It is funny how you can experience such joy and pride in one aspect of your life – like I did that day when three out of my four presentations went very well. And then there can be near chaos in another aspect of your life – like this woman trying to ease her way into my personal space.
What is more magnificent about life is finding people who want to walk the course with you – seeing your flaws but loving you nevertheless – for however long or short they are meant to be with you.
I felt truly blessed even amid the chaos and knew that one day, some day, clarity would come.
From The Ashes Arises Clarity
Sitting at my dining table, I stared blanking at the view from the large window of my country home. The words of Ecclesiastes (3: 1-8) came to me:
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
It was October 18, 2009 and it was my time to bloom. Clarity was arising.
Many years earlier, I came across an article that suggested that our lives evolve in 7-year cycles. Throughout each period, it claimed, we are developing in ways unique to that time in our growth. If this is true, I was then in the second year of the 7th level of my growth. This theory felt valid especially as I sat there re-evaluating my life. Putting everything together, the clarity that there are no accidents in life came fully to me.
Often, something occurs in our experiences and we view it as isolated and miss the point. That was almost what happened when I received that first ‘shout-out’ email from that woman. Her words distracted me from the essence of the experience and soon I was bogged down by the drama of her storming the doors of my life.
Tools And Lessons In Clarity
Writing brings clarity – at least it does for me. It is cathartic as it helps you focus on what could be gained in every experience.
When I write these articles (I know this might sound weird but here goes) they flow from me. I am not in control. Each peck made on the keyboard comes from deep inside me. That is how your inner compass, guide, God or Spirit works. If you let it, It chooses the words.
The first article in this series “Letting Go: Is It Too Late?” was centered on one woman yet my heart had two in its lenses as the words poured out. There were real lessons to be learned and as clarity formed them, I realised that:
- Parallels was one of the lessons. Reading the feedback from friends at its first posting – it was clear that many were on the same page but an equal amount were drawn into the drama – like I was a few years ago.
- Nothing is an accident – was another lesson.
This woman did not re-emerge and forcibly so simply because she wanted a piece of me. No. It was bigger than that. My body was also evoking memories of a devastating emotional trauma, forcing me to acknowledge the residues from my past and finish it.
A few days after rising from the vantage point of my kitchen window, with clarity driving beside me I made my way from Southern Alberta to Edmonton to celebrate my daughter’s 22nd birthday with her and friends. I was processing another email from the woman. She was responding to my last message in which I had written: “You are right, life is too short and so I will not waste it on situations that obviously will bring me more heartache.”
Passive-Aggressive People And Why You Shouldn’t Succumb
I had waited almost a week to send that. Much prayer, thought and more prayer went ahead of it. I gave plenty of thought to reconciliation and what it might mean for us. Before I could put my thoughts into words to her, she had written me to say:
“I tell you what. You can always carry the bag of anger with you for the rest of your life for it seems as if you have made up your mind to do so. I will not beg you anymore to communicate with me. I have done my part.”
The laughter came from my toes as I read her words. “Yes you have done enough,” I said to her picture. “I could not agree more.” What she had finally done with this last bit of passive-aggression was to close the door.
Over the few weeks that this exchange of messages was happening something else was going on inside of me. Years of pain, shame, feelings of abandonment and self-pity were rising in my psyche and threatening to take up more space in my heart. Her wanting to tell me things that she thought would get me to better understand why I never heard from her until now was dragging me into the shadow of embarrassment. Embarrassment about the circumstances of my birth, my mother, borderline poverty, the dark alleys that life had taken me down and my cries for help when I attempted suicide – twice.
Contemplating what to do, I turned to Clarity and asked her for help. She responded:
I am not a Christian, at least I do not label myself as such, but I still reach for the Bible at times. This passage helped me: “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” John 19:30
Benediction On Your Yesterday
That was my liberation. That was what clarity brought me. That was how I was able to let go.
- I was finished with the shame and the blame.
- I was finished with asking why and instead simply said why not?
- I fought a good fight – with the demons of my past – and I was finished.
So, I prayed:
I love you – my dear aunt and my dear friend. I always will love you both – but I am finished.
Yes, it was my long-deceased father’s sister who had emailed me. I have not seen or heard from her or any other member of his side of the family in over 30 years. After been hooked up with a few of them through Facebook, she wrote to me once. The rest of the story you now know.
Her later emails opened up wounds over which scabs had hardened but the underbelly were still somewhat raw. If for nothing else, I am extremely grateful to my aunt for her timing and her unintentional poking at those wounds. I am grateful to her for the clarity her attempts to force her way back into my life brought. She helped me heal at deeper levels. As I responded to her, it became clear to me that she (and by extension my father’s family) were not the only wounds that a salve had formed a scab over. It was a parallel to other still oozing sores.
You do not love someone or yearn for a sense of belonging for many years and then turn the switch off overnight. I finally got that after 30+ years of wishing, praying and hoping that my father’s family would reach out to me. I got that after three years of being rudely awakened in the middle of the night by memories.
I also got that I was finished.
As we sat in the restaurant later that evening celebrating my daughter’s 22nd birthday, as two pianists played and sung “Happy Birthday” to her, it felt like they were singing it for me too. Clarity taught me how to let go and I was finally stepping into my life – 44 years after my birth.
Another October, another Thanksgiving Day (2015) and this remains true, even more so. For me, blood is not thicker than water. The love of friends who never left my side; the love of my daughter whose eyes no longer hold fear that all is not well with her Mommy (she still calls me that) and now the love of my granddaughter who bursts into laughter of pure joy when she hears my voice over the telephone. That is my family and my life.
This is the final installment in a 3-part short story series on Letting Go. You can read the introduction, Part 1 and Part 2 to catch up and understand the steps between the lines of how you too can get clarity and free yourself from emotional baggage and people who will keep you locked in pain and suffering.
Do subscribe to receive a daily update email of our posts on a variety of topics affecting the lives of women and those who love them around the world.