I wrote the following blog post on January 21 but it never felt like it was time to share. Since that writing, I’ve begun the slow process of putting the pieces of my shattered self back together. Things are becoming clearer again. Dreams are being dreamed again. Goals are being set again. Reaching out to others for support is happening again. Dancing more in the light than in the dark places of my soul is happening again. I share this today from that lighter, more healed space. I share it because I believe in the power of sharing my journey for my own healing and because someone else might find hope within it. I share it now because I’ve learned to trust my inner wise warrior woman when she says GO! Whoever you are who needs to read this, you are not alone even if it feels like it right now!
When I turned over the ownership/management of Avalon Horse Farm, my heart work, 1 & 1/2 years ago, something inside of me shattered into a bazillion pieces. Avalon had held me together in so many ways after my husband, Russell, died in March, 2015. Without it as work I loved and a community I loved even more, I honestly don’t know what I would have done to get through those first few years of grief. When I was there I could feel somewhat whole and life made a little bit more sense. I was completely enmeshed within it. And so, when I let it go, a deeper shattering of my identity occurred.
The wild thing is I didn’t realize completely that this shattering had happened. I was focused on dreaming of new things. I was diving into health coaching. I was enjoying not worrying about dozens of horses and even more people all of the time. As I shattered, it’s like the patched cracks that had been inside of me ever since that first shattering when Russell died became wider and longer and spread throughout my entire being. But they were still so fine and my core self was somewhat intact that the shattering wasn’t really complete and I couldn’t always see it clearly for what it was.
Those shattered pieces stayed pretty firmly in place throughout my dad’s battle with pancreatic cancer that started just a few short months after I relinquished ownership and care of Avalon. My ability to “step into my zone” as I call it and hold myself together to be caretaker and emotional space holder held those shattered pieces together and gave me focus and purpose. Other things slipped and slid out of my attention or my care because I simply couldn’t, and didn’t want to, handle all of the things. But, I felt pretty together most of the time in the early months of his battle. I think in my focus on my dad and my family, I somehow duct taped my shattered pieces back together for awhile. Russell would love the thought of using duct tape. My dad not so much. In all truth, that’s how it feels about how I navigated through that time.
Then, as my dad got better in the spring of 2020, winning his battle with cancer, I could breathe and hope again. No longer were we worried about how much time with him we had left. And then, the pandemic hit the world. After the first few weeks of living in “my zone”, once again, the duct tape around my shattered self started to fray and pull away from those bazillion, little shattered pieces of myself. As we all moved into creating safety zones around us and trying to figure out how to function in the world, I pulled into myself in a very deep, very isolating and needed way. It was in that deep internal space that I began to see the depth and breadth of my shattered self.
As I pulled deeper and deeper into myself, I realized how profoundly lost I feel. Who I am is no longer clear. Who I want to be is no longer clear. So much stopped making sense as I flounderd through the shattered pieces of my self. Just floundered around in the broken, shattered and scattered pieces of my identity of a dozen plus years.
No longer a wife.
No longer the caretaker/hub of a community.
No longer a retreat facilitator.
No longer resonating with being a health coach.
No longer a mother of young children who need me everyday.
No longer clear of a purpose or a path.
No longer sure of who the fuck I am or who I want to be.
As I’ve sat in these pieces, I’ve pulled away from almost everyone. I’ve pulled within. I’ve thrown out ideas of actions or work to try out like I was fly fishing, which I don’t know how to do. I’ve stopped feeling adequate, competent, capable, focused or enough. I’ve tried to keep teaching. I’ve tried to keep coaching. I’ve tried to keep dreaming and building. I’ve tried to keep being just a part of the farm. I’ve tried to keep writing. I’ve tried and tried and tried.
But the truth is, I’m mainly just sitting in all of those shattered and scattered pieces of my self, with very little REAL sense of what I most want to do or who I most want to be, or where I most want to be. I’m just sitting in the pieces focusing on loving myself as deeply and completely as I can. I’m allowing myself to do whatever I can to care for each and every little shattered piece of myself as I gather them up and hold them close. I’m trusting my journey. I’m remembering to focus on my breath when I can’t do anything else. I’m reminding myself as gently as I can that I am enough and I will find my focus again.
I write this not as a “woe is me” but as a “WOW is me”. Here in the sharing of this shattered and scattered, shadowy space is my mojo, my magic, my missions somehow waiting for me. This writing my real story, not a made up one I wish were true but the very real and raw story of me, is part of my best mojo. Being honest about the dark and the light parts of my journey, not being afraid to say the hard parts, and being willing to sit with it all – that is mojo making for me. When I share these shadowy part of my story, the shattered pieces of myself somehow start fitting back together. I stop feeling so exhausted and feel a new understanding of who I am and who I can be settle into place. And then I can move again.
So, I gather up each shattered tiny piece with love, knowing they are all part of the whole that is me, knowing that I am slowly figuring out the next part of MY journey, and knowing that I am exactly where I need to be right now. Those shattered pieces will become the most beautiful window into my way forward!