The self-loather is baiting me into what he thinks is a trap. Possessing me will help him remember feeling loved and make him undetectable to the pursuer until the ‘fix’ wears off and the self-loathing returns. Then, he will run again. In normal circumstances, I would die, but there is something about me he does not know. I am Deer Energy and will heal the vilest of creatures with the love he feels. He cannot consume my compassion because it is unconditional and is beyond consumption. It is too vast. He will bloat his belly with it until it consumes him, and it will heal him. I understand now.
Of course, at the moment of consumption, the pursuer will see me and attempt to remind me of my own self-loathing. This is the potential breach in the dam. While I am a healer, I am also a self-loather at my core. It will be a test of my faith to withstand his barrage. I am weak after living with my ex-husband. I have already proven a pursuer can use my self-loathing against me. It was the definition of my marriage. I live every day avoiding any new relationship for fear of it happening again, and now I must face a demon far beyond the powers of my ex-husband. I must confront him and hold firm to self-worth, which is shaky at best.
I can see why Great Spirit knew I would have doubt. It is not faith in my support or the Spirits that carry me through this door. I must have confidence in myself and my esteem. I have never felt so sure I would fail at something in my life, and I am afraid. The self-loather wants me to take his place. He’s after me, not my life. He no longer trying to continue his quest but to release it. All this time, I thought he was trying to kill me, but he’s not. He wants to expose me. It is not death I risk, but consumption by my own self-loathing and the drive, like a vampire, to suck the life of those around me, just to continue my pursuit of love.
The moment I realized the intentions of the self-loather, a door opened. I feel it. He sees me. There is a man out there who can taste new blood on this mountain. It is not the crow at the top he is trying to get a bead on. The one who calls me forward is nearing his end. His time has come. His journey is soon over, and I am supposed to take his place. I already spoke of this kind of need driving away any man with potential for kindness. It is the desperate frenzy of emotion exhibited by those of us who are so starved for love; we gorge on the possibility of it. I see an image of myself, a sudden flash of me diving from the peak of this mountain, diving in an attempt to escape the pursuer behind me.
Suddenly, I realize I have stopped walking, and I look down. There is a rock at my feet. It is the small rock I found beside the river when walking with Anna one day. We were with Monica and her young daughter. After showing them the river ritual, I heard Sandra’s voice in my head, saying, ‘just stop talking and pick up the rock.’
I hear it again and do as I am told. I end the negative self-talk in my head, and I lean over to retrieve the rock. Crow lets out a loud cry of anguish as I continue up the path, grasping the rock in my hand. Confidence grows in me, overcoming my fear and doubt. Denying the image, I climb the mountain with a pack of wolves behind me, led by one with intensity in his eyes.
The canyon curves beneath high walls, blocking out most of the light of the day. At night, I imagine the trail to be pitch black and only traversable by touch. Of course, there are twists and turns along the path, with many smaller trails breaking away—rabbit holes of thought, all extending upward. One wrong turn would lead anyone trying to escape back toward the crow. It is a maze always leading to nowhere. There is only one trail leading out and many leading in. One would need clear guidance and a sense of their feet to escape this place at night or even through most of the day. If you could always be sure your feet were pointing down, you could find your way out, but Amber would not have known this. Every new path she would have discovered to try and escape would have simply led her back to him. Of course, he has had fifteen hundred years to create this prison. Once he gets a person on this mountain, they are not meant to leave, but by its peak.
I, of course, am looking for him and will, by his design, I will find him. He thinks this is a victory, but he is blind to the truth. He does not sense the wolf pack or even the eagerness of his pursuer as I steadily rise by the main path up the mountain. I can see my way. I do not take any of the side paths but find my way directly up the same trail I hope to descend after our meeting.
I don’t think I will meet him until after my return this evening. I want to move forward faster. I want to meet now, but I must allow the ascent to happen. Eagerness will not serve me. I don’t want to arrive before it is time. My job today is to climb slowly and steadily and to prepare myself. I will meet him when Great Spirit says it will be so.
For now, my place is in my world. I am better served building my strength here, where I know I am strong. I will gather what is needed to continue on my journey protected. When I am called, I will return.