As a writer and seeker and Intuit and deep thinker whom most humbly believes she has a story or two that needs to be told steps into this first blog piece here at Word Press I start out with a title that is a bit of a misnomer. I however take artistic license when I say “off into the woods I go” for the woods, in this case, were actually hidden behind a wooden door and exists right in my the very suite I live in and instead of stands of living trees when I walked into that “woods” I was surrounded by the by-product of trees. I did loose my mind, or parts of it, on this journey I am about to expound on, and also more importantly and gratefully I have found, once again, my soul.
January 14, 2018
It all began in a kind of paradoxical way, both mundanely and unexpectedly.
I needed, to pack up Christmas for 2017, that is put away my, “almost real” 3” tree, my decorations and this years memories, etc. into my storage closet. At the same time my sister inquired if she could store some boxes and things there so it needed to be organized and cleaned out to make the best use of the space. I assumed this was going to be a very boring and laborious job and wasn’t looking forward to it but one should never make assumptions…
…as life would have it this was a catalyst for an unusual and significant turn of events in my journey through this universe. One of re-discovery of self and of finding some happiness and yes, even an authentic, true, for real love of myself.
I’ll explain; my storage closet, which is quite big, some might even claim it to be a small den, holds quite a lot of boxes, suitcases, toolbox, games etc. I set out upon what I assumed would be the tedious task and rolled up my sleeves and just dove in; grabbing one box I hauled it out and started purveying the contents. Bric-a-brac and odds and sods. Some nice decorative pieces I had forgotten about, photograph’s and pictures. I tried to be organized about the whole culling process setting about piles of I imagined to be labelled one of three, “Keep”, “Give Away” and “Garbage”, or more politically correct, “Recycling”. So it went from box to box finding much of the same in each box but what I hadn’t expected was the flood of memories, both good and bad, and emotions and wave upon wave, like the swelling ocean, of feelings that I experienced at the beginning of this journey.
Finding gifts given by loved ones and especially those that had been hand crafted brought such joy and an appreciation that I don’t think I had felt the day I had received the gift oh so many years ago. Cards and letters both written to me and from me and a folder full of certificates and awards I’d received over the years for the many varied courses or programmes I had taken. Successes! Even the little knickknacks, a lot that ended up in the ‘recycling’ pile tugged at my heart-strings. Really the only sad memories where when I came across things from or about Mom, how I miss her still, and also pictures from very early childhood. There would be a forlorn feeling, a lonesomeness as I looked into the face of a young blonde haired little girl I did not know or could not connect to on any level except sadness. But I didn’t allow myself to get stuck in that feeling. It wasn’t new to me, I had talked about this part of me and my childhood with many people and it is something that I think I have just come to an acceptance and understanding about. I wasn’t going to allow myself to fall into a victim role that night as I had so many other emotions to explore and besides, I knew that the little girl in the picture’s story is being written as we speak and so far it’s shaping up to be not too shabby because like I alluded to earlier, that night I started on an awesome journey to self-love.
Getting back to organizing the boxes; I was really into the photo’s now but not in the way I really wanted to because I have hundreds of hard-copy photographs and that was a project for another day. There were however a few that kind of just stuck out and begged to be looked at and one that caught my eye was one of a young woman who looked to be in her early twenties. She was obviously hamming it up for the camera. She had, what I can only describe as a “really bonkers” expression on her face and as I sat there in my living room on a quiet night in January I broke out into a howl of laughter. Gut splitting, eyes watering laughter. Just me, myself, I and the young woman in the photo who seemed to exude an ambience of self-sureness, a sense of humour, a zest for life and she seemed to have the world by the tail. Yup! That was me all right! 32 years ago, clean and serene, about to become pregnant with my daughter Anna and living the dream and as I glanced at that picture over the next several days I realized she is still alive and well inside of me and I love that side of me. That is the side I want to nourish and nurture and that is the authentic me. I feel that young woman, like a sprouting shoot, in the very core of my being. I feel the fresh, cool, green little shoot reaching up and out and it is sweet and pure and clean and I want to commit to her that I will do her no harm. I will not jeopardize her health, mentally, emotionally, spiritually or physically in any way.
I have been given so many gifts in my life, gifts I wouldn’t have been given if the road I had been given to travel had been an easier one…my experience with childhood trauma and sexual abuse, sexual abuse at the hands of a school teacher, rape at age 14, having to abort a child, giving another child up for adoption, a diagnoses at age 19 of several different mental illnesses including schizo-effective disorder, heavy addiction issues starting with alcohol at age 12, with a brief ten-year reprieve in my early 20’s but ending just in the recent past with addiction to crack cocaine, not to mention the two different types of breast cancer’s I’ve survived and various debilitating physical ailments…yes, believe it or not as a direct result of this road I’ve walked I’ve been given many gifts. Many caring, loving people along that road at various times to give me tools so I could lay that path straight and 12 stepping-stones to make traversing it easier and more tools and ropes to climb the mountains. Some roads where never meant to be straight though and if they had been, synchronicity would not have worked its magic in my life the way it has so many times.
Before I go on though I must say however strongly I do believe in synchronicity and the such I believe also in Divine intervention which has been with me all the way along my travels from as far back as I can remember. I truly believe I would have surely not survived mortally without such an influence and everything else, the gifts I’ve been given, the people placed in my life, the timing of things, all the synchronicity, would not exist without this Divine presence.. I do not claim to know the source of this Divine intervention or Divine Being. I do not claim to know who, what, when, where, why or how. I am not meant to know. I believe no one really is meant to or else we would know beyond any reasonable doubt “The Truth”and so many of the Universes varied spiritual and mystical mysteries would be unified into one True Collective by now. I do know though that I humbly seek the Divine and it’s in the seeking that the knowledge we do need to know is revealed. It is a lifetime of seeking and at the end of this life who then really knows…I can’t wait to find out but I don’t plan on expediting my exit from this lifetime with the reckless manner that I have chosen in the past.
I shall get back to synchronicity and how I believe it is all part of the grand plan and has proven to be in so many areas of my life. I could write two or more pages just on that but for the for now I’ll just explain it as it relates to this situation. I was meant to find that picture of “Bonkers Me” at just this time in my life. I needed to. I was losing myself while trying to find my sister. She is here physically but emotionally and mentally and spiritually she was in the dark and lost. My good intentions was to bring her into the light again and what I hadn’t realized was my light was just a small flicker and with the energy it was taking dealing with my sister I was afraid it was soon going to extinguish. Then you see, I believe that what goes around comes around and because I have been trying to give back, in my own way, what has been given to me to Shawneen whom I love, admire and respect very deeply and because this dear person needed to borrow some space in my storage closet I had to clear it out, hence finding the photograph and my journey back to my core. That little sapling that got lost so long ago, my free-spirited self has been brought out of the dark and into the light again and I will give her the nourishment she needs to continue her regrowth. I’ll have to keep her clear of the weeds and little stones and tend her carefully so she will not wilt or whither again and I can do this. The chain of synchronicity goes on because now as a result of my finding my authentic self-love my sister has told me my light and positive influence is affecting her and it is very evident to me as well. But like I think I’ve tried to convey I can maybe take a little credit for good intentions but so many factors have played out in this great and wonderful journey of late.
A couple of final notes; I heard this quote the other day and it has stuck with me:“A mistake made twice is a choice.” This time I know that I will not repeat my past mistakes.
Last but certainly not least today I choose life..pure, clean and serene, simple, healthful, joyful, spirit-full, life.
Erin Patricia Phelan Fletcher