It’s down to the wire. Whereas last year, I’d already chosen my word for 2014, this year is different. The word itself is more than a little elusive. I’ve mulled through and discarded one word after another. It is not that the words are inconsequential, it’s simply that they did not speak to me. I wanted a word that makes my heart leap with excitement in the coming months, eagerly living and immersing myself in a new state of being. One with the potential to positively affect me for the rest of my life. Finally, with the indirect influence of the amazing storyteller, Meghan Genge, I’ve chosen the word “reintegration” as my word for 2015.
Last month, an amazing life coach that I know, Sas Petherick, along with Meghan Genge, created the first “Heart & Hearth.” The idea, as stated here, was to gather an “open-hearted global circle of women, gathered around a virtual hearth fire, to remember the sacred, in the days leading up to December.” No one can deny that the days before Thanksgiving and culminating on New Year’s day is a non-stop flurry of stress-inducing, activity. For many, it is a period of sadness, anxiety and depression. The thought of anything that might introduce calm into that frenetic period was enticing. I’d taken an e-course with Sas, and I was excited to work with her again.
For 18 days, we received a “story, meditation, love letter, or reading,” from eighteen guides from around the world. Each morning, greeted us with a “gift” from one of our guides. Except for Sas, I did not know any of the guides. The guide had free reign, but the topic had to speak to some form of heart and/or hearth. We never knew what to expect, except that it would be meaningful. Although we were blessed with thoughtful and varying selections relating to heart and/or hearth, ranging from tarot card readings, poems, and yoga, all exemplified variants of the sacredness of heart and hearth.
Day 18 brought Meghan Genge, a novelist, teacher and, most compelling to me, a storyteller. Meghan’s story was a mere seven and one-half minute SoundCloud recording, but it captured my soul from beginning to end. In it, I felt a knowing and familiarity that I’ve sought for a long time, and here it was in this short beautiful fairytale (as Meghan refers to it).. (It is unfortunate, that because of my ineptitude with the technical or that the recording is private, I can’t play it for you to enjoy yourself. Although I am not the storyteller that Meghan is, I hope to cover the highlights.)
Perhaps, I am drawn to it because I realize that with my blog, Seeking Querencia, by journeying into my inner world, I, too, have been seeking home. But, not “home” in the literal sense. I mean, that “home” which enfolded me for nine months before my birth, and where I was my pure, unadulterated, whole self, unsullied by life in the outside world. Anyway, I will touch on that later on.
The gist of the ‘fairytale’ (Most importantly, as I interpret it.) is about a woman, Mary, who seeks her figurative “home.” Her search leads her to the place that she knows in her heart is the home that she seeks. Before she can enter, however, she must go through an old woman, a gate-keeper of sorts, whose task it was to ensure that the women who entered were prepared to do so. Instead of welcoming Mary through the entrance, the old woman peered at her, through her and around her, seeing something that was invisible to Mary. Returning to look at her, the old woman surprised Mary by telling her that she had work yet to do, and that she was not ready to enter. She told her that she should “call them home.” Mary, wholly unprepared for the old woman’s words, was understandably confused.
Still perplexed, but with the light cast by the old woman’s lamp, and her persistent prodding, Mary looked about her, as if for the first time. This time, she noticed scores of “gossamer threads” hovering in the air all around her, and extending into the distance. Instead of clarifying the situation, Mary was further confounded. Laughing, the old woman pulled one of the threads and Mary felt a tug originating from within her. It startled her to find that the threads were attached to her. Yet, she still didn’t understand.
Suddenly, she understood. Each thread represented pieces of her that she’d parted with during previous encounters, worries, disappointments, hurts, longings, day-to-day life and more. Retrieving these parts of herself was the work yet to do; they were the missing pieces that prevented her from being whole, and that denied her entrance into her home. (This was the part of the story that brought me to tears, because in it, I recognized myself.) One at a time, she coaxed the precious parts of her self that she left behind over a lifetime, back home, to their rightful place.
The final thread, however, was much longer than the others and proved more of a challenge. It required a more gentle and compassionate hand. It finally responded to Mary’s call. At first, Mary could not clearly see this part of herself. Finally, it was clear. Running towards her, with outstretched arms like a child separated from her mother, was a much younger version of herself. Mary understood, and scooped her up, hugging her tightly. With this Mary completed her work; they were home. Now, the entrance was open to her. She was home.
Mary’s story is mine. From my father’s abandonment at five, to the multiple marriages and divorces, the loss of my beloved brother, shame, guilt, anger, unresolved circumstances, my past is littered with pieces of myself. The purity of that innocent newborn no longer existed. It is like a piece of smooth granite that with each strike of the sculptor’s tools, is chiseled away, piece by piece. Unfortunately, in my case, the process detracted from the beauty within, instead of exposed it. Over time, the void grew larger and larger and more impossible to fill. As I listened to the tale and the details of Mary’s last thread, I visualized little “Lydia,” no longer scared and frightened, smiling and giggling as she bounded towards me, as though we’d been separated for decades. In reality, we had. The tears flowed.
The “fairytale” made me realize that in order for my inner, true, soul home to be complete, I must be whole. My tears were for those missing pieces of myself that I needed to welcome home where they belong, because only then, can the void be filled.
My goal for 2015 is to excavate my life to unearth those pieces of me that, though not gone, were unintentionally left behind. My quest is to call them home. Granted, it may take longer than the year, because this is real life, and not a fairytale. Hell, it may take the rest of my lifetime. Nevertheless, however long it takes, I intend to follow every precious thread back to each innate part of myself. As I find them, I will work to reintegrate them back home, back into me.
I am overcome with excitement for this upcoming chapter in my life, because while doing so, I will realize one of the purposes for creating this blog, to tell my story about finding my true home. Reintegration is a vital part of my journey, which is indeed “seeking querencia,” the road towards the inner home for which this blog is named. What a fairytale ending it will be!