Last night I was honoured to be part of Discovery House’s brilliant inaugral
The question each women was asked: What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
For me, as I wrote, HERE, my answer was immediate, visceral and surprising — Apologize to my daughters for deserting them.
I hadn’t expected that to flow from my fingertips when Monique Auffrey, the Executive Director of Discovery House, and one of the participants in the exhibit, asked me via email when she nominated me as one of the honouree’s at She’s So Brave.
On the surface, it could appear that apologizing doesn’t seem to be so brave.
For me, it was essential to my healing journey.
Because in apologizing, I claimed responsibility for my actions. I was their mother. I had committed to do my best — and I had hurt them.
I remember once when my eldest daughter was asked, “What did your mother’s apology mean to you?”
She replied that it wasn’t the fact I apologized once, it was that I was willing to acknowledge the pain I had caused them, and apologize however many times needed to let them know, I heard them, I saw them, I was willing to turn up and be present, however they needed me. She described the process by saying that the past was like a river of pain flowing between us. Every time my mother apologized, she said, the pain flowed free and was replaced by love until eventually, all that was left between us was, Love.
I am blessed. Love is always present.
When I was released from that relationship, I made a decision that to heal, I had to choose LOVE. Yes, there was anger, pain, sorrow, grief, hurt and a host of other confusing and painful emotions. But I wasn’t going to focus on them, particularly in the beginning, because I was too broken to dive into the anger. Too fragile to feel the pain. I had to focus on the Love and treating myself with tender, loving, care if I was to give myself the grace of healing.
No matter what other emotion(s) I was feeling, I told myself that LOVE was always present, and thus, I was always safe to simply be present the way I was, in Love.
Over time, as I began to accept that Love truly was the answer, I could dive into the anger, pain, sorrow, grief without fearing I would be swept under by their overwhelming force — I knew and trusted that Love would always hold me.
It wasn’t that I ignored the anger or pain, it’s just I had to allow myself the gift of healing first, so that I could be strong enough to step into them, to face them, fearlessly and Lovingly.
Often, I employed a process I used with my daughters when they were young and fighting with each other. Back then, I’d give them a dozen eggs and tell them to go throw them at the fire pit in the back yard.
To let my anger, hurt and pain out, I’d take a dozen eggs, head off into the forest, write all my hurt and anger and pain on the eggs and then smash them against trees, under railway bridges, against the rocks at the water’s edge. It didn’t hurt the environment, the eggs were biodegradable. And it released the anger, hurt and pain in a safe and loving way.
And always, whenever I got to the last egg. I’d hold it in the palm of my upturned hand, stand quietly, breathe deeply and then gently turn my hand over and allow the egg to fall of its own volition to the ground. In that moment of release, I’d breathe deeply and remind myself, I am free.
Letting go of the past is a choice. It’s a decision to not be tethered to the pain, sorrow, grief — and to choose instead to be free to explore today in Love.
Letting go is not the same as giving up, or giving in. It’s about freedom and having the courage to do the things you need to do to fall in love with Me, Myself and I, in this moment right now, knowing that no matter what the past held, or the future brings, you are safe in the arms of Love. In this moment, right now.
For me, that meant owning what I’d done and apologizing from a loving heart to the ones I’d hurt.
Last night I stood with my beloved C.C. and friends who came to support me as I breathed into the beauty and freedom of my life today.
It was a beautiful evening of celebration of all that makes women so brave. And a wonderful tribute to all that we do and inspire, when we stand tall, speak our truth and shine brightly in the brilliance of our own light and courage.
I am truly blessed, grateful and, Loved.
Thank you Monique, Maria, Leanna, Alan and all the photographers, as well as the team at Discovery House — You are amazing.
And thank you to the other brave women who chose to stand up and be seen so that in their shining brightly, others can find their way through the darkness into the light.
To watch the CBC news report on the event, click HERE.