New beginnings, turning over a new leaf, wiping the slate clean, starting over…at the dawn of yet another year many of you will be thinking about beginning again right now. Do you want to be healthier? Are you ready for new relationships? Do you want a more fulfilling job/career? You may make an effort to bring these things to fruition but is it really about ‘starting over’ in life, or, will you simply make a few changes because you are bored or dissatisfied with the status quo? Recent events in my life have resulted in my understanding the concept of beginning again in a whole new and astonishingly bright light. Wiping the slate clean involves letting go of (almost) everything/one in (almost) every area of your life. It requires multiple losses/endings which were either foisted upon you by fate or that were made via your own free will choices. I equate these endings to buildings being demolished. Once destroyed, the rubble needs to be cleared completely before anything new can be built on the same surface. This clearing of the debris is the equivalent to the human grieving process which is the natural response to any profound loss in life. Grief is time and energy consuming, just like the job of clearing up shattered pieces of construction – the greater the losses (or the number of buildings demolished) the longer it takes to ‘wipe the slate clean.’ Until the debris is properly swept away, you cannot start over both literally, and, metaphorically speaking. That is, attempting to begin new relationships, jobs etc., before you have grieved in earnest will only lead to the same life choices or ‘mistakes’…it would be like trying to build new dwellings on a pile of rubbish – everything would collapse every time you tried. Trying to create something new, lasting and solid in life cannot begin on a foundation of psychological pain, desperation and despair. This must come from a place of love – most importantly, self-love.

My Story

For the past twenty years or so, I have undergone much healing and personal growth – everything from dealing with childhood trauma, to discovering my life’s purpose and learning, for once and for all, that I am worthy of love (i.e. respect). This often meant walking away from people and situations that were extremely unhealthy for me whilst receiving much criticism from most of those around me for failing (or succeeding depending on your point of view) to do what was expected of me.

The events of the last few years have been particularly intense. They began in 2007 when my brother split from his abusive, alcoholic partner. This ordeal continued for a year – four court cases, verbal abuse and accusations hurled at my whole family by this ‘woman’ simply because she did not get what she wanted. She prevented us from seeing their children for two months which was painful for all concerned, but most especially for those kids who really aren’t as close or as loved by anyone more so than by their father’s family.

In 2008, whilst the court cases continued, my father became quite unwell after prostate surgery. His symptoms persisted until he died of a stroke a little over a year later in August 2009. This was/is the most devastating loss I have endured to date. It would take four months before I was ready to return to work without bursting into tears in the process. It took another year before the worst of my grief shifted into a sense of profound peace about my father as I now know he is much happier ‘up there.’

During these tumultuous times, very few people were by my (and my family’s) side. Those I had known for almost my entire life – many of them relatives – were nowhere to be found.

One of these relatives, who had received my support during the darkest times in her life, acted as though I didn’t even exist. In late 2010, she had a major family event where she invited two mutual relatives whom she knows raped me as a child. She expected me to show up and act like everything was OK.

This was for me the very last straw.

The disconnection from this relative was one in a series of endings that have been taking place for almost a decade now.

For the first time ever, I believe I have truly started over on a whole new playing field as the person I was always meant to be. I finally understand what it is to be worthy of love.

May you all have Love to Infinity and Beyond.

Helen.