The Chamber of the Ordeal

The famous initiation well of the Quinta da Regaleira, masonic spiral staircase of the romantic age in Sintra, Portugal, on February 5, 2019
ID 139194034 © Alessandro Cristiano | Dreamstime.com 

Hello dear friend, I hope you are doing well.

I touched on the Chamber of the Ordeal in yesterday’s post, but I want to talk about it a bit more today, before I jump in to the story of my own experience starting in tomorrow’s post.  For me, the journey out of the Chamber of the Ordeal has been quite a bit like the photo above – full of twists and turns, quite a bit of darkness, but also archways and a ceiling letting in the light.  

As I mentioned yesterday, I think we all face the Chamber at some point in our lives. Some of us, like Kel, face it over and over again, with various levels of intensity. I don’t know where you are on your own journey – whether you have made it safely out of the Chamber, whether you are still trapped within it while facing your own demons and feeling terrified that you will never find your way out, whether you can see the door opening to let you out – or draw you in – but I know that it is never an easy battle to face.  

I don’t know what fears and perceived faults you have, I don’t know what demons you have fought, and may still be fighting, but I do know this: Your pain is valid. Your battle is valid. What you face during your Ordeal may not be a challenge for someone else, but your Ordeal is an Ordeal because of how it impacts you. No one else can truthfully tell you that whatever you have experienced is in any way, shape, or form, less valid than someone else’s experiences, because no one else has lived your life, no one else can truly stand in your shoes.  

I keep thinking about the following verse from “Wait for It” on the Hamilton soundtrack:  

“Death doesn’t discriminate 
Between the sinners and the saints 
It takes and it takes and it takes 
Yeah, we keep living anyway 
We rise and we fall and we break 
And we make our mistakes 
And if there’s a reason I’m still alive 
When everyone who loves me has died 
I’m willing to wait for it 
I’m willing to wait for it”   

That bit about how “we rise and we fall and we break” really resonates with me. On this journey of mine there have been many points where I have risen higher than I thought possible, when I’ve been showered with praise and placed on a bit of a pedestal, but gosh, I have absolutely experienced the fall from that pedestal and I have not just broken, but shattered to the point that I wasn’t sure if I could be put back together and be the same person.  

And isn’t that what the Chamber of the Ordeal seeks to do? To make you fall and break, because it is seeking out those points of weakness in you – and yes, the battle to be able to rise again is the hardest you’ll ever face, no matter how many times you face it.  But please believe me, my friend! I know you are strong enough to keep fighting, no matter how many times you have to face the Ordeal. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your own battles, however large or small, I know you have the strength and ability to walk out as the amazing and capable white knight you are.  

I also know that we are all blessed to be able to call on the help of others during our own battles with the Ordeal – a luxury that the squires in Tamora Pierce’s books are unable to claim – and I want you to know that you should never feel guilty about or unworthy of asking for assistance. Sometimes being our own knight means knowing when we need to call in reinforcements. Whether that means turning to your friends and family, a member of your community who you trust, or even a kind stranger, please know that there are always hands open and ready to take yours.   

And in case you need it now, here are some resources for you: 

https://psychcentral.com/lib/common-hotline-phone-numbers/

https://psychcentral.com/find-help/

https://www.7cups.com/

https://www.betterhelp.com/

Side note – Do feel free to check Groupon for a deal if you decide to use BetterHelp– that’s what I did when I signed up in January 2018.  

Wherever you are on your journey, my friend, please know that I am here for you, standing in the light and shaking a set of brightly colored pom-poms, rooting for you to win all your battles with the Chamber. Keep fighting, my friend. You’ve absolutely got this. ❤ 

Until next time, and with love always, 

Katie 

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