I love the month of May! Eleven years ago this month on May 21st, I was released from a relationship that was killing me. At 9:14 am two RCMP officers walked into a room where I had been hiding out with the man who had promised to love me “’til death do us part” and was taking the death part way too seriously, and arrested him.
It was a miracle.
On February 26 of that year, 2003, we had driven west, out of the city without telling my daughters, family and friends we were going.
I didn’t know where we were going. I didn’t care. I belonged to him. I did what he told me. Did not question him. Did not speak up. I was his.
He told me he would let me go when he got out of the country. I was terrified if he let me go, I would die. I was terrified if I went with him, I would die. And still, for all my terror, the only thing I really wanted in those final months was to die. I kept praying he would make it happen, sooner. I kept imagining ways I could make it so. I kept telling him ways he could take my life and still, nothing happened.
As the days mounted into weeks and then months and he still hadn’t found a way to get out of the country, I knew it would be only a matter of time before he killed me. I was his albatross. His dead weight. His inconvenience. These were the things he told me and I believed him. I was conditioned to believe everything he said. To not question his lies.
I wanted to let my daughters know where I was. I wanted, desperately, to hear their voices.
He told me I couldn’t. He told me I was selfish. Inconsiderate. Stupid.
I believed him.
I stayed silent.
And then he was arrested and I got the miracle of my life and was given the gift of healing.
These are the things I learned upon my healing journey.
- Life is a miracle. Look into the mirror, look deep into your eyes. See the miracle you are and say, “WOW! What a miracle I am!” Do this everyday of your life.
- Surrender all fear and fall into Love. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, how far you’ve fallen, how deep you’ve sunk. It is fear that keeps you there. Accept yourself just the way you are and love yourself, beauty and the beast. And, after you say, what a miracle I am! say, I love me! Do this everyday of your life.
- Learn from the broken places. Life is filled with moments that lift us up interspersed with moments that confuse us, tire us, hurt us, bring us down. There is something to be learned in every step of the journey, no matter how hard. A broken heart is an open heart and an open heart is a loving heart. Don’t be afraid of the broken. Hold yourself lovingly in those places where it feels like you can’t breathe, and breathe. Deeply. And ask yourself, “What do I really want in this moment?”
- Listen to your heart. This one goes with Learn from the broken places. Our hearts always know the answer. Listen. Deeply. Don’t give your mind room to talk your heart out of what it knows to be true. Give your heart free rein. Know that a loving heart cannot be broken because it is always open.
- Forgive. Freely. Joyfully. Continually. People will hurt you. People will do the inexplicable. The unbelievable. Believe it. They did it. Forgive them anyway. Forgiveness doesn’t mean they aren’t accountable for what they did, it just means you aren’t holding onto what they did with anger, pain, fear. And while you’re at it, forgive yourself. Doesn’t matter how angry you are, or how hurt you feel, nothing gives you the right to be cruel or unkind, especially to yourself. Holding onto unforgiveness hurts you. Forgive and remember to surrender your fear. Forgiveness feels so much better than unforgiveness. Forgiveness sets you free.
- You are magnificent. Seriously. You are magnificent. You were born that way. It’s just life and happenings, and all that jazz got in the way of your remembering your birthright. To shine. To illuminate. To live in the magnificence of the beauty of who you are when you let go of your disbelief that you truly are an amazing, miraculous, magnificent human being.
- Love is the answer. No matter the question, no matter your predicament, your fear (which you’ve let go of anyway so it won’t matter), Love is the answer. Whatever is happening right now, ask yourself, what’s the most loving thing I can do for me right now, and then… yup… listen to your heart and do that thing that your heart tells you. And, just in case you’re trying to kid yourself, your head does not hold the answers so when it tries to tell you to do the opposite, to take the old path, don’t listen!
- Live in the rapture of now. Joseph Campbell coined that phrase. It’s easier said than done. Do it anyway. Get out of thinking about what will he say, she do, they think and live in the wonder and awe of being totally present right now. In this place, your heart knows the truth — you are magnificent. Live your truth.
- Life is a series of teachable moments. It’s constantly delivering up fascinating moments to grow and dig deeper and learn and stretch and expand your understanding of who you are and how you are in the world. Listen deeply to life’s teachings, find the value in all things and shine!