child's pose
By Debbie Lynn

They (whoever “they” are) say our disturbances are all divine, but when we are in the thick of a nasty situation there is nothing divine about it.

And the last thing we are thinking about is thanking the atrocity for giving us a life lesson.

Enter blame, resentment and a plethora of other emotions that come in with the disturbances. They stack up like bricks when life is bending us over and kicking our asses. Here is how I turned the negativity around.

In 2001, my world collapsed. In desperation, I sought out help.

This wasn’t my normal way at all—I was an independent, strong, do-it-yourself kind of woman, so asking for a way out (a way to heal the many years of unresolved shit) was never a thought until my marriage imploded. Couple that with 9/11, (which ruined my business) I was in extreme chaos. I was losing my husband, my house, my car, my dignity and my mind. I broke down… I broke bad.

I remember being on bended knees begging for resolve, wailing in pity and sadness. I had no idea where I was going or who to turn to, but I knew staying in depression and helplessness was not an option.

For some reason I thought I could find an answer (or at least some sympathy) through a psychic I had seen in the past. I went to the bookstore where she worked, but I was told she wasn’t there. I burst into tears and the woman behind the counter hugged me tight. She gave a tissue stroked my hair and handed me a business card of another woman she thought could be of some help.  

Her name, Brightwater.

I called her immediately and she said, “Come right in,” which I did and our relationship began. This beautiful soul gave her time to me at minimal cost and took me on a journey I could not have done alone. She is a Shaman, a Medicine Woman, a Healer and Intuit. She took me to places that (in my mind) were forbidden and taboo.  

We had “sessions.” These were past-life regressions, heart-wrenching talks, and we dug into my many wounds. She was a guide to my soul, a mind cleaner and a mentor. One day she asked me to step back into my childhood for a moment and try to find my parents. I must have given her my yeah, right look but she was well aware of my ambivalence, “Debbie, this is an exercise in futility. You must drop your ego, your disdain for the ones you say have hurt you, and do this or you will stay ‘stuck’ in your own head forever suffering.”  

I complied, and this little “session” was truly life-altering.

She put me in a state of semi-hypnosis, softly speaking, instructing me to start the task of seeking out my parents. Dad was easy to find. He was in the basement, in his workshop. He was smoking a cigarette with a vodka tonic by his side, and he was tinkering with something. He looked up and greeted me with his usual smile and love, motioned me to come into the shop and gave me the hug I adore—it was just another day, in the day of “the way it was.” My dad was a consistent presence when I needed a bit of security, but dad was also immersed in the bottle. He did what he could do as only a father could do, just short of being there—but not fully.

Brightwater then said it was time to leave my dad and find my mother. I walked out of the shop through the laundry room expecting to see Mom at the ironing board, but she wasn’t there. I headed into the hallway peeked into the den thinking she might be in there cleaning, but she wasn’t.

I started up the stairs calling her, “Mom? Mom… where are you?” She was not in the kitchen, not in the bedroom and not in the den. The overwhelming feeling of being alone hit my gut hard. I cried for what seemed like an eternity and Brightwater gently brought me back to the present.

She let my heart pour out into her space.

My mom was not home, she was always gone and the tears rushed out of me painfully, and for a long time. I was so hurt by her absence and wanted her to be within reach, but she was in her own world, doing her own thing. Being home was not her agenda.

We talked about my resentment to Mom’s absence, her priorities and her energy. We talked about feelings of abandonment and the effects it has had on my soul. In this conversation I found my resolve with Brightwater’s words and they are words I will never ever forget.

“Debbie, I understand your ‘need and your pain,’ but it is time for you to spin that straw it into gold. You are strong, independent and creative don’t you see? Your mother’s absence was how you obtained these traits and fostered them into the woman you are now. In her absence you had to rely only on yourself, your power and your own intuition. If your mother had been different, you probably wouldn’t have the strength or the confidence to do most of the things you have done up until this very moment. Debbie, she is and her actions were a gift. It is in this anger with her that you have flourished, you have bloomed, and now you must return to it all to the soil; forgive yourself, reseed, rest and bloom again.”

I sat there solemnly and stared out of the window. It took a few minutes to let those words reach my heart and then I exploded in gratitude for Brightwater and my mother—a gratitude that I never knew was possible.  

I rose from the chair, wiped the tears from my eyes and embraced her deeply. Then I turned, and walked out the door.  

Completely injected with a new view, I went home and I called my mom. I thanked her for being her, thanked her for her own independence and her outlook on life. There was a pause, but she didn’t question my call or make me feel as if I needed to explain. She got it. The divine was immanent and the timing was right.

Renewed, revived and ready to take on the rest of the shit that stood in my face, I had a better understanding of my head and heart which empowered me to get through the next phase of sorting out “my stuff.” Ever since that day, I have used that example to over and over again when my feelings are messy and I need to overcome situations which have the propensity to hurt me. I can trace a line to the pain and thank it.

We all know life is a process, but so often we don’t know how to get to it or though it. It is a long and difficult trek, but we have to use these gifts of diversity to the fullest and give them a bit of dignity.

Life gives us exactly what we need when we need it. Is it divinity? I don’t know, but here are two definitions for the word—we can choose.

Divinity: noun

1 (pl. divinities) the state or quality of being divine: Christ’s divinity.

  • the study of religion; theology: a doctor of divinity.
  • a divine being; a god or goddess: busts of various Roman divinities.
  • (the Divinity) God.

2 a fluffy, creamy candy made with stiffly beaten egg whites.

I like them all. Life is divine and I am thankful for the pain. 


Photo: (source)

Editor: Alicia Wozniak