There is something to be said for seven years. It takes that long for our bodies to cycle through the generation of a completely new set of cells. Seven years ago Memorial Day Weekend, I confronted my abuse. It had been almost one full year since I moved across the country and unwittingly released myself from the grip of ancestral tradition. It had taken a long distance move from my foundational roots to jar myself from the veil of gaslighting and feel the freedom to witness my own truth.
Until the move I was convinced of the truth of my oppressors. I believed I was the root cause of their angry projections and volatile, sometimes violent actions. There was one clear moment though, a moment where I could not see myself at fault. It was a moment where anger and words were not pointed at me as the clear target, yet I ended up with the broken bone. That one moment planted a seed of truth deep within my darkest core.
Over the course of twenty-four years, that seed began to swell and eventually burst forth toward the light to grow, as everything that grows eventually does. I had watered it with tears of joy and love, grief and sorrow, anger and bitterness, and yes, even my own tears of rage. As I neared the end of a quarter century of inception, I reached a point where I thought I might be fully consumed by the darkness of the soil. It was in that moment when the darkness no longer worked for me and I could not see a way out, that the seed within my core exploded with life, bursting forth from the dirt with a sturdy shoot aimed directly for the source of light.
It was an ugly moment. I was awkward, fledgling, spewing forth 40 years of memory and oppressed thought like an untrained yodeler on the peak of a mountain. That was the beginning of the last seven year cycle.
For the next seven years, as I continued to grow toward the light, the roots began to crack the brick and mortar wall of lies and decades of gaslighting began to crumble into fertilizer. As I had long ago learned, the strong healthy roots of trees can eat through cement and brick foundations laid by humans. The tree that grew within my soul toward the light necessarily cast a shadow beneath it as it grew. That shadow was like a scrim I could see through. The veil was a delicate web of lies left behind still filtering my perceptions.
Seven years into the cycle, I do not live in the shade full time. Today I live in my truth. Today I honor myself. I acknowledge my truth and my own actions are by no means perfect. Living unveiled certainly is not always comfortable. Some days knowing the truth seems more of a burden, for the delicate dance I do to maintain equilibrium between my world and the world of my abusers is a navigation that sometimes lands me stranded on an island or sends me sailing into a sharp rock. Some days I long to return to the darkness or prefer to sit in a hammock in the shade of the tree. Other days I climb to the top of the tree to launch myself into the universe and see what lies beyond.
With continued practice my voice becomes more trained, more clear, stronger. I no longer feel like I vomit when the truth comes forth from my throat – more frequently I have these moments when I think, “Wow, did you hear what I said? That was beautiful.”
What I learned in this last 7 year cycle is that our souls speak to us in metaphor. Looking back, I can see with 20/20 vision that my soul was screaming for attention, recognition, acceptance, love. And it came bursting forth on Memorial Day Weekend, giving me a lightbulb moment – a moment of light so bright that a search and rescue team had been unleashed – my inner healer woke up to the sunshine.
And so, it began – the journey into my own soul. I can now see the generations of suppression, the depravity of dominance, the lack of self love we as a people passed from parent to child ad nauseum. I can see where it once freely flowed through me and was being washed down into my own children, and I’ve found a way to reverse the flow.
The answer is so basic – connect to the earth, connect to the universe, love thine self. When we stop searching for approval from others and stop caretaking their emotion, we can turn the care and attention to our own souls and nurture ourselves. That is when our light shines the brightest.
And so, going into this next cycle, when the witnesses to my lightbulb moment appear unsettled around me, it is with compassion that I receive their words and actions. It is with understanding that I firmly and lovingly respond to their projections. It is with love and respect for myself that I hold firm my boundaries. For it is the beginning of the next seven year cycle; perhaps this time their seeds will begin to itch and burst forth into the light.