Creative work incubates within us long before it manifests in sounds or colours or shapes or stories. So, when I start to write a book, I go back and sift through the journals I’ve filled since the last book was written. I look for the luminous ends of threads and follow them down into the story that wants to be told. I dive into the recorded thoughts, feelings, choices, fears, joys and dreams in one small life, partly because it's the information on our inner lives to which I have the most direct access (augmented by the truth-telling journals- memory is often not reliable.)
Since any tale of my life in the last few years will include some reflection on the ending of my marriage (two years ago now,) I thought it would be wise (if not exactly fun) to go back and start reading about my experience as my ex-husband and I got together in 2000. It has been. . . . humbling. I am reading about the daily struggles of a woman (me- although there are moments when I would like to disavow ownership) earnestly and repeatedly talking herself out of the serious qualms she has about the relationship that is unfolding, and talking herself into a commitment that some part of her clearly knows is unwise. And this after years of deep psychological and spiritual inner work, a consistent daily practice, and supportive community!
Here’s the thing: we cannot be more conscious than we are. Knowing now what I did not know then, I can see how unconscious fears, stories, wounds and beliefs were shaping my choices. I'm not judging myself for this- it's simply what was.
But I’m looking for something else that I know is there, something I can feel in the shape and colour of the comments and stories, in the scent of the details of one small life: the arc of the healing my soul was seeking, orchestrating, creating. I have tremendous faith in the sacred Mystery that creates us and in what we are. Although, at times, we all self-sabotage, go unconscious, and make unwise choices, soul/psyche is always aiming for awareness of our essential wholeness, always using whatever is available to find the healing that will support us in making the choice to live fully and deeply.
So, with gentle curiosity (and a little trepidation) the soul-sleuthing begins. I continue to read and write, seeing the arc of my own soul/psyche exposing the primal wound I had never faced, bringing about the healing I have always ached for, opening me to the ever-deepening spiral of loving myself, life and the world.
It’s not always an easy story, but that’s okay. It’s still being told, is unfolding with increasing ease and joy, and I have every confidence that it ends well.