Learning to be Free

Learning2bfree is an email address I created back in 2006. Actually, it was on May 30th of that year - so, we just passed the anniversary.  My then husband had just been arrested and hauled off to jail for domestic abuse, again.

I can remember sitting in the room I used as an office. The lights were out and there was only the twinkle of a candle and the light from my computer screen. Soft rock from the 70s was playing in the background and a glass of red wine sat on my desk.  My world was crumbling down all around me.

Before I knew it or even realized, I created that screen name for AOL, hence it became the email address that I still use today - then it was a mission, now I keep it as a reminder.

I find myself looking back to that night, trying to remember the events that have happened through those foggy years of getting on the path to healing. Perhaps it is best I don't remember everything. I was so young, in my 30s but felt like I was ancient, that I had already lived well beyond my years. I was exhausted and alone with my fears.

That vulnerability caused my guards to go down and all the memories of my youth surfaced. All those incidents of being a young girl and being sexually molested by too many men. I can remember a part of me knew that if I didn't actively work on healing, I wouldn't be alive much longer.

So, yes, I needed to learn how to be free.

Through it all I kept telling myself something I used to tell myself as a child, Everything Happens for a Reason- and one day that reason will reveal itself.

My intuition knew the life lessons I was experiencing would one day come in handy and give me strength like I never had before. I just didn't know when that strength would show up where I could recognize it all.

I truly do not know how I held myself together through all these years, other than I was being guided by a higher power to my destiny. I held that faith close to my heart - a personal relationship that I would not allow others to know about nor come between.

Don't get me wrong, there were days I would sit in a hot bubble bath, asking God, "why?" - Why so many hurdles -why so much pain?  I constantly asked for signs, signs that I was on the right track -

That is when the butterflies would show up. I never noticed them before that, never collected them, never gave them the time of day other to appreciate their beauty when I did see them. But, during those days of questioning and looking for signs, all of a sudden everywhere I went and when I was feeling down on myself, I started noticing the butterflies. They were everywhere. In the winter I would find them in thrift stores on items that caught my attention. In the spring I noticed them fluttering about around me, especially on the days when I was at my lowest. My gut would tell me they were there as a sign of hope. Hope that one day the transition of struggle would turn into something beautiful.

I think I am on the verge of trying those wings out. I am nervous and excited at the same time. I'm risking everything. My stability, my reputation, and my sanity as I stretch those wings out.

I am much older now, my body doesn't cooperate like it once did now that autoimmune disorders have taken hold, but my mind and drive is stronger than ever.

I am at the point in my life where I recognize my skills and talents - along with my weaknesses, and I appreciate them. I am a natural organizer - of people not papers. I understand people and motivations. And, I appreciate my intuitive abilities more than ever - I can read people without them saying a word. I am drawn to fellow survivors and they, even strangers, open up to me - telling their truths...truths they don't or haven't told another person, but need to in order to get on the path of healing. Perhaps, that is my reason for everything that has happened.

This week has been one of those weeks where many have opened up to me, not planning on to. I can always tell when it is about to happen or needs to - I am never surprised by it all.

Even though I can see in my mind's eye what their story is, I allow them to tell me, in their own words - without my prodding. It is quite an honor to watch and be part of someone's journey in that moment of vulnerability. I am happy when I see their tears flow, I know it needs to happen - I know that is the release needed to break down those walls protecting secrets. Afterward, I always can sense the energy in the room getting lighter - and they no longer are carrying the trunk of shame that belonged to someone else in the first place.

I truly do not know how to explain in words what this all is - nor, some of the otherworldly things that happen, but I know, it was all meant to be.

How do you tell others that this is a gift you own without sounding crazy? I struggled with that question for many years.  But as this is my year for Being Free, I am embracing it more than ever - I know it is healing others - And, it is not a distraction from my own healing.

The butterflies have been everywhere this week. Yesterday I was at the newspaper's office. My friend and I decided to get a bite to eat - as we walked out of the office and I said I hope I was doing the right thing in the decisions I've been making, there was butterfly fluttering less than a foot from us. I pointed to it and said, "look, that butterfly is a sign." - I then turned to walk down to the cafe, and no sooner than I made that move, there was another butterfly, it fluttered directly in front of me, inches from my face. Internally, I told God, "Thank you!"

Learning to be free has been the greatest adventure of my lifetime and it continues...



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