One of the hardest and most layered lessons I’ve learned about becoming a better person or wanting to live a better quality life (insert here what that might look like for you) is that healing is a disgusting mess of a process.
You can’t be who you were and have a better life. You can be who you were and have the same life.
And in becoming better (insert here what that might look like for you) you might find that some things, some places, some people you didn’t want to leave behind will absolutely tear your heart out...
Until the sun comes up and healing is no longer a disgusting mess but a journey that feels more joy than sorrow because eventually, it does feel more like joy.
I remember desperately asking Colin why we had to lose friendships I couldn’t bear to part with. I remember spending my entire life trying to desperately understand how a mother didn’t unconditionally love her own daughter.
And in becoming better (insert here what that might look like for you) you realize after healing starts feeling more like joy than it does sorrow, that none of it matters quite so much anymore.
Healing is a masterful work of art and in every masterful work of art ever created there is so much sorrow and so much joy and the project is likely never done, but when the piece is hung up to admire, wow is it ever beautiful.
In my life, I have suffered a lot of trauma in many different ways.
I have lost more loved ones than anyone else I have ever met. In fact, an old friend past away just this last week, and that pain is just like an old familiar space. Another friend’s life hangs in the balance and has for months now - and these things are affecting me but I am also able to sit in this sad space and feel joy, too. I am so grateful for my friend who has just passed, he was a good man! His babies will surely miss him so much and that breaks my heart but every story they’ll ever hear or remember themselves will be incredible. My friend who is fighting for her life, she’s the most courageous and determined woman likely on this planet - if I told you half of what she’s endured even in the last few weeks you wouldn’t believe me. Do you have someone in your life you are just in awe of because they set the bar so high their life is seemingly unthinkable?
I have lost grandparents, roommates, a couple of best friends, a beloved brother, an aunt, and so many friends.
I have been abandoned by my parents. My mother was emotionally abusive my entire life and finally at the age of 30, three days before my 31st birthday, I ended my relationship with her completely. It’s very challenging to see your parent as a toxic person. It is very challenging to come to admit that your own parent does not love you, and for me I always thought especially a mother. Now, with a daughter of my own who will be 7 months tomorrow, I understand her even less. My daughter is the love of my life.
My father’s life became very complicated in recent years and he just slowly slipped away and disappeared. I know where he is (ish) and while I can’t reach him by just picking up the phone I could easily send him a message but I don’t. He stopped calling a few years ago. Growing up he always begged me to have a child because he so wanted me to know the joys of having a beautiful daughter - and now that I have one he has reached out to me exactly zero times. His family knows I have a daughter and no doubt he does - a friend of mine reached out to him and I know she told him. No phone call.
I was physically assaulted during my emergency cesarean with my daughter in December By the doctor who performed my surgery. I asked numerous times to have the lights moved above the table because I could see everything in the reflection and now, all of these months later, I understand why I had to see. I would have walked away from that surgery not understanding why my body felt incredible trauma I couldn’t understand. I watched in horror as she assaulted my body - and while I wished it had never happened at all, I’m thankful to have been able to understand what happened to me so I can heal.
Then, 1.5 days later, my daughter almost died and all of our nurses and the pediatrician on staff were gaslighting me. No one was taking us seriously and eventually I didn’t even trust my own intuition. Thank god my midwife recognized the signs when she saw her and saved our little girl.
Some of my trauma is still fresh, but!
I am a seasoned self-healer now.
(With a vulnerable photo!)
I understand that trauma gets locked up inside of your body in places you might not expect. There are illnesses I have healed in my body by dealing with traumas from my past with the help of incredible healers who’ve helped me learn to release when all I had done before was survive and cope.
And in all of this tragedy in my life, I have lost a lot more than the people who have died or the parts of your soul that are crushed when you are violated in a seemingly safe place.
And with that loss, there is space created for newness. Becoming a better person in the face of tragedy so you can live a better quality of life is hard but so is doing nothing and living in the face of tragedy.
So I chose to put my foot down, to work towards a better life, and no matter what happened, who liked what I was doing and who didn’t - I was and will continue to do whatever it takes.
My desire is to help other people choose to do the same in their own lives. In spite of tragedy. Because of tragedy. In conjunction with tragedy. There is healing, and, now that in my journey there is more joy than sorrow, it is getting easier every day to allow the ebb and flow to just happen. I’m not going to stop heading in the direction of my extraordinary life. I live there and it is also where joy lives.
Without healing, without that disgusting mess of a beginning in the journey to healing, I would be stuck, sick, sorrowful, angry, and overall very unhappy. I had to leave that place, those things, and those people - I had to let them go - in order to create the space I needed for joy.
What I do have is an amazing marriage to a wonderful husband, a gorgeous daughter, an abundant life in a gorgeous place surrounded by communities full of love, support, and (you guessed it) joy.
Long story short, healing is a journey of collecting boxes in the back of a closet you’ve been moving from house to house and have never opened one single time and taking them out to the trash. Anybody who isn’t ok with that, let them go. You should never convince someone to stay in your life. Ever.
You are extraordinary. You can heal. You can live whatever life you want.
Whew. That turned into a much bigger share than I expected, but damn. It felt good. It was obviously meant to be said so someone could read it. They say you can’t appreciate the good if you don’t know the bad. And I know good!
Much love to you all.
Happy Tuesday. And if it isn’t a happy Tuesday, go out and find some joy today.