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I was a bioch. It was Mother’s Day evening, and I was losing my shit. Ugh. Standing on the porch. I am angrily talking to my ex-husband and I say, 19 years ago, we agreed to break generational cycles and raise our children differently. And now I’m living in the patriarchy, raising our children alone, and his response, it rocked me to my core.
Hi, y’all. I’m Jes Divine and welcome to the Soul Crew Podcast number four. Today we are talking about releasing bitterness. If you didn’t catch the last episode, the first episode in this series on identifying bitterness, I encourage you to go back and catch that podcast number three on bitterness and blame the Twisted Sisters because it helps you identify what bitterness looks like in your life.
So today we are talking about releasing bitterness, so here I am having a meltdown, which is one of the indicators of bitterness
on a random side note in the Soul Crew last week as we were talking about that episode, Occam said something that really stood out to me and I wanted to pass it along to y’all. Basically, what he said is a meltdown is one person losing their shit. But an argument is when two people are losing their shit at the same time or having a meltdown at the same time.
And I was like, oh, that’s so good. So thank you Occam for that.
I was furious that the patriarchy had infiltrated me and our home and our family, and I was just so frustrated with all that was going on because here I am, a single mother. With four kids still at home. Our oldest, our fifth, is living right down the street, and all of us need more support.
And I was doing my best to stand in my power, but sometimes I struggled to think clearly because of the responsibility I was carrying. And he replied you’re right. You’re right. We agreed to breaking the generational cycles, and we have some, but there’s a lot that we haven’t, and you’re right about our family.
He said, what do you need? And I was taken aback, like, I was like, whoa, what do I need? And I was like, I, I know what I need. And I quickly replied, I need more money and a balance of duties with our family. And over the next 10 days, I remembered how to dissolve bitterness, not just for myself, but to also help my children through the process because I had created an ecosystem of bitterness within myself and my children.
And when you realize you’re blaming other people or systems of government for your behavior and your problems, This portion of your healing journey has just begun. That portion had just begun for me because I had, I suddenly realized how bitter I was, and at the same time I realized what to call my healing programs that I have been teaching for decades.
It was bitterness. That was why I created the soul crew in the beginning, but I couldn’t see because I was standing in my own bitterness because of the difficulties we had been through. It doesn’t make it okay, but it makes it understandable. And here today I’m gonna share with you how to bridge that gap into unconditional love, unconditional care.
Odds are you’ve already done a lot of healing work. Some of us just have a lot of extra healing work to do, and then there’s these stories that echo in our head. In the stories is where the bitterness lies. We remember each situation experience where our trust was broken and we weren’t heard or seen or valued or cared for, and it plays like a broken record in our heads.
Each and every story needs to be healed. It doesn’t have to be difficult, and it can be done in a very short amount of time. But as long as you avoid it, you carry it with you. I call this tunnel work. In the last episode, I gave a word of caution. Rather than using your mind to go looking for problems within yourself,
assume your perfection, and when something comes up, address it. And that is what the tunnel work does. I desire to take you on an imaginary journey. Imagine for a moment that you’re in your comfort zone. This is your reality, and it is a beautiful forest with stunning waterfalls and lush plants. I’ve spent a lot of time in the northwest within the United States, and the ecosystem is absolutely stunning.
If my home and work environment don’t feel like a playful, delightful, luscious forest, for me, that is my ideal ecosystem. If my home doesn’t feel like that, then I declutter and reenvision that process In is in episode two of the Soul Crew Podcast. So you can go back and listen to the episode on decluttering.
But my home, my space, the area that I live in is my playful delight, and this in my mind is like a forest of lush gardens. And ferns and waterfalls and plants, and it is so beautiful. This is me assuming my perfection. Perfection in my being. I surround myself with what I love. I meditate. I listen to my body and I float through life, but sometimes the thing pops up.
