Sensing Auras

river flows between green trees at daytime

Photo by Matteo Grassi on Unsplash

Photo by Matteo Grassi on Unsplash

I was in the flow yesterday. Writing. When my time was up (I had allotted one hour), I stepped out of the water and dried myself off, wondering at the wetness of my skin. I felt nourished, refreshed, and recharged, much of the emotional detritus that defined the day left behind, forgotten. I hadn't even really noticed the water until I left it, only knowing that somehow something extraneous had been washed away. I was working this morning, my hand-made grey stuffed horse at my side, taking a new case, when a loud rushing sound made me look up, out the picture window. The rain was pouring down in sheets, making the trees appear ghostly on the front lawn. Strange to have it be so warm, here a few days before Christmas in New Hampshire. The imagined water in my creative stream was like that, demanding in its intensity, yet truly belonging, nourishing the soil and bathing the trees. Unexpected, yes, but that's only because for once I had not engineered its arrival. I simply stepped into the creative space and started writing, not caring if the water washed me away.

Can I return any time? Simply step in and let my thoughts flow, like right now? Is it allowed? Or must I have a job to do, someone's problem to solve, a practical real-life dilemma to justify my existence? That's what it felt like when I was growing up. I existed as a balm to the hurts of the world. The lumbering adults needed me to keep them balanced, to ease their upsets and hurts. I knew that I did well when their wrinkled outer flashing settled into calm peaceful shapes, when their jagged outward energies wilted and merged, colors flowing smoothly once again. So now, so many years later, I still strive to create those colors in the daily parade of life around me. If I am with anyone, I bring out my test strips to check the pH, dipping my mind fingers delicately into the space between us.

People let you know how they feel, unconsciously. They move a certain way, their eyes tell a story, they lean into your words or turn away, seeking something that they don't have. It doesn't matter if I've met them before. The information they broadcast relates purely to their own personal physical, mental, and emotional energies. If they are familiar friends, I would know whether this state is a change from the usual, or something different. Nothing more.

How difficult for such a sensitive child to be around hurting people! Even without physical touching, hurtful lustful gropings, even without these, would I not have wanted to help? A small child is so dependent on their family, especially a child without an outer safety net of aunts, uncles, cousins, friendly neighbors. Being torn from state to state, even brought across the ocean to foreign countries, I had no-one to confide in. No-one to listen to me speak the wisdom beyond my years. They are hurt, they are sad and so very injured, can't you see? Can't you help them? I am too little.

Some days I was a child adrift in the ocean, alone on a boat, which had started to sink. All my energy, all my talents were focused on keeping that vessel afloat. If I could just keep sailing, some day I would land and find the solid ground beneath. But no matter how hard I tried, I could not fix my parents. One died in agony and the other one retreats behind her happy stories from long ago. No matter how many times my father came into my bed, the heavy sadness of his energies remained. I was a failure.

So now as I write, my adult self reads over my shoulder, weighing, judging, deciding whether this will be worth the time and energy taken away from tending my family and my work. Who can say? Might a magazine send me a small check for a well-turned article? Might these words fit into a best-selling novel? I feel her hot breath on my cheek, and the flow falters. But she won't stop me. She understands what it means to tell the truth. She was the one who drove me six long hours south to tell my Mom the truth. She drove me six hours back the same day, not wanting to spend another moment in that house with a mother whose greatest relief was that I did not accuse her. Then she called me, her words decoded decades later. She was there, she knew, and she didn't stop him.

Where does this leave me? I have a full life, I have a solid strong loving husband and wonderful children. We have raised good people together, and they are not afraid of the truth. Yes I still have my little grey hand-made horse, and yes, they know his story, they know my story, but they all live with the knowledge and then move on, carrying me in their loving wake. I have won in the end. I do still test the waters, helplessly checking pH several times a day, every waking hour, but I don't always rush in to modify the results. I simply take note sometimes, waiting to see how they help themselves, and at times they do. I learn from them how to take care of myself. I learn that life is not without hurts and twists and crazy turns, but if you have a loving family, then the road is not so hard and the twists are not so frightening.

