A Soul Retracts, Quietly Persisting in the Shadows
A deep conversation.
An intense look.
Seeing her for the first time
as the soul I knew before.
I lost her
to a world she thought she preferred
instead of the one into which she was born.
The world where she was loved unconditionally.
She left for an abyss
that takes the soul.
Spits it out.
Manipulates it beyond recognition.
A soul that then waits in the shadow.
Only to be revealed after endless searching.
Years of pretending,
misguided and misplaced expectations,
hiding behind chemicals
to numb the pain.
Reaching for a transitory high
only to feel empty in the end.
Death of love,
the false self.
Death of addiction.
After years of escaping the truth.
The soul emerges enriched
by experiences that needed to occur
in order to fully grasp its worth.
My daughter has resurfaced as a wise, alert, beautiful soul. Wise beyond her years and just as I remember her. The faith I carried when she was young did not fail me through her years in addiction.
I knew she would eventually come up for air, breath in deeply what might be and decide to stay.
All the things we (her father and I) unconsciously and consciously taught and modeled for her are being actualized. Patiently returning to that quirky, independent, smart, empathetic soul she was before monkey mind took over.
Life threw her unexpected (and expected) curves, twists, turns and roller coaster rides. I was thrown into those same manipulative twists. Although I may have been a bystander during the early years, I was quickly drawn in when chaos ensued.
The Soul Resurfaced
The fire in her belly is strong and compassionate. She feels everything.
All the things she missed during the years in addiction. It has been like observing a child learning to walk, talk, eat, experience nature, meet a new friend, be open to possibilities.
Sensory overload does hit her psyche like a brick at times. Some days are difficult to manage. Fortunately she has the presence of mind (and body) to allow patience and compassion to enter into her daily practice. Taking it slow, absorbing, feeling, responding, loving as the person she is now.
I know her soul has come a great distance when she no longer responds with “I’m fine” when asked. Instead, there is a conversation, sometimes short, sometimes long, about what is happening right now.
Realizing the value of her personal well being is sinking into her soul. She is not longer setting it aside simply because of convenience for others.
For someone who was not maternal or want a child initially, I was meant to have this soul in my life. Through her life, she has and is showing me the way to my own sense of being.
Yes, I may have gotten some of what she has taught me through others. But the DNA connection is what is extraordinary. We share so many of the same traits, but have maneuvered through them differently.
These altered perspectives are vital to expanding the soul’s ability to empathize with what the universe brings our way. And furthermore, it is a realization that nothing stays the same.
Life can and will turn on a dime.
Image: Migrating Below the Surface, monotype
This work is a one of kind monotype. I used actual snake skin to create the imagery. And although snakes terrify me, I decided to move beyond that fear and into a place of acceptance. Acceptance of the beauty that is in the texture, color, complexity and symbolism of a snake. This creature regularly sheds its skin and begins anew. Transforms, replenishes, alters its appearance and moves on. That transformation can be done quietly below the surface in preparation for what may come next.
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