Today I celebrate 28 years clean and sober. I’ll be honest… I sometimes take my sobriety for granted as it’s been my way of life for over half of my life and most days doesn’t seem like much of an accomplishment. But this year I really earned it!!!
I’ve been savagely betrayed by someone who was supposed to be my person.
I’ve walked away from a life I spent the past nearly 24 years building.
I’ve left my gorgeous mansion on the hill and am now renting a tiny cottage on a farm in Nelson; and I left most of my belongings behind so I can travel light.
I won’t lie… I woke up today full of terror and despair. Some days it just feels all too much. The universe has thrown nearly every challenge my way this past year and today I’m feeling exhausted and defeated.
BUT, in other news…. my beautiful daughter is well on her way to recovering her lost joy and is finding her passions and discovering her gifts.
My amazing son is happy, healthy and off to University in Auckland and enjoying his new adult life.
I have my precious fur babies back with me and they have been the antidote to my broken heart as nobody loves as deeply and unconditionally as dogs!
I am surrounded by so much love and support from both my soul whanau and even those I don’t know very well or haven’t really connected with in years. The outpouring of love from people far and wide has given me so much nourishment for my soul and hope for the future.
As sad and scared as I am, I also feel such a deep gratitude for this precious life and for all the blessings of the Universe that continue to carry me through this challenging time.
I’ve been presented with so many exciting opportunities to live my dream life and I KNOW that everything that was holding me back, weighing me down and poisoning my spirit needed to be stripped away so I could fly free toward my destiny.
Words fail to express how much I love and appreciate everyone who has supported me through this painful chapter.
You continually prop me up when I am collapsing, slap me silly when I am wallowing in self pity, tell me the truth when I’m lost in victim consciousness, encourage me when I lose my confidence, embrace me when I can’t stop crying, hold loving space for me when I’m enraged and just need to express it out loud, make me laugh out loud when I’m taking it all way too seriously, and when I feel like giving up, you remind me of my purpose and what I’m here to offer to the world.
So, thank you to everyone who has shown up for me this past year and I vow to honour your love by showing up and doing the work so I can live my greatest life and be that guiding light for others as you’ve been for me.
“Laughter connects you with people. It’s almost impossible to maintain any kind of distance or any sense of social hierarchy when you’re just howling with laughter. Laughter is a force for democracy.” ~John Cleese
Yesterday I had a realisation…. I’ve lost my laugh. Or rather, I gave it away.
He hated my laugh… the too-loud witch cackle.
I learned to hate my laugh too.
I spent the past 20 years trying to change my laugh. To make it quieter, less annoying, but in the process, I lost it.
Losing my laugh meant I lost my deep capacity for joy. Suppressing my laugh, holding it in my throat, preventing its escape shut down my ability to communicate love.
How dare he take my laugh. How could I have betrayed myself so savagely as to allow him to have it?
It is in the smallest of moments that pieces of ourselves are stripped away. The little comments, criticisms, the rejections along the way….
One day you wake up and don’t recognise yourself. So many pieces missing.
I didn’t know that this isn’t what love looks like.
True love would never take your laugh.
Of all the betrayals, indignities, and disrespect, this one hurts the most.
Today, I am reclaiming my laugh. I will laugh as loud and as deep as the moment calls for, or for no reason at all.
For anyone who cannot revel in my unfettered joy, who lacks the capacity to experience intense emotions, including bliss, has no place in my life!
I will never again betray myself as to dim my light to enable another’s need to hide in the dark.
I am reclaiming all pieces of my soul that were lost, stolen, given away.
This new chapter will begin with getting to know myself again… the woman I abandoned so many years ago.
And it will include so much laughter, I’ll never need to do a sit-up again!
It’s my first Valentine’s Day as a single woman, but I find I’m not as sad as I imagined I would be.
With each painful reminder of betrayal, his and my own, where I abandoned myself, ignored my intuition and my dreams, hid from the truth of my loveless union, I grow stronger in dedication to authenticity.
