Facing the “What If”

It has been almost 11 months since my world changed. My world looks nothing like it did even a year ago. I have done all that I can to move forward, to heal, to find my new normal, my new way of being. There are days where I stand frozen in fear. Afraid to take another step for fear that it will be the wrong step and my world will blow up again. The littlest things can strike fear in my heart. Yet I take a deep breath and face it. It is never easy and it always makes me sick to my stomach, I do it anyway.

There has been one steady, stronghold in my life and that is my son, Jeremy. He has gotten me through days that I did not want to survive. He has been there to love me through. When I walk upstairs and tell him I need a hug, he immediately stops whatever he is doing to just hold me. He lets me cry until I can’t cry anymore. Sometimes he understands and others he just thinks his mom is weird. I am weird, that is beside the point. It is always the little things that get me the most.

The last couple of months I have been planning on getting in my car and going. No set destination. Just go. A few months ago I had gone through a dark time and when I came out of it this trip is what I saw happening. I have held true to it and I have been letting go of all of my “stuff” both physically and emotionally. It has been a roller coaster ride and many days I wonder if I will ever get off of the roller coaster. It has been intense and many times it has filled my heart with more love than one can imagine as well as pain that cuts deep.

The last couple of days I have had this thought of “what if” I don’t go. My leaving is coming quickly and now the fear is setting in. Why the hell would I want to walk away from the people that are there for me? Why would I leave my comfort zone? How can I leave my son? He has been my life for 23 years. Trying to envision life without him by my side is something I am having a hard time seeing. Who is going to hold me when I fall apart? Who is going to tell me that it will all be alright if I am out in this world by myself? All of my people are here. All of my love is here. These thoughts scare me more than anything.

Don’t get me wrong, I am good with being alone but even when I am alone I know that my family and friends are not to far away, all I have to do is call and they come running. If I am hundreds or thousands of miles away they can’t come running and I have to face these demons alone. It is a scary thing to think about. As scary as that is to think about I think the worse thought that goes through my mind is what if my son needs me and I can’t get to him? He was in a car accident not to long ago where he went off of a 50 foot cliff and was stopped by a tree. What if something happens and I can’t get there within moments?

I understand that it is all about letting go and letting him be the man that he is stepping into but my thought process always goes back to what am I going to miss? He doesn’t currently have a girlfriend, I won’t be here to meet his next girl. I have never been good at being absent in his life. Maybe because he was the one child I was granted the gift of raising. I have always been here to protect him. To hold him when he hurts and in turn the last 11 months he has returned the favor. How do I let that go?

I will because I have to. I will because he needs me to. I will because in my heart I know that it is time for me to leave. I was asked the other day what it was that I am running from. I was taken aback by the question and it made me stop and really evaluate why I was leaving. Once I looked at it though I knew that I wasn’t running from anything, the things I love most are here and there is nothing to run from, but rather I am running to something, that something is me. I am on this journey to live a life that is filled with love. I am on this journey to heal myself as well as others. I am on this journey to find out who I am and what it is I want the last section of my life to be. So, no, I am not running from anything I am running to my next chapter.

I know that this journey is a journey of self discovery. I know that my heart is filled with excitement and wonderment. I know that once I actually get behind the wheel and begin to drive I will be changed, forever. I am embracing that. I am following where I am led and for me that is what my heart is yearning for.

Things don’t always go as we plan. Many times we do not see the pain that lies ahead of us and I am sure that there will be pain because where there is pain there is growth. Those dark moments when I feel completely alone, scared and want to run home will be the moments where I find my strength to keep moving on. Those dark moments when I don’t know what to do next will be the moments where I find my courage. There will be many lessons in this journey and ultimately this journey will be about loving myself through it all. I have done this before, I have walked this before, and now it is about remembering that I can keep moving forward and be happy with the woman I am as well as the one I am becoming. I can reclaim that which I have forgotten and in the process I will find the beauty that resides within and without.

I know that my son will be fine. I raised him to stand on his own two feet and he is a good man. I know he will miss me as much as I am going to miss him but I also know that he can’t grow with me standing over him. This journey isn’t just about me, it is also about my son finding his own way. Our journey’s have been intertwined for a lifetime and now the fork in the road says we go our separate ways. It is time and we are ready. He is my greatest cheerleader and I am his biggest fan. He can and will accomplish all that he chooses to put his mind to. I will find me and in the process live. My whole body is yearning to go and live. My soul is singing just thinking about it. I am trusting Spirit to lead the way just as I will trust Spirit to help me take my next step when I am not sure which way to turn.

Life is a journey. How we choose to live it is part of that journey. How we face our fears, mend our broken hearts, grasp the opportunities in front of us help form the people we are becoming. Just as I do in all things I am jumping both feet in knowing that I will come out the other side of this journey a bit bruised and battered but changed for the better. I will be standing in my truth and amazed at the mountains I have climbed all because it was time to let go and explore.

