To All Those Who I Have Met Along My Way…

September 19, 2017


There has been a swirling of energy over the last few months. It has felt like a heady buzz of hope and promise mixed with raw vulnerability and heavy emotion. At times, I wasn’t sure how I was going to get through the thickness of it all. Yet, time ticked by. Step by step and breath by breath, I was able to make it through. This new energy seems to be leading me down a path into the unknown, in a place beyond my comfort zone. At times, I want to freeze in my tracks. My breath, trapped in my chest, makes my heart pound as words get caught in my throat. Other times I want to run fearlessly into the unknown, head first, without thought or contemplation. Arms wide open, I welcome and accept the magic that has been woven for me, through me and by me. Over the last few months, this pull, this magnetic charge has shaken up and exposed so many of my pieces. I am not sure where to start the unwinding of all the messages and revelations. There have been many and some I have yet to fully grasp and understand. That is when I stop, close my eyes, and take a breath. That is when I remind myself, “Start where you feel comfortable… Start from the beginning…”

For so long, pieces have been hidden away, trapped beneath what I thought of as darkness. This is not something that is unique to me. We all have our darkness and light. We have the parts we enjoy; pieces we willingly share with others. The sides of friendship and love, curiosity, trust, joy, and compassion. It can be as natural as a child’s laughter as they play in the sun… This aspect of myself, the light side, can be difficult for me. It makes me feel awkward and at times, unsure of myself. I realized that I am more comfortable in my shadow self. There within the darkness, my darkness, I can feel the gravity of what I have experienced and use that as a lesson. A lesson where I can see not only myself, but others. I understand what it is like to want to hide. I know what it is like to be in the background, where no one takes notice of a girl who feels so deeply, so fully, that it can make others feel uncomfortable. I feel comfortable in places where no one wants to shine a light or acknowledge that such places exist. No, I do not live there. I am not caught up in the sadness and pain of my memories. Through my experiences, my shadow, I can feel and see the suffering of others. I see the pain in someone’s eyes and I can feel their depths. I can see their light, even if they feel they do not have a light to shine. I see them. I recognize them. I see them for the light they are. I have taken up a name for myself and those who walk in the twilight. I am a Sister of Shadow and welcome all who walk their unique path.

Before I started doing the deeper shadow work in my early thirties, I felt trapped within the darkness but expressed it differently depending on who I was with. Yes, I was defiant at times, rigid and stubborn through fear or angry when I felt I wasn’t being heard. Quiet and invisible when I needed to be. Defensive yet afraid of my own shadow, so to speak, when I felt questioned or threatened. I was also outgoing and could get swept away in laughter with those I was most comfortable with. A woman of many sides, many faces, and many adaptations in order to survive. I was a mixture of many thoughts, feelings, actions, and reactions. Was I comfortable? No, probably not. Not until I decided to take the time to get to know myself, my real self. I needed to understand who I was because I had been doing what was expected of me or was told to do, like a ‘good girl’.
Looking back, this summer was a season of unfolding as the old thought patterns and insecurities from my much younger years came back again. Sometimes I felt like I had a strong forward movement. I felt comfortable and confidant in my skin. I embraced new challenges. I accepted and welcomed new roles willingly, even if a little bit of fear tugged at me and old anxieties bubbled up. The sun was warm and in true summer fashion, I kept in pace with the land and felt nourished and bountiful as I worked and fed the spirit of the land and my soul. However, there were more days when I felt as if I was standing still or going backwards. I felt thick with weeds. I felt dry and desolate. As I plunged into my depths, I came up with more and more shadow to hold, love, surrender, and heal. This was not the lazy, hazy days of summer we often dream about. No. It was one filled with work where I tilled my soil, collected the rocks and memories, and dug deep within to find the true roots. I needed to clear it all away, but more kept coming. I felt like I was rolling down a giant hill, unable to stop. All of the inner work needed to be balanced with family and friends, my spiritual teaching and healing, my day job, and obligations that are a part of life. All of this mixed with my exhaustion, confusion, and building unknown left me feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what the next step should be. I can remember one day in particular, driving my car with the windows down, music up. The sky was dark with the promise of rain, and I was crying. I was pleading with my guides, maybe even begging them to show me the way. I needed direction. I craved a sign, a clue, and an answer. The response I received after a long silence was a whisper, “Your signs are all around you. “ And with that, I cried even more.

