“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” ~Maya Angelou
When I was eight years old, my mom had her first mental breakdown. The illusion of a typical suburban family shattered as the household descended into chaos. When the counselors and child protective services stepped in, I knew: I was undeniably different.
When you’re a child, family life is the classroom through which you learn how the world works. Once my mom was hospitalized, I realized how very different my lessons were.
Mortified, I retreated into a …
“I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.” ~Hafiz
I keep a prism hanging near the entrance to my home. Its beauty, made possible only by the broken nature of the glass from which it is constructed, serves as a constant reminder that even the broken pieces within each and every one of us can serve as a source of light. It’s a lesson that took me some time to learn.
Shortly after graduating from college, I took a long, brutally honest look at my life and realized …
“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” ~Jack Kornfield
I never wanted to see a therapist. I imagined settling onto the storied couch and seeing dollar signs appear in concerned eyes as I listed the family history of mental illness, addiction, and abuse. I feared I’d be labeled before I’d ever been heard.
But after experiencing the emotional shock of witnessing a murder, I knew I needed a space to grieve. So I gathered all of my courage and laid myself bare to a very nice woman who had Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements on her …
“Life always waits for some crisis to occur before revealing itself at its most brilliant.” ~Paul Coelho
I spent my twenty-fifth birthday crying alone at the foot of a mountain. While I had always found solace in spending time by myself, in that moment, I did not recognize my “self.” Without my self, I had nothing.
I was utterly alone.
Three weeks earlier, a man was shot just feet away from my front door. My then-boyfriend and I performed CPR until an ambulance arrived, but the man had been killed on impact. The police left my home at 3 a.m.; …