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From the definition of succor:

In archaic times, succor meant a reinforcement of troops during a hard battle. These days though, those reinforcements are a bit more figurative. Succor is a helping hand in a time of need, relief when the going gets tough. Succor can also be used as a verb, as in, “After Bob fell overboard, he was saved — succored by a life preserver.”

What about reinforcement of troops inside oneself? Relief when the going gets tough? Because that is when I turn upon myself the most, looking for Mother’s love that never comes. Why do I hear compliments yet do not take them in, or even hear them? Words flying past me, almost hearing them, but away they fly.

My friend emails me back after sharing my photos with her, “Your pictures do good things to my soul!”

And though I thank her, she responds with, “Seriously; I mean it!”

And even that feels like a criticism. I didn’t thank her right?

But as I wake this morning I remember Cory saying last night on the phone from Boston, “I like the mirrors in your Mother Earth Butterfly. You can look at it and see yourself.”

I said, “Oh yeah. I love the mirrors too.”

Yet wonder what he meant as the conversation moved right on.

I lie in bed this morning as grey light softened outside the window. It occurred to me that he meant, you are Mother Earth. So fitting on Mother’s Day, yet I didn’t take it in, feel it, or own it.

Just like my friend who said my photos lift her soul. I attribute her comment as just showing kindness, not that my photos truly touched her. Not that I REALLY have something to offer the world, or am of value. That I could touch someone’s soul? My barriers have trouble being open and vulnerable. How could they not? I don’t ask why, but how could they not be kept tightly closed?

I do not allow softness, warmth, or closeness in. Even with those that I love deeply. It’s typically a thought that I love them. The feelings are too dangerous, making me exposed like a puppy showing its belly. I instinctively don’t do that.

Young children such as Cindy, my grand-daughter, touch me deeply and easily. So does my cat, Molly, even nature, and blogging comments hit home sometimes bringing tears because of the deep connection I never found anywhere else except in therapy. And occasionally a remark face to face can zero in penetrating my armor. But not much, and not often.

One has to learn to balance being open yet having boundaries, something others take for granted. I know how to be one or the other, but not both at the same time. And I sure didn’t learn how to nurture the self-love I was born with, bashed into nothingness by the first attack without intervention, love or further protection.

It is not hard to figure out why I have trouble taking in love and warmth, yet yearn for it. Or why it is hard to ignite the loving ember lying deep within. It is there. It just needs succoring; soft whispers of breath warming it to life and a sustaining glow, an eternal flame that can bring light, warmth and hope in times of trouble. 


11 thoughts on “SUCCOR

  1. I question too. I lay awake and go over comments in conversations because of the reasons you’ve explained. It’s kind of ironic that she said your picture lifted her soul because I look at them and always take a breath and feel calmer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. Odd to have to work on it. I told Cory via email this morning that his words finally came to me and made sense, and that it was such a special thing for him to say.
      He writes back, “Yes, I think all your butterflies reflect you in one way or another… in this one, your gentle and nurturing spirit. ”
      WOW! I will keep repeating that and hope it sinks in. Just wow, that my sweet son would say that. I always think of all my mistakes. I can tell you all my mistakes.
      Thank you Karen. Such kind comments.


  2. I read this four times today. You describe this state of being so beautifully. I have so many thoughts in response that if I wrote them, my comment would look like a blog post!!

    IMO, you are the butterfly–in this case, writing with the Grace and Light I associate with her.

    Look how they let you take their photos!! Amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a very moving post. Your words: “…I have trouble taking in love and warmth, yet yearn for it…” That’s a good description of me, too. I am trying to be a little more open to what I wish for. It feels risky though, so I need to count on my rational adult self to decide with whom I can take that risk.

    Your photos are always a pleasure, something I look forward to as I look through my list of followed sites. You are on the short list of sites I look at first, even if I’m short on time, and I love to see the butterflies and the garden and Cindy… there is always a groundedness and an appreciation of what is beautiful in your photos. xxoo

    Liked by 1 person

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