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.
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.
“Through love all that is bitter will be sweet. Through love all that is copper will be gold. Through love all dregs will become wine. Through love all pain will turn to medicine.” ~Rumi
Throughout the Covid lockdown, I read about so many people world-wide taking this time to rest and reset. What a beautiful idea that was. Sadly, that was not an option for me. I have spent the past couple months just trying to keep my head above water. Seems every time I come up for air, I get hit with another wave of chaos and drama.
I try to rejoice in the negative karmic seeds being burned off, but have been unable to conjure up even a tiny bit of gratitude for this. I have mostly maintained my daily meditation and yoga practice but find I’m not with a single breath. I am truly thankful for all the blessings in my life, but am surprised by how easily the anger and sadness overwhelm me. I am applying every single tool in my toolbox that I’ve amassed these past 27 years and believe them to be the only reason I’m able to find the strength to get to the surface of the raging sea to catch that single breath of air before the next wave hits sucking me further underwater.
I have no sanctuary, no place to seek comfort. Even my home is under attack. Among the stress and betrayal I’ve endured, I now have to stand guard to protect my dogs against those that seek to seize and destroy them for no other reason than their need to win is greater than their capacity for kindness. I’m heartbroken to have given up my beloved Ruby, but comforted in knowing she is safe from harm. I’m on alert and every sound has me peering out from behind the blinds to see if the dog police are here to take my other fur babies away.
I know I’m suffering first world issues and have been mostly spared from the very real problems of senseless violence, severe poverty, starvation, illness and racial persecution.
I try to keep my pain in perspective by practising gratitude for my abundant life. I truly aspire to be of service to others, but, lately, can’t seem to find the energy. My sleep is poor, my stress levels are dangerously high, my blood pressure is often worryingly elevated, my vision is consistently blurred now and I have headaches that are sometimes debilitating. I don’t say all this to seek out sympathy. I say this because I’m genuinely fearful for my health.
I’ve been in survival mode for so many weeks now, I can’t seem to catch up on any real healing. My adrenals are long since worn out, despite my best efforts to support them. I’ve received so much wonderful advice and have really endeavoured to apply it, however, I’m so tapped out energetically that I fear one more helpful suggestion of something I “should” try will push me over the edge.
The most painful realisation has been how weak I feel, despite decades of spiritual practice, emotional work and just plain sheer will. How could I be in such a pit of despair when I have every tool and every advantage available to me? I feel ashamed, which only adds to the struggle.
Outside, I continue to present my stronger self, but it’s a lie. Inside I’m collapsing. The sheer weight that’s been heaped on my increasingly narrow shoulders is too great. This groundlessness has been difficult to embrace. Leaning in to the pain has long been my practice, but have I leaned in too far? Have I embodied the suffering so completely that now I can’t see a way through it? There is a numbness that’s threatening to form…. a well used survival tool from my past, along with anger – my old shield used to deflect overwhelming sadness.
I go out into the world and try not burden others with my pain. I laugh and joke instead of cry. I smile instead of frown. I try to keep my darker feelings to myself and engage all my energy in listening to others and how they are doing, but I fail completely. My self-centeredness knows no bounds these days. All the meetings, workshops, podcasts, yoga, meditation and breathwork inexplicably seems to only add to my anxiety. I’m truly bewildered by this. The warrior in me is wilting…
My mind knows that the sun is shining behind this black cloud. I know everything is impermanent. I know love conquers fear. I know getting out of bed everyday and continuing to do all the things I need to do to stay afloat are not a waste of time and eventually this too shall pass. I know that I matter and my value lies in my BE-ingness, not in my DO-ingness. I know that I deeply love others and that others truly love me. I know all this pain serves to strengthen me. I know I am fully supported by the universe and one day I’ll look back on this time as a time of great shifting toward my awakening. I know that I’ll one day be grateful for these opportunities to learn just how strong I truly am. I’ve said it before… a broken heart is an open heart. I know I’m feeling the depths of this pain because my heart is wide open.
However, this doesn’t ease my pain. I need this “knowing” to find its way into my heart.
I will resist the urge to shut down and go numb. I will strive to be fully present to everything as it unfolds. I will be vigilant against the dark thoughts and practice compassion for myself and others.
My salvation lies in creating a sanctuary… a bubble of love. I will continue to call in the forces of light to illuminate my path and show me the way through. I will remain open to healing and insulate from useless negativity. I will find the balance between opposing forces and walk the line. I will move through the discomfort of change, this shedding of the old skin that no longer serves me. I will continue to stand up to injustice and endeavour to protect the vulnerable.
I will call the cops on this pity party and find my bliss! In the meantime, please continue to send some love my way. I could sure use it!