Thunder is rumbling and rain falling gently, making our farm feel like a cozy island.
I’m down in my granny flat office, snug under a fuzzy red blanket, listening to the goats rattle around under the house as they stay nice and dry out of the rain.
It’s been quite a week for me, and I’m so thankful for this day of rain-drenched peace and solitude to reflect and remember and celebrate.
Last week was rough. The #MeToo conversations triggered a reaction to things I thought I’d already worked through. Molestation, assaults, abuse – I thought I’d plumbed the depths of those experiences and healed from them, but there was an aspect I hadn’t addressed yet.
It’s strange and deeply sad to me that when we’re violated or abused by others, we still manage to blame ourselves, believing that if only we’d been strong enough, brave enough, wise enough, those people wouldn’t have harmed us.
That blame breaks the innate trust we have with ourselves, and leaves us open to manipulation and abuse by unscrupulous people who will prey on that brokenness.
Over the past week I’ve been healing that relationship with myself.
I revisited those times of abuse and forgave myself for not being able to keep me safe and protected, for disconnecting and numbing in order to get through it, for not knowing how to heal and thrive.
I wrote and spoke to myself about what it really felt like. How scared I was, how I believed no one could ever love me after those things, how I couldn’t trust anyone because I couldn’t trust myself.
And I praised that younger self for being so brave and strong and resilient.
It was an exhausting week, but a beautiful one. With each memory revisited, those broken places were healed and strengthened, and I felt myself come back to life in ways I didn’t even realize had gone dormant.
I was able to ask for help and comfort without feeling shame.
I was able to care for myself without false guilt or anxiety, because I’m worth caring for.
And I was able to look to the future with courage, because I don’t feel alone anymore. Whatever happens, I have me.
I’ve mended and rebuilt relationships with others, but now I’m doing it with myself. It’s rather strange and rather lovely, and I’m so thankful to be here mending and building instead of breaking.
For many years I’ve had a hard time answering the question: “What do you want?” It’s a difficult thing to know when you’re disconnected from yourself. This week has brought beautiful clarity. I can answer that question now, with ease and assurance, and it’s quite a thrill for me.
Knowing what I need and what I want is also rather strange and rather lovely, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Seven years ago, Bear said I could have the granny flat as my spot, to do with as I wished. Several times I cleaned it out and set it up, but I didn’t know what to do with it, so it became a storage shed instead.
Healing my relationship with myself changed that. I know what I want to do with it now. I had such fun opening the door this weekend and starting the process of making it mine, truly mine.
“A nice little cave” is how Bear described it when he came in, and it made me smile because that’s exactly how it feels to me too. I’ve been sorting and organizing, throwing out so much stuff that simply isn’t me anymore. I’ve got a lot to do, but already there’s so much happiness in here, pictures that inspire me, books that delight me, quirky little bits and pieces that make my heart grin.
It’s amazing what can happen in a life with a bit of truth and a whole lot of tenderness. xo