I asked Her why happiness hurt so much, and She replied that happiness was a side product of freedom and that freedom required the unravelling of all the lies and untruths that had become entrenched in us. She said that some of these misbeliefs were like barbed thorns, which had dug in deep and appeared like nothing major on the surface, kind of like black dots, no one knowing how deep they went, until they began to be let go… They they dragged through the flesh and opened wounds we had long forgotten, ones we had mistakenly believed were healed. And as these barbs of the unreal were released they caused blood to flow and we felt the pain of the cleansing. And She did Her best to keep reminding us it was all ok, and She still is doing that and always will. And as these lies we took for truths continue to unravel, we will breathe easier, feel more and love freer and freer. The bindings are falling away. And yes, it hurts sometimes. It hurts to see how hard we convinced ourselves it was all ok. It hurts to see how we had accepted things that were not acceptable. It hurts to realise we were blinded by the thorns and vines that had worked their way into our belief systems and psyches and our very flesh like parasites.. And they came in and manifested so quietly we never saw them until new stuff came that felt different.. That felt clearer somehow… And the clarity was terrifying and mesmerising all at the same time.. And the lack of noise was horrifying because there was sound here, not noise. And the touch felt like it would break apart everything that ever was because it was so real that all the illusions of unworthiness and ugliness and shame and guilt and less than began to shatter. And these shards of shattering illusions caught us too and we tried to hold onto them because they were so familiar, but they cut us, just like the barbs. And eventually, when we remembered to stop fighting, we heard the peace, and we felt the freedom, and we saw the sound and knew the colours and then the pain made sense.. For it was the pain of creation and of birth. It was the deep pain of transformation. It was the pain that is worth it. It is the pain that has a reason. It is the pain that teaches and guides and frees and protects and knows. It was a reminder that Love comes in many forms, including pain.. Yet it is still Love. For that is all that ever is, all that ever was and all that ever will be. The pain does not need to be fought, it needs to be loved. It needs gentleness and consistency and time and nurture and softness. It needs sanctuary. It needs to know it is seen so it is free to transform too. And so I am going to keep loving my body right now which has held me together through so many years of inner warfare. It has never broken or failed me. Why would it start now? Maybe it is just asking for change… For greater awareness… For the same time and patience I give everyone else.. Maybe it’s just asking me to hear it like I listen to the bodies of others. Maybe it just needs to know I am here. I wasn’t here for a long time. It’s scared I’m going to leave again. That isn’t happening. I am not abandoning myself. I am not going to intentionally hurt myself. The time for that is done. Instead I am going to find a new way to be with this. A gentler way, a more loving way. Because today I know I am worthy. And today I know I am free.