A wise psychic woman once told me that although I have had not a “horrific life” necessarily, I have had a very hard and traumatic one. She said “Sho, you need to share your story. You need to help others who have gone through what you have gone through. This is part of your life purpose.” That was years ago. Since then I have shared some experiences with others, but not globally. I’m not sure if I’m quite ready to share all of my traumatic experiences in the hopes that it will change the lives of others, but maybe this blog (at the very least) gives you a different perspective on the traumatic events in your life.
For those of you who know me personally, you know I have had my share of difficulties (we all have a history and a herstory). I have never said all of them aloud, but now that I am, I’m able to see more clearly the devastating effects on my health and well-being that began snowballing from young adulthood. It is no wonder I have had the health issues that govern my root, sacral, and solar plexus chakras – fears of survival, feeling insecure about (and even despising) my role as a woman, feeling powerless and victimized by my circumstances. Of course I have had issues then, with poor circulation, back and knee pain, digestive issues, pelvic floor issues, cystitis… When I consider the path my soul has chosen, it does make me feel that there is a greater purpose to all of this; and that purpose is not only for my benefit – it has to be bigger than me. Being molested as a child, abandoned by my mom who tried to escape her life a few times (she finally succeeded through cancer), emotional abuse from my brother, lack of emotional support from my father, mental and emotional abuse from a narcissist and his family, betrayal, rape, trauma from my the birth of my first child, spouse having cancer, a very ugly divorce, financial loss, complete desertion by my family and friends because of the manipulation of the narcissist, being a single mom…I would say that although this is an incomplete list, it’s quite a hefty one. Just reading this to myself is making my body react (which goes to show that healing is a lifelong process).
So what happens when you go through years of counselling and energy therapy to make sense of all of these things? What happens when you have healed many of the issues yet something still feels a little incomplete? I wonder if maybe it’s time now to ask myself: “How I can use these experiences to help others? If all that’s happened is bigger than me, then what do I do with it all?” The truth is, I have no idea. But let’s see what happens as this blog unfolds.
In my journey I have had many questions, some answered, some not, and many ah-ha moments along the way. It’s been a very interesting ride to say the least. I am very grateful for hindsight as it is 20/20 and has given me clarity in many ways. Even after years of healing, I have a deep desire to continue searching for answers, to find meaning in my experiences. It’s been a long road. Not surprisingly, I still get angry sometimes. Wait, maybe angry is a strong word. Resentment is probably more accurate a description of what I have been feeling over the past couple of years. I started noticing little bits of resentment here and there which came out in different ways – not all of them make sense, but recently I’ve become aware of being resentful for not being “rewarded” for my hardships. Through meditation and personal reflection, I have realized that over time, I have developed this expectation from the Universe for some type of bonus or gift because of my “growth” and “learning all my lessons”. It’s like I’ve been waiting for and expecting a finish line after each life-changing experience that once crossed would make everything worth it – the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that never gets found. I kept thinking that: “Once I get through this, I can have this or that, and once I get this or that, I will feel that or this. Once I get through just one more difficulty, then this part of my life will all be sorted out.” But f*ck man! “This or that” doesn’t come easy and sometimes it doesn’t even come at all. I’m realizing now that life doesn’t work that way. LIFE ISN’T FAIR. Period. Just because I have gone through so much and have “paid my dues,” just because I mediate, pray, help other people as best I can, just because I may have learned harder lessons than others I know, doesn’t mean that the Universe is going to give me a break! The Universe isn’t going to say, “Ok, you did it! No more hardship for you, Sista! Here’s your medal of endurance and you can have it paid to you in any form you’d like.”
The fact is: sometimes life just sucks! And it’s full of shit. Ok, so I HAVE chosen a tougher road. For whatever reason, my soul has asked for immense growth. And for whatever reason, the Universe thinks I can handle it. But it’s been a really long road and sometimes, I just get tired! So tired sometimes that I don’t know if I can go on. But in-between those moments of exhaustion, I have to trust that there is better waiting for me – and it’s not necessarily at the finish line. Maybe it’s right in-between those moments of being tired. Maybe it’s the IN-BETWEEN that’s the reward!
I already know I have the power to withstand the difficulties as they occur and still be standing afterwards in the moments when nothing terrible is happening. When nothing terrible is happening, I can be in the moment, find joy, and reconnect with myself and others. I’m starting to believe more and more that those are the moments that really count, and you know what? There have been many of them over the years, not just a bunch of them waiting for me for when I get old. I’ve had a sudden understanding that it’s not about keeping score. It’s not about delayed rewards. It’s about going through the journey and becoming the best version of myself at every opportunity, despite the circumstances. That’s it. That’s all there is to it. Every day counts.
Don’t get me wrong, I have earned the right to say, “This is fucking bullshit! Why me – again??” But then I step back, breathe, and reframe my perspective. I remind myself that I have to trust in the process. Every experience is an opportunity to heal something. One more hill to climb so I can enjoy the ride down on the other side. People tell me “Oh Sho, you are so strong! I don’t know how you’re still standing after all that you have gone through.” To tell you the truth, I don’t know how I am either really, but I suspect now that there is immeasurable strength in resilience. What makes me resilient? I’m not 100% sure of the either (lots of uncertainty here!). I don’t feel strong – at least not everyday. In fact, not most days lately (maybe because I’m still resolving some annoying health issues that are very draining, who knows?). But there must be something that keeps me going, something that seems to pull me up when life drags me down. You know I’m sitting here trying to figure out what exactly that can be. God? Angels? Meditation? Prayer? Meh…I certainly don’t always feel connected enough to say that that helps me through every single time. Love? Passion? My children? I don’t know; perhaps a combination of all of those things. But I’m starting to really believe that IF all of this is bigger than me, then somewhere down the road (maybe even today), if I am willing to be vulnerable and share my experiences with more than just my friends I can at least acknowledge…or soften…and maybe even prevent…some of the pain in others. There is something to say about that – to let you know that you are not alone, and that even through trauma you can find the grace of the in-between, and in the in-between, you can understand the difference between being defeated and being depleted. Focus on the in-between. Do things that make you happy and replenish your life-force energy. Do it everyday! Because you need and deserve it. And the bottom line is, no one else is going to do it for you, so you may as well make it as juicy as you can.
Life happens. When it’s good, it’s good. But shit happens too. And I don’t have to like it, but I do have to learn from it. Grace doesn’t happen when I only look at the major events that happened “to” me. It’s getting to the in-between and realizing how the events happened “for” me that brings that pot of gold I’ve been searching for. So right now, as I am in-between the last and next event, I’m learning (and hoping) that being vulnerable and sharing parts of my life can heal more than just me. And maybe, just maybe, this blog is a small gold coin to show you that the entire pot is just within your own reach.
So here’s to your in-betweens. Who gives a shit if you haven’t made it to the end of the rainbow yet when you’ve already got the gold in your hands?