Accepting a life without true love, honesty, deep connectedness, reverence for truth and loyalty is where I betrayed myself.
Spending so long hiding in another’s shadow, pretending to be happy & fulfilled with all the trimmings of a “successful” life, but feeling misaligned with my values and my Knowing brings me such deep sorrow.
What was I so afraid of that living such a shallow life was a better option?
When did I decide I wasn’t worth being truly loved, protected, supported?
When did I lose the ability to trust?
I don’t believe He took that from me. He only touched an ancient wound, a wound we both share.
My work is clear…. Trust.
Trust in my powerful Knowing…
Trust in the soul contracts I hold with others that were made to ensure my evolution….
Trust that all is going exactly to plan…
Trust that my call to ascension is here, right now.
IT’S GO TIME!
The time for self-doubt, hesitation, not loving and honouring myself is over.
It’s time to embrace my future.
All of the experiences of my life have shown me just how brave and strong I really am.
I am free to design my life exactly as I want… in rainbow glitter and fairy dust.
No more compromise, settling for less than I deserve, agreeing to things I don’t want and that don’t serve my highest good.
No more superficiality, inauthenticity, toxicity…
I get to choose the energy I surround myself with and a life that is aligned with my purpose.
When I release those that weigh me down with projections of their own fear, I have space for my true soul tribe to show up.
To all who have shared my life and brought me to these truths, through both love and betrayal, thank you.
To all who have shown up and loved me through the most painful and scary time of my life, thank you.
To all who remain in my life to share this next exciting chapter, thank you.
To me, for choosing to show up and love myself enough to face my shadow, my fears and open my heart fully, thank you.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. I hope you love and spoil yourself today and everyday because you deserve it!
“He, who had done more than any human being to draw her out of the caves of her secret, folded life, now threw her down into deeper recesses of fear and doubt. The fall was greater than she had ever known, because she had ventured so far into emotion and had abandoned herself to it.”
― Anaïs Nin
Years ago… A brutal betrayal.
I was gaslit, shut down, silenced.
I was crazy, over-emotional, paranoid…
An “Angry Woman.”
I shed bitter tears,
The betrayal impossible to face.
You denied it with an expert sleight of hand…
You called me damaged when I spoke my truth.
I had no proof, no hard evidence,
only my deep intuitive Knowing.
I chose to betray my Knowing…
Too scared to face what I had to do….
to walk away.
I swallowed my fear, my anger.
I will prove my worth to you by Doing.
I will stay too busy for the truth to catch up to me.
I will quiet down my too muchness, my voice.
I will ignore the lies, the treason.
Your shadow will be a fine place to hide.
In your shadow I’ll pretend I am happy, loved, secure.
I will join you in your dreams and put aside my silly longing.
I will play small and not rock the shaky foundation our life was built upon.
Your false narrative of who I am…
angry, damaged, judgemental
Was too strong for me to fight against…
So easy for me to believe
because you used my wounds against me.
Knowing where my shame lived, you aimed it at my heart
Breaking it into pieces.
I didn’t know I was holding your shame too.
Protecting you from the consequences of your actions
Actions designed to hide from your shame.
You avoid it at all costs,
no matter the suffering it causes.
Your Doing for others is not motivated by kindness
But to prove your own worth, deny your shame,
protect your image as the hero.
Your patterns are rooted in the trauma you refuse to acknowledge.
Habits in place to shut out the truth of your emptiness,
your closed heart.
Then came another betrayal.
You expertly deflected, lied, manipulated.
This time my Knowing would not be silenced.
My sacred anger rose up and would no longer be ignored.
Anger had a story to tell…
my boundaries were being violated,
I was being lied to, dishonoured.
You gifted me another chance to rise up and speak my truth.
You thought no one knew,
but when your deceit was revealed,
it was pointed back at you.
No more denial.
No more excuses.
No more hoping.
You look for love,
but true love isn’t found in lies.
True love isn’t found in the shadows
Or kept hidden in the closet.
