Life never fails to bring more lessons and opportunities for growth. This holiday season brought a recognition of how important it is to dive into our emotional wounds to heal physical dis-ease.
I was recently reminded how tender the heart is. About five years ago there was a very painful circumstance that occurred which caused me to make dramatic changes; I sold my thriving Pilates & Gyrotonic business, my house and moved 250 miles away to buy a ranch, my first horse and was trained to practice Equine Facilitated Learning. If you want to read more of the story please go to 'How the Horses Saved my Life' (By the way, this was a very vulnerable post to write, which took a tremendous amount of courage to publish a year and a half ago!)
To paraphrase the story, I was married and from the outside it looked like I had the perfect life. Unfortunately, due to unclear communication and expectations, a devastating event occurred between my husband and I. Although we tried to mend the gap, in the years that followed, our relationship drifted apart.
I do not take my commitments lightly. I shared profound vows in front of 125 family and friends devoting my love to this man, his two kids and my son. For the girl who said she would never get married, to commit in this way was no small undertaking. When our relationship was slowly dismembered I had to place armor over my heart to survive and stay alive as it was so calamitous to me.
Interspersed in this time period, my best friend of 19 years was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. I dropped everything to be by her side as I knew how serious her predicament was. I become one of her main caretakers for 22 months from her diagnosis to her death. You can read about that journey here: How I Made Peace with Death - My Tribute to Deb Hubsmith
They say that undergoing trauma and change such as: changing your job, moving, divorce, and a death of someone close to you can spark cancer and I experienced all of the above within a three year time period. Is it a surprise that I discovered a tumor over my heart with all this loss?
My ex-husband, my step-kids and my son and I are all still close. I feel blessed to have clarity with them despite all that we went through. I still consider them family even though the marriage has been dissolved.
Over the holidays, I spent a few hours with them, my son and my ex's new girlfriend, whom I absolutely adore by the way and has been so kind and generous to me during my healing journey! To put the picture into perspective, we all (my ex, his new partner and my new partner) spent quality and wonderful time together in the past year.
During the long drive home I allowed myself to release a layer of armor that I had erected during the heart-breaking incident years ago. Warm tears rolled down my face as i remembered those innocent vows shared during a warm August wedding, our kids just teenagers at the time. I allowed myself to remember the joy and the pain.
I felt how my body ingeniously grew this tumor over my heart as the agony was too much to bear. I had to protect myself and thus, the cancer within me took root. When Deb was diagnosed and I slowly watched my beloved friend be ravaged by cancer, the tumor grew larger. When Deb died and I bid farewell to my twin soul sister the grief threatened once again to tear me apart. I know the grief, loss and cancer were all one. The heart bleeds tears of sadness for the departed.
It feels healthy to cry these tears remembering how deeply I loved. It feels healing to let the layer of armor melt away and remember the beauty that was shared. Life goes on and there is still so much to be thankful for.
I share this with you as we all carry wounds within us. I believe the key to true healing is to allow our hearts to speak the pain they hold. Share your grief. Speak your sorrow. If not now, then when?
And in the precious memories of times long gone, laughter shared, vows made, friends whom have passed, relationships released, there is beauty, love and a recognition that we have lived our lives the best we could, shattered hearts and all. In our vulnerability there is truth and healing.
Thank you for witnessing my vulnerability.