Everyone has an important personal story to share about how they came to be who they are.
I was at a pivotal turning point on my spiritual journey when I realized that the story of Lynn is only as painful or wonderful as I am able to remember, imagine, or create. When I reflect on my past from different perspectives in my mind, my story somehow changes; I begin to experience it differently. That does not mean to say that while I was living it, it was not important or valid just as it was. Rather, that I was living it from a certain limited perspective, deep in my ‘story’, and not yet fully conscious of the choices I had to see things differently.
From a new perspective that evolved from deep acceptance and surrender I came to understand how to allow my life to flow more easily through letting go and no longer attaching to certain outcomes; trusting and accepting the higher guidance that is always directing me.
However, this was not always the case. I struggled for most of my life in the prison of co-dependency with a wildly oscillating lack of self-love and self-trust.
In the span of 6 years, from 2006 to 2012, I met with the ending of two marriages (one lasting 18 years that bore three children, and another marriage of 2 1/2 years ending in 2012), the abrupt ending of a 22 year friendship with my best female friend, 4 residential moves to 3 different cities, the death of my father and two short months later our beloved family pet, the complete estrangement from my only sister, all while juggling my vitally important role as mother to my children who were deeply hurting, as I desperately attempted to recreate a life for us.
For two long years, after my second marriage ended, I sat completely exhausted on every level with stress taking its toll. My vulnerable self existed at a precipice, suspended at the final ending of a huge cycle as I resisted the beginning of a brand new one.
Intensely introverted, I sat in the basement of my home for most of that time, all systems in healing mode as I devoted my time to knitting for charity. Through the clicking of my knitting needles hour after hour, and watching movie after movie, I remained in tune with the feelings of shame, confusion and isolation my life had amounted to. The only thing I felt certain of during those difficult years was the need to knit; it kept me grounded as the creative and healing process took over. Knitting one stitch after another in a meditative state, I knew intuitively it was absolutely the right thing for me to be doing. Creating hats, sweaters, and mitts in bright colours brought me so much comfort while I pondered the ways in which I would be making a difference in people’s lives while trying to forgive myself for the pain I had caused others.
Feeling very inferior and incompetent in so many areas of my life, knitting reminded me of the good and loving person I still was.
Deep inside, however tainted and soiled, this belief in myself never changed throughout all the conflict and pain I endured. My life was unfolding an even greater representation of who I was in my entirety, with all my wounds. I lived in anguish and fear of what my life had become, aching inside as I cried myself to sleep, and woke with those same tears pooling. All I could do was put one foot in front of the other and try to separate reality from the torture of my demeaning thoughts.
One day while sharing a coffee with a friend on her birthday, I received a phone call from a former employer asking if I might be interested in caring for a client I looked after a couple years before while working as a Personal Support Worker. Excitedly, without hesitation, I said “yes!”
It was only a few weeks before that I had begun to feel a small glimmer of hope in my darkened world, feeling ready to be back with people again on a low-stress, one-to-one basis. It was time to step back into the work world and begin to trust myself and others once more.
I told the universe, “If I am to work again, the job will need to fall right into my lap and be perfect for me,” and it turned out to be exactly that way.
That fateful day, on October 1st, 2014, I stepped into my role as caregiver for a very special elderly lady who would be the catalyst to my return to wholeness.
In taking care of her for one short month, she gave deep meaning to my life again, while she slowly inched her way closer to death at 93 years old. I learned so much about myself and life through her dying.
She lovingly and quite passionately, in her unique way, affirmed all the strengths and talents I knew I had but had not been appreciating.
We laughed and shared many tender moments as I often held her hand, comforting her for hours, keeping vigil as she slipped away.
In loving and caring for her, my healing journey began and I turned that elusive corner towards a stronger, more confident and authentic self.
I was beginning to forgive myself and others, and surrender to a new life.