Destroying a very important relationship in my early adulthood and consequently, having to deal with the realities that followed, was the first time in my life I experienced total emotional devastation. I felt an intense achy emptiness in what is often referred to as the heartspace, that space in our chest and upper abdominal cavities where we feel our soul to be. So devastating was that break-up, the feeling lasted, not for days or weeks, but months and years. I took 100 percent blame and could not seem to let go of the blame. A relentless gnawing feeling took hold and persisted, threatening to destroy my life and any future happiness I might find, if there should be any out there for me. Thankfully, I’d met an awesome woman who I consider my good friend and mentor.
In order to survive, I knew I had to gather up my heartspace and try to move on, it was a task I wasn’t really sure I was up to, and I look back fondly at a time when my good friend and mentor, Ethelyn Mosher, used much of her Faith to encourage my ability to make a new life, in a new place. I believe Ethelyn’s strong Faith in God and her belief in me made me see possibilities that could be there, even though life as I knew it (or even wanted to know it) was gone forever. I secured a new job, found a new apartment, made new friends and started a new life, the very thing I thought I couldn’t possibly do. Eventually, I found someone who filled my newly-repaired heartspace with love and laughter again. That, too, I thought was impossible. As long as it remained crumbled and broken, my heartspace couldn’t be open to the possibilities of happiness that lay ahead! Making new friends and allowing them to share my life, and sharing in my dear friend’s awesome faith, allowed possibilities to open up to me.
Relentless Gnawing Lessens
I came to realize that faith in others and faith in a higher power (whatever your higher power is) creates a faith in yourself that allows you to put your heartspace in order. That relentless gnawing feeling inside you lessens a little each day, so you can finally see a new life beginning to take shape. I suppose it is another form of standing tall, although, at the time, it certainly didn’t feel like I was standing tall. I did find a new life; and it was an exciting and fulfilling life.
More Heartspace Aches
I drew on Ethelyn’s example of Faith once again (I often called it “piggy-backing” on her Faith) some 26 years later when a stroke wracked my body my brain and my life, tearing through me like a bolt of lightning, rendering me completely left-side paralyzed. I continued to believe all would be right in the end; that everything happens for a reason, even though we can’t see the reason immediately. Using that, I believed I would get better, even as the medical professionals said I wouldn’t walk and would likely spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair. I believed, I fought hard for what I felt strongly to be true and that was that I’d not only walk, but I’d also get my life back. I draw on everything Ethelyn has taught me, especially now, following the death of my best friend and life partner, who, over the course of 28 years had become the center of my whole life. The feeling in my heartspace aches as it did in my early 20’s and again just 4 1/2 years ago, after I thought I lost myself to the stroke.
Even as I sit here writing this, I feel a tear sting my eye and hot liquid moving down my cheek. I feel, too, that same gnawing in my heartspace, I remember my life will get better again. My heartspace will repair. There will be love and laughter once more.
As each day goes by, I’m drawing on the faith Ethelyn showed to me, and in me. all those years ago to help me gather up the pieces of my heart space and put things back in order so that the gnawing feelings start to dissipate. It is happening, the hollowness is becoming less and that relentless gnawing is coming slowly to an end.
I had no way of knowing when I met this very incredible woman so many, many years ago exactly how great an impact she would have on my life. It has been as incredible as the woman herself. I’m grateful every day that I did meet her, for where would my heartspace have been without her? How would I have weathered those emotionally-devastating times in my life without having experienced her tremendous love and Faith? I don’t think I really want to know the answer to that question! I can only imagine how the members of her family feel.
I stand tall now with gratitude for everything she has given me. It’s been a redefining of what I otherwise might have known as “standing tall”.
STAND TALL & STAY STRONG
Sandra M. Meers