August 15

COURAGE MONTH: DAY 15: “This is what I believe: That I am I. That my soul is a dark forest. That my known self will never be more than a little clearing in the forest. That gods, strange gods, come forth from the forest into the clearing of my known self, and then go back. That I must have the courage to let them come and go. That I will never let mankind put anything over me, but that I will try always to recognize and submit to the gods in me and the gods in other men and women. There is my creed.” ― D.H. Lawrence

What an interesting way of seeing things…at least to me. I love the idea of my soul being a dark forest. That I am only aware of a small clearing in that forest. Being a nature-lover, I like that idea. It is romantic and idealistic.

There is a lot of material here for me to work with. That the gods come and go and that I must make peace with their coming and going is wonderful! We all must make peace with the fact that life is going to do what it is going to do. I am asked for and give no permission or assent. I must simply allow and accept ALL OF IT! Okay.

The hardest part comes next…to never let mankind put anything over me. Oh yeah! I have spent so much of my life in that people-pleasing, bending myself into pretzels to get your love and acceptance. Ugh! And I don’t want to live that way ever again, but I know that I sometimes will. It is such an ingrained way of being, I don’t know that it will ever be completely removed.

But I am okay with it being like this. I accept these challenges as well. As I can accept what your challenges are laying down in front of you and how you walk through those times and those challenges. Submitting to the gods in me and the gods in you…yeah, there is the rub, right? But if this kind of courage demands anything, that is its message. To submit, over and over and over, to the inevitable parts of me and you that I don’t know how to even begin to allow. Till I do. Then it is better and better, till I don’t. That is the nature of this step and all its impact on my life.

I really, really love this quote. It makes my Irish/Celtic heart happy to speak of my soul as the forest and all the rest of the romantic claptrap that these images bring up for me. Perhaps I will go out today and commune with acres of oak trees.

Yeah, that is my creed too…

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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