THICH NHAT HNAH’S WONDERFUL CALLIGRAPHY FROM OPEN HEART, OPEN MIND RETREAT 2011
So, it’s been awhile since I blogged. Each day when I sit to write I find the day has been taken up by Finding Heart Horse and The Wall of Secrets, the two memoirs on their way.
Finding Heart Horse is now in the publishing stages with Balboa Press, a division of Hay House. I had no idea how much work was involved even before you can submit a manuscript and have spent weeks trying to get it all in place. The pictures, the formatting, the words and finally I had what I considered to be the full file. My story all typed neatly in a specific package, specific file as requested.
My story. I told my story! Inside my story is a hundred other stories each one begging for validation, for someone to hear, for someone to see, for someone to understand.
Isn’t that what we all want?
To be heard. To be acknowledged and validated especially when your story involves the pain of abuse and violence, adoption and trauma upon trauma. We want and need people to listen.
This blog came about because for me, after 7 yrs of writing these books, working through each and every story emotionally, I felt free. I was no longer my story. I had to roll in the gutters of Hell along the way. Covered in the dirt and grime of life stories I emerged feeling lighter, integrated and scared. It was on paper with all of the guts and gore and pain endured. Not easy by any means. To walk through those stories as if I were there in time was beyond excruciating . Sometimes, in disbelief I would reread and reread and wonder how I had survived at all. I was FREE.
The truth will find us out, but it will also set us free. The trick is…you have to tell the good and the bad. The blog came from a few requests by the publisher to “retell” a rape scene because I was only 16 at the time and underage. I also had to get rid of what I considered to be some of the most important pictures.
My immediate reaction was one of anger. I mean, come on! A rape is a rape is a rape no matter how graphically you describe it or blankly leave out the guts and gore. I felt unheard, unvalidated, unseen and dismissed as I was so long ago.
It appears then, that while most of my story is on the paper and out of “me” therein lies some residual triggers and why wouldn’t there be?
I lived with secrets for 5 decades. You can’t change those deeply ingrained emotional triggers overnight. After sitting with these feelings and recognizing where they came from I was able to let go and rewrite the scene with less graphics and know I am heard. I hope they know that this is only one of many other scenes to follow!
THICH NHAT HANH
OPEN HEART, OPEN MIND
So I sat in reflection of how important it is to Tell Our Story. How important it is to listen to others tell their story. To listen with Compassion.
We all long for connection. When you tell your story it resonates with others. Person to person we connect, not in our pain but in the fact that we are healing, growing together by honouring each others stories and actually “seeing” the other person. The real person, all of the person, the good and the bad and ugly, if there really is such a thing. We are the ones that put those labels on.
In the superficial world of everyday life, people prefer to show their best side and hide any flaws out of fear perhaps or societal requirements. It’s when we tell our stories with truth and honestly, its when we make mistakes, or have to apologize or speak of failures that we become truly human and we connect with others in an authentic manner.
I see now in a different way Finding Heart Horse has blessed me with many lessons and will continue to do so as I work through each part of this publishing process I still need to work on healing my heart and telling my story is a huge part of the journey, I have to dig through the layers of hardened emotions if I want to rescue my heart that has so many cracks and patches already.
We all have these scars, but until we can look at our past in the eye and not blink, it will always be telling us to be less than we can be.
We carry our own pain but also part of the cosmic pain that connects our spirits together.
We really are one family.
Because we have room for our own pain, we have room for the pain of others and we can actually help to bear their suffering. Only then can pain be transformed into joy. When one heals, so does the rest of humanity, And when humanity heals, so will the planet.
Tell your story. Tell it in whatever way you choose. I’m listening with compassion.