“How did your innocence survive?” Chuck asked me. I reminded him of my childhood mantra: “It will soon be over; it will end.” I think that was my innocence speaking to me, the part of me that was ready to walk away as soon as possible and move on. Innocence gets bruised but it bounces back. “I always had that innocence in me; it never left me,” I finally concluded, “and that combined with my spirit certainly helped me survive.”
My spirit was strong; my innocence was intact. I knew I could trust them. They taught me that no matter what someone did to Me, the real Me, my innocent spirit was unreachable. That part of me resided elsewhere, separate from the physical, in what I now know as the High Self, untouchable and unaffected by everything that happened to my physical body. That High Self was fully available during my childhood.
That High Self held the memories of my abuse, however, and I just wasn’t really interested in them for most of my life, too painful and horrific to go near. So not only did I distance myself from that strong, innocent and knowing High Self, but I cut her off. I moved on. The farther I moved the more distance I gained from my past and my High Self too. I released myself into the world as best I could, but there was always a part of me that knew that I would one day return to that High Self.
Why do some people survive terrific abuse and others perish? Why do some people give up on themselves and others find the means to change and move on? Why do some people declare themselves hopeless and unworthy of change, while others forge ahead no matter their background or imposed limitations? Is it possible to impart a sense of survival to others? Can you really help another person?
There are many ancient teachings, and not so ancient ones too, that teach us how to find and recognize our High Self and how to work with it. And yet for me, it was never a question of finding or recognizing it, my High Self was always with me, always recognizably part of me, a participant in my life. Even when I had kept her at a distance I knew she was still there, waiting for me. Did I have something that others do not have? I don’t think so. It’s not something that’s unique to me; we all have access to our High Self, to the place where our strength and our innocence reside.
I believe we are all born into our present lives with everything in place, that children are fully equipped with language and wise knowing. When I was still a tiny child, perhaps about a year and a half old, I remember clearly thinking in full sentences though I could not articulate what I was thinking; I did not have the physical dexterity yet that would allow me to speak.
When I did finally learn to speak, my mother said that I spoke clearly and distinctly, in full sentences. My own children were the same way. I had the same experience when I learned to speak Swedish. I had lived in Sweden for about six months, daily listening, and when I finally dared to open my mouth and speak the words just poured out, once again in perfect diction. Complex thoughts are present from the moment of birth, I believe, and perhaps even before. Why not? Consciousness doesn’t need a body and neither does spirit.
Just suppose we all come into life from other lives fully equipped as intelligent, wise, and knowing beings. Life in this world is set up to erase our knowledge and educate us in the practices of the world we are born into. It’s as if our fully functioning hard drive is erased during our earliest years and new programs are downloaded into us. If we’re lucky the original programs didn’t fully erase but remain stored somewhere in our inner database, ready to be discovered or stumbled upon at a later date.
In my case, as is the case with many children, I happened upon this original database because of traumatic sexual abuse. Abuse became an opportunity for me to access the wise and innocent High Self who had once spoken to me through my infant’s mind, a voice of familiarity, immediately recognizable as someone I could fully trust. And so when I returned again to her during my recapitulation, I once again found that I could trust her, that indeed she had been eagerly awaiting my return.
With her along, my journey of recapitulation began to unfold in detail and all that I had kept at bay was relived until none of it bothered me anymore, until it was totally resolved and done with. This time I put it away for good. It stays in the recesses of my database, clicked on only when I want to go there. When Chuck asked me that question—How did your innocence survive?—I zipped into that database and recalled just what it was that had not only kept me alive but also optimistically certain of survival and new life.
Certainly, as a child, I never gave up, though there were some pretty tough times and, as I returned to recapitulate, I would have to say the same, I never gave up, though there were some pretty tough memories to relive and issues to figure out and get through. It’s just who I am. A strong, wise and innocent spirit who never gives up, my High Self, lives at my core. For me the cup is always half full. I don’t think I inherited this trait, nor was it instilled in me, it’s just who I’ve always been. As I said above, everyone has this optimistic High Self, a similar spirit too. Why do some people have easier access to it, while others seem to struggle so deeply with even acknowledging its presence? Why are some people naturally optimists and others pessimists?
