(ALTERNATE TITLE: THE DAY I WAS TRIPPING BALLS AND MET MY INNER CHILD)
In the bottomest, deepest, darkest place I held a belief that I was alone. Completely alone and despite my outer world that could never change. This belief swam in my empty womb, at times growing, at times less active, but there… painfully there, always. Taking up space. Burdening my body with it’s added weight.
It pulled on my lower back, interfered with my digestion, manifested as stones in my gallbladder. At times it felt like a physical blockage. And if only I could purge it, the words I needed to express could finally be released. I could be seen, understood, possibly less alone.
In November I decided to spend a day journeying with the alacabenzi mushroom. Allowing these tiny co-evolutionary allies to show me what I needed to know. I was going as far as I could with my own tools and knowledge but this darkness was taking me down, I needed wisdom of the collective that went beyond just my own.
I decided to lock myself in a dark room, with candles, my alter, a billion blankets and my playlist. As suspected things got dark. I felt the worst I had ever felt and the darkness and emptiness inside me felt entirely consuming. The darkness was seeping through the pores on my skin and now what had been hidden inside me could no longer be contained. And no one else could see what was happening to me.
Even in my altered state I grasped my breath. I prepared for my three deep breaths, one to settle into my body, one to open my heart, and one to connect to my soul. Inhale, exhale, I settled into my body. I felt grounded and imagined pacha mama below my sit bones. I felt alive inside my self. Inhale, exhale, I imagined my heart opening like a flower. Petal by petal opening and unfurling, eager for the sun. Creating a lush place to land, for the bumble bee and butterfly. Inhale, exhale, “hi.” What? Seriously, who was that? Was that me? Who just said hi? giggle, “Hi.” Holy shit. There is someone inside of me. Hello, Hi. Who are you? “I’m you.” Have you been there this whole entire time? smile. “Yes. I’ve always been here.” Omg, I see you now, I know you, you are me.
Unfortunately I couldn’t hold on to her that day. My capacity to connect with my inner child was still in its infancy. A life time of exiling her made our relationship elusive, slippery. She was a cloud of stardust, dissipating if I got too close. She needed to learn to trust me again.
I’ve spent a lot of time with her since then. She’s like a hummingbird that I used to watch on my grandfather’s porch. Being fairly sure that if I leave out the right food, I can expect a visit. Over time she spends more time on my porch. Becoming more of a companion than a visitor.
I am recognizing parts of her I had forgotten. Leaves from the oak tree in her hair, wet blue eyes that reflect the constellations. She’s wearing oversized leftover clothes from her mother’s teenage closet. Skinned knees and grass stained tights. Dirt beneath her finger nails and the bottoms of her feet stained with wild berries. Her nose runs and her breath smells like cucumbers and brownies. She is sunburns and bug bites. She carries around lightning bugs in mason jars. Holy water glistens on her forehead. She is Earth, Water and Fire and I can feel the wind when she cartwheels around me. Trailing smells of campfire.
I’m creating space for her memories. Becoming a witness to her trauma. Encouraging her to tell me everything she needs me to know. Some of it feels painful to hear, and I am sometimes truly regretful that I left her to bear these things alone. She is brave, she is courageous. She is full of moonlight and I am allowing myself to be moved by her gravitational pull. She bleeds ocean water. And I feel so grateful to her that she patiently waited for my invitation. She gifted me with the knowledge of unconditional love.
I don’t know if it was that journey that changed the trajectory of my mental health. That began the ascension from the underworld back to the land of the living. I don’t know if a directional shift began inside me before that day and allowed me to meet myself at that special place on that journey. I honestly just don’t know.
But what I do know is that I have many less thoughts of being alone now. I am focusing on community this year, connections to self, land and others. I am allowing room for all of my parts, taking the time to heal each one, unburden their little backs. And even when I return to that dark room, in front of my alter, entirely alone, I know we are both there. She resides peacefully, playfully and forever in the heart below my heart.