A minette (please, be impressed by my French, courtesy of Google) in Montreal sent me a video about the wounded child. The child, perhaps in each of us, that is wounded in some way and has not been given the opportunity to heal. As she ages, and her wounds remain open, her heart closes. These wounds manifest in her life in many ways: fear, addictions, anger, self-loathing, disease. The list goes on.
These open wounds are often well-concealed. It’s the survivalist in all of us that chooses to bury them. Acknowledging them is challenging enough. Being able to heal them even more so. Sometimes therapy is essential to tease it out, sort it out and make sense of how childhood trauma (which has a broad definition) is affecting adult life. But therapy isn’t for everyone.
I did therapy. And it was effective. Even though one time he fell asleep.
I took that as a sign I was ready to take on the rest of the labor solo. Soon after leaving traditional therapy I began to work with a woman named Melissa. I’ve mentioned her here as M&M. (I’m pretty sure that’s what I called her. Forgive me if I am wrong. I still have not gone back to read each post – saving that for Bolinas.) I would describe her as a seer. An energy maven. Some would call her a clairvoyant, but she’s not a future teller. She sees. Energy. Auras. Strengths. Physical ailments. She sees how physical ailments are tethered to emotional wounds. How emotional wounds keep us bound, unable to love freely without fear. She helps to cultivate the inner ear – that which listens to the needs of the soul, and the third eye – that which sees the path the soul has marked out before the vessel ever sets foot on the trail.
Next to my Mom, Melissa has had the most influence on my development as a being. She changed my life.
I was nervous the first time I met with her. I made my way into a narrow elevator in a Manhattan office building and searched for her floor.
It was one floor below “Ghostbusters, Inc.”.
Oh, what have I gotten myself into?
When I sat in the chair in front of her in a tiny room with a vaulted ceiling, dimly lit, I was immediately taken by her beauty. Her soul radiated beyond her skin and bones in a way I had never seen before. She was light. Pure freaking light. And fluid. Every element of her being was serene, supple, cozy. Gentle brown eyes, delicate features…I wanted to curl up in her lap and be held.
And I wanted to hide.
A fruitless endeavor in front of her, for sure. I tried to throw curtains over things inside me…as if she hadn’t seen that before! My arm pits flooded. I don’t want to know!
But I did.
She bounced back and forth between the present, the past (I was about 28 years old) and the future. She spoke of the importance of grounding myself, developing my intuition, and opening my root chakra.
My what? Is that like a door to a cellar? A place to store canned goods and potatoes?
I nodded as if I understood. Fooling no one.
You need to ground yourself. You spend most of your time out of your body. That’s going to make it challenging.
Ground myself. Like nutmeg? Make what challenging? So far, so good. I’m just here to hear what I already know – this life stuff is pretty easy!
I was so lost.
She must have asked me a dozen times if I understood what she was telling me. I lied with each response.
When I would speak about getting ahead at my job or making the most of my relationship it was as if she was bored. She would draw me back to me, my soul, my true purpose for being alive at this time on this planet. It wasn’t to excel in sales or to be in love or to find my passion.
All those things – career, relationships, voyages, discoveries, passions – provide the framework, the 3D experiences that will give me the opportunity to create magic. Like building a birthday cake, the day-to-day is the cake, the shimmery highs the frosting. Instead of a candle, a firework represents why the soul is here.
To make magic.
Not take a company public, or marry the most popular girl, or gain the most yards, or shed the tear at the absolute right time for the camera to catch it just so, making a director’s day.
Our soul is here to make magic. Why would it bother with any thing else?
It took many months for me to see what was happening, but on the day I realized she was seeing the spider web of my life, my life changed. Instead of a linear line of events, my life became a web, exploding from the center that marks my birth. (Holy arachnid, that makes me the spider. How’s that for coming full circle? From arachnophobe to spider, herself! Story at 11…)
Every event, regardless of how far removed from each other by time, is connected in a meaningful way. The trials and tribulations of childhood are not to be left behind but brought forth as medals, badges of honor, lessons in a tattered book that has been referred to again and again.
In leaving that center and heading in any direction, I am able to jog right or left and swing around back to birth, then head out in another direction without needing to backtrack. The circuitous routes take me out to see the ripple effect of events in my life, then lead me back to the present time with arms full of understanding.
The past three months, on my hikes, I’ve taken the journey back to various times in my life where I felt lost, alone, hurt, scared, mad, used, and unsure. Fresh images of long-forgotten encounters that caused pain, like simple grade-school teasing or hurtful betrayal, burst through layers of time, usually emerging in connection with a thought or situation being pondered. At first, I wouldn’t want to spend much time with my child, the girl who bore the brunt of those experiences.
I’m here now. This is where I need to remain. I love her, but it’s about today, not then. Those experiences are within me, they are me, so no need to trip back in time.
But as I pushed through the initial hesitation tinged with fear, a little at a time, I was rewarded with a sense of peace. As if just acknowledging that I felt bullied in 7th grade was enough to heal that pain. Or forgiving myself for never seeing the inside of a gym during college and getting fat, courtesy of pizza and beer.
Letting go of the sadness I felt when I learned I had been tricked into saying that I didn’t like a certain girl while on a Girl Scout camping trip.
