Recognition & Belonging

i finally belong to myself.

I recognize me.

a week or so ago i was shootin the shit with a real life friend online, since we aren't quite neighbors and we can't sit in each others kitchens at 10:30pm, half cocked and telling the truth.

this beautiful sister of mine mentioned that she manifested me in her life, many moons ago, and now here we are, 2 or 3 years into our current friendship.  she said, "i mean, what if we were in a place on a day at a time looking at the same sky, the same star and saying this. her. please. someday..."

it made me cry a little.

we were exploring our connection, our six degrees of kevin bacon,  how we came to know each other, this time, and i agreed with her that in so doing, it is easy to see that it's all one. only us. no them.  both/and.  no real divisions.



so i sent her this riff from lang leav called soul mates: i don't know how it is you are so familiar to me- or why it feels less like i am getting to know you and more as though i am remembering who you are. how every smile, every whisper brings me closer to the impossible conclusion that i have known you before, i have loved you before- in another time, a different place- some other existence. 

and she said to me: Anam Cara

well friends, i had to look that up.  

utter cluelessness on my end.  

Anam Cara = Soul Friend

lifted from wikipedia: According to Celtic spiritual tradition, the soul shines all around the body like a luminous cloud. When you are very open, appreciative, and trusting with another person, your two souls flow together. This deeply felt bond with another person means you have found your anam cara, or "Soul Friend." Your anam cara always beholds your light and beauty, and accepts you for who you truly are. In Celtic spirituality, the anam cara friendship awakens the fullness and mystery of your life. You are joined in an ancient and eternal union with humanity that cuts across all barriers of time, convention, philosophy, and definition. When you are blessed with an anam cara, the Irish believe, you have arrived at that most sacred place: home.

so a fabulous mr. john donohue wrote a book called Anam Cara, in which he offers wisdom and insight on the themes of love, friendship, solitude and death.  

i am hooked.

and i have not been able to help myself, while reading his words on friendship between two souls, to take notes, in my own way, twisting and turning the reading to make sense for me and my personal journey.

now it does feel obvious to me that we have soul friends.  of course.  when we get vulnerable with others and behold each others light and beauty, a connection sparks.  yes. ancient recognition. home. i get this.  

and of course we need others.  of course we do.  like clean air. and fresh water.  essential.  

but we also need ourselves. healed and loving, whole. i need me.

one of the deepest longings of the human soul is the desire to be seen and to belong. i want that. but more so, i long to truly see myself and belong to myself again, to remember myself, since my ability to do so was greatly compromised.   one of the horrid after effects of developmental trauma and childhood wounding is that we often can no longer grasp our potential. our potential was seemingly snuffed out. well, i for one can no longer hand my power over to the people who hurt me, letting their maniacal acts rule my life forever. fuck them.   

i am reclaiming my possibility and it starts with self-love and self-acceptance.  

but what of it when we FINALLY sense a deeply felt bond with OURSELVES?  when we finally come to love and accept ourselves enough that there is a deep ancient recognition?  if friendship is always an act of recognition then is befriending ones self an act of self-recognition? can self-love be manufactured or achieved by an act of will or remembrance? what does it take to enter into friendship with ones self and if that can happen do we recognize our selves?  our souls?  who do we become? our own soul friend?

it fascinates me to no end to consider that deep, true, hard won friendship with oneself comes with self-recognition.  that it comes with self-love and self-acceptance. when we accept and discover ourselves, the ancient recognition settles in.

perhaps we used to love ourselves, before the childhood trauma and post traumatic stress brought the division and separation of liking, knowing, loving and accepting ourselves. after adverse childhood experiences our (secret) memory mourned the loss of us, without us even realizing it...for a while.  some of us have wandered for years, the longing to love ourselves and accept ourselves barely recognizable, sometimes masked by obsession, compulsion, addiction, sabotage. for some of us the desire to belong to ourselves was not all together forgotten but faded to the dimmest random flicker. 

i think it must be in doing our work, deep soul diving into the truths of ourselves, letting go of the past, healing, tracking our time spent doing what's most important to us individually, making-to-mend, and reclaiming the power we have to mold our lives, shine our souls, and live in joy, that the tides begin to turn and we can consider leaning into self-love and self-acceptance.  in loving ourselves an ancient circle closes.  that which is ancient within us, when recognized and accepted, will tend us, protect us, shelter us and hold us together.  when we fall in love with ourselves we come out of the loneliness of exile, of self-loathing, of shame and unworthiness to find home and belonging within ourselves.  it is here where we can begin to consider cloaking ourselves in our own friendship and self-recognition.  where we begin to belong to ourselves.  we decide what we want, who we want to be, how we will get what we want, do what we want, live like we want. 

we think: oh, this is me, hi you, welcome home, i remember you. 

i know you. i recognize you. you belong here.  

i know me, i recognize me, i belong here.  

it's the awakening. the spark, the flash of recognition, self-recognition, re-cognize, re know, knowing and befriending ones self, a sense of ancient recognition and belonging.

Self-Love opens the door to recognition and belonging.

we enter. and we come home to ourselves at last.

i am my own Anam Cara