BLOG 47: January, 1999—I woke up this morning with baby fresh skin—or that’s how it felt. The crumbling, old layers of skin, fraught with fear and uncertainly, shed themselves in my sleep after hours of writing chapters in my novel last night. I woke with less pain than I had had for days, and I attributed it to the fact that I was finally telling a story that had wished to tell itself for a long time.
I lay in bed, feeling a renewed lightness, and a subtle awareness of a peculiar fear I had carried for much of my life. What fear was this? I asked my almost-thirty-year-old self. A fear of accessing my soul, the true “me,” I answered. A fear of receiving guidance (from me or a higher source).
As far back as I could remember, I had carried an immense hunger and longing to connect to that part of me that had disappeared at age eleven—when my family had moved to the United States from Spain. But now, on that morning in New Jersey almost 20 years ago, I knew it was time to let go of my resistance, to let this hunger speak fully, without reservation.
I found it ironic that for so long I had chased magic, wishing to live deeply connected to God, to all of life. I had done so by fleeing the ghost of my soul. I moved quickly, and from one place to another, and yet, all along, I was the one being pursued by my hunger and soul’s longing to speak with me. I was chasing my tail, going nowhere, when all I needed to do was stop, turn around, and look at myself standing there behind me, running after me. “Receiving this magic is less about catching up, but more about letting go and meeting the one who has been chasing me,” I wrote back then.
Today, as we approach a new year, I am, once again, called to stop and turn around to be with my soul—to be with the one who begs me to be still enough to receive her messages.
Maybe, as we all prepare for a new year, it is an opportunity for all of us to let go of our need to run, to flee, to get to a place far beyond us that is always out of reach. Maybe, it’s time to stop chasing our tail, to release what holds us back, and make room to receive what lies behind our hunger—our soul’s story and message.
It seems the great Chilean Poet Pablo Neruda expressed this sentiment most poignantly in his poem, “A Callarse” (“Keeping Quiet”). His words offer a beautiful ending to this last blog entry for 2016, and a graceful way for us all to enter 2017:
“If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.”
Happy New Year! May we all find peace within and celebrate this state of grace with the world!