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I was abandoned early on, by adults who did not know how to live well or love in a healthy way.

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I spent most of the hours of my childhood alone, talking to imagined friends and magic creatures.

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In my finer hours, I imagined I was chosen for this plight, because of the power being endowed to me by Nature, trees and wild things. I was, in my imagination, chosen. Raised by great Wolves. Wise, and free.

But, even as a young person, I was plagued by insomnia.

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The pain of life, endured during the day by my vivid imaginings, was weighty, dense, and solemn in the dark. While others used night to rest and revive themselves for the new day, my spirit felt its homelessness. Its lack of harbor; the hollow absence of belonging to anyone.

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To say I was in a depression would be correct. I was not dramatizing. I am lucky I was not physically harmed by adults, but I did not have a system in place to support me. I made it up as I went along. Week by week, month by month, vetting those who maybe could be trusted allies in surviving high school.

It was around this time, while up late at night, I began to write my thoughts in a journal.

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The ritual, of dumping the words out, twisting the book sideways and upside down, drawing in it, pounding it, painting in it -- slowly, over time, being up late was not a exercise in sadness and sorrow. It began to become salvation.

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Letting the hurt become words, let the pain out too. The weight of walking through the world of the living, who appeared to suffer far less than my heart ached, it began to balance. There was a balm. It occurred to me that perhaps the loneliness had something inside of it that was important somehow.

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Then I was given, by a most beloved english teacher, the first piece of writing, where I felt the words the author had chosen were written, across the folds of time from his pen to my eyeballs, just for me. Just to speak to me, then, reading the words, to heal my orphan heart, to soothe my churning feeling of aloneness.

It was "Self-Reliance," by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

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The words, in an old English, using only male pronouns may be off-putting to the vivacious and modern woman of today. But within the lines, the message rings true even now, and the words are a medicine. They speak to freeing the soul, loving your own passion and intellect and deeply valuing it, and being willing to leave the shackles of societal thinking en masse behind. To mine your own truth and thought and way, and to abandon any relations or roles asked of you that seek to keep you from yourself.

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This call to myself, to embrace and become and defend myself, came across time, from a dead man. It's message, its true enlightenment, penetrated my being. I merged with this wisdom. I saw in it, my own beliefs, already spoken out. In an instant, I came to believe that writing, and works of art we render with our minds and hearts and hands, are in fact, magical objects; time traveling spells which can contain our best hopes, our courage, our faith and our empowerment, and reach across worlds and ages and multiply our peace.

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It is this faith, that words and work and thought and earned wisdom can be truly shared, for the greater good and freedom of our spirits, that keeps me writing songs. Often late at night, over a journal, pen in hand, smiling.

What words have healed your spirit?