Soul is already present in all that exists.
I am a container of soul energy, as much as the sun, the leaves and the flowers. I, too, grow and express life.
The soul in us is the part that feels deeply and connect us to life. It is the part that can see beyond the appearances, it understands the hidden nuances and inner value of things as well as connecting us to feelings associated with archetypal fields, emotions and experiences such as the longing for love, identity, self definition or deep connection with parents or other living as part of our soul family.
I have loved and drawn rich meaning and comfort from the psychology of Jung for so long as he seemed to grant soul a place in psychology (which he called the logos of soul) and when I first got sober I was drawn to therapist James Hillman’s idea of the Soul’s Code or the sense that it is the soul in us which takes us deeper into a state of individuality and grace than pure spiritual seeking alone. When we consider our inner lives from the perspective of soul we can find all kinds of meanings for what we endure in this life. Last night I read a wonderful quote from a Buddhist teacher that spoke about marrying the depth of our soul to the light of spirit on our way through life.
Earlier today I felt a big pull into soul. I went to hang out some washing on the dryer in the spare room where I keep some of my Mum’s possessions since she died a few years ago. I looked over in the corner where a black bag my Mum used a lot was sitting and I must honestly say, I experienced a wave of aversion. I thought of Mary Poppins being prim and prissy and how this black bag was just the kind of bag she would probably carry. My first thought was how I now feel like I want to be rid of it because earlier on I had been resenting the family madness and dysfunction that I seemed to have got caught up in when coming back to my home town around 9 years ago. Now that my sister is on the upswing from her recent depressive breakdowns, happy as I am for her I also feel all the angst of what I got put through when she attempted suicide in 2013 as well as going through what others have labelled ‘manic’ episodes which may actually have been something else, just a way of her own soul trying to find a way to live in the aftermath of her own past trauma, losses, while undergoing her own midlife crisis of emergence.
I went over to the bag and opened it and took out some of the contents, a small packet of tissues : Mum always carried these. A modern red wooden necklace her best friend got repaired while she was ill the last time and a large wallet with my father’s three initials JAF engraved on it in gold. I looked inside the wallet to find an itinerary for the trip my Mum took to visit my ex husband and I in the UK in 2001… In fact that year Mum and I both ended up traveling to Holland to visit my Dad’s second sister and we were there having breakfast on the day the Twin Towers collapsed due to a terrorist attack on September 11.
I immediately started crying, remembering how Mum arrived all alone (just as she did a year after Dad died when she came over to spend a month with my best friend and I who were, at that time living in Chelsea in London). She was back in the land of our ancestors and I thought with fondness of the time she spent with my husband’s mother but I also realised after shedding all the tears that at that point I was only just beginning to undergo sychological separation…. so so much pain in our family and so so much trauma… so so much yet to live through, too in terms of illness, suffering and two deaths as well as the ending of my marriage which caused my Mum pain.
Today I was thinking about the last poetry post I posted on leaving sadness behind, I thought of how sadness is the energy that really does deepen us into our soul and true self in many ways, but sadly as a culture we get all kinds of messages about what is and is not acceptable as far as feeling and expressing sadness. I am also remembering while writing this that addiction recovery writer John Bradshaw reminds us how essential grief work is to healing and reclaiming a strong and valuable relationship with our the full reality of our past as well as our inner child. And it seems to me that the child in us in the most soulful part of us, it is the part that opens and is not yet closed, that asks questions and shows a natural awe and curiosity, knowing life is full of mystery and yet seeking answers and wisdom. And it is the part of us that just feels what it feels, knows what it knows and sees what it sees, at least until the time when this part of us gets shut down and we really suffer a form of soul loss. Its not really our sadness or other feelings that are a problem, it when we dont allow ourselves to move through them and let them flow and instead block up our flow by damming it up into never ending grief. And it also seems to me that the child in us is also so often related to intuitive knowing.
