When things happen in my life that may cause an inconvenience I never cry out “why me!” looking for pity. Instead, I recognizing that everything in my life is happening for me, I ask “why” for a very different reason. I ask because I know everything that happens that rattles or shakes you, stops you in your tracks and makes you pay attention is there to teach or show you something. I get excited when things get shaken up because I know that it is an opportunity to grow, learn and expand! I had one of these experiences recently.
My son and I took a road trip to Leavenworth for a family reunion. My son who is sixteen asked if he could drive. I said Yes. He drove the last 15 minutes to town. When we arrived we began to look for the first stop on our path; a river rafting company. Navigation led us to a dead end. Somehow we ended up Venturing down back roads. Worried we were going to late and having no luck, angst and frustration began to percolate. My son took the initiative deciding to take a right down an alley way. As soon as he turned the wheel and pushed on the gas, we heard crunch, and the car came to a stop. I couldn’t believe it! In a split second a wonderful day had been pulled out from under us like a rug. All my preparing and thoughts of our fun family trip had been tarnished. The bottom panel of the car was destroyed. I decided I wasn’t going to let this destroy our trip!
I took in a deep breath and thought to myself, that this was a wonderful gift I had been given. I wasn’t sure how it was going to pay off but, as always life was happening perfectly! I looked at my son and could see the distress in his eyes. I reassured him, “Don’t worry it isn’t a big deal. This happens to everyone we will figure it out and get through it.” That was when the miracles started. We were stuck! There was no way off of this curb. The curb was illegal and had been put in by the land owner himself and it had a sharp corner that was currently stuck between my wheel and the undercarriage of the car. We had no way out short of calling a tow truck. Then a truck rolls past us with a man and his son! They park and ask if we need any help. I responded with “Yes! If you can see any way out of this please let me know.” He came over to the car took a look and said “we need to drag the back end of the car away from the curb.” feeling optimistic, I said “Great! How do we do that?” He responded “we use a tractor.” and instructed his son to run over and grab his tractor. Moments later the car was free and I knew that the universe was watching out for me but, I still didn’t know why it had happened in the first place and now I was left with a badly damaged car.
When we returned home from the trip I hurried to get the car fixed calling different auto body shops and getting estimates. Replacing the part was as easy as removing two bolts but, first I had to find the part at a reasonable price. I called around to different junk yards until I hit the jackpot! I found the same piece with the same color for just $100! Now, I just needed to pick it up which meant another hour and half drive each way. This is where the story gets interesting, you see, the junkyard that had my part was in Graham WA. Why should that matter, you ask?
If I was to tell my life stories in a series of dreams, this would be where the scariest nightmares happened many years earlier. The ones that wake you in the middle of the night in a cold sweat and you feel relief that it was only just a dream. I felt like I was driving back into one of those nightmares only I was awake. As I got closer I felt my chest tightening and my heart rate picking up. I had driven on these roads thousands of times but it was so long ago. I tried but, I couldn’t remember being that person! She felt like a stranger. It was like I was remembering someone else’s story. As if somewhere along the way I had died and been reborn, someone completely new. I thought, I am supposed to be here. When I finally arrived at the junkyard I was only a few miles away from a home I had lived in with my son and his father when I was just 17. A home far away from everyone and everything I knew. I decided to go to the house. It wasn’t easy to remember how to get there. There were a series of winding, dirt roads. But, I did it. I found the house.
I felt like I was watching the movie of my life flash before my eyes. I stood at the end of this gravel driveway looking at the house I had seen in my mind so many times since I ran for my life. I had so many dreams like most 17 year-old’s do and in my childish innocence, I thought what we had was love. I didn’t really know what love was supposed to look like other than movies or T.V. But, we were well on our way. We had the house and the baby and I figured he just loved me too much, that is why he got so mad. I looked at the house and could feel her fear and her pain. She was so alone and broken. I could see her running to the neighbors trailer and hiding on the floor and more than anything I want to give her a hug and whisper in her ear, “Don’t worry, you are going to get through this. You are stronger than you think. I promise that one day you are going to know true love and what it feels like to be cherished and honored. Eventually all of your wounds are going to heal and you are going to remember that you deserve Love and Happiness! Oh, and one last thing, you will never forget where you came from because so many others who are still there stuck just like you were and they need you to shine the light and show them the way out.
I had forgiven him and, this took much longer and was far more important, I had forgiven myself. I needed to forgive myself for not standing up for myself, demanding to be loved and treated with kindness. I buried all of my feelings and walked on eggs shells, questioning my every thought, stumbling over my words, scared to say something wrong.
I am not telling a story of a good guy and a bad guy looking for sympathy. There may have been a time I did feel that way. I don’t deny enduring sexual, emotional and physical abuse. I choose to not be a victim. I choose to not view things from “why me?” of pity. I ask why. The abusers were my teachers. They revealed to me where I need to love myself more. Nobody can take away my power struggle is an opportunity to step into my power. When I found the strength to walk away, trembling with fear, a future unknown, believing the things he had said “I was unlovable, worthless…” It was an angel, an angel that man had given to me, that had come and reminded me of my power. When I looked into my son’s little eyes everyday I knew what real love was. I am eternally grateful for each and everyone of the people on my path who have mirrored to me my broken parts and given me the opportunity to fix them!
Thank you universe for this little trip down memory lane. It can be so powerful in a society trained to keep looking and moving forward to every once in a while stop and look back at where we have come from. You may discover you have come a long way!