A Light In The Dark
November shook me to my core. There were three distinct and completely separate incidents that all left me feeling as though my voice did not matter, that what I felt or needed was insignificant and that for all the work I had done, at the end of the day some careless action or remark from another could leave me sidelined and unable to defend myself. I may speak to exactly what happened to me in another blog post, but for today I really want to focus on learning, growing, fear and vulnerability.
The morning after one of the incidents, I awoke to having no voice. I had laryngitis. I know myself enough to know that the lack of voice was a physical manifestation of a spiritual crisis. In the past, I may have told myself to just get on with it, to keep on moving forward while at the same time actively working on what the golden nugget in this difficulty is. I decided to switch it up this time. To allow myself to step back and not force the learning but to allow it to unfold. I took the month to slow down and to practice immaculate self care. I took a hot bath in the middle of the day if that was what I needed. I watched a children’s movie if my heart desired, rather than a heavy drama. I went for long walks rather than the quicker lunch time walks. In short, I did whatever I needed to do to shift the energy, to feel supportive of the process and to allow source to work through me.
There were times I was nervous. Had I lost my ability to write. Did the incidents leave me permanently unable to find my own voice, to speak to my clients from a whole and authentic place again. Had my depression returned? Was this a spiritual crisis or had an old wound triggered something deeper in me. I kept coming back to one of my favorite analogies….You can’t stop the waves so you might as well learn how to surf. Whenever the waves of fear, shame, grief and trauma rolled in, I would tune in to notice the thoughts and the voice inside my head. I would recognize them as old familiar stories and then let them pass through. I stopped being afraid that they would never leave, recognizing that thoughts come and go with little attention and effort on my part. Slowly but surely the thoughts became less, my sense of self clearer and my connection to my higher self stronger again.
At the end of November I ended up taking a road trip from Wisconsin to Connecticut with my ex-husband and three children to visit his family for Thanksgiving. As I was there, surrounded by the love of my children, the support of a family that was mine through marriage and time, the love my ex-husband and I still share after 30 years of shared history and friendship, I started to get a little glimpse again of who I truly am. All of it came full circle this past weekend at a retreat hosted by my business mentor. There, in a room full of people, I finally felt safe enough to speak about the trauma that happened at the beginning of the month and the loss of a relationship two years ago. What unfolded was humbling, soul stirring and incredibly healing.
I let my guard down and spoke in front of the group to my fears, personal loss, spiritual crisis and ultimately my inability to see myself past the projections someone I loved dearly placed on me. Each member of the group spontaneously started mirroring back to me who I truly was. They reminded me of my ability to love purely, to make somebody feel truly seen, to connect to the core of another human being and love them past their woundedness and my gift of intuition. In those affirming words, I could feel my heart crack open again and I felt love flowing freely again without condition or constraints. I felt myself settle back into my body, connected to my heart center with a newly expanded ability to love and be loved.
Vulnerability truly is the place of healing and growth. It took an immense amount of vulnerability to speak to what had been troubling me and asking my group for support. Had I not done so, I would have left the retreat still carrying in me the fears and doubts brought on by a difficult November. When we battle depression, anxiety or a spiritual crisis, it is so easy to lose ourselves in our painful stories. Stuck in the pain we lose sight of who we really are and don’t have access to our higher thinking where clarity and solutions to our problems rest. Brought into the light of day, our old stories of shame and pain cannot survive. They require darkness to continue holding us hostage. By opening up to people we can trust with our difficult stories, we can access the light within us and become free to create healthier stories and a clear path to a brighter tomorrow. We all have times when we need others to carry the lamp of wisdom and clear vision for us. If we are very lucky, we learn and grow in those moments so that we can hold the light in someone else’s darkness. By braving vulnerability, we earn the honor of walking each other home and oh, what a sacred walk it is.