Updated: Sep 14, 2020
I love this image of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. This old book of a beautiful fantasy with an adventurous girl, a feisty mischievous cat, and mushrooms woven both into the story and sticking out from the pages of this physical copy. It would be easy to dismiss this book, to look past its relevance in its current condition. To throw it out. But I invite you to look at the image again.
So many times, in life we reach the end of a chapter, or we think our story is completely written. That there is nothing more. Sometimes we feel like giving up, like the burden of whatever we are tackling is too much. We may feel like this old, worn-out water damaged tome. Or that we have outlived our usefulness. Perhaps, damaged beyond repair. Lost in a foreign land. Mistaking our adventure for a yoke around our necks.
That is only part of the story.
When I was recovering from all that I had been through physically, mentally, spiritually, and financially with breast cancer, I remember being deeply drawn into Alice in Wonderland again. The scene where the Mad Hatter looks sadly and desperately at Alice and says, “You used to much more.. muchier. You’ve lost your muchness.” literally pained me. I related too deeply, the quote pained my heart. I felt that I had lost my muchness.
My confidence was destroyed. My career disrupted. My marriage ended. My femininity annihilated. Friends drifting away, afraid to watch me die or just unable to relate. I was absolutely uncertain of what “future” would look like for me, and I had no idea how much “future” I had remaining.
But something else struck me. Alice said, “There is no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”
I realized that the “normalcy” I was seeking and longing for were no longer mine or even relevant. They belonged to who I was yesterday. In a time before. In a different circumstance, if not a different lifetime. I needed to release them to her, to that version of me. I needed to ask, was it serving the me I was today? In this moment?
The Mad Hatter said, “Everyone wants some magical solution to their problem and everyone refuses to believe in magic.”
There is magic in accepting the adventure. There is magic in getting to know yourself in your next phase of growth and experience. There is magic in faith. There is magic!
Perhaps you are struggling with something today, in this moment. Something difficult. Perhaps a loss for which you stumble to find words. Maybe a challenge that seems insurmountable. Possibly an uninvited change. Adjust your crown, and heed the words of the White Queen who said, “…sometimes, I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
I dare you to look at the image more deeply. Can you see the Caterpillar atop a mushroom, asking contemptuously, “You! Who are you?”
It’s frightening not to know. It’s lonely to be in process. But the magic of it is in meeting yourself again, this new you. As Alice replied, “I hardly know, sir, just at present — at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.”
In truth, you have.
With love and health,
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