The wind ruffled my hair as I stood smiling at the passersby. The street was busy, and I was excited to be there signing my newly published book Let My Legacy Be Love, A Story of Discovery and Transformation: Tracing Adult Issues to Childhood Hurts. As I chatted with an old friend who happened by, a woman hurried toward my table from the side street with a serious expression.
“I need your book,” she said, her intent eyes now scanning the back cover. She glanced up and smiled, explaining, “I looked it up on line and I think it will help my family.”
Our conversation continued as she shared her story and her belief that a large part of our population is walking around completely unaware that the fears they struggle with are in large part because of wounds they sustained as children. “People don’t understand that they need to face those hurts. Once they do that, I believe they can change their lives,” she said.
So, how do you know where to begin to face the things in your life that upset you or cause you pain? Are you challenged by close, personal relationships? Maybe you don’t feel you deserve any better than what you’ve got? Maybe you even feel like you are everyone’s doormat, but you can’t seem to figure out how to break out of your pattern? As my friend Marcia said recently, “It doesn’t matter where you are on the spectrum. Every one of us has something to heal.”
How do you get started? Since I am not a professional psychologist or counselor, I can only speak from personal experience. For me, my life was turned upside down when my second husband left. Of course, I wanted to blame him, but this was my second marriage. There was more to it than a he said/she said series of events. I remember clearly when a life-changing thought hit me. “I am the common denominator in two failed marriages.” I literally had to sit down to catch my breath.
I honestly couldn’t wrap my head around the reasons my relationships had fallen apart. I’m an honest, open, loyal, and loving family person. I don’t get angry over the little things, and I’m very compromising. I did my best in two completely different situations, and yet I failed twice. At that point, it became my mission to understand why.
Each morning from then on, I journaled my thoughts. I took self-improvement classes and read self-help books. I saw a counselor on a weekly basis. Yet I couldn’t seem to piece things together. I was like a puzzle I could not solve. It wasn’t until I started sharing stories with my friend Carlene that I began to get a glimpse of where my issue started. When she first hinted at the idea of childhood trauma, I thought she was crazy. But when I came across the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE Study), it all suddenly came into focus. The patterns I was examining I was able to trace back to specific events in my childhood. I share my stories in Let My Legacy Be Love, and I can tell you from my own experience that when you step back to look at your stories from a different perspective, you can literally change the course of your life.
Are you stuck in a repeating pattern? If so, ask yourself if you are open to understanding why. If you are, please come back next week. There will be more stories, more information, and more insights for you. And I want to hear from you! It’s your personal path of discovery, but I am here to listen.
Thank you for joining me on this journey, because when we heal ourselves, each one of us can leave the most important legacy – a legacy of love.