When I was too young to have developed psychological tools for protection, I was offered up on the altar of experimental psychology by a group which deemed me unacceptable, and who abandoned me emotionally. I felt so lost that I feared I would lose my mind- really, not metaphorically. From somewhere deep within I begged, “God help me! I don’t know what to do.” A resolution presented itself, and the beginning of equilibrium returned. Until then I hadn’t known about the safe room in my soul.
“Lost in the Sauce” seems to mean what you want it to mean: drunk, stoned, utterly confused, living outside of reality. At age twenty seven I was lost in the sauce, and that experience has become my salvation. Those three powerful words, God-Help-Me, pulled me into a place where I was safe and not alone. How had that place come to be?
It started with the foundation: parents and teachers who loved God. It was a different rendering of God than the one whom I now worship, but it doesn’t matter. They gave me a framework for my spirituality and consistent practices which drew me into God’s presence. As a child I was already learning to go to this place when buffeted by the little storms of life.
The soul’s safe room affirms who we are and that we are lovable and passionately loved by God, no matter that a violent storm threatens outside. It is an anchor. I regularly visualize a room in my heart where beloved books on a shelf provide sacred nourishment. Where mystics and prophets are invited guests, along with other spiritual guides who accompany me daily. At least one intimate friend is welcome at my table to remind me that I am loved. It is from this room that I instinctively cry out for God’s help when I am lost in the sauce.
As a young adult I felt like an exile with no physical anchor. As I age, the image of a nomad rings true. It seems to me that nomads must have a strong internal anchor which grounds them. Unlike exiles, they choose their vocation. If we regularly practice going to our soul’s safe room, even when no storm rages outside, we become spiritual nomads who are strong and ready to roam wherever the Spirit leads us.
(Enjoy Vanessa’s blog post, “Why We Need Nomads,” at http://www.vanessaruns.wordpress.com)