I’ve always believed that life is a journey. I find that no matter what choices we make we always end up exactly where we belong. It’s a belief that has enabled me to trust in a plan that is greater than my understanding. It’s with this in mind that I am able to find compassion for myself and ultimately for others.
My move back to Minnesota has been filled with such beauty, love, inspiration, and healing. There was a part of me that called me back to the land of 10,000 lakes. I heard the whisper about 6 years ago yet it took me reaching a place of unknown and heart-brokenness to fully surrender to the call. I look back now and wonder why I was so resistant. What was I so scared of that I ran in so many other directions?
I know that answer today. I knew that my soul wanted to return to the place where it first entered this world. I just didn’t know or trust that I could handle it. It scared me to discover what my soul so wanted me to know. So I had many adventures in those 6 years and I don’t regret any of them. I met incredible people, loved deeply, found pieces of myself along the way but none of it was the true gift my soul wanted to give me.
It’s a long story as it’s the story of my life. All the years I’ve been alive and each unique year I walked and lived on this Earth. When I returned to Minnesota last fall (my favorite time of year) I needed health care so I applied for Minnesota Care and I got it! That was the first miracle! So I prayed that I would find a counselor who would help me explore myself in a safe way. (There’s a story there too but I’ll save that for later.)
I was gifted the perfect person and experience. I’ve been able to slow down, listen to myself (all the little ones within me) and start to feel the feelings I never allowed myself to feel. It just wasn’t safe. I needed to survive so I acknowledged the story of my life and felt the safe parts but never the parts that scared me. And you know what I discovered? I discovered it’s the unfelt parts, the denied parts of me that rule my life, developed my persona and directed my actions.
Now I’m not saying that all of it was bad, on the contrary, my life has been filled with beauty, love, abundance, joy, and sweetness! But I always wondered what fueled it and how did it all come to be. What I’m recognizing is that my inner children (the me’s that lived those experiences of my past) have so much to teach me. They all want to be heard but more than that, they want to be felt.
My 13-year-old Self:
That tender age of 13 is full of wisdom, keys to my story, and a deep desire to create from a place of empowerment and wisdom. So I’m going to share this story but it will be different this time because for the first time I’ve been able to feel my emotions and in that I have experienced a healing that is hard to describe.
So I was 13-years-old living in Isanti Minnesota with my family. I loved my small town, my sweet friends and the freedom to explore the woods, lakes, and nature. It was also a time in my life that caused me to shut down, to avoid, and to protect myself.
My parents decided to homeschool me for my 7th grade. The year before I was sent to a private, very small, Christian school so I was already out of the mainstream system and was disconnected from my friends. We had changed churches as well so I had lost my connection with most of my childhood friends. My neighbors were still around but I barely saw them. So that fall of my 7th grade, I stayed home with my mother. They had ordered all the textbooks and somehow I was going to learn what I needed.
In the beginning, I didn’t mind it so much. But as time went by I started to become depressed. The isolation and the constant contact with my mother started to overwhelm me. I was stressed and I was scared I’d fall behind and not be able to return to regular school. Unfortunately, my mother had her own issues – self-worth, self-esteem, and doubt. I think it all got to her too because she had a breakdown. She abandoned me and my family for two weeks. She got up one morning and left and didn’t come back. No one told me where she went and I was expected to keep my schooling going. So, I was left alone with my dog Dudley to do my lessons, prepare a report and keep going.
And you know what? I did. I kept going. I studied. I was a good girl. I was responsible. I learned that I needed to be independent, self-reliant, strong, determined, and a “do-er”. These qualities became my foundation of how I would live my life for the next 30 years. I believe that I always had these qualities within me and they would eventually be used to help shape my decisions but this 13-year-old experience formed my belief that I was not safe or loved so I had to be independent, not trust or count on anyone or I would die.
My 13-year-old self felt scared, overwhelmed, sad, confused, angry, resentful, and utterly lost! The depression grew. I became a shadow. I didn’t want to be seen so I gained 50 pounds that year. I started my menses and my hormones were all over the place. I didn’t have friends to share with and all I wanted was to survive this year of torture so I could return to public school and try to move on.
I remember sitting at dinner one night and making the announcement that I was returning to public school for 8th grade. I had had enough and I wasn’t going to put through another year of fear.
The part that still gets me today is how could no one see my pain, my fear, and my suffering? Didn’t anyone notice the changes in my expression or in my physical body? I’ve sat with these questions for the past week and I what I realized is that I am very good at putting out what other people want to see. I am one of the greatest actors that have ever lived! Seriously, I’m an empath so I can feel others and it was easy for me to project out that “all is good” and “I’m fine.” So as much as I wish someone would have saved me, I never really allowed anyone to see my pain and fear.
This one year of my life so significantly shaped my life. I feel so grateful that I have the courage to listen to her and hold her in love. I don’t think she took a breath that entire year and for the past 30 years, she’d been holding her breath. I am happy to share that she is breathing now. She’s weak and tired but she’s breathing.
Every day I spend a little time with her to let her know that she is seen and that I love her. She’s such a wise and strong part of who I am. She lived through so much at such a tender young age. I am completely in love with her and in awe of her desire to live!
This work of self-discovery is full of ups and downs. I can see why I resisted it for so many years. It’s not that I haven’t done personal work, I have but not like this. This is simply an allowance to hear and feel what I’ve always heard and felt! I’m finally feeling like it’s safe to be seen. I’m learning that I don’t have to be so self-reliant. I’m learning that there is a part of me that desires to be held, helped, and heard.
I share this with you to let you know that you are not alone. That there is someone who wants to hear your truth and hold you in love. It might be someone else which is wonderful but when you slow down you’ll discover that it’s you!