AWAKENING FROM MY WOUNDS
A Wounded Child is Born
My little sister Cherry was 18 months old when she died from my father’s wrath. It happened on a chilly and damp night in Richmond Park, a picturesque mountain village in Jamaica, a three-hour car ride on a bumpy road to Kingston, the capital.
During that frightful night, Cherry did not succumb to the anger of my father to stop crying. At his wits end he placed her outside the family bedroom into the dark, leaving her there to wail. I was frightened and helpless to change what was happening. I finally cried myself to sleep.
Not long after, the doctor diagnosed Cherry with pneumonia. I stayed by her bedside gazing at her with the love we shared. Finally, my mother sent me out of the room telling me that Cherry was going off to sleep. Cherry never woke up. She was the love of my life. My best friend. I never got to say good bye. I was 4½.
No child of that age knows how to deal with this kind of trauma. I locked it away for over 35 years. I was left with the belief that what I love will be taken away. My heart began to close down. I became a wounded child without knowing it.
Shame and Blame
From a very young age, my mother blamed me for my difficult childbirth. Early in her pregnancy she visited the village psychic who told her that she could die during delivery. The psychic was right. I was an unusual breach. Three days of labor passed before the midwife literally pulled me out and saved us both.
Throughout my childhood my mother would turn the anguish of my birth against me. “You were born to kill me”, she would commonly say.
I continued to be the target for her unhappiness. Being blamed was constant. There was physical abuse as well. And the emotional abuse was ongoing. If I misbehaved she would threaten to hang me by my tongue from the ceiling. But the most frightening threat was her promise to sell me in the market.
In my innocence, I believed all this intimidation to be true. My life was wrapped up in the belief that I was not wanted. My heart continued to close. I was withdrawn and was left with deep sadness and feeling alone. I continued to wonder, “Why was I born?”
No Place to Turn
At five years of age I was molested by my older brother. As wounds accumulated, my childlike innocence continued to be veiled. There was no one I could turn to. I had no control over what is happening. I knew something was wrong. But I had to keep it all inside. I was trapped in a cage of despair.
Even though there were nine of us children at home, I felt alone and distant from everyone, especially now that Cherry was gone. My yearning for Cherry became my refuge. I would withdraw to a small room with a window that faced where she was buried. In the quiet of the night, without fear of the dark, I’d look down towards her grave hoping that I would see her spirit.
Drawn to the Spiritual
During these times while feeling alone, my daydreams became my companion. In Sunday school I learned about God and Jesus. I had deep thoughts and was fascinated with the mystery of God. I would say, “I do not belong here.” I would ask, “Why was I born?” “Where is God?” These questions stayed with me and sadness shrouded my inner core. At seven I started writing a book about life. I saw life to be a spider’s web. When it breaks you fall into the void. And that’s what happened to me.
I continued to live from my inner struggle as I moved along the path of life. I kept my childhood shame hidden. I never talked about it. I had separated from the wounded child. Yet I could not bury the memories.
My continuous focus was still from a place of Spirit. I was drawn to household helpers and others who had a mystical way about them. Although village folks were uneducated by traditional standards, their psychic and spiritual ways deeply fascinated me. This attraction continued throughout my life and foreshadowed my becoming a Shaman.
Going Deeper into the Emotional Body
Business was natural for me. My then-husband and I started a successful pharmacy in Jamaica. Although during that time I had no financial problems, I deeply felt that something was missing and I continued longing for the revelation of life’s mystery to unfold. I continued to focus more and more on the unknown and unseen.
From the time I was a young child, I was guided by Spirit and followed that guidance. This seemed normal to me. So being ‘told’ to get into massage school, I readily signed up. I quickly discovered that massage was really about getting familiar with the energy body and seeing blocks of emotions that the body held on to from childhood wounds.
During the time of massage school, I was stricken with intense emotional pain that lasted weeks. The pain was relentless. I wanted to hide in the smallest corner of my home. But, no matter where I went, I was not able to hide from my anguish.
The Turning Point: Meeting the Wounded Child
It was a day no different than any other. I was now 40 years old when the wounded child appeared. She came out of the blue. She looked to be about ten years old.
In silence and with great sadness she stared directly into my eyes. I had long detached myself from her and had no interest in having her in my life. Convincing myself that I am not connected to her and not interested in seeing her, I stared into her eyes and told her to go away. I was determined to get her out of my life. She continued to hang around for three weeks while I went about trying to distract myself with daily chores. I could not dismiss her. I was helpless. In those three weeks something started to change. I knew we had to connect. But I didn’t know how.
Then, through a spiritual friend, I experienced that my hardened heart was veiled with emotional wounds. I could no longer push away the wounded child. Just the opposite: I saw that I needed to merge my memories with my emotional imprints, to feel my feelings, and to embrace them. This was the beginning of my self-healing.
The Portal to Spirit Begins to Open
Intense self-healing continued. My pain began to dissolve and my emotional cage began disintegrating. There was a profound sense of spaciousness that continued to expand as more and more childhood conditioning faded away and the veil of wounds lifted to expose my heart.
