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Salve and salvation

The visualization of me in my pearls will be my salve and salvation. This is my pledge to myself.

I am releasing these photos from their pretty frames. From my oh-so-pretty dreams — strands of Mikimoto pearls and diamonds wrapped about me as deliberately as a receiving blanket about an infant.

Strands I allow today to drop to my feet.

Strands I step out of and hold to the light, at last seeing I was a child playing dress-up in plastic balls and cut glass.

Awakening to growth can be tough when we’d rather sleep in and put off the effort of breaking free of what shrouds and stunts us. This time, however, the alarm allowed no snooze option.

Who can open their eyes, in the next instant overhear, “I love you, too, Sweetheart,” and sleep?

I’m awake to truth 24/7 — even on those days I’m the lead in a nightmare I’d give anything to drop the curtain on. Oh, for a giant hook to haul me stage left!

Remember how psychiatric hospitals administered shock treatments? My shock treatments have literally shocked the sh-t out of me — the denial, defensiveness, resistance, fairy tale thinking and co-dependent addiction to happily-ever-after. As my dear friend Camille informs me, I was gutted and gaslighted. My therapist describes my ex’s way of exiting “indefensible.”

“Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose,” Gertrude Stein wrote in her poem, “Sacred Emily.” A poem I am all over since it pays tribute to Emily Dickinson, after whom I named my daughter Emily, who has (synchronicity-alert) grown up to be an AP lit teacher and writer.

Meanwhile, in my breakup sonnet, indefensible is indefensible is indefensible is indefensible. It is best to get on with accepting that Prince Charming awakened me not with a kiss but a slap of thorns that knocked me, bloodied, clear to the next continent with horror.

Yes, sh-t happens. It’s the grim reaper for what Mr. Concrete Head/my ex once fondly christened my “Miss Fairy Dust Brain.”

Every rainbow’s promise casts a shadow.

Nevertheless, girls and boys, there is a happily-ever-after. If I color my response with acceptance with a willingness to peer deeply — from all angles — into reality’s prism…

If, even at my most hopeless, I trust in the process…

I will continue to find pot after pot of gold for my poor fairy’s impoverished spirit.

Today’s gold nugget, a suggestion from Camille: Surrender the struggle and quest to the angels.

“You take it. I’m done in. I’m done.”

I have packed the frames and photos into a box. I will tie it up with pretty ribbon. A pink-rimmed white rosebud in the bow.

These past months have been a gift. Yet my soul is weary of unwrapping it.

My soul needs a sabbatical.

The angels have stepped up, pallbearers for the past. They are not burying it, however. Nor do they have any interest in burning it. They’re caretakers.

They know that, one day, I will reopen the box. I will gently lift each photo, blow away the dust, and smile — blessing both of us. Then blessing the world.

This visualization has been my salve and salvation. This is my pledge to my new self. The wounded healer.

Jenine Baines is a retired arts publicist who now focuses on publicizing the wondrous, beautiful and inspiring spiritual works of art in the world. Email 600- to 700-word articles on all aspects of inner peace to Sally McKirgan at innerpeaceforyou@outlook.com.