I was once the woman in your closet.
You lied and hid me from Her.
It’s just to protect yourself from the Angry Woman, you said.
I believed you.
Now, I’m on the other side of the closet door.
I’m playing the part of the Angry Woman to the new lover.
Is your story the same?
Am I the one who doesn’t show you affection,
or pay you enough compliments?
Did you tell her the truth of your betrayals?
Did she know we were still together?
Or did she not mind being the other woman?
You play the victim well.
No accountability, no integrity.
I’ve seen this movie before.
Same script, different actress.
Same leading man.
You will drive her to become the next Angry Woman in your story…
And the cycle continues.
But I am free.
The hurt of your last betrayal has lit a fire in my soul.
I am rising and claiming back my power.
I will let go of your shame and leave it on your doorstep,
To bypass, pass on to another, or bury.
I will not clean up after you anymore…
I see the truth of who you are and what you do.
Another one who sees under your mask….
You took her out of the closet and called it “new.”
But NO ONE believes you. We all know the truth.
You played your hand and lost.
I am finally free.
For the next great love that awaits me won’t be born from deceit.
It won’t be hidden or require sneaking around in the dark.
My love will be enjoyed in the light of day,
not in the shadows.
There will be no casualties, no collateral damage.
True love is coming for me
and my heart is open to it..
With my integrity intact,
with courage and honour by my side.
Your many betrayals closed my heart to love.
I didn’t want to believe you when you told me you don’t love.
It was the truest thing you ever said.
I am free now to be loved by those who know how.
I am no longer carrying the heavy weight of that which is not mine.
I will share these powerful lessons with the world
So I may help those still held back by shame and fear,
their own or another’s.
I will no longer betray my deep Knowing…
My heart will show me the way home, back to my heart,
To my calling, my dreams, my gifts to offer up to the Universe.
I hold my sacred anger with love.
I will allow my voice to be heard.
I will embrace my divine power and stand quietly in my truth.
Nothing more to prove.
I benefit no one by playing small.
My worth is no longer defined by you,
By busyness or Doing.
My gift is my authenticity…
My mystical powers of sight.
I am truly grateful for your lies…
that brought me back to truth.
Thank you for showing me just how brave and strong I am.
Thank you for forcing me out of the nest,
For making me spread my wings and fly.
It wasn’t your mind’s intention, but the results are the same.
Our soul contract is complete.
I wish you well on your journey.
May you find the courage to face your shame and be transformed by it.
May you break the patterns that keep you stuck in ancient trauma
and heal your wounded heart.
Remember…. a broken heart is an open heart.
May you allow a crack of light into the dark chambers of your heart so you may see the work to be done.
Even though, by all appearances, my life looks like a fragile little sapling, as compared to the “seemingly” flourishing tree of another, I Know that my growth is supported by the powerful force of deep grounding and the nurturing love of my soul tribe and the Universe.
It is this substance that will enable the continued growth of my roots, my limbs and my heart centre.
I will not be destroyed by the storms of emotions. I will grow in resilience, strength and courage.
The following states it far more eloquently….
“Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, And then is heard no more.
It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.”
I have spent the better part of my life saying no.
No to following my heart, no to embracing my power, no to holding myself in high regard. I allowed others to treat me in ways that were soul-crushing, humiliating, and wildly disrespectful.
Why? Because I didn’t feel I deserved any better. Underneath my sassy bravado, I was insecure and felt utterly worthless. Naturally, I attracted relationships that confirmed my deepest suspicions about my value, or lack thereof.
After the collapse of my marriage, I found within myself a well of resilience and strength I had forgotten I possessed. With the unimaginable betrayal came deep grief and then a call to courage.
All the benefits of the “work” I’ve done these past 28 years rose to the surface—gently guided me through one trauma after another. I made a huge withdrawal from my wellness account within my heart.
Along with the loyal and loving support of my soul tribe, I am walking the path to awakening with fierce determination, a touch of grit, and a heaping tablespoon of trust.
