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The Healing Lodge

Personal Awareness - Self Worth

I think I may have done what might be considered a "soul retreival". I don't know for sure, but it felt like it could have been one. I grew up in Indiana. I've only lived in Missouri for 10 yrs. My life has taken some interesting twists and turns since that time...some not so great and very difficult. Some I wouldn't trade for the world because of what they gave me, but others have caused internal conflicts. You see...I was high school valedictorian. I never exactly knew where life would take me, but I didn't think it would be where it was. I was valedictorian, but I wasn't like others at my school who graduated with those high honors (I was one of 6 that was a 6 way tie). I came from an impoverished family. I was never abused, yet I still had the stigmas of poverty, and that in itself creates certain "hangups". I never felt that I deserved such success. I enjoyed it, but it somehow felt "fake". But, I did deserve it. I kept those straight A's all the way through high school. I also worked all the way through...up to 45 hrs per week. I don't mention this to brag, but to let you know "where" I was. Well, none of that matters once you get out into the "real" world.

I married, was going to college, and soon ran out of money. I was still working, but after school was no longer there, I actually spent some time with my husband. I found out he had a drug addiction. It had been easy for him to keep this from me, but not anymore. We separated and reconciled sooo many times, always in the hopes of saving the marriage and that it would be "different" this time. My self-esteem was slowly eroded. He became emotionally abusive. Yet I still wanted to save the marriage because "I loved him". Well,I loved the person I thought he was, then realized that he never existed. Three children later, we divorced. Actually, I was 8 months pregnant when I filed, and the divorce was final when my son, the youngest, was 2 months old. I was now a single mom on welfare. I'd been a single mom for nearly a year before the divorce was final. I was going to school full-time, and working part-time. The employer couldn't pay me though, because it would screw up my welfare benefits, and he couldn't pay me enough to take me off of them. So...I was paid "under the table". Whenever I filled my car with gas...I'd give him the receipt and he would pay me, that sort of thing. Eight months later, when school was out and I could work full-time, he was able to pay me enough that I only continued to receive medical benefits from the state. This wasn't going to last long, and I had to do something. Well, spirit provided, and I met a wonderful man. We worked together and he saw me go through all this. He was there the day my son was born, and when I had my gallbladder removed. He loaned me money to pay for propane gas when the tank went empty and I had no the winter....and that happened 3 times that winter. I always paid him back, and I always knew I had someone I could trust. I *didn't* know, he would end up being "Mr. Right". We never dated; we worked together. I never knew he had an interest in me. Several months later, I found out otherwise :) We were married within 3 months. It's now been 4 1/2 years. Wouldn't trade a minute.

The point of all this is that when I was in Indiana, I felt compelled to call up an old high school teacher. He had moved, but I found him in a small town that turned out to be only 30 minutes from my sisters. I called and we chatted, didn't know why I had this compulsion after 10 years. I've visited Indiana many, many times and only now did I feel the need to make the call. The night after we chatted, I realized I needed to reconcile my past with my present. My life is very good now, and very much like I had always hoped. The first 5 years here were a nightmare, and in some respects one I hardly remember. I really have forgotten a lot of what I did go through. I have selective memory. The high school valedictorian had somehow gotten lost along the way. I had to reclaim her. That night I had the darndest time sleeping. Finally, I slept, and I dreamed. There was shattered glass everywhere. I was trying to clean it up so no one would be hurt. Suddenly I stopped and realized there was something more important to do. I walked over...sat down...and begin pulling nails and glass from my feet. It wasn't from the broken glass as far as I know...and where did the nails come from? They were there on purpose, and it was now time to remove them. I pulled them out one by one...absolutely no pain. They were nail came out and formed the shape of a bird. I continued to remove these "pains" and "injuries". I awoke with the though, "It will be much easier to move forward now". That afternoon, I went and visited that old high school teacher, shared my dream with him. We talked about our families over the past 10 years. He has since retired from teaching and his wife is a pastor, finishing seminary and has her own congregation. We talked religion, education, art. I used to draw and haven't for years, now he does. I will get back to it. We had a wonderful wonderful time. Last night, I drove home and felt more "whole" and complete....sang the whole way...listening to the "oldies". Took me 4 1/2 hours to drive home. It was great. I still feel great. It's ok that this high school valedictorian didn't go out conquering the world and become a tremendous success over night. I am exactly where I am meant to be. I have no more doubts about that. I am in the right place, and on the right path.

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