TrueHeartWork | No White Flag
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No White Flag

No White Flag

Nothing is more abrasive to the human spirit than being ignored or invalidated by the one you love. When a lover, or cherished friend makes a unilateral decision to abort a relationship, and “move on”, we remain behind, emotions cauterised: unheard, unseen, invisible. Very few of us journey through this lifetime un-scalded by the sting of rejection.

“She won’t return my calls,” Jeff told me, despondently stirring a third spoon of sugar into his cappuccino, as if to sweeten the sorrow in his heart, ameliorate the loss of his dream. “She says it’s over. She’s in love with someone else. There’s so much I feel I still want to say to her!” he says, staring despondently into the dark chasm of a future without his Kathy.

Deep attachments are excruciatingly difficult to release lightly, to unravel effortlessly. Especially if they come, not in a fit of pique, or a defensive cold shoulder, but as a deliberate closure, or when some fated event cracks us open, catapults us into the thunder ball of rage and grief.  Of course, we can embalm the Love that once was. Conceal it like a precious pearl in our hearts. Defiantly refuse to raise the white flag and surrender. Or we can accept that these sudden jolts are critical moments in our spiritual life, in our evolution towards a new level of opening.

If we allow ourselves the Grace to experience the raw pain of loss and the darkness of depression, to sit, for as long as it takes, in the stinking sewer of our own self pity and anger, to allow the salty moisture of our tears to cleanse and heal – then, and only then, will our Wise Woman self emerge  to garner the fruits from the dark Mystery of this experience.

Pathos, rather narrowly defined in the modern dictionary as “suffering” was understood in a far more sophisticated and subtle way by the ancient Greeks. For them, pathos embraced the profundity and enormous scope of human experience. We feel the breath of pathos when embraced by a powerful unexpected bolt of passionate love. Or when someone we love dearly leaves us or dies. Or when cataclysmic change occurs in our lives to shock and disorientate us, to fling us into the dark abyss of unknowing. Pathos is something outside us, bigger than ourselves. Joseph Campbell said, “It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.”

Our ancestors knew Pathos. They knew Necessity. They embraced the Mystery of Fate that realigned their lives and personalities.  The shaman would travel to the Underworld to enter into the temple of the soul, to be dismembered by pain and suffering, to be born a-new. With our fundamental either-or beliefs in “facts”, our dumbed down, literal world-view, when Fate intrudes in a coldly detached way, we are so often left, entrails dangling, disorientated, stumbling in the darkness, searching outside ourselves for logical answers.

In my interpretation of astrology, I see pathos acitve in the birth charts of clients who are visited by fate in the form of life threatening illness, a devastating love affair, loss of a child, the seemingly inexplicable ending of a long friendship. It is a visitation of something non-ordinary, impersonal, supernatural. It is a breaking open. We face our own Armageddon  when we succumb to our hidden longings, unfurl our crumpled wings, and free fall into the unknown – a new relationship, new job, a courageous move to a new country. Broken open, we allow our soul to shine through.

“White Flag” – Dido
I know you think that I shouldn’t still love you,
Or tell you that.
But if I didn’t say it, well I’d still have felt it
where’s the sense in that?

I promise I’m not trying to make your life harder
Or return to where we were

I will go down with this ship
And I won’t put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I’m in love and always will be

I know I left too much mess and
destruction to come back again
And I caused nothing but trouble
I understand if you can’t talk to me again
And if you live by the rules of “it’s over”
then I’m sure that that makes sense

I will go down with this ship
And I won’t put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I’m in love and always will be

And when we meet
Which I’m sure we will
All that was there
Will be there still
I’ll let it pass
And hold my tongue
And you will think
That I’ve moved on….

I will go down with this ship
And I won’t put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I’m in love and always will be 

Ingrid Hoffman

ingrid@trueheartwork.com
3 Comments
  • Amy Brunton

    September 7, 2011 at 6:13 pm Reply

    You truly are an angel Ingrid, every post is a masterpiece,
    Blessings Amy <3

  • michel

    September 8, 2011 at 3:57 pm Reply

    hmmm…interesting article indeed dearest ingrid…LOVE…we all desire it and we have all had hearts broken through it….but as DIDO so rightly sings…..no matter what…we won’t surrender …no matter how much it can hurt at times….we go on….searching and desiring more of that wonderful feeling of LOVE….to experience more of that PATHOS…..wonderful writing as always …thank you for sharing and opening our hearts to further LOVE….xxxx

    • Ingrid

      September 8, 2011 at 4:25 pm Reply

      You describe so beautifully the human experience, Michel! Thank you for taking the time to drop in and to comment!

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