Autumn Awakening

"Autumn Awakening" - 24 x 36in oil on canvas

It was late Autumn and I was just beginning to emerge from yet another traumatic war zone, picking up and piecing together tattered remnants of a soul shattered by decades trapped in repetitive abuse cycles.

A storm had been raging outside for days. Trees, and power lines were down and I was alone on the island, no power, no light nor sound but howling winds and groaning, creaking trees threatening to crush the wee cabin I was gratefully sheltering in. 

With no distractions there was no choice but to finally face my own self, and wholly own the situation I’d succumbed to. Yet again. The angry, howling storm felt increasingly familiar as I listened, letting it wash through me, crashing down into the darkest depths of a being who’s taken far too many beatings far too long. Early programming burned in deep, had taught me so very well how to give away all my will, power and strength. Giving it all away, so willingly, for too many far too eager to take all and discard the leftovers.  

Sinking deeper beyond the toxic indoctrination, a volcanic cognitive dissonance vented a steaming indignation through my psyche. How can something so fervently proclaiming to be “Truth” be so gorged with toxic distortion and malevolent intention?  How could anything professing so earnestly to be “Love” be so often, so repeatedly, so incessantly, so utterly conditional and ultimately destructive? 

Take the blame, stuff the shame, suffer injustice, endure the pain. Turn the other cheek. Retrieve thy dented halo from thine shackled ankles, don thy faking mask and restrain thyself in a self-made cage of soul-snuffing constriction. There's no fight left, nor flight when your wings are plucked to bone. Just breathe... And function. Function and breathe, all the while unwittingly building endurance through the sheer bloody-minded effort of containment.

Some wee tender flame of hope and faith never would quite fully extinguish itself despite all my apparent effort toward self-destruction and implosion. Over two decades ago a near-death beyond body experience showed me a glimpse, a sense of Pure Love and Brilliant Truth so much greater than I could ever experience in this flawed and fragile form. Holding tightly on to that glimmering hope, I fought hard to regain center and a sense of peace while the pain and confusion resonated with the raging storm outside, a tempest intensifying until I could contain it no longer. The dam burst and I wept a deluge. Intense pain and sorrow flooding, overwhelming my heart, then releasing, flowing away, washing me clean and whole again. 

Outside the storm subsided. I opened the door and gazed through blurry eyes at brilliant sunbeams bursting through bruise-blue and violet spent storm clouds.

“Enough now. That’s enough.” I told the sunbeams. “No more..... I’m done.”  

Tears of sorrow gave way to tears of joy and the deepest appreciation as the focus shifted to a recognition of just how greatly I had been blessed by relative strangers. During my darkest, most confusing moments, at the lowest points when I had nothing left to give, no way to repay - I found myself utterly astounded by the most genuine, authentic people who had listened, heard, and stepped up - caring, sharing and giving unconditionally, unselfishly, joyfully even - for no other reason than that they had the capacity for compassion and kindness and a willingness to do. I'd finally learned the value of genuine friends and healthy relationships with people I truly love and admire. 

More familiar connections suddenly stood out in such stark, dark contrast: full of drama, unreasonable expectations, demands, conditions, toxic distortion and manipulation and so I determined to weed my overgrown garden, prune back and sever unhealthy, soul-sucking attachments.

Just as the sun burst through that dark, cloudy sky, I reclaimed my will, my power and strength. Oppression vanished, the cage door swung open and I simply walked away.  I will not run that script again, I deleted the program. 

Here on I recognise and choose a path for authentic Love, Light and Truth, healthy awareness and kindness. Here on I get to choose my own intentions and associations.  My sight is clear. I see me, know me clearly now... and I see you, know you, too. 

© C J Elsip 2019