I recently gave a tour of our program, Namasté Center for Healing, to some colleagues. One of the questions I was asked was, "Why do you do this work?" My initial thought was, "What a loaded question." In the past, I had given a more impersonal reason for why I do what I do. I would tell the story of a time when I was in undergraduate school at Westminster College when I wanted to be an attorney (true story). I was told by a much older male professor of mine that I was not cut out for law (how he knew that I don't know, as we had just met). At the time, I didn't have enough self confidence, self trust, or self esteem to continue to pursue a law degree....
Turns out that my professor was right for reasons that neither he nor I knew at the time.
My "Why" became crystal clear during the time that I had the honor of being my mom's primary caregiver; although admittedly, at the time, I didn't feel honored. It was 2012 and she was hospitalized and diagnosed with "wet brain" from chronic alcoholism. I was shocked as I thought she had quit drinking several years prior. She had suffered multiple strokes, and was given a final diagnosis of dementia. She was 64 years old at the time. I was devastated.
By February 2012, the day of my birthday, I placed her in a memory care unit in a nursing home. She was the youngest woman there. I would visit her three times per week and we would walk up and down the small narrow hallway (pictured above).
That is when my "Why" began to unfold.
At first, my "why" came out of fear. I thought to myself, "I don't want to be 64 years old walking up and down a locked unit not knowing who I am or where I am."
But over the next two years, my real "Why" shone through the illusive darkness of my mom's illness.
My mom had moments of clarity where she would talk openly about her life. Her friends started to visit and talked about her past, including my dad, who had been divorced from her for years. I learned a lot about this beautiful, complicated woman.
I knew my mom was an alcoholic but I didn't know she was a sex and love addict. By the time she passed away in 2014, from what I could gather, she indeed had an intimacy disorder. I always knew my mom was a wounded soul; a survivor no doubt, but wounded indeed.
By putting the puzzle pieces together that my mom was also likely a sex and love addict made sense to me on multiple levels.
During the last Trauma Wound workshop I facilitated last September, the puzzle continued to come together. As I was driving home after the first evening of the workshop, "Somewhere over the Rainbow" came on the radio.
In that moment, it dawned on me... I would not be able to offer so many people daily hope and inspiration if I hadn't survived my own trauma, and if I hadn't lived with a sex and love addict (and alcoholic) my whole life.
My "Why" finally became clear. My "Why?" Because,
EVERYONE DESERVES TO HEAL.
My abusers deserve to heal. She deserved to heal. I deserve to heal. You who are reading this deserve to heal. We ALL deserve to heal so that we can live amazingly beautiful lives free from suffering!
Part of my "why" on this earth is to create the most beautiful healing experience for people so that each and every person can re-connect to who they truly are; so that they can live whole-heartedly, mind body and spirit; free of shame, guilt, despair. We all deserve that!
We all must know our "WHY"; we must know why we use in our addictions or deprive ourselves in our anorexias (we all have one or the other, or both). And just as we must know our "Why" with the vices we use, we must absolutely know our true purpose in life; our mission and vision. Our true WHY.
You may be thinking you don't have a "Why"; that you don't have a purpose. But I promise you, you do. Trust that you do. You may not know right this very moment, but as you continue on your journey, no matter what it is, it will become clear. Let those that have walked the path be your guide as you find your way; as your "Why" unfolds. Trust that you too will eventually know what your "Why" is. That is all that matters... trusting that your "Why" is out there waiting for you to embrace it.
And, just in case you forget along the way, please don't forget, that you are SO WORTH IT. Every moment, every day. And, I believe in you.
CALLING ALL PARTNERS! April 25th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. will be a Life Changing Partner Workshop for individuals who've lived with a spouse with infidelity or sexual addiction (or both). Investment is $200; $50 deposit holds your spot! RSVP 801-272-3500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.