Commonweal, June 2007, part 4

 Thursday, June 18th midday

Just up from lunch…fresh corn tamales with greens and heirloom tomatoes, black bean soup, fresh guacamole and fresh salsa. Yummy. I tried no to eat too much because I am scheduled for a massage in 25 minutes and don’t want to lie on a too full tummy.

This morning after yoga and breakfast, we had our third morning with Lenore. She began as she has each morning, by leading us through a meditation in which we begin with the breath, move into awareness of our bodies.

She says, “Tell yourself, “I have a body, but I am more than my body.” Then she had us draw our awareness to our emotions, to notice their changing nature. She said, “Tell yourself, ‘I have feelings, but I am more than my feelings.’” Then she had us bring our attention to our thoughts and intoned, “Tell yourself, ‘I have a mind, but I am more than my mind….Sink down into the place your true self resides, the place from which you can witness and make choices.” And then, “If you feel comfortable, say to yourself, ‘I am a living willing loving being.’ Go to the deepest party of yourself. Check in with where you are today. When you feel connected to yourself and to the circle, open your eyes.”

Each group member checked in. Over breakfast there had been some discussion about body image after cancer and about scars. Some of us showed our scars and talked about our surgeries. Then we moved on to a long guided imagery in which Lenore led us to retrieve one of our sub-personalities that had been disowned or split off.

After this visualization, I wrote the following: “She was a tomboy with a patch over one eye and raggedy clothes, standing behind a screen in the corner of the room. She was pacing and agitated, looking far tougher than her years. I recognize her bravado for what it is and come over gently to speak with her. She has a big scar over her chest where she cut out her own heart so she could put it in a secret place and hide it. I tell her I will protect her if she tells me where our heart is. She says she doesn’t know; she hid it so long ago. She says she would like my help finding her heart, so we set out together.

“She is far less wary than I expected. She is eager to go, as if she’s been waiting for me to show up for a very long time. We hold hands and skip through the woods together. After a while she pulls out a football and throws a hard spiral at me, surprising me. She laughs. I catch it but almost fall in the process. Pretty soon, we are throwing the ball back and forth, hard, and laughing. I’m being more active and lively than I have been in years.

“Then it is time to climb the mountain. We help each other over cliffs and crevasses. At night, we camp together. I sleep behind her and curl my arm over her in a loving, protective gesture. She snuggles back, happy for the comfort. The trail is rough. Sometimes she leads; sometimes I do. But this is more her territory than mine. She saves my life more than once. I save her in turn. By the time we get to the top, we are united in purpose and we trust each other. We move as one, second-guessing each other’s thoughts and movements. All our energy is bent on finding our missing heart.

“We sense that is underwater in a chest in a hidden cave. It is treacherous to retrieve it, but we risk the dangers and come out with the chest. It is dripping with seaweed and has no discernable openings. We have the prize, but don’t know how to unlock it.

“Nona and Lenore come down from the sky and tell us what we have to do to open the treasure we have sought for so long. Trusting them, I take a knife and slice open my entire side. The girl slices open her chest. Once we have made these sacrifices of our flesh, Lenore takes the heart out of the treasure box, slides it into the girl’s wounded chest. Then the girl, without hesitation, climbs into the opening in my side and nestles in her rightful place inside me. I zip up my side. She climbs up, perching on my abdomen and peers out through my eyes. She is excited and raring to go.

“We head down the mountain. It feels good to have her inside me at last. Our heart is safely inside, still intact after all these years in hiding, ready to flower.”

We shared our journeys with the group. One woman, married to the only man in our group said she had looked back at all the events in their marriage and thought, “It doesn’t matter what happened before. Now is the time for love.”

Yes, now is the time for love. Now is the time for that hidden heart and that lost little girl who gave up love, to come back and live inside me. It is the last frontier, the place I have to go. The place I am ready for, finally, now.

Subscribe to my mailing list and I will immediately give you a beautiful eBook: Writing Toward Courage: A Thirty Day Practice

A Gift to Inspire Your Writing

Subscribe to my mailing list and I will immediately give you a beautiful eBook: Writing Toward Courage: A Thirty Day Practice.

Scroll to Top