It started in the cafeteria, that place where cliques converge onto tables, their masses growing with popularity and spreading down the length of the tables like poison ivy beside a stream. Voices happier than a bubbling brook. Twenty-seven years ago you would have found me sitting at different table, those ones quarantined to the periphery, beside the other outsides not considered cool enough to dine with the masses.
It wasn’t always like that. Twenty-eight years ago I was cool enough to eat where I wanted, even though I wore my self-confidence in a fragile shell around me. That was before it was broken almost beyond repair. You can find the story in the book My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. I’m not going to narrate here. Instead, I’m going to tell you about the cafeteria I dined in last night.
There I was, standing in the center of the floor dressed in skinny genes and a fitted t-shirt, my hair long and straight, my smile wide and unwavering. There was no doubt in those clear blue eyes that covered the room with ownership. I looked more like my middle-school daughter than my former self.
“He likes me?” I asked the friend closest to me, “Maybe I’ll go talk to him. Maybe I’ll tell him I like him.” We were talking about a beautiful boy in our grade, and I was sure he could be mine if I asked.
I carried the crowd down the hall, my hair waving to the students behind us as we made our way to our next class. Social Studies. I kid you not. Sometimes Spirit is so obvious you can only laugh, which is what I did when I woke this morning and reviewed my dream. Nowadays the class would be called Integrated Arts, I believe, but back in my day we called it Social Studies.
Perhaps I should be frustrated that I am still healing that insecure girl still inside of me, but I’m simply grateful she’s able to heal. I judge my dreams by their content and their emotions evoked. Last night felt like victory, not because I was about to win the heart of a popular boy and the admiration of my peers, but because I had the self-confidence to express myself in full, unbroken glory.
A few nights prior, I healed a piece of that girl (now younger than in the cafeteria dream) in another dream about a boy. Again, I looked a lot like my daughter, in fact it was as though our souls and bodies were merged. There I was inside a car, nestled into half-sleep in the backseat beside a boy my daughter likes. Outside was a lake of water from which I had just been rescued.
“I love you,” the boy whispered his kiss into my young body before I slipped into a sleep of bliss.
I can’t tell you why the boys in my grade school never “loved” me, I can only tell you of my longing to be loved. Like my daughter, I was a pretty girl, but I wasn’t walking inside a body filled with confidence. I was a child who wore the clothes of rejection since birth.
Before that ten-year-old girl felt the joy of being loved in my dream-state, I had another healing experience. A week and a half ago, I was at shamanic workshop and traveled to the belly of Earth with Huascar as my guide (to read the poem I wrote about this journey, please visit the post A Journey Back to Self, and found a little boy hiding inside the black body of a cave. Before the entrance was a phallus, standing tall and proud. We were retrieving lost pieces of our souls, and although one (including myself at first) might think I should have found a girl waiting for me, I had found a little boy.
Sometimes we forget that balance is a body of light and dark, a body of yin and yang energies in equal portions. That little boy represented lost confidence, and he/I was ready to welcome back that masculine energy that holds the phallus erect and the voice strong. I needed to reunite with that lost “boy,” before I could return that beautiful broken girl to a body of unwavering love and joy.