Litha Shadows

I was originally going to focus completely on Litha, the Celtic Summer Solstice, but the shadows muddied my mind and my original intent deviated.

They’re related, and so I’ll settle for talking about both.

 

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Litha, to me, is a time to celebrate opposites and there within, balance. Water and fire, sun and the moon, nature at its most core value; life and death.

Litha celebrates the sun – it is the longest day of the year. It celebrates the light’s triumph over darkness. But after today, the darkness will begin to take over, until Yule. I think it’s fitting then, that Litha is used as a time to acknowledge and understand our deepest of passions, wills, and strengths. A time to reflect on our accomplishments and growth, our leaps of faith.

Litha is a time to recognize the wild things we can harness but can’t tame.

 

I do not see shadows the way most do. I’m sure that’s obvious. I chose Shadows as my pen name. I did this years ago, a decision I made so certainly, and yet, at the time, didn’t understand how deeply rooted the meaning was.

Amazing how deep down we know something, even as we remain ignorant of it.

 

I cannot harness the darkness. Just as I cannot hold light in the palm of my hands.

A shadow is wild and untamable. Unknowable yet so base in its honesty.

The shadows are the balance. A shadow cannot exist without both light and darkness.

 

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Litha asks how I’ve grown.

I’ve grown in the understanding that I cannot deny the darker parts of myself and expect to enjoy the fruits of the light I harbor. Nothing is black and white when it comes to shadows. Darkness and light are not the same things as good and evil, not when you get into symbolism and deeper meanings. I cannot learn from “evil”. I can learn from the darkness that exists inside me because there is also light to balance it, to tame it.

I am Shadows, and that’s okay with me. It suits me.

 

How have you grown in the past year? What have you accomplished? What have you learned about your passions and strengths? What shadows of your own are you ignoring?

(this post was written yesterday and posted a day late)

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For the Love of Donuts (plus Cops and maybe some Aliens)

I love donuts.

Donuts are so freaking magickal that I cannot describe in words their wonderfulness.

 

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National Donut Day

Just in case you crazies didn’t know, last week on June 5th (it’s always the first Friday of the month) was National Donut Day!

Donut Day was established in Chicago, 1938, by the Salvation Army. During World War I and World War II, the Salvation Army took donuts to soldiers. During the Great Depression, they sold donuts to raise money.

There’s also a National Donut Day on November 5th, but I can’t seem to find where it came from. Neither can anyone else. Perhaps the aliens couldn’t make it here in June and decided to mind-ninja us into thinking National Donut Day was actually in November. Not that I’m complaining.

Both are unofficial national holidays, which is a total sin, but I’m down as long as people celebrate it. And donut shops, always good when donut shops celebrate donut day!!!

 

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Police and Donuts

Why on earth are cops plagued by the donut stereotype? I swear they’re going to do a movie about a killer donut species that attack cops and take over their bodies. Alien donuts. Or – or! – evil donut initiation. *rolls eyes*

I mean, Jeeze. Why?

And what’s so wrong with being a donut junkie anyway? Seriously. Donuts. They are magick. As long as you don’t eat 80 of them a day, you won’t be unhealthy.

Anyone who eats donuts has a high level of intelligence (like me) because only someone extremely wise would know to eat the magick oozing, chocolate, maple, cake, and old-fashioned cakes.

But honestly – where did the stereotype come from?

