Friday, August 31, 2012

Maggie Shayne: The Truest Love

Writing this trilogy (The Portal Series) about magic, religion, and what it means to be human took me on a far deeper exploration of those things than I had undertaken before. And that’s saying a lot, as I’ve studied these things all my life. But this book really did give me a lot of those “Aha! moments” Oprah talks about, and I’d like to share one of them with you.

I was thinking about my character, Indira (“Indy”) Simon from MARK OF THE WITCH, and about how much I love her. She’s got this biting sarcastic wit that makes me laugh. I love her hip sense of style and her hairstyle and I love the way she talks. I also love how deep she is, and how spiritual she really is, down deep, though she denies it.

And it occurred to me that we ought to look at ourselves the way we look at our characters. Imagine yourself, rising up out of your body, and looking down at yourself from “above.” Try to remember that this is pretty much what you did, before you were born. You looked at physical and you wanted that experience and you turned your focus toward that notion, and literally became it. You (the spirit) created you (the body) with the purity of your wish, your desire. That body, then, the one you’re living in right now, can’t be anything less than perfect for you, because the spirit of you didn’t just fill that body, it literally became that body. Your body is the only one that this particular unique bit of spirit could become. So it’s perfect for you in every way.
Everything about you is, your attitude, your walk, your voice, your talents, your quirks. It’s all perfectly made by you to be your physical mirror. Your avatar. If your spirit became human, this is what it would look like, because it did, and it is.

So for just a minute, stand back. Imagine yourself stepping backward out of your body and then just look at it. That body of yours. Walk around it, and praise it like it’s your favorite character.

“I love her. She’s so sassy! And she makes me laugh all the time. No one makes me laugh like she does. She’s brave, and I love the flamboyant way she likes to dress. She shines around people, drawing them in like moths to bright light. I love how she does that. She can love, man, she can love like nobody can love. And damn, that girl can write! I just love her.”

If you can do this exercise and really feel it, really mean it, you can heal a lifetime of wounds. All the yearning and longing for validation from someone or something outside yourself, the parents, the friends, the lovers, the career, that desperate need for validation just evaporates, because the love you were really yearning for was this, your own love for your best character ever. You.

I don’t know how many times I’ve read or heard the advice to learn to love yourself, to be happy just the way your are, but I this is the first time I’ve really understood it. Look at yourself as if the bigger YOU were the writer and this physical you is the character YOU created, the perfect character to live the story of your life. The only one who could.

I believe coming to this understanding can heal all our childhood wounds, fill all our empty places, satisfy our deepest yearnings and will, in turn, lead us to experience more and more love in every aspect of our lives, both from within us and from others.

That blog wasn’t really about the book or the series. But in a way, this series is very much about this sort of spiritual exploring. Maybe it’ll take you on a journey of your own!

The Portal Series by Maggie Shayne
MARK OF THE WITCH: September 18th in print, October 1 in ebook
DAUGHTER OF THE SPELLCASTER: November 20th in print, December 1 in ebook
BLOOD OF THE SORCERESS: January 20th in print, February 1 in ebook.
Excerpts, video trailers, free trading cards, and more at:
LEGACY of the WITCH (e-only, FREE on Sept 1!)

1 comment:

Pat Cochran said...

Thanks for the guidance into spiritual
exploration of oneself. This will be
a great aid in character-building for
fledgling authors.

Pat C.