Surviving the Storm

This year has been a stormy one so far and as we headed into spring I found myself lost and somewhat out of control of my thoughts, feelings and emotions. I had just lost a close friend to cancer, his battle lasted 18 months and towards the end my energy and all the love I had, I gave to him freely. I had opened myself up, and given directly from my heart which is not something I normally do. I have been terribly hurt in the past and have built a strong fortress around myself to guard against the enemy. Somehow I knew that I would have to give my all, and so I did unselfishly and the outcome was beautiful and the friendship blossomed into a very special bond.

After his passing I found myself in an unfamiliar state of vulnerability grasping to build my walls back up. I was grieving his loss, but also the sadness I felt in having to lock my true self away again to protect her from this vicious world. I kept envisioning myself as defenseless, exposed, almost naked in front of a crowd.

I felt an overwhelming desire to get away, to seek inner guidance, refuge, search my soul if you will. I felt a draw to the Oregon coast and looked for a place to stay. I constantly found myself stumbling across this one property called “the Nest” and although it wasn’t really what I would normally chose, I gave into the nagging persistence and booked it. Along with the confirmation came a link to the website and an amazing history about this little place nestled up on a mountain overlooking the ocean. It appears I was destined to go here, as many people described themselves as having spiritual experiences, or deep intuitive dreams, it seemed that “The Nest” was filled with amazing energy and it seemed just what I was longing for.

I had huge expectations upon walking through the front door, thinking I was going to be overcome by emotions and that some sort of energy presence was going to greet me as I waltzed in. I was desperately hoping to have this amazing spiritual awakening. Being the control freak that I am I of course expected it the moment right then and there as I walked in…..but I felt nothing! To say I was disappointed is a complete understatement. I walked around the cabin a bit, I settled in and nosed through the endless shelves of books. By 7pm I was feeling so disheartened that I was considering getting in my car and going back home. I kept thinking to myself “what on earth are you doing here?”. I couldn’t figure out if maybe I was just trying to prove a power trip to my husband that I can do what I want by disappearing, or if I really needed this time away? Was I punishing him for not being there for me while I was grieving my friend? Was I running away? Was this a mid life thing? I just was all over the place….. just so LOST!

So, I lit some candles trying to calm myself down, put my iphone on and listed to itunes radio and I was staring out at the ocean as the sun started to set. Finally some tears came, and I thought to myself OK, at least something is going on . At first the tears were for my friend, he would have liked this place I guessed, but to be honest I am feeling that I am in a good place about him. I miss him and I get terribly sad thinking about everything he went though and how he is not here, but he is at peace and I smile remembering our last moments together. Then the sobs come, uncontrollably, from deep down in my gut….I recognize these sobs, these are cries of pain, deep pain, these are memories of my ex!

I realized then that the phone call from a few weeks back had really hurt and brought up a lot of mixed feelings that I had dismissed at the time, and just shoved them down in order to cope with what was going on in my own life. My ex husband called me for the first time in three years out of the blue a couple of weeks before my friend passed away. This is a normal pattern over the course of our son’s life. He has not been present and we get the bi- annual visit or phone call. Anyway, he was drunk at 10am on a Saturday morning professing his love for his son (now 21). Crying over the past, he was desperate, locked out of his house by his current girlfriend and mother of his two youngest children, and blatantly overcome with regret and despair for all the mistakes in his life. He finds himself at rock bottom, once again not knowing where to turn.

This man was the love of my life, my soul mate, but I walked away when the safety of myself and more importantly my son, who was just a baby at the time, came into question. This man who was my entire world, put a gun to my temple and threatened to pull the trigger. That was 20 years ago, and even still I love him, I forgive him, I still mourn a broken heart from the loss. I slowly weep for all the sacrifices I made, for all the pain I endured at such a young age, for the love I feel for my Son and how he will never understand what I went through.

Then a song came on and catches my attention, “Save Him” by Justin Nozuka. I hadn’t heard this before, but I was familiar with the artist who I quite like but I just didn’t recognize the song. Anyway, the lyrics were as if the song was written about me and the life that I had, the life I almost had, or more appropriately life I didn’t have. I realized that after my friend died those feeling that I had felt of being vulnerable and exposed, helpless and defenseless to me were a sign of weakness. I do not cope well with weakness because of my past and I associate it with being taken advantage of, being abused and broken. So therefore I think I have been feeling week and doubting my strength – my inner strength, causing me to feel very insecure and fragile.

I realize that I have been out of character in searching these past weeks about mud runs, and obstacle courses looking for ways to get physically strong. I have also gone the opposite way and turned to balancing my chakras and practiced meditation trying to get spiritually strong. Obviously I was onto something, headed in the right direction but needed to realize that my strength is here, within me, it is always here. I seem to have had a temporary loss of faith in it, but I think I found it up on that mountain. I have the strength to do anything I set my mind to. I have the power to my own happiness. I have endured hard times and I am survived. I am strong, I just lost sight of it for a moment during the storm.

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Author: nicolagraham84

British by birth, wife, mother of two living in So. Cal. Loves to write poetry, and Don't Look Back her first adult romance is out now.

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