 

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No one knows for certain when it started, but there are a few theories as to why it spawned…

  • Donuts are cheap, so when the police have to ditch their food because some wacko decided to jump off the roof of your local Ben and Jerry’s, dressed like a medieval knight, demanding someone find them their stolen fairy wings – they don’t have to give up an expensive dinner that they really wanted to finish.
  • Donuts don’t go bad that easily. Well, some do, but most can stay in the box throughout the day. That way they can eat them whenever they get the chance.
  • In a lot of places, donut shops are the only places that stay open all day and night long. It wasn’t until recently that food places stayed open past the late evening.
  • Cops drink a lot of coffee. They have to stay awake practically all day and night long with quick bursts of unconsciousness. Who sells a lot of coffee? Donut shops. Guess what else they sell a lot of, which happens to be cheap, filling, don’t go bad or melt easily, and are sweet? Donuts. Imagine that.
  • Some donut shops will give police free donuts, for two reasons. One, law enforcement are in the business of protecting their city, so maybe it’d be nice to give them some free donuts. And two, having cops sit in your shop is kind of like having free bodyguards. No one is going to break into your corner donut shop with four cops sitting there. It is probably a good thing to point out that its illegal and considered bribery in some places though.
  • Donut shops have a place to sit down inside. For beat cops, that’s nice. Some police have even said that at night, it’s helpful to have a lit table to do paperwork at. (too much paperwork for Daphne)

 

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So see – there are perfectly good reasons for cops to eat donuts. However, I also read in a few places that it’s a generational love. Some newer cops have either been driven away by the stereotype or believe sugar is the devil.

 

Me? I just want some freaking donuts.

 

Do you enjoy donuts?

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An Authentic Mess: Time for Something New

I guess when everything falls apart, and you finally reach that breaking point, where you’re pissed off but you decide enough is enough – you begin to search for your way home.

 

I’ve run away from home. From my soul.

By running away from my hopes and dreams. By running away from my identity.

I guess my heart has grown stale.

A person can only take so much living for others, with their heart and soul walled off from their consciousness, before they start to lose it.

 

Enough fear. Enough seeking for the world to approve of me. Enough hating myself, berating myself, and doubting myself.

I can’t fix those things instantly, but I’m tired of the downward slope.

It’s time to head upward.

 

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No one is going to hand me my identity. No one is going to pop up in a haze of fairy dust, smack me upside the head with a wand, and declare that, “I, Daphne, am so and so”. I’m not going to have a “moment” where everything becomes clear and I just “know” who I am. No one else is going to find me.

That’s my job.

So to hell with fixing other people, with throwing my soul out the window, and jumping on someone else’s circus. I’ve got my own thank you! I’m going to deal with my issues.

And I have every right to enjoy finding myself.

 

So who am I?

This is an interesting question.

I don’t have the slightest idea.

But that’s where we all start, isn’t it?

 

It reminds me of a comment Brian left on my blog, on the fourth post I ever wrote:

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June 3, 2012 at 5:19 am

It sounds like you grew up during that whole university fiasco. Without living for yourself you become a drone, mindless and controlled. At some point, for better of worse, we must take the controls and navigate our own way through life. Better to figure these things out early on, than look back with regret. The simple fact is everything we do makes us who we are, even the mistakes. The smart ones keep learning and finding ways to improve themselves.

It takes courage to stand on your own. Stay true to yourself and good things will happen.

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”–Mark Twain

 

He nailed it right on the head.

A drone.

Mindless.

Controlled.

 

You don’t just wake up one morning and have it all figured out. This will take me time, I’ll make mistakes, and get emotional.

But I’m done being down in the dumps. I’ll have my days but I’m not getting stuck there anymore. I can be hopeful and down at the same time.

Kind of like that phrase – I need to get my demons on my side.

Honestly – who on earth wouldn’t want a demon as their backup? (fantasy not biblical demons, here people) I mean really – best thing ever. Could you imagine if someone tried to steal your wallet?

 

I’m doing this to myself.

I’m tired of giving myself unnecessary rules and restrictions. I’d rather be a mess. An authentic mess. Random, emotional, unpredictable, and vulnerable. But real.

So let’s move forward, shall we?

 

Maybe you need to fall flat on your butt and struggle in the muck for a while before you decide it would be easier to stand up and, like a sunflower, aim for the food you need, regardless of how messy the field is you’re planted in.

 

Do you know who you are? Did you ever struggle to find your identity? Ever allow the world or someone in your world to control who you “became”?

