Today’s blog explores the topic of soul retrieval – reclaiming and taking back the parts of ourselves that we “gave away” or “lost” to another person or through life circumstances.
Do you ever have the feeling like parts of yourself are missing – like you are having a hard time or you are unable to be the person you know yourself to be? This is something that I have been acutely aware of within myself of late. I feel like there are certain qualities that I do possess, beliefs and traits that are certainly part of who I am, but for some reason, I feel unable to be those parts of who I am. For example: courageous, prosperous, confident, self-assured, creative, artistic, joyful, motivated, energized, strong, intelligent, etc. I know these are all qualities that I possess, or used to possess….so where did they go?
Enter the Victim and Martyr
The first, and sometimes easiest place to go when entertaining these questions is outside of us – to our intimate relationships and life circumstances. The easiest place for me to go when seeking the parts of my soul that seem to be missing are to “those” who I want to think have the power to take these parts away from me or to whom in my mind I gave that power. He/She/they took my confidence, my sense of value, my joy, my belief in myself and my truth. For a few moments, I found it helpful to entertain my inner victim/martyr and the value of doing so might open our eyes to individuals or circumstances that may be inviting new boundaries. However, as I entertained these victim thoughts, all I could hear was my teacher, Julie Tallard Johnson reminding me that “no one can take your power away from you without you agreeing to it.” Ha……Somewhere in this I need to accept the role that I played and the agreements I made that allowed me to set aside, ignore, bargain away these parts of my soul.
The Agreements we Make
If we want to step outside of the role of victim, we need to acknowledge our own role in giving away parts of our soul. And the great news is that when we do this, we are then able to reclaim and retrieve the “lost” parts of ourself…because in truth, they’ve never been lost, just forgotten. Julie Tallard Johnson, in her book, Wheel of Initiation, offers a formal process through which we are empowered to acknowledge the agreements we made that allowed us to forget certain parts of our soul along with certain tools through which we can release these agreements and reclaim the “missing” parts of our soul. She calls this work, recapitulation. As I found myself reflecting on the “missing” parts of me, I decided to revisit Julie’s book and entered into the process of naming the agreements that led me to forgetting parts of myself. These are some of the agreements that I uncovered:
- It’s my fault
- I have no right to ask for my needs to be met
- My needs, wants and desires are of no value
- The work I do is not of value
- I can’t make it on my own
- The work I do is not a “real” job
- Writers, spiritual directors, ministers live in poverty
- My writing is not of value
- My poetry is unworthy of acceptance
- I have to remain small, insignificant
- I can’t be seen or draw attention to myself
- I’m weak, afraid, depressed, sick
- I’m lazy and unmotivated
- I’m selfish
- I do not know my truth
- I doubt my truth
Each and every one of us, at some point in our life, for various and asundry reasons, make these kinds of agreements. We bargain away parts of who we know ourselves to be for the sake of “keeping the peace,” not “rocking the boat,” “keeping others happy,” or just because in the moment we don’t know any better. The good news is that we get to reframe these agreements, make another choice and RECLAIM the parts of ourselves that we have lost somewhere along the way. So today…….
I ‘m taking ME back!
And I invite you to begin the work of doing the same for yourself!!!!!!
Authentic Freedom Ministries