Explorations of mind, paths, and life


Posted on January 28, 2007 - Filed Under child, childhood, feelings, self reflect

s43073Our atheist in the room struggles for but a moment with the term “higher power.” I could not visualize a thing until she gently protested the term. The moment she was vulnerable and admitted her position my higher power appeared. It was lovely, and such a gift. Why not look to our own inner being as the resource for growth, change, hope, movement, love…?

-*-*-*-*- Psychodrama -*-*-*-*-

An empty chair awaits, stagnant for but an instant. “Imagine your higher power seated there.” I stare at the chair, and slowly through the fog of my mind, I appear – 5 years old. I am stunned. No old man, No Yoda, No big mama, just me, legs swinging in the chair, brown eyes wide with interest. The room dissipates and the stirrings of dozens others and their empty chairs means nothing in my minds eye. “Is there something you would like to tell her?” the instructor prods, “How is she doing? How do things turn out?”

This wasn’t what I expected in a conversation with the brown eyed and chubby-cheeked creature. I can feel a bit of welling up behind my eyes as I stare at the chair. “Yes, things are going to turn out fine. You are brilliant, and things will get easier. You will play games with your own son some day. You will have a wonderful husband who brings you laughter and safety.” I pause, somehow I think she knows all this already. “You bring me strength now as a symbol of resilience,” I continue, quietly now, in my head, as the instructor prompts the group to consider other things in their conversations. I continue mine, “You are amazing, and so smart and observant. You are a sponge to all the callings the world sends your way, and you love to connect. Thank you for the paths you chose that got me here.”

The conversation isn’t over. I know there is more there. It really isn’t about what I need to tell her but the answers she holds for me. Those round brown eyes know so much more than one would imagine. My mind engages as I squat before her, making contact at eye level with a face I have worn for so long. “Tell me, how do I heal the part of me that makes such space from intimacy?” I see her face light up, she smiles, batting her eye lashes twice in playful recognition of my connection with her. “Just BE.”

It is like a meditation, and I roll it around in my head like a piece of dough. It squishes and expands as I try to grasp it. I want so much to really hold that warm soft truth in my hands. I want it to rise and envelope me. It encompasses so much and yet it moves away each time I try to hold it all and know what it means. I see myself at the sink washing dishes and my husband come lovingly to my side to nuzzle my neck or squeeze a breast. I put down the dish and just receive. Just receive without pulling back, without reflexively moving away or jumping to the next task. I can smell him, the smell that is all his, like a familiar and warming incense.

“What are you afraid of?” she asks. I look down – s*h*a*me. She giggles a moment, reminding me of the innocence she holds despite external corruption. Nothing is taken from her, she has come so far from that place. Her finger taps my nose and I return my gaze. Her eyes are brilliant and unafraid.

I don’t want the shame anymore. I don’t even know where it emerged, or why it has glued itself to my identity and tarnished the quality of my relationships. I look at her and don’t see anything that she could be ashamed of, nothing about her warrants the guilt or the walls. I feel my body, heavy with the weight of shame, exhausted from running from the connections offered, tired of running in blind fear. “Why do I do this?” I ask. Again, the smile and a gentle shrug of her shoulders, she cocks her head gently as her eyes press into mine. “You don’t HAVE to.” Her legs gently swing. “Come on,” she says, encouraging, playful, “Come on.” I have the sense that there is only so much time left. How much time do I want to give to the shame, the self blame, the guilt?

I am aware of the deep breaths I am taking and the long sighs. The room has a grounded energy and I am called to the voice of the instructor. I look back to the chair, the blue tweed reappears where an instant ago I held the tiny form, wise, and so familiar in my mind’s eye. My eyes are wet. I am smiling. I understand my higher power can only be found within myself. No one else knows me as well as I do.


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