I am very proud of myself. I am fairly sure that sounds pretty cocky as you read that sentence. But it’s true. I am proud. I did the journey and I got to the other side. This is the right type of pride to have; where one can celebrate a victory and say that the tough battle of emotional healing has been won. Were it not for the scores of people who crossed my path, especially my most special friends, family and mentors who accompanied me on this difficult and at times, incredibly time-consuming road, I would not be where I am today! And most importantly, I would not be here if it were not for God’s steady and never failing guiding of my steps as the truth set me free. I arrived at the pot at the end of the rainbow.
But what does one do when you get the pot of gold? If life has always been about that inner surge searching for truth about my past and towards my true identity then what was I to do once I arrived? To be honest, I initially felt lost. You would think that I would be standing on the mountaintop and constantly yelling hallelujah but the reality is that once the motivation for in-depth searching was gone, I’ve had to find a new way of living. I often think of the woman described in the Bible, bent over for 30 odd years and seeing the world from only one perspective. Once healed and able to stand straight she would have had to learn to walk in a new way and view the world from a totally different angle. Well, that is what I have had to do as well.
The last four years have been about picking up some of the pieces after certain losses created by my process over the years caused me to lose valued attachments. Some people are not really able to navigate the hard road; that is one of the things I discovered. They don’t like the messy demands that healing requires and not everything is done linearly and perfectly, causing no dents and bruises in life. Those are losses I have had to grieve. But they are only a few who are unable to do the tough work of truly loving. They like the idea but not the requirement it takes to do the daily tough chore of relationship dynamics. Letting go of those people was a cost that I had not counted on nor had seen coming. Regrettable because now they can’t celebrate with me and claim their spot on the podium with the gold medal of victory.
But there were others who were nothing short of outstanding in their faithfulness, faith in me, lifting me up continually, cheering me on, and reassuring me without ceasing that I was loved and valued and nothing about me was different just because I was being messy as I was healing. I say a profound and respect-filled thank you to those. They understand the amazing sacred ground of trust that is so very necessary in the midst of trauma work. I have many times been one of those people who serves as a cheerleader, wise sage, intuitive guide and faithful warrior for those who are willing to trust me with their sacred and holy vulnerability and process. I believe because I know the price of what it costs to be that transparent and willing to bare it all that I can say ‘amen’ and hallelujah as they heal and whole heartedly be there for them. That will always be part of my life; the willingness to walk alongside those who are hurting and willing to do the hard work of becoming whole.
The ‘now what?” factor is one that many have to contend with when a whole chapter of their life is completed. After the grief there is a need to find a new powerful surge inside for growth and building and that is exactly where I am at right now. For instance, originally I thought my blogging and book writing was going to be strictly about the old but today I realize that it is about building and growth. I have a plaque that has constantly been with me over the years and sits visibly in front of me on my home desk where I do a lot of my writing. I am already on ‘the new way’. No longer necessary to look ‘into’ the past but rather ‘at’ it only as a reflection to share hope and motivation with others as they go into their own story and find wholeness and the original identity they were meant to have from the beginning of time.
When one lives with trauma as part of one’s existence, much of the emotional energy is spent on surviving. Many survive well. But I desire more than that. I want to be able to use all that zapped energy and redirect it by applying it creatively into new ideas, concepts, and creations. I don’t have a ‘survivors’ identity; rather I have a ‘freed’ one. And out of that upright posture, new beginnings and creative ideas can flow. It seems timely that I have moved into a new home; quite symbolic to be honest.
I have spent the last few months putting all the old behind me and letting go of anything that would hinder my step forward. I did some major reading lately, specifically about narcissists and narcissism, potential future blog posts. Since my life was weighed down from the start by living in the shadow of a narcissist (my father) and even until recently having had a string of that same type of relationship dynamic, I am endeavouring to live free of the narcissist’s shadow and power once and for all. Much like the sun peeking out from behind the storm clouds, so I am finding my voice and helping others do so as well, especially women. I believe there are ideas that are brewing inside which are waiting for the right time to burst forth and blossom. And I look forward to discovering a creative perspective in life that comes with freedom. It’s as though I have been held captive to some degree most of my life (at times more than others). But now I get to fly completely free, unencumbered by the past definitions of myself. I woke up last night thinking of this line: “I no longer have to be defined by someone else’s flaws”.
In between writing this blog I had to run an errand. The roads around here are not yet familiar to me and on the way I had the delight of driving along a beautiful winding creek. I felt like the twists and turns of that creek was very similiar to those I took over the more than twenty years I have been on this journey of healing. On the way home, I took an interesting turn and happened upon an unpaved, freshly rained upon road and immediately I thought of how this same path represented my future. What I have ahead of me is not paved in stone, certainly not like the trauma which had been lodged in my brain like hardened cement. Rather this road is yet untravelled, full of potential ruts still to be figured out, a few tears like the rain and certainly in a direction to somewhere I don’t clearly know (at least not for my time on earth). But I am anticipating that there will many interesting, if not significant bends down this highway and with delight I am already on it! New ideas are emerging. Creativity is rising up.
I wonder how many people can tell me they have the same experience as me? Once captive, now set free. I welcome those responses. And for you who do not yet have freedom. I share this blog post “Future” because I am walking straight now, no longer bent and I know that is possible for you as well. I welcome you sharing your struggles with me, even in a private message. (all comments are filtered to me before going public). You are not alone. I was not. I want you to know you are not either.
The future can be a bright place. It’s what I searched my whole life to find. The pot has plenty of gold to share. Enjoy some of it with me.