Three years ago exactly to this day, I packed up my stuff, and left the only life I had ever known.
It was a huge decision, which did not come without pain, fear, uncertainty and loss. It meant really hard conversations. It meant hurting someone I loved and cared about. It meant a new reality for my adult kids. It meant significant financial changes. It meant losing some people. It meant a completely different life. It meant listening to my gut; my intuition and following my heart and soul.
On this day three years ago, I jumped into the unknown with absolutely no safety net.
It’s been one hell of a ride. I have faced the depths of despair, but I have also experienced love and joy. It has been the scariest and most challenging time of my life. I have dealt with the grief from the end of a longterm marriage and a relationship that ended sadly and with heartbreak. I have gone through the fear of my mum suffering with serious health issues. I’ve lost my dog. My father in law passed away. All the while struggling with my own emotions of the past few years and trying to forge a new independent life.
But somewhere out of the rubble, I found a courage, a vulnerability, a resilience and a need for raw authenticity, that I never knew existed.
Some days were a torrid of torment, some days were a puddle of anguished tears but some days were one tiny step forward. I cannot adequately put into words how hard it was at times, how close I came to giving up. How easy it would have been to run away and not deal with my feelings; to bury them. How easy it would have been to go back to my past. How easy it would have been to fall into the arms of another to help me forget; to give me validation; to bolster my ego and confidence; to distract myself. How easy it would have been to take the road often travelled and not address my wounds.
But one of the biggest things I have learnt is if you trade your authenticity for safety- meaning you hide your feelings and what you truly desire so as to stay in your comfort zone- you experience anxiety, maybe depression, possible reliance on alcohol or drugs, anger issues, blame, resentment and grief. And that’s a shit place to be.
So I took the f*cking hard road and I owned it all. I owned my messiness, my pain, my choices, my losses, my ego and every last damn lesson. I stood up and I spoke my truth, even if it was terrifying; even if it was shocking. I spoke it because I knew by speaking it, I would set myself free and start to really heal.
Growth and healing are uncomfortable. Difficult. Scary. Raw and messy, and full of feelings you weren’t expecting. But the journey as tough and lengthy as it can be, leads you to a beautiful destination.
Being alone for the first time and out of a relationship, was both frightening and liberating. It has certainly been a time of great teachings self discovery. Knowing I cannot only rely on myself completely, but I can also thrive and succeed with what I put my mind to, is so empowering.
I never imagined when I submitted my first piece of writing to Elephant Journal 18 months ago, that it would be the start of such a passionate writing journey. I have become part of this incredible writing community and have formed friendships with people all over the world. I never envisioned that my words that were written as a form of catharsis for me, would inturn help others. That I would receive so many comments both on my articles and privately thanking me for writing my words. And I never expected to be paid for something I love to do. What an absolute privilege.
I could not have foreseen that my desire to study holistic counselling and coaching, would be the catalyst for me to undergo such a deep healing of myself. That all that I have learnt to support others, would teach me more about myself and that a strong self-awareness, knowledge and understanding that healing and growth is non linear and ongoing, would attract the clients to me, that I have been most able to support.
I would ever have thought that undergoing crisis support training and volunteering for a crisis support phone line, would give me so much in return. Some calls are so tough, always with the potential to be tragic and they can take so much out of you. Yet most shifts I walk away with this sense of achievement.
My son recently told me he was proud of me and if you know my son, you’ll know that’s a big deal, as he doesn’t say those things often. He said me being there for someone who has nobody else to talk to and maybe saving them at least for that time, is something he is so proud of me for. And my daughter said the woman I am today, is where I was always supposed to be and it’s been an inspiration to watch my growth. My kids have always been my world so their words mean so much to me.
It’s the first time I’ve really believed in myself. That I trust I’m exactly where I’m meant to be. That I’ve been brave enough to pursue my passions and have the faith in myself to work hard towards my goals, so I’m now starting to see all the benefits.
It’s the first time I’ve felt truly proud of myself.
I’ve worked so hard on my own healing, that I’ve found the place of forgiveness. I’ve let go of things as gracefully, compassionately and kindly as possible and I’ve managed to do so with love. We are all on our own journey and each of us have lessons to learn along the way. The trick is to really learn the lessons and use them to heal and grow. If you can do that with honesty, you will reap the benefits.
For me my growth has allowed me to remove myself from the box I put myself in. I know I’m different. I’m a little alternative. I love all things holistic. I’m definitely spiritual.I have a massive loving heart. I am very open minded and in all honesty, I’m probably a little weird. But instead of shunning those parts of myself, I now fully embrace them. It’s who I am, and I’ve enough self love these days to not only accept my quirks but to wear them with pride.
So three years ago I upheaveled my life. When it came to that fork in the road, I followed my soul because to deny my soul, would have caused me more long-term pain. It was the journey I needed to take. It was the passion, love and intensity I was meant to feel. It was the suffering I was meant to endure. And the lessons I was meant to learn. It was the healing and growth it led me too. It all happened exactly as it was meant too.
“When it is all finished, you will discover it was never random”.