We started on my beach. I could feel the sand under my feet, the ocean stretching out in front of me. The cliffs to my right and the jetty to my left curve around to make me feel protected and sheltered in this place. We called for those who needed to be with me and of course the bright lady was there. She has not left me since the last session. The interesting thing is that I can no longer see her. I can feel her and hear her voice. I know that she is part of me always now. The surprise was in a little girl. She was me, and not me at the same time. She was maybe 3 or 4 years old. She was so sad and lonely. It was a physical pain in my chest. I could feel her vast and consuming need. A black hole in the middle of our heart. I wanted to run from her, and hold her. I wanted to pour all my love into her until she was never lonely again. The bright lady warned me that she would consume all the love I could give her and still need more. We have work to do.
I knew we were going to go out into the ocean. I started looking about and realized that we were going to have to walk out onto the very end of the jetty to reach our boat. I piked the little girl up and held her close to me. She would not be moved or shifted otherwise. I paused and looked out over the huge rocks that pointed out into the ocean. I watched the waves crash against them. This was a danger I knew from my childhood. Never go out onto the jetty because you could easily be killed. People had been killed here by doing just what I knew I had to do now. How was I going to do this with my arms full of this aching child? I had no idea and dismay welled up and filled me. The bright lady whispered in my ear and reminded me I am in a place where I cannot truly be hurt. I just had to accept the challenge and move forward with the fear. I took a step. That step led to another, and another. Some where easy and small, some were precarious. The waves kept threatening to knock us all into the ocean. I felt so small and burdened. I had no idea how I thought I could be equal to this task. I set that aside and just took another step. Eventually, there were no more steps to take and I stood at the end of the jetty looking at a small wooden boat in the water below me.
Fear gripped me again. The little girl clung so tightly to my neck that I could barely draw breath. I could not swallow, but that didn’t matter as my mouth was dry with fear. I was going to have to step out into this little bobbing boat. I was going to have to do it while holding this child who needed me so desperately. I was going to have to do it with each wave threatening to capsize it. If I stepped off the rocks at the wrong moment the ocean could move my only safe place out from under me with no effort at all. I knew I had to do this though. I had lost all my other options along the way. I knew the water and waves would destroy me if I turned back now. I would be overcome and truly be stuck. I couldn’t even take a deep breath to steady my pounding heart. So, I just stepped out. I expected to feel a bit of a fall as the boat was several feet below me but to my surprise (and relief!) I was solidly in the boat with no issue at all. The decision to take the step was all that was required for safety.
The little girl, now sitting next to me and I marveled when the boat began to move. We traveled over the breakers and out into the ocean proper. We traveled until there was no sign of land. No way for me to gauge if we were in fact traveling or drifting. I had no landmarks to guide my way and no one to comfort me. In this place where my companions are me, and are not me, I was truly alone. I felt like I belonged here. I felt like this was always to be my fate. I knew I was always supposed to be adrift and alone. The little girl agreed. The hole in my heart ached as it tried to suck all the warmth out of the sun, all the movement from the breeze, all the hope from my heart. The more I looked at this aloneness the more it consumed. It was like my attention was feeding it. It kept getting stronger and my despair grew to match it. I heard a whisper, barely at the edge of my ability to understand, “What does she need to heal?” I wanted to scream and rage and cry at this voice. “How am I supposed to know what she needs? She has been here my entire life. Can’t you see that I was too small when I realized that I would always be alone? How am I supposed to heal the truth?”
I could hold this small broken part of me. I could comfort her forever and still she would want more. If people could sense her presence inside me that could explain why they always tell me that they can’t give me what I need. Could they feel this dark yawning hunger for connection in my heart? Could they feel the vastness of it that could never been filled? Was this why people I love always push me away? I wanted to weep. I wanted to fill the ocean with my tears. I wanted to be anywhere but on this little boat int he middle of nowhere with the personification of my knowledge that I will always end up on my own when it matters. Wild and desperate I cast about for something that could close the black hole in my chest. Nothing, nothing would ever be enough. The bright lady nudged me to look for something that could counter it. Something big enough and strong enough to at least be able to stand up to the vast aching need for connection. There, it was, huge and hungry but not nearly as horrifying. My curiosity was the one hunger that was big enough to stand up to alone. I let curiosity take over. I let it fill me and wonder at how we were going to get out of this. I let it look around at the little girl. I let it see the sun shining and the cool water. It wondered why we had chosen this place. There had to be a reason.
As I let curiosity take hold I noticed the little girl just could not seem to cling so tightly to me. She was there, I could feel the weight of her, but I had become almost slippery. I was too busy looking for what could be to see into the darkness she represented. Truly, my hunger to learn and discover was a match for the need in this small child. I took her hand and I looked around. Curiosity whispered. “Why the ocean?” My heart responded with wonder, why would be be in a place that is a seeming desert without life? The ocean without life? How absurd! It was then that I was consumed with the urge to just step into the ocean. Her hand in mine we did. We stepped into the water and found it safe, comfortable and unexpected. We also were able to see that there was life everywhere. We drifted peacefully to the sand below us. I noticed in this little bubble of the ocean there was light. I could see every detail clearly. I let curiosity lead me.