I am now ready to say YES to following my dreams and passions; to awakening to true love and deep connection; to trusting my Knowing and being led by my heart.
I will break loose from the shackles of fear that keep me small. I will release the pain of betrayal and fly free toward my destiny.
I am being called to live the expansive life my heart has always longed for. The time for playing small is over. I benefit no one by hiding my gifts.
I am free to stand in my truth and share my offerings without holding back for fear of being “too much.” I embrace my too-muchness and allow my spirit to shine brightly and illuminate the path to awakening. I will no longer dim my light for those afraid to see.
The way forward is clear. I say YES to the Divine encouragement to take risks, be vulnerable, authentic & wild, to receive all the love in the Universe.
Here is a quote I love from Alana Fairchild in the Rumi Oracle:
“Something has to change in your physical world. You are in need of more sustenance, more love, more connection, and more nourishment that touches your body and soul, and brings them into deeper oneness with each other, with life, with love. Dare you open up and allow that love in? The Great Beloved has desired that this be so. Will you heed that holy desire? Will you allow love in? Say yes!
If you find this difficult, now is the time to gently, carefully tend to the walls you once placed between yourself and life – walls of tentativeness, excessive caution, fear of abandonment and betrayal, doubt of your own lovableness, and doubts based on past pain without substance. You are so much greater than these crumbling walls. They are the stuff that is designed for demolition, not devotion and honouring. Can you begin to unpack the bricks you mistakenly believed were essential to your safety and well-being?
You are too vast a sea for that small puddle of thought now. The oceanic world of love is your true home and the sun is beating down upon you. It is too hot to gaze at the ocean longingly from afar, or even stand by its edge. Strip off your layers. Run to the ocean and dive in!”
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love for your dream for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon… I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain mine or your own without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy mine or your own if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful to be realistic to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure yours and mine and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes.”
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
“We focus too much on the ones that turned their backs and not enough on the few that have our backs.” ~Liz Faublas
For the past 27+ years, I’ve been on an intense journey of discovery and healing. I’ve done (and continue to do) it all….. the 12 Steps, therapy, workshops, retreats, seminars, conferences, academic study, Buddhist study, research, tons and tons of reading, extensive travel, breath work, meditation, yoga, etc., etc…..
What I was hoping to achieve in all these pursuits was to heal ancient wounds, discover my divine purpose, expand my wisdom and knowledge, connect with my soul tribe, and uncover my true essence lying just below the surface of all the wrong ideas I had about myself taught to me by my ancestors, my culture and my community.
Throughout this journey, I’ve been challenged to grow, no matter how hard, painful, scary and overwhelming it was. I rose to every challenge and learned just how incredibly brave I am. I discovered a source of strength I would have never known existed had I not been forced to pull it out in an effort to survive.
For most of this year I’ve been in my own bubble of isolation. There was a serious disconnect between my inner wisdom and how I’ve been living my life. I struggled to figure out where the discrepancies lay. I was talking the talk but not walking the walk. I felt like a sham, faking my way through each miserable day. I knew under my desperate attempt to convince myself that my life was fine as it is, I was not showing up authentically and with vulnerability. I had created a hard shell around my protective bubble. What was the perceived threat? Could I face it, even if it meant the threat was coming from within? Could I listen to the inner voice that was trying so hard to tell me what was calling to me?
No! Too scary to even contemplate. So I kept myself busy and distracted. I dove into the more comfortable and familiar tasks and activities that didn’t ask too much of me, or negate the narrative I was clinging too. Until yesterday…
Yesterday, something happened that forced me out of my hiding, my inertia, my denial.
Someone I respected and wanted to believe I could trust weaponised my healing and wisdom journey and took aim right for my heart. The pain of that realisation was the fiercest I’ve ever experienced. To say I was devastated is an understatement. It was a violation so pure in its intensity, I thought I might die.
