Around here, about ten minutes before leaving, anyone within earshot can hear me ask if they’ve seen my keys. It has always been this way. Even when I put a fancy little hook next to the door.
When I decided to sit in circle with my teacher and sisters what seems like eons ago, I had an expectation that I would learn some magical tools so that I could be a better healer. What I didn’t know is that I’d need to learn to apply them to my own life, and to do that meant I was going to be in the hot seat. What the hot seat looked like was walking into a beautifully-held space every month for a day-long training in learning how to look to the tools and be shown how to cope with my unmanageable life. What’s this? I wasn’t going to learn to bend spoons with my concentrated thoughts?!
Exactly not. The tools provided (and still do, as more show up all the time) a way for me to creatively problem solve my own issues, while knowing when to get humble and ask for help. It was not the magic I was expecting, and yet, I showed up each month with my lunch and my journal, a tiny altar of grabbed-on-the-way-out-the-door items. My little power objects would be expected to support me in my tiny space from which I would travel in and out of the portal to gather “medicine” to bring back to the hearth.
Where was the hearth? It was my own heart. Another unexpected. Why was this all so simple? And why was it sometimes so dark and messy in there?
My teacher said, “If you can heal your heart, you can heal the world.”
I still didn’t get it. And would I ever get to the end of it? As soon as I unearthed something big and felt things upshift, debris let loose, the dance of celebration commenced, I would be shown yet ANOTHER area which needed tending. It began to feel like herding cats. I soon discovered that there was actually no expected end to “the work”, because apparently our souls are just that deep. And life continually shows us that if we want to dig further, well, “Here is a sturdy shovel, Child”. There is no bottom that I have seen. No place to arrive and plant my flag down victoriously.
Many times, I asked myself what the heck the point of all of this was. Even when it was obvious that I wasn’t coping with what was happening to me, I didn’t put it together that this is what the tools are for. Working with them was not going to look like bending spoons or levitation for me, nor would they give me letters to put behind my name. They were going to look like me letting myself out of my own dungeon again and again and again.
They were going to help me care enough about myself to dedicate all of my days to finding every key and to try all of the locks.
Eventually, I would help others locate their keys, too, with the divining rods I’d had success with.
Each time I take up the hunt for my car keys, wondering if I’ll be late again, the metaphor is not lost on me. When my excitement increases and I’m rustling through pockets and clearing the desktop, I am reminded that looking for my keys so I can move forward when it’s time to go is a lifetime pursuit.