47. MY ALTAR, MYSELF

Excerpt from “My Lovedance”

Directly across from the door to our home is my altar. A lavender macramé cloth covers the small winged table. Objects sacred to me adorn the four corners with candles in the cardinal directions.

The altar changes from time to time according to my needs. Often my children ask to be put on the altar. And I make elaborate altars for them, holding the energy as they face challenges like when my eldest interviewed for their first real teaching job (and thankfully got it!), and my daughter tested for nursing school (and she got in too!) When Steve’s Gran first fell ill, he asked me to dedicate an altar for her. And after she passed, the altar reflected our love and devotion to her.

Today, items sacred to our upcoming retreat lie on the altar…The red cord I made to help us connect to our ancestors and each other. The crow’s feather bound in triple goddess colors that helped us choose the theme of our retreat. A golden frame filled with photos of men I treasure — my husband, my father, my grandfather — my beloved divine masculine.

And in the front — my Box of Me.

I made this one up… but what healing has come from creating a Box of Me. It started just after my father’s surgery, my sisters had moved him into a senior apartment complex and found a box of old photos. In it was a photo I do not recall, but looking at the black and white image of me at thirteen months old dressed in an Easter dress holding a little purse and gazing out with old soul eyes, I remembered. Showing my parents how to parent me and feeling their emotions. I took that photo and pasted it on the Box of Me. Somehow I would heal the child within. And through the Box of Me, placing me on my altar.

Inside the Box of Me, the mementos change yet each represents my dreams, my hopes, my intentions. I’ve guided many patients and some women friends in the creation of a Box of Me. How therapeutic it has been to honor ourselves, to put into this special box all that we hope for and say to the universe YES! Yes, I am. And more so to fall in love with ourselves. Because that’s where love starts. If we don’t love and honor and cherish ourselves, how can we love and honor and cherish each other?

It’s hard for most women to make a Box of Me…harder yet to place anything sacred within their Box of Me. It is start, a fresh start to healing the child within. I ask them to choose a photo of themselves that is before the time they remember the trauma of childhood. The innocent time before becoming domesticated into humanity. A time when they remember being happy. Few go back to adolescence, most go back early childhood, some all the way back to infancy.

In the center lies the golden runner embroidered by Steve’s Yia Yia…a wedding gift given to me by his father who came from Greece to witness our union 28 years ago. Upon the runner sits Ascension.

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