This story is dedicated to soul sister M. I love you to the far reaches of the cosmos and back. Thanks to you, I felt loved.
I once had this knot in my back. It was behind my heart and felt like a tumor lodged on my spine, with long scrawny fingers wrapped around my vertebrae, as if it was gripping my heart, without crushing it. Yeah, pretty dramatic.
Before then, I had mastered a monthly wellness ritual of:
• Week 1: Network Spinal Analysis (holistic chiropractic care) to start the month aligned
• Week 2: Reiki + Deep Tissue Massage to stay soft and in flow
• Week 3: Cupping + Acupuncture to release tension build up
• Week 4: Coaching + Psychotherapy to integrate and deepen my learning
This monthly wellness ritual included daily meditation (15-30min) and healthy eating, as well as weekly Antigravity yoga, walks by the beach, and meals with close friends.
Somatic Pain Leave Clues
You’d think that this very wholesome ritual would eventually dissolve the knot and my pain. Nope. I booked more frequent visits with my wellness team, signed up for longer sessions, increased my anti-oxidant intake to reduce inflammation, rested and stretched more, reduced physical exertion, increased physical exertion, consulted a naturopath, read every book on somatic healing.
They all helped. They alleviated my pain just long enough to write and publish a blog, to get one good night’s sleep, to go out with friends without agony on my face. Best of all, doing something, anything, helped quiet the screaming voices of pain in my head, just long enough fro me to hear and remember what my breath even sounded like.
But the knot always came back, in full force, gripping my heart, without crushing it. I shared my months of torment and agony with soul sister M. A few days later, she texted me that she'd done some research and the exact cervical location of my knot is related to betrayal.
OMG, that makes sense! Man Cub had just cheated on me, but I brushed it off with "emotional cheating isn't really cheating, so he didn't really cheat on me." The knot was my body's way of waking me up to the truth: cheating is cheating, period. In retrospect, I saw the knot and betrayal as a rite of passage to awakened adulthood. I mean, name me one badass person who has risen after falling, who has NOT been betrayed. There are none.
Lightning Strikes Water
Months later, when the knot didn’t diminish in size and searing pain, I wanted to rip it out with my own bare hands. I refused to take any painkillers or numb out, this entire time. I just lived with a shard of glass jammed through my back into my heart for months and months and months. (What can I say, childhood trauma and becoming a single mom at 14 with 4 mouths to feed gave me a cosmically high threshold for pain.)
I carried on with life and pain anyway, never numbing out. Weirdly enough, my main comfort came from inventing a story that in another lifetime, I must have been a white male colonialist baby killer or something, to deserve THIS amount of inexplicable karmic agony, pain, and suffering in this lifetime. I know, weird.
So I went to a women's business conference. My roommate, soul sister A, and I hit a breaking point of tiredness where we laughed ourselves into oblivion in our stoopid room, in the stoopid hotel, in this stoopid landlocked desert city, in this stoopid country lol. You've experienced that point, where you're crying because everything and nothing is funny.
We decided to skip the rest of the conference and go for a swim and out to dinner. While I glided in the pool like a mermaid, I forgot the knot, I forgot the pain, for the first time in half a year. Then, in a single flash of lightning, I realized, “Oh. Shit. The knot is not Man Cub's betrayal. It's mine. I had betrayed... MYSELF!” I had sold myself short, so short, so so so so so so short by being with him. Oh. F*ck.
In that moment, if someone was there to read auras, they'd see me floating like a starfish in that pool, which was now turned entirely light yellow. The next morning, the knot was gone. Just. Like. That.
So what are we learning here, boys and girls? I learned that awakening, which I simply define as becoming aware, is a gradual process. It takes as long as it takes. Yes, there are things you can do to soften the blow or alleviate the pain. And there are definitely things you can do to sabotage yourself or make the pain worse. And the rest, you have zero, less than zero, control over it.
The knot appeared right before my break up with Man Cub. Looking back, it was like a clairaudient knoll, ringing the impending betrayal and completion of our relationship, but I wasn’t awake enough to hear it.
After he cheated on me and told me that: he didn’t filter me enough before dating me, I don’t drink enough for his liking (I don’t drink at all), and he’d rather be liked by everyone than deeply and genuinely loved by me, we broke up. I grabbed my wallet and keys and left.