 

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Opalescent

The tears don’t help anymore.

They just fall.

Did they ever lessen the pain?

 

And then I remember.

I never cried at all.

 

by Daphne Shadows

Daphne Shadows

Daphne Shadows

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Pain Tells Me I’m Real

(From the get-go, I’m not talking about cutting myself or physically harming myself in any other way. Nor am I a masochist. Now that that’s out of the way…)

 

 

I was lying in bed this morning and my reflux was acting up so badly that I got heartburn. But I really didn’t want to get up. I was extremely tired and warm and comfortable but finally had to sit up. Ugh.

Now, I’m sitting there in bed and I realize my throat doesn’t hurt.

 

 

Let me give you a little backstory on why that’s important.

I’ve been having some health issues lately and one night last week, I felt like there was something in my throat. It swelled and I was afraid I’d not be able to breathe. So naturally, I panicked and ended up in the ER, hyperventilating for the first time in my life.

Totally not mortifying.

Blood testing shows that there’s something wrong with my parathyroid. (Parathyroid are these four little glands in the throat that control a lot of what goes on in your body health wise, mental, emotional, and physical.) My doctor told me that I needed a parathyroid scan and she’d send me to an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist because there’s most likely benign tumors on my parathyroid gland which are causing all my issues.

Which is most likely what I can feel in my throat, but which won’t (as far as I know) cut off my breathing.

Woohoo! I like breathing.

I won’t go into detail (mainly because I’d feel like I was complaining and being dramatic, maybe later I’ll tell you) but my health has steadily been declining for three months now.

Something is wrong. Duh. This is pretty obvious right?

 

 

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Okay, so now that you know that, where were we? – “I’m sitting in bed and I realize my throat doesn’t hurt.”

Right. So I start thinking like this: “well, if it doesn’t hurt, maybe I’m a psycho hypochondriac who made up the whole throat swelling thing, and I’m making this all up, and there’s nothing wrong with me, and I’m so stupid…yada yada yada”. Like that.

After I don’t know how long, I finally stopped myself.

Blood tests and doctors are telling me something is wrong with my parathyroid and I most likely have benign tumors that need to be removed.

I felt them before I even knew what hyperparathyroidism was!

So how could I have made the scenario up? I don’t control blood tests or doctors.

 

 

This made me realize something. Yay me!

(Remember, I’m trying to care about myself instead of hate myself. Trying to remember that I exist and all that… yeah, so I’m trying to pay attention to myself when I remember. Which isn’t often, but hey – I’m working on it.)

What my internal thinking this morning made me realize is – I measure whether or not something is real, emotional or physical, by pain.

If it doesn’t hurt, it isn’t real. “Must not be. How could it? I can’t feel it!”

Because of course I don’t feel happy – I’m ignoring that I exist! I don’t get the joy end of the spectrum.

By ignoring every thought, emotion, opinion, want, need, etc., I’ve set myself up to feel nothing but pain, when I feel at all.

 

 

Just because my throat didn’t hurt and the swelling (which is an off and on thing) wasn’t distracting – just because there wasn’t pain – didn’t mean it suddenly didn’t exist. If I pay attention, I can still feel something swollen in my throat.

But I don’t have to feel pain for it to be real!

 

 

How could I find happiness of any shade if I’ve lived with this programming?

 

 

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That, however, does not mean that I don’t then choose to ignore my pain.

How else would I have gotten to where I am if I hadn’t?

 

It’s a painful cycle.

I set myself up to only feel pain. I ignore this pain. This creates more pain as I suffocate more and more of my identity. I ignore this pain. And on and on and on.

 

Why do I ignore the pain?

Because it might get me to pay attention to something I feel. Or get me to stop long enough to actually think. Which, you know, is selfish and bad and wrong of me because how dare I think of myself instead of someone else and what they want and feel…..

 

 

And yet – strangely, – it’s only when I feel pain of any sort, that I feel alive. Like I’m really here. Like I really exist.

