This is a continuation from the writings on my Reflections from my trip to Israel. You can read PART 1 HERE.
With each relocation, I moved further and further away from myself, accumulating layers of shame, hiding, and adaption in order to fit in. Having a false sense of belonging was better than not feeling belonging at all.
As I embarked on a journey of healing, meditation and self-love I found teachers, friends and communities that supported me. I felt relieved that I wasn’t the only person who felt like I didn’t belong. I found out that even people who haven’t left their homelands also shared the same predicament as I.
I knew that in order for me to land more fully in this world, I had to go within. I needed to befriend parts of myself that I turned away from, that I neglected, and abandoned in order to survive and move forward with my life.
As I felt stronger and more courageous, I, at times boldly and at times timidly, approached my rigid edges, dove into my emotions, and with tenderness peeled the multiple layers of fear, helplessness, anger and a myriad other flavors of feelings. I walked deeper and deeper through a staircase into the “dark”. I felt scared and at the same time I felt the healing effect of welcoming what I turned away from in the past.
No prescription from the outside could replace the gradual unraveling of a wound that transforms into life giving medicine. The parts of me that have been locked up, shut down, and ignored turned into my allies who wanted to come home into the warmth of my body, into the aliveness of my heart and into the depth of my breath. They elevated and grounded me at the same time.
During my training in Israel (learning to integrate Collective and Intergenerational Trauma), with the support of a couple of mentors, I opened a door to another wave of grief. It rushed from my belly into my eyes with a force I couldn’t hold back. As the grief released through my tears, I was awakening to the “real”-ization that a country into which I was born, Azerbaijan, was COLONIZED by the Soviets. I felt shocked. I struggled with this awareness for several days not knowing how to be with it. In the light of this opening, I started to understand why my connection to the Armenian heritage felt so distant for me.
I also sensed that even six decades of colonization, couldn’t kill the spirit of my Armenian ancestors who resided deeply within the strands of my DNA. I gradually started to reconnect with my Armenian roots and the universe gave me signs that I was on the “right” path. Three magical synchronicities unfolded while I was in Israel:
- As I walked down the stairs into the tomb of Virgin Mary (burial place of Mary, the mother of Jesus), I was greeted with the sounds of Armenian music. To my surprise, a religious service was held there. It was conducted by Armenians priests, in Armenian language.
- When I traveled to Lake Galilee, I saw a boat that approached a pier where I was walking with my friends. I once again heard music. When I listened more closely, I found out that people on a boat were from Armenia and they were dancing to Armenian music.
- While exploring the streets of the Armenian Quarter, in the Old City of Jerusalem, I walked into a ceramic store. In the back of the shop, I saw a painting that captured a 2,000 year old Armenian history, including the Armenian Genocide of 1915. The artist was Armenian. I purchased this piece of art and brought it home with me to California.
As I am welcoming and unraveling these jewels, I made a discovery that my belonging is multifaceted. I don’t know how long this awareness will last as my truth, but for now, I am seeing and feeling the ways in which I belong to the world, to myself and to humanity:
I belong to the city of Baku where I was born and lived till the age of 9. I belong to its history and its people who are interwoven with my past through a shared trauma.
I belong to Armenia and Mt. Ararat, the hometown of my ancestors.
I belong to the conflict of Nagorno-Karabakh that hasn’t been resolved to this day and which I am learning to transform through my heart.
I belong to my parents and grandparents whose life experiences live in me, but whose energetic imprints don’t define my future.
I belong to my calling that is asking me to look deeper into the collective and intergenerational wounds, so that Life can move forward into organic movement.
I belong to my amazing soul friends without whom I wouldn’t be who I am today.
I belong to the United States of America, a country that has been my refuge and a place that I am continuing to land in.
I belong to the wound of the Armenian Genocide that is asking for healing through me.
I belong to the Earth that heals me, holds me, feeds me and offers me shelter in her loving arms.
I belong to my future that is inviting me to expand my heart into greater love and that is calling me to relate to ALL OF LIFE, while remembering to surrender to its mystery.