In 2019 I cried many painful tears of loss, shame and injustice. It was the hardest time in my life but also a season I now look back on with gratitude. My year in the valley held many profound lessons.
More tears fell from my eyes and down my cheeks in those 12 months than in my entire 49 years before. I never realized I had so many sobs inside of me to express. They were hot tears. Cleansing tears. Renewing tears.
Early in childhood, I was taught to believe that emotions were to be held in and not expressed. Well I certainly made up for all of my suppressed feelings.
This was my year of pain and suffering in the dark valley and I deeply thank you for coming with me on this journey.
Life before entering the valley of suffering was spent climbing my first mountain.
Finding love, raising children, building a career and hopefully finding brief moments of happiness along the way.
This was the journey I embarked on all in the pursuit of self.
I didn’t want to be lonely. I desired to be a mother. Climbing the corporate ladder in thin places was just what you did to get ahead right?
And so, for 30 years I climbed my first mountain.
Somewhere along the trail, the rocks under my feet started to get slippery.
I was married but still felt lonely. My children grew and needed me less and less. My career was no longer my passion but a drudgery to be endured.
Fleeting moments of sunshine seemed to forever be behind thick, dark clouds. Deep down I knew there was a piece of me that wasn’t getting fed and this piece was getting hungrier and hungrier.
I asked myself questions at the top of the mountain. Did I take a wrong turn somewhere along the path? Where were the rewards I thought materialized at the highest peaks? Why was climbing down the backside of this flipping mountain so much harder than the climb up?
The disappointment and despair at the top of the mountain was surprising to me and not at all what I expected.
Then suddenly the rocks under my feet started to crumble. I fell hard from the mountain into the wild, dark valley below with a shocking and painful thud.
My memory fades a bit here. I do remember it was dark and I was terrified. My entire life was turned upside down. It shattered into a thousand broken pieces at the bottom of my mountain.
Eventually, slowly I got up. I was badly battered. Some of my gaping and jagged wounds were bleeding openly…” these will scar for sure…” I thought to myself.
I sustained other injuries that only showed up later as big, ugly blue and purple bruises. I was injured but still alive. I honestly didn’t know if I was relieved or not.
My life on my first mountain fell away and the dark valley of suffering welcomed me in.
There was no going back to my first mountain.
Thank you for reading this post and allowing me to share a small piece of my heart with you.
As a human living on this earth, you will have experienced pain and suffering in different ways and degrees and I honour those broken places in you.
I see you. I feel you. I want to draw closer to you. Your cracks are beautiful as they let the golden white light that powers our universe shine through your broken places.
Our pain and suffering becomes a masterpiece like a beautiful stained glass window or Kintsugi the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending it with gold.
My prayer for you and for me is that we learn and expand in positive ways from these painful times with a deep knowing that our story is not over and that the best is yet to come.
I invite you to read part two in my personal journey called "Lessons From the Valley" on our Freedom Living page.
Take good care my friends and if you need me I am already there.
Find your freedom.
Live your life.