Who is on the plum tree?
“The only journey is the journey within.” (Rilke)
Give to others what you need the most! This simple truth is like Ariadne’s thread leading me through storm, conflict, or choice.
Obviously, none of us received much attention in my large, Irish, catholic, very dysfunctional family of ten, unless it was negative. I was never good at clamouring for a few scraps. Only the loudest voices were heard, the bullying, violent or hysterical. I spent my childhood reasoning with ogres, being diminished by screams of, “Look at me, look at me! I’m much more important than you.”
I carried my yearning to be seen and valued out into the world. The more I needed recognition, the more it eluded me. This constant ache clawed at my soul. I could either remain a victim of my family’s madness, thereby, allowing it to define me, or I could try something else.
Something else ~ what might that be? As a child, I was aware of a light within me. I also had a powerful imagination that enabled me to escape my harsh, everyday life and find solace by exploring other realities. As I grew, I was able to make the journey within ~ to shadow realms where I came face-to-face with all that I am ~ light as well as dark. Among other family members, I met my father within me ~ the violent, raging, frustrated spirit, which in him was so misdirected, and which later became my best friend.
As a starting point, I decided to give to others what I could not have myself, whether a kind word, or recognition of talent. This changed the course of my life from needer to giver. I became a healer, a Doctor of Psychotherapy, a social entrepreneur, an environmental campaigner. I travelled to Africa during the war-torn nineties, where I was fortunate enough to work for Oxfam, UNICEF, and World Food Programme. I lived among those who gave their all with true modesty. The spirit of giving was the mucilage that held Aid and Development teams together. We were free to open our hearts to those much less fortunate than ourselves. I was happy then.
These days, I write children’s books in celebration of the brilliance of childhood imagination. A well-developed imagination can literally save us from all manner of tragedies. So, here’s to childhood imagination!
I write other stuff too ~ self-help/spiritual psychology for all the adult, wounded children out there. After all, the greatest journey is the one we make within, into the deepest recesses of our soul-world. It’s wondrous what we find there ~ all manner of insights that help us not to pass on negative, destructive bloodline issues to the beautiful future. So, here’s to all of you who overcome against all the odds. I wish you all a fulfilling 2014!