Strange goings on here in our world. Fair warning. I am not at all sure that I can talk about the new opening places in our lives -- and not sound just crazy. But... It feels like it is time to start trying to tell the story. It feels like the story wants to be told.
A big, even giant, unanswered question for us, as we have traversed these last months, has been the role and place of "spirituality" in the healing we've sought. The traditional, mainstream religiosity that is the proffered answer in the "recovery industry," just does not work for us. There are such deeply rooted lies at the heart of traditional religious belief that it is impossible to know that truth and buy into the mythology. Having it thrust upon us -- upon me -- has left me feeling stripped of all belief in anything, flat and devoid of light and liveliness. Increasingly, I've felt sad, mournful, despondent, and dead inside -- even as the life and love we share has seemed to be getting better and better. I am self-aware enough that I knew my internal world and my external reality were out of sync with one another, but knowing that made no difference. I simply could not make myself FEEL the kind of sweetness that matched what I could see in the life we are currently living.
A little over a month ago, He became interested in a healing methodology/practice of Shamanism called "soul retrieval." It captured His imagination, and resonated deep in His being. Very quickly, He did the research, found a local shaman, and made arrangements to have a "soul retrieval." I was skeptical -- and that too was odd, because I am the one, over the years, who has delved into the more esoteric spiritual practices. But, I've always journeyed out to the edges with people that I knew well -- and trusted. He was going to open Himself up to someone He'd never met -- someone He'd found online. The whole business made my stomach do flip flops.
He did have a soul retrieval. It was fine, for all my worrying. In fact, it was remarkable and amazing and has made a huge shift in our reality. I'll not speak to the specifics. It isn't mine, after all. His soul retrieval, though, did set the stage for me to follow the same route. My sense of disconnection, my sense of being flat and dead inside, all are classically symptomatic of "soul loss." I was reluctant and not entirely convinced that buying into the whole odd, weird, crazy-seeming business made any sense at all. And it does require a "buy in." Shaman's may spend their time hobnobbing with the spirits, but when they act as conduits to and from that realm, they charge for the service.
Still, I have felt stuck; unable to move forward into our lives together -- and with no "back there" to go back to. What was is gone forever, and what is becoming seemed incomprehensible to me. I've been treading water; trying to just be content with a life that seemed pretty pale and unappealing. So, at His urging (yes, He still "urges" quite definitively), I called the shaman. She did not answer her phone, and I left a message: "Hello. I am interested in working with you to do a soul retrieval. Here's my number. Please call me."
I didn't hear anything, and so in a couple of days, I called again. Still no answer. Another message; this time sounding desperate and pleading. Sheesh! What was I doing? When I didn't hear again, I began to imagine that maybe the shaman's spirit guides had declared me to be too much of a mess to even talk to. What can you do when the spirits don't like you? Yup. That was me. So bad that the shaman lady wouldn't even call me on the phone. If you have read me for any amount of time, you will recognize this pattern. I'm pretty quick to believe that I am unworthy of being liked/loved.
And then she called. She'd been out of town. Was still out of town, in fact (but I'd sounded so desperate I guess), but she would be back on Thursday and would call me then. In the end, she and I finally spoke, and I arranged to go have my "soul retrieval" yesterday, May 3.
During a soul retrieval, a shaman journeys into the non-ordinary reality and, with the help of spirit guides and protectors, finds soul parts that have fled as a result of various traumas throughout one's life. Finding them, the shaman convinces them to return to the person and reintegrate with the whole person. Having parts of your essence restored to you works to heal the hurts that resulted in their loss -- or something like that. I don't pretend to really understand all of this. But...
Today? I am different. I am lighter. I am happier than I have been in -- I don't even know how long. There is nothing major that I can identify. All I know is that my "spirit" feels whole. The continual fuss that I've been caught up in; the sense of being "nothing" since I am no longer "slave" or "submissive;" the worry in my mind about our evolving relationship... is all gone. Today, it seems so simple and so obvious. We will become what we will become together, and that feels like it can be happy and good. I feel happy and good.
It doesn't make any sense. Really. Whatever this reality is, it isn't the day-to-day stuff that I am familiar with. I don't have words for any of it. I just know that something happened, and today my life is better. That's good enough for me right now.