I think that’s because when a person feels pain, they can’t ignore it 100%. There’s some initial jolt of “ouch!” or misery. And who feels the pain?

The only person who feels the pain is me. The real me. The authentic  me. The me that’s trapped behind layer and layer of steel so thick I can’t breathe through it – and isn’t that the point? – and walls of pain and lies and denial and numbness. The me I can’t reach.

The pain touches who I really am, it touches my soul.

And so for a moment, I am alive. I can breathe.

 

 

But now I’m to the point where I can’t ignore the pain. Not emotionally and more recently, not physically.

The pain is telling me I’m not really alive, I’m surviving.

And it’s time to wake up.

 

 


 

 

This all brought the song “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls to mind. This one line:

“yeah, you bleed just to know you’re alive”

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Filed under Health, Music, Personal/Opinion

Steps Forward, Steps Backward

I feel like I’m taking one step forward and two steps back.

Driving me insane!

Well, more insane than I already am, but you get my drift. *twitch* ;D

 

Someone took us to the movies this past week and I really liked the movie. Though it was dark and hopeless at times, the largest overtone and theme of the movie was hope. Basically, the perfect movie for me.

I left the movie and for the first time in a very long time (*ahem* years), I had

*that*

feeling.

 

The one I’m sure all creators know in some way or another.

It’s hard to describe, but I’ll give it a try.

It’s a good, excited, creativeness.

I feel alive. Vitally burning, arms flung wide, begging the world to hear me, to run through me, to guide me, to open me up and let me see again. Not just any world but that world, the one running like a stream through my head and heart, folded inside the contours of my soul. Where the strange and the broken but strong reside. All that I create. The world where I create, come up with ideas, scenarios.

And for one amazing moment, I can fly, I can soar, arms flung wide open to something better than me. Better than pain and all that’s wrong with me.

Where everything is perfect. Where I’m the child who escapes, the writer, the inspired creator who is both realistic and an idealist with her head in the clouds. The Unashamed Creator.

*That* feeling is where I can breathe. I’m passion blazing, where nothing can break me, inspired, confident. Enough. Where I am enough.

And I’m more than enough. I’m me. I can change the world, I can lift the broken and rid the streets of disgust and outrage of the wrongly powerful.

Everything was right as rain. Home.

I was home.

 

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And then, I clamped down on it.

I’d reached the end of my chains and my conditioned behaviors yanked me back into “reality”.

SHUT UP, DAPHNE! Stop acting like a childish, loser. Get real. Grow up. Be in control of your emotions, feelings, thoughts, wants. None of this wishy – washy, head in the clouds, fantasizing. How stupid that you pretend like a toddler fantasizing in your head. How pathetic. Stand up, be rigid, in control. Be useful.

 

And the feeling – *that* feeling – it was gone.

I realized something right that moment.

I realized something that night.

It saddened me. Now I don’t feel anything in particular about it. But you’ll understand why in a moment.

 

ONE

I realized what I’m really doing by “clamping down” on my “useless emotions”.

I’m telling myself to stop feeling.

The part of me, which is in control, says “shut up, be real, stop dreaming like a child”.

It’s a smoke screen.

Be mean enough and I won’t poke at it, right?

In reality (ironic, right?), I’m telling myself to stop feeling anything. Except – definitely keep feeling shame and wrong for feeling.

When I clamped down on that feeling, I shoved all emotion away. If I look close enough, I can see just how numb I am to everything but pain and self-hate.

 

TWO

When I came home from that movie, something happened- and I have no idea what or how- that allowed me to get past my own walls, find a weak link in my armor, and get through to the life deep inside that I’ve forsaken to solitude and silence.

I found it. I felt alive. I felt real.

But then doubt niggled in.

And when I clamped down on it, a part of me deep down wanted to sob, cry out.

I’d ripped the fire inside out and flung it nowhere in particular. So long as I couldn’t feel its warmth.

