Image – Highly deadly black tarantula
We are the unlovable The damaged and the broken Those with complicated scars And lurking memories We don’t know how to fake a smile anymore, Let alone a whole lifestyle And so many chattering mouths and mean voices tell us that We are too difficult to love.
Following in the murky footsteps of the Cult of Not Belonging is a painful shadow; fear based, suffocating in its icy grip… the shadow that if we show ourselves completely to someone, we become vulnerable, and in that vulnerability when we are naked in our complexities, that individual will reject us as “too difficult to love.”
This shadow of being unlovable is what Cris Ashburn and I have come to term a “Light Shadow” – a fear and pain based psychological and emotional reaction to the act of being seen; of having a spotlight placed upon us which is so blinding, so jarring, so revealing… that we cannot escape being “seen.”
This fear is compounded both by intimate personal experiences and a culture of filters and deception that pervades modern society – both elements of which feed into one another. We are thus taught two fold that is “better” not to show the sides of us that are raw, emotionally loaded, supposedly imperfect or undesirable… the un-sanitized soul.
Personal interaction with those who perpetuate this myth can be some of the most emotionally damaging experiences, our sense of self can degrade as we internalise this conditioning and accept it as ‘true.’ We believe ourselves too difficult, too complicated, too emotionally scarred and in turn we try to filter out that which we perceive to be as the personal elements that make us this way.
art- Natalia Drepina
Filter culture is rife within every aspect of the modern world; touch ups and image manipulation are no longer confined to the glossy magazines selling us products, in fact once such manipulation caused outrage when it was revealed that these images were doctored – now it is expected as a matter of course.
Even in the realm of spiritual pathwalking, filter culture is expected; indeed promoted, as we change images of ourselves to present a more ‘desirable’ image to the outside world; inwardly I cringe seeing spiritual authenticity presented as a picture perfect life, with perfectly made up hair and makeup, stylised images over and over in the exact same presentation (even down to the font!) where people showcase how “desirable” they are by flashing their physical assets in order to make a sale, because, hey, sex sells right…
In the initial processing of this light shadow, I felt for all the spiritual pathworkers who would see these images and shrink, feeling that they did not meet this doll- like model of spiritual success; wondering if this was why they were ‘unlovable.’
I had felt that twinge myself, saddened by the prospect that one must present nothing but tits, ass, and a smile in order to endear ones self to people… in spiritual circles which was supposed (to this witches mind) to be a journey of self, to dig deep for truth and understanding, to embrace the rawest, scariest, supposedly dark parts of the soul and make friends with that…
In the second processing of why this filter culture poked my shadow, I realised that this mentality is actually against the sexual liberation which I so crave for my fellow woman. Where sexual freedom and expression is not limited to those that look like models doing what they want (as the only “acceptable” faces of sexual freedom) but instead women on a mass scale, of all shapes, sizes, and colours being embraced as beautiful and different.
I will mention that of course, this applies to males too, however it is largely a female aesthetic using the shape of their body to ‘sell’ things that I have ran into.
Additionally I will state that currently, I am still unsure as to where I sit on the argument that a woman has a right to use her sexuality to sell herself… as a woman has every right to choose how to advertise herself in the world, but on the other hand I wonder how much damage it does to the women who feel that it is beneath them to do so; do they become rejected and less successful because they refuse to flash their skin? Does it take away from the supposedly deep and trusting bonds that are meant to be formed as part of spiritual connections?
Are we losing deeply meaningful insights and precious priestesses because they are overlooked as too complicated, not desirable enough or too outside of the filtered way we expect?
Image – Model Mayhem
Does this culture of filters, so readily available on a mass scale, perpetuate light shadows? All the tools are being provided to us in order that we might better hide ourselves, behind images on a screen which do not represent raw spiritual authenticity.
The over sanitized culture in which we live steals so much from us; teaching us to compete with others and worse, compete with a false and impossible standard of others – we are feeling that we are not enough and are comparing ourselves… to a lie.
Many blessings Starlet