Years ago, when I got out of a relationship that was killing me, my future was pretty grim. I was broken. The ‘me’ I thought I was had devolved into the puppet of his command. I had no voice. No sense of ‘I’. No future worth living for.
I had two choices. Stay traumatized. Heal.
Going through that relationship was hard. It almost killed me. Getting out of it, I had PTSD. I had no money. No job. No home. No belongings. Nothing.
What I did have was a miracle. He had been arrested and I knew deep within me, that was the miracle that saved my life.
I could not waste my miracle. I had to choose to heal. How was up to me.
Armed with my miracle and the belief I didn’t get it to live in pain and sorrow, I had to decide to heal. Me. Broken relationships. My life.
My number one priority was to heal my relationship with my daughters. By the time of his arrest, we were estranged. I wanted to be part of their lives again. To feel and share the love that had flowed so strongly between us, before I got lost in an abusive relationship.
To heal that relationship, I had to heal myself first.
To heal myself, I had to choose to let go of the things that did not serve me on my healing journey. Bitterness. Regret. Resentment. Hatred. Anger. Fear. None of them moved me closer to healing. Giving into regrets and bitterness only made me feel worse.
There were so many questions for which I had no answers. How could he have done the things he’d done. How could I have been so blind? So selfish? How could I do the things I did to cause my daughters so much pain?
I had to choose to let those questions and all the heavy, life-sucking emotions that went with them, go. Those questions could not be answered from a place of weakness. I had to grow strong enough to face them without losing myself in their seductive, self-annihilating web of pain.
I could not go searching for answers in the past if I was to build a bridge to a future where I could be myself in all my darkness and light, beauty and the beast, warts and wounds, wonder and wisdom.
The past was too painful a place to tread without the light of love to guide me and the future could not be conceived without Love being my constant companion in the now.
The only place I could find myself was in the now. And, the only thing that could sustain me in the now was Love.
So I chose Love.
Every moment of every day.
No matter how broken and helpless I felt, no matter how lost and afraid, confused or tentative. Whatever I did, I had to do it in Love – with me, myself and I. All of me. The broken down, beat up, worthless feeling me. The shattered me who included the mother who deserted her daughters in the final throes of that relationship because the only way she could conceive of getting him out of their lives was to give up her right to live free of his abuse.
May 21st is approaching. It has been many years since that day in 2003 when a blue and white police car drove up and gave me the miracle of my life.
Time has deepened and enriched my gratitude.
I am grateful for my family and friends who loved me through it all.
Grateful for my daughters whose love, even in their pain and anger, never deserted me.
Grateful for the beauty and joy and Love in my life today. For the wonder and awe I experience with every breath.
And I am grateful I chose to heal In Love.
My life today is a beautiful tapestry of light and love, beauty and shadows that shimmer in the dark corners of my life as well as the wide-open expanses of possibilities unravelling with each new dawn. It is woven through with threads of fierce courage, gratitude and grace, joy and soul defining oases of calm.
It is my life lived In Love.
I still have down days and dark moments. I still experience cloudy skies and murky waters. This is life. Beautiful. Complex. Complicated. Messy.
But, no matter the times or the weather, one thing never fades. The Love that instills this moment right now with such beauty it takes my breath away.
Living now doesn’t mean giving up on the future. It means choosing to fill this moment, right now, with so much Love, the future becomes all that is now.