Going into hiding with my toddler was essential for self preservation.
What I didn’t realize, as a young mom, was how it would lead me onto the path of self realization.
Living in immediate crisis caused great fear. Fear of getting caught and my daughter being given back to my X. Fear of her being abused and neglected. Fear of the trauma she would experience without her mama. Fear of being put in jail and being unable to help her.
Born out of this fear was great focus. A deep level of presence. Clarity. I was living in the now more than I ever had in my life. Catastrophic experiences have the ability to gift that to you. They can help you wake up.
Being alone in a foreign country was scary, but also freeing. Without the guidance and advice of family and friends, I had to search my heart on how to create the best life for my daughter and myself. Paying attention was a big part of it. It was as if I was on my death bed, finally appreciating every little thing.
Living in the present moment helped me escape negative future tripping.
If I was at the park with my daughter, I became engrossed by our surroundings, her joy and laughter, all the minutiae that she noticed – from the bumble bee on a fluffy clover to an ant crossing the woodchips. At the swimming pool I was enveloped by her delight as we dipped and splashed and played in the water. On walks we stopped to notice flowers, and people, and dogs and cats. Naps were love-filled cuddles and snuggles. Her happiness was my happiness.
And from all of this awareness rose gratitude. I was elated to be alive. I was grateful for every moment I got to spend with my daughter and to be her mama. I was thankful for every stranger or new friend who helped us. I appreciated every situation that made me become a better mother and a stronger, wiser woman.
I had indeed risen from the ashes of abuse and trauma to become a joy-junkie Amazon.
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