That was the message the universe gave me in March of this year. At first I thought, I will just slow down but it quickly became clear that the lessons and the journey before me, was going to require a strength that at that moment I did not possess and would need to learn. The message wasn’t slow down it was STOP! It meant I had to stop coaching, stop volunteering, stop my work with the VA, cancel trips to New York, stop working with amazing people, and that I wouldn’t be doing that “big” thing I was so excited about. It meant that my circle had to get real small, real fast. It required me to stop, observe, get silent, build walls, reevaluate the things and people in my life, be still, cry, scream, rage, and repeat sometimes hourly. It was only after I did this over and over again, to the point that I felt my heart and soul would surely crumble, could some of the deeper lessons come. Lessons, I never wanted to learn, bemoaning it, cursing it, crying at it wouldn’t change it. Only by diving into the lesson and the pain would healing be possible.
I am sure at this point you are wondering what happened, here is the thing, I am open and honest with my story, but this isn’t just my story, there are dozens of people who were affected. What I will tell you is I trusted the wrong people and my family and many other families were deeply hurt. I have lived my life as if everyone was good and that I might be entertaining angels unaware. What I didn’t and couldn’t prepare myself for was that there are evil people in the world as well and I might be entertaining demons unaware as well.
So what have I learned? Holy moly, I don’t even know where to start. I have learned that I am a strong ass woman! I have learned that when the rubber meets the road I am a force to be reckoned with. I have learned people do not always do the right thing. I have learned there are some really shitty humans and parents out there. I have learned that sometimes the hardest and scariest thing to do, is the right thing. I have learned cowards hide but heroes they stand strong and bold in the face of the enemy. I have learned to be humble. I am learning, how to forgive. I am learning who I can count on. I am learning to have extremely clear boundaries. I am learning that underneath all this gentleness is a fierce warrior whose strength had only been glimpsed before this year.
I am learning to be humble and to ask for forgiveness when I am wrong. As the months passed I came to realize, I had believed gossip I had heard and believed without question because I trusted the source. I could have and should have gone to that family and simply asked if what I was being told was true, but I didn’t. I had unknowingly allowed an evil person and their enablers to hurt them, through me. My very presence in this person’s life gave them power over others and respect they didn’t deserve. I knew that I had listened to people gossip and I had believed the gossip. I work really hard to not gossip but I do struggle with not listening to it, especially when it is from people I trust. At first, I thought I could just skim by and not do the hard work of asking for forgiveness. Ah, lessons you are never that easy are you? Then I had a friend say that a mutual friend felt really bad about their behavior and wanted me to know, they didn’t mean for their behavior to cause pain. I will be honest I was PISSED! Their behavior had hurt a lot of people intentional or not. If they wanted my forgiveness they could humble themselves, be contrite and come talk to me. I actually understood why they did what they did and knew I could and would forgive them but I wasn’t going to be giving free passes on this. You hurt people intentionally or not and you owe them an explanation and apology. Then I realized that the same people who had deceived them had also deceived me. OH SHIT!
I will be honest I just wanted to close the blinds, cover my head with the blankets and hope it went away. The thing is this family had always been kind to me, they didn’t know as far as I was aware, what I had been told and what I had believed. I had been kind to them so surely, I didn’t need to apologize if they didn’t know but I knew better. I know I need people to acknowledge their actions. If I required that of people in my life I sure as shit had better require it of myself. So a few weeks ago I did it. In a group of adults, I told them what I had heard, what I had believed, and I asked them to forgive me. In that moment they could have been cruel, they could have said no but they didn’t. They understood that I was a victim of a very evil individual and they hugged me. In that moment, some of the pain of the last nine months was healed.
So, I should be able to forgive easily right? I mean, after all, I was just forgiven. No, I am not there yet. Forgiving someone who has taken a sledgehammer to so many lives and who feels no remorse is hard. Forgiving people who enabled this person and made them even more dangerous is hard, especially when their behavior is deplorable and they refuse to be humble and contrite. Forgiveness will not be easy but I know it is possible and I am going to have to do the work. So, I am doing the work, reading the books, looking for ways and continually forgiving myself for being unable to forgive.
I am also getting help. The one thing people ask is, do coaches have coaches? YES and good Life Coaches know that there are some life issues that require specialized skills. My therapist says that emotionally and spiritually we have been in a near-fatal crash. We have deep wounds and those will leave deep scars. But that while they will always be tender beauty, truth, wisdom, and love can come from them, but that will take time and it will hurt. As much as we all would love to rush through the pain into healing, that isn’t how lessons like this are learned or how we ever really heal.
Why am I finally writing now after so long? Because I am healing. I know this because words are starting to return. I have been so emotionally and spiritually broken that even finding words have been impossible, with the exception of when I was able to address the psychopath that tried to destory our lives. I also wanted to apologize to those who have been hurt by my disappearance or lack of information. I am ever so slowly and cautiously reentering the world. It looks different now but I am starting to see rainbows and promises. I am open to being open. I am not sure exactly what my life is going to look like, I am taking it one day at a time. I am beginning to open my heart to share some of my lessons, in hopes that I can in some small way help those who like me are hurting.
Strength and Beauty can come from pain.