I am committed to writing a book over the next several months. To help keep me on track and accountable, I am publicly committing to posting content chunks here on the blog each Friday. These chunks of writing won’t be perfect and they will go through further editing before the book is ready for publication. Your constructive comments and feedback are always welcome!
I set out to write a book to help people find love, but what I realized is that what people really need is a how-to manual on healing the human heart. Love is all around us in abundance. The problem comes with recognizing this love and harmonizing with it, welcoming it into our experience of life.
I have many tools that I’ve used over the years for my own healing. So when similar issues came up for me as I see others commonly face, I was able to do spiritual work to heal and grow through the challenges. However many people don’t know about and don’t know how to use the tools that I have spent my whole life learning and using. Many times people don’t realize that they need healing in order to overcome particular hurdles.
Humans learn through story, so I will tell mine. Anyone who wishes can learn from my experiences and gain access to the tools that I used to overcome the challenges I’ve faced. My own experience and challenges are what I know best. I know this information would not be half as useful or meaningful to you, the reader, if I only wrote about the healing modalities and spiritual experiences in the abstract or with generalized, whitewashed examples. Where necessary some names and identifying details may be changed in order to protect the identities of those involved, but the essence of the what I tell is true and relays my own experience to the best of my ability.
I was born in Seattle in 1976, the first child of 21 year old, very idealistic and very Catholic parents. My father was a pre-med student at the University of Washington, and my mother became a stay at home mom after my birth. My early years were fairly normal and happy. I gained a sister and then a brother by the time I was 5 years old.
I had a rich inner life even as a young child. One of my early memories is thinking to myself, “Thoughts are things!” and imagining my thoughts, ethereal but real nonetheless, emanating from my head and going out into the world to mix and communicate with other thought-objects, and maybe even landing in someone else’s head! Another memory from that time period is my father showing me a small holographic image that shifted when you changed the angle you viewed it at. He explained how holograms contain the whole image in each piece, even if you break the original into a million pieces. This boggled my mind a bit, but it also made me think of what I had been taught about God–that God is everywhere, in everything. So I imagined everything everywhere as containing a tiny hologram of God.
When I was 6, my father graduated from college and was accepted to medical school in the Dominican Republic, a small nation, sharing the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, in the Caribbean Sea. At first my father went there alone while my mother, siblings and I lived with my father’s parents and his younger siblings (my aunts and uncles, some of whom were near my own age) in their large home on twenty acres of land near the small town of Arlington, WA, North of Seattle.
I loved running and playing in the fields and forests on my grandparents’ property. At first living there was fun, but after a while I could tell it was taking a toll on my mom. Living in a spare bedroom at your in-laws home with three young children and your husband overseas would be hard for anyone. She was very brave, but sometimes I saw tears come down her cheeks as she wrote letters to my dad. Pretty soon I got the exciting news that we would be joining my dad in the Dominican Republic. What an adventure!
As our plane touched down in the D. R. I saw lush palm trees out the windows. This was a different world to anything I was used to. It was hot and dusty and it smelled funny! We moved into a small two-bedroom house in an ex-pat enclave near the medical school. Our home had tile floors, no hot water, and an old-fashioned washing machine with a wringer attached. We hung our laundry out to dry next to the banana trees in the backyard.
I’m six years old riding on a guagua (a small, privately operated bus) with my family. I’m wearing a white sun dress with red giraffes and tigers on it. My sister, Eileen is four years old and she is sitting to my left on the hard green vinyl bus seat. We are playing a game acting out characters with our fingers as people. I have my left leg up on the seat so I can face Eileen and we can use my leg as a wall in our game.
Suddenly the seat back slams down and we are thrown forward. The bus has crashed. Everyone is screaming and trying to get off the bus. I don’t see our parents or our little brother who were seated several rows behind us. I realize that my leg is stuck in the seat back mechanism. I can’t get it out. The bus is starting to empty and Eileen is crying. I tell her to follow the grownups. “Go with the other people. Go with the grownups. You will be safe with them.”
I am alone on the bus. I’m scared and in shock and my leg is still stuck. I have to get it out. It hurts but I very carefully manage to pull my mangled, bleeding leg out of the seat. I limp to the door of the bus and down the stairs to the ground. I see my dad sitting on the ground, dazed, with blood coming out of a gash on the top of his head.
“Daddy! Are you ok? Can I help you?!”
“Just go with the other people! Go!”
I follow a bunch of people onto another guagua that has pulled up to help transport people to the hospital. It is packed, standing room only. I don’t speak spanish, and I don’t know anyone on the bus. I don’t know where we are going. The bus pulls up in front of a large white building and people get off. I get off too but I can’t walk very well because my left leg is bleeding and broken. I hobble towards the building because I don’t know where else to go. Sliding glass doors open in the entry of the building and a large middle-aged white man dressed in khakis comes out. He hurries towards me and scoops me up in his arms. I am afraid because I don’t know what he wants or where he plans to take me. I wonder if I might need to fight him, but he speaks English and explains that he is taking me into the hospital, and I calm down.
I am taken into the hospital and doctors work on my leg. I have to get a lot of stitches and a big plaster cast that comes half way up my thigh. I reconnect with my family in the hospital. My mother and father have been injured but my siblings are both safe.
A few months later my mother almost dies of internal bleeding. She is very sick and I don’t know what is going on. My siblings and I are allowed to go in and see her. She is lying in bed so weak she barely opens her eyes. The grownups make us leave the room so she does not get more tired. My sister and I cuddle together that night–we are afraid. She gets a blood transfusion that saves her life but leads to other health complications later on.