This is the hardest blog I have ever had to write. However, hard does not influence my commitment to allowing myself the be seen and embrace the mystery of my world. In a 2017 interview, actress Viola Davis states; “This is who I am. “This is where I am from.“This is my mess.“This is what it means to belong to myself.”
This quote made an impact. It was simple and authentic and I could relate. But what hooked me was when she said, “belong to myself.” That quote rocked me like a craving that would not go away.
My last two months have been full of sorrow, pain, and uncertainty. I have been dreading September 10, 2018, for a long time. That is the day I turn the age my mother was when she was tragically killed by a car while running a mile from our home. Not to mention the anniversary of her death is less than two weeks before. I was almost 17, my brother was 13, and my sister was 9 when she was killed. As a mother of three children Charlie, Grace, and Joey. I could not imagine being taken away from them. Not to mention how it would tragically influence their life. My heart was breaking all over again-literally. My throat would narrow and shake daily as the slightest thing would bring up this loss buried deep inside me. It would not stop, everything made me cry.
Once, alone in my room, in one of the most tender moments of my life, I cried from the deepest part of my gut asking God to bring her back. A portion of me thought he really would. As you know, it didn’t happen. After that, I wanted nothing to do with a sense of sadness that deep ever again. I decided to close up and step into the “helper” role. I would hold another pain, so I do not have to be present to my own. I would and could do, do, and do to help those in need. On the outside, I looked healthy, resilient, and able. On the inside, I was a ghost, moving through life without awareness.
Here I was again, at 39 and have the sadness of that 17-year-old girl. I was uncertain, and everything inside felt tender. Was I going to continue this pattern I have done my whole life? Was I going to turn down my real experience? What I found is I was afraid to share what I was going through with friends, family, and mentors. I was worried they would not want me, judge that I should be way over this by now, or view me as emotionally unstable. The pain was so intense it was hard even to get my voice out.
Belonging to myself stayed with me as if some higher power breathed the felt sense of belonging into me that I could not forget it. This was my real experience, and I could not minimize it. As I teach, I began to notice and sense this emptiness and loss. I started listening to my inner wisdom we all have inside. I stopped wishing it away, “doing” it away and analyzing my emotions to surrender me from pain or adopt a solution. Sensing opened my heart to belong to myself.
As many of you know, I have a saying “it all gets to be here.” I practice that faithfully and believe I am a better person for it. Finally, all of me was here.
Enter into the most significant inquiry-your life. Be curious, not solving or judging. Best of all, there may be more mystery than you know. What do you sense about your life in your gut, heart, and movement of your breath. When do you feel easeful and when do you feel constricted? Trust those visceral feelings in your body.
The second thing I offer which naturally happened for me over time was acceptance. This is where I am at, and it’s ok. Sadness is my real experience, and it gets to be here. I was doing my best. Though the sadness remained, a feeling came in of peace. A broad yet quiet order. This peace was sitting with my tenderness and uncertainty. It was amazing and beautiful.
Can you accept yourself now? Not once things change. Can you recognize your uniqueness, your fears, your failures, and your light? You, my friend, are so worth love, so please be kind to yourself and start accepting. Open to the mystery of your life. When you can do this the ability to love is magnified because you already belong to yourself.
Lastly, the paradox of how to be for change AND hold acceptance for yourself? I choose to accept my authentic experience, and the doing is in the easefulness in which I will treat myself and others regardless of people's reactions. The last offering of my human experience is easefulness. The change is the love and compassion in my thoughts and actions. Today, I understand, I am doing the best I can.
Terri Lynn Clark 1957-1996
To all those who have lost and received.