I met the most amazing woman this morning at the food co-op. She was sitting by herself, enjoying her breakfast, so I sat with her and asked her if she had any plans for the summer. “I don’t really know…I’m floating right now.” That sounds like something I’d say, I thought to myself. “What do you mean by floating?” Well, Kathleen answered looking me straight in the eye, “I recently reconnected with my mother. I hadn’t seen her in 7 years.”
“Wow, that’s great! That must feel so wonderful.” I said, feeling in my heart the mother love I feel from my mom, as well as what I feel for my children.
“Yes…and there’s more. Last week I had a burden lifted that had been weighing on me for 30 years. God has been very active in my life lately.” I asked what had changed that this was happening to her now, and she said that she had rejected God for over 20 years because she was so filled with anger. But lately she had started going to church again, and felt the Holy Spirit guiding her. On Father’s Day her pastor spoke of how some fathers are gone out of your life (Kathleen’s passed away 20 years ago) – and Kathleen began to sob. And when she next met with her mother – last weekend – she felt the Spirit nudge her to finally speak her truth – that as a child she had been abused by her dad. That’s when the burden lifted – when she finally let her mother in to understand the “why” behind her anger, her rejection, her near suicide attempt with pills, and all the lies. Of course her mother was stunned because she had been there the whole time he abused Kathleen, yet was unaware. And Kathleen had never had the wherewithal to speak of it before now.
She’s been glowing from the inside since she spoke. People keep commenting on it. And she feels compelled to share her story, which is why she has graciously given me permission to share it.
From my perspective, aside from feeling blessed to meet this strong woman, all I can think of is – and there you have it! The power of sharing your ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences, www.acestudy.org). There is healing power in sharing your pain – both for yourself and for others. It can set you free, or it can set you on a path toward a more peaceful existence.
“I’m not angry anymore. I am thankful. Not that life doesn’t continue to be a roller coaster,” observed Kathleen. “You know I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis a few years ago. I’ve barely been able to get out of my chair. Yet today I walked all the way here – 35 minutes. The Holy Spirit has guided me to Wiggins Park, where I have been putting myself through a kind of boot camp. I feel so much stronger. I am happy.”
You go, girl!