The wind is howling outside, but indoors, all is quiet and still.
I’ve been battling a flu this week, knocked flat one moment, wobbly but upright the next. I’m thankful for our peaceful little house where I can rest and recover, and make this down time something good.
Several years ago, my counselor encouraged me to write letters to those who had harmed me. I didn’t need to send them, just write them and get the feelings out so they wouldn’t continue to cause damage within. It was an excellent idea, but at the time I couldn’t. I didn’t have the words to capture what I felt and thought, I could only feel the pain, grief, and betrayal. So I set the idea aside, and trusted that when the time was right, I’d be ready.
Last week a trusted friend suggested that maybe now was the time to sit down and write those letters. That the thoughts and feelings related to those past wrongs were ready to come out, ready to be felt, expressed, and released.
So I did.
I waited until Bear was in bed, for these things require solitude, and then I started with the hardest person. The one whose name alone set my stomach churning and head pounding. And I started to write. And write. And write.
Previously I couldn’t get much past “To…”, but this time was different, the words flowed strong and sure, clear and succinct, with none of the hesitancy and downplaying and excusing that had characterized my first efforts.
And as the words came out, they dislodged emotions that had been festering for a long time, gut-wrenching sobs that shook me. And I let them come. The time for suppressing and pretense is long gone. I know now that for wounds to heal, the crap has to come out, fully and completely, until the wound is scrubbed clean and ready to heal. So they came, shuddering and gasping, until they were done. The crying stopped, my breathing slowed, and the heaviness that has been in my gut for decades was gone.
The next day I wrote another, and another and another. After each one, Bear would come and sit with me, holding my hand as I read them aloud, grinning so big after each one because he could see the freedom and strength they brought me.
“You’ve turned a corner, babe. They don’t have power over you anymore. You’ve taken it back.”
What lovely, empowering, healing words.
I’m exhausted now, but in the best possible way. My spirit is light, my mind at rest, and life feels full of hope.
As I rest now, I’m reminded that when it comes to healing, there are very few road maps and no timetables. We can get the counseling, address the issues, surround ourselves with good, loving people, but until the body is ready, it’s not ready. I’m learning anew to have patience with myself, and make sure I extend it to others, and to celebrate every bit of progress, no matter how small.
Yesterday Bear and I celebrated with a morning out, pottering at our favorite second hand shops, visiting and dining on toasted sandwiches and frappes at a cheery cafe, picking up avocado trees and seedlings at the nursery.
It did us both so much good.
The gardens are now planted with sugar snap peas, butter beans, red-leafed lettuces, lemon balm, comfrey, Lebanese cucumbers, and more of my beloved Pineapple Sage.
Now it’s time to rest again. An afternoon for naps and reading good things and drinking lots of herbal tea to keep the nausea down and flu-y aches more bearable.
How do you celebrate growth in your life? xo