************************************Denial covers the pain of the past * A blanket over the world * Lift a corner * Don't be afraid * Your life awaits you*************************************

Thursday, June 3, 2010

What is Harder Than Letting Go of Anger?

I was going to begin this post with the words, “I was trying…” Right there, I’m already on the wrong track. It came to me between the time the words were in my head and the time they would have made it to my fingers.

Trying is not what is needed now. I’m beating myself up for not doing when doing is all I've been about. 
Doing is not what I need.
Feeling is what I need.

What a scary place it is, the place where one exists only in the feelings, the inner passion, the sensations that reflect the past and call us to the future. It isn't a place I can stay in very long. It's not a place I’m meant to occupy indefinitely, but I should walk in the door once in a while.

This place has grown dark and full of cobwebs through disuse and avoidance. It’s time to light the candle, open a window, take a real look around and then move back out into the world.

I am turning a corner. I've been hovering near the wall... digging my nails in... hanging on as if the world is tilting me towards the edge and I don’t want to fall off.

Before I had children, I had no purpose in my life. With the third of my four children graduating high school on Saturday, the “empty nest” is something I can see and feel. It’s so imminent that it’s becoming difficult to enjoy the present. I know that I need to feel the loss as my son moves more towards his own life and more out of mine, but it feels so big.

Feeling loss is not something I’m very good at. I've been doing everything I could to not look at these feelings. The schedule of events with two kids graduating – one from high school and one from eighth grade – is already hectic. Even so, I've started new projects and thrown all kinds of other things into the mix that didn't need to be there, right now. The things that might have forced me to look at the present have been avoided at all costs, replaced by frenetic activity and, when necessary, Xanax.

So, here's my dilemma  It seems obvious that I need to get out of the denial and begin to feel what is real. I need to look at this little black stone, turn it over in my hands and feel it's weight, put it's coolness against my cheek, and then toss it into the pond...
a pebble in the pond
a splash and ripples moving both towards me and away...
Yes, obviously this is the next, dreaded step.
However... as I've been frantically avoiding this, I came across something that feels like much more than a distraction.

I first read the phrase “soul retrieval” a couple years ago. I was immediately drawn to the idea. It felt right. It felt like the exact thing I needed to do – someday. It still feels like what I need to do, and now the opportunity is here - I could begin this process as early as next week.

I read quite a bit about it, researched it online, and even looked for people in the area that do this. I didn't find anyone who seemed right. I wasn’t ready to fly two thousand miles to meet someone who called themselves a Shaman and claimed to do Soul Retrieval. It was something I wanted to do, but it had to be done right.

I've looked at it several time, since then, always with the idea that one day it would feel right. Then – last weekend – I went out for lunch with a friend and she said the words. Soul Retrieval. Of course I was instantly mesmerized by what she said. Here, from this unlikely source, was a clue to something I've been searching for.

I’ll be talking about this more, in future posts, but for now I’m going back to today.

I've had a dilemma since I heard my friend say those words. With all the anxiety, sadness and even anger inside me as I embark on this transition from motherhood to other-hood, it would be very easy to throw a distraction up and avoid all the pain. On the other hand, actually doing the soul retrieval would take some real guts, too.

So, am I holding this up as a distraction, or was thrown up in my path because it’s what I’m meant to do next? I feel a pull towards something, which is much easier than walking away from something, and I know it is something I need to do –
The question is:
Am I rushing into it because I want to avoid the present, or is this really the time?

This is a drawing  seems related... but I'm still not certain what all it is about.
The title I gave it was: Holding On


  1. What is Harder Than Letting Go of Anger?

    I am taking on faith that it is harder to hold on to it. I will let you know smile.

  2. Yes, Michael... it is harder to hold onto it. Once you pry your fingers open it is very freeing.

    The question is, how freeing would it be to let go of the things I love most? How hard it is to open that hand, even a little bit. To love from a distance is a painful thing that feels too much like my entire childhood. Hold it out at arms length, but don't let go....

  3. How funny your friend mentioned soul retrieval and I just wrote you about that book called that the other day. Whether you find a shaman to go through another healing experience or not, it seems to me (from a nonshaman perpective true) but that you have been doing your own soul retrieval already bit by bit all along. All your therapy, the retreat, all your work and writing, and your acceptance ceremony, you seem like your own guide along this path of transition and transformation. Maybe this is the adventure already. I think whatever you do, Shaman or not, you will continue to heal and move forward because that is what you have been doing all along.

  4. Thank you Katie. Those words are really comforting. I am finding pieces of myself along this path...
    I suppose part of the idea of doing the soul retrieval is that it is a shared experence.


Please feel free to leave your thoughts in a comment.

Co Creation

Co Creation
We create the life we live

Love your inner child...

...for she holds the key...

...to your personal power.
A lesson is woven into each day.
Together they make up the tapestries of our lives.