By Chance or by Grace
By chance, or rather by grace, I was house sitting for soul sister S two blocks away. And I happened to have grabbed the jacket that happened to have her keys in the pocket. And in her apartment, I sobbed and sobbed over how I'd betrayed myself, my dreams, my needs and my deepest desires (~ 40% of my tears).
The others 40% of my tears went to every woman suffering from her own version of “the knot” and yet to be relieved by the realization of the root cause. And the other 80% of my ugly-cry (I was not short on tears!) went to all the women who had nowhere to go, who didn't magically have keys to a safe house two blocks away (I saged soul sister S's apartment afterward, I'm thoughtful that way :D). Or worse yet, who stayed in a “knot” inducing relationship because they had nowhere to go.
On my sobbing heartbroken knees, I called soul sister M. She knew. I didn't have to say much. And without skipping a beat, she ordered, “Hell no, sister, you do NOT scurry away like a battered woman, a victim or a refugee. You march back in there, pack a bag, get on a flight, and YOU walk out on HIS sorry ass with your head held high.”
So I did.
That same night, soul sister M picked me up at the airport, with a big sign painted with glitter that cheered, “Ella Rocks! She is brave.” God, how I weep just at the mere memory of this, of how championed and loved I felt. Having raised my mom, I never had a mama bear embrace me or a mama lion roar for me like this before. I could have died then and there, drowned in love.
Unlocking Intergenerational Shackles
Could it be? That in one instant, in one act of going back, packing my remaining dignity and self-respect into my suitcase, and walking away broke the spell / curse on my entire lineage? I mean, when every single aunt and uncle on your mom AND your dad's side of the family was the "sucker" who was cheated on (every single one, I mean what are the chances?!?), c'mon, that was NOT the story plot I wanted to repeat for myself.
As I pulled my little suitcase to her car, parked at the airport, I had a feeling of déjà-vu... Dignity, packed in a suitcase, eerily familiar... I'd done this 4 years prior when I left the The Narcissist. Holy shit, wait, are you saying that I had already reclaimed one of the BIGGEST parts of soul back, my Dignity, but wasn't aware of it until now? Until it happened uh-gain?!? Now that's f*cked up. Awakening is a f*cked up process.
Soul sister M saved my life that day. I could have easily fallen into an irreparable self-loathing abyss of, “I picked another project… AGAIN!!!”. But instead, her love helped me realize how twisty life unfolds: that I had already reclaimed a huge part of myself, but just didn't realize it. Goodness me. Here's 3,000 cheers to the power of sisterhood.
Sisterhood Love Lasts
Sisterhood loving didn’t end there. Man Cub tried to weasel his way back into my life because he knew how open, compassionate and forgiving I was/am. But my sisterhood wouldn’t have any of that crap.
Soul sister D let me cry on her shoulders, even though we’d just met a week or two ago. She made sure I came to her for comfort, not the ex.
Soul sister A came over to help me gather his things to storage, to speed up the moving out process, even though she was smack in the middle of preparing for a BBQ party two hours later.
Soul sister G came over with green tea, biscuits and the best sarcasm in the world. She babysat the apartment while he moved out the rest of his things.
Soul sister M, the very one with the "Ella Rocks!" glitter sign at the airport, drove an entire day to come be my proxy and sort out lease re-assignment stuff.
This sisterhood shielded me the way I had never been protected before myself. Or rather, I was the mama bear/lion for everyone else, it was my turn to receive some of that care, love and protection.
The Strangest Clues
I asked soul sister M where she read about that cervical being connected to betrayal. She retraced every step to where she would have found that info, while I googled the entirety of the internet inside out and upside down. We couldn’t find that article. How does that happen?!?
What's your answer for "how does that happen"?
1,000 Reclamations for Freedom
💎 Reclaimed soul sister M
💎 Reclaimed my somatic awakening
💎 Reclaimed betrayal
💎 Reclaimed self-betrayal
💎 Reclaimed soul sister A
💎 Reclaimed letting go of control
💎 Reclaimed clairaudience
💎 Reclaimed dignity and self respect
💎 Reclaimed heightened empathy and compassion
💎 Reclaimed freedom from intergenerational victimhood
💎 Reclaimed soul sister D
💎 Reclaimed soul sister A
💎 Reclaimed soul sister G
💎 Reclaimed the worthiness to be protected
💎 Reclaimed a sprinkle of magic and awe