In Her Service,






The Past – What Does It Offer?

What seeds are you planting? How do you see your future playing out?  What is your heart’s deepest desires?  What steps do you need to take to make those desires come to fruition?  Is your past holding you back?

On any given day you can sit and talk to someone and if you really listen you will hear their dreams.  Dreams of the past:  “When I was younger I wanted to be ____.” Dreams of the future: “One day I want to ______.” Dreams of the present: “If only I had the resources I would _____.” But they are just dreams, right? Things our hearts desire but we never truly expect to have because we believe we have no way of accomplishing them.

Many times we dream a dream, something we really want, and we take steps to accomplish them.  The road is long and difficult.  We give up, believing that we will never get what we really wanted, just before it was going to happen.

I can’t begin to tell you how many times in my life I have done this.  I look back on my life and often wonder “what if.”

“What if I had pursued a career as a Forest Ranger instead of getting married?”

“What if I had stayed in Wisconsin and married that man I loved so very much?”

“What if I had pursued my passion for healing sooner?”

I could go on and on with the “what if’s.” They never end.  We use these lost or postponed dreams to beat ourselves up on a pretty regular basis.  Don’t we?

We can’t change the past.  We can learn from it but we can’t change it.  We can look at all of the things we have lived through, survived, and we can yearn for the “could have’s,” but when it comes right down to it we can’t go back and change a damned thing.  What can we do?

We can begin by looking into the past and finding the lessons that are there. What did you learn by not accomplishing what we “could have” done?

As an example, my first “What if” was “What if I had pursued a career as a Forest Ranger instead of getting married?”

Looking back my marriage brought me 3 remarkable sons and from those sons I have 7 amazing grandchildren, let’s put that aside for a moment though.  I think we can all agree that these are gift’s and not lessons.

What did I take away from the marriage?  The marriage ended in divorce.  The marriage was rife with turmoil.  The marriage was ugly and something that caused all of us extreme pain.  Myself, I endured physical and emotional pain. Yet, I walked away a new person.  I learned that I have strength I didn’t know I had.  I learned that I can stand on my own two feet and not just survive but thrive.  I learned that my heart can be broken, no, not broken, rather shattered, into a million pieces and I can heal it, one piece at a time.  I learned that I can stand in my own truth and although fear may engulf me, Spirit will always protect me.  I learned to love myself and that I am worthy.

I could go through each one of my “what if’s” and tell you what I learned by them. The bottom line, for me, is for every “what if” or “could have” that lays in my past I can see and find lessons, some difficult, some easier. They have shaped and formed the woman I am today.

I could choose to hold onto my past and all of the “what if’s,” let them define me, make me feel as though I have failed in life.  I can choose to beat myself up over and over again by just focusing on the past and the dreams I didn’t accomplish. We all know someone who does this daily.  Instead, I choose to look at the lessons, learn from them and let the past go.

The path I walk says to shed our past as a snake sheds it’s skin.  All at once.  Leave it there.  Write a new past.  The belief is that our bodies can’t tell the difference from things that happened in the past and what is happening now. When you sit and think about the pain of the past your body feels it as though it is happening at this very moment. Your body reacts to the memories you choose to remember.  It doesn’t know that it is a memory, it believes it is happening now. This, for me is one of the greatest reasons to leave the past in the past. Once you have identified all of your lessons is there a reason to relive all that has happened over and over again?  I, personally, would prefer not to relive all of that pain. I choose to leave the past where it belongs, in the past.  I have learned and those memories don’t need to be rehashed over and over.

I cannot move into the future, nor can I live in the NOW if my focus is always mired in the past.

The past has helped form the person I am today.  The now will be the past in a few moments. Standing in the now, at this very second, allows me to make wiser decisions for my future.  When I look in the past, tomorrow, I will know that holding onto what has happened may offer me lessons to learn from but there is nothing else of value to hold onto.  Living there only impedes my now and prevents my dreaming of the future.  You can’t move forward to the future if you are still reliving everything in the past.  It just can’t happen.

Do you believe that everything happens for a reason? I am not sure that I do.  I do, however, believe that Spirit brings us to things we have agreed to learn in this life and how many times that lesson has to be relived depends on how well we learn it.  I also believe that if we are brought to it, we will be brought through it.  Tattered, scarred, yes, but we came here to learn and live.  We can only do so if we are aware enough to look, learn, listen and let go.

Back to my original questions.  Are you planting seeds for the future or are you letting your past stop you? Do you see a future or are you to busy looking at the past to allow a future to unfold?

Find your deepest heart desires, embrace them..  Let the past go.  Live in the now. Dream your future into being! You will be amazed at how beautiful our world can be when you let the hurts, mistakes, lessons of the past go and step into the now.  Go find your beauty!