When I was a kid, something very traumatic happened to me. The details are not important. Suffice it to say that it was something soul-shattering.
As in, as it was happening, parts of my soul literally broke off and went somewhere else because the pain was too great. Being so young, 5 years old, I simply had no way to cope with what was happening to me.
So my psyche did what it had to do in order to survive. It translated parts of itself. It sent the most vulnerable parts of itself to safer places and left the parts of me that could withstand the trauma better behind to live through and manage.
That’s pretty amazing I think.
Now, at the time, of course, and for decades afterwards, I had no idea that this had happened, that parts of my soul had translated to other climes.
I went about my life, growing up, maturing as best I could as a person with crucial parts of themselves off somewhere else. I cobbled together a way of coping, and moved through childhood into adolescence and into adulthood.
I managed to make a life. A life held together by skewed logic and broken-hearted, suppressed pain, but a life nonetheless.
My pieced-together life was less than ideal. On the outside, it may have looked pretty good. I had a loving family, friends, education, opportunities galore, and the resources to live well and pursue my dreams. I do not want to minimize my gratitude for these.
However, my soul was missing core parts, so my experience of life through all those years was lacking in ways that are hard to explain. I was always feeling slightly off. I had generalized anxiety all the time that I could not define or understand. A seemingly bottomless well of sorrow and a constant sense of an inner hysterical feeling just below the surface accompanied me through even the happiest of experiences.
Suffice it to say that when your soul parts have translated elsewhere, and you don’t even know it, there is an internal confusion that can be terrifying, complex and, at times, overwhelming. It can feel like you are suffocating or in danger of disappearing into nothingness, into the void.
Until I understood this, I did my best to drown out this overwhelm. This led to some pretty messy behavior and a great deal of “lost” time.
Thankfully, I was lucky.
One day, in a voice lesson with a very wonderful man, I happened to mention to my teacher that I thought a part of my soul had been destroyed by what had happened to me. He told me that the human soul could never be destroyed, was beyond human touch.
Something in his words struck me to my core. I literally felt as if I had been gently punched in the gut. And though my mind was cynical, my body resonated the truth of his words.
My journey was forever altered for the better that day. I eventually found assistance and came to understand what had happened to me. With that assistance, I have been able to heal the wounds from the trauma. And grieve. Not only for the original trauma, but for the lost time and the years of moving through life as a kind of ghost of my former self. That kind of loss is real, too. And worthy of grief.
I have learned how to create, over time, a strong and loving core from which to invite those missing parts back. And in time, they have come. Not all at once, but bit by bit.
It is an astonishing thing to actually feel a part of your soul fly back into your psyche.
For me, there is a rush of sensation within my heart and solar plexus accompanied by a kind of flutter of excitement in my belly, followed by a warmth that spreads throughout my body along with a rush of intense emotion, a blend of ecstatic bliss at being reunited and tremendous grief for having missed it for so long. I imagine it is like being reunited with a long lost parent or child.
I cannot adequately express the sensation. Maybe it is what being touched by an angel feels like.
I am left with a sense of wholeness. In time, the new part integrates with the rest of me. I feel more and more like who I really am meant to be. These parts that have returned contain elements of my spirit, my soul, that I haven’t lived with in forever: bubbling joy, innocent playfulness, open curiosity and more. The difficult parts have come back too: rage, terror. But I’m equipped to handle them, unlike the child I was. I can honor those parts too and find compassion and healthy ways to address them.
It is like I was living with 3 crayons and now have 98 to use. I was a walking sieve and now I feel like a whole, flowing, glowing mass of life. I was a lone prisoner in my own skin, and now I feel connected to all of Life. I was blind but now I see. It may sound mystical or hokey, but it is my truth. I do not believe that I am alone in having experienced this, either.
I have come to view the human psyche as an intricate and miraculously brilliant thing. It has the power to survive the unimaginable and come through the other end with even more depth and richness than before. The soul cannot be destroyed or even truly touched by human hands. But it can translate. And return again. And for that, I am truly grateful.