Identity: January 29 Posting #2

A Wellness Exercise

Can you remember the last time you felt truly joyful and carefree? How old were you and what were you thinking or doing at the time? How difficult is it to recall that joy and how long can you hold your focus on the memory? Do you know that focusing on a joyful memory can release the same endorphins as though the event were happening right now? Restorative healing can happen when we let go of the woeful stories and embrace our blessings.



Original Art by Sara Blair McNally

The most profound loss of my life has been the loss of myself. Wanting desperately to feel loved and avoid rejection, I molded myself to please others. Indeed I became a shape shifter. If you were an owl I would be a field mouse, allowing you to devour me, solely to please you. In this way, I lost myself, one little field mouse at a time. The ghosts of all those mice haunted me until I began the inward journey to reclaim them. It was grueling to get all those owls to regurgitate those tiny bones and even harder to remember the particular characteristics that would flesh them out again. Still, I persevered. It became an expedition. Having gathered and fleshed out all those sacrificial mice, I was still bereft of identity; all those mice, but no life in them. Reclaiming wholeness while identifying parts seemed an impossible task. Then, I remembered one characteristic of the owl that helped: long-sighted vision. I had to step back and get a broader view. Following the guidance of my inner owl, one by one, I swallowed each mouse and once again they were alive and reanimated aspects of me long forgotten. Inside me now lives an owl and many mice.

© 2016 Bessie Adams Senette

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Bessie Senette

Bessie Senette is the author of Cutting the Clouds: a Bayou Mystic’s Poems, Musings, and Imaginings – an autobiographical collection of poems and essays about the life and culture of her bayou upbringing and the spirituality that informs her traditional healing gifts. Her current work-in-progress is Louisiana Pines: Homeland Poems and Vignettes; a chapbook that poetically explores her beloved home state.

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