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Photo credit: Beulah Davina
On a cold winter’s night, I heard the crackling of the fire stove calling me back home. But home was now far behind so I continued to trudge through the snow. I remained wandering, the destination unknown. My toes were frozen over in their woolly boots and, snuggled in knitted mittens, my fingers were rock cold. It was a dark and lonely night, the only light I had to guide me poured from the half-lit moon. I trudged on.

Home had become a tight, stuffy fit. I wanted to step out into the dark night and fill my lungs with chilled air. A bizarre thought, perhaps, but I obsessed over the very idea. To be out: alone and wandering, with no sense of direction, to reconnect. Home was a collective of spaces, of people who inhabited in those spaces, and had become a place I no longer recognised as my own. I walked through a sea of faces, criticising eyes, curled lips, doubting hearts, ‘concerned’ speeches, high expectations and slowly began to drown. I found it difficult to separate the genuine from the cunning. I was scared to breathe for the fear of inhaling what had now become toxic. Everything that was once familiar and comforting had now forced me into a corner and I needed to escape. Because, if I did not escape, I would be undone and inert.

Home was a collective of spaces, of people who inhabited in those spaces, and had become a place I no longer recognised as my own.

I was not sure what I was in search of, but I knew my heart would guide me. Many years I had beaten my heart and desires to a pulp for the fear of judgement and ostracisation. I searched for happiness and peace outside of myself, never really knowing that all the answers I needed were in me. Now, I wanted to listen to my heart and give my heart a chance. So I took the step out into the cold, waving at my parents, brother, my partner and my closest of friends on this journey into Self. This weight which bored into my chest and onto my shoulders stayed with me as I trudged through the snow under the indigo night.

Waning Gibbous Moon in Teshie, Accra

I had overcome the first battle: I was honest and open with myself and knew I had no other choice but to move.

Now the next came in lacerating questions; Are you sure? Where are you going? What if this doesn’t work? Who will love and accept you now you’ve left? What will you find? I froze. Looked around me and the realisation crystallised – I was alone in this vast dark place. There was nothing familiar here aside from the half-lit moon. I responded with panic, tears and thoughts of taking my own life. Fear ruptured through me like nothing before. I was alone. Its quiet solitude rendered my hope empty. My feet too shaken to move so I sat in the snow and curled my knees up to my chest. I was in the presence of nothingness.

Fear ruptured through me like nothing before. I was alone. Its quiet solitude rendered my hope empty.

While I sat there, I was confronted with images of the person I had become and was becoming: self-righteous, excessively self-conscious, feigned confidence, overly critical of others, overly critical of myself, worthless and paranoid, self-sacrificial and torn in helping others. Then it came, quietly at first. She spoke to me, held me and brought me into the confines of her bosom. Her warmth felt like the hands of God wrapping me. She was who I was in search of, myself. She answered the questions without fear:

  • [Are you sure?] Would you be here if you were not sure?
  • [Where are you going?] On a journey to reclaim all you had lost;
  • [What if this doesn’t work?] Trust in this journey, trust that the path you have chosen is for you;
  • [Who will love and accept you now you’ve left?] When you love and accept you first, the love and acceptance of others {worthy of your presence} will follow;
  • [What will you find?] You will find your truth.

I shut out the doubt, embraced her answers and fell into her arms. I finally felt safe in my own presence.

She spoke to me, held me and brought me into the confines of her bosom. Her warmth felt like the hands of God wrapping me. She was who I was in search of, myself.

Being open does not necessarily equate to you being vulnerable. Instead, openness empowers you to own your story without feeling pressure to hide your truth for the comfort of strangers. You choose how open you wish to be whilst guarding your heart and protecting your peace. By being open you enable others to do the same, to create safe and healing spaces. This is the ultimate power of sharing without rendering yourself powerless or victim to others’ criticisms. I chose to share as the next step to reclaiming everything I have ever lost, giving a voice back to my heart and desires. It will not always be easy, but everyday is an adventure and you are growing.

– with love + light, Mx

One thought on “Reclaiming Self.”

  1. Beautiful piece nd how comforting. We all go through moments like this on our journey in this life. Do you run or take a moment to listen to the inner voice in you.
    Thanks for sharing Mateki
    Nanious

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