But then, like the Phoenix, the warrior in me rose to reclaim my truth, which shot through me like a lightening bolt! Their egregious tactical error was in trying to reframe my greatest strength, my superpower, into a weakness. Despite all my insecurities and self-doubt, I’ve always known I possess an indefatigable source of power…. enormous courage.
I will no longer hold the narrative that I’m broken, damaged, weak. It was an easy storyline to attempt to manipulate me with since it is an all too familiar one that I’ve believed my entire life. But to have it aimed at me like a weapon jolted me out of this slumber of depression that I had curled up with like a cozy blanket.
I am now wide awake and clear as crystal about who I am and what I’ve come here to do. My mission is clear. I am to continue on my journey of authentic self discovery and hold my truth with courage, and then to share the jewels of wisdom that reveal themselves with all who seek them.
It’s encouraging to finally start really seeing the benefits of all the amazing work I’ve done over the past (nearly) 3 decades that is really showing up and supporting me in this moment of clarity. I can see now that I was seeking this stable and unfailing strength and support from others who are stumbling through this thing called life just as clumsily as I am.
So, I want to thank you for showing me where I was stuck and for, once again, reminding me that I don’t need a hero.
“Right now, me saying “white people,” as if our race had meaning, and as if I could know anything about somebody just because they’re white, will cause a lot of white people to erupt in defensiveness. And I think of it as a kind of weaponized defensiveness. Weaponized tears. Weaponized hurt feelings. And in that way, I think white fragility actually functions as a kind of white racial bullying.” ~ Robin DiAngelo
Over the past 3 weeks, since the murder of George Floyd in the U.S., and the ensuing protests, I’ve been hugely disappointed at the level of my own ignorance on issues regarding racism, white privilege and bigotry in all its forms. The hundreds of stories of violence against black, indigenous and all people of colour (BIPOC), both in America and all over the world, have mostly sat on the outer fringes of my consciousness. I admit it took global protests to really capture my undivided attention (a perfect example of white privilege, as only someone not subjected to consistent violence/threats of violence and discrimination could be allowed to ignore its continued existence). Before that, I only knew basic “white-washed” history of slavery, apartheid, and the Civil Rights movement of the 60’s, along with the odd news stories of police brutality against BIPOC, such as the Rodney King beating in 1991.
I lived in West Hollywood at the time of the 1992 riots sparked by the acquittal of the cops involved in the Rodney King case, which was likely the main reason I was so aware of the story. I was living with my fiancé and his roommate at the time and I remember aggressively attempting to dissuade them from leaving the house during the riots because I knew damn well they were at a significantly higher risk of being assaulted and/or arrested by the police just for being black as compared to their white counterparts. So obviously, not too deep in my consciousness I was aware of racial profiling by the police.
I admit, I generally avoid the news as I find most of it sensationalised “info-tainment” designed to stir up negative emotions and cause divisive reactions as this is what sells. The media cannot be trusted to present unbiased, neutral facts. And with so much information swirling around to such a dizzying degree, it’s nearly impossible to determine fact from fiction, which I’m sure is part of the grand plan. Confusion and ignorance perfectly aids in the puppet-masters’ goals of world dominance.
I’ve spent many hours trying to educate myself on racism, white privilege and bigotry so that I may be able to uncover my own racist beliefs and prejudices which lay under my denial. As uncomfortable as this process has been (and I’m only just scratching the surface), I’m determined to overcome my ignorance on these issues and my participation in perpetuating racism and bigotry by remaining silent and not fully addressing my own behaviour and views. I don’t want to be just another fair-weather ally to BIPOC and other marginalised groups by posting the occasional story on Facebook and utilising the trending hashtag de jour. That kind of empty support will not create any real change and only serves to make me feel momentarily better about myself. I can’t be a racist if I support BIPOC, right…? Wrong!
As I continue my research by reading, listening to and watching the stories of racism and bigotry produced by people of all races, identities, cultures, nationalities and religions, I’m more and more being confronted with the question, “In what ways have I behaved in a racist and/or bigoted way and how have I benefitted from white privilege?”
