Why THIS Love Affair Is Like No Other

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What does your soul seek?

A couple of years ago I wrote this question in my journal. At the time I felt restless, frustrated, like something was missing from my life. But I had no idea what.

I had it all: the family, the career I was passionate about, close friendships, Church. Yet my inner desires didn’t mirror my outer life in any way. There was a disconnect between the me inside and the me that took my kids to soccer, dated my husband, cooked dinner, met with friends, and wrote stories.

The girl inside seemed to be screaming, “Let me out!”

It wasn’t often that I took the time to really look at her or listen. I’d kept myself at a distance for many years, rarely peering through the window to her soul, my hand always quick to draw down the blind and blank her out.

She tapped on that window many a time, asking to be seen and heard. Yet I ignored her whispers at sunset, her screams across the howling wind, her silhouette slumped against the frosted glass.

I turned my back on her so much that I now found myself in this place where I lived life on autopilot, becoming increasingly numb with each day. I was afraid to look at her—afraid that what she truly wanted was a far cry from the life I had. Afraid that the price for change would be far too high.

But there came a day when I could no longer ignore the girl inside; I had to let her have a voice.

I was suffering from depression at the time, feeling far from God and completely disconnected from life. So I cleared some space in my schedule to take notice of the girl who kept knocking on my door. I curled up one morning in my favourite arm chair next to the fireplace, with a steaming cup of chai tea, and I wrote out the question on a blank page: What does your soul seek?

For a few minutes the page stared blankly at me. It seemed I had no idea what I might truly be seeking.

So I made myself just write something. Anything.

At first my ego assumed control, telling me I had more than 99 percent of people in the world, to close the darn journal and be grateful. To seek more was a sign of greed.

But then slowly, I allowed my subconscious mind to speak; for the longings inside to come to the surface. For every part of me, every person I had ever been, to emerge. I resisted all urge to self-edit and judge, and allowed myself to see the woman within who yearned for something different. Not “more,” not “better,” just different.

My soul seeks freedom. To observe, immerse myself in and FEEL everything around me. To love deeply and be present. To explore and learn and grow.

This was the response.

I pondered the words for a while. And then I felt disappointed. I had wanted something concrete—a direction, a word from God telling me what exactly was wrong. Instead I saw something vague and intangible on the page. Nothing that would shake this aching sadness and restlessness inside.

But the words did tell me one thing: in my busy life packed full of appointments lists and schedules, I had stopped feeling and connecting.

***

Two years later, standing in the rubble of my broken marriage, I am picking up the fractured pieces of myself and holding them up to the light. Now, asking “What does my soul seek?” feels like a very different question, because here in this place of brokenness I am empty, ready to be filled with life anew. This is the place of truth and connection, where I am raw and fully human. Here, I feel everything.

One love affair is over. But I find myself experiencing a new kind of love, in which I’m spending time with the child inside. The teenager. The student. The young mother. The aging woman. In this love affair I can say, “I see every part of you.”

Being forced into a place where I am alone for the first time in 20 years is like opening a gift wrapped in many layers. Some of the layers are harsh and ripped. Where once I would have been quick to rip them away, I now hang on and look a little longer. Others layers are beautiful and soft and I peel them away gently, preserving as much as I can. And every layer tells me something more about the gift inside.

I can no longer afford to ignore what my soul seeks. My soul is me. She is the divine beneath life’s lies.

Ignoring her brought me to this place of solitude where so much of what I knew about my life has been stripped away. Seeking her is leading me to a place of surrender, trust and openness to all beautiful possibility.

Now I say to that girl at the window: I see you. I hear you. I trust you. I love you.

It’s a love affair like no other.

________________

Image credit: Maria Morri

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Claire De Boer
Hi, I’m Claire and though you may only see my words here once a month I’m part of the wonderful sisterhood of women who edit, upload and brainstorm behind the scenes of SheLoves. I was born and raised in England but pretty much see myself as a fully fledged Canadian. I spend just about all of my spare time blogging, editing and creating stories. I’ve also ventured into the world of teaching and mentor students in using writing as a tool for personal growth. My passion is to help others find the value and beauty in their stories and to find healing or self-awareness via journaling, memoir, or just "soul writing", as I like to call it. To learn more about my journey and the work I'm doing visit The Gift of Writing
Claire De Boer
Claire De Boer

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