When I was around 5 years old my father read me a story about Jesus. We were not a religious family, but it was close to Easter and we usually observed the higher meaning of the more important holidays by reading traditional stories. I was incredibly touched by the story. I don’t remember the specifics of it now, but I recall that it inspired me to draw a picture that I could give to Jesus as a gift to show him how much I loved him. I still remember what I drew (in crayon)— a ladder standing on the ground that reached up to a bright yellow sun. On the ladder I had drawn a stick figure of a person climbing the ladder to be with Jesus, who I believed to be in the sun. After I drew the picture, I spent the rest of the day searching for a container into which I could put the picture. Eventually I found a small discarded box which I partially filled with grass. I placed the picture on top of the grass and then showed it to my family. I asked if someone would take me to the church down the road so I could give it to Jesus. They told me that it wasn’t possible—that Jesus was somewhere else.
I didn’t understand, so I continued to ask for days until my father finally agreed to take me. The next day we walked together to the church. We went inside and I was asked to sit and wait in one of the pews. My father walked over to the altar and spoke with the minister. The minister then walked over, sat down and asked me to tell him about the precious gift I had made. I told him about the story I had listened to, about how much I loved Jesus and showed him the picture I had drawn. The minister listened carefully and then promised that he would give it to Jesus.
My heart continued to express itself throughout my childhood in several ways—as a caretaker of all injured animals and as a peacemaker standing up for kids who were bullied by other kids. I seemed to have an inner voice that stirred me to take action in the face of injustice.
My teenage years were difficult. I had to learn to quiet that inner voice in order to be ‘liked’ by other kids. I remained true to my moral compass, but I turned away from my inner Self, which caused much pain and suffering. My twenties were fraught with impulsive decision-making that eventually led to a life-altering crisis by the time I was 30. It was then that I began to search for a way to ‘right’ myself, to return consciously to the path I knew was my true purpose. I sought the advice of a spiritual counsellor and while in my first session I had an experience that’s difficult to explain, but it led me to believe that my inner guides were speaking to me through the counsellor. It was a remarkable experience.
Not too long after that I remember having a very vivid dream with exact detail—one of few that I can remember. I dreamt that I was alone in a field of concrete debris. It was dark and cold and the skeletons of a few buildings that remained standing were scattered amongst the debris, their windows either missing or shattered. The wind was blowing hard, so I decided to seek shelter inside one of the buildings. I went inside and began to have a look around. There were no furnishings and it was as cold inside as it was outside.
As I stood there, I began to hear the faint sound of what I thought to be a baby crying. The more I listened the more I realized that it was a baby, but it didn’t make sense to me that a baby could be in a deserted building in the freezing cold all by itself. The crying began to make me feel concerned, so I decided to locate its source. I searched everywhere but couldn’t find its origin. The crying grew more insistent. I felt more desperate; it was so cold, and I knew the baby might die if I didn’t find it.
I ran from room to room with increased intensity until I stumbled into a staircase that led to the upper floors of the building. Each time I went up a flight of stairs another staircase appeared. This upward struggle continued for a long time. I grew tired and could feel the wind blowing hard through the open windows, but I kept climbing and climbing until finally I reached the top floor. From there I entered a hallway that contained dozens of rooms; all the doors were closed. I looked inside each room, but still no baby. I began to cry. I was so exhausted! And then the sound of the crying baby stopped.
It was then that I noticed a light coming from under a closed door that I hadn’t seen before. I walked over to the door and very slowly opened it. Inside was a room that was warm and well-lit and in the middle of the room was a carriage. I walked over to the carriage and looked inside. I could see the baby wrapped in a blanket. I reached inside the carriage, picked up the baby and pulled back the blanket so I could see the face. My spirit lifted when I saw how beautiful she was. I looked into her eyes and she smiled at me. That smile softened my heart, filling me with a quality of love I had never known. As I held the baby close and continued to study her face, I realized it was myself that I was holding. Through that realization came acceptance… and then an expansion, merging the two of us into one. The part of myself that felt incomplete was no longer alone. The dream ended.
My search to ‘right myself’ has become more of a journey—a ‘Life journey of Healing and Self-Discovery.’ That dream had provided me with important insight, that I was something more than the painful life experiences I had endured. It helped me discover a part of myself that was waiting to be acknowledged: my ‘True Self.’