If you had told me two years ago that I was just beginning to walk through the fire that would save me, heal me and lead me toward my SELF, I would have called an Uber, grabbed a bottle of Chardonnay and ridden off into the sunset of GTFO. Because pain, you guys. Hurts, you guys.

That’s the way healing works though, friends. You can’t heal without going into your pain and harvesting what hurts to make a salve that no one can make for you, and once you make it, you’ll be ready to BEGIN to heal. And, yes, that’s just the beginning. Then, it’s all waiting. Waiting for what you’ve learned to digest and process and make some sort of sense. It’s head-scratching kind of bullshit that makes you want to speed up time and go all the way back into revisionist history and be who you were before everything came into technicolor and you could not unsee and unknow that you were broken or breaking or bent.

But if you go into the pain, all the way down, and if you mine the hell that is down there and if you return back up to the surface and write your own ending and wait a while, there will come a time for you to stand again and stand taller and wider and prouder and stronger. You couldn’t have imagined yourself like this before all of this. You are whole, and what was broken and breaking and bent is enough. It’s just right. It hurts less and it makes you tall and it gives you wings and you have legs and they were always there but you could not feel them until now.

You used to feel a false sense of security, and it is gone. There is no ground, except your truth and your life and your unwavering devotion to yourself and to love and to your choices. You built this mountain inside yourself with your own two hands and no one could do it for you and no one can take it from you. You are riskier and you step without knowing where your feet will land. You don’t need validation or approval. You are here, and it is enough.

People show you who they are, and you believe them. You can love them and let them go. You can lose and live, anyway. You can grieve and ache and be blown to smithereens, and you are still here. There is the sound of your voice. There is the way of your walk.

You cannot be a perfect mother, and you no longer want to be. You have chosen the children, but the children did not choose you, and you can honor the responsibility without breaking under the weight of it. You can love and let go and give and give up, but never on the kids. You can show up when you are afraid and messed up and not sure, and you can be a whole person for your children so that they can be whole people with you.

No one is coming to save you, and you are so grateful because you did not need a savior, a hero or a rescue. You are not waiting for the perfect fit, the right match and all the ideal circumstances. Life is shaky and sudden and you are the wind or the water or the earth and even the fire, so you can move like this. You can stand or sit or lie down if you want to. No one decides if you are okay. No one has the key to your heart. You are the one you have been waiting for.

The world is looking at you and it has categories and labels and stories that it wants to give you and wrap around you and try on you, and you no longer work that way. It is tight and stuck and sweaty inside those boxes, and you are too big and wide and long. You stretch and reach and do not take on the weight of a world that cannot see you. You are big enough now to know better than to change yourself to fit the world, and you are big enough now to know that it’s your work to change the world, instead. Your daughter and your son are your reason, but also the child you once were. You cannot rescue or save, but you can work hard and you can show up and you can dismantle and smash and tear down, and you know this because you have already done it inside yourself.

It is painful and it is beautiful. You are aching and you are so proud. You are dark and light, night and day, sun and moon. You are so vulnerable and so willing and you have courage now. You are risky and shaky, but you have legs to stand on. And you can go and grow and do new things, which is a good thing, because there are many new things now waiting for you to rise up and begin.