Shame: Part 2
I believe every book contains a lesson and we are drawn to the lessons we need to learn. I can learn a lesson from a book written by a comedian that is read by several hundred people or from the Bible the most read book ever. (See Shame: Part One) But I believe that the Bible has been read by more people for the reason that it must hold clues that are needed by more people in order to learn and evolve. The story of the Garden of Eden in the book of Genesis holds the keys to our fateful beginnings whether you look at it as “fact” or as mythic archetypal lore. I also believe it holds the keys to our collective (mother earth) healing and our return to Paradise.
Well, as I’ve gone further into the story of the Garden of Eden I’ve stumbled into the story of Lilith who in a brief mention in Genesis is a female figure who was created from the dirt like Adam. Because she was created the same way as Adam she saw herself as an equal to Adam which did not please him. So she was either “banished” (or perhaps escaped on her own) “to the East”. Some versions of the story turn her into the water of the river or a willow tree. And she is also symbolized by an owl. Many versions over the centuries have “demonized” her. Eve on the other hand was created from Adam’s rib and therefore was not his equal, but was there to be his “help-mate”. And as most of you know she tempted Adam with the forbidden fruit which meant that Adam and Eve then realized they were “naked” and also “ashamed” of their sin.
As I interpret this tale I see an Adam who wanted someone to love and be his partner. His version of “love” was not fulfilled by Lilith as she was not willing to “hold” his shadows (shame). She wanted to be responsible to her-self and leave Adam to be responsible for his-self. In comes Eve who in her quest to be “all loving” is willing to be the one to bear the weight of shame for Man. This to Adam feels like “true love”. He can prove his love to her by taking control and she can prove her love to him by submission to his love and willingness to overlook his shortcomings. They both think this seems “unconditional” but in reality this love contains a great many “conditions”.
Now I’ll get personal. (Read this next section as though I have both an inner Eve and inner Lilith). I mentioned in my last post that this month of April has brought me to a time of reflecting on my own relationships. Two years ago, April 2014 I came to a moment in time when my inner “Lilith” expressed herself. I had reached a limit to “how much I could bear”. My “Adam” was projecting his wounds onto my inner “Eve”. She had for many years (in an attempt at unconditional love) been willing to let the little digs slide along with the covert (and sometime overt) attempts to control her. She knew on some level her “Adam” loved her and didn’t believe the things he said. But, my “Lilith” finally woke up and showed me that living with this was not “love” in the highest sense. My “Adam” also knew on some level that he was not acting “loving” and that continued a cycle of feeling “less than worthy” of love from anyone, especially his “Eve”. This became a never ending circle of shame and projection. So, out comes my “Lilith”. On Easter Sunday of 2014 she said good-bye and walked away(with the prayer, “forgive them for they know not what they do”). I (as Lilith) was finally able to leave this unhealthy relationship because I came to the decision from a place of love and wanting the best for both my “Adam” and my “Eve”. My “Lilith” had no plans to go back, she wanted respect, independence and equality. But with several days of reflection my Adam reached out. A phone call. A conversation. And this is where the space for healing came in. My Lilith came back. And that is where we leave the story of the Garden of Eden and look toward a future Paradise.
But first I must share a bit more of my reflections. Not just over what healing has occurred over the last two years and that process, but further back to the roots of my personal “Eden”. I have a recollection of complaining as a child about my older brother “picking on me”. He was almost 6 years older than me and much bigger and stronger. I was told something to the effect of “that is the only way he knows how to show you attention (love)”. Oh, to my young mind, that made sense. Because surely no one who loves you would hurt you, unless they didn’t know how to show you real love. And in that moment my inner “Eve” entered and I was willing to hold both his shame and mine, because of course I loved him.
When “Lilith” returns (in my personal story) she doesn’t condone the behaviors of Adam or of Eve for that matter. She forgives them and gives new understanding and strength to their love, helping them to heal their misunderstood (wounded and immature) understanding of love. Ok, in my original thoughts about my personal story I wanted to believe that my inner “Lilith” had the strength to return on her own. Upon further reflection I have come to realize she did some transformation during her time away. Jesus “returned” as his “Christed” self. I now think that my “Lilith” returned as her more evolved and “Christened” self. (Maybe the reason I left during the Easter season to return a few days later???) I have found that I am able to carry a new “vibration” over the last two years. My “Adam” can and does too. When I feel either of us slipping into old patterns and behaviors I pull up an image in my mind of a large fierce bird sitting on my shoulder. The energy shifts. My boundary is respected, his emotions are appropriately expressed. I had thought that this bird was a hawk, but now that I have gone into this story I see it is probably the Owl, the symbol of Lilith. An Owl is fierce like a Hawk, but has the additional attribute of Wisdom. (Note: I by no means claim to be completely “evolved”, but I am aware that my life has transformed and new levels of understanding and wisdom have shown up rapidly once I walked through the fear of being “banished” and claimed my personal power.)
In the last few decades Lilith has become a symbol of feminism. But, I think that version of feminism is still missing a piece and that is the reason feminism isn’t the complete “medicine” for this old sick world (Patriarchy). According to the Gene Keys book by Richard Rudd, the “Opening of the Third Seal” occurs through Universal Love. “This seal heals the human wound of shame. And it is out of this feeling of deep shame that the whole world of hierarchy and competitiveness has come about. “ I feel that the key to unconditional and universal love is not just through the balancing of the masculine and feminine (Adam and Lilith as equals) as many have in recent years proclaimed, but rather in healing the relationship of all three archetypes: Adam, Eve and Lilith. We all yearn for the autonomy, strength and independence of Lilith, but fear the consequences. Can we survive on our own? Will we be lonely? (I know those thoughts went through my mind when I walked out). But the truth is we do not need to live alone as Lilith did in the original story. We can be strong individuals within unconditionally loving relationships. It also doesn’t require we make a choice between Lilith and Eve. The “Evolved” and “Christened” Lilith must return and embrace the Shadow of Adam and Eve’s shame. She has the strength to transmute that immature version of love and transform the relationship. It takes effort, understanding and the Wisdom and Strength of an Owl. But if we are to heal our Collective, this is where the answers lie. Invite your “Lilith” back home. Make that call, open that dialog. You may find she can now embrace Eve (and Adam), that she has Eve-olved. You many find she has the Universal Christ Love within her now to allow you to let go of your shame in being who you truly are. You are not a victim. You have the power within yourself to heal your original wounds, with the Faith that you will be Loved Unconditionally for the Unique and Divine Spark within you. The health of one Cell affects the health of the Collective, micro to macro.
Much gratitude to all of you who witness my story , by sharing this without “shame” I further my personal growth and healing. I dream that I’ll see you soon in Paradise…..until then enjoy my art process. The Stitches in Time give me plenty of time to contemplate this Story and the Lessons it contains.