Intuition is a funny thing. I was asked by my sexual assault counsellor today to name, without thinking, what it was that my ex took from me in ten years of violence and abuse, and the thing that came to mind was this: sanctity.
Every being is holy; ever soul is sacred, created in the image of the Creator. Every creature – the cat on my lap as I type this, the spider I took outside in a water glass today, each human being with whom I share this planet – is a manifestation of the Divine. I am a manifestation of the Divine: my soul, like billions of other souls with whom I share life, is sacred. Sanctified.
If you deny the sanctity of something holy, though, if you deface it and sully it and treat it in ways which reject its divinity – well, mud sticks, and eventually that thing relinquishes its beauty, its being, its holiness. The divine becomes soiled and impure, and while the Creator never loses sight of the beauty of Its creations, the creations themselves can easily lose sight of the consecrated nature of their own being.
Ten years of abuse – of beatings, of fear, of rape; of hearing, day after day, of my own worthlessness – resulted in my forgetting the sacred nature of my own soul. I lost sight, in those years of darkness, of my own existence as a creature of the Creator, loved, a part of the unfolding of that very Creator in the universe. As well as innocence, and safety, and almost life itself, that’s what was taken from me: the knowledge of my own sanctity.
That’s changing now. Each step I take away from that darkness is a step towards strength; each decision I make in the still-new miracle of freedom is a re-assertion of my own worth, of the beauty of my soul, of my own right to existence and to the space I take up in the world. Every memory of the events of the last ten years which re-surfaces in my mind (and there are thousands) is an assertion of my right – as a creature of the Creator – to live in safety as the sacred creation I am.
I tried to think of some sharp, snappy ending to this blog, but I’m tired (I’m always tired after counselling appointments) and I can’t think of anything. Other than the prayer that the souls of all living beings – from human to cat to spider and everything in between – might held, in respect and worth, as the divine manifestations they are.