The wind blows wildly beckoning me, luring me further down the path. I venture deeper into the forest among the trees. I hear the wind furiously bending the treetops, back and forth they sway to the breeze. Her strength remains high above me. Raining acorns threaten to fall upon my head. Get out of the way - keep moving they say.
As I roam the woods walking among the trees, I am avoiding facing the issues I would prefer to keep buried and leave behind; Not feeling good enough, not worthy to be liked or loved, not capable of taking action or taking risks, my fear of being alone, loneliness, the grief of my father’s death, and the anger I feel at God and everyone around me and at myself.
I have attempted to work on these issues by myself but to no avail. Sometimes I have fooled myself into thinking I had alleviated the hurt and pain but I was never able to dispel or heal it. I just buried it deep within. A pattern I have continued all of my life.
A fallen leaf leaps out upon my path. Not wanting to be stepped on, ‘pick me up’ it says, fading yellow specks of green wilting to brown rapidly. I am saddened by all the fallen birch trees for I do love them so. I stop to touch ever so gently. As I slide my hand across its trunk a piece of bark comes with me. I thank the tree for its gift to me and I continue on my way.
I have always felt different. I have always questioned life and its circumstances and expectations. I felt like there was something more, something deeper to life than what I was being told and how I was expected to live. My mother was puzzled and uncomfortable by my questions and exploration into topics she felt were irrelevant and odd.
Orange, red, yellow, brown and evergreens, blue sky, puffy white and grey clouds, yellow-brown grass and ferns, beauty before death, in preparation for sleep before rebirth. Fall has been my favorite time of year. The colors, the cooler air, the breezes, the preparation for hibernation to prepare again for rejuvenation.
I have lived my whole life with a deeply rooted belief that I was not good enough. Who I was inside was not acceptable to the outside world. I believed I had to hide who I was and become who I was expected to be. I gave up trying to figure out who I truly am. I just gave in and became who I thought I was expected to be.
It seemed that I was expected to be someone different to everyone. Some people expected me to be one way while others expected me to be another. I could never please anyone. We all have to develop different versions of ourselves in different social situations but when that version is not rooted within our true self it is full of weakness. I built different social versions of myself on faulty ground- from a false core of myself to begin with.
Once in a while, I believed that I had held onto pieces of myself. A part of me would sometimes appear. Sometimes she spoke up. But I would always have to send her back into hiding in shame. I began to let her out less and less. Somewhere along the way, I lost the person I was born to be. I am a construct of a person I have created and she’s a mess.
Deeper and deeper into the trees I roam. I ask a tall strong oak if I may absorb some of its strength. With great appreciation, I place both hands upon its trunk. Energy comes pulsing out into the palms of my hands. Its strength amazes me. When the energy flow begins to slow I take my hands away bowing and thanking the tree for its generosity. I continue down the path.
Dead trees call out to me. Trunks standing like abandoned castles left to rot and ruin speak to me of their forgotten treasures. Fallen branches cry, broken branches whisper tenderly to me. I lived a deeply withdrawn inner life at times and other times I was dead inside. The more my outer life went on and external circumstances and events happened around me the more withdrawn I became. The less I felt like I existed. Sometimes I felt like I wasn’t important and other times I felt completely invisible.
I don’t want to let anyone in close ever again and maybe that includes God. I can’t meet the expectations of others anymore. I don’t want to be the person everyone thought I was or should be. I have no idea who God expects me to be. Here in this spiritual sanctuary, I am finding my connection to God even more disconnected than when I came here. I keep wondering if the divine is really taking care of me.
I keep praying that I am doing the right thing to trust in faith but will being here in the middle of the Wisconsin Woods answer any of the questions or heal any of the broken pieces of my heart and spirit? Is having faith yet taking no real action in the outside world focusing only on my own personal inner needs really resolve anything?
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