When feeling became too painful, I vowed to stop feeling all together. I didn’t write these vows or speak them, I simply made the decision internally to stop feeling… A piece of me died that day. I was 5 years old.
Before the age of 5, I have only two concrete memories, both horrific. My entire childhood was spent trying to survive the pain of feeling. I learned to “self protect” and it worked. I became really good at it. It served me really well, until one day it didn’t. I survived my childhood by the grace of God. I fought my way back from one loss after another until I became brave enough to stop pretending and begin my healing work. I was unsure of where to start. The way found me. I discovered (by accident) Louise Hay’s CD’s on positive affirmations and this philosophy changed everything for me. I made a decision to start doing life in a different way. I began to talk to myself more kindly and search for the positive aspects life had to offer. I had no idea where the path of learning to love myself would lead. I simply took a step out of my past and into my future.
Years passed, I fought my way back from one medical diagnosis after another, I earned multiple degrees, I fell in love, I ignored red flags (his and mine), I became a mom, I tried to do everything the “right way” and yet once again my world seemingly fell apart, however, this time it wasn’t just about me, I had a little girl looking to me for answers and I had none to give. I felt so incredibly hollow. The emotional hemorrhaging that I masked my entire life – ruptured–and the damage could no longer be contained. That’s the thing about pain, it will not allow itself to be hidden, masked, numbed, or buried forever. The truth will always come to the light.
Over the next three years, I found myself at one crossroads after another being asked to make a choice between courage and comfort, faith and fear. Each time trembling, my voice shaking, I chose courage and faith. Until one day, my bones cried out, my truth spoke up and all the memories came flooding back.
Pretending was no longer an option.
In that moment, God removed all other choices and my only option was to look into my own darkness. I was scared to death and it felt like courage and faith were failing miserably.
I arrived at the absolute end of myself. My spirit yearned for a place I could not describe with words…. I couldn’t pray the pain away, I couldn’t numb it, avoid it, or rationalize it. The flood gates of my soul were opening and I was being taken out by all that I had spent a lifetime suppressing. In a desperate plea for sanity, I joined a webinar with my Divine Self Care Mentor Elena Lipson and Suzanne Hanna of The Wilderness Walk hoping I would receive some great resources on advancing my self care. Suzanne shared one line that changed my life forever, “if you’ve lived in fear and are ready to embrace your own freedom, The Wilderness Walk is your path, you’ll learn how to brave the depths of who you really are.” In that moment, I realized in my soul, I had lived in fear my entire life. Fear of EVERYTHING. I was literally holding my breath through life. I lived in a self-made prison and only I held the key to my release.
Was I scared of life outside of my own captivity?
I had no idea the ride I was about to take or what I would need to surrender along the way. What I knew for sure was I could no longer go on pretending that I could suffer in silence. My entire life had led me to this trail.
The Wilderness Walk is not for the faint of heart. If I’m honest, life isn’t for the faint of heart.
The lessons I’ve learned thus far on my journey are countless. The Wilderness Walk helped me rediscover my true self and tap into the ancient wisdom that led me to the eternal well of life, for me this is mother/father God. The same Divine wisdom that helped me survive my childhood and led me through each chapter of my life provided glimpses of light along the way until I discovered and stopped fearing my own Divine light.
One of my most powerful awarenesses from the trail is coming to the realization; I’m not crazy and I’m not broken.
Childhood sexual abuse (all abuse) is real, horrific, and traumatizing but healing IS possible and each survivor is worthy of redemption. I am finally free, my soul is free. My heart is open, trusting, and joyful. I’m no longer afraid of my darkness and I love all parts of myself. This is not to say I don’t still have rough days, triggers, and thoughts of giving up. That’s the thing about The Wilderness Walk–I’ve learned how to tap into my own darkness, honor it, be with it, allow it, knowing that I have a choice in whether or not I succumb to the lie that darkness is all there is. The trail teaches us about the Divine law of allowing vs. disallowing. I can embrace the flow or fight with resistance.
For me, courage and faith will always be stronger than resistance, but this isn’t to say that I live in a constant state of euphoria. Now, I have taken my power back and I honor the complete truth of who I am.
I have finally unearthed my true self. On most days, It feels like amazing grace…I’m no longer afraid of my truth , my light or my darkness and I love all parts of myself. Each day I make the conscious decision to #walkitout trusting my Divine path, God’s infinite wisdom as well as my own.
Where are YOU on your path today?