Am I More Interested in Being Real than Being Seen?
As we continue our sequential journey to recover and reclaim elements of our essential selves through the Thirteen Moons process, the first several sessions take us into deep emotionally textured memory filled terrain. These sessions focus into the earlier parts of our lives with an emphasis of locating the the source of our resources, gifts and sacred treasures- not our deficits, limitations or fears. When reunited with our innate enthusiasm for life, we awaken connection, rhythm and flow that serves as the conduit for genuine fulfillment of not only needs but also desires. This tender alumni story invites us into an intimate soul retrieval with her lost little girl within, reminding us that it is not the magical child who is lost but our ability and permission to believe we our innately magical beings that was in need of remembrance.
~ Susan Lipshutz, LCSW, Founder
From a Thirteen Moons Sister
The authenticity of young children can be disarming. As I raise my 5 and 6 year old children, I am frequently in awe of their sheer presence. They answer questions unequivocally that many adults can’t. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” ” A unicorn doctor, of course. To help sick unicorns.” They are not afraid to be vulnerable. When someone hurts their feelings on the playground, they say it, simply: “she hurt my feelings.” There’s no projection, no passive aggression. Just the raw feeling itself. Their artwork sings with flow and freedom. They have not yet learned to mask their creativity, for fear that their art won’t be “good” or “right.”
I marvel at these qualities in my children because they have felt so lost to me for so long. The idea of leading a life that felt authentic, true, real? Honestly, I wouldn’t even know where to start. I think about the things that gave me so much pleasure when I was a precocious kindergartener. I loved to read, loved libraries, told anyone who would listen that I wanted to be a librarian when I grew up. I would drive my father crazy by taking stacks of his books at home and stamping them and writing on the first page to “check them out” to my stuffed animals.
Suffice it to say that I did not grow up to be a librarian. But I still think about it all the time. When precisely did I resign this dream? When did I become so fearful to express my guttural, second chakra desire for that which my mind refused? As a child, I felt so invisible — that no one in my life was able to see the true me. But now as a grown adult, I finally ask myself: Am I more interested in being real than being seen?
In the second installment of Thirteen Moons, we did a guided journey that welcomed back this inner child piece of me that had, for one reason or another, departed. During the journey, I visualized riding on a great vessel through the ocean. I arrive on an island where there is one house. The house is the kind you would find in Key West — large shuttered windows flung open, a gentle ocean breeze lingering through, the sun shining above. I walk into the house, and there are ceiling-high bookshelves filled with books on every wall. Great big, soft armchairs and reading lamps are in the middle of the room. A grand, antique writing desk sits off to the side. There is a elder woman in the adjacent kitchen. Without ever having met her, I know she is my Great-Grandmother, Fanny. She’s wiping the counter, as if she’s just finished making something. She gives me a knowing smile, as if to say “I knew you were coming.” I turn back to the great room, and there she is: it’s me, at about 8 years old. She sees me, and without hesitation leaps into my arms. She’s so happy. I ask her if she wants to come with me. (Frankly, I am a bit hesitant. This house is perfect and warm; why would she want to go back to snowy Chicago with me?) But she already has a bag packed and waiting, complete with my long-lost stuffed kitty, Whisper. She’s been waiting for me. She had a feeling I was coming soon. She can’t wait to meet my children. “Are we leaving now?”
It’s an extraordinary feeling, hard to put into words, of feeling like you have welcomed back a piece of your truest self, of what many would characterize as a soul retrieval. I haven’t gone back to school for librarianship just yet, and maybe that ship has forever sailed for me. But to be reunited with that authentic little girl? Perhaps she and I are now ready for both the seen and the unseen.
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