One day, I was in the woods, and I freed my soul. I attended a retreat, and sometimes that’s how you have to actually FREE yourself, you know, in nature…you go to those kind of places to retreat, and to hear yourself think, speak and and ponder. I really cannot recall the exact wounded soldier story; but perhaps this one fits. I did some soul work at this retreat. I came back feeling so invigorated.
It was in. It had autumn and to be honest, I was wounded. I had to get to the cool in the mornings, and I was trying to rejuvenate my soul. I was soul-weary. Just tired. The kind of tired you can be when no one else can understand it, kind of tired.
And here’s what I heard in my spirit: “No longer wounded, are you, soldier.” (Here’s a story that goes along with it, though…)
It was a fierce battle even for a soldier as seasoned as he was. No one knows for sure how the events transpired as they did. When it happened, it was almost over before it began. The soldier has had a lot of time to reflect on the battles leading up to this one. It had taken years of faithful duty for his commander to put him in such a front line position. The soldier had been decorated many times for standing strong against the enemy. He was not one of the ones who had to be coaxed into battle. He had seen first hand the destruction left in the wake of his enemy. He had seen the destroyed lives. He cannot remember the countless times he had talked so many through tough and difficult decisions in their own battles. He had relayed countless messages from his commander to others who were looking to find a place of safety against the onslaught of enemy weapons. He knew the importance of being prepared for battle. He had seen a lot of others who were not well prepared fall in the fight. He had always tried to make sure every skill and weapon was razor sharp. He knew his life and the lives of others depended on it. There had been times when he was amazed that he was still standing when the day of battle had ended. He had encouraged many a young warrior to stand strong and not faint at the fierce attacks of the enemy. There were occasional times when he was allowed to get some much needed rest but usually his life was spent being in a state of alertness and total awareness of everything around him. It was very seldom there was a lull in the enemies attacks. Usually if he wasn’t fighting on his on lines he was helping a brother soldier not be swamped by the enemy. There had been several times when he had to call for reinforcements and there was a special squad his commander kept in store to send to every soldiers aid. This special squad was terrible in their strength. Nothing could stand before them but the brunt of the battle was not given to them. Those were horrible times indeed but he thrilled at the way his commander had taken care of him. He would gladly follow wherever he was commanded to go, without question. I suppose in hind sight he had been able to see the attack coming but it looked like the same kind of battle he had fought so many times before and he wasn’t overly concerned. After all, hind sight is twenty/twenty.”
During the retreat, I noticed the weariness of my soul.I didn’t quite know it was weary til I really took the time to pull away and spend time on myself.
Alone. Yet observing Self.
From the outside looking in.
Well, if you read the story above- you will understand the place where I was. Sometimes, our souls can become weary because of ourselves. We then find ourselves without aid or assistance even we are really in a hard place.
I never want to be there, ever again. So we were given this exercise on the retreat asking us to nurture and care for our wounded soldier by walking out into the woods and comforting her. Taking time to empathize with her and tell her that she had every right to protect this space inside of her and to stop fighting fires and putting out other battles but to learn to fight our own battle, and not feel guilty or alone any more about doing it. So sympathize and empathize with our need for self- compassion and herald the battles we have fought, but also congratulate ourselves for a job well done. And for having the COURAGE to endure.
We were encouraged to take time to HEAL.
And I made a declaration in the woods, that day that I would build my own fortress and support my own cause and begin to herald my own work before I supported another’s cause.
And I was set free.
Like a bird, I flew that day in the woods.
Since that day, many things have been born. And I am grateful.
So even if you don’t have time, today, read that story, ( either here, or above).
And herald your own cause, fight your own battle, and save yourself.
Listen. To Yourself.
Be With Yourself.
You’re so worth it.