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Gratitude…for Bridget, Floodgates & Rage

February 2, 2012

Bridget is the Celtic goddess of abundance traditionally honoured on February 1st. A floodgate is the metaphor I’d used for years when I described my fear of being paralysed if I unearthed a long buried childhood trauma. Rage, even the expression of mild anger, was forbidden in the household and schools I was reared in. Portray life as it “should” appear: Don’t emote.

Still I’ve learned to trust that life is to be lived and not controlled. So, I spent 4 days raging that after half a century the floodgates opened. Last week, I fully experienced the memory of a trauma that sent me into a rage. Pretending life was “normal” became impossible. In that rage though, I reclaimed myself from the polite peace I was maintaining to make things comfortable and normal for the folks around me.

Apparently, I’d wasted half a century fearing I would drown in a flood. Perhaps the liquid metaphor was right, but it turns out that I was dying of thirst.

The most important lesson distilled in the “Artist’s Way”, is that to recover an authentic, creative self, one needs to embrace anger; it is a friend. Not a kind or gentle one, but a loyal one.  It is truthful.

The other message is that we recover our authentic selves one day, one step at a time. Our unconscious minds are to be trusted. That memory I’d feared and suppressed did not return until I was able to handle it.  It is for that I am most grateful.

If you are interested in taking steps to reclaim your creative self, decide to. Adopt a discipline of listening to your body and being mindful of your real feelings. You are first and foremost a human being, not a human doing. If you are “doing” polite, if your life is about pleasing others, all work and no play – rethink it. Take a walk, a yoga class, have a massage. Feel yourself.

I am often reminded of a catechism lesson of my childhood: “Who made you? God made me, I was made in the image and likeness of God”. Embrace the divine within you. Even the gods of our ancestors raged. One even sent a flood.

Yesterday was Bridget’s day, I’m particularly grateful that the gods and goddesses described by Christians, Jews and Pagans are consistent in their message. I needed to be reminded that even an abundant flood of anger is empowering. And a blessing.




Comments (2)

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  1. Hi Eve, after speaking with you yesterday I had to come read what you’ve written.
    How fascinating you incite Brigid a pre-Celtic deity of fire. I associate St.Brigid to her Christian and pre-Celtic past she reminds me of mythic bird the phoenix – flamed and rising from the ashes anew…
    love this “I needed to be reminded that even an abundant flood of anger is empowering”
    …in the authentic being is the energy of transformational change and leadership. I also witness the remarkable in you Eve.

  2. Eve says:

    There is also the wonderful bit about the medial space she held. A pagan father and Christian mother, claimed in both traditions. That tension of the opposites speaks to so much about the experience of life here, then and now. Is it any wonder that the industry touted as likely to lead us into economic recovery via export – is agricultural? A 21st century return to our agrarian roots informed by the industrial age seems a bit like the pendulum centred.