Almost a year ago I met with friends in Columbus for dinner. We gathered to celebrate my up-coming relocation to the mountains of North Carolina. I had only lived in central Ohio. I did not even go away for college.
As we ate our vegan dishes, one friend asked me, “What are you looking forward to the most?” I sat silently for a moment. “I’m looking forward to uncoiling.” A great deal had happened in my life in my recent past, long ago past, all imbued with a chronic backdrop of not ever quite feeling safe. Having endured many traumas and seemingly endless violations of my boundaries, I really didn’t know what it could be like to live where there was a void of triggers-people, places, experiences, reminders, and memories.
Thankfully, I dedicated half of my life to many forms of healing modalities. I continue this meaningful work and probably will for a lifetime. My inner world has been coming alive for years as a safe haven, an expanded place of sacred discoveries, clutter clearings, and reconnections to pieces of goodness that I had kept stored away. Like balls of twine, my nervous system continues to be blessed to uncoil in the quiet beauty of the mountains.
Now I feel like I’m finally reveling in what I’ve heard others discover when they move away and geographically break free from their past, their history, and possibly all the painful reminders everywhere. Over the last 11 months, I have unpacked experiences that I had shelved or simply didn’t have time or space to examine.
When my former mother-in-law passed away two months ago, I finally fully grieved the loss of that entire family. Their choice to cut ties with me felt like another betrayal and abandonment. I love them all to this day. I may never understand in my mind the choice they made, but my heart simply had to grieve, to flow through the actual hurt this was. I had to learn to brave the wilderness of isolation in the wake of their rejection. I keep bringing myself back to recognizing that home is in my soul.
I finally cut the noose of unworthiness and toxic shame that had suffocated me for years. I found a richer voice of truth and a renewed ability to breathe from my diaphragm. A deeper dive into my long-ago difficult past to reclaim the treasures of my lost childhood continues to be rewarding and liberating. A couple days ago I could actually feel and “see” all my inner children joyfully rushing towards my grown-up self for a great big bear hug. They now feel more convinced of their safety and belonging. I get to let them know we’re turning all that hard stuff they endured into prose, poetry, and hilarious comedy that makes many people laugh.
Hearing the birds singing as I sit in my office with three walls of windows that face many trees, leaves, blossoms, and rolling mountains, I feel gratitude, peace, a deep sense of contentment, trust, and an unshakeable knowing that my life will not ever be what it was. Receiving the abundant love that fills my life now allows me to continue to give of myself generously in love and service. I am becoming in my life what I choose to experience in our world. This lives as a quiet triumph, the whispering, pleading mantras of all my inner children finally answered.