The more research I do, the more I see how white supremacy has completely infiltrated and shaped not only my own attitudes and beliefs but those of all people, including BIPOC. It’s genius “cradle to the grave” conditioning going on in societies all around the world. The more awake I become, the more I am seeing the overt and covert racism and bigotry, along with varying degrees of micro-aggression displayed by so many of my own Facebook “friends” and other people I encounter. It has left me feeling hugely uncomfortable with the part I’ve played in it. Whether I was simply ignorant of the issues and manipulated by mass media reports or because I chose to stay safely silent and on the sidelines, makes no difference. I am still complicit. I can’t claim to be anti-racist or anti-bigoted if I’m not willing to call out racism and bigotry whenever I see it, both in myself and everywhere else.
What I need to really focus on is finding skilful means of calling it out in ways that encourage honest communication, as opposed to shaming others, which only leads to defensiveness and anger. As Brené Brown so aptly says, “The biggest barriers to acknowledgement of privilege [or racism] is shame. You have to reach out with love and curiosity… [but] speak truth to bullshit. Also, be civil when you’re doing it.” I admit that in my reactive state, I have just unfriended those who have posted things that I judge as racist or bigoted. Instead of engaging them in an honest dialog with the desire to create some real understanding between us and to learn another perspective, I’ve chosen the cowardly (and passive-aggressive) approach so as to avoid a potentially ugly conflict. This stops today.
I apologise for the following vocabulary lesson, but since I was mostly unfamiliar with the proper definition of these terms and how I have participated, consciously or unconsciously, in their application, I thought some of you may also be unaware of their definitions.
Covert racism is defined as: “A form of racial discrimination that is disguised and subtle, rather than public or obvious. Concealed in the fabric of society, covert racism discriminates against individuals through often evasive or seemingly passive methods. Covert, racially biased decisions are often hidden or rationalised with an explanation that society is more willing to accept. These racial biases cause a variety of problems that work to empower the suppressors while diminishing the rights and powers of the oppressed. Covert racism often works subliminally, and often much of the discrimination is being done subconsciously. Sometimes, it originates instead in discrimination against poorer segments that simply happens to disproportionately affect individuals by race.”
The definition of micro-aggression is: “A term used for brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioural, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative prejudicial slights and insults toward any group, particularly culturally marginalized groups.”
I have never considered myself racist or a bigot. I have many friends from all walks of life. I’ve prided myself on being open-minded and non-judgemental of people who come from all different races, religions and cultures. But rather than hide behind this smug attitude, I feel compelled to peel back the layers and look for the truth, however painful this process might be. Rather than tout the ubiquitous attitude of being “colour blind,” I seek to acknowledge and celebrate the differences instead of pretending I don’t notice them. After all, isn’t it our differences that make the world more interesting? How boring it would be if we were all exactly the same…
I want to bring my awareness to where I hold subconscious racist and bigoted views and where my white privilege has benefitted me. “Sit in [my] yuck” as Nicole Cameron says. Let me be clear here, I do not seek your validation of my existence as a non-racist or bigoted person. I truly wish to uncover the nature of my views and where I may have unknowingly caused harm because of them. I don’t wish to burden anyone by asking them to school me on racism and bigotry, however, I do hope that some of you might be willing to take the time to show me what perhaps I can’t see for myself because of my “white veil.” I also hope that any constructive criticism you may wish to offer is done so with the intention to be helpful and a little compassionate. It’s certainly not my aim to offend anyone, but merely an aspiration to become more aware. Only from this place of awareness do I stand any chance of making lasting changes in my heart and mind and then maybe in the hearts and minds of others. As Brené Brown also says, “…perhaps a little hypothesis of generosity” for which I would be truly grateful.
Below are a several links to some interesting and thought-provoking articles I have found in the course of my research. Please comment below with any additional articles, videos, podcasts and books that you have found informative and helpful. My goal is to heighten my curiosity and awareness by asking the uncomfortable questions. I hope you’ll join me in this quest or allow me to join you in yours.