Beauty in the Breaking

I just returned home a few days ago from spending four days at my sister’s house in Michigan. She and her husband purchased the house after many years of living in a very nice suburb of Grand Rapids. My sister had wanted to downsize to a smaller house now that her kids are grown, and they finally got a wonderful house on Campbell Lake.

Last month, I had the experience of an emotional break due to years of pushing ahead and trying not to feel the pain that had been building up inside of me since my daughter’s passing. While the episode was difficult and painful, a lot of good came from it. I finally realized that I need to stop and listen to my own inner self. I realized that I had been neglecting my own needs in an attempt to look strong to others and to myself. I also discovered that I had not communicated just how much I was suffering to those closest to me – not my husband, not my family – not even myself. The painful crash was my spirit’s way of calling for help. So, I began to seek help for myself for the first time in a long time. And, it’s been wonderful. I can’t tell you just how joyful and freeing it is to actually be able to express my truth to those I love and to have them listen. This journey toward healing is truly a joyful one.

The trip to visit my sister was part of my healing. I needed to just be somewhere without any expectations for awhile. I needed to be surrounded by love, and beauty and peace.

I took the train to Grand Rapids and arrived late on a Monday evening. The next day, my sister had to babysit two adorable kids. One of her neighbors had a farm and invited us to come to pet her two horses and get fresh eggs from her chickens. Right away, I knew that God had designed this special time for me. Since Amber’s death, I had strongly felt that I would find healing in the company of horses. I have always loved them. Touching them is something that speaks to my soul. Not only that, but I got to be around children. I love being around children. They really bring healing and light with their innocence and fresh ways of seeing the world.

Being with my sisters and mom was also wonderful. We were able to share honestly, and lovingly. I have never felt closer to them than I do now, after this time together. I know that I am loved and cherished. I have experienced the love of God through them.

As the weight of the false need to please other people, to jump through hoops to prove that I’m good and worthy to others and to myself, and to save everyone but myself, was lifted, life started to look brighter than it has ever looked. It’s as if I’ve been wearing dark glasses and I’ve now taken them off. And, that’s why I have begun to see beauty in places I never did before. I sort of laugh a little at myself because one of the favorite things that happened at the lake was the time I spent communing with minnows. You read that right – minnows. Something about them spoke to me for the first time in my life. I’d always just sort of ignored them before. But now, I started watching them and hoping they would come up to me. While I used to try to avoid having them nibble my toes, this time, I invited it. It took a long time of me sitting mostly still in the water before they would get close enough to touch me, fleetingly. I loved their tiny bodies, eyes and fins. They darted around so quickly. Their touch felt like kisses from angels. I have been very puzzled at my reaction to these unobtrusive, almost invisible creatures for a few days. But, looking back, thinking, I see that its a symptom of my healing. I am noticing the little things again. I am appreciating the small joys life brings and I feel abundantly blessed.

I still have a lot of work to do until I can overcome the weight of years of pain, trauma and neglect. I am learning though, and I feel ready finally for this journey. Yes, I have been broken. But, you know what? These cracks, as I’ve heard said many times, is how the light gets out. I hope that all of the healing light I’m receiving can spill out in beauty from my life and bless other people who need healing too. We all need each other, cracks and all.

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