I was walking by a tent, set in a camp ground 30 minutes from my home. I had no sense of direction or sense of distance. I felt very far away. Could have been Wyoming. I was out of my neighborhood, element and skin. Out of my body. Two girls opened up the tent flaps. Both older, bigger and pretty intimidating when they wanted to be. I was never in the ‘in’ crowd. These two ran it.
The called me inside. We sat on the floor in a circle. My back was to the rear of the tent, comprised of two flaps, untied. Sunlight peeked in, illuminating the faces of the girls. Small talk turned to mean talk when they spoke of their dislike for a fellow camper. As they picked her apart they looked to me for signs of agreement. I dutifully responded with Yeas! and I know!s.
Then the flaps on the rear of the tent opened.
There she stood. The three of them had set me up.
A moment in time I had forgotten, but will never forget again.
I liked her. That’s the crazy part. Why didn’t I just say, You’re entitled to your opinion, but I like her. Instead I gave a piece of myself away. I told myself, Your opinion doesn’t matter. What you think and feel isn’t as important as trying to fit in. And what you think and feel isn’t good enough to fit in.
My child would tell a tale, I’d listen. Then I would scoop her up and carry her along the web of my life to where I needed to go next. As I gathered up each child I felt more whole and feared less a trip over there to gather another. Now it feels good to go to the center, the point of birth, and run out, cross over, circle back, re-live, gather, comfort. Always feeling more whole as I return to the present time.
Living in the past is not what I need. That goes against my boundaries. But it’s become clear that gathering up all my pivotal experiences in life and maintaining easy access to them is crucial for me to be able to see how they all fit together to build me. Taking time to travel back and re-experience little hurts and big hurts and find the thread that connects them to today is not living in the past but bringing the full ME to the present day in order to make the most of every day from here on out.
In a way I can’t explain, all these trips back and forth have made me feel like I’m more present in the moment than ever. More whole. More open. Full of love for myself. And wanting to love everyone near and far. I feel more grounded, just like Melissa described I would feel if I could ever get back in my body.
I’m back in my body.
I still have moments to revisit, a child to scoop up, and then a journey forward to see how the hurt of this child manifested as I aged. I’m excited to unravel the story and connect the dots. This process has softened me. It’s filled me with love. So much so that I feel like I have to give it away.
And then something miraculous happened.
I felt compassionate love for The Genius.
The moment it happened I was on the elliptical while pondering the idea of unconditional love. I’ve been killing those machines lately. They quake when I walk into the gym. I itched when the Karadashians came up on the screen as I began my 90 minute trek to nowhere, quickly changing the channel to PBS. (Now that I know where it is.) The feature that evening was Wayne Dyer. I had never seen him speak before and had not been exposed to any of his writings, but I recalled a kitten mentioning him on HGM, so I payed attention.
So grateful I did.
His talk was centered on the writings in his new book, Wishes Fulfilled, Mastering the Art of Manifesting. One segment focused on his belief that we are all God. That within each of us is God. Within us is the power to create. To release that power to its fullest extent, we need to allow our love, unconditional love, to flow freely outward. Trusting that it will be returned to us, but focusing not on the return, rather the joy and peace that comes from being loving.
I played with that as I pumped up an imaginary mountain, sweat streaming down my scalp, and face, and arms…breathing hard.
Unconditional love. Of all humanity.
Of The Genius? Is it possible?
The Genius was a baby – a beautiful one, I’m sure. Then he grew and undoubtedly had many moments where he brought joy to those around him. He loved and was loved. Hopefully, he treated his friends and family well. But, when he faltered, like he did in a massive way when he betrayed me, he was still that spirit that was born all those years ago. That divine light being that we all are at birth. And we all fall down.
Unconditional love for all people is only that if it is ALL people. I can’t unconditionally love all humanity, except for that guy over there who screwed me over for four years. No, not him. No way.
It’s an all in kind of love.
I tried on the coat of unconditional love for The Genius. At first I wanted it to not fit. To cling in all the wrong places and cut me under each arm as I tried to cram myself into it.
Now I have to unconditional love The Genius?
The elliptical program took me up to the highest climb and I upped the incline to 20. My heart rate was 150. I was shredding that puppy.
Do you unconditionally love everyone on the planet?
I do. I can and I want to. And I know for me to realize my dreams I need to. The lost, the wounded, the rich, the arrogant, the happy, the poor, the killers, those in power that abuse their positions, those that give and give and give. I unconditionally love them all.
I don’t have to unconditionally love The Genius. I want to.
Now, I would have thought it would take more than 90 minutes on the elliptical to accomplish that feat, that marvel of all marvels. And it did. It took 120 minutes. I was the last one pumping. I didn’t want to believe it was that easy, but it was. Just saying that I unconditionally love everyone, and that includes The Genius and the Happy Dance Chick, (I’ll wait for you to get up off the floor. Here, let me help you. Trust me. I had to read those words five times before I stopped flinching.), started the process rolling. I’ve been going with it ever since, strong the past 10 days. Loving in, loving out.
Best part about this seemingly selfless act is that it feels so good, so decadent. The dovetail affect of loving myself in my worst moments and loving others in theirs has done exactly what Wayne Dyer described: I feel like I can’t contain my soul in my body.
We all have wounds.
We all deserve love.
Love heals all wounds.