Week 14 ~ Letters to a Lost Lover ~ Ouch!


 “I’m starting to get more comfortable with taking my hands of the steering wheel of life and allowing it to carry me along…”

Hi Mark,

If I was to ask you what the word ‘shaman’ meant to you, what would you say? Would it be ‘witch doctor’? Or perhaps ‘Carlos Castaneda’? Well, it seems you can train to be one without having been born in the American or African outback. And I’ve had a healing session with a real, live, modern-day shaman in Dublin!  I haven’t quite decided yet if it’s the latest step in an unfolding journey or just another distraction – time will tell as always, I guess.

I found myself drawn to a woman at one of the recent workshops I attended.  She was a real earth mother type – long hair, grounded, loving.  When I asked what she did she said she was a shaman – helping people with their journey through life. There was something about the answer that intrigued me, that seemed to fit with the feeling of these last few months being one big, if painful, adventure.

When she opened a colorful cloth bundle – her medicine bundle – and showed me a pile of stones, crystals and other odds and ends, perhaps I should have run a mile.  But there was something very solid about her despite the weirdness of the cloth bundle and so I booked a session.

It turned out to be very different to what I’d experienced with Cian (remember the energy healer?), and much more like my own self-guided meditations at home. Once I got used to the staccato sound of the rattle she was using, and the strange cologne-like liquid that she sprayed over me, I drifted off into a semi-trance and found myself in a very symbolic landscape.

I was in a long dark passageway, like the passage tomb in Newgrange (remind me to take you there if you ever visit!) – only there were doors along the side. One of the doors was ajar, with light pouring through the crack and I knew I was supposed to go through it. But I was reluctant to go without you. And then suddenly all the realizations came flooding out. How I’ve always needed a man by my side before I’ve been willing to take any new step in my life. How I’ve always sought male approval in order to be happy with a direction I’m taking. And, most of all, how I’ve been trying all these years to win the father’s approval that I always felt I was lacking. Ouch.

Yeah, really – OUCH!

I came out of that healing session feeling very humbled. And I still do. Something deep has shifted.  The homework  she had me do has helped too, no doubt – working with a sand painting on my little balcony to release the last of the energy and to bring me to more awareness about what’s been happening. I can see now that part of my desperation in hanging on to you was because you were, in some way, a replacement for that father’s love that I was so desperately seeking. You had loved me unconditionally, had known me since I before I was an adult, and when you said goodbye it was as if the world had fallen apart – as it would for a child whose father can’t or won’t love them.

The echo of this is going really deep inside me, Mark. I don’t know if you can feel it through my words. I feel so stupid in some ways, and yet so profoundly grateful to have discovered one of the reasons for why losing you has been so hard for me. It’s time to step ahead on my I own, as the universe has obviously been trying to show me. Who would have thought that strong, independent me would still be unconsciously seeking her father’s approval? Just goes to show we never know what’s lurking below the surface.

My warm-hearted shaman warned me not to get caught up in the story, though, so I’ll leave it there. She was adamant that I needed to focus on what I want instead of my ‘old’ story – that I needed to create a new map of the world that would benefit me rather than an old one  which no longer served me. I’m just getting my head around the language she uses, but I think I know what she means. My old map has me placed as the woman who is thoughtful, helpful – who ‘rescues’ others when they are in need. It’s how I won approval from others when I was a child and became my pattern as an adult. I guess it’s not the worst map in the world, but I’m still cringing at the idea that some of my actions came from an unconscious desire for approval.

So, what about my new map? I’m not sure what I want just yet. I guess I want to live a life that feels fulfilling without needing another’s approval. But I want love, too. Deep love. And fun. And magic. I’ve really been enjoying the magic of discovering this energetic world. Can I really create a life like that without looking over my shoulder to see what other people think? Is that realistic? Then, again, my perspective on reality has been shifting so dramatically over the last few months that it’s beginning to feel like anything is possible.  Although it feels as if it’s not really ‘me’ who is in charge of making it happen any more. I’m starting to get more comfortable with taking my hands of the steering wheel of life and allowing it to carry me along, ‘ouch’ moments and all.

I feel like I need to ask your forgiveness now, though I’m not sure what for. But I’ll ask anyway, since it seems right. Please forgive me if I’ve made your life harder than it needed to be. It never was my intention.

All my love.



(The Blog Novel of the Letters unfolds here regularly.  If you’d like to be alerted as they are published, please just ‘follow’ my blog)


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