a woman standing on top of a beach next to the ocean

Photo by Farrukh Khan on Unsplash

Photo by Farrukh Khan on Unsplash

So where do I go from here? I write. I pull the wrinkled memories out of my chest, smoothing them out on the bare floor, pressing all their creases down with my hands. I pull them out so that I have more room to breathe, to lift my own energies up from my own body and create beauty. The more I pull out, the more I will have to say and experience. I want to speak what is in the world, the beauty of an early darkness after the clanking wheezing bus has left, the Christmas lights shining from the eaves, the soft breath of the misty air on my cheeks as I turn towards home. I want to feel the emotions of someone freer than I am, free to wonder at the sadness, free to revel in the anger, and free to languish in the desperation. Free also to turn towards joy in order to carry it all forward into a new day. Joy transforming into that stream, that constantly flowing water, even as the roiling daily emotions cascade down into the waves. Joy will hold all the sorrows, all the tears, all the anger and jealousy and resentment and fear within its expansive breast, without feeling one bit less.

I think. I don't know all this yet. It comes to me in that stream, as I step around the boulders and lean onto slippery rocks. It seems right that happiness lies not in suppressing emotions that don't fit into our fairytale life, rather happiness accepts and absorbs and transmutes these difficult emotions into a life well lived. Happiness never said it would accept joy without pain, excitement without fear, or contentment without sadness. Without the many-toned colors of our inner life, the outer expression of it must indeed regress into a black and white life only half-lived.

selective focus photography of string lights on roof top edge

Photo by Bob Ricca on Unsplash

Photo by Bob Ricca on Unsplash

Perhaps coming to terms with the rough patches of everyday life holds the key to living with people today. This sensitive soul of mine cannot fix all the hurts, but it can honor them and then move on, knowing that this too shall pass. Perhaps my role now is to honor the hurts that show clearly on everyone I meet, without needing to stop and heal what only needs to be accepted. To lift up what needs to be spoken aloud so that the joy-infusing stream can start to wear it away, absorbing the pain into the greater fabric of all of our lives. We don't live in little human-shaped bags, separate from each other. We all swim together in the world, auras mixing and melding, clashing and synchronizing. Hearing the baby cry, we are all moved to care and reminisce and welcome the new one into our midst.

I hear that adult call me. Stop writing, you aren't being useful! Is that why I yell when called useful, seemingly insulted down to my deepest layers? Is the hurtful word already spoken in my most secret inner spaces the one I least want to hear? Does that mean it is true, or does that mean that the lack of care for myself is mirrored by the outside world, which is just too hard to bear? Perhaps I can throw the whole useful thing out, let it dissolve into my rushing creative stream. Who, after all, will care if I spend an hour writing total nonsense? Just a propped-up pretend part of me who calls herself grown-up. Of course, as I say this, I am frightened. That the one person who stuck by me all those years might be insulted and leave me stranded. But I resist fracturing my self into more pieces. That will never work. I will hold on so tightly that my fingers will break before I release another piece to fly away. I need all my pieces. I want them all to be civil and kind to each other, supporting where support is indicated, advising when a word to the wise would help, and celebrating a job well done, an emotion well felt, a turn of phrase well put. I think of the old saying, “Why can't we all just get along?!” Funny how the most heavy emotive moments sometimes end up just like that.

person's hand

Photo by Billy Pasco on Unsplash

Photo by Billy Pasco on Unsplash

 A turn of phrase. That's where I'm going with this. Getting the words on paper that are burning a hole inside of me, threatening my wholeness. It will happen. I can't stop it. I have begun the forward rolling that will keep going until my death. And enjoy the ride all the way! I wonder how many twists and turns life will take? How many surprises, how many ups and downs? Who knows? People can have very long lifespans, and I could have decades left to explore. Don't have to do it the way my parents did it, don't have to do it the way anyone wants, but me. Should be fun, I think. The hard part is over. I turn to the tree, and welcome Christmas lights into my rainy day.

About the Author

Wendy is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and a published author.

"I want everyone to know that abuse is not just something that happens to you, and then you move on. Abuse, especially at a young age, gets inside of you and changes how you view yourself and your world. It gets in the way of your free expression as your own unique self. Now I speak out, because our stories need to be told. I am a survivor. Together with other survivors we can bring this silent suffering to light, take hands together, bring the abusers out into the open, and stop the harming. It can be done."

Published by SurvivorSpace, an initiative of Zero Abuse Project