One day, while in the woods, and my soul was freed.
(The Wounded soldier story; if you’ve never heard it is below. )
I went to an awesome retreat a few months back, maybe ten months ago and did some soul work. I came back feeling so invigorated.
It was in the fall. It had begun to get cool in the mornings, and I was trying to rejuvenate my soul. I was soul-weary. Just tired. The kind of tired you can be when no one else can understand it, kind of tired.
During the retreat, I noticed the weariness of my soul. I didn’t quite know it was weary til I really took the time to pull away and spend time on myself. Alone.
Yet observing Self.
Well, if you read the story below, you will understand the place where I was. Sometimes, our souls can become weary because of ourselves. We then find ourselves without aid or assistance even we are really in a hard place.
I never want to be there, ever again.
So we were given this exercise on the retreat asking us to nurture and care for our “wounded soldier” by walking out into the woods and comforting her. Taking time to empathize with her and tell her that she had every right to protect this space inside of her and to stop fighting fires and putting out other battles but to learn to fight her own battle, and not feel guilty or alone any more about doing so.
To sympathize and empathize with our need for compassion and herald the battles we have fought, but also congratulate ourselves for a job well done, can be a quite challenging reach. It takes a lot of COURAGE to even begin to think this way. Yet something about the woods that day, helped me.
As women, we were encouraged to take time to HEAL.
And the declaration I made in the woods, that day would build my own fortress of hope and support for my future, causing me to begin to heal even more. It’s so important to herald my own work before I supported another’s cause and that day, I learned the importance of this act to preserve my self worth.
And I was …set free.
Like a bird, I flew that day in the woods.
Since that day, many things have been born. And I am grateful.
So remember….before you decide to be “all in”for another, decide first what your own cause would be, volunteer…then begin to herald your own cause, fight your own battle, and save yourself.
You’re so worth it.
Read the “Wounded Soldier” story, below.
“It was a fierce battle even for a soldier as seasoned as he was. No one knows for sure how the events transpired as they did. When it happened, it was almost over before it began. The soldier has had a lot of time to reflect on the battles leading up to this one. It had taken years of faithful duty for his commander to put him in such a front line position. The soldier had been decorated many times for standing strong against the enemy. He was not one of the ones who had to be coaxed into battle. He had seen first hand the destruction left in the wake of his enemy. He had seen the destroyed lives. He cannot remember the countless times he had talked so many through tough and difficult decisions in their own battles. He had relayed countless messages from his commander to others who were looking to find a place of safety against the onslaught of enemy weapons. He knew the importance of being prepared for battle. He had seen a lot of others who were not well prepared fall in the fight. He had always tried to make sure every skill and weapon was razor sharp. He knew his life and the lives of others depended on it. There had been times when he was amazed that he was still standing when the day of battle had ended. He had encouraged many a young warrior to stand strong and not faint at the fierce attacks of the enemy. There were occasional times when he was allowed to get some much needed rest but usually his life was spent being in a state of alertness and total awareness of everything around him. It was very seldom there was a lull in the enemies attacks. Usually if he wasn’t fighting on his on lines he was helping a brother soldier not be swamped by the enemy. There had been several times when he had to call for reinforcements and there was a special squad his commander kept in store to send to every soldiers aid. This special squad was terrible in their strength. Nothing could stand before them but the brunt of the battle was not given to them. Those were horrible times indeed but he thrilled at the way his commander had taken care of him. He would gladly follow wherever he was commanded to go, without question. I suppose in hind sight he had been able to see the attack coming but it looked like the same kind of battle he had fought so many times before and he wasn’t overly concerned. After all, hind sight is twenty/twenty. There was something different about this day of battle though. He felt tired as if he had went too long without rest and his senses were dulled. For some reason he felt more alone than he ever had before going into battle. He had never felt that way since becoming a soldier. He knew the need to stay in constant contact with his commander. He knew this was going to be a strange day but he just trusted and went into the day of battle as usual. When it actually happened it was over before he realized how strong an attack it was. It was an unexpected and sudden move of the enemy that staggered him. He knew immediately that it was a serious wound but he could do nothing except fall to the ground in a total state of weakness and shock. He remembers seeing the enemy standing over him and laughing a victorious laugh before leaving him in that horrible state of aloneness. He had never felt pain like this in his life. It was a pain that coursed through his heart and very soul. It was unbearable but he knew he had to bear it until help arrived. He thought surely he would die here in this state. He lay there a long time in his weakened condition as other soldiers passed him by. Maybe they were busy. He knew they could see him. They saw how he had been deeply wounded but they just passed him by. Couldn’t they hear his cries for help? Why wouldn’t they stop and help him? He desperately needed help but was far too weak and disorientated by the viciousness of attack and the severity of the wound to keep crying out. He had seen this before and never had understood it. He had seen other soldiers spend a lot of time in the back lines trying to get people to fight who really did not want to get involved in the battle but they passed completely by wounded soldiers they passed in their time on the front line. It was strange that they seemed to care nothing for their own wounded. The wounded soldier lay there for a long while trying to get his thoughts about him. He would not be bitter against those who refused to help him but he knew that if he recovered from his grievous wound; he would try his best not to pass by a fallen brother soldier.