The Tale of Heaven and Hell
A long time ago, I think I may have been married to my second husband at the time, I was going through a “pre-awakening.” I was still asleep, but I was searching. Searching for something that I thought was bigger than me but eventually found it within myself. I had a strong sense of being different and not belonging. Conventional psychology/psychiatry in my hometown was not helping me grow. Religion had not held the answers I was searching for. My first husband was a Jehovah’s Witness and although it was not for me (apparently neither was he) I learned to look at theories and philosophies and see them from different perspectives. Big pictures.
I went to a past life regression therapist and had an enlightening session although I was still a little skeptical at the time. At the end of the session, he led me on a meditation to see if I had wings. I saw the most magnificent huge Rainbow wings radiating from my body. I could not wrap my head around that vision, but it left an impression and always stayed in the back of my mind. Big Beautiful Stunning Rainbow Wings.
I could not wrap my head around the vision because I was stuck in a negative mindset where I though I was forsaken, everything bad happened because of me and I was a failure that could not do anything right.
I could not look in a mirror without seeing everything that was wrong with me and all my flaws. I lived and breathed my sons, yet my own trauma kept me from being a real mother. I was more of a friend, and I wanted them to love me so badly I made many mistakes. I look back now and know that I did the best I could at the capacity I was able to.
Ever since I was young, I had a desire to serve humanity and a feeling I was different from the rest of my family. I wanted everyone around me to be happy. I felt all of their emotions and often felt like a peacemaker or peacekeeper. I smiled all the time because that is what “good little girls” are supposed to do.
My desire to serve humanity led me to join the Canadian Armed Forces where I dreamed of being a part of something bigger and making a difference.
It did not turn out the way I planned, and I ended up leaving the military with feelings of abandonment, betrayal, and rejection, thinking I had failed and that I was only good enough to be an object for men’s pleasure, it also left me with some amazing skills and abilities to be able to adapt and overcome any situation placed before me. I learned some ridiculously hard lessons through trauma that have allowed me to turn my knowledge into wisdom.
Going public with my story from the Military and my desire to make sure others did not feel alone got met with ostracism, disbelief, and lots of judgment. Assisting others with no framework or understanding of trauma and not realizing or comprehending the fact I could absorb the emotions of others led me to decide I needed to educate myself, research my own trauma and get a better understanding of how to assist others.
I took my 2 young Sons and met the Director of the new nursing program that was starting at Trent University and applied for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Other than wanting to help others I did not have a clue about what I was doing. I was in survival mode, and I wanted a better future for my sons. As much as I wanted to give up, those two kept me going.
There was something in my blood that kept me fighting. My dad tried to instill in my brother and I to be lovers not fighters, but I learned young I had to fight for his attention and love. His Father (my grandfather) had been a boxer and we learned young how to use our fists. I was competent, just not supported or encouraged. I had my grandfather’s boxing Spirit of no matter how many times you get knocked down, you get back up. Sometimes I have tripped and fell down myself and I know its important to get up, dust off and keep going. I also had to acknowledge self-sabotage and how my trauma was affecting all of my relationships.
So, after I literally knocked myself out one day (seriously, I threw a rocking chair, it bounced off the wall, hit me in the head and knocked me out; not sure if my head cracked it or the wall). I had to take a cold hard look at what I wanted and what I was willing to accept in my life. I was in the process of leaving my third husband who thought I was a white devil whore and had awakened me from my Sleeping Beauty-bubble state in more ways than one.
The reconnection to Mother Earth, nature and an introduction to Indigenous Studies provided me with a different perspective on life I was extremely grateful for. The knowledge from the strong, beautiful Women he had introduced me to was what guided me after the cell phone to the side of the head awakened me to the fact, I needed to break free, find myself and look deep within. I had to look in my toolbox and discard the tools that were no longer working for me (metaphorically I had a fisher price hammer and a couple Barbies in there) and get some new upgraded grown up tools.
Boundaries were what I needed, not to mention some self-worth, self-respect, self-value, and some confidence. I had been badly submitted, dominated, and conditioned by my family, my community, my teachers, leaders, and Society at large.
I had been told by my ex-husband and my brother that I could never survive on my own and I was silly enough to believe them at that time.
Everything changed the day I met a man that stood before me like a mirror and somehow radiated back to me (like a mirror) an image of myself that saw how all these previous failures could be reframed into accomplishments. It was like a light switch was turned on. I had been looking for a switch outside of myself in therapy, relationships, compassionate acts, love, and the switch had been inside of me all along. All the lessons in all the hurt and trauma were overwhelming and hard to process but I could see the light in the darkness finally. I was now on a quest to discover what I enjoyed and what I was capable of. The possibilities before me now were infinite and I was looking at the world through child-like eyes where everything was a blessing and opportunity. It was like I was seeing it all for the first time with new eyes.
Something kept taking me back to those rainbow wings. I wrote a lot about rainbows after my mother passed away, picturing her dancing under one.
In my first act of my own rebellion, I decided to get those rainbow wings tattooed on my back. I was going to go big or go home. I challenged myself, went way outside my comfort zone and moved to a city where I knew few people. My friend found me a tattoo artist that turned out to be a Wizard.
I told the Wizard my vision and we discussed the meaning of my wings. I told him they will represent everything I have overcome. Every feather would represent a trauma that taught me a lesson and gifted me with wisdom. I started my wings on my Granddaughter’s 6th birthday and spent 23 hours getting a priceless piece of art tattooed on my back. The process was finished the week of the 20th anniversary of going public about military sexual trauma (which had become a hot issue again 20 years later). The Wizard had provided me with and experience that left me feeling like I was really growing wings. They itched, they peeled, they hurt and sometimes were prickly.
The whole time the Wizard was doing his magic he told me he would also fix my cartoon Pinocchio ship on my lower back I had gotten may years before. Injury forced me to be patient and heal before I could return to cover my ship and I felt like I had just broken my wing I had just grown. The healing journey from my injury involved many lessons that were all for my own benefit and assisted my developmental growth. Later in the year I had a black mysterious ship with a lighthouse placed over my old tattoo. When I saw it finished, I saw my wings as heaven (Angelic and from above) and the ship as hell (darkness and below heaven). The ship was the vessel that would take you down the River Styx if you harmed me. I had dark and light, I had balance.
I sought out the past life regression therapist and