When I was five years old, Dad took me to the ramshackle Victorian house of an elderly couple he visited often as a Methodist minister. He told me they were antique dealers. The house was loaded with curios and objects of art large and small. They seemed delighted to see me and allowed me to choose several treasures from their amazing hoard. Finally, after much dithering, I chose a shiny gold expansion band bracelet with a filigree heart and a tiny diamond chip (more likely rhinestone) in the middle.
This was a precious treasure to me! It was the prettiest thing I’d ever owned, and I wore it everywhere.
One day, my bracelet couldn’t be found. I looked everywhere in my room, in the house, growing frantic at losing my treasure. It did not turn up. In the days and weeks that followed I gradually forgot my bracelet and learned to live without it.
Months later, in summer, while playing in the dirt under the church steps, I found my bracelet buried there, caked with soil, and dug it out. It must have fallen off my wrist while playing. My heart expanded with happiness! “I found it! I found it!”, my dad remembered me yelling as I ran into the house with my treasure.
Looking back, I owned myself as child, feeling happy, carefree, sensitive, and connected to nature. I loved trees, seeds, dirt, grass, gardening, loved to observe other children, to roughhouse and run, wrestle and climb trees, to laugh and be silly with my brothers, to pet and hold our Siamese cat as she purred.
Then somehow, over time on my path to adulthood, my inborn wild and authentic nature deserted me, my personal power and vital parts of my soul were just gone. My self confidence was non-existent leaving me with little sense of self.
I knew something was missing in me. Pieces of myself were scattered, some even seemed to be buried in the dark soil like my bracelet. I felt unreal, ill at ease in the world. I didn’t feel confident or complete. I thought I was a mistake.
How did my once sparkling and free spirit get muffled, gagged and silenced? How did I allow it to withdraw into the shadows until I couldn’t connect with my inner spark any more?
Looking back, I freely gave parts of my spirit and power away to fit in to my family or group of friends. Others I depended on demanded that I give up parts of myself to be accepted and approved of. Yet others stole parts of my spirit and personal power from me through abusive acts or words.
The worst part of this was I didn’t realize that I was giving away and denying my most sacred treasure, the essence of my spirit. I couldn’t know as a child that these losses and thefts would hinder my life and impede my development as a young adult.
After living like this for years, I realized I didn’t want to exist in this fragmented way, feeling empty and isolated. But, there was no blueprint available, no book or self help guide to reclaiming my own self and my spirit.
The path to recovering myself was unclear at first. I had to reinvent my life, starting from an uncomfortable place of confusion, feeling alone and un-moored. I finally had to surrender and ask Spirit to guide me and show me my path.
It took me several years of dedicated focus to bring back the missing pieces of my spirit one by one and weave my inner life back together into wholeness. I couldn’t do this alone; energy healers, shamanic healers, dear friends, teachers, therapists, beloved spirit guides, and compassionate spirit helpers, self help books, and listening to my body and energy wisdom all contributed to my healing journey.