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I Just Want My Old Life Back ...

This photo: Shhhhh ... She's Fixing the World. My first thought when I saw this was, 'I hope she begins by fixing herself."

Let me just begin this heart-felt message by saying I hear the phrase, "I just want my old life back" nearly every time I speak to someone about their grief & losses in life. I'll be brutally honest in saying there have been times in my own life that I have prayed to God screaming the very same words, "God!! I just want my old life back." I felt as though my plea had fallen on deaf ears and my life was now much like a 5-thousand piece jigsaw puzzle scattered before me. I just didn't know where to start to begin because I didn't even have the box top to allow me to see where the pieces were supposed to fit.

Have you ever felt that way? I am certain you have and you may still be searching for those very pieces to try and make it all make some sort of sense. Another plea I hear people say is, "Why is this happening to me?" This is one of the hardest questions to discover the answer in the beginning of any kind of traumatic event life can throw at us. Nothing makes sense anymore, and we once again find ourselves at that jumbled up puzzle setting, searching for yet another piece. Personally speaking, I have come to see that in order to fill in those pieces, I have to start searching for those border pieces/ You know, the pieces with the flat edges and corner pieces. Now I have something to work with, and to start the process of filling in those jumbled up, multi colored jigsaw pieces.

I discovered that it was harder to find the image of what this jumbled up mess was going to create and when I exhausted myself in the search for the pieces to fit, I realized I couldn't do this myself. It was much easier to have an extra set of eyes to help me work through the mess that was lying before me. The help that came to assist me in this endless sea of puzzle pieces came from a wide assortment of people that somehow, our paths crossed, and they simply reached out to say, "Hey, how can I help and support you through this?"

I have to be brutally honest now and confess that when these offers first approached me, I was too proud to ask for their help, much less receive their help, support and encouragement. You know the type ... The tough girl who could handle life all on her own. The one who helped others, and didn't see that she was the one struggling. The one who claims, "I got this ... I can handle this ... all on my own." Yea, THAT Girl. That was the old me. I wouldn't want her back now if my life depended on it to be honest.

As I search for more pieces, I discovered that it was my own pride that was standing in the way of finding the other pieces. It's hard to explain, but once I looked at my own pride, and I mean really looked deeply at it, the image of what was inside of my own heart made me sick. I saw holding hands with my pride a lot of arrogance, self-sufficiency, and more importantly, I saw the lies about myself and the inner-vows I had made ... It was my own orphan spirit crying. I knew where it came from and I knew who put it there. The next pieces began to reveal themselves even more quickly.

I sorted through some pieces that looked like tree roots. I quickly came across bitterness, unforgiveness, and they were all linked to my abandonement I had carried since birth. I suddenly realized I had a heart problem that was linked to my mental and physical health. I literally began to experience the desperation to find a good shovel in order to dig deeper and faster to find the next root. I exhausted myself at this point. The next roots were buried so deep, I couldn't find them, much less identify them.

I plunged through despite the pain, and finally found more roots of unforgivness, bitterness was wedged and entangled with the roots of unforgiveness. I was horrified to see this as roots of anger and rage began to reveal themselves. The saddest part is how those roots had spilled over onto the people I loved the most. Yes, the very people who saw those ugly roots, and how I had allowed those roots to spill over onto them. I felt my heart of stone begin to crumble at this point. I actually felt as though I was undergoing some sort of heart transplant, and I was side awake throughout the entire process.

What kind of help was I actually receiving at this point? I mean seriously, I was mad at God and I didn't need his interference in my life. I viewed him as abusive and abandoning. I mean that is was how I viewed my earthly father ... Then that 'Ah-Ha" moment hit as I saw the saw come out and begin to cut through those deep roots of what would most likely be my own death. People were now in front of me, helping me, sorting through my entire life of pain, loss, sadness and disappointment. I was in awe to see what was choking, and hardening my own heart. I was stunned at what/who put it there. I was saddened to see the guilt, shame that I wa carrying that truly wasn't mine to carry.

All those pieces were finally revealing an image. It looked nothing like my so called Old Life. As I looked again, the pieces were tranforming into something much better than what was now behind me. I saw how afixiated I was to my hurtful past. It was like a bondage holding me back so I couldn't move forward. An old comfort zone that I didn't know how to leave, much less have a roadmap to lead me out of familiar.

I just needed to cross paths with other who had traveled this road before me. They knew the pitfalls, they filled me with wisdom, they guided me to to valley of forgiveness, and some were like warring angels who prayed intermittent prayer. Yes, there were some who specialized in deliverence and recognized the inner demons we all have to battle at some point in this life.

