lilith, is a reincarnation of the goddess Bastet. It’s a comforting fairy tale: the goddess Bastet was the goddess of love and health, as well as protection and warfare. She was one of the eyes of Ra, someone who looked out for people and reported injustice back to Ra.

bastet

The thought that my cat–who has been through as much as i have–is watching over me and protecting me is very soothing. Whenever i’m triggered or have a panic attack, my first thought is to find Lilith and hold her. She is always happy to comply, purring and nestling against my stomach. i’m very lucky to have her as a companion.

i don’t know what the dreams mean. i’d like to think there is a stronger part of me, molded from what i’ve experienced, being nurtured inside my heart and brain. Large cats often symbolize power, femininity, unforgiving vengeance, and strength. Power and strength are not something i’ve had experience with much in my life. These dreams though–they are very empowering. It fills me with hope for the future.

One step at a time, growing into the goddess i was always meant to be.

 

 

*The art is not mine. All credit go to the artist. 

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girls should be seen but not heard

i’m the ratty haired girl in the backyard climbing a tree bare footed. i’ve got scrapes and cuts on my knees and shins from the bark. my skirt is filthy and torn, but i’ve made it to the highest branch. i’m going to jump. the trampoline is below me, and as i push off the branch and launch into the air, i’m the most powerful thing on earth. i know She is going to be angry at my torn skirt, and i know god is watching me and is displeased. i am not biblical femininity. i’m a spirit, a bird. i spread my arms and for the few seconds it takes me to land on the black stretch of the trampoline, time stops. light flows from my finger tips and my hair is a weightless halo around my head.

i would not be held down. i wore patriarchy on my back and religion as chains on my feet, but i still tucked my skirts up at the waist and flew. i told the landlord’s son that i would show my legs, that i would bare my shoulders, and he would respect me.

i am no man’s woman. i filled a barrow with potatoes while wearing my best dress, and tossed my bra away despite modesty. She pleaded, begged me. “be biblical womanhood.”

no. i’ll rub dirt in my hair and tear my skirts and scream as loud as i can, because i will be heard. my voice will no longer be silenced.

i’m a woman, and i have something to say, and no man will stop me. no god will tell me the steps to walk. this is my life, and i run this show.

gardening

caution
woman at work
i’m tending my soul space
shifting out rocks
pulling up weeds
pulling in good energy
and gating out the bad

tread lightly
goddess at peace
my feet are rooted
in the earth
my eyes are the
shining of a hundred
million galaxies

shedding old self

i used to believe in god. i believed that my life was planned out, and if i was good enough, if i avoided sin and did my best, he would direct my life. i spent so many years on my knees at night, begging god to tell me what i was doing wrong. i asked him to tell me what to do to fix my life so i could break out of the miserable cycle i was in.

And then one day, i stopped praying. i stopped waiting. i stood up and i put away my dresses, my headscarves, my narrow mindedness and self righteous thinking, and i became my own savior. i took up the pen and started writing my own story. In my story, i am the hero. No god saves me or directs my life. i decide where my life goes. i am the master planner. If i fail, then it is my responsibility to accept my faults. There is no sin nature to blame. There is no god to ask forgiveness from. i found the god that i had been searching for inside of me, waiting to be set free. i discovered the goddess I was always meant to be.

In my story, i’ve made mistakes. i’ve had to go back and erase paragraphs and re write them. My thought processes, which were once controlled by the box i lived in, can now grow and change. i’m becoming the person i was always meant to be. i’ve been busy at work constructing a new life for myself. A home of my own, somewhere to rest my weary heart. i’ve had to confront my faults, and take responsibility for them. i’ve had to humble myself in front of people who have deeply wounded me.

For a while, i was angry. Angry at the people who hurt me and abandoned me because i chose to leave god behind and write my own story. Sometimes, i can still feel that fire in my chest, driven by a lot of hurt and confusion.

But i’m on an adventure, and i can’t stop to stay in self pity town or anger neighborhood. i’m not responsible for other’s actions, only my reactions. i’m dragging my stubborn self, step by step, into happiness and fulfillment. it has nothing to do with my surroundings, and everything to do with my heart state.

i grew up, and now i’m growing into myself.

skin