The Sh*t Show and the Long Game

One might think that one would have “found themselves” by the time they reached their 50s. But maybe it’s true that we spend our entire lives finding bits and pieces of ourselves as though we blasted apart upon entering the earth’s atmosphere when we landed here for this lifetime. That’s a lot of pieces to gather, and depending upon how far they’re scattered, it may take a lifetime to put the puzzle together.

We often think we know who we are until we finally realize that we have no clue.

The clue that we are beginning to find ourselves, I believe, is joy. When we begin to experience joy more of the time than not, we’re on the right path.

Joy is that thing that allows our shoulders to move away from our ears. It lets us take a deep breath and really exhale rather than holding it. It’s an inward smile in those quiet moments. It’s a knowing that all is well, even in the midst of a storm.

Life appears to be in that storm now. On a global level. On the level of politics, the environment, with social issues and religion. It all looks like kind of a shit show.

And it’s exactly what is called for right now.

All of this shit is getting stirred because it got stuck and concretized in incredibly damaging ways. The concrete looks firm and stable and strong. But the concrete is made of the old paradigms that simply don’t work anymore. (Not that they really worked before.) It’s all being jackhammered apart now because we’re finally waking up enough to recognize that you can’t just pour cement in a poisonous slough and think that it’s not going to soak through and infect all of us.

This is what is happening on a macro and a micro level. At least for me. I’ve tried to function for decades with some pretty poisonous patterns and beliefs about what was wrong and right. And, I’d not forgiven myself for my (perceived) continued state of fuck-up-ed-ness. Things would seem to get better. And then they’d seem to get worse.

Sometimes we put all of the pieces together incorrectly because we’re told how to do it by the people who have been pouring the concrete in the slough. They want to maintain things as they are. Don’t rock the boat. Don’t mess with the status quo. They’re fat and happy in their own personal disfFUNction, thank you very much!

But some of us, often the ones who never quite fit in the first place, are asking WTF? We’re hash-tagging #timesup and #metoo. We’re breaking down walls, not building them.

And we’re putting ourselves back together in ways that really fit. We’re not willing to shave off a little corner just ‘cuz it would make it work and we’re in a hurry.

We’re going for that long game. The one where we’re not afraid to face the Queen of Death because we know she’s only going to take away that which no longer serves.

We’re standing tall, maybe for the first time, because we know that what we’re building has a truly solid foundation, one that is rooted in rich, healthy, fecund soil. One that is based in love. Real love. Not the conditional kind. Love that never left. Love that will never leave.

All of this perfectly imperfect mess is truly perfect, because we cannot make a mistake. We cannot fail. Ever.

Except, when we fail to love.

It is this failure to love that is causing all of the pain, regret, rage and betrayal. It is because every one of the individuals involved above (including me!) failed to love themselves. Probably because they were told by the concrete/slough pourers that they were not lovable. Probably because those concrete/slough pourers were never taught that they were lovable.

And on it goes. Until we stop it. Until we stare it down and say, “enough!”.

and I love you.

Sharon Eisenhauer
Breaking the Mother Mold

I don’t ever remember playing with dolls growing up. There is no recollection of tucking in my stuffies at night. Frankly, I don’t even recall having had any stuffies, or dolls - although I must have had some…

Doing that “nurturing mom” kind of thing just wasn’t in my repertoire. It wasn’t in my mom’s either. And she would describe her own growing up as less than “warm and fuzzy”.

My mom was 21 when I was born. Within five years, she had 3 more children. Four kids in five years is a handful for anyone. It’s especially a handful when you’re not even all in on the idea of having kids.

My mom was living the dream of having married the “right guy” from the “right family”. She converted to Catholicism to marry him and with that came the procreation directive. She was living that dream, but it wasn’t her dream. It was the dream that society told her she should have - my mom and virtually every other woman in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.

A mom is supposed to be all loving, endlessly nurturing and self-less - forgoing her own needs for that of her progeny at all times. Right???

This is what we’ve been told virtually all of our lives. It’s no wonder that those of us who don’t fit that patriarchally defined role feel ashamed of ourselves as mothers. We blame ourselves and find it unforgivable to be anything less than that. We try to conjure that nurturing mother when it comes to boo boos and fevers, and it just doesn’t ring true.

When my former wife and I decided to adopt a child, my agreement was based on the idea that I would be raising this child with her. Had the choice been to adopt a child to raise by myself every other day and every other weekend, I would have made a different choice. I knew that I was not capable of raising a child without her. I didn’t have the skills and, frankly, I didn’t have the desire to have a child by myself.

We’ve been divorced now for 10 years. Our daughter is 15. I heartbreakingly recall reading to my then 8 year old daughter at night and having her ask,

“Mommy, why don’t you like me?” It still brings tears today to recall this.

And I love this child, my beautiful daughter, so much. But I was not cut out to be this kind of a mother and it must have been seething through my pores.

I tried so many ways to do it differently. And believe me, I beat the shit out of myself for not being able to do a better job. But it just isn’t my nature to be a nurturing mother.

