“Pain is a pesky part of being human, I’ve learned it feels like a stab wound to the heart, something I wish we could all do without, in our lives here. Pain is a sudden hurt that can’t be escaped. But then I have also learned that because of pain, I can feel the beauty, tenderness, and freedom of healing. Pain feels like a fast stab wound to the heart. But then healing feels like the wind against your face when you are spreading your wings and flying through the air! We may not have wings growing out of our backs, but healing is the closest thing that will give us that wind against our faces.” ~ C. JoyBell C.
I was curled up in the backseat of my Kia Rio, outside of a Walmart parking lot when my friends were just a few hours away celebrating. It was hard to come up with an excuse as to why I couldn’t make it to Austin for my friend’s bachelorette party.
I was in Dallas and they all lived in Illinois yet managed to get there. At this point though, I had become so numb, I barely let myself notice the disappointment or shame.
My life at this point had become nothing but lack and scarcity, a life of complete predictability. Scraping together money to pay bills, not having enough most weeks, occasionally finding some extra money only to have it go straight to the bills I was behind on.
Anyone who has been here can remember the vicious cycle and the toll it takes on you mentally, physically, and of course, emotionally.
By the end of 2018 my life was spiraling out of control faster than I could even keep up. Struggling to find success in my career, ending a long-term relationship, in massive debt. Within 6 months, I had a car repossessed, I was evicted from my apartment, and had to give up two dogs that were my only light at the time (honestly, the most heartbreaking moment of all).
So saying no to a girl’s weekend?
Barely a blip on my radar.
Struggling to find $20 to send to my nephews for their birthday? Humiliating.
Not being able to afford to meet my niece until she was 2 years old? Devastating.
Having to drive to a 7Eleven when I needed to pee at 3am? I don’t even want to talk about it.
Why then, am I telling you all of this? Why am I sharing this with strangers on the internet when I couldn’t even tell my loved ones what was going on at that time?
Simply put, it’s because I’m no longer living it. I’m still rebuilding from this time, but I’m no longer in the thick of it.
I can breathe again.
The Powerful Journey of Healing and Releasing the Past
Now that I can breath and take the time to reflect though, the emotions are creeping up. The reality of what I went through is coming into focus – loud and clear, needing to be dealt with. The days, the months, the years of events and experiences that I missed out on are weighing heavy on my heart. Without being in shock or pure survival mode, I have to reassociate myself with this time and the feelings involved. That is, if I want to move past them.
So what now? How do we move forward after painful and traumatic experiences?
From what I’ve come to learn on my healing journey, we must first release the emotional attachment from the event. In doing so we can reclaim our power and remind ourselves every day that we are no longer that past version of ourselves. This alone will cause a profound shift, but let’s keep going, shall we?
Second, we must forgive ourselves for who we were when we didn’t know better. I had no idea how powerful I was, I didn’t know that I was creating my own reality. I was operating from a lifetime of programming that told me otherwise, that led me to believe I wasn’t capable of having a life of abundance or at least, a life of ease. To struggle was real, true, and deeply ingrained in me.
The Journey of Healing
Lastly, on this journey of healing, we must remember that others may not even have an opinion and if they do, that’s out of your control. I have been so consumed by this weight of everything I missed out on and how much it means to me, but honestly, most of my family or friends didn’t even give it a second thought.
It’s not because they are selfish or didn’t want me to be there, but because it never occurred to them to have any judgment around it. By the way, I did an amazing job of hiding my struggles (I really deserve an award if you ask me).
What I’ve decided is, anyone who holds onto judgment around my lack of presence for a few years, is not someone who will fit into this new life I’m building. I went through hell, it took me awhile to bounce back, but I’ve done the work. I’m still doing the work, and I’m really freaking proud of myself. I can’t let someone else’s opinion affect me and what I’m creating now.
Most importantly, I can’t apologize for who I was or wasn’t when I was healing.
Truth and Power
As I move forward in my truth and power, I will continue to face whatever feelings and emotions come up from the past. I will choose to work through versus ignore or delay because I know now, this release is the most incredible gift I can give myself. Release equals freedom.
My hope is that you will take any necessary steps in your own healing journey and offer yourself the same reward. You really do deserve it.