We ended up looking at this little stretch of coral. At first it seemed cold and lifeless. I remembered wondering as a small child how they ever figured out that coral was alive. It looked like pretty rocks in funny shapes. The adult part of me spoke up and reminded us both that coral is in fact millions upon millions of tiny creatures. They grow these beautiful formations just like other animals grow shells. They also feed the life around them. They protect and house creatures as well. A coral reef was, in fact, an amazing representation of how we can miss the truth of something if we aren’t looking at it correctly. It also showed how very connected it is to everything around it. As I realized these things and pondered all the other things I knew about coral and the life that is intertwined with it the creatures of my mind took shape. I could see the fish that lived in its nooks and crannies. The hermit crabs that simply looked like debris at first. This coral that looked like a lonely rock in the middle of nothing was actually the hub of so much life. I let curiosity take hold once more, why would I bring us here?
I noticed something had changed. The little girl was getting curious as well. The two gaping maws of the black holes pitting against each other had cancelled out the terrible and terrifying loneliness inside. By looking at it again it started to ache in my chest once more. I realized that believing in the absoluteness of this feeling gave it more strength. That I could always find ways to make myself be alone. I could find ways to cut myself off from people even in the middle of a crowd. We feed our own demons sometimes. Curiosity was still there, though. It wanted to know if there was a way to defeat this feeling. It wanted to know what it would take for that little girl to believe in possibility again. Possibility…….
It hit me in a way that made my spirit reverberate into the heavens and deep into the earth. I felt like the entire cosmos and my very DNA had been altered by the sudden knowledge that possibility was the key. It is possible that we will end up alone. It was also possible that we had more love and life around us than we realized at first. I understood the lesson of the coral and I knew that the water would wash away my old beliefs. The little girl looked up at me and I looked back at her. I shed my imposed view of self and stretched my wings. I enveloped all of me, I embraced my bigness and my true self shown forth. I looked into the little girl’s eyes once more and realized that she could see me for the first time. I was big enough, strong enough, wise enough, and curious enough to protect her from her own fear. It was fear that bound us together and fear that would hold us until we could not breathe. What could we do to counter this fear? It was real. It was trying to protect us from being disappointed and hurt again. It was not an evil thing, but it had grown strong and like a vine that kills the tree it grows upon it had begun to strangle my love as well. I could not run from it and I could not ignore it. Instead I began to look for a way to contain it. Curiosity told me it was possible and possibility meant that there was a universe where I did not need it. It became possible to let go of this old old wound and see what I could discover on the other side. The hole in my chest eased a little.
The little girl let go of my hand. She wandered over to the coral and she looked at the fish there. They were her friends. She laughed and played and watched them with a curiosity that was growing faster than thought. I knew I had to leave her there. She did not belong with me anymore. She was too heavy to fly with me and I need to fly. I need to fly into the wide open spaces and see what I can find. I need to live where my wings can spread and my heart can soar. I need to be able to see far and wide to find all the things that are possible for me. She could only cling and weigh me down. Yet, she was a part of me. She was a part of me that I had known for my entire life. She represented a belief that had helped me navigate my world for as long as I had been trying. I was sad to leave her. What if I needed her again? What if she needed me? She is a part of me, and I a part of her. I heard her laughter bubble around me. I smiled and I knew that I could always come to the reef to find her. I also knew that if she needed me she would send one of her special little silver fishies. We would part, but we would never be truly without each other. The urge to fly became so strong. I kissed her forhead. I told her she was loved. I left her there to discover that we are always connected, even when we can’t see it. I left her there to discover that she had enough love inside to slowly fill the darkness with light. I cried with both loss and with joy. I spread my wings and I flew through the water into the sky.
I watched as the water drifted from my legs, my arms and my wings. I felt the warmth of the sun. I let each drop of water carry away this feeling that love would always lose me. I looked about and let curiosity take over once again. I realized that the little girl had her wish fulfilled, but sideways, like life usually does. We never get what we ask for exactly like we expect. We often get it in a way that takes us time to recognize. It sneaks up on us and before we know it we are surrounded by what we needed most. Possibility filled my crown and fed the rest of me. It flowed downwards and it eased the ache in my heart. It acknowledged that alone can happen and is real. It also saw that it is entirely possible that I won’t always be alone either. Before I knew where I was, or even that I had chosen to be traveling at all, I saw land below me. This is the land where my loves currently live. They each have their own special place and dwelling. Some of those houses were cold and broken. They were not what was important right now. Right now what mattered was the loves that were alive and warm. I could see them. I could see the forms that the world sees and I could see the forms that their true selves take. In this place their very spirit has a shape. I could see the love lighting the world around them. I found myself standing on land and holding each love in turn. I could see that some where brighter than others. Some where steady and some where flickering with change. It was all possible. It was all ok. In this world I could see them for what they are and accept them as they are. No more aching need trying to make me cling to them and strangle their light. I embraced them and wrapped my wings around them. I honored each beings truth as they honored mine. There was a small bit of sadness. They were not meant to fly with me. They live here, in this place on the ground. While that could change, I realized I need to accept now, and stop trying to force possibility into the present. I wept and I loved. I held and I let go. I let each thing be itself and I looked once more to the sky. I appreciated the beauty they bring to this land. I admire the homes they built for themselves. This was not my land though, it is theirs and I am just a visitor. A very lucky visitor for few ever get to see this place and these people. My tears of sadness became tears from overwhelming beauty.
I took to the skies once more. I looked out into the unknown horizon and I realized… every possible thing is out there if I stay curious enough to look for it. I just have to keep searching and maybe it is possible I will find someone to fly with me one day. Even if I don’t that is ok too for I am big, strong, capable and complete all unto myself. I could love them more and visit more lightly because I don’t need them. I chose them and they choose me. Now, to fly once more and see what else might be possible.