Friday, August 9, 2013
AND THE DAY CAME WHEN SHE FOUND HEALING IS WHERE THE STORY BEGINS
"I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you. And that you will work them, water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom."
Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Women Who Run with the Wolves
There has come a time in my life to start looking internally for happiness not externally. In so doing I will be able to find what is true in my heart. I have no doubt but what this will lead me to my true passion. It is then that I can teach that to others. To determine my success I must begin and acknowledge exactly where I am right now.
I have thought about this for a long time. I have discussed it with a cherished friend and realize that the purpose of my life is to find happiness and fulfillment in what I am doing. This means letting go of those people and things and projects and chores and endless goals and perceived challenges that endlessly occupy my time, to be able to find what is important to me at this age and stage of my life.
For me healing from a lifetime of abuse can best come from solitude. From writing ~ from peace ~ from a deep desire to find that life that allows me to live ecstatically. I have plowed through pain and anger wondering if it would ever end. I am now tip toeing out into the light. Setbacks occur and I try with all my being to learn to deal with the tough stuff and find that which I care about and that which is my center.
If it makes any sense at all, I want to find my way back home. It doesn't make much sense to me either, but it is as if I want to return to a home that I have never known or had. A home where I feel safe and comfortable and cherished and a home where I can write my stories, a home where there is comfy chair and a window looking out onto vibrant lush green fields and mountains or the ocean. Without this, I have determined I would feel as if I have no soul.
As C.S. Lewis wrote, "We tell stories to know that we are not alone." This I understand. This I get! At the end of the day, what I write turns out to deal with my deepest concerns and value.
For the past 30+ years my therapy dogs and I have left footprints and paw prints in many, many hospitals and thousands of lives, and more recently the service dogs for the warriors with Post Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injuries. I have observed endlessly my pups and others helping patients press pass pain. As one quite elderly lady said, "Little Gracie walks into the hospital with angel wings." These moments have been the silver lining of my life and they have been band aids for the lives of those struggling to get through the next second, minute, hour, or day. These moments have almost always given me goose bumps.
So for me the next step is to write. To write my 60th book. For me healing is where the story begins.
A warrior told me that when my golden/lab Kelsie was asleep with him on a sofa, tucked under his arm, that there was a new meaning for rest in peace. The stories will begin here and will be linked by love and single acts of kindness. As my dogs have conveyed encouragement, support, empathy, affection, humor, and hope, faith, and courage by their mere presence, they accept without judgment and they love without expectation. My dogs have given humans an emotional break and provided, perhaps more importantly, the ability to just 'be'. These dogs do not have an agenda, nor do they fake enthusiasm.
We all become much too frequently absorbed in our own problems, causing vast emotional distress. Observing my own therapy dogs and the warriors service dogs, I have seen them shift the patients attention, if only for a while, as they instantly reduce anxiety and depression.
For me the story is no different. For me between the wish and he thing ~ life lies waiting. As Gertrude Stein so wisely said, "Let me listen to me ~ not to them." Every day I sit back and wait for my book to be written is a day lost. I will begin to write where the story begins, where the mental images return and turn into phrases that drip with emotion and meaning.
And at the end of the day this is where I shall find peace and the earth shall become quiet.