Mud pies and retro-childhood are for the hurt ones, small and angry inside me. They require care and special attention, but I can’t stop with them. Saving the children to starve the adolescents is a sad fate, and abandoning adults after bringing them all this long way would be indescribably cruel. I cannot work on healing all the while waiting for some ice floe to shove myself off on. There is never a time when I am not the responsible party for the people who inhabit my interior life. I live their reflection every day; there is no one-way mirror with which to hide unresolved issues, no rug to sweep them under; they flow through me like a river. I must return to them to breed new health as a salmon swims back to the waters of its birth to bring new life. I must brave the complexities of maturity; I cannot just sit in the mud.
Make a truce with your fears.
The Price of Today’s Ride
Much of my spiritual awakening has been spent
separating myself from the nightmare of the past,
reassuring myself that in fact, it, the horror, is over.
As my present has improved my reactions
are still invested with the hide or fly coping
of a child dealing with terror.
Things get better yet barricades are erected,
departing flights secured.
Disengaging the clutch of fingers wrapped so tightly
around the escape hatch takes a great deal of my
short supply of faith and confidence.
Laying down my anticipatory reluctance
in favor of optimism has had the breathtaking feel of pain,
though in fact it was only the separation
from a poisonous crutch and the vacuum it creates.
Allowing myself to see beauty
at the same time as I deal with the truth of the past;
standing in the full light of morning
and not blocking out the brilliant pain of night
is the outstanding gift my spiritual path affords me.
You are reading selections from Sober on the Way to Sane and More Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault