My friends thought I had it all and that I was living the perfect life.
With poise and ease, I was handling the typical life transitions of a woman my age.
Little did they know I was filled with grief and indescribable pain and hiding a secret… even from myself.
Everything may have seemed “perfect” on the outside – but what I was suppressing was poisonous and paralyzing.
I was in an abusive relationship and the violence had escalated to the point where I feared every day might be my last. My heart was breaking and my world was crumbling around me. How had this happened?
A Typical American Household
I was raised in a typical ’50s All American household with very loving parents and many siblings. I was sweet, shy and fearful. I was most afraid of the yelling and the sound of the beatings my brothers endured.
I vowed I would remain safe by being the quiet little girl. One of the strongest memories I have as a child is of one brother putting me down, hitting me, and calling me stupid and ugly. He was only a year older and the most important person in my life.
I was crushed…over and over again. Even though I was loved by my parents and had many friends, I felt unworthy, unimportant and invisible.
Blueprint of Insecurity
As I grew older, my insecurities deepened and the negative feelings and beliefs I had about myself helped create a bleak blueprint for my life.
I gathered up all the put-downs and rejections I had experienced as a child and the numerous negative feelings and beliefs I had acquired and carried them into my adult life where I manifested the same unhealthy relationships and situations.
Why would I do this? I did it because all I had known and was comfortable with were experiences of rejection and fear and feelings of unworthiness – I was just following my life script.
Meditation and Journaling
About 7 years ago, as I was going through empty nest syndrome and menopause, dealing with my mother’s death and my father’s Alzheimer’s, several physical ailments surfaced and a deep depression enveloped me.
What was going on? I had always been able to handle things easily but this was just too much for me. Reaching out for relief, I started the daily practice of meditating and journaling.
These tools helped remove the blinders and awaken me to the truth of the abuse I had been living with and hiding. “Feelings buried alive never die.”
I also learned that the negative thoughts, beliefs, and feelings that were deep in my subconscious were manifesting in my outer world and creating disease in my body.
Getting Free, Becoming Alive
I had been staying true to my vow of silence. No wonder I was physically ill! What to do now?
Could I handle more loss in my life? As I continued journaling, my hidden pain, fear, and pent up feelings surfaced, bringing awareness and cleansing followed by clarity and newfound strength.
At 49 years old, after burying my mother, I walked away from the toxic yet very intoxicating relationship, my beautiful home and lifestyle, my grown stepdaughters, animals, and all of my belongings.
I felt lost and alone, but I was free and alive. The only bright lights in my life were my sons who were happy, healthy and living adventurous lives.
Taking a year to focus on myself, I read, walked, journaled every day, meditated, and explored my life through therapy.
In hypnosis and imagery sessions and through emotional freedom techniques (EFT), I learned how to release old thinking patterns, habits, stress and negatives and build up my self-esteem.
Healing Through Self-Discovery
This journey of self-discovery led to healing and peace and, along the way, I realized my purpose in life.
Just as my sons were graduating from college, I was enrolling in school – at 50 years of age!
I am now living my purpose, speaking about inner strength, the power of thoughts and beliefs, and the importance of self-love, self-respect, and choices.
Because journaling had been such a profound healing tool for me, I created “Thoughts to Release Journals” to share with others.
Through Wings, an empowerment program I created in 2002, I am helping other women realize their worth and teaching them how to live a healthy, balanced and fulfilling life.
Perhaps my experiences were a necessary part of the plan that led to this passionate mission of empowering others. Living the perfect life? I’m blessed to be living a purposeful and fulfilling life.
By MaryLou Kenworthy, © copyright 2004