An Unexpected Moment of Connection

In June 2013 I attended a writer’s conference that featured a speaker who was a well-known female memoirist, and most of the attendees were female. I sat at a table with an exceptional group of women, our ages spanning four decades.

Through writing prompts and group exercises, we got to know each other in personal ways very quickly. I shared my purpose in helping women heal from abortion, explaining that I knew from experience how needed this work was. The responses around the table were positive. 

Until Kathleen spoke. 

Kathleen told her story of being a pregnant teen. Her parents had taken her baby away from her and put it up for adoption, deciding for her that she was not capable of being a mother. She was devastated. She vented anger at them and her sister, who also became pregnant as a teen, but who had made a different choice. She exclaimed both angrily and proudly, “Well, at least I had my baby. My sister aborted hers!”

No sooner had she said the words when she realized it and shot a look across the table at me. She didn’t want to hurt my feelings, and she apologized. 

I understood, and I told her so. Before my abortion I had always sworn I’d never have one either. And I’m used to negative reactions around this issue. When I tell people my experience, I hear things like, “I have nothing against abortion, but I would never choose it.”
It’s funny how God likes to teach us humility. 

We were not in a position to speak privately, but at the end of the workshop we ended up next to each other in line for the author’s autograph. It was a long line and we had over thirty minutes together. She apologized again, opening the door to more conversation on the subject. In the past, her words would have triggered me into a downward spiral of negativity. But having worked on my own feelings of self-judgment and self-worth over the years, I was able to step back from her comment and not feel it personally. As it turned out, I was able to provide a safe place for her to share deeply her buried feelings of loss and sadness. She had felt shame over her pregnancy and the loss of her child.
She, like myself, had lived much of her life feeling isolated.

Despite the noise and commotion around us we forged a special bond in those thirty minutes. By the time our books were autographed, we did not want to say good-bye. We realized we shared the same experience — having an unplanned pregnancy — no matter how different the outcome. After living in shame and self-loathing for many years with our buried secrets, we discovered that we were more connected than we could have dreamed at first meeting. We lingered a little longer before exchanging contact information and finally releasing each other.  

I believe it is these baby steps, taken one person at a time, that will change the world perspective on abortion. Kathleen and I discovered how much more we had in common than we’d thought. Once we were able to set aside our judgments, a beautiful moment of grace and connection unfolded for us. 

I wish you a moment of unexpected grace and connection in your life today too. And a loving release from judgment, of yourself and others.



  1. Beautiful Christina! I'm grateful for our own moments of grace and connection. :-) You are absolutely right, you just never know what grace there might be in a moment, even one that seems potentially negative, unless your heart is open to see it.

    1. It is amazing, Lynda, how when we get out of our own way, these moments are so accessible and available to us. You are so right, with that open heart, there is so much goodness within our reach.

  2. What a beautiful story of you holding Sacred Space so Kathleen felt safe to open herself up to you & start her own healing! Sometimes we just need to hear ourselves speak to recognize the true nature of our pain - harsh societal-based judgment of ourselves & others. The more we come together, the more we UNITE in healing & uplifting each other for ALL! <3 To ending the Legacy of neglect & shame! <3 :~) Love, Lana

    1. Yay sister! I so agree! I feel like a different person than the one who sat at my grandmother's bedside (last week's blog) now. It hasn't been easy for me, but I do believe with support, it can be so much easier for others. It is so true, if we can accept ourselves, for the Divine presence we are and have inside of us, we can end those negative cycles of shame and pain. Love back at you! Christina

  3. Great sharing Christina - I just read your story in Pebbles in the Pond, and resonated so strongly with your spiritual journey having also left accounting, having to break down illusions, change careers, and discovering a whole new way of BEING in the world. I also read Dr. Brian Weiss's book 20 years ago, and James Van Praagh's "Talking to Heaven", which both radically changed my perspective at the time!! I learned to 'distance' myself from family on this journey in a way that works for me, but at the time felt very difficult. I so admire your courage to step into life on so many levels to discover peace, your own soul, and a life you define with your values not anyone else's.

    1. It's funny how even though we are all different, our journeys are all somewhat alike. I just love the resonance of the Wizard of Oz with my own journey, and yours too - finally realizing "there's no place like home". Thank you for your affirmation and sharing. It continues to support my belief that only we can know what's right for us.