Awakening; what that means for me in 2019

This year has been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs. My new normal has settled in but things have not been the same since my depression 3 years ago. I am no longer depressed, or should I say, I have been coming out the other side for the last year but things are very different for me as I navigate my world again.

3 years ago a perfect storm of many painful events came into my life including health issues, loss of some mobility and the loss of a brother were just a few of many others that seem to come all together in a few short months of each other. At the end of it all, I found myself depressed. It took me months of sitting around watching TV for hours, isolating myself and gaining 40 lbs before I started to come up for air and realize it. I was completely numb.

Slowly over the last two years I have brought myself to a new place where I finally feel hope some days about my future again. I even feel joy and peace at times again, two things that had eluded me.

Retrospectively I now have come to understand why this happened and as I process these past three years I realize that without that perfect storm of events I would have not broken open as Elizabeth Lesser speaks about “If we do not suffer a loss all the way to the end, it will wait for us. It won’t just dissipate and disappear. Rather, it will fester, and we will experience its sorrow later, in stranger forms.” 
― Elizabeth Lesser, Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow

I have spent most of my years understanding and processing my childhood; to make sense of it, forgive and let it go. For the most part I had done an amazing job and up until the perfect storm  I was at a wonderful place in my life. As  I recently wrote this to my spiritual director  “Or at least  I had healed to a deep enough layer to hang peacefully out in for a while. It really was blissfully delicious.” 

In resent months with the help of my spiritual director I have come to understand finally what that time in my life was about.  She recommended  two books. I have had a handful of books (sorry for the cliché) that “have changed my life” and these both have done just that. The first one I will talk about today called “Complex PTSD, form Surviving to Thriving” by Pete Walker.

I realize all these years of my healing journey I have been gathering pieces of the puzzle of my life. All that I had uncovered the first 30 years of my adult life was the foundation to help me go deeper into my healing now in a more powerful way. I have found so many pieces yet I had not been able to fit them all together into a complete picture of the real me in the way that I have longed for. The perfect storm was the only way I was going to be able to be broken open enough to go deeper. This book helped me understand my childhood wounds that made all the other work I have done healing finely make sense. The full picture of what growing up in the first 7 years of my life  with a violent father can do to the psyche and how it creates a life time of complex PTST.  As Fr. Richard Rohr says  “If the pain of your story is not transformed it will be transmitted”  I have transmitted a lot of pain onto myself especially since my depression.

I finally have embraced self- compassion again after these three years of struggling because I could not understand why I was here after all the work I had done.

2019 I want to be the year of self-compassion and awareness. To gently move into my life again with more honesty with myself and others.  Waking up is not easy, but I have dedicated my life to this endeavour.

As Michael Singer in his book ‘The Untethered Soul says ” So there are two ways you can live: you can devote your life to staying in your comfort zone, or you can work on your freedom.”

My journey has been about uncovering freedom, I have had slivers of time when I felt its embrace. I had simply become too comfortable in the last layer of healing I had found. Life’s challenges give us an opportunity for growth. It just took me a while to remember this once again.

This picture was given to me by a friend who says it reminded her of me.  This coming year I want to bring that part out more and embrace my life with more freedom. I see in her the carefree little girl that I was never allowed to be.  The beautiful little red head that is full of life!

Get Ready For The Thank You Dance!

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