I’m not here to validate your assumptions. I’m not here to help you “get” who I am or who I’ve become. I’m just… here. Taking up small space in one of our universe’s amazingly complex galaxies. And maybe…just maybe, I’m here to help you uncover who you are. I’m just a mirror. Hell, we all are. Maybe you like what you see and maybe you don’t.
Let me share why I went back to the truth after being out for nine years. It was for the same reason many others are afraid, or unable to leave, family. My family is a very strong and unique. The only way back into its nucleus was to play the game. I played the game and snuggled safely back into my family’s good graces only to leave once again, a mere two years after reinstatement. My intuition was right the first time: I cannot subscribe to something I don’t believe in wholeheartedly. Do I love and miss my family? Every goddamn day.
Almost daily the grief cycle takes hold, spinning me like a board game reel until I land on one of its seven stages, orbiting the wheel for the thousandth time. And living in the 603 again makes it extremely difficult to heal. Healing in the environment that made you sick- next to impossible. I find myself dwelling in dark places. Losing touch with my immediate family due to the barking orders of eleven writers/editors of a worldwide publishing organization, not only throws me into dark lairs, but at times, I’m floundering in galactic-sized gaping holes.
And I often tell myself, once a cycle is complete, “They’re doing what’s right for them, I’m doing what’s right for me and it’s okay. Breath, girl.”
My life, after leaving that second and final time in 2005, has been amazing. It is not shitty, nor have I ever felt that way. I’ve had some shitty times for sure. Haven’t we all? Mine just don’t define me. I sought therapy after my divorce and healed some. I attended personal growth seminars and healed a little bit more. I found a wonderful man that brought me into his family; complete with two snarky, brilliant kids, now young adults. I’ve had incredible life experiences I wouldn’t trade for the world… all outside those Kingdom Hall walls.
The first time my now 16-year-old stepson threw his arms around me, wrapping me in all the love his six-year-old body could carry, was a feeling I couldn’t top for the longest time. All the times my almost 20-year-old stepdaughter called or text, demanding to know when I’d be home, is another. Sometimes I’d tell her: “In two Punky Brewster episodes, I’ll be pulling into the driveway.” Taking them to Disney came with its challenges, but is still one of my favorite memories. And the time my husband brought me to Hawaii and wed me a second time, one year after our first wedding, just because he wanted to- fuckin’ worth it. It’s moments like these that are irreplaceable and I found them all on my own, far outside the boundaries of the truth.
Perhaps what those still in the truth see when they look at me, is a woman shifting through her own metamorphosis. If you’re just tuning in, I do seem dark, depressed and I’ll admit- a bit sarcastic and snarky. I can assure you even when I hit those lows, they’re better than any pseudo high I thought I felt in the truth.
I’ve always enjoyed the “Darth Vader” side of life, even as a wee, little Vader-in-training. Those seemingly uncomfortable lows are opportunities to grow; finding where the breaks are, and pushing light through, is pure magic. These are invaluable times of growth, continued healing, and ongoing alchemy at its finest.
Each person’s life experience is what shapes them, what they attach meaning to and what houses their own limiting beliefs; they’re what make us who we are, sculpting our perceptions. My understanding of all I hold inside, coupled with my own personal world theories, is shaping me into the shadowy-woman-uncovering-slivers-of-light-person writing this blog.
Beauty can be found hiding somewhere in that unsettled place; wedged between daring to move forward and wanting to run back to comfort. Remarkable growing pains can be discovered there, if you’re willing to look. That gray area is a place begging you to enjoy life’s bumpy, unforeseeable ride.
Honoring the darker places isn’t what make someone’s life shitty, pretending the shittiness isn’t there does. Those shadowy corners can help you, not only appreciate the best times of your life, but act as an aid to further understanding who you are at your very core. They come to life, poking you, reminding: “Hey, we have yet to heal here, take this band aid off and let this sucker breath.”
Living in the cracks between radiance and gloom is a place worth celebrating; somewhere between always and never, holds the key to the most authentic and innermost version of you. Give yourself permission to look inside those dark corners and find your light.
*There are many who wish to leave the Kingdom Hall, lacking the strength to do so. You may not be one of them and it’s ok; that’s your journey. Yet there are many and they only need people like me to share my story and blaze a trail. I’m here for you.*