When my husband and I were neck deep in the dissolution of our marriage, I remember telling him how weak I felt for having allowed him to take advantage of my patience, trust and forgiveness over our many years together. I was struggling with how I had managed to let myself get to a place of feeling so small and unseen and how I had participated in the dynamic we had developed between us . As an intelligent and confident woman, it seemed unbelievable to me that I could have been so blind to what was going on right in front of me, never mind allow it and co-create it. To me, it was a sign of weakness that I couldn't seem to stand up for myself and have my voice heard and respected.
Do you know what his reply was? He told me how strong I had been to have put up with everything for such a long time! What I saw as my weakness, he saw as my strength. From his perspective, my strength lay in the fact that I was so trusting, patient and forgiving.
What helped me to really see and appreciate the place I had gotten myself to, came not from his view of my strength, however. The change came when I started, tentatively at first, to share parts of my story with people outside of my marriage. This was a HUGE place of vulnerability for me. I'm a private person and to share my experiences with others was extremely challenging for me. What would other's think about me when they heard my story? Would they judge me harshly? Would they even believe me, as the truth of what had been happening for so many years was in such sharp contrast to what friends and family thought they knew about our relationship?
And most importantly, would they help me? Because I knew I wouldn't be able to navigate this on my own. I needed help, in many areas. Imagine my surprise when, instead of judgment and criticism, I found recognition, support and, yes, help. But to get there I had to be vulnerable; I had to allow others into my life – I had to be courageous enough to find my voice and ask for what I needed.
My healing journey coincided with my opening and building my healing business. The synchronicity of this is not lost on me. As clients came to me with their emotional wounds, uncertainties and unrealized dreams, I witnessed such amazing courage and vulnerability. Their healing became my healing and their courage became my courage.
I'm still a private person and at the same time, I know how valuable a healing tool vulnerability is. When I wrote The Heart's Journey: Healing Hearts Oracle Cards and Guidebook and created The Healing Hearts Journal, I did it from my own heart's journey. In the guidebook, I share my heart's healing story and I'll be completely honest – I was terrified to be so public with it! But I came to realize that my story of healing could be an inspiration for others and that, in fact, I didn't have the right to call myself a Healer and not share my story.
Anytime you take a risk, any time you take a bigger step out into the world, any time your stomach ties itself into knots as you face the unknown but you do it anyway, you are connecting to your courageous self. I want to share with you my favourite quote on courage. These words from Anais Nin were pivotal to my healing journey:
"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
I know how courageous you are. I know what it feels like when you reach out for help and are vulnerable in that moment; to invite someone else to have an opinion about your story and to trust that they can and will be able to help. It takes an enormous amount of courage to be vulnerable. Your courage, and vulnerability, inspire me in ways you can only imagine! Be courageous!