Running today, I looked up and saw a sunflower. In the sky. It was the sun with some kind of cloud trail coming directly from its center, outward.
Looking up, with the pound of each running step I could feel the rhythmic pump of my life-sustaining blood spreading through out my body; I breathed in the same clean, fresh air that life all around me depended on. Looking up, I was comforted. At that particular moment, in
my eight and half mile run, I looked up. I don't always look up.
And realizing that after about half a mile that the sun flower didn't look
like a sun flower from that vantage point any longer, it caused me to reflect on the moment I did look up.
In one of my plays, an autobiographical play that deals directly with the childhood sexual abuse I experienced, I describe myself as a sunflower. In reference to where the main character, Aaluk, would like to commit suicide. "In a sunny place." Because "You've always been a sunflower." Looking up, I saw a random Sun flower, visible only in that place that I happened to be running through for just a few moments.
This week was. Important. Challenging. I went into the shadow of one of my deepest wounds. And I sat with myself, there in that place. It felt like death. Quite literally death, as I can understand it from a living perspective. It had a deafening emptiness. I felt loss, sadness and fear. I couldn't comprehend or trust my thoughts. I was in shock, stunned back into an existence I know very well. An existence I used to call life. For many years.
I had to go back. Wound doesn't just disappear. And spiritual wound, takes something from you. Part of you. You have to go back to reclaim the part of you that sits there, in the wound, stuck.
I have functioned well, given the circumstances. Very much so because of the seen and unseen love and support who have sustained me. The people, the places, the life that has reached me; from this life and beyond. There are a people who have known me for millennia and they have never left my side. They protected me, even from myself. I am of them and they are in me. I give reverence to them and honor them each and every day; never forgetting that each breath connects me to them if I let it.
You can't push away the wound, the feelings, the history of your pain. You can't. If you do, you push away yourself. And you divide yourself into sections that you have to navigate around; like walking amid land minds of yourself that could explode your sense of peace and security at any moment.
While in that place a few days ago. Searching for grounding, light. I looked up. I was in a room, not present. Not connected. Looking out a window, searching for connection to life, I saw a tree. A white birch tree I think. I could only see an outstretched branch from where I sat, looking out the widow. I tried to connect to the energy of that life form, that long standing tree who had stood and seen so much. While looking at the part I could see, I found my eyes tracing it upward.
When I reached the top of the branch, the top of what I could see, I felt light. I looked up and saw love. Saw light. I heard something that felt like smiling. It was the part of me, the essential part of my soul, that could never and had never been wounded. Our bodies can be harmed, our energies affected and our egos left questioning and analyzing; but our souls, they are untouchable and so powerful, so full of love and light, each and every one of us, that nothing on this earth can alter them. They are only perceived to be altered if we believe that about our selves, with our minds. Our hearts, deep in our hearts, know this.
Looking up, in that moment, I heard from myself. She looked down, shining in light, with a face full of love and reached down her hand to me. After having spent time in that space of paralyzing death, fear; I was mesmerized by this extension of love. She said to me two simple things.
She said, you are a child of love, of light. And you are stronger than this. She said them with such certainty and such compassion that in that moment, all that was empty around me, filled. With light.
I began the process of coming up, into the light. From the place that part of me had been, for so long. Left.
It was important that it was me, who pulled me out. It was important that I could connect and knew the wisdom that she, that I, led me to. I work, daily, with students, teaching them the exact same things. That doesn't make me immune to the depths of suffering and pain. What that provides me with is wisdom to pull from, to stand upon in those moments of death, fear.
There are many who live in the place I lived. Many parts of souls or whole souls who feel death seep into their blood, their breath and stare into lifeless places begging for an end to it all. Many who, in these places, sleep, drug or shame themselves into silence or numbness.
To those many, many people, to myself, I say look up. Into yourselves. Into light. Into love. Don't be afraid to believe it or shove it off. Or do and you will feel what is left in the wake of that; darkness, fear and death. But know that you have it, in you, always, the source of life. We all do, all life. And looking up, reaching out, you can find peace. It won't last forever, you won't look up once and be done with it. But the process of looking up and reaching in, again and again, strengthens something in you. Reminds you that you are powerful. A child of love. A child of light.