© 1993 Michele Toomey, PhD
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She learned it early, crying so she couldn't see.
As tears welled up, and her vision blurred,
She felt the relief wash over her.
But suddenly the sound crashed into her hearing,
And the images it created were as clear as could be.
"O no," she cried, "now I must be deaf as well as blind, if I am to be safe?"
She ran outside and cried up at the sky,
"O no, O no, O no-o-o-o-o-o-------".
Time passed, her voice weakened, but still she called out,
"O no, O no, O no-o-o-o-o-o-o-------".
Then, seemingly out of nowhere,
The moon shone on her face.
She opened her eyes wide and gazed at the beautiful night sky.
Nowhere in that galaxy beyond the earth
Could she see or hear it.
It was safe to look at and listen to the sky.
That's where she knew she wanted to live.
That's where she wanted to be.
She closed her eyes again.
Envisioned herself in flight.
Once amidst the stars and with the moon over her shoulder,
She smiled inside and out, warmed by her joy
Of being free to look and to listen.
There were no tears.
There was no need.
She was safe.
There was no fear.
Time passed and her spirit healed.
Her eyes shone and her heart sang.
She grew strong and one day stepped back onto the earth.
She brought the sky, the moon and the stars back with her.
They beat in her chest, with strong, healthy energy.
They shone in her eyes, with strength and beauty.
She was safe in herself.
She loved the sky and now she was one with it.
It was in her very soul.
She now had no fear.
She would never need to blur her vision or deafen her ears.
She is the moon.
She is the sky.
She is aware.
She is the woman the girl became.
She looks at you and sees.
She knows. She is aware.
She looks and she sees.
Unfortunately, blocking out reality is an all too often used coping mechanism that allows us to "pretend" we do not know what is happening to us. This self-deception then becomes yet another layer of our oppression and victimhood. When I wrote, "she felt the relief wash over her as she cried so she couldn't see," I was trying to capture the desire to hide from the harsh reality of life and then illustrate the phenomenon of false relief that comes from pretense. Since it is a liberation tale, I didn't stop with her in that state. "Sound crashed into her hearing, and the images it created were as clear as could be." Here, another sense lets the truth in and hearing breaks the barrier of sight, bringing the reality into her consciousness through the images made through sound. One way or another, she was meant to "see" and to "know" the truth.
Unprepared for dealing with this knowledge, she was left to cry out because she now knew the painful reality and had lost her ability to cope with it by pretending. Always fear prompts us to hide and try to escape, so only by leaving the place of fear are we free to look with honesty at the sources of our fear. "She" did just that.
An awakening is necessary for moving out of self-denial and self-deception, and awareness is the first step in this liberating process. It is so circular and, as always, so paradoxical. To be awakened we must be aware and to be aware we must be awakened. To be liberated, we must be both. Awareness and then an awakening occurs in this tale. I hope that through many readings, listenings and discussions, you are moved through the pain and anguish of harsh reality and its draw to pretense, to awareness and a triumphant awakening.