Last week I was watching the first episode of the 3rd series of Vikings.
You should know that my favorite character is Athelstan, a former monk captured in the first raid by the Vikings in England and brought with them to Scandinavia where gradually becomes friend of the protagonist. In the second season, in one of the raids, he decides to stay in England with king Echbert of Wessex, of which he became a counselor, but is captured and tortured by some fanatics to have lived (and participated in ceremonies honoring the Norse Gods) with the Vikings. Obviously he was saved, but the wounds of torture remain visible.
During the episode that I saw on Friday, the Princess of Wessex at some point approached Athelstan and asked to see the scars. He just wants to hide, but undeterred she takes his hand and kisses the scar. I do not know what was the intent of the creators of the series for this gesture, but for me it was one of the most sacred.
I saw it as a gesture of honor to the wounds of this tormented man who still cannot find his Way. I wondered what scars I’m still hiding and that I have not honored at my best, for what they taught me.
Everyone has their own story, more or less beautiful, and we all have our Wounds.
In a journey of personal growth, as the Avalon Path is, but also in many others, there is a lot of attention at work with our Shadow and with our wounds. The dark side of the Year, especially from Samhain to Imbolc is focused on the inner work and the discovery of what we have become. Over the last 5 years I was able to pull off events and experiences that I had, in my mind, submerged, or I had decided not to remember for all the pain and the shame that they brought. Then, by working with my teachers, gradually I noticed that the scars become less “important”, do not disappear of course, but they become thinner, they take on a different connotation. Of some of these scars, now, I am proud, because I managed to survive and become the woman I am today, thanks to them.
And hence my thinking on the need to pay tribute to our scars. How can we be proud if many of them remind us only about pain and negative feelings? How to honor the transition to the recognition of the importance that these scars have in our LifeStory?
For what is my experience, the way that allowed me to watch my scars and begin to appreciate them, was a path of acceptance of my physical body. It’s not as I do not want to change part of myself, I think is intrinsic in everyone’s nature, but being able to see what I have, and not what I was missing was a surprise.
A very simple, yet very effective, practice is to take “quality” time before the mirror and say out loud all your physical qualities. Stand in front of the mirror is not always easy, least of all look for something beautiful in a “sea of defects”.
Try, prepare a moment just for yourself. Create a comfortable environment, you can begin the first times by candlelight if you want (everything is more beautiful in candlelight ….: D), burn some incense, put on your favorite music and look at your reflection with love, see the Goddess / God within you, repeating aloud,
“You are beautiful, you’re amazing, you are the Goddess / God.”
I can assure you that the first time maybe you feel a little stupid, but then, when the eyes learn actually how to look, the miracle is accomplished.
A toast !!!
To the Wounds, to those who have healed and those to come!