Often, in my clinical work, a client will report the appearance of a young child, an innocent animal, or even something like a wilted flower, representing a younger part of themselves that has been carrying shame, pain, fear, or rage over the years (decades).
In some cases, it turns out these images and figures represent not only personal material, but intergenerational experiences which have been taken on for the tribe, the culture, or even the collective.
As they appear - in our dreams, waking imagination, or spontaneously in meditation or on a walk in nature - we may discover that they are sad, lost, enraged, or afraid; shaky or uncertain as to whether they can trust us, whether we’ll actually listen and be there for them this time.
Or, if instead, they will be abandoned, marginalized, or turned from, which has very likely been their experience many times over the years, as they’ve not found a home in which they could return. From their perspective, perhaps they have tried many, many times to reach us, only to be ignored, repressed, or forgotten.
But they will continue to look for us, in the hope they can come home again, to take their rightful place in the larger ecology of what we are.
It is love, of course, that lights up their pathway home.