I have received several questions from readers of my memoir, A Girl Named Truth, so I thought I would start a Q & A series on my blog. Many of the questions share the same themes, and also, I feel, point to our collective universal search for peace and healing. Here are three that were posted via my author Facebook page:
Have the pains that you suffered went away?
When I read this question, I realize how loaded it is. There are many layers of “pain” that are encased in the story of A Girl Named Truth. There is the pain of the physical body, which eventually manifested in the form of two years of debilitating IBS as an adult, and there are the emotional “pains” that were brought on by divorce, family estrangement, a difficult childhood, and an adolescent filled with bullying and insecurities. Yet, these are all connected, and the body of pain is the physical manifestation of the mind’s trauma. We often trap our stories in our bodies, and the emotions that go with them linger and can lead to dis-ease, and various diseases.
In my memoir, I reveal that on Mother’s Day of 2008 I experienced my last night of interrupted sleep curtesy of my body’s battle with IBS. In his book, Quantum Healing, Deepak Chopra talks about the intimate connection the mind has to the body. It is so intimate, he shows us, that the mind is ultimately what heals the body. By mind I am referring to an awareness and decision to heal that often surpasses the brain’s logic and comprehension. Herein lies the concept of miracle healings and cures. I believe that on Mother’s Day of 2008, I had forged an agreement with my mind and body that it was time to heal, and I did.
Although the nightly episodes of IBS stopped that night, the healing, in essence, had just begun. The contract I had made between my mind and my body, I came to realize, included the release of the stories that I had so long held trapped inside of my belly. And so I began to write. As I wrote, I healed, layer by layer, and I am still healing. I believe life is like spiral back to the center, and with each turn of the circle, as we walk closer to true being, we heal another layer of our story of life.
So, to answer this question in more simple form, I would have to say yes, and also no. The physical pain of IBS is no longer playing out in my body, and with it I have reduced much of the emotional pain. Yet, I still walk the spiral, and with each turn I visit another layer that wants to be exposed, examined and healed. For example, even though I have come to the place of acceptance, I still feel the inner child’s yearning for unconditional mother-love. In additional, old patterns around self-worth and rejection still resurface in new forms, and I am reminded that I am a human who is still learning how to be whole.
What is your current relationship with your father?
Without giving away too much of the already written story, I will say that the memoir was deliberately written to form a symbolic circle. In essence, it begins and ends with my relationship to my father, but there is no epilogue. Also a deliberate choice, as I wanted to inspire a forum for discussion, such as this one, and the story is still being played out.
I have seen my father only once since the time period covered in the book, but I have talked with him often. Although we are still learning about what it means to form a father-daughter relationship as adults, we continue to inch our way closer to the center. Our reunion has been one of the greatest and most healing gifts of this journey. Although we have lived through a troubled past, mostly individually, he was able to accept my gift of my story with grace and gratitude. There has been no judgement or animosity. Instead, he has thanked me, as well as shown compassion and a willingness to help, in his own way, to weave back more of the threads of separation. He knows I love him, and I know he loves me, and that now underlies everything else. Its has become our new foundation in the journey we share together.
Do you have peace after completing the book?
Another loaded question. The simple answer is yes. It took me nine years, from when I started writing my stories, to the release of the book into the world. Even after I wrote them down, I began to realize I was still holding them close. They were no longer inside of me, but they were like a cloak, covering me. It was an act of protection, and releasing them into the world was both necessary and incredibly vulnerable. I knew I needed to release the cloak, but I didn’t realize how naked I would feel. Yet, the day after I hit the button to release the book out into the world, I found myself sitting quietly on my sofa and realizing that all I felt was peace. A deep, quiet and profound feeling of inner peace. I had birthed my book into being, and now it was no longer just mine. Like a child, I could continue to grow with it, but it was now ready to take on a life of its own. And, like most children, it has received acceptance from some, and not from others. What matters most though, is that I have let it go, and hopefully it will find a healing place in the world.
I want to thank my readers for their questions, and welcome the sending of more. Questions can be posted here, on my Facebook page, or sent directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.