In the spirit of positivity and the law of attraction, I am making it my goal to speak only the things that can make my life better. Therefore, this post. There’s a story in those words, “you can.” I can, even. I don’t know what it is yet but I guarantee if I keep saying those words, I will find out what “it” is. I can also guarantee that once I do find out, I will write it out.
There’s actually a story in why I am using those words, too. It’s because of a book. There is an extremely high probability that if you are reading this you have heard of it. It’s called, “You Can Heal Your Life,” and it’s written by a woman I’ve admired for a very long time named Louise Hay.
This book has now made a full circle in my life. Here’s the backstory: I have avoided this book like the plague for a long time. I used to have a copy – Dorie gave me a copy not long before she was diagnosed with cancer. I wasn’t ready. I tried, but I just wasn’t ready – especially after the cancer diagnosis. I sent it on to someone else who I felt needed it more than I did at that time, was more ready for it, and would use it. I have been a little raw about this book ever since. It makes me cringe inside. It hurts. I miss her.
Weirdly, though, it has kept showing up in my life since Dorie died. Part of me knows why, and another part of me keeps (kept) screaming that it was absolute rubbish. It first showed up again a few weeks after Dorie died. It hit such a nerve that I practically screamed at whatever universal energy that had sent it to go away. “Leave me alone, let me be angry and sad and let me grieve. I don’t need you. I don’t want you.” And, it did.
Funny thing, though, that universal energy. A few weeks ago I found myself in a place where I was done – I was angry, but for a different and productive reason. I was dealing with a woman (a friend of my mom’s) who was making life very difficult. When I first met her, when my mom fell ill and was hospitalized in December 2016, this woman was very helpful, and she did a lot to help us. But then she became overbearing and aggressive and controlling. And then, one day when she didn’t get her way, so to speak, she became extremely angry with me.
The person that I had become in the last few years, if I had been acting like that version of myself, should have apologized profusely, taken the blame, accepted that I was the scum of the earth, and begged for forgiveness. That’s not the me that showed up that day. I didn’t have anything to apologize for, and by god I was not going to apologize.
What happened was that my mom had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance and this woman was waiting there for us after we were discharged. While we were in the ER, though, I was having flashes and my panic was building. My CPTSD was on the attack. I was terrified and I was fighting this evil by blocking out everything that I didn’t absolutely have to pay attention to – because that’s what I always do. Blinders…
Upon being discharged, I was blocking out anything and everything with one goal in mind: get my mother to the truck and out of the building. One step at a time, you know? I still had to drive her home (driving anxiety on fleek, too). I didn’t even notice that this woman was there until we got into the truck and my mother asked, “where did ______ go?”
Oh, my bad. Right? So I texted the woman and asked, and was ignored for hours. Finally, I texted back a third or fourth time (I forget) to check that she was OK. I was actually beginning to worry! After that third or fourth text, she texted back saying that she was angry that she had been ignored so she left, and that was all she had to say. This is where the new me kicked in.
I didn’t apologize, but I did text back explaining to her what was happening and asking her to please answer the phone so I could update her on what was going on. Again, she ignored me. Refused to answer the phone, didn’t text me back. Finally, I texted her saying, “Look, if you have a problem with me then it’s YOUR problem, not mine. I am not going to apologize to you for having a condition that you’re aware of, for not stroking your ego, and for not caring that you are angry. Thank you for all you’ve done to help up to this point. Have a nice evening.”
Of course, the only time I’ve heard from her is when she’s wanted something. My mother hasn’t heard from her either, unless she’s had to bring my mother some paperwork or wanted to talk to my mother about buying her car. I truly appreciate all that she did to help at the beginning of this ordeal with my mother, but I am honestly so grateful that she showed her true colors when she did and that she put up a wall on her own. I have no idea if that makes sense or if it sounds unkind, but it’s the truth. At the end of the experience all I felt was sheer relief.
The point of sharing that experience is this: it was almost at the specific moment that I found my self-respect and self-confidence with this woman that this book started to appear again. I had had enough – enough of life shitting on me, enough of people insulting and abusing me because of whatever problems they had within themselves, enough of death and loss and grief and pain, and I just wanted my life to be better even if it meant I had to finally stand up for myself. And that’s exactly what it meant – the universe got the memo, too. Not two days after this happened, the book started showing up again.
First, I saw a quote from the book in a meme on a CPTSD support group friend’s Instagram. It clicked in my mind but I let it go by. A few days after that, I commented on a friend’s grief post and she responded to me by recommending this book. Then, another few days later, a good friend of mine told me out of the blue – she hadn’t been a part of any of the other conversations and wasn’t friends with those people – that she had this feeling that this book would be a good fit for me during this time and she wanted to send me a copy, if I’d accept it. I messaged her back and told her about the things that had happened and I agreed with her but I never sent her my current address. The next day I saw another post on Instagram – this time, a coupon for an e-book sale that used the cover of this book as the art for the coupon. I literally laughed out loud and went about my business. No way was I falling for it – I didn’t need this stupid book! I wasn’t ready, even if I did!
A few days went by and I saw nothing more about the book. I pretty much forgot about the book, until this Monday when I saw another meme with a different quote from the book. This time, the quote said, “The point of power is always in the present moment. You are never stuck.” Sigh. At this point, I gave up. I liked the post, commented with a praying hands emoticon, and immediately tapped the DM button and sent my friend a message saying, “Well. I don’t know if the offer still stands, but if it does I think it’s time that you sent me that book.” I sent my address. I wasn’t expecting the book to arrive quickly at all. It arrived the very next day.
So, on Tuesday this book came back to me in a way you kind of can’t ignore. My very generous and open-hearted friend, with such a loving and caring spirit, had given me the most beautiful gift – first tangible tool I’d had in a long time that was meant to heal me. All I had to do was say, “yes.” All I had to do was allow it. I didn’t have to touch it, or even begin reading it right away. All I had to do was accept the gift, and I had. Step one, done. To be perfectly honest, I just stared at the book and sobbed when I opened the package. I was absolutely terrified, yet so immensely grateful.
Here I am tonight, Thursday – and I wanted to share this experience not only to express my new-found belief in kindness and good in the world, but also to express this example of how, when the universe has a lesson for you, you WILL NOT ESCAPE IT. It will keep showing up, no matter what you do, until you at least hear what it has to say – even if you have no faith at all. Don’t give up on kindness and good and love; most of all, don’t give up on yourself. You will be pleasantly surprised when, even though you might not be sure you’re ready for it, it shows up and flips your world back right again – or at least helps to get you on the right track to doing it yourself.
In ending this post, I want to say thank you – clearly, to my friend who sent the book to me – but also to you, the people here and on Instagram who encourage me to not only keep on with this part of my journey but also to share it, and with whom I am able to share and have conversations, glean support from and offer support to. Thank you for being. Thank you for everything. My hope is to give back to you, even if the only way that I can is to show you the difference you make in my life by allowing my life to be different; by allowing my life to be better, and to better bless yours. I am grateful.
All my love,