I left myself hollow, empty. In pain. Numb.

 

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FORWARD

I feel Blank.

No wonder I haven’t written a word, allowed myself to listen to music, or done anything mildly creative in over a month now.

I’m so numb I don’t even see it.

Even now, writing about it. It was only yesterday and yet I can’t remember what it felt like. I’m simply typing what I wrote in my journal yesterday. Eight hours after it happened I couldn’t even remember.

 

How did it happen? How’d it get through? Why?

I’d been particularly vulnerable yesterday, gummy, and easily harmed (enough to make me carry an ax and glare at everyone who came within three feet of me). So was it the vulnerability? Not having that armor up and in perfect condition?

Or was it the combination of darkness and hope in the movie?

Or both?

I don’t know.

But I consider yesterday a win. Not only did it somehow get through, but I recognized it for what it was, realized I’ve been (and continue to) smother any and all inspiration, and identified my need to STOP.

Not that it’s gotten me anywhere. But I have to realize I’m NOT going anywhere before I can START going somewhere. ……. Makes so much sense. 0.o

So, two steps forward and only one back.

Yay me!

 

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As a side note, I’m really not liking this being honest thing. It sucks, being vulnerable. Don’t like it. One bit.

So be nice to me.

Don’t blow rainbows up my skirt or throw bunnies at me, but don’t try to bash my head into the wall either.

I’ll stab you. Repeatedly.

:D

 

Any creative types know what on earth I’m going on about? What does “that feeling” feel like to you?

Anybody else feel stuck wobbling on the steps?

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I Am Passionless, Hollow

I have lost my passion.

I’m empty, hollow, meaningless.

There is no more fire inside me. I’m fresh out.

The only passions left stirring inside me are fear, anger, and hate. And I feel those toward myself. Like I said, I’m a mess.

 

My blog’s purpose is to reflect me. On the right sidebar, it literally says: “what inspires and/or ignites raw emotion within me will find its way here.”

Problem on aisle Daphne.

With no passion, comes no identity. Comes no idea who the hell I am at all. What do I want? What do I  need? What do I feel?

I’ve got no clue.

My health is failing and I’m just shoving my emotions farther and farther away. I’m going nowhere.

It’s only logical that I’m finding it hard to figure out what to blog on. Nothing inspires me anymore. It’s been building and building, this void eating me from the inside out. Worse yet, I’m the one fueling it. And here I am. Empty.

 

All I have left inside me is the truth, even as I try to ignore it away. The truth that though I didn’t cause it, I’m now doing this to myself. I’m keeping myself in this cycle.

Why?

Because it’s all I’ve ever known. And I’m not paying attention. That’s my thing. Ignoring that I exist.

 

I’m ready for some change. Some internal change. Time to scrape open my walls and peek inside my chest. See what I can find.

As far as blogging goes, all I have to give are pieces and parts of honesty. While I figure out how to wake up, how to breathe.

I’ve avoided my blog reflecting all of me. I’ve kept mostly to the surface stuff. Interests. Things I like, that I can research, explore. But I can’t find these things any longer. I’m exhausted, deflated.

Time to dig deeper, whether I want to or not. There’s a lot more to me.

 

This isn’t a full disclosure. I’m not promising a baring of my soul. This isn’t confession, this is my blog. And why not see if a little honesty out loud can help me out? Maybe someone might even get inspired. (either that or someone ought to be sitting at their desk going, “whew, I’m glad I’m not that deranged)

It’s a peek into the Shadows, I’m offering.

I’m choosing not to bury all the painful parts or the darkness, any longer.

 

So strap in kiddos.

You’re in for a bumpy ride. There are no helmets, there is no map. I just passed ‘start’ and I’m already lost in the forest.

I’m clearing out the cobwebs, searching for the skeletons, and hoping I find some really creepy cool antiques in the way back.

Things are about to get strange.

 

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Have you ever lost your passion? What did you do to get it back?

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