Destiny: Predetermined or Taught (Part 1)

My parents had a story they loved to tell me when my kids were first born. It was about when I myself was a newborn, perhaps six weeks old at best. 

Although they say I was not colicky, apparently one afternoon during my first spring, I was crying for no reason. Despite their best efforts they couldn’t get me to stop bawling, so they put me in my crib, shut the windows and door to my bedroom, and then left the apartment with me wailing inside. They say they sat on the stoop for over 30 minutes until they were sure I must have stopped crying. Sometimes my dad will tell the story and joke that I learned from that experience to keep my mouth shut. The interesting thing is, over my childhood years, I heard the expression that children should be seen and not heard so many times, that even as a joke, it wore thin pretty quickly. My dad had a quick temper at times and between that parenting philosophy and a devout Catholic upbringing, I grew to be quiet and studious, rarely stepping out of the tight boundaries that were erected around me.  

It’s no wonder that I met and married a man who treated me very much the same way. His ‘normal’ and my ‘normal’ way of living were far from most people’s usual ‘normal’ behavior, but very similar to the type of home environment in which we were each raised. His role model, his step-father, was physically, verbally and emotionally abusive as well as an alcoholic, spendthrift and womanizer. He brought this emotional template into our marriage, along with approximately $35,000 of mostly credit card debt. This was back in 1989.

Despite using birth control religiously, in 1992, less than three years into our marriage, I found out I was pregnant while hospitalized for profuse vomiting. When the doctor told me I was pregnant, I burst into tears. My husband looked at me and said “I know what to do.” I knew what he meant, agreed between my wrenching sobs, and within days I had had an abortion. I am sure that I left my body that day, and while I may have been back in it over the next eleven years in the physical sense of the word, I certainly was not aligned with myself in any way, shape, or form. It wasn’t until a miscarriage in 2003 that the memory of the abortion flooded my being and brought me to my knees, literally and figuratively. 

It took me many years of therapy and other experiences to find answers and wholeness from my pregnancy losses. Along the way, I have learned many valuable lessons, lessons I now believe were available to me because of my experiences with abortion and miscarriage. And with that realization has come a healing that is deep and lasting. My eyes have opened to the incongruence’s of my life to that point, and been the impetus for a transformation of all my long held beliefs about myself, my family, and my religious upbringing.   

One of the biggest lessons I learned in healing was that keeping a secret (and that could be any secret, not just an abortion) kept me stuck right where I was. The more I held onto that secret and repressed it, the heavier the weight guilt, shame and other negative feelings became in my body. That secret took up valuable space that I needed to build a better life. It needed to be released so that my being, in every way possible, could have room for love, joy, and freedom. 

Letting go of all those feelings has been some of the hardest work I’ve ever had to do in finding my way back to being in alignment with my soul. There was another pivotal incident which I’m going to share with you next week that also helped me enormously regain my footing on the path to wholeness. This incident not only changed and transformed me, but it changed the life of my children, most notably my daughter, as well.

And the most amazing thing about this other happening is that it came from a source I least expected: my own family.

Until next week, 



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