As life whirls past, with remnants of ‘would have’ and ‘should haves’ blowing and landing just beyond my reach, I opt to grab a coffee and a much loved SoulCollage® card that I made in the first workshop I attended. I still remember so clearly, searching through images with no purpose in mind.
Would I collage about my children? I’m so proud of them, and now that they are adults with their own families, I dearly miss time spent with them.
Hmm, none of the images seemed to be connecting with feelings or thoughts of my children. On this day, in this first workshop, I really did not know how this process would affect me. “Let the images pick YOU”, the facilitator said. I had just moved in with my best friend, which meant that for the first time in over 30 years, I would leave my little town; the place I raised my 4 children. Would this be the focus of the pictures I was about to receive?
There must have been hundreds of images. My eyes were drawn to a girl who was behind bars, sitting in a way that made her seem afraid. She was unclothed, and vulnerable. I wanted her. Or, she wanted me. A few minutes later, I was drawn to a deer who was covered in birds, perched on her back. I felt like the deer was a protector for the birds; maybe an advocate. A friend. I wanted that deer.
I was finding that these pictures were tapping into my past. I have learned to manage symptoms of complex PTSD which grew and festered inside of me. It grew as quietly, secretly, and mysteriously as the abuse did. In my 50’s, I started a support group for survivors. I was starting on a path towards intense healing, although at the time I had no idea that this is where I was headed.
Through emails, phone, and in person, I had been contacted by more than a few hundred women and men who were looking for help. I found my purpose. I engrossed myself in finding educational articles, inspirational quotes, art therapy projects… anything I could to promote understanding and healing.
I felt like a vessel where others could find hope and help. Each and every shaking voice that found their way towards trusting in me was inspiring, and empowering!
The deer in the picture; that was me.
In the workshop, there were background pictures to look through. By this time, I knew what this collage was going to be about.
My childhood had little of the warmth that comes with family love and family connections. My eyes were drawn to a picture of winter, and ice, which gave me a feeling of stark coldness that (as a child) I felt while maintaining everything in my life was wonderful.
There was no doubt that this picture was mine. It was calling to me, and I could feel it.
For the past 8 years or so, I have become a changed person. Coming to terms with my own past has helped to connect with my own lost inner child. I have found renewed purpose and strength and courage.
I felt like I could do anything I set my mind to! – the world was in my hands. This was my thought process as I cut that image of the world out and placed it exactly where I wanted it.
“Trust in the process.”, said the facilitator. …and so I did. …and it was magical.
Debbie Jaine lives in Woodbury, Ct. Helping women to see their wonderfully kind and powerful selves is what she loves to do best in her business and also in her personal life.