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Monk in the World Guest Post: Jamie Marich

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Wisdom Council member Jamie Marich’s reflection and poem on healing spiritual wounds. Jamie will be leading a mini-retreat on Healing the Wounds of Spiritual Abuse on Saturday, August 20th.

Several years ago during my own trauma therapy, the memory that I share about in this poem came rolling back for me as I worked through the wounds of my own spiritual abuse–specifically experienced for me as growing up with one Catholic parent and one Evangelical Protestant parent. Like many of my healing processes, going to the expressive arts helped me to further understand the impact of this experience on my life and spiritual growth. May you also embrace what wisdom means for you as you heal the myriad ways that other people and institutions may have tried to snuff it out of you.

A Reading From the Book of Wisdom

“Like gold in the furnace he tried them,
And like a sacrificial burnt offering he accepted them.”

-Wisdom 3:6

When you grow up in a house divided
There are two Bibles—Catholic and Protestant
Like Northern Ireland
On the westside of Youngstown, Ohio

When my beloved grandmother left the body,
The family asked me to read at her funeral
“Give me the second, the New Testament”
We agree on that one

On that morning, the priest assigned me the first.
Sight reading was the easy part, yet
My body shuddered as I approached the ambo
And there it was—a reading from the book of Wisdom

Instead of celebrating her—I froze
“Dad’s not going to like this”
“I’ll be in big trouble”
That’s not in his Bible

I was used to doing many things in freeze by then
So I carried on
Passing off my panic as grief
Another moment in my dissociated life

The Book of Wisdom urges us
To seek righteousness
And love that place where
Knowledge meets experience

No wonder we’re so afraid of it
And go to war over it
And slaughter the spirits of innocent children
Leaving a host of holy wounds in need of tending

May I spend the rest of my life
Declaring treasures from the Book of Wisdom—
All the books of wisdom—
With the fullness of my voice I lost that day

The voice found me—I am no longer a scared little girl
Afraid of getting in trouble
I am a woman with a heart on fire
And a thirst for knowledge that can never be quenched

May my fiery heart, my thirsty soul
My questioning mind and my listening body
Lead me on the path of wisdom
Unifying me with divine love

Jamie Marich, Ph.D., LPCC-S, LICDC-CS, REAT, RYT-500, RMT travels internationally speaking on topics related to EMDR therapy, trauma, addiction, expressive arts, LGBTQ issues, spirituality and mindfulness while maintaining a private practice in her home base of Warren, OH. Jamie is also the developer of the Dancing Mindfulness expressive arts practice. Jamie is the author of several books including Dancing Mindfulness: A Creative Path to Healing and Transformation (2015, with foreword by Christine Valters Paintner) and Process Not Perfection: Expressive Arts Solutions for Trauma Recovery released in 2019, heavily influenced by the growth she has experienced through her study with Abbey of the Arts! Her latest release is a revised and expanded edition of Trauma and the 12 Steps: An Inclusive Guide to Recovery (North Atlantic Books, 2020).

Visit Jamie’s website here>>

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