It was around the beginning to mid-August that started a new chain reaction. It was a series of conversations, chance meetings, signs, messages, quiet time away, and classes that took place that began to awaken things in me. I didn’t know it then. I wasn’t even close to seeing any of it, but looking back now, it is so clear.
With the experience of Templefest, an annual event through The Temple of Witchcraft to foster and nourish the magical community, I began to pick up the pieces, signs, and messages with a bit more understanding. It is like a giant jigsaw puzzle. Each piece has purpose, meaning, and importance. With each interaction, smile, and meditation I experienced, another connection was made. Another piece was gently uncovered and made to fit. The land held secrets and they were offered by the whispers on the wind and through the silvery fog. Messages from Hecate, the beautiful Peacock Angel, the Fae, the Milky Way on a crisp and clear summer’s night, my beloved Magical Sisters, the dancing fire, silence and so many wonderful new friends allowed my heart come into focus through the sacred beat of a drum and cleansed through the salt of my tears. Restored. Fresh. Cleansed. New. Reborn.

There were many interactions, but one in particular still echoes today, crystal clear in my mind. I was talking with a woman that I had just met. The passion and pain in her words as tears filled her eyes rang so clear and familiar to me. “My work is all in darkness. How can I be the light? How do know if I even have the light in me? I am so afraid to even think that I am light. It’s not who I am.”

In that one moment now etched in my mind, I understood. This beautiful stranger held up a mirror and reflected our fears. She trusted a stranger with her heart and her darkened shadow self. She opened up her soul and pleaded with me for an answer and understanding. I felt a rush of comfort swirl us. There, standing with us, was The Morrigan and Hecate. Tears began to flow from both of us. A peace washed over me and I said,” My Sister of Shadow, you have nothing to fear. You are the light because you understand the dark. You know that light illuminates what is hidden by darkness. How do you suppose you can see and understand that? You are the light because you bring love, comfort, and understanding to those in need. You do not pass judgement. You do not ridicule. You simply allow the light to flow as you make your way through the darkness, picking up the lessons and pieces as you go. You always have been the light. You will always continue to have that light within you. It is a matter of perspective as you help others transform.”
I looked up and saw The Morrigan and Hecate smiling and standing tall. With a nod, they faded from sight. I knew that message was for me as well. My new found Sister of Shadow and I embraced and thanked each other for the moments and wisdom we shared. I will carry that with me for the rest of my days.

So, as the summer greens and golds begin to melt into the autumn oranges and browns, I begin to harvest the blessings and bounties of a very heavy yet plentiful summer. We all have our hidden parts that we withhold from others, and often ourselves as well. I have learned that it can be a very painful thing, to hide. When we hide, we shutter away important aspects of our truth and ourselves. We steal away our chance to be happy, to explore, to dream, and to live. As a result, we cheat ourselves out of so many beautiful possibilities. We must take the chance and learn to live and love all of our pieces. We have the opportunity in this life to explore and experience so many things and when we close ourselves off, we run the risk of not getting the entire picture. We are rushing to an end where we struggle to complete a jigsaw puzzle and run the risk of missing the most important pieces – ourselves, our wholeness, our light and our dark.

To all of those who have been part of my winding road, I thank you. Thank you for the laughter. Thank you for the lessons learned. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for the love. Thank you for the understanding, the smiles, the words, and the colors you bring into my life. I am grateful for the good times, and the hard ones too. Without them, the wisdom would not come through. I am sorry for my part in your hurt and pain. Please forgive me. I forgive you for the part you played in mine as well. I know I am not always easy to understand. I know I can be difficult and sensitive at times… I guess we call can be. I just want you to know that I am grateful for the opportunity to cross paths with you and the chance to hopefully bring a little bit of light into your darkness with love, compassion, and understanding. I know we are still moving and experiencing our lives, but please know that I am grateful to each of you. It doesn’t matter if we have shared years, months, days, or a passing smile. I am grateful. Thank you for the love, lessons, and blessings that you have brought into my life.
Be well and Blessed Be
With Love and Gratitude,
Renee Bedard

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