I was 52. My 30 year marriage had just ended. I’d moved out of my 2500 square foot house in the suburbs, leaving my kids, my dogs and most of what I’d accumulated over the course of my adult life behind. I backed down the driveway barely able to see for the steady flow of tears and drove to the 200 square foot studio in the basement of someone else’s house, that would be my home for the next 15 months. I sat in that small space with only a twin bed and a dresser, wondering if I’d ruined my kids lives with my decision to leave their father and how I was going to make it on my own for the first time in my life.
That was over 11 years ago. Most people who I’ve met in the years since that heart-breaking, gut-wrenching day in 2007 don’t know this part of my story.
People see me as a successful coach, therapist, speaker and spiritual teacher, active in the community and living a healthy, happy and fulfilled life.
They’re usually shocked to know that in a 3 year period between 2004-2007, my life looked totally different. I had just completed a ministerial degree, left the group therapy practice I’d worked at for 11 years along with my job as the Coordinator or the Governor’s Task Force for Abused Children. That means I had no paychecks. I’d opened a Healing Center called Spirit Matters with no idea how to run a business, filed for divorce and moved out of my home to live on my own for the first time in my life.
At 52 everything that I knew about my life had been turned upside down and inside out, admittedly by my choice. The fact that it was my choice didn’t make it easy. And if I’d known what the path before me was going to require I may have chosen differently. Sometimes there’s a reason that we’re not given the whole vision!
I was scared but not scared enough to stay with what was familiar and, in many ways, comfortable. I wasn’t sure that I could support myself, as I hadn’t asked for alimony. I wanted to take full responsibility for my decision and for creating my life. It felt only fair, since I was the one who wanted the divorce.
I felt guilty. As far as marriages go, ours was probably better than then average. We still love and care for each other. There were none of the usual “reasons” for the breakup. Except that we’d grown distant, I had chosen a more conscious spiritual path and I was suffocating, feeling as though I couldn’t fully be myself in the marriage any longer.
Some days that seemed like a really lame reason to break up a family, even to me. I worried about hurting my 3 children and their father. I thought I was being a terrible mother.
“What kind of mother walks away from her kids?” Of course, I was only going about 3 miles down the road but I was still moving out of the family home, and wouldn’t be in their day to day lives in the same way.
I was more than a little bit crazy. Whether it was grief, loneliness, lack of sleep, guilt, fear, spiritual awakening, trying to start a business and still be present for my clients or menopause (did I mention that?), there were a few years there (ok, maybe more than a few) when I walked a fine line between spiritual awakening and a total emotional breakdown….A VERY FINE LINE. It was not pretty.
But, thank God, I’ve been blessed with a strong faith and an ability to trust that things are going to be OK, even if I don’t know how it’s going to happen. That faith, along with trying everyday to live into the principles of Surrender, Trust and Gratitude, the cornerstones of my ministry program, I prayed hard and paddled fast to keep myself afloat.
And I tapped, and tapped and tapped some more. I half kiddingly tell people that EFT saved my life. No joke, tapping was a life raft for me in those times when my emotions were about to take me down and drag me under, like a tsunami. I swear I still have some bruising from all that tapping!
Meditation, journaling, energy healing, prayer, time in nature, friends, my ongoing spiritual growth and finding spiritual community were the other foundational pieces of my slow but steady return to happiness, health and a profound sense of peace about my journey.
We’ve all got our stories. In my work I hear many that make mine sound like a walk in the park. I’m not sharing my story for any other reason except to let you know me a little better and to know that my life didn’t always look as it does today. And I know that down the road there will be even more to honor and celebrate.
Change takes courage, commitment and support. It doesn’t happen with one healing session or inspired moment. It is easier if there is a steady presence walking the journey by your side, sharing the wisdom of their experience, while honoring the unique nature of your journey.
Whatever your story, know that it doesn’t define you. You have a story but you are not your story. With desire, commitment, guidance and support you can write a new story and become the “author”ity of your best life.
If you would like to talk about how I might be able to help you, let’s find a time to chat.