I asked August if she had any parting words and she nodded yes and spoke:
“Yes, I do. Let me tell you. The heat rose and the sun casted shadows over you. I hope you saw the messages I left for you. Please don’t hide under the umbrella of small or wish you were different. Comparison is a bully. What they have you wish for, but do you? Do you really know you are tall in that way that spreads wings for all? It’s not conceited or rude to be the truer you.
Nice is fine, fine, fine but really when you’ve had enough of their abuse, show them what have you. If they leave, it’ll be okay. The strength I see in you holds universes. I have watched you for decades and this season you are ready to heed your calls. Don’t let them beat you down or restrict you; instead close your eyes and listen to the splendor of dreams within dreams. Those very etchings are the blood stains of your truths.
Trust you as you would trust seasons and river those openings to seaways. Seek the silence that becomes you and yet please don’t hide away all day. Gifts are meant to be given. And before I leave, I’m so glad you asked. I’ve been waiting for you and September stands with arms open wider than wide. You’ll be held. I promise you. Sweet blessings as summer fades. A new year always rises as autumn welcomes you.”
I’ve been thinking about what is it that I do as a licensed mental health counselor. How can I describe what I offer?
And so, in my truest heart-space, I looked to nature for guidance and started to daydream.
Within minutes, two hummingbirds followed by two wild bunnies appeared. I watched and observed. All were playing and zipping in and around the bushes and trees and vying for the feeder.
Hopping, darting and exploring.
And I said to myself, “Oh my! That’s it!”
I am a sensitive creature and quick to notice as I follow the process of my counseling clients. I’m intrigued with what isn’t said as well as what is said.
I listen carefully as if I have two large rabbit ears twitching and sniffing the winds and I believe in their pain and stories that too often haven’t been.
I notice the tone of my clients as they walk, smile, laugh or shed tears.
I hold open space or circle it down to keep it safe. I let their voices rise or whisper.
Together, if need be, we ‘die’ and explore the depths of pain, abuse, worries, and fears. I feel images and see feelings and share what has risen.
We create a bond of sacred space where authenticity and trust can truly grow.
Sometimes we use art or music and let the spirit of colors and shapes and sounds speak what words can’t. Other times I’m reminded that questions don’t always have immediate answers; however, we wait together and explore to see what is your deepest soul’s truth.
I was summoned to this very spot when I caught sight of the hot, hot sun setting over a burnt grey sky where a winged shawl of angels repeated, “Let the hurt be seen.”
There beneath this oracle a hemline of trees was a chorus of protectors. And I knew it was safe as I felt the celestial fire rock me slowly to the left and circle me holy to the right; held in that pure space between sun and earth and the curve before day turns night.
Amen. Amen. Amen.
This one is for those who don’t have emotional support.
This one is for those who feel completely alone. Who don’t have someone cheering you on, supporting every word, holding your hand, listening to your thoughts and dreams.
This is for the one who feels lost in a sea of everything. Whose sensitivity is unheard, unseen and not believed.
This is for the one who feels defeated because they’ve been ignored, blamed, and shamed.
This one is for those who watch and listen and give but are rarely received.
I believe, I believe, I believe --
You are worthy. You are loved. You are seen.
If I say to you, “how wrong you are in everything you do” sadly you’ll start to believe it.
If in turn, I repeat with sincerity you are creative, intelligent, beautiful, kind, diverse and real – my hope is you’ll start to believe it.
And with this fuel of self-acceptance you’ll translate the former assaults into gardens of seeing others who need to hear,
“You are creative, intelligent, beautiful, kind, diverse and real.”
My hope grows fuller for this to be repeated as vast as the sun and moon stretches over this very earth until we all believe it.
Carolyn Riker is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in private practice. She is also an author of three books. Her most recent book is "My Dear, Love Hasn't Forgotten You."