The Beauty and the Pain of Starting Over Again
Waves lap the shore, drawing a million iridescent seashells back into the ocean, and I can’t help but laugh at the drama free simplicity of the natural world. Meanwhile, I am sitting with the question beneath all questions that seems to be the greatest driver of drama there ever was: “Who am I?”
More specifically, “So, who am I now?” And especially, “Who am I now, without Costa Rica and all of the old stories I wrote there?”
This question has pulled me like an undercurrent for months, creating waves of turbulence just to get me to sink down and feel it. I uncover mountains of buried lost treasure in the process but at times grow exhausted from this seemingly endless quest to see clearly. Just when I think I’m nearly to shore, in comes another wave.
Add into the mix the expectations and projections from sharing those stories publicly with the world for nearly seven years and the ocean appears evermore churned up and cloudy.
Who am I now?
Who am I now, without all of that?
Who am I now, after all that I’ve let go?
Last night I had dinner in a restaurant on the beach playing Beetlejuice on a big white sheet suspended from two palm trees. I watched maybe ten minutes before sneaking back to a quieter corner where I could drown the dialogue with the sounds of the waves, but the film stayed with me. The synchronicity was not lost on me that I was watching a film about a couple coming to terms with the fact that they had died, and despite still being here, the world around them could no longer see that they existed.
It lured me to contemplate this deepest of all human fears... the fear that we are in no way in control of our own existence, and the belief that death is the ultimate confirmation of that painful truth.
Who am I once I die to everything that I have ever been?
Do I still exist in the end?
At times sick in a sea of Instagram influencers and spiritual millionaire coaches and divine feminine priestess womb shamans, I’ve been asking myself a lot about the masks we wear to avoid these questions. And YES I have worn plenty of my own masks too!
Looking in the mirror I have wondered, does this fear of the outside world’s validation or lack there of drive MY decisions to manifest, create, build followings, be public, and fulfill all kinds of societal expectations?
I can’t help but ask... do we want what we want or do we simply want to avoid the painful truth that we don’t actually know who we truly are? And I wonder, is this quest to know our “purpose” or our “life’s work” really just a deep search to finally get the answers to the scariest questions of all...
“Am I lovable?”
“Am I worthy?”
“Am I safe?”
“Am I enough?”
Forget about letting yourself be seen in front of others, letting yourself not know who are you are alone with yourself is actually the deepest vulnerability there is. To look all of your external reference points of security in the eyes and say, “I don’t belong to you anymore... and I never actually did.”
Oh it is so much easier to run back and say, “Nevermind, I know who I am!” And re-enter a cycle that further perpetuates the very patterns our doubts are here to wake us up out of. But the inner revolution eventually proclaims “No. No more of this nonsense” and plunges us into a hell so uncomfortable we just can not deny it any longer. Eventually, death can no longer be resisted in order for us to evolve.
And yes, I have sat in this space before. This space that is often called “rock bottom,” though I have come to know it as the fierce grace of the divine feminine and her boundless love.
On some level I knew when I left Costa Rica and ended my former blog last summer, that I was in that black bottom void place for the first time in many years.
What I did not anticipate was the suspended state of purgatory life would call me into, asking me to grieve deeper layers of the death of my identity than I had ever faced or known. I didn’t anticipate how much I needed to bleed before I could let go enough to let myself create again. I didn’t realize how painful it would be to allow this rebirth to unfold and how much patience and compassion would be required of me to allow it. I didn’t consider how terrifying it can be to feel like you’re starting over.
At the very least this crazy journey has blessed me with the compassion to understand why so few people actually allow their own deaths and endings to follow through to the very end.
It is scary AF.
And at the very most this Rebirth has completely reframed my entire way of relating to this human journey, and required me to operate in a whole new way that I simply cannot run back from. The divine feminine did have her way with me in the end and you can’t un-know what you no longer know!
Through suspending myself on tiny islands with nothing to do but sit with these uncomfortable core human questions for the past six months, I have been challenged with and gifted with the space to finally allow my own ending to unfold.
To receive the sweet waters of grief that bathe me in endless tears of letting go. To summon the rage that spreads across my body like a wildfire, blasting me into higher and higher levels of self responsibility. To allow the laughter and relief that emerges when bouts of clarity dawn and I’m no longer tethered to the drama of human suffering.
To trust in the freedom that opens up when I surrender into the dark void of possibility where I can finally see the brilliant stars, like diamonds reminding me of the true treasure I came here to discover, create, and give away.
And perhaps most uncomfortably and transformatively of all, I’m learning to become something new. Because being alive isn’t about being nothing. It’s about becoming and unbecoming over and over again.
Sitting in the void of no-thing can become its own comfort zone. It can be so easy to sit on the sidelines of life and judge and critique everyone in the middle of the ring. To be “enlightened” and invested in nothing. But who am I to judge when I’m just as afraid and uncertain and messy as anybody? And who am I to make the call on what expressions or medicine in the world is necessary? Who am I to decide what’s good enough? I’m just here for love. I’m just here to trust my heart.
In this new skin that has embraced the terrifying void of the unknown in ways I never could have prepared myself for, I also realize that to play a part in the fabric of humanity requires getting on board with the role you have been assigned.
And for whatever reason life seems to have chosen me to play this character, this beautiful wonderful ecstatic intense wild simple complex dynamic scared courageous totally mad woman named Camille. Camille who is destined to change and expand and explore and evolve, but who ultimately can never not be herself. That may not be Who I Am, but it is the One I’ve chosen to spend my life with.
In a world where we have been so conditioned to view our human journey as a linear experience leading us towards death, I am re-remembering in every cell of my body the feminine way of diving into the endless madness of life. I am re-learning to devotionally savor the terrifyingly merciful painful beauty, of starting over. Again. And again. And again.
Like every living creature on this planet, I am learning to flow with the cycles of change. To trust in my own deaths and rebirths. And to re enter the world like a fresh bud, with the eyes of a child, full of wonder, free from expectations, and absolutely willing to make mistakes.
Not easy. But we didn’t come here for easy. We came here for Love.
Somewhere out on the horizon, I feel the glow of the setting sun who will undoubtedly show up again tomorrow. Reminding me that I can’t actually lose anything that I’ve released. I can die to everything and yet the essence will always remain. I can reinvent and recreate in the light and it doesn’t rob me of the depth that I discovered in the dark. Every woman I have ever been will always live inside of me. There is absolutely nothing here that will ever actually leave. Every ending just makes way for the next beginning. Just like the sun dies every evening, and rises again every dawn.
Making way for another new beginning.