It’s a pain in my body, a surge of anger or feelings of defensiveness, and this is my indicator. My indicator that there’s something there that I need to heal. And what this feels like in my forest, my comfort zone that I’m living within, assuming my perfection, knowing that I am magnificent. It is my birthright to enjoy and love my home, my surroundings, my friends, my family, my partner, my children, all those that I love. In that comfort zone, I discover an old tunnel and I see it like a train tunnel that’s been old and abandoned for decades, maybe centuries. It’s dark and it’s mysterious. Somehow I ache. I’m drawn to it. Over and over again. I wanna push away the ferns and look back and look in, and yet it hurts. This is the gaping hole of my pain of that story.
I want to pretend like it doesn’t exist. I want to hide and play in the beauty of my comfort zone. I distract myself with lots of other things. If this has been your story, it’s okay. Come along. So many times we do anything and everything to avoid the tunnel, and over time there’s more and more tunnels that are discovered.
It’s like you become a master craftsman of avoiding the issues and cementing it in and like ignoring the problems and we internalize it in our bodies, but sometimes all we need is some tools for tackling the tunnels in your life. Tools that help you process through every story that has induced pain, those tunnels, we blame ourselves, we blame society, and this is the tunnel work.
When you bravely walk into the darkness, knowing that you have the tools to make it through to the other side, you will walk in grace through every story, reclaiming your power and gaining a deeper understanding of who you are and the people you have impacted and how the culture has impacted you. And when you come out the other side of your tunnel, you have a new comfort zone that’s a little bit brighter.
And a whole lot more fun because the things that held you back are now your greatest strengths. When you learn to dance in your darkness, you blossom in your light.
When you have the confidence to walk through your tunnels and gain understanding, it is so quick and it can be easy when you learn to enjoy the process.
You can quickly pop out the other side with a new sense of freedom and hope.
When I first started being aware of being triggered and not being able to control myself where I was reacting rather than responding, it was happening so fast that I couldn’t figure out what was causing it. And I had an old camcorder that I set up. In the dining room, kitchen area of my home. At the time I had three kids in diapers.
It was just wild in my house, and it was always at what I call the witching hour. It’s that time when you’re making dinner right before dinner time, and everybody’s tired and hungry and grumpy. And I would just lose my shit in extraordinary ways. And when I started filming it and watching myself without judgment, just simply trying to identify what was happening and why I was reacting so quickly.
I realized that I would see a tightness in my chest that once it rose from my chest to my throat and out my mouth, it was too late. And so I started catching my triggers right at my throat. I would feel it at my chest and within like half a second it would be out of my mouth, but I would catch it right at my throat and I would put my hand up to my throat and like block that trigger.
And I would do what I now call the vanilla ice Method. Stop, collaborate, and listen, where I would stop, collaborate with myself and listen to my body. And at that moment when a story came up or something came up that was getting me, you know, I would ask myself why, what’s going on? I would write it down and I would schedule it, and I would schedule a time to do my tunnel work because I had little kids and dinner is boiling.
I can’t just stop and have a meltdown. So when I would stop myself and then I would intervene in whatever situation that was triggering me in a way that was a response rather than a reaction, and write down what I was feeling, what, how it scared me, what, what happened in my body, I would then schedule. A time for myself within the next week where I would then sit with myself and ask myself, you know, what, what was this?
And that is the tunnel work. So if you’re navigating life with a lot of kids or business or there’s a lot of chaos, know that when something comes up, You’ve already been disassociated. Just like write it down, schedule a time with yourself, and then come back and do the work and go into that trigger. And if you just tackle things as they come up, it’ll make the journey so much easier for you and you just continue disassociating, like put it in a box, put the idea in a box, schedule it for a later time, and then work on the issue.
And it’s extraordinarily helpful when you’re working with short time and children or business urgent things.
when you show up for your scheduled time and you’re ready to sit in that tunnel and really look at all of the pain, You generally need a couple hours. And in the tunnel we use the dice analogy from episode three to look at every side of that particular story.
