Walking into a thick, tall pine forest. With each step, the trees grow denser and slowly start to block out the sunlight until it is almost entirely dark. A constant twilight descends. It is neither day nor night. I am neither fully here nor elsewhere. I am half awake half asleep. Half broken half whole. Half grieving death half reaching for life.
I start to stumble unable to see where I am going. A subtle panic advances escorting every step. Memories… memories from the many lives I’ve lived in the past 40 years, distress from the many hurts I’ve felt the past 40 years, regrets from the many mistakes I’ve made in the past 40 years… rise up and humble me. All the things I had left untouched, unresolved, unanswered, unwitnessed, unacknowledged haunt me.
I cry for 18 months until there is nothing left to cry about. I forgive all I had shared pain in, atoned the regrets and felt the ravages left by a lifetime of bypassing the extremities of my humanity. The path through the forest, still in that twilight half-darkness, beckons me to continue despite the many junctures at which I question my sanity, my life, my purpose, my place in the world and everything I had once thought to know true.
Then slowly, day by day, little speckles of light start darting through the trees. The forest floor becomes dappled with sunshine as the trees grow slighter. Tiny moments of joy begin to creep into what had become a hardened and heavy heart. Involuntary protection from the aches it has persevered. Endless desolation is replaced by recognition of beauty. A new soft loving openness breathes itself into me.
And there I am. On the other side of the darkest forest, I have ever moved through. An initiation is complete. Maiden to mother. Truths revealed. Maturity claimed. Limitations frontiered. A new woman has emerged.
After 2 years of really intense growth and healing, I am coming out with an entirely new version of myself. While I’m still walking into life like an unsteady newborn I’m really excited and heart-wide-open for what this newest iteration of myself is bringing.
On a pragmatic level, there are so many aspects that have been named, faced and redefined. All things relating: romantic relationships, platonic relationships, familial relationships, and in particular my insolent unwillingness to the way I have played out childish narratives in all of those. All things feeling supported: finances, the entire concept of belonging, having and providing myself with a physical home both bodily and environmentally, community and the paradoxical intersection between my codependency patterns and tendency towards avoidant attachment responses when triggered. All things spirituality: how I had spirituality bypassed all of the above because I was too spiritually evolved and had already transcended it all until my spirit guides LOL’ed into their coupes of cava and hauled me back to my humanness reminding me that I am as evolved as the next person I walk beside and judge.
It has been a journey. I’ve made it past the edge of the treeline after that mammoth cosmic forest swallowed me whole halfway through 2020 and spat me out only days ago. Thank you for your patience while I figure out how life works on this new playing field again. Thank you for being the dappling light of love and encouragement, even if you didn’t know it, on the days I felt the darkest. Thank you for being there alongside me.
From one mere mortal made of stardust to another, I salute you.
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