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You Are Not Alone

Welcome back The Art of Onward! I am truly honored to have you here. As I share bits and pieces of my story of recovery, I hope rays of light enter your heart. It's true, grief and loneliness have the same address. No one can feel what you are feeling, and no one can hold your heart enough to make the pain disappear. This is your journey. And it can be extremely isolating.

Why do I continue then, to write here that you are not alone? When the loneliness can be bone crushingly deep during the waves of your recovery. I know. I've been there, and I still find myself there as I, too, am still healing.

I remember entire days, alone, feeling like the day would never end. I would wait all day for the passing of hours and the subsequent relief of bedtime. And yet, when night time finally arrived, I could not sleep. My mind was a tornado of cruel thoughts that repeatedly attacked my well being with efficient cruelty.

My mind works in puzzle pieces. I hunted for the information, and then tried to piece together the picture of what had happened in countless desperate attempts to find truth. To erase the illusions and lies I had been fed. Nothing fit and I became a prisoner of my thoughts, as I fought fiercely to make sense of it all. When I felt I had finally come to a certain conclusion, more information was brought forth, and the whole painful mess began again. Listening to my thoughts became a habit, and they were almost never kind.

And then it happened: The realization that I was not as alone as I felt. I was walking my dogs through a field, my peaceful place of contemplation, and conversation with God, when I received this awareness:

The air around us is filled with the life giving gift of oxygen. And with each breath I realized I was breathing in love. I was taking in life. I was being nurtured with each step. My breaths went deeper, as I hungrily filled my lungs, my heart, my mind, my entire body, with this love. I felt love surround me, hold me, nurture me, comfort me.

In this moment I realized I was surrounded by angels. The joy of it all! Exhilaration! All this time I'd been travelling through the darkness alone, or so I'd thought. And now, here in this field, I realized no matter where I am, or with whom, I am surrounded by angels, by love, by light.

Angels can come to us in the shape of other human beings, who offer help. Angels come to us in the form of life giving air that surrounds us at all times. We don't always know they're there, we can't always feel them, but that's okay, because they, and love, are there regardless of whether we know it or not.

When I was about three years old, we lived on a busy street on a side of a hill. I was playing outside with a ball. It rolled in to the street. I chased it, as any child would, my father screaming at me from across the street. You see, a large delivery truck was racing around the corner just as my ball rolled in to its path. The truck was so loud, I did not hear my dad's warning. I only saw my ball and knew if I didn't catch it, I would never see it again.

My dad told me later, a man appeared out of nowhere, and lifted me to safety, just as the truck raced past. I only recall seeing my ball get crushed by fast, large tires. The man disappeared the moment the danger passed.

At age 13, I needed to move from Canada to Germany in time for the new school year. My parents were still required in Canada for their work, and my brother and I travelled on our own to boarding school for international students where we could receive a North American education prior to repatriating after graduating.

My