I had heard about soul retrieval before, I guess. At least, I’m pretty sure I remember reading something about it somewhere. But it just never seemed like something I needed or wanted to do.
One evening I was reading an email post from a woman, Lisa who belongs to one of the Internet email groups I subscribe to when it suddenly occurred to me. As I read her words about Soul retrieval, I immediately knew what I had to do. It was as though a light bulb instantly turned on inside my head. A concept that was once foreign to me, and once dark, now became illuminated and pertinent to my particular situation.
The moment I read the words, “soul retrieval” that night my Self became just a little more enlightened. No longer was there any question in my mind concerning how I would rescue my inner child from the world in which she was hiding. I knew in that instant that soul retrieval was THE way to find little wounded Lori-ann and heal her emotional injuries and bring her home where she belongs.
I did a huge amount of research on the Internet and gathered as much information about soul retrieval as I thought I needed. I discovered that Soul Retrieval is the recovery of parts of the Self that got lost somewhere, or that were stolen by somebody else. The objective of Soul Retrieval is to make the seeker more whole and more present in the here and now by integrating those lost parts in to the person she is today.
The idea of Soul Retrieval originates in ancient Shamanic practices. During drumming ceremonies, the Shaman would travel to the past or into alternate realities and find the part of the person that was missing. The Shaman would then embrace that part of the seeker’s self, work at healing it and invite it to come back to the here and now. For my purposes I would skip the fancy ceremony, just do a small one and attempt to do the traveling my Self.
It seemed to me that the method used for soul retrieval was a fairly straightforward process. A simple procedure. I was sure I could manage the basics. One article suggested using a Shaman to aid in the process or taking along animal or spirit guides. Well, Shaman I am not, nor do I know of one, so that was out of the question. I would have to do this on my own.
I would be on my own except for my animal spirit guides. Yes, Moose and Bear had been very helpful to me in the past. I decided I’d take them both along for the journey. Moose seemed like an obvious choice for the trip. He is strong and sure of him self and always my Protector. I decided to bring Bear along, too because I felt she represented my inner child and my struggle to integrate my childhood Lori-ann into the woman I am today. So it was decided. Off I would go to retrieve the lost pieces of my soul. I was going to try to bring back the shattered remnants of my soul that an unfortunate childhood had stolen from me thirty years ago.
Although I was somewhat apprehensive at first, I knew that this was a journey I would have to make on my own. Just me and Moose and Bear. Oh, what a voyage this would be! I was both excited and afraid, but I knew that this was necessary and that no harm would come to me if I took Moose and Bear with me. Besides, what did I have to lose? Nothing, really. Things had to be better after the journey than they were before it started. There was no debating that. I knew I was ready.
Well, the process itself was surprisingly easy, though I ended up going a bit deeper than I had originally anticipated. I am glad that I did though, because so many previously misunderstood details of my life and my personality make sense to me now. I took Moose and Bear with me just as I had originally planned. Moose was ever the strong silent type as I had expected him to be. Always a tower of support. I had not anticipated Bear’s behaviour or reaction, though. . She was angry! She demonstrated her intense determination by running full speed ahead nearly the whole way. She sped headlong through a big dark forest. With poise she hurtled over fallen logs and under low-hanging branches of ancient pine trees. She raced around huge boulders and through the dense underbrush of the seemingly impenetrable forest.
When Bear finally slowed down a bit, I noticed someone else had joined our group. I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but somewhere along the way we met up with a lone wolf. He was a regal looking animal, standing ever so tall. When I looked into his clear whit eyes I could see that he was wise beyond words. We paused in our journey for a moment as Wolf started sniffing around in the dirt. He seemed to be searching for something. But what? After some thought on the subject, I decided his behaviour was quite appropriate since we began this journey in an attempt to find the lost pieces of my soul. But still I did not understand why Wolf would be searching in the soil for my missing pieces. Perhaps he was searching for something else?
Wolf continued digging and as he dug deeper he was getting more and more frenzied. He was digging quite frantically now, as he seemed to be getting closer to the hidden object of his desire. Finally, after much effort, Wolf finally came upon the item of his yearning.
Try as I might, I could not see what wolf had discovered. As he held out the object with his wolfy paws I adjusted my gaze in an attempt to identify the article. Still I could not tell just what it was. As wolf held the object high above his head I tried once more to focus my blurry eyes. It seemed the harder I tried the more evasive the item had become. As far as I could make out, what Wolf was holding on to was a large metal object. By the colour of it and the glare, it seemed as if it were made of brass or maybe gold. Upon closer inspection with my still blurry eyes I noticed teeth like protrusions along the edge of the metal item. Perhaps the edges were serrated, again I wasn’t quite sure.
My first thought was that it was a large brass key, but it was much too big for that. On second glance it seemed as though it may have been an animal trap of some sort, but it seemed to be the wrong colour for that. The thought of animal traps led my mind to stumble upon a memory I had suppressed from my early childhood. I suddenly remembered coming across a bear my Dad had killed on our back doorstep when I was two years old. I also remembered I felt very sad for the bear. I was too young to understand anything about hunting or my Dad’s need to protect our family. Overwhelmed by confusion and sadness as to why my dad HAD to kill the poor bear, I sat on the back step and cried.
After that memory faded, I then saw myself when I was a little girl of about 3 years old and our budgie Joey mysteriously died. I think I knew he was dead before my dad did, but I was scared to tell him. Instead I quietly went to preschool, never uttering a word. When I got home from school later that afternoon my parents had discovered for themselves that Joey was no longer with us. I already felt incredibly guilty about the death of my bird and my dad somehow added to my guilt by yelling that I should have told him Joey was dead. I suppose I believed that Joey would still be with us if I had just told my parents what I had known earlier that morning.
