You’ve wandered in life and wondered if you’d ever feel like you’d found your way home to yourself. Knowing the purpose of the journey and the gift of not having found your true home is revealed in this simple, beautiful story. “Look deeply and with kind curiosity into these mirrors of your own Soul. Embrace and appreciate the wisdom they hold. Listen from that still place in the center of your being. Hear the call of the Love that lies beneath beckoning you to come home.”
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Transcripts are approximations of the conversations
The Child Of Salt
Welcome to Love Lies Beneath. I’m Zette Harbour.
I’m glad to have you here. Do you feel like stress, fear, or pain take up way too much of your energy? Have you wondered if you’ll ever be free of that heaviness of your past? Do you long to feel as good on the inside as your life looks on the outside? In this podcast, you’ll discover the story of who you really are and how to set yourself free together.
We’re going to travel into those wild spaces of our inner landscapes and dive deeply into the rich soil of our lives. Reclaiming soul through story and healing. Our hearts. My book Love Lies Beneath is the. Be sure to subscribe to this podcast. So you don’t miss any of this enriching journey. And now let the adventure begin.
In Episode 33, I share a story from my book called The Child of Salt. It’s a short, simple tale. It is a profoundly rich and deep mirror within which to see yourself. It shows the path to finding your way home to yourself.
There was once a Child made completely of salt, and she longed to know where she belonged.
So, she journeyed around the world, up to the highest peaks of the mountains, then down through the valleys, and into the cool darkness of the forest. She even traveled across the most barren, sandy, hot deserts, but nowhere did she find where she belonged.
Until she came to the shore of a great ocean.
“Ahhh, how marvelous,” she said, and she put one foot into the water.
And the ocean beckoned her to come deeper.
And so step by step, she entered the ocean, and with each step, she began to dissolve.
And finally, when she was so deep that her head was beginning to dissolve, she said, “Ahhhh, now I know who I am.”
Exploring The Child of Salt
There is such simple beauty in this short tale. I found it in a luscious book called Stories of the Spirit, Stories of the Heart by Christina Feldman and Jack Kornfield. I count this book as one of my treasures.
In this story, I see myself yearning, for as long as I can remember, to know where I belonged. Like the Child, I have traveled to many places. These are the different chapters of my life. Each one has its own wonder, beauty, and even pain. They each tell me a little about myself, but none of them tell me where I belong and who I truly am.
As I wandered through the territories of my life, as a young woman, a wife, a mother, a divorced single woman, a storyteller, a coach, and so many more, I saw new sights. I experienced the different climates of these places. Each one had its own trials and joys. It seems to me now that they were essential to me reaching my final destination precisely because they were so different. The fact that none of them were where I truly belonged added to texture to who I was.
Having trekked through them, I have been given powerful gifts in the form of questions.
What might my journey have been like if I had not had to use every ounce of strength I felt I had to climb to the tops of the mountains in my life?
How was my life made richer for having to feel lost in the cool, dark forests with legions of trees, making it impossible for me to know if I was heading in the right direction?
What did I discover within myself as I wandered in the desert, parched and thirsty, left alone with only my Heart, Soul, and Mind?
Less challenging in the valleys, did I celebrate or procrastinate the next leg of my journey? Did I wish that those were where I belonged because they were comfortable and undemanding?
I learned how others might be from the forests, deserts, mountains, or valleys because of my travels. It became clear to me that we all can be at home in or belong to different landscapes. In the end, I am grateful I did not come upon the ocean on my first attempt. The gifts I received while being lost and still hungering to come home will keep me nourished and warmed forever.
Learning our story is just like the child of salt finding her home. When you observe that place and consciously choose it, you will also come to know who you are. To the uninitiated, dissolving into the ocean may look like the loss of the self. In truth, it is what makes oneness with your true nature possible. It creates self-knowledge that allows you to merge with a more powerful reality and experience deeper fulfillment.
Having a story is like having a car. You can drive to some great places, or you can fall asleep at the wheel and crash. So, you see some beautiful vistas, some engaging sights, and you crash – most of the time without knowing why. We call this ‘life happens.’ Understanding how to see the story of your life empowers you to choose where your trip takes you. You may still crash, but you will have a better idea of why and become more adept at choosing how to avoid it.
Culturally, we have not been taught about our Story nature. It is much more common to be instructed in dogma. This becomes the model for our own way of seeing and thinking about ourselves. The difference between having a story or living by dogma is the difference between breathing oxygen or breathing carbon monoxide.
