"The wave I thought I wasn't ready for was the one that carried me the furthest."
~ Mirna Valerio
I recently had the privilege of driving Mirna while she was in Portland for the Hood to Coast race. Mirna is a professional athlete who defies the norm...she carries a few extra pounds on her. If you ever need to hear a success story to inspire you, look her up. While we spoke, she shared with me this brilliant quote (she received this epiphany while learning to surf). It spoke to me instantly and deeply.
Surviving domestic violence is like this wave. Healing from trauma is definitely like this wave. Embarking on the spiritual awakening/ascension/authenticity/soul journeys are most certainly like this wave. Healing from my life experiences has meant that I had to make myself available to be completely cut open and gutted. I never knew healing would be so painful. I never knew finding myself, my real self, would be so gut-wrenching. But it has been. The wave of healing has carried me the furthest.
My spiritual awakening journey began almost 30 years ago when I started to hear the universe speak to me in radio ads: "Do what you love and the money will follow." I was a legal secretary at the time. It was a job a fell into at age 18 but I knew it wasn't what I truly wanted to do. I didn't know what I truly wanted to do. When I kept hearing this ad again and again, I was ready to seek and find. Little did I know what lie between that time and now, almost 30 years later. What a road I've traveled!
Thirty years is a lot of time to cover in a blog post so I'll give you the condensed version. Out of nowhere, I was let go from my job as a legal secretary. The other secretaries decided they didn't like me anymore and complained incessantly until my boss couldn't take the pressure anymore. I didn't do anything wrong. In fact, I did everything right. This eventually led to homelessness and living out of my vehicle. I'd lost all of my possessions. I was stripped of my life as I knew it. The shirt on my back wasn't even my own.
Then, in the midst of severe depression from not knowing what in the hell was happening to me, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, at age 32. As I awoke in the dark hours of the early morning, the word "mammogram" was stretched out over the vastness of my mind. By this time I had learned to listen to the abundance of divine guidance I was receiving on this very difficult journey of mine; so, I obeyed. I decided to not go the traditional route of going through a doctor to get a mammogram because I thought considering my age and a message in a dream, I would have been denied the referral. I went straight to the mammographer (is that a word?). Within a few days, they were in contact with me. I tried to dodge their calls because I didn't take this seriously. They eventually tracked me down and informed me that I, indeed, had breast cancer. There are some interesting mini stories in here that I will save for another time.
Then, two weeks after finishing with radiation treatments, I met the father of my four children, the man who I would, 20 years later, send to prison because I made the right choice of calling 911. I was completely blindsided and unprepared for the journey of not only surviving domestic violence but also the ensuing trauma. I'd never known the extent of such fear, of such pain, of such sorrow and grief and loss. The trauma was severe; so severe I was unable to work for 18 months, and when I did begin to work it was minimal.
In the four years since calling 911, I've journeyed through trauma; fear; poverty; trying to save my home from foreclosure which, due the court system, mediation, and his vindictive involvement, inevitably was sold behind my back; eviction; homelessness (again); all while trying to keep my four children's lives as normal as possible. I will be honest...surviving domestic violence has been nothing short of hell. Mirna's quote says it all, though. I may not have thought I was ready for it, but when life says it's time, it's time. Somewhere from the depths of our souls, we summon the fortitude and strength to carry us beyond our hell. I've been a massage therapist specializing in emotional healing for 20 years, and I've always said..."We have to go through the mud and the muck to get to the good stuff." The good stuff is....freedom. I'm closer to bliss than ever before. The one thing my life and all the divine guidance I've received has not only introduced to me but has taught me and that is to.....trust. Trust is not about trusting something or someone outside of us. It's about trusting the universe, trusting God. And because we are one with these divine entities, it's about trusting ourselves.
The thing about being a spiritual being having a human existence is that sometimes things don't make sense in our human minds. We are spiritual beings and when we forget this about ourselves, life happens so that we are again reminded of who we really are. As spiritual beings, we are to follow our hearts and to trust. But we can't do this if we are filled with fear, worry and doubt.
Trauma. Life is filled with trauma. The effects of trauma prevent us from being our true, soul self. It prevents us from connecting with our divinity. My life has been filled with trauma since in utero. I was born into an environment of domestic violence, addiction, depression and poverty. At age 8, my mother left my father and moved her and us five kids to a nearby state to be with her family. By age 9 or 10 and until age 16, I was repeatedly molested and raped by an adult male family member. At age 16, a stranger attempted to rape me and then abducted me (I was able to get free). At around age 30, I was a witness to a double homicide that occurred in the apartment across from me where I had to enter to rescue a 3-year-old girl who just saw her mommy and her boyfriend murdered on Christmas Eve. At age 31-ish is when my spiritual awakening began that I wrote about above. It's been a very long, rough road...almost 30 years.
The point of this is that trauma occurs not only from a single, horrific event (this is called 'acute' trauma). 'Chronic' trauma occurs from repeated, long-term exposure to stress. Not only do we take on trauma in utero, its effects are also passed down generationally from our ancestors.
Trauma slows downs our vibration. Because everything is energy and energy vibrates, we too vibrate. Our cells vibrate. Our thoughts and our emotions vibrate. The effects of trauma changes our natural state of being...that of being spiritual....so that we lose our connection to our divinity. Connecting to our divinity is achieved by raising our vibration. Raising our vibration is achieved by expanding our consciousness into love. By transforming the effects of trauma, we transform our connection to divinity; we transform from being a human being having a spiritual existence or being a spiritual being having a human existence. The darkness and density of the effects of trauma and hardships are transformed to who we truly are, beings of light and higher vibration.
Healing is a choice, and it's a choice I made for myself as I had a lot to heal from. If I had one thing to say about the difference I feel as a result of healing, it would be this....I feel ALIVE! I feel normal. I feel love. I am love. I am.
Did I ever find what it is that I love to do? Yes. I love being happy. I love sharing my light with others. I love helping people. I love writing. I love my transformative bodywork. I love driving Uber. I love living.