February 9, 2018
Well friends, last night was my last ceremony with Mother Ayahuasca, and I am officially in my final hours here. After lunch I’m heading out, spending an afternoon in Iquitos with one of the friends I made here, then boarding a plane. I’m feeling refreshed, peaceful, grateful, excited…. I am in a good place with life right now and am expecting good things.
Going into ceremony last night I was pretty afraid it would be another uncomfortable and incoherent night, but I also knew it was my last night and that I’d take whatever came to me and trust it. I went in with a two-fold intention. My main hope for the night was to tie together my time here in a way that made sense and felt good. I wanted to be able to leave knowing that something in me had been healed, that I’d have a better relationship with life and myself in a noticeable way because of this work. So I kept my main intention pretty open and left it in Mother Ayahuasca’s knowing hands… “let this be whatever I need.” My second intention was more directed towards my life right now, and the ‘struggle’ of feeling stagnant and afraid in my career path. So I asked to be “freed from the fears that keep me from taking positive action in my life.”
I took a slightly smaller dose than last time, hoping that it would work out better for me… and it really did! I had a very clear and cathartic healing experience. Ayahuasca took me back in time to what I consider the biggest trauma in my life, which was a toxic relationship in my early adolescence.
When I was 14 I got into a very intense relationship with a boy who, though I didn’t see it at first or understand it, was on a downhill slope of self-destruction. It was a perfect storm in some ways. I was rebelliously set on expressing my budding sexuality but was naive about relationships, energetic entanglement, and self-care… I had some deep confidence and self-love issues that left me out of touch with myself and manifested as an inability to set boundaries. And I also, foolishly, thought I could help this boy.
I was very quickly sucked into the intense energy of the relationship. Things heated up sexually and energetically at a faster rate than I was honestly comfortable with, but I kind of lied to myself about it and convinced myself that everything was okay and under control.
Things went downhill. He was having troubles at home and at school. Over time I discovered he was taking a lot of drugs… weed, ecstasy, painkillers…. one time I was away for the weekend at a volleyball tournament and he called me to tell me he had taken 12 oxycodone pills and might die. I had no tools to handle moments like this, and I didn’t have any kind of open dialogue with my parents or other adults in my life so I was just taking it all on myself. I was a wreck about it, but I also clung to the relationship desperately… in hindsight, I think I gave so much of myself to it, crossed boundaries that I didn’t sense in myself with the sex and rebellion and sneaking around… I’d given so much to it already that I was invested in it being all worth it somehow. I was deluding myself, telling myself it was about “love”, trying desperately to fit it into a happy picture in my mind where I was able to pull this person out of their negativity and we could live happily ever after.
I didn’t talk to my parents about what was really going on in this relationship, but they were definitely concerned. They could sense some darkness in him, and they knew some of the troubles that were going on in his life. They didn’t even see the bulk of what was happening because a lot of our relationship happened at night under cover of darkness when I would sneak him into my room in my dad’s house. So I think they knew I wasn’t being truthful with them about it, or at least my mom knew. Things became especially tense at home between me and my mom, in what I would call a heated and strained power struggle.
It all came to a head when my mom went through my room one day and found my journal. The truth came suddenly, violently forward, and my parents found out about everything that was going on. There was a really intense confrontation from my mom when I got home that day, and my world just seemed to crash down on me. I actually went into a state of shock. It was one of the most surreal moments of my life. In that surreal state I even packed a backpack and ran away for a night, taking refuge at a friend’s house.
After that my romantic entanglement came to an abrupt forced halt. His parents sent him away to a wilderness camp to get off the drugs and ‘get better’, and my parents put me on a pretty tight rope for a long time. Eventually the dust settled, relationships in my family started to be rebuilt brick by brick, and I slowly moved on from that relationship and into my own process of growing up.
One thing that experience left me with was heavy, heavy shame. Sexual shame in particular. I guess I don’t know how much of it was in me before the relationship vs. as a result of it, but either way, it’s been something I’ve had to work on since then. And I thought I was done with it long ago, but I guess it’s true we actually can carry things with us for a long time without realizing it.
So… last night was my realization. I went back into my experience of that whole time period, of who I was when it was happening. I saw what happened in an energetic way… I saw the pain he was going through, and the both of us being possessed by the energy between us, which involved both of our pain and ignorance. I saw it all through the lens of compassion, and I essentially was able to softly say to myself, “It’s okay, you didn’t know.” And I felt it all – shame, urgency, sexual confusion, self repression, denial, delusion, and pain. I saw all of the pain in his life that he showed me and I felt it twist and contort inside of me. I saw my mom the way I saw her then, being ashamed of me, and I felt the taking on of shame that happened in that moment.
All of that came out of me in a big purge. The nausea was taken from me, and a heaviness was taken from me. I spent the rest of the night pretty much feeling peaceful and letting it all settle. I feel lighter now, more at ease. When I think about what happened back then I feel a real sense of peace about it, with myself, with my mom, with him…. Everyone was just doing the best they knew how. And I’m truly glad I had that experience, because it has taught me so much and helped me become who I am.
So, I am all smiles today! The Ayahuasca afterglow is real. They call it the pink cloud and say it might stick around for the next month, during which time I’ll be sticking to the strict Ayahuasca diet (which I am feeling great on anyway) and doing various things to help myself integrate the healing… contemplation, more writing, talking, consciously building habits and implementing changes based on things I’ve learned here.
I feel very glad that I came here. At the least it’s been a crazy experience, and there has been a beautiful exchange between all of us that shared it together. I’m amazed at and grateful for the love and care that goes into this place, at the hard work put in by Jim and Manain and all the people who work here. I’ve heard some amazing healing stories while here, which further boosts my sense of hope about our ability to heal ourselves and evolve as individuals and as a species. I’ve got some tools to take home with me and integrate into my life. And I’ve let go of some of the pain of my past, which will free up some space inside of me for love, light, creativity… we’ll just have to let time do its thing and see what happens.
Thanks for reading along, I hope you’ve gotten something out of it and I’d love to hear about it if so! I am sending out a big warm hug to everyone, and signing off for now with love in my heart and a big smile on my face. Whatever it is you’re working on right now, know you aren’t alone and I’m rooting for you. Ciao for now!