Nor was it the nature of Dr. Christiane Northrup, author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom and many other titles. In this book she states that being a Nurturing Mother “is not who I am – and to have tried to be something I wasn’t ultimately would have done my children and me a great disservice.”

She goes on to quote the writing of Lynn Andrews who describes the ancient Mayan civilizations who acknowledged that there were Nurturing Mothers and Creative [Spiritual] mothers. She describes the role of the Creative Spiritual mothers as that of inspiring them, rather than nurturing them.

OMG, I could feel layers and layers of blame falling away.

Dr. Northrup goes on to describe Aboriginal cultures “where all of the mother’s sisters – the child’s aunts – were considered the child’s mothers. All of the father’s brothers – the uncles – were considered the fathers. If you ask an Aboriginal child who her mother is, she will point not only to her biological mother but to all her aunts as well. Same with the father. If her biological mother feels the need to go on a walkabout – a spiritual initiation - she knows that the child always has a place in the group and is not dependent solely on her, as children so often are in our patriarchal society.”

I could finally begin to breathe…

So this thing - that I had for so long held over my head (and that of my own mother) was acknowledged in ancient civilizations but I had never, ever, been told that there were other ways of mothering!

I completely identify with the role of Creative Spiritual mother. I can be that! I am that! I can do that!

And in being true to my own nature as a mother to my daughter, she benefits in so many ways. There is no longer this lie of a role I’ve been trying to force myself into. She senses that. She knows that. She can feel that. And as a result, our relationship is so much deeper, more loving and better connected.

The form of our relationship has morphed dramatically and we no longer fight like we used to. Our time together is genuine, rich and joyful.

My daughter has many mothers, like the Aboriginal children, in the form of my former wife, my daughter’s God-moms, her step-mom and me! And as I have been on this spiritual initiation, I am immensely grateful to all of them for holding the space, for holding her, with such loving kindness and generosity.

At 15, my daughter is beginning to grok that this is not about dislike or abandonment, but about learning how to love oneself enough to honor right relationship. And that Right Relationship is vastly different for everyone. It doesn’t have to look like the mold that we’ve forced ourselves into for generations. She gets to experience what it is to love ourselves enough that, however painful it may feel to break that mold, following our hearts and our deepest soul-knowing results in true, right relationship even though everyone else might tell us we are wrong.

She feels it. She knows my love. My open-hearted love that is growing free from guilt and blame and shame. This is the greatest gift I can give my child. And she is the greatest gift I have ever received

Sharon Eisenhauer
Fierce Love and Next Steps

As you have likely experienced, the Divine Feminine is presencing itself in a very powerful way right now, all across our world. It is long past time for the existing paradigm to shift before we destroy our planet and everything on it and the Divine Feminine is rising up again (hopefully) just in time.

Assisting in the resurgence of this presence, I believe, is a huge part of my purpose in this lifetime. But in order to be of service in this way, I have to be able to get out of my own way. No easy task.

During the last nine months I’ve been doing an intensive course of initiations in the Archetypes of the Divine Feminine.  This is not simply a course of study, it is a deep dive into the experience of the shadow and light of each Deity. This month, we are working with Kali – the Creator/Destroyer/Preserver. Just looking at Kali, you know that this is a rather intense piece of work.

In this particular initiation, we had the opportunity to look at the masks that we began to wear from a very young age. For example, in order to gain approval (feel loved) and not get into trouble, I claimed the mask of the Perfectionist. If I did things perfectly, at the very least I could go under the radar and not be punished.  I learned this one very well.

Another of my masks was that of the seductress – another way I learned to feel “loved”. This was always geared toward men – an attempt to substitute for my absent father.

I also learned that if I could take care of myself and be independent, I was less likely to get hurt. I can take care of myself, thank you very much.  To this day I isolate and let very few in.

We made literal masks which we embodied and will later burn. But in the process, we get to experience the “fun” of having Kali show us just how rampant and prevalent these masks still are in our lives today. Kali is all about fierce love and doesn’t put up with bullshit. The opportunities to experience this have been in front of me multiple times each day so far.

Underlying all of this, we examine the duality pairs that can run our lives. For me, my pattern was that either I was selfish (as I was repeatedly told), or I collapsed into a victim state after taking on way too much for others. The Sacred Third in this duality pair is remembering that I am worthy. Worthy. Just saying it makes me sit up a bit straighter. Believing it has been a bit more challenging.

So this is where I go back to the very first Archetype that we studied – that of the Great Mother. She is Mary, Hathor, Gaia, Demeter and many others. She is fierce, loving, unconditional presence. She reminds us that there is nothing we can do to make her love us and that there is nothing we can do to make her not love us. She is the deep burgundy embrace, the rich essence of the earth. She is love. Only love. 

And she is here for each and every one of us. We can fall into her arms and be held. No matter what. 

My initiations continue – as they will for this lifetime. And I will continue to share my experience with you in the hopes that you may benefit in recognizing yourself in some of these mirrors.

This path has been so incredibly rewarding, challenging and comforting. The depth of gratitude I feel for this (re)connection cannot be quantified. My teaching has come through Ariel Spilsbury and Eden Amadora. Brilliant work. Bravely offered. Blessed be

Sharon Eisenhauer