I was born into a war zone. The chaos and random, unpredictable violence along with the lack of a sense of protection left me in a world in which I believed that “the work of her hands” would allow me to enter the gate. Only through effort would I ever be free.
I climbed upon the skinny horse of striving and kicked me heels into her sides.
All of my adolescent reading was about real people who had emerged from adversity through the virtues of stoicism, stamina and able strategy. Marie Curie, Sacagawea, Eleanor Roosevelt, Golda Maier fascinated me.
To be able to create the self triumphant using discipline, focus and momentum was my waking dream.
I earned two degrees, took three minors because a choreographer and a dancer in the three and a half years of undergraduate school.
I was driven, fired up, hungry for knowledge and it carried me. It carried me until it did not.
All systems failed in a spectacular fashion when my body developed cancer then rheumatoid arthritis. I had whipped my self with the stick of my goals.
I was not at home in the physical connection with myself. And so I failed again and again until I finally knew.
As I lay on the bathroom floor in the hospital with a twisted bowel, I prayed it would just stop. I prayed I would just stop. I had endured enough.
Work no longer worked for me. Badges and degrees and certificates and plaques with recognition and accolades no longer worked for me.
None of it could kill the pain.
It was while I was baby curled on that floor that I could feel the c old truth. I knew that I had no clue.
I had done art therapy, group therapy, one on one therapy, dance therapy, journal writing and it left me outside alone.
I had walked like a vampire under the full moon, under partially lit trees, outside the picture life windows of others. I was alone. I was outside my body, outside my spirit, outside of society. I was a vagrant soul.
All doors closed and it was then I knew that I did not know and so I fell into love.
I sat meditation to save myself. I sat with Gabor Mate and with shamans and with mystics. And what I discovered was myself.
What I discovered was that no matter how many assaults I had experienced first from others and then from myself, my super power was that I could love. No matter what, my heart could find a way to love my mother, to love my father and that is why I did not perish.
I could find a way to love like one stepping from rock to rock crossing a wild water river. My love for my brother, my love for my children, my love for my students, my love for my friends. One each of these points of balance I could stand for a while and be safe.
It sustained me so that I did not perish.
And it changed everything. It changed my life in ways I could not anticipate. I began again.
And as I said, “I don’t know,” I fell in love. I fell in love with the silence in my house. I fell in love with a peaceful body not pushing, not striving. I fell in love with the bird choir in my Maple tree.
I got off of the dying, scrawny horse whose ribs were showing and I sat.
I sat in circles, I sat in groups, I sat alone, I sat in not knowing.
Within a year my body begin to trust me. It began to heal.
Five years ago I had Rheumatoid Arthritis and all of my testing showed me to be operating as a fifty year old.
Because my body knows it is safe with me now, it has healed. I have no signs of R.A. I have the bone mass density of a 20 year old and medical tests indicate that I am average for a 30 year old woman.
What I have learned is that no attack, no scar, no broken bone, no onslaught of injury has ever, in truth, touched me.
My spirit is loved and supported. I am here to be a source of love, to see and create beauty and to speak words that heal. I was born into a disaster zone and it has not touched me.
Because I can love.
It is by allowing the not knowing that I have not perished but instead have flourished. I have become curious. What will next arrive?
I don’t know.