Before I dive into telling you about my life and healing journey, I want to make two things clear:
a) I am not a victim. In one experience I was clearly a victim, however, through healing and forgiving, I no longer am. I believe all our life experiences – especially those that bring us to our knees – are here to teach us. We struggle and suffer for reasons, not because ‘life sucks’ or to be punished by some big, scary source. When we struggle, we learn, we grow, we become better people… at least the opportunity to do so is there. It’s up to you to take it.
b) My stories below are snippets of how I chose to take the opportunity to heal… the challenge of moving through painful life experiences in order to learn, grow, and become a better person. I can’t honestly say that it’s been a joy ride, but I can with all honesty say that it’s been worth it. I believe there is nothing more important than healing your life and being as happy as you can.
Just imagine if everyone did this… what a peaceful world we’d live in.
My journey began with a heartbreak. I found out at the ultrasound for my second baby that he was terminal with Potter’s Syndrome. His life expectancy was five minutes to two and a half hours. I had no idea how I was going to enjoy a lifetime with my child in less than a few hours.
Jonathan was born on September 21, 2000, and I was so happy to have him in my arms for 12 1/2 hours. Not enough time, but more than the doctors had expected.
The pain of losing a child is something that there are no words for. I had prayed while pregnant that if I could be the last woman to have such sorrow in her life, then I’d not shed one more tear.
Being Jonathan’s mom was a huge gift in my life. He taught me a lot. I experienced compassion like never before. I learned how strong I am. I learned to trust God and life. The most important lesson Jonathan gave me was the inspiration to look within, to question who I was and how I wanted to live my life. He sparked my path to finally living an authentic life.
The spring after Jonathan died, while I was pregnant with my third baby, I attended a baby remembrance service at our hospital. Although my belly was round with another sweet baby boy, my heart was heavy with grief. While I was there I had an amazing experience. Each parent was given a white balloon on which we wrote our baby’s name, birth and death date. I noticed some women to the side of me who were very upset. I was curious about the dates on their balloons, and when I looked I was shocked to see dates of death eight years earlier. My heart sank as I wondered if the pain I felt would ever go away. That’s when I had an extraordinary experience.
The world stopped for me, and I found myself in a cloudy ‘bubble’ of energy. A voice quietly spoke in my ear, saying ‘You have choice.’
In that moment I knew I had choice to either remain sad and grieving, or somehow heal – deeply and consciously – from the pain of losing Jonathan. I went home not knowing how to heal, but with a fierce determination to find a way.
The most surprising thing happened after I healed from Jonathan’s death. Of course, I felt happier – the process of healing my pain consciously took me to a whole new level of joy. However, I didn’t expect what came next.
I found more pain in my past. Things I’d been ignoring, or that I’d forgotten about from avoidance, crept up to my awareness. Now that I’d had a taste of healing pain and knew the amazing results, the temptation to heal – even though it was scary and overwhelming – drew me in.
It was time to look at my relationship with alcohol – honestly. Finding an addiction, and all that comes along with that is not fun. Along with the stigma there is a lot of shame, regret, and guilt to look at.
Over time I did it and the result was a sober – and very happy – woman
My next healing had been stuffed inside my heart for more than twenty years.