I was 47 when I consciously embarked on a journey of self-love. I wanted to love myself, to be a full self-expression of unconditional love. I knew that more growth was ahead of me involving my heart. But I had no idea about what I was in for or what it meant to love myself unconditionally—or if it was even possible.
At some point in my early years I’d shut down many of my feelings, placing them in a nice, shiny box, tucked away safely, never to be felt again. (Anger? No, I’m not angry!) Really, I was in denial. I’d forgotten what excitement and joy felt like. As an adult, I’d learned how to operate in the “safety zone”–meaning that I experienced life without feeling very much at all. I avoided the higher and lower ranges. I had no idea how to begin to love myself so I just allowed the process to unfold, believing fully in my desire and trusting that all would be provided for me . . . I was also naturally hoping my journey would lead to being able to feel love and joy with someone else.
About two years into my journey I wrote the story you’re about to read. My friend Dawn and I had first met on a spiritual pilgrimage in Mexico, and became email buddies. Our friendship was based on spirituality and helping each other. I had just moved back to the house where I’d grown up, where my parents still lived—the house I’d last left at eighteen, believing that I would never return.
My father suffered with advanced Alzheimer’s, and my mother was his sole caregiver. She was getting very thin and worn-down, so I moved in with them. I was prepared to help—but I wasn’t prepared for the intensity of emotions I was about to feel. Lots of old feelings came back to confront me. My father’s Alzheimer’s brought him back into the past, he was a different man from the person who had done so much healing in his life and become truly capable of love.
It was a painful but necessary part of my journey. I had to go back and feel things I hadn’t felt for years if I wanted to love myself. One day, Dawn and I were emailing each other about our inner children. Dawn had a lot of experience with hers and I had next to none with mine. She suggested we spend seven days with our inner child while sharing our experiences with each other. It was a great idea, especially since my past was staring me in the face! . . .So, I asked my inner child to show herself to me, so I could meet her.
Well, in she came! My inner child became very animated, a real presence in my life. I woke up one morning and she was there. I spent a lot of time walking during those days back at home, which was great because it allowed me lots of time getting to know her.
And then the stories started coming. They (the chapters) came to me visually, almost as if I was watching a movie. It all happened within two weeks, between two powerful eclipses. The story literally unfolded in front of my eyes as I was taking my daily walks. Although I didn’t realize immediately that what I was seeing was going to turn into a story, after a couple of days of immersion in this amazing theatre I realized that I’d better start carrying a voice recorder, just to capture everything. At times, it felt as if I was going crazy, or as if I was living out my story as it unfolded.
I was also emailing Dawn my experiences, and sending her the chapters as they were coming in. She told me not to worry, and assured me that I was OK. It was great to have her support during this time.
I loved being in the story. I was the main character and I also benefited from the healing that was happening. I very soon realized that the story was far bigger than a chat with my inner child. It included several aspects of myself, and all the characters are really parts of me. Each aspect of my identity goes through their own healing process, eventually entering acceptance and self-love. Previously, they’d been stuck in time, unable to grow simply because I hadn’t even realized they were there. . . I learned that it’s only through dropping all judgment that it’s even remotely possible to come into self-love.
This has been an ongoing process and I’m grateful for my aspects for coming forward to meet me and to help me heal. My story is a living document as I will be sharing my experiences from life on my journey to full integration!!
Thank you for joining me. My wish is that you can receive some inspiration and guidance from my life experiences!