I remember, like most parents, the first time I looked into my new born daughters eyes. I was not prepared, like most parents, for the overwhelming feelings of love.
I was also stunned by the return look my daughter gave me. It was long, it was deep, and it seemed to say to me…“I know everything. I am the wise. I have access to the Source of all creation.”
My daughter was whole. All of the pieces of her were fully intact and present. Like a seed that contains the whole of its unfolding.
This recognition, more than anything, took my breath away.
In that moment I released all my projections of motherhood. My expectation that I would ‘stamp’ myself on this ‘blank’ canvas who was my daughter.
She needed no ‘stamping.’ She came fully ‘stamped’, her identity already completely present. My job was to be the steward. To create the space for the healthy unfolding of her already present self.
We all arrive like this. Whole.
And then life happens, sometimes within seconds of our birth. Parts of us are ridiculed, shamed, beaten. We are told that this is not possible, or you cannot do that, or you have no skill in that area, or that path will not make you money, or real men don’t do that.
Parts of us then become exiled. Often very precious parts. Secret desires to do art, or build amazing things. Our compassion, our vulnerability. Aspects of self that do not in the least match the identity we have spent a life building.
We find ourselves as adults walking the earth feeling like something is missing, not knowing how or where to find it. It is a vague feeling. It creeps in at 2.23AM. It inhabits our dreams. That hollow feeling that never feels full. We try to fill it with food, alcohol, sex, money, busy-ness. But to no avail.
The exiled parts of us long to come home.
We spend most of the rest of our life seeking, often without conscious awareness, to bring our exiled parts back. As we get older, what people think tends to matter less, and we begin to do some of the things that we denied expression for so long. When sing louder. We take up painting. We take up sport. Or we remain a shell, to die with the song unsung.
Invite the exiles home. Live whole.