Today 23rd May is the most significant date in my personal calendar. It has been that way now for 43 of my 50 years on this earth. This is the day that the world that I had been born into, crashed and burned, being replace by a new, strange and much more dangerous place. Aged just seven sweet years old, my beloved daddy passed to Spirit after a long battle with renal cancer. This devastating event became the unconscious driver of my life and spiritual journey thereafter, as I became a conduit of healing to transform pain into peace.

Rejoin the path

Unbeknownst to me, it happened in the very early hours of the morning. I was at a sleepover at my auntie’s house. Delivered, with my brother and cousins to school the next morning from there. The afternoon came around and instead of mum picking me up from infant school, (my brother was already a junior and finished later), my almost 20 year old half-sister was there to meet me. I climbed the wall that ran along the side of the foot path, it was customary (obviously) for me to balance my way along the length of it in both directions at the start and end of my school day… but today, before I reached the end where I would jump down and rejoin the path, my sister shouted up to me in a matter-of-fact tone: “By the way, your dad’s dead.”

Someone who never shared her feelings

Yep, that was how a 7 year old found out that the world just ended… and do you know what? I didn’t lose my balance, I didn’t miss a step, I didn’t fall off the wall, I didn’t, as far as I can remember, even respond. Until I got home that was. I returned to house filled with strangers I had never met. The only familiar face was another auntie who directed me to my mum who I found perched on the loo upstairs. “What’s happened to my daddy?” Those were my first words. My mum’s? “I told you not to tell her!” screamed at the top of her lungs to my oh-so-pleased with herself sister. From that point on, I don’t remember any of it being about me, my pain, my loss, my feelings. I went from being the apple of someone’s eye, whose very last word was my name, to becoming someone who never shared her feelings, no matter how much pain she was in… because someone else’s pain was always deemed more significant and because some just enjoyed inflicting it.

Recognise your own power

Healing your own pain and using it as a catalyst for your peace isn’t something a child is able to do. There has to be a point on the path where you recognise your own power and begin to take responsibility, not for what happened to you as an innocent child, but for what you will do with that going forward.

My older sister, is not part of my life now. She hasn’t been for many years. My earliest memories of her involved severe forms of child abuse, always when charged with minding my brother and I in the short periods of time where my parent’s jobs crossed over. That abuse including being force to smoke a cigarette aged 3, being pinned against a wall with a carving knife to my neck around the same age. She idolised my brother, but I, from the age of 3, apparently was a threat to someone 13 years my senior.

The pain in my developmental years taught me so much…

I learned that I do not wish to live in a world where competition and conflict are the culture… so I build relationships based on co-operation, collaboration and true sisterhood. I build connections where leadership means nurturing and empowering rather than diminishing or punishing.

I learned that my feelings are powerful drivers for inner revelation. I channel them to transform fear into powerful teaching tools.

I learned that I have a choice in every situation whether to give my power away or call on a Higher Power to bolster my faith in myself and my ability to overcome.

I learned that grace is something you are, something you choose to be, something you offer and something you accept. It comes when you offer forgiveness and recognise that hurt people hurt people.

I learned that my boundaries needed to be akin to a rose bushes (my dad’s favourite flowers). Built with thorns that are benign and passive right until you attempt to attack, steal or damage the beauty that exists in the heart of it’s flower.

Today 23rd May 2022…

I honour the little girl whose loss was overlooked and had no power. But mostly, today I thank her for becoming the woman who teaches other women not to overlook the loss they’re enduring daily when they don’t acknowledge themselves as the power and conduit for their own peace.

Thanks for reading.

Jo x

P.S. If you would like to explore how to transform your past pain into present peace through The Grail Path, I would love to work with you to build your Spiritual Lifestyle. If you are struggling to forgive a past hurt, you might like to try the self-study Spiritual Workshop – “Freedom Through Forgiveness” FREE when you sign up for the newsletter

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