So as we start out, I want you to sit down in a comfortable place, take a few deep breaths and answer the question, who are you now? So when I do this, I normally sit on my floor on the rug behind me, and I say, okay, who am I now? Right now, I’m a 44 year old woman. I’m a mother of five. I’m a lover of humanity.
I do my best to respond rather than react. I practice regular self-care, meditation and consciousness.
I ground myself in the space. Look around you and find gratitude for all the things that you have. I’m thankful for my walls, my roof. They give me shelter. I’m thankful for all the little things that I have around me, all my tools, and accessories and the things I love. I sit in gratitude.
For the extra fat on my thighs, cuz it means I have food for the water and the coffee that I’m drinking. I sit in gratitude for the journal that I have. I sit in gratitude for my space and as I ground myself in my current reality and who I am now, I feel through that story, what story is coming up?
And I feel the fullness of the injustice with my current self.
I’m going to use two stories as examples of my own life through this journey so you can better understand how the tunnel work works like and how you do it. So first of being, um, sexually assaulted when I was four and five years old. So there’s a trigger warning. Be ready. Um, it’s gentle. The second is my pain around Mother’s Day and being a mother myself.
Once you fully feel the pain of the story, and I sit now, I’ve obviously done the work for these, so it’s not as dramatic or intense feeling, but once you sit in the pain of current self looking at the pain and struggle and the hurt of what was. Allow yourself that space to enter the experience as yourself and sit in the pain and the hurt, and really the judgment of your current self, looking at your past self.
And I normally do this for about five to 10 minutes and experience that pain. And then pour love into it. Lots and lots of love into my current self that I’ve lived. I survived. I’ve made it. I’m here now. Like how awesome is that? The past things can’t hurt me because they’re already gone.
And so I sit in that deep reality of who I am now and the safety I am now. I’m just looking at the shit from the past. , so step two is really looking at me then.
So looking at my four year old self, I didn’t know that sex was something that I wasn’t supposed to be having. I didn’t know what sex was. The act wasn’t referred to as sex. It was just a thing that was happening and there was no understanding or concept, and it felt good because it’s supposed to feel good because my body is human and I am a sexual being and I didn’t know what I didn’t know, and that.
That helps me love the four year old me, the five year old me that is experiencing these things that I didn’t even know were wrong until later, but I’m experiencing them and it does an immense amount of damage to who I am and my psyche and turning on my sexuality, and I can see the damage that happened, but I didn’t know that it was wrong.
And they told me I would get hurt. My family would get hurt if I said anything, and I just believed them because I, I had trust and that, and I pour love and understanding into four and five year old me and , it’s super important because I didn’t know and I love her even in the not knowing.
And so the next question comes up is, Who, who are they? Who are they that do this? And I look at the people who were having sex with me, who were raping me, sexually assaulting me. And they were 13, 15, and 19 year old brothers. what they did to me was very gentle, although very inappropriate.
Obviously you shouldn’t have sex with a four year old. And yet, It occurred to me as I was sitting in this tunnel for the first time that a 13 year old doesn’t wake up in 1983 and go, oh geez, I’m tired of my Atari. I’m tired of like this shit. I think I’m gonna go have sex with the girl next door. Like these, these are patterns of abuse.
Someone showed him quote unquote love in the same way. He showed me love. Even though that wasn’t love, I didn’t know any better. And same with the older brothers. Like they, of course, they had more awareness, but you get stuck in these patterns. This is how generational cycles exist. Does it make it okay?
Absolutely not. Does it make it understandable? Yes.
I sat in the fullness of that story. I was able to see different perspectives and I was able to see a larger understanding. Now we can do this same thing, but it changes some when we’re not a child, because I can see that I didn’t have understanding as a child, but as an adult, life goes on and things become more and more painful.
