We have hit the point in the Wheel of the Year where summer is in full swing. We're doing more outdoors. Regular routines are upended by excursions, family vacations, and other deviations from Business As Usual. We may be wearing more revealing clothing than usual in order to combat the heat. We may be outside for longer stretches of time...resulting in the inevitable sunburn, even if we have been meticulous about wearing our shade hats and sunscreen. A riveting conversation, a meltingly relaxing ray of sunshine, or the sight of young children running around in the park or campground can take us out of time just enough for our shoulders, foreheads, or other sensitive body parts to become just a bit redder than we might have intended. As the burn heals, every scrap of clothing, every movement aches in a way we normally don't notice.
Our spirits tend to go through a similar process during the summer light and heat. During that time, some of our biggest emotions can feel like they're many times magnified. Parts of our shadow side are revealed by the light and the heat, and it may feel like our rage, our fear, our love, our longing, our dissatisfactions are many times more acute than normal. Moving through those emotions to embrace the shadow dragged into the light may feel like being asked to walk across burning coals.
As I was in the grocery store earlier today, a metaphor for this process dawned on me: Soul Sunburn!!! When that which is covered is brought out into a light it isn't used to, it burns. It chafes. It causes discomfort, anger, and irritability. We notice that volatility within ourselves. Fear and anger roils and boils into...Fury!
Embracing that anger, rage, fear, discomfort requires presence, awareness, and self knowledge. It requires the recognition that at the seat of these emotions is potent power. If this energy is honored, seen for what it is, and then directed toward positive change, we have a powerful tool for transforming ourselves, our community, and the world we live in. And with that shift, we can then discern what spiritual aloe might help us soothe and heal the burn.
Honor your big feelings. Harness them for positive change. As we transform ourselves, we transform the world.
Ravensong Phoenixfire, Priestess of Soul Integration.