51

My Commitment, a Gift: a desire to reacquaint and recommit to my own self, my own journey, my descent to soul.

One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice –

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles.

“Mend my life!”

each voice cried.

But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations,

though their melancholy

was terrible.

It was already late

enough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voices behind,

the stars began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice

which you slowly

recognized as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do –

determined to save

the only life you could save.

The Journey ~ Mary Oliver

After a life filled with traumas, both child abuse and self inflicted I spent years making love with my soul. Dancing into to journey soul with delicious willing, drinking my own tears knowing they were a salvation and realisation, a freedom unlocking gifts, empathy, compassion from a soul hardened and protected from the deep griefs of betrayals to many to count, too old to remember when the first arrived.

And then this journey, this utterly exquisite unraveling started to slip away as life, my head took over once again. Slowly. At first barely noticeable, I have to work, earn a living, drifting away from soulwork. My soulwork. I stopped writing, my connection to Spirit, my place to fall in love…with life, myself, my journey.

Trust slipping as I veered away from a path that, at times, ached with the joy of both beauty and grief. The so important griefs of our heartbreaks, both small and those seemingly there to kill us. I forgot to meet them, instead chasing them away as for five years now or maybe me barely has a tear traced my cheek. Those tears that bring me freedom, breath, peace, quiet. Chased away.

I know how to chase away the grief and betrayal. I learned early, I had to – no one would listen to my tears, let alone say yes! Yes, this is yours, your soul releasing and learning from your grief. No one said that with the tears of grief comes the space for tears to celebrate beauty and joy.

I’ve lost me over the last few years. I’ve also been close to death needing a heart operation, before that I did die, briefly, due to an overdose. Shortly before my heart operation I walked, in a daze of despair and desperation, in front of a truck wanting to die only change my mind at the last moment.

I’ve so, so many wonderful and destructive ways to run from me, my journey, my descent to soul. Necessary as a child, teenager and even into my adult years. Then, I’d shut down totally to survive. Alcohol and narcotics aiding that survival, killing me at the same time. Rehab has let those go. Today, since I started to run again from myself to diversions are no longer alcohol and narcotics but binge watching tv, sugar, excessive coffee, inertia, excessive eating. Fear and shame lock me into patterns, destructive patterns lock me into fear and shame. I’m afraid of my shame, ashamed of my fear. Eat, smoke, distract myself, become small, smaller, die inside. Too dead to cry the tears of my death inside. To afraid to face myself.

Paradoxically I love life. I love my life and what it could be if only I could meet my fears, visit my shadow, the shadow part of my psyche that holds me in this place of inertia. What’s in this shadow? Love, grace, courage? Greed, envy, anger? This is why shadow is shadow, until we visit we don’t know.

I am a bundle of nerves daily, brought on by sugar, nicotine and caffeine. I know these are no longer useful to me. I know how afraid I am to face the need to let these go, afraid because I’m ashamed as I believe I will fail.

To write as a practice, to face my fear and shame of not knowing how to create a better, healthier Given To Live. Ashamed that I won’t pick up a pen, that I don’t exercise, that I’m addicted to avoidance. I’ve lost my voice and courage.

Writing this is my gift to myself on my birthday, my 51st. A gift that is a prayer, a payer to ask myself to remember to comfort of prayer and this too is discipline. A disciple that has given me so much and provided evidence Spirit exists so clearly on a Vision Quest and in Sweat Lodge only a fool so afraid of beauty as I am would dream to ignore this truth.

I simply need to remember, to remember to trust in the truths I’ve learned. That alone I can’t live this life soulfully. That simply I’m afraid and that the last time I was utterly afraid and lost, in a treatment centre for over five years I found to speak with Spirit. This led me to trust and understand I’m not alone. This took me on a journey I would never swap, drenched in tears, breathtaking beauty seen in mountains, bugs, winds and people, both of this world and others.

I need to remember. That this journey is my way, my way home, home to me, to myself. I lost my faith, my trust, my courage.

If the Spirits, my Spirits, are willing to to be generous today, to me, I ask you to remind me that I am worthy of my life. That I can live a life of service and I ask for your support on this journey, to humble myself knowing I’m merely a wretched human and ask for your pity and guidance, your strength and compassion knowing I only have this one precious life.

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