Are you running from shadows that are not even your own, but instead are being projected onto you from collective negative energies, long past? Where does one even begin to suspect that such a thing is occurring?
I feel a divine breakthrough transpired to open my eyes to this because my brain has been at maximum capacity for weeks now, and this kind of thing pushing through and making all kinds of sense at this time feels like a miracle.
I’ve been looking for one, it just so happens. I don’t mean to sound greedy, but more like a bucketful, only because it seems my troubles are so spread out and there is no one-size-fits-all solution I can fathom. I realize that is my very human, externally-influenced-from-birth, limited-comprehension brain. Fortunately, with age and wisdom, I have found a way to take it out of the box in which it is confined and let it play more often, which is likely what brought me to this very place.
I was just sitting in my spare/college-bound and rarely coming around teen’s/crafty, cat-cuddly, studio/ meditation/catch-all room, watching a soothing vintage cartoon when suddenly I felt the need to rewind a part I had just watched. It felt a bit like an out of body experience, it’s significance pulsing through me like waves of light.
There was myself, observing it with my eyes, but then it was as if I were being shown, by a wiser, very comforting presence, this deeper lesson, and how it was so relevant to my struggles. I was able to feel and see, hear, and understand with both my limited human brain, and my Infinite Spirit brain, like tapping into a higher spiritual realm of discovery.
The cartoon is titled Summertime, from 1935. The description says:
Spring is coming, but Old Man Winter isn’t ready to retire for the year.
(Notice the time stamp.)
Mr. Groundhog knows what time it is. He even got it validated by Mr. rabbit. The message said Spring Is Here! Old Man Winter, not ready for the change, is mad about it. While Mr. Groundhog goes skipping about to express his joy he is met with the wrath of his foe, who tries to slow the coming of Spring by casting his angry shadow over Mr Groundhog, who never asked to be involved in any of it, truth be told. This makes Mr Groundhog’s fight or flight mechanism kick in, where his fear makes him run to the safety of his home. He slams the door on Old Man Winter’s shadow, who took the form of a mouse and began to shrink away to nothing as he pounded at Mr. Groundhog’s door. Cut to Old Man Winter, wailing in defeat.
Why did Mr Groundhog run in fear even though he knew it was indeed Springtime, and there was nothing that Old Man Winter could do to change it? Because he has been playing the same role in this game as far back as he can remember. He falsely believed the narrative that if he stepped out of his hole on this one fateful day each year, and saw his shadow, that he was responsible for winter lasting an extra six weeks.
Why did Old Man Winter try to slow the onset of Spring by tricking Mr Groundhog into thinking the shadow was his, knowing his effort would be in vain? For even if Mr Groundhog had not run away and stood in the shadow that did not belong to him, Spring was already there.
I know, it is just a silly cartoon. Or is it? We are meant to find deep meaning in all manner of seemingly trivial things of this life. They are like hidden gems, sparkling from within the silly, the mundane, the tragic, even.
I have been immersed in these shadows in what feels like an endless battle, punishing myself for my lack of ability to outrun them, to reach safety and close the door on them. I considered it to be critical work in my healing process.
During this time it became clear to me that I had to find a way to actually stop running in fear and face them; let them show me what they are made of, even though it meant having to do so through the eyes of the two year old whose world was hijacked by tragedy, or the young child who suffered repeated trauma that robbed her growing brain of the ability to form proper neural pathways that would facilitate a successful, grounded life with healthy coping skills. I can tell you that the experience is terrifying beyond words.
It turns out that it is only after I have stood to face these shadows that I, in retrospect, am able to truly see them for what they are. I’ve always believed these memory flashbacks were like demons seeking to devour me. That is the only understanding that my child mind could make of the things that were done to me. Because this was the only reality I knew, the shadows of my past consumed me with fear. Now I have an adult brain, a problem-solving brain, that seeks to make sense of these experiences that have shaped me. These shadows are nothing more than ghostly impressions that haunt until the realization that they no longer have the power to physically harm me in any way. Once this is realized, I become more affixed in the present where there is validation that I am indeed safe, and Spring, that time of rebirth and renewal, is here.
I remember the cold desolation and grayness of Winter, but there is an order to life that guarantees Spring will always come.
Childhood was devastating, confusing, filled with terror, and an endless need to find solid footing, but I loved being a child; building worlds with my imagination and the freedom and awe of pure innocence that I still carry so close to my heart.
I am not bound by the unfortunate crimes committed upon me, through the sickness of others. Healing is a given because my God is always a soft place to land, no matter where I’m falling from or how high. Perhaps it is an arrested development within me that I always try to see the good in others.
Winter is not my favorite season, yet I find snow to be a wondrous gift that ignites the same childlike glee as the golden mermory of one Christmas morning that I awoke to find my big ugly, scary, world blanketed in crisp, white silence.
What will you rewind to see with new eyes?