“The greatest act of self-revelation occurs when we choose what we will believe” (The God Who Weeps, Givens, p.5).
It was five years ago, around this time, when I was standing in the bread aisle of a grocery store. I stood there, staring, knowing, awaking. “It wasn’t supposed to be this way;” this truth, vibrating in the marrow of my bones. We needed bread and I knew that no matter what bread I bought it would be the wrong bread and I would get in trouble. So I stood there. Staring. Knowing. And waking up. It was a small wakeup. Just a little tiny something coming back to life inside of me. “It is not suppose to be this way.” I then choose a loaf of bread from the what seemed like hundreds of choices. I made my purchases and went back to the apartment. Needless to say, it was the wrong bread and I was punished.
My parents raised all of their girls to be strong, independent, kind and generous. I never thought I would be “that woman.” I was’t raised that way. But it all happened so fast, the abuse. There were flags but they were not red. We met. Fell in love. It was a dream. I couldn’t believe it was finally happening to me. I trusted him. We laughed. We had fun. He championed me. Believed in me. Encouraged me. We planned. We talked about the future. Every once and a while he would say something, do something that made me hiccup in my heart. And I called him out on it. I was not silent. But over time, these things he said, these things he did chipped away at my heart, at my mind. When the big things started happening I was already dead inside.
After my little small knowing, my awaking in the bread aisle, I began to channel Diana. I put a picture of her next to my mirror in my bathroom. I wrote the words “Channel Diana” underneath. I don’t think I understood at that time what I was doing for myself, I was just trying to make it through another day. But that picture, those words became a meditation, a mantra that would help me come to life again. Channeling Diana, the Princess of Peoples Hearts, would help me survive a devastatingly abusive relationship, the wicked companionship of heartbreak, the deepest blues of depression and post traumatic stress to move into the rising light of post traumatic growth.
With each act of abuse a small piece of me was being evicted until it felt like I was no longer living in my body. I didn’t exist. The girl I was was gone. She was no where to be found. She didn’t exist anywhere. I looked for her. I prayed for her. I cried for her. Writing this now, I want to tell you that she was there, pushed deep down inside of myself all along. But something about that isn’t right, not all the way true. There was a point on my journey of recovery where I would tell myself, in an effort to reframe my trauma, that the abuse did not break me, it built me. Those words were so pretty. They still are. I wanted so badly for them to be true but they were not. They are not. The abuse did break me. I was broken. There are parts of me that are still broken and that is okay. The abuse did not build me. I built me. I did it. I choose to do the work and I waded through the miry clay. God came to me and and He said, “Nicole, my daughter, here are your friends, here is your family, your church family, here is a therapist, some self-help books, good music, here are all of these tools. Most importantly, here is My grace and here is My Son. Now go and build yourself.”
And that is what I have done. Over the past few years I have built myself. With intention, in God’s wisdom and by His grace. But I had to choose. I had to make choice. Many over and over and over again. My healing isn’t something that just happened to me. It is something I choose to seek every. single. day. That is what this blog is about. It is about choosing what I believe or want to believe and then acting on it.
It is about agency. The freedom to choose. The ability, the opportunity to make a choice. It is about how I have harnessed my agency to live spiritual practices to know me, uncover me, create me and fulfill me.
The PURPOSE part:
You are welcome here. This space is for you. This space is for me. Here you will find a record of my spiritual practices. Some very Mormon, like me. Others very not Mormon, but also like me. Because I chose them. They found me and I chose them. I carried them home and wear them daily. If you feel inspired to try on some of the spiritual practices found here, please do so. No matter your religious and/or spiritual identity, if they lift you and fill you and challenge you- you can have them. They are free and breathe freeness.
“He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth…” (Psalms 40, New Testament)
You can read more about my story of abuse and healing by visiting channelingdiana.com