autumn //

later you will understand

DenaSeptember 28, 2018

autumn //

autumn //

autumn //

Jesus replied, “You do not understand what I am doing now, but later you will understand.”

Hello, friends. It’s been awhile — a three week break that I hadn’t planned, but such is life. Right? Things have been really hard for me since the middle of July. When I look back on these last few months, the title of Pema Chodron’s book, WHEN THINGS FALL APART, keeps coming to mind. I suppose that is what happened. Things fell apart. Not just a little bit, not just one thing, but everything. At the time, I could not see the forest through the trees, but looking back, I see that my entire life has been precariously stacked like a house of cards for quite some time. It only took a little wind and toppling down it came.

Through July and August, I took hit after hit after hit in my personal life. Then, at the end of August, I took one final blow and I hit rock bottom. I have always been very honest here on this blog with regards to mental health. I have shared, at length, the story of my lifelong battle with depression & anxiety — as well as my beautiful story of overcoming those things that once debilitated me. But, the truth is, at the beginning of September, I crashed & burned. I slipped back into that very dark place, further down than perhaps I have ever been, and I got stuck there for a short time.

In those darkest of days, it was a very scary time for me. I struggled to make it through each day. But, at the same time, the beauty of it all was that after I hit rock bottom, I started climbing out. With each day that passed, I climbed further and further out of the darkness. I used all of the tools that I had once accumulated in the past to get myself out of hard times, and I climbed — day by day, hour by hour. I also have to attribute a lot of credit to my best friend who was there for me in ways that I can’t even express, steadfastly, patiently, loving me and encouraging me when I had all but given up. Of course, my faith carried me too. At the worst of this episode of depression, I was truly lost. I could not understand why this was happening me. All of the pain that I endured through July and August, trauma after trauma after trauma — all after everything I have already been through these last years — I wanted to throw in the towel, on everything. By the grace of God, I did not give up.

I found myself crying until my eyes burned and calling out, “Lord, why have you forsaken me? Why can’t I ever just get a fucking break?”

This is the wonderful thing about perspective — now, looking back, I can already see how necessary all of it was. Of course it is so difficult to see at the time, when you are stuck in the thick of it. Then one day you look back, and you say, “Yes. My word, that hurt so badly, but it was so necessary.” Through the pain of all of this, I find myself now standing in a place that I couldn’t even dream of previously. I am stronger and wiser and I have more clarity than I ever have in my life. Most importantly, I love myself. There is so much that I could say about what I went through and how I got here, and maybe one day I will tell that story like so many other stories I have inside — but the crux of it is this: I never loved myself the way that I deserved to be loved, and now I do. I thought that I loved myself. I thought that my half-cocked notions of self-love were enough… but I was so wrong. The truth is that I did not love myself. I was shamed of who I am. I was insecure. I had not forgiven myself for a lifetime of mistakes.

What happened when I hit rock bottom was that everything was stripped away. For the first time, I was stripped bare and I saw the terrified child inside of me, the one who never learned how to love herself. Then, in the middle of what I can only describe as one of the darkest nights of my life, something transcendental happened. I woke from a half sleep and I felt my soul split in two. There was the terrified child at my core and then another half of me floated outside of my body. A white spirit with wings and she (I) came over the scared child and held her. She (I) held me and said all of the things that the scared child needed to hear. A bright, warm light — an unconditional, all-encompassing love. This went on for quite some time, these separate pieces of myself, and eventually the two pieces came back together and I went into a deep, peaceful sleep.

When I woke, I was changed. I finally loved myself and I knew that I would never again hurt myself the way that I have for my entire life. Everything would change for me from that day forward. Everything continues to change. I realize that it all sounds a bit crazy, really. But it happened. One day soon I will write more about all of the changes that I have made since that day. God’s love and the magic of the Universe have truly been at play in my life these last weeks. The most important change has been my return to yoga and a commitment to the practice that is absolutely transforming my life in every aspect, but more about that another day.

I realize that this post is a little bit all over the place, but heck, this is where I’m at right now. It’s wild, but it’s good. Oh, and also in the middle of all that chaos, my hard drive crashed. So that was another thing that prevented me from updating here. But, I have a brand new hard drive, and both me and this big old iMac of mine are ready to roll. I’ll be back soon with some pictures from Roman’s first day of school and an update on how all of that is going. I also realize that the photos in this post are pretty random, but I’ve been taking a little break from photography and those are some of my recent favorites from my phone. Plus, who is not loving all of the autumn things right now? It’s my absolute favorite time of year and we’re soaking up all of the magic of it over here.

Every day is a new adventure. I am on a different path, a path that I did not expect at all! But here I am and I am so grateful. I didn’t understand then, but now I understand, and every day I understand a little bit more. I love you all! ♥

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