Last night, I laid on my floor.
I asked my body what she wanted in that moment.
She told me to go to the mirror and look into my own eyes.
To really look. To see beyond my reflection. To peer deeply, way past the surface.
And so I did.
In that instant, the years peeled back, fell away like autumn leaves gently in front of me.
Me at 5, in pigtails with my chin resting on the back of our couch, waiting for a father who did not come.
At 14, sneaking food in my room at night to binge on, stuffing my face until I felt sick.
Then at 19, standing at the top of the steps in our house telling my step father I loved him as he left on a trip. Somehow knowing that I was never going to see him again after that.
19, weeping at his grave. Gutted, yet pretending to be strong.
Next at 22. Feeling the thin piece of paper the prescription for my.anti depressant had been written on resting in my hand. Believing there was something wrong with me and that’s why my boyfriend left me.
Fast forward 10 years to me sitting in my car with a baseball cap pulled low over my face, watching another boyfriend bring a woman he claimed he was not seeing home for the night
Followed shortly thereafter by a drive to Fort Fischer in the middle of the night. leaned up against a rock trying to figure out a reason to live.
Me at 33, getting help for the first time. Wanting to live and now knowing how.
7 years later. My marriage. My pregnancy. Giving birth to my child. Marveling at how my body knew just what to do. The pain, the sweat, the screaming, the primal-ness of it all.
Flashing to 46. The breakdown and dissolution of that same marriage. The heartbreak. The anguish. . The death of a dream.
And then I’m back at 47. Looking into the eyes of this woman. THIS woman.
This woman, who has known gut wrenching devastation and unspeakable joy.
This woman, who has fought and clawed and kicked her way out of deep holes she thought she’d never get out of and never wanted to be in to begin with,
This woman, who created and carried life in her body for 9 months and birthed one of the most magnificent creatures she knows.
This woman, who has held and carried so much pain. Who has battle scars far and wide, some physical, others imprinted on her soul.
This woman, who, despite this, has not given up. Who has kept seeking her own healing and liberation inches at a time.
This woman, who gazed back at me with such fierce love and devotion. Tears streaming down her face. Heart swelled with gratitude, tenderness, pride, and admiration.
We are all this woman. All of us. Your circumstances may be different than mine. But you have also been ripped to shreds by life and scraped your way back to the land of the living. You have tasted the salty tears of joy and the punch in the gut of heartbreak you were sure you couldn’t bear.
And yet you did. Me too. And we are still here, stilling standing. A bit more scarred and weathered, but here nonetheless.
I see you and you see me. And even though we may never know each other’s names, we KNOW each other.
And somehow that is enough to start to believe we are each a Goddess.