Sadly trust in this part of us can sometimes get lost and yet this part of us always lives on and tries to get our attention. It tries to show us where things which are making us sad are not doing good things to our heart and then sadly we are often told to over ride these as well. It made me cry this morning to realise what I got caught up in, in terms of my family dysfunction and trauma for the past 9 years. In many ways this house I live in is a symptom of it, as my sister had been involuntarily committed around the same time Mum forced my hand on it at the auction in December 2011 and my second sister made an attempt on her life only two years later. The next year saw the death of my older sister and my own struggles to separate and find a good solid Jungian based therapist.
And yet I also love this house, even though at times it feels like a prison. I think I am going to stay here and not move to the new place although so often I associate it to the overwhelm not only of my own traumatic life but that of my entire ancestral inheritance. But it makes sense and things are working out. The last eclipse involved the Cancer energy of the maternal inheritance as well as relating to my own experience of the inner child and being the baby in a far older more materially oriented family so its only natural at this point I am getting a long range eagle eye view into a past I had to travel this far down the road to see even more clearly.
At the same time there is also such a huge part of me that wants to let go of it all now. To not be as surrounded by those possessions of my Mum’s that act as triggers to pull me back. The truth is Mum is gone now and I don’t want to keep being pulled back to what is passed. I know it will always live inside me but for now I want to live in a far less barren place. Comforting as it can be at times to deepen into nostalgia or sadness for what has passed, these days I would rather just acknowledge it and move on.
I love the words of the promises in AA. Happy, joyous and free. In the 12 step programme the fruits of doing a review and inventory of your past is that you get to address it and move forward, there are words in the Big Book that say. “We will not regret the past, nor need to close the door on it.” And perhaps, in the end, regrets are a waste of time because at the time we chose to do something we regret, we obviously thought it was for the best.
I look back to 2001 now and remember that coincided not only with 9/11 but the Saturn Pluto opposition as well. At that time I started to feel a pull back to Australia while my husband and I were trying our best to build a life away from family in the UK. The past 19 years have been spent being pulled back in, in many ways, in being there for my sister and Mum’s last years and for those hospitalisations of my other sister which followed on from Mum’s relatively sudden death back in 2017. My living sister seems to be doing better now. She is more positive, more engaged with her grandchildren and even ringing and talking to me more frequently. I know its not her fault, a lot of what went down between us after Jonathan left me but at times she was pretty split off from the emotional side or even knowing at that point what it was like to have a marriage end and have as much inter-relational and personal trauma as I had had up to that point and then to be sober and trying to deal with feelings from the past.
Going to the coast in three weeks will hopefully bring a healing for us. As it was from the time we started to use that house as a family in 1978 after Dad and Gary completed building it, that much of our traumas hit. For me the smashed up teenager is now an adult. That trauma and accident was to repeat on the run from family who really struggled to know how to help me in the painful aftermath of my broken marriage. They didn’t really know how to ‘hold’ me and my feelings, simply because they struggled with their own. That does not make them wrong or bad. And in the end my own soul journey had to be taken alone, could not find a place of understanding or acceptance within a family where emotional recovery was not considered a possibility at all.
Sad as it is, as the youngest child I had to bear the brunt of more. I saw so clearly today that I was born at a time of collective shattering. The 60s saw the advent of so much change and so much turmoil within the balance of masculine and feminine energies as well as other traumas, challenges and life changes that have an impact for us all as a collective. My experiences of trauma and near death just marked me out for an inward soul path and I am beginning to see lately its not a sign of failure I never found a way out into a dying world I felt, in so many ways, I just did not belong to. In fact it was and is a sign of strength that I could pull close to the inner life and understand that what I suffered was a condition of soul rupture with widely collective themes.
For me, my times of greatest peace come when I connect to the soul. I can draw comfort from the fact that every memory connects me to a puzzle piece of my own journey of reclamation and that as the continuation of cells within cells within cells of an ongoing evolutionary journey of humanity every single experience and feeling on a soul level belongs, has meaning and makes sense. For I am a spiritual being having a human experience and I am also a soul growing, morphing and learning with each single step and so called ‘mistake’ I make on this journey of life. One thing I know for sure is this, as long as I stay closely connected to the soul in me and my ancestors I can never be truly lost, but at the same time I must not be limited from finding either, those spiritual wings which allow me to fly free and above it all like an eagle soaring, when the pull or longing of Happy, Joyous and Free, calls upon me.