Story liberates you. Story opens up choices. Story inspires authenticity and self-empowerment. Story maximizes choice and self-direction. Unfortunately, too often, we think we are creating Story, when it is really dogma.
You can recognize dogma by its limiting nature. Dogma occurs when we forget that all of our stories are merely the best interpretations that our minds can muster in the face of the unknowable. All stories are metaphors, and if they are not, they are dogma. Details drive dogma. Story rides on powerful themes, emotions, ideas, and imagery.
Will there be details in your story? Yes, definitely, but the details will not be the drivers of your story. The details will be changeable. If they are not, how can you travel through your story to your ultimate destination? It is the themes of your stories that power the engine of your life.
An important quality of Story is that it takes investment. You will not be able to rely on someone else’s idea of who you are. The work of coming to know your story is sweaty, spiritual-calorie burning, awareness cardio, thought yoga. You can think of it as Story Aerobics. Through your’ own good care’, you will sculpt the story of you that gives you the most energy and satisfaction.
It requires that you first make a choice. Decide that you will set out on this journey. You might have thoughts like, “Do I really want to know the truth of who I am, because when I do, I’m going to have to live up to it?” Trust that the security of having others decide for you will be replaced by the vitality and alertness of designing your life on your terms.
Look Into The Child Of Salt Mirror
You have been following the call to find where you belong. It has taken you to all sorts of landscapes. You have met a variety of beings along the way. Some of them have been pleasing, others not so much. All of them have value and are a part of what makes your journey meaningful.
Perhaps you have never found a place where you finally know that you belong. Like the Child of Salt, it is your desire to find and lose yourself completely that powers your journey. It may feel like discomfort, tension, or irritation. Isolation and despair can be common feelings for those who do not realize the quest they are on. This is why being fluent in your own story, and knowing how to seek the Love that lies beneath is essential.
The Child in this story does not doubt that she belongs somewhere. It never occurs to her that the need for the journey is in any way a hardship. This story tells you that you also must seek and return to where you belong. It is okay to wander a bit and, in fact, appreciate the wonders of the landscapes in which you find yourself.
Take some time with any of these questions that call to you. What you discover will be the varied landscapes of your story. Allow them to guide you on your pilgrimage. What you find will serve you in your journey back to where you belong.
- What are the landscapes you have traveled to, and what do they mean for your journey back to oneness?
- How have these different places in your life shaped you?
- What does your return to the Source look and feel like?
- What do you think it means for the Child of Salt to dissolve as she finds herself having finally reached her destination?
Come Home To Yourself
Spend time with this beautiful story, The Child of Salt. Let it speak to you about your own journey, your own wanderings. Those times, where you felt lost, or even hopeless. Those times where you may have despaired. We have all felt like we did not belong. It’s such a natural experience, especially when we are young and vulnerable.
We are thrust into a family landscape and it’s filled with people who have expectations of us. Those people probably don’t even themselves understand those expectations. And yet when we fail to meet those expectations, the sensations of stress, fear, and pain are sharp and intense, and it isn’t until we have traveled far and wide and seen a variety of landscapes and experienced a variety of conditions that we begin to trust that not meeting those expectations was not a measurement of our worthiness.
It was not an indictment of who we are. And so understanding that the stories you may have collected about yourself because of those moments of not meeting the expectations of these people upon whom you rely for your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual wellbeing, those stories were survival tactics, some of them were deep and enormous and scary.
Others are just bristly and uncomfortable. No matter where those stories fall on the discomfort spectrum, you have the freedom to see through those stories, to your true nature. It is in experiencing those stories, reclaiming the part of you that willingly sacrificed herself in order to save the most of you.
And to welcome her back home to you, let her know that you understand. That was the best she could do at the time. And in fact, it was from such a place of great love that you feel such gratitude and love for her, and that it’s safe for her to come back now. In the coming days, map out the various landscapes to which you have traveled and describe the kinds of conditions and experiences you had there, how it felt, what it made you think about yourself.
Track these stories and these landscapes and allow the richness of your journey to nurture and nourish you to give you strength as you return to wholeness, as you come home to your self.
I am Zette Harbour. This is Love Lies Beneath. Please subscribe to this podcast. I am so grateful to have you on this journey with me.
You can also find show notes and other resources at LoveLiesBeneath.com. There you can see links to the guests. Find any downloadable resources and you can also arrange a virtual coffee date with me. If you are ready to step into your ocean.
Go raibh míle maith agat!