Buried treasure now surfaced. Although I was already intuitive, the gifts of empathy, clairvoyance, and clairaudience began to surface. These gifts started to appear when I began seeing clients. I had no training in psychology nor in the healing arts. When clients spoke about their difficulties, I was able to see and to feel the underlining wounds. And, most amazingly, it was not “me” who was doing the healing. The healing was coming from Spirit working through me. Intuition and inner guidance became the norm. I never questioned these gifts. I now fully engaged in my soul’s journey.
The Shaman Reveals Herself
My Jamaican birthplace had its roots in African culture and in the ways of Spirit. These indigenous ways were based on mysticism, herbs, and shamanic practices. My fascination with rituals and natural healing grew out of the trauma that characterized my early life, back to when I was still in my mother’s womb and the psychic told her to drink bush medicine tea, less we both die in child birth.
Years later, I was called to experience Ayahuasca, known as the mother vine of the Peruvian jungle. Ayahuasca is plant mixture that is capable of inducing altered states of consciousness. It brings unconscious processes to the surface, enabling them to be worked on while the effects last.
I spent weeks at a time in ceremony with mother vine, both in Peru and on retreats in the USA. She taught me, she cleansed me, she guided me. I became immersed in her healing powers. She became my teacher.
On a momentous morning after an Ayahuasca ceremony, we all came together to share our experience. One participant shared the memories that came up about his childhood wounds. It was my compassion and empathy for the wounds suffered by children that drew me spontaneously towards him to comfort the child within. As I came close to him, spirit acknowledged me as Mother to the Wounded Children.
A Shaman Disguised as an Inner Child Therapist
Up until 2012 my healing practice focused on inner child work. My service supported clients in getting in touch with early traumatic events – both conscious and unconscious – that served to run their lives.
I was a spiritually oriented, intuitive therapist. When clients couldn’t ‘hear’ the cry of their inner child, my shamanic, God-given abilities allowed me to work as the instrument of Spirit and quickly zero in on wounds – sometimes in a matter of minutes – that were entrapping those who came to me. The inner child would freely reveal herself to me. I could hear the voices. Once a client was then able to re-connect with her inner child, background wounds that were causing present day suffering began to disappear.
Once relieved of past burdens and emotional imprints, clients were able to live happier, more peaceful lives. They were better able to cope. I served several thousand clients in this way from the early 1980’s.
The Turning Point: From Inner Child Healing to Spiritual Awakening
Although I am not much of a reader, I was pulled to books written by awakened masters, including Mooji, Eckhart Tolle, Jed McKenna and Adyashanti.
On a flight to Jamaica in 2012, I was reading one of Jed’s books. Out of the blue I was jolted into an altered state. About 20 feet down the aisle appeared a cloud-like figure of myself. Instantly I knew the image was the person I had been conditioned to be.
She was not the True Self. She was a mirage. It was Me, the True Self, that was doing the witnessing. The True Self had no problems. It was simply the witnessing Presence observing the person I had thought I was for all my life. I, True Self, was seeing that all along I had mistaken my True Nature for the person that I was conditioned to be by past experiences and ancestral heritage.
This was my spiritual awakening: I, True Self, woke up to the fiction of Radavie – the conditioned self — that I, True Self, up until now, believed My Self to be. This was a moment of Truth.
In less than an instant, all aspirations I’d been harboring for years to achieve higher levels of spirituality were seen as coming from the conditioned self, the person, that I, True Self, had taken My Self to be. To think, I had spent nearly a lifetime cultivating a spiritual persona and engaging in spiritual practices only to be constructing a mirage.
A major shift of perception had taken place. The person – the mirage – was separate from who I have always been. In that moment I saw the mirage as an imposter that portrayed a non-existent person, a ghost, that I had all along mistaken myself to be.
Spirit, Beingness, the I AM, True Self, Aware Presence, by any other name, is what I am. It is what we are. There was an awakening of Truth to Itself. This realization was a shock. There was no turning back from this shift in perception. Spiritual Awakening had occurred.
The Wounded Child Comes Forth
I now knew that human identification is not who we are. We, True Self, are seemingly trapped in the human condition. Human conditioning is a veil that separates True Self from Itself.
My meditation and contemplation gave birth to the realization that the wounded child is the poster child of human conditioning. I realized that the wounded child represents the never ending quest for happiness. It seeks relief from suffering through relationships, possessions and states of mind. The wounded child is the hand the blocks out the entire sun, our True Nature.
Spirit has called me to be mother to the wounded child. Our innocence is covered over by the wounds of conditioning. My calling is to release emotional wounds that veil the True Self from Itself. Releasing the wounds opens the portal to spiritual awakening.
My Calling is Your Calling
Our True Nature is our divine, unlimited, innocent self. For most of my life, childhood wounds served as a veil that seemingly blocked out my True Nature, like the raised hand that screens out the sun.
I wanted badly to forget my childhood wounds. But to no avail. They followed me everywhere. My wounds were hungry ghosts that would feed on the drama and trauma of my formative and later years. My mind was a haunted house and I couldn’t find the exit.
Now, when I look back, I see how my childhood wounds were a blessing. My suffering caused me to question the very purpose of my existence. Why did I come into the world and suffer? Why would God make me suffer? This inquiry went on for years.
Then there was a defining moment … a point in time where the veil lifted and my True Nature revealed Itself. A shift in perception occurred. I was no longer defined by past suffering or current conditions. I saw that Cherry represented the love that could never be lost. Only veiled.
That’s when I awakened from the wounds. And so can You.