That was some cage.
I crawled through the dark spaces of my soul and followed a light someone had left for me along a path.
All it took was that single flame. It became exponential.
As I awoke, suddenly I experienced literal starlight, with women I knew showing up as light beings at every turn.
These women connected me to a greater source for understanding that I always held the key to unlocking my captivity.
These women lit the circuitry of my motherboard, because light begets Light. And the more of their light that I received with intention, the more women I met who expanded the dimensions of my freedom.
My body has not yet mastered how to process this knowledge without the constantly high levels of cortisol pulsating throughout my cells, electrifying the crises tapes in my subconscious programming.
When I first constructed my cage, I had scarcely had more than three decades under my belt. We imagine our 30s and 40s and all we will do and be and accomplish in our lives, barely able to comprehend 50 and beyond.
I had been empowered, emptied out of my twenties into my third decade.
I managed a respectable pace with my strong foothold.
Nonetheless, I was slipping. I was losing pieces of me here and there, I was trading them in for an extrinsic sense of security that the child within thought that she needed. Snapshots of her wanderings alone in the woods before puberty filled my head as if I might forget. And I did forget.
Those two short decades in my self-constructed cage focused a life time, one that encircled responsibility and liability for impacting the spirits of a little girl and her older sister from another Mother, my step daughters. None of us knew that their baby brother would become the profound central theme of my existence.
My son. The soul contract that whispered to me that I am alive, and I matter. Their baby brother’s very blood informed his sisters that they would forever be bound together with me. None of us knew that our souls had been riding the same waves for lifetimes before we met in this one. My son lit the star that synchronized many paths into one. That’s a lot to put upon a child, but we are all connected. You, and me, reflections of each other.
The love I bestow upon my son is the measure of love that I desire for myself.
Divorce is a lot like parochial school, I’ve decided. The structure of the courts and the measures of performance wound up by opposing forces whose behavior determines the language that determines the fate of a child sure puts me back in a wooden pew, or in a desk chained in place by a stern taskmaster in a habit.
It has left me weary.
And shedding old skin has been painful.
And frailty threatens my skeleton, while fear fights for property rights in my soul.
Who looks back in the mirror is someone new that I see but do not recognize, yet.
How complex is a story that enslaves a woman to the point where she is unrecognizable to herself, yet at the same time gifts to her the essence of who she truly is within 39 weeks wrapped in eight-ounces-shy of nine pounds?
How is it that the child who instantly fed my soul became the source of every motivation for every deciding factor over every choice I would make, ever again?
How did every choice before he took root in my womb add up and combine to where I stand right now?
I’m holding his hand, observing the world at the cage door, flung aside with no one standing in our way, telling us how to fly. Yet here I am, unsure just how to spread my wings, or if they will even keep me aloft…much more, him.
And here he is, not letting go like his father thinks he should because that parent never had a human savior, not like this child, not like my child. This child knows that he can hold my hand until he is ready to let go. This child isn’t tethered by proverbial apron strings. He gets to choose who, and when he IS, as long as no one rushes him from my side before he feels ready.
His world has been turned around every which way imaginable, with little to predict for him the story that time will tell of his life. His final years as a preadolescent were a roller coaster ride that took my big boy and threw him onto the ledge of his prepubescence.
He’s managed to negotiate certain terms of visitation with his father, as compromise in divorce is a negotiated parlay that isn’t necessarily over when the ink is dry as far as the child is concerned.
The child gives. The child loses. My fingers fall from his, pulled apart not by choice but by the patriarchy of the courts.
The child is called resilient, but is he really? The DNA engrave a record.
And the days are exponential and fleeting in the time that turns childhood into a teenager.
Faith. Trust. Respect.
I cannot deny. This child belonged to me, to my body, to my breath.
He suckled my bosom, he clung to my sweet song and asked me a million questions with his eyes, which I answered.
When he sought connection with his other parent, the conflict seemed always enormous, overwhelming, and he clung to the soothing voice that accompanied the milk. The arms that went with that voice vowed to protect him to no ends known by earth.
That was some cage.
The arrows along the path point two directions. One points to sorrow, but I’m voluntarily looking to the one that points to Light. Irritated, I shake off complex post-trauma triggers like uninvited guests accosting me with obsessive agendas and return my search to positive energies.
Ultimately, I learned that I came here without the need to question my mission. I came here to expand the Light. I don’t have to choose this knowledge. I am filled with it, but only after making room for it by examining attachment to deeply rooted trauma.
All the agnosticism of my 20s and 30s that led me to the atheism I embraced by my 40s defined a journey of truth-seeking. But, no matter how much truth I found and exclaimed in that decade, the veil concealed the greatest truth of all.
Lifting this veil is a simple but profound act that no one can define for any other. But, once done, one becomes connected to all. Ego does not survive. That is too scary for some people to imagine.
And so, we return time and again to look behind the veil once more, decade after decade, life after life.
Love and Light are not bound to any history, human or otherwise. These absolutes have no latitude and longitude, no measure of beginning or ending.
I came here because my soul is a warrior of Light, willing to endure great pain and growth to achieve transformation over darkness for the sake of a greater good.
Divorce is humbling.
Energies are positive or negative.
Early in this journey, I learned that my very cells are impacted by every thought I have.
Before that, I’d phoned one of my sisters a few times over a year or more, including in some wee hours of the morning, bound up in emotional pain and potential peril from domestic violence.
I learned that Divine love exists as connection, and I expand it by receiving it.
Friends gave, encouraged, and otherwise guided me to know my inner strength, to fight for my rights, and to steady my course. Soon, literal human angels started appearing when I needed their help, their gifts, both tangible and non tangible. Some were lifelong friends and family. Others were long time fans of who I am, inherently. They gave me encouragement. They let me know that I was not alone, that I was not crazy. By this point, I was beyond fighting my reality, I was fighting for a new me. Human angels came to my side, saw my needs, and injected their imperfect light to help me flow forward.
The stories that I could tell of the years spent hurdling through the pain of being discarded by my partner in marriage could fill pages.
But, in that journey, I came face to face with the shame that shrouds a woman who has allowed her life to be mired in abuse, with the many forms it takes.
Denial and persistence in the face of abusive control are dangerous qualities.
Bodies suffer and decay without inner light. Light is at the core of every cellular function, relationship, and energy.
Greater are the stories of those who restored my faith, my desire for community, and my understanding of the richness of gratitude.
Greater than shame is the strength it takes to open one’s heart to one’s self, without apology.
As we evolve in this way, we start to intuit higher consciousness messages that reveal the negative auras we should repel with our light. I began to shed harmful, toxic relationships and opened myself to nurturing.
This was the path to my freedom. With each painful step, other women from my past and new women I met as I reached out, they came. They accumulated. They gave, they encouraged. The more I embraced my own healing, the more frequently they appeared right when I needed them.
Freedom is a mind free from construct, seeking joy and abundance, forgiving anxiety, and projecting gratitude.
And so it is that I stand at the entrance of the cage, door flung wide open, unsure how I will take flight but knowing that this child of my womb came here to provide definition to my own path of redemption and renewal. Perhaps the light he bears within is the key to a never-ending thread of positive energy that I fostered forward. Perhaps in another life or dimension he and I agreed to live this path for the sake of the greater good.
Maybe my job is to stand here, with the door open, watching him take his first fledgling flights out of childhood, a tad too early, but hearts quantum connected.
Maybe I am the light that he will find later in his heart to remind him of who he is, gifting me a legacy as profound as any I can fathom for myself or my ever-spiraling soul.