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uniting masculine + feminine

The Girl I Used To Be

Writing this makes me feel vulnerable and a little afraid, and since vulnerability is something I’m actively cultivating in myself—I'm guessing this is probably the right topic for today.. 

A good friend (and ex-partner) of mine shared this video:

This is an excerpt from my reply to her:

[...I watched it over and over and over and cried every single time. This gave me such a huge release of emotion... 

It's funny timing (but I'm sooo not surprised), I've been thinking a lot about Amy, lately—I've gone back and forth between experiencing a sort of mourning for her (and her sacrifices) and a celebration of her faith and courage...

For a long time after starting the process, I told myself that YOU were my biggest sacrifice in taking this path, and I mourned that loss for a long time. Then, one day I looked around and noticed that Amy was gone, too...

She'd finally dissolved—evolved—completely into ME, and I wrestled with that realization for awhile before finally understanding... I think it's true for all of us—that, the person we've been is continually dissolving into the person we're becoming...

Parts of her are still here, of course, but mostly, I think, she's been absorbed and changed and sort of "morphed" into someone else. Someone who resembles her, but who isn't quite her, anymore...

Except now, I no longer think of it as a "sacrifice". 

I can see that Amy was the seed that Aaron needed to grow from...

She was a caterpillar that did the only thing she knew to do—she made her cocoon and dissolved—so that Aaron, the butterfly, could be born. She didn't exactly know why, or for whom, she was building the cocoon; she only knew that she must do it, and so, she did!

I love her for that.

And I love you for being witness to it, and for still being present in my life, despite all the ups & downs and changes and losses and gains.. I'm proud of YOU for growing and becoming a new and improved version of yourself, and for creating a new life of your own...

Of course, this video also brought up a lot of emotion around my ideas & thoughts & beliefs about having children of MY own... I'm {obviously} still wrestling with that, a little bit, personally, but ultimately, I've found peace in broadening my notion of "birth"... ]

She responded and told me that she’d cried, too, and that she’d also mourned the loss of the girl I used to be.

The girl I used to be is the girl she used to love, and the girl she thought she would marry, and the girl with whom she assumed she would raise a child (or two or three) and the girl who would grow into the old woman who’d be there, beside her, in old age and for all time.

We both cried for those lost thoughts and dreams and assumptions and beliefs about who we were and who we thought we’d be... 

I cried for Amy, and I cried for all the thoughts and dreams and beliefs she’d experienced during her life—a chaotic life that she thought she’d have to continually manage and control and fit within the pre-existing formulas of…

I cried because I still felt a twinge of sadness at the thought of exchanging a part of who I *thought* I was, to become more who I really am.

It feels like paradox. It is paradox. I AM paradox.

I cried because of it, all.

I cried when Ethan’s voice cracked, as he said, “…and all you can do is wonder if you ever had a place…”

I cried, because Amy spent so many of her years confused and lost and suffering and afraid of having no meaning or of never understanding the parts of her that always felt so foreign and out-of-place.

I cried because it still, sometimes, feels a little like I killed—or sacrificed—her—or my ideas about who she was—about who I was…

Even though, I know that she dissolved on her own, sometimes it feels like she didn't have a choice...

Even though, this is, without a doubt, the path that I was meant to take…

Even though, Aaron IS who I’ve always {really} been; I cried because Amy never really knew how it felt to be herself… because her-real-self was ME.

I cried because Amy couldn't BE Aaron—she had to to go through the pains of becoming Aaron.

Aaron was meant to be birthed through her, and I cried because Aaron changed Amy forever.

I cried because birth is such a transformative, creative experience, and regardless of the circumstances of the birth—it DOES change us.

I’m still understanding the triggers for those tears, but I know that tears are meant to help heal us—I know they’re a necessary antiseptic for heart/soul recovery.

I’m still learning how to allow myself TO cry—period.

Tears don't come as effortlessly, since shifting to a predominantly testosterone-based biology, but today, I cried, and it was perfect and healing and good.

Today, I sat with and experienced a flood of pent-up sadness and grief, and I didn’t shatter into a million pieces.

I faced all the emotions living in that shadowy space of my being, and I allowed myself to feel them as they moved through my physical body.  I allowed the tears to fall, and I allowed my chest to heave. I looked into the eyes of my grief, and I allowed myself to breath into the pain that’d been waiting there for me all this time.

I breathed, deep, into the pit of my stomach, and the tightness loosened its grip on my heart.

I breathed again… and again...

And just like that—chest-heaving-grief was transmuted into deep-breath, breathed into expanded-stomach-relief with each inhalation of life.

I was breathing. I felt better. I was—AM—alive.. Me... Aaron.

It didn’t take long for the pain to subside. I was surprised at how quickly my suffering was released back into nothingness. The sharpness of grief, dulled. The heavy dark sadness, dissipated.

I felt lighter—physically and emotionally.

I watched the video again, and I cried again—happy tears; tears of love and gratitude and peace.

Those streaming tears cleared SO much hurt needing healing in my heart.

I never hated her...

I never hated her.

She gave me life.