Like Mother’s Day and I lost my mother in 2010. She was my best friend and she passed away very suddenly. And then I was already a mother and soon to be five kids, and I had all this pain and hurt around Mother’s Day. And then my family experienced a massive amount of trauma and my ex and I got bitter towards each other, very angry towards each other.
We blamed society. We blamed each other. This last Mother’s day, I was incredibly bitter and triggered, and I was hurt and full of blame. And I was mad that my ex-husband hadn’t planned Mother’s Day and I was mad that I was carrying this load. That was way too heavy for me. And I felt justified because we see everywhere where men are not holding up their into the bargain, patriarchy is falling.
And as women, there are some of us who are just tired. I am tired of being a strong woman. I’m tired of having to do everything because if it does, if someone doesn’t do it, it’s not gonna get done. So I just do it. And I had been breaking those cycles within myself by saying I will not do anything. That does not bring me joy or make me money.
As I’m standing on the porch the evening of Mother’s day and I’m mad, and he says, what do you need? I knew I needed to look at all of my stories around Mother’s Day, and the reason he didn’t plan was because I had went virtually no contact nine months prior. For nine months, we had had virtually no contact besides very basic planning, passing the kids back and forth occasionally, but he was really not doing what I wanted, but he was respecting our wishes.
He was respecting the no contact that I had asked for, that the kids had asked for. And he said, what can I do but stand here and give you money?
If you want me to do something, you need to let me in.
And I said, oh shit. There it is. Over the following weeks, I sat through Mother’s Day story after Mother’s Day story and all that had transpired over the last decade and the slow decline that led to our divorce. And ultimately breaking Codependence. I sat through story after story where I had placed blame on the church, on Reid, on my children, on society, on the patriarchy.
As I went through tunnel, after tunnel after tunnel, I was able to see the world, my own actions
and the bitterness that I had led into my family. Does it mean that he is off the hook for his actions, for his words, for what he has done? Absolutely not. Do I wanna carry that bitterness and burden? Absolutely not. Does it make what happened? What either of us did? What any of us did? Does it make it okay?
No. Does understanding the different perspectives of each person make it more understandable? Absolutely. Yes. As him and I got to talking, I discovered that over the last nine months where he had been alone and isolated, basically rejected from his whole family because he was me in a jerky pants. He started doing the work of some amazing global leaders, and as he did the work and he sat in his own pain, he found freedom
and he stayed. He sat in his own pain, looked at the work and did it, and continues to do it. He saw my pain
and that my requests were reasonable, and he chose to help provide me space.
Does it mean that everything is perfect? No, but it means that I’ve been hitting tunnels hard and fast, finding freedom that I didn’t know existed.
My children are finding love and compassion, freedom and forgiveness themselves. The work can be swift.
And you’ll know you’re on the right journey when you feel tenderness and love for the people around you, for yourself, yourself. Then when you said the awful things, when you did the awful things, when you didn’t speak, when you wanted to speak, you will learn to find stronger boundaries. Love for the other people because you spoke up for yourself and they respected your wishes.
Love for humanity
the final step of the tunnel work is to use whatever forgiveness mantra works for you. One of my favorites is the Hawaiian version, and I always say the name wrong, so I’m not even gonna say it, but it’s, I’m sorry, I forgive you. I love you. Thank you. Whatever mantra helps you forgive. Whatever mantra helps you love and pour love into each and every person to have a deeper understanding of those who.
Showed up for you and those who didn’t. To understand the cultural perspective,
their individual story
will help you forgive and find relief from the pain.
It’s in this space that you speak the language of love. And now when you tell your stories, they will give a larger understanding of humanity. Your stories will inspire and encourage. The lessons will teach and will create an impact and change in others. Your stories bring hope. I love you. I believe in you.
You can do it. I wanna thank you for joining me on this journey today. If this week’s message resonates with your soul, I invite you to join the Soul Crew community. You have to be your own damn hero, but you don’t have to do it alone. I love you. We’ll talk to you soon.