Mastering Inner Strength: The Lion and Tamer Within

Nature is not stupid. Nature makes the calculation that, for an individual to truly be individual, it had better invest him with enough power, passion, energy, and appetite to manifest that individuality. Otherwise individuality would be a cosmic joke, and nature doesn’t joke that way.” 

Understanding this earlier in life could have softened many frustrations, knowing that my essence was purposefully imbued with the vigor to stand out. Now, I navigate the dual role of both the lion and its tamer, balancing my intrinsic nature with the world’s expectations.

In the days, weeks, and years after my husband’s tragic passing, the sheer joy some found in another’s misfortune, eager to ‘kick you when you’re down,’ unleashed the lion within me to ward off the metaphorical vultures. This path brought me closer to my genuine self, though it was anything but graceful. It propelled me to advocate for other women widowed by suicide, to spare them the visible and invisible scars from humanity’s darker sides. 

This journey, embarked upon with minimal support, has quenched my thirst for others’ approval. Yet, I’ve found forgiveness and see these experiences as the groundwork for a more significant purpose.

Reading this lesson reminded me of Emerson’s words, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” I’ve often felt alienated, struggling to deeply connect with others. My vibrant personality, lofty ambitions, and steadfast determination often threaten those that don’t understand the creative individual. 

I found solace in the idea that “Nature, by granting the individual enough energy to craft complex narratives or unravel the universe’s mysteries, inadvertently creates a being of intense drive and potential for addiction.” Without strict self-discipline, I could easily succumb to excess, wasting my innate potential. Nonetheless, I am acutely aware of the value of my gifts and opportunities and am committed to not squandering them.

My journey to healing led me to explore Carl Jung’s work, delving into archetypes like the wounded healer, the rebel, the reluctant hero, the sage, the recluse. This exploration led me to ponder whether one could embody all these aspects at varying degrees, perhaps touching on the brink where Jung’s investigation into creativity meets the edge of madness. 

To truly be an artist, one must live on the fringes of society; the collective shuns what it cannot label, and if there’s anything I cherish, it’s the phrase, ‘I’ve never seen that before.’ It signifies a break from the mundane, a leap into the extraordinary.

As for connecting with others, I’m still finding my way. My ability to relate is grounded in the universal facets of the human condition—pain, sadness, joy, love—particularly with those who’ve endured significant ordeals. My mission now is to assist those trapped in their own turmoil, striving to reconstruct their identity after trauma.

I’ve realized that when the mind is part of the problem, it often can’t provide the solution alone. This is where the transformative power of art, movement, breath, and other modalities come into play. Through the artistic medium I adopted long ago, combined with the strong boundaries within my sanctuary, I feel empowered to let my individuality shine, offering guidance and a beacon of hope to those in need.

Mindful Reflection

Must we pass through the shadows of little ‘t’ traumas and the deep valleys of capital ‘T’ Trauma to unveil our truest selves? Is this trial by fire a necessary path, or might there be a gentler road to self-realization that steers clear of such profound trials? Perhaps facing our own metaphorical death is a quintessential part of the tapestry of human experience. Or could it be that there is a way to reach understanding and authenticity without such stark encounters with our own mortality? Let us contemplate whether transformation demands a confrontation with the darkest nights of the soul, or if light can be found by another way.

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