Viktor Frankl asked the same questions when writing about the survivors of Hitler’s concentration camps in Man’s Search for Meaning. Those who survived had a certain sense of self, access to a higher self, an awareness of spirit that kept them going, a certain optimism that things would change, that new life would one day come, that ultimately there was meaning in everything, even a worst case scenario.
When spirit is actively brought into participation in life there is a strong sense of never giving up, no matter how low one gets. No matter how ready one may be to die, there is a part of the self that will not surrender, that wakes up, sometimes at the last minute and says, “Stop! Wait!”
In the 2006 film Bridge people who survived suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge related that on the way down they instantly regretted the decision to jump. Does that mean that all suicides regret their decision? I don’t know, but the spirit inside all of us does a heck of job trying to get our attention. It works in mysterious ways, in uniquely personal and poignant ways. It pays to be alert, to learn how to look and listen for the clues to spirit. Not everyone will hear it as a voice. Not everyone will get a clear sign. Optimist or pessimist, however, we are all being prodded to find it. This is certain.
It’s the whole purpose of life, as I see it, to find and connect with our High Self at some time during our many lives and take everything to a new level. If not in this lifetime, at least know that each life is a step in the process. But can we elect to voluntarily move up to that High Self? I believe we can. It takes a little work, perhaps a recapitulation is in store, but first reaching out and paying attention may be enough of an awakening to begin the process.
The first step in the search for spirit and meaning in life might be as simple as putting out a call. Spirit guides are unanimous on this one, they are ready and waiting to be of assistance, but we must ask. Become a trusting child in the asking, become innocent, vulnerable and open. It’s really okay. Let go of self, of ego, of feeling silly and just do it. No one is watching you. You can relax and ask your spirit to come to you, just as you might have asked as a child. Did you believe in a guardian angel as a child, like I did? Ask your guardian angel to come to you if that feels right, or Jesus, or God, or the universe, or ask for Jeanne, the being that Chuck and I channel in our various ways, his first wife. Do whatever feels right.
Learn to sit quietly, as Chuck suggests in his blog this week, Finding the True Heart. Learn to listen to the heart, in the deeper heart chamber where spirit resides. A few breaths may be all it takes. A few minutes of calmness with attention placed on the heart chakra, with mind still, doubt recedes and things can happen.
Get out into nature. Sit on the ground by a tree, a plant, a bush and commune with the living organism before you. Sit calmly and begin to understand it, to feel it’s energy. In calmness communication opens up and you might just find yourself conversing quietly with your selected tree or bush or plant. Plant life can tell us a lot of things we’ve forgotten.
Commune likewise with an animal, a pet, a deer, a bird, a spider, a fly. See what happens as you send your heart chakra energy out to another living creature, as you silently commune from your innocent spirit self.
Lie under the night sky and feel yourself being drawn out into the universe, into infinity. Join the stars for a ride and see where they take you and what they tell you. The vastness of space lies above us every night. It’s mysteries might not be that mysterious once you open up to them, it’s emptiness not so empty, it’s vastness not so vast.
Ask your dreaming self to introduce you to who your spirit self really is, to take you to meet him or her, to teach you how to connect all the time in both waking and dreaming life. Intend to dream an answer to a question and see what happens.
Read some books that inspire you. Sometimes opening a book to a single paragraph might just be the thing to shift out of misery and into the mystical. If you don’t know where to begin, our Store offers a variety of selections.
After asking doubt may come, but that’s par for the course. The next step is to trust. Learn to trust as a child trusts. The innocent infant trusts that it will be taken care of. We must learn to trust that we are here for a reason, that there is meaning in our life and that we will find our way. As Chuck mentioned in his blog this week, once we open up to our spirit, our soul, we discover an expanded consciousness of which we are indeed a part.
We are physical beings, but the greater part of us is spirit, non-tangible and untethered to anything in this world, except what we choose to attach to. Connecting with spirit is the refusal to give attachment the final say.