Understanding your Prickliness

This past Saturday, I was meandering silently through Oak Canyon, a local nature reserve, at the beginning of my Conscious Mothering1376172_10151649940950474_1983018481_n retreat.  As I walked, opening to what Spirit had to teach me, I found myself standing, unable to move, captivated by the cacti; by their rooted presence, strength, tenacity, and natural self-protection.

This is the place where Sean and I were married underneath a canopy of oak trees. We have been here so many times, and until this day I have always bemoaned the cactus for throwing off the woodsy aesthetic and reminding me that I live in a desert!

Yet this morning, I saw nothing but beauty and strength in this creation that has so wisely adapted to its environment. I observed its gnarly and scarred foundation, twist and turns of roots and broad “leaves”, the intimidating thorns that warn everyone to stay away, the way the nopales are plump with moisture in such an arid environment, how the radiant fuschia cactus fruit turns your whole world into a party as its juices flow covering everything with color and watermelon-kiwi sweetness…a seed in every bit to ensure she carries on.  This cactus is amazing!

And of course, I think of us as human beings.  How we have come up with so many ways to survive the challenges of our lives.  And we sometimes see the scars, thorns and wounds that have resulted and call them bad, wrong and ugly.  And worse, we think we are that.  Like when a client tells me they think they are a horrible person because they have the jealous, vindictive, fearful thoughts of the wounded self.

We call the cactus ugly, instead of admiring her beautiful adaptation and remembering the potential and wholeness that lies just underneath all that carefully designed self protection.

This prickly part of us thrives on protecting us.  So we will often find ourselves in a loop of wounded thinking.  “I am so messed up…why am I so messed up? If only I could get my act together?”  We judge ourselves, we poke ourselves with our own self protections.

And yet, think of babies.  They are born so pure and innocent. We see this in them so clearly.  We look into their eyes and see perfection.  Then they get a little bigger and express their needs with tears and tantrums, but we can see that who they are essentially has not changed. They are still just as whole and perfect, they are simply trying to get their needs met.  And when needs are not met, humans will adapt and find a way to get them met …because we need to, to survive.

Sometimes, this means we grow thorns.  But we are not just the thorns. The thorns are a mere necessary aspect of the journey. Our true essence is what lies just underneath; the wholeness, the strong, nourishing, life giving and growing thing.

The thorns are not bad and wrong. They are necessary and practical, to keep predators and general threat away from a vulnerable being in a stressful environment. As babies and children, we were this vulnerable, so our wounded self developed some pretty prickly self protections to help us survive, which simply continue on as unhelpful programs or habits now.

When we remove the judgement, we can thank the thorns for the way they have protected us.  Even now, we can thank the prickliness in our children and ourselves for alerting us to “Oh something is needed here.”

When we feel prickly, we can ask “In what ways, does my life resemble a desert? Is there anyway I am feeling parched right now?” and open to our spiritual guidance for help in knowing how to water our soul with love and compassion.

So often we can get lost in judgement about our woundedness that keeps us from exploring and taking loving action to heal the desert in our lives. It helps to remember that the prickliness, broken, tired, raggedness of our being, is simply calling us to reawaken to the innocence, perfection and richness to be found within.

As you practice Inner Bonding and move more and more toward love and compassion, your soul rests in knowing that you will meet your needs, be loved and truly protected, and the thorns become less necessary…

but that fabulous, vibrant, juicy, delicious flower fruit of your divine soul remains :)

4 comments to Understanding your Prickliness

  • Suzi Keown

    You were right, Sylvia! This blog was just what I needed! I love the analogy of the cacti prickles! It helps me understand both my own and others’. Suzi

  • Sylvia

    Thank you Suzi!! I’m so glad it was helpful to you. I was grateful when my guidance showed me that analogy too…it helped me to have compassion and understanding toward myself and others as well, so i wanted to share it!

  • Carmela Courtney

    ..feeling very prickly to the point of dried up…this gives me an image to hold to, one of vibrant juiciness for my soul..thank you!

  • Sylvia

    Ahhh so glad you liked it Carmela!! Embrace that beautiful juicy soul of yours! I’m so glad I got to meet you this summer :)

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