Grief and loss - Powerful partners. They can be the root of a dark valley, and lead us into depression, loneliness, and keep us awake and terrorize us with anxiety about an uncertain future. They lead us into a world of addiction as we try to escape their claws of torment. I have see them lead people into witchcraft using Tarot cards, horoscopes as they seek out the darkness to find their way to the light. They just find more darkness, sadly. The power of fear itself is bondage. I had to choose to face my fear or allow myself to remain shackled.

I faced those demons of fear, who lied and hissed inside of my head that I just wanted my old life back. Now the pieces were in front of me. Every single piece reveal something dark, powerful and ugly that held me back from what was ahead of me. I was exhausted from looking behind me. There was so many beautiful things back there, and yet so many monsters in my closet. I was finding my inner healing. No bandaide could fix or heal as this was inner work that needed to be done. I was finally coming out of a dark wilderness and exhausted from trying to find my way out on my own. My upside down world was beginning to take some shape.

I discovered that there are so many good people right in front of me, reaching out to this very day to help me along the way. The biggest key part of this was realizing I had to be ready for the help. Grief and loss became so painful, that instead of numbing that pain, I was ready to take a long, deep look at it all. I had become exhausted from hauling it around everywhere I went, that pain went with me. I just didn't know where to put it. Until now.

Maybe you are those very crossroads of pleading that you want your old life back. Maybe the trauma has you in a head lock and you can't seem to get away from it. That trauma is the cause of you cries today. That trauma is the stronghold in your life and you just want it to go away. I can testify that until you face that trauma head on, you will remain paralyzed by it.

I can testify that I have witnessed individuals regain their ability to walk, who were told by medical professionals they wouldn't walk again. I can testify that people who have been bound to mind altering prescibed medications got off of them - set free from those bondages. I can testify that people with addictions to alcohol/ drugs have been recovered once they did the work and revealed the source of the pain they so desperately tried to escape. Grief and loss can either empower you, or overpower you. You are the only person who truly knows when you're ready ... or not.

So I will close by saying, yes ... I once cried out and screamed, "I just want my old life back!" Now, not so much. I took the beautiful parts of what is behind me, those sweet and precious moments, but discovering what was at the roots of my pain revealed to me that I have a trail to blaze. Grief is a spiritual process. Those powerful emotions, and your own self-talk can reveal so much if you only listen. Some cannot see the spiritual battle that is currently taking place. I will be honest in saying if I didn't go through my own inner healing, I most likely wouldn't be able to see it either.

Healing is a choice. It is a personal choice. It is YOUR Choice. You can ask anyone who has ever sat with me that made the choice to heal - I ALWAYS ask them before we even begin; "Do You Want to be Well?"

There is a whole new and exciting landscape ahead of you. What you yearn for may not be what's ahead of you. Are you willing to pick up those broken pieces, that the past has before you and begin to put in place a whole new way of life? Is there a dream, a calling, and purpose you long to fulfill? Do you have what it takes to reach that longing that is screaming to move forward? Only you know the answers. Only you know when you're ready. Most of us sit and scratch our heads and see a lot of confusion about living in a world we simply don't understand anymore. I have my own moments as well.

I just know that I see a hurting world in front of me. I see a lot of hurting children who will grow up as hurting adults. I know I can now see that picture unfold as I step into my new future and be a part of the change I would like to see this world receive. Healing. We all have gifts to offer. Do you have the gift of teaching? Teach. Do you have the gift of music? Play. Do you have the gift of mentoring? Mentor. Do you have the gift of dance? Dance. You feel the stirring that something is inside of you and it wants to shoot forth. It may be buried under some deep, dark roots. I tapped into my gift, but had to do a lot of hard and painful digging to get to that gift.

My gift is heaing. It involves a lot revealing. Some of the revelation is painful to look at first, but that is the very pain that needs to be healed. Maybe I need to reword that part after all. Maybe my gift is revealing. Maybe they hold hands with healing. All I know for certain is we cannot heal what we don't acknowledge. I hope that makes sense.

My own inner trauma revealed to me the power to stay stuck or make the choice to be set free in order to create something differnt, something better, and something more. Sit down with your trauma. Set a plate at the dinner table and talk to your loss. Fear, Loss and Change are great teachers. If you choose to embrace them for the lessons they came to teach us about life, living and they make room for faith, hope and love.

As always, from my heart to yours.


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