My next memory was little Lori-ann at about 3 1/2 yrs old. I tried to walk to the apartment we lived in during that period of my life. We lived in the same apartment building as my uncle and his family for a short while before my parents separated. For some reason, though, I could only get to the parking lot. I tried and tried to walk nearer to the building, but my feet seemed to be made of stone.
Then in a flash, that memory was gone and I saw myself many more times at about 3 and 4 years old. Interestingly, in each memory I recalled I was always alone. Once I saw myself walking home from pre-school after nobody came to pick me up. When I finally made the short walk home I discovered the door to our apartment was locked. I knew somebody was home because I could hear voices coming from inside the house. It sounded like my Dad and maybe a woman, but no matter how hard I knocked, they didn’t let me in.
In my next memory I was at a neighbours house, after kindergarten waiting for my parents to come and get me. For what seemed like hours, I just sat in this big, smelly old armchair watching "All in the Family". Once again I was by myself and feeling very alone and overwhelmed with emotions. Confusion, sadness and loneliness seemed to weigh down my tiny toddler body and I sunk deeper and deeper in to the chair, almost hoping it would swallow me up.
In the next lightening-fast flash of memory I saw myself at about four and a half years old. I walked all the way from kindergarten to day-care to pick up my little brother. At the time he was only two or three years old.
After we left the Daycare Centre, my little brother and I walked, hand-in-hand to our babysitter’s farmhouse. When we arrived at our destination, we found, to our dismay that nobody was home. Their door was locked and it was starting to get dark. We were young and too frightened to stay at their farm all alone so we walked down the road to our house.
When we finally got home, we were aghast to learn that our door was locked, too. So my little brother and I did the only thing we could do and sat on the step in the darkness until my mom got home. It was well past dinnertime then and a little chilly and very dark. My little brother had fallen asleep on the step beside me with his kitten sleeping peacefully in his tiny lap. I think if Mom had been any longer getting home I’d have fallen asleep, too.
The next recollection that came to me that night was a most disturbing one. I saw my childhood self again but this time I was not a toddler. In this recollection I was a tiny little baby. I couldn’t have been more than 6 months old. To my amazement and delight I was not alone this time. My mom was there and she was with another woman whom I did not recognize. I was beginning to think perhaps there were a few pleasant times in my childhood, but I just did not recall them. I wasn’t alone all the time. This time I was with my Mommy.
I am still not quite sure who this woman was that was with my mother and me. As my mom was a hairdresser during this period of my life, I assume that this woman was probably one of my Mom’s clients. In this memory my Mom was holding me in her arms just as any Mom would hold her tiny infant. Aaaaah, this seemed like a warm and comforting memory at first.
As I focused my attention on the situation before me I began to notice the two women were having a conversation. It seemed that they were fighting over who was NOT going to hold "the baby". I guess my Mom had to cut and style this lady’s hair, but I was fussing so she couldn’t do her job. The woman seemed to be on a schedule and both of them were running out of patience with me. A fairly loud argument ensued over who was NOT going to hold "the baby".
Although I was only an infant I could clearly hear and understand their conversation. I felt somewhat unwanted and very confused by the situation. This was partly due to the fact that I was upset and nobody wanted to hold me, but also because I felt that this other lady was more important to my mom than I was. I wondered also why both women, my Mom especially kept referring to me as "the baby". I had a name. I was Lori-ann and they both must have known that. My mother most certainly did.
That memory ended in a flash and I was instantly brought back to the here and now. Although some of my recollections of my childhood Lori-ann were deeply hurtful, the entire event really put things in to perspective for me.
The episode gave me a deeper understanding of some of the reasons I sometimes feel un-loved by my Mom. True, she has done some things since then that clearly show me that I am not as important to her as my kids are to me, but that’s okay because I understand her better now. I have come to terms with the fact that many people Love in different ways and they also show their Love in different ways.
My job in this life is not to try to get my Mom to love me, but to ensure that my children always know that their Mommy loves them. And it’s not enough for me to just tell them I love them. I have to show them every day that I love them as much as the Sky. And more importantly than that, I have to know that they feel it. That is a tough job, but one a plan to work hard at every day of their lives.
After my soul retrieval expedition, I curled up in the foetal position and let my Self cry. I cried for quite a while. This time I did not try to stop the tears. I simply let them come. I cried until there were no more tears to shed. I cried for the three year old Lori-ann who was always alone and so badly needed her parents to be there. I cried for the four year old Lori-ann that had to walk home from school by herself and take care of her toddler brother when she herself was feeling scared and alone. And I cried for the baby Lori-ann that thought her Mamma didn’t love her because she needed some comfort from a Mom that was too busy to give it.
But most of all I cried for the 32 yr old Lori-ann. I cried for the grown up Lori-ann because now I feel she can begin to heal those old wounds. Now she can finally be free from the ghosts that had always haunted her. Oh, those ghosts were like crippling shackles that kept her from loving like she wanted to and caring like she needed to. Even though the experience itself was painful to endure and I cried harder than I have in a long, long time, I feel better, now because of it. And I think tonight when I go back to my past I am going to ask that little Lori-ann what would make her feel better. Maybe I’ll offer her a huge set of master keys so she’ll never have to be locked out again, no matter how Big the door. And I think I’ll ask her if she’d like to come back to the here and now with me. I think she’d really like that. I know I would.