Whatever you’re going through right now, please know that there is so much good on the other side of the fear, grief and discomfort you might be experiencing. It’s sometimes so hard to believe that any positives can come from phases of life upheaval while we’re in them, especially when they’re traumatic, but much better times are closer than they may seem.
You’d be hard pressed to find a butterfly that would trade in its wings and go back to being a caterpillar, if only it could avoid that wicked chrysalis stage!
My personal chrysalis felt quite suffocating and painful, and I needed to grow through it without an audience. Hence ghosting from the blog in 2016, just as I was promising the good stuff: teaching readers caught in similar patterns how to heal and empower.
The problem was, I hadn’t done so fully enough yet myself. I thought I had, but the eye of my storm was very misleading.
Even while being interviewed as a featured expert for the Emotional Abuse Recovery and Resiliency Summit in 2018, I was contending with extreme interpersonal challenges, which prevented me from moving forward in all the ways I wanted to. I almost didn’t show up for the interview! Who was I to speak about moving beyond something I was still very much in the throes of?
I had come a long way on my empowerment journey, from a behavioral standpoint. I could say no to the countless people in my life who had come to always expect a yes. I could set and enforce boundaries and honor myself with self-care and much greater acceptance. I was no longer controlled by what others thought of me, and no longer felt responsible for anyone else’s feelings.
But I was still reeling from the emotional trauma that had gotten triggered, and therefore created more traumatic experiences with it. If that’s a new concept for you, I’ll write more about how that works soon. I’m glad I knew not to blog during that phase. It would have been a disservice to readers, as well as myself and those I was co-creating my challenges and painful experiences with.
LWT Origin Story
For those of you who are new to Love Without traffic, my very first post was based upon a journal entry, about a call to a domestic violence hotline in July of 2015. I have no idea where I found the courage to put that on my site, let alone place a link on Facebook. It wasn’t something I’d considered; it just sort of happened.
The next day, my inbox was flooded with messages from people who had experienced emotional abuse, or were currently living similar experiences. Some asked questions about what helped me through it. Apparently, I’d inadvertently presented myself as an expert. They were impossible to answer, considering I’d barely begun that journey.
In fact, if someone had handed me an outline for the screenplay I was about to become head writer for and also star in, I would have jumped off the nearest cliff. It was an extremely difficult time of my life, but I wouldn’t trade it today for anything.
Returning To LWT
I’ve long known that putting some of my old posts back up, and picking up where I left off with my story – which I very much see as such today – can help so many people.
But when I emerged with my wings, the last thing I wanted to do was put them on display and at risk for being clipped. So I quietly supported whatever clients happened to find me, without deliberately putting myself back out there, and kept my writing confined in journals. I got good and stuck, until I cleared the fear that was preventing me from stepping back into my mission.
I began to post again, in response to watching people spin out in Covid fear loops. It’s been much easier to write about immune boosting, healing with feeling and releasing stress than it was my personal life. These posts have featured colorful verbiage and helpful info, but they’ve lacked the ingredients that made LWT what it once was: my heart, and willingness to share it vulnerably.
I’m ready to do that again. I know that sharing parts of my story can offer hope to those who are struggling with the shock, anxiety emotional pain and deep sense of challenge that often accompanies the chrysalis stage, at least for humans. If you’re in one, know this:
You’re Going To Be (Better Than!) Okay
The chapters I would have given anything to delete as they were occurring on the screen of my life led exactly where they were meant to. Because when your entire life falls apart, something truly amazing happens: you learn who you truly are!
That might not sound like such a great prize to those of you who are in it right now. I get it. I couldn’t have given a rat’s ass about learning who I was while my nervous system was shutting down from trauma.
I’d been quite content with who I wasn’t, and the life I’d outgrown – or at least believed I was. All I wanted to do was wake up from what felt like an endless nightmare. Thankfully, it had some restorative and enjoyable commercial breaks, including several magical traveling adventures. But woah, did I sign up for the advanced courses!
These courses brought me to levels of peace, freedom, joy and unconditional love that are not contingent upon, and therefore also cannot be taken away by, external circumstances. And they provided the exact right training to step up and support those who are reeling from losses and the abrupt changes of these times.
When you’re in a period of real transformation, wanted or unwanted, the false self that you think you are has to die in the process. I know how painful that can be, and my heart goes out to you. I promise when you hit your butterfly stage, you’re going to be grateful for even the hardest times that helped you develop those wings.
Thank you to those who have stood by me as I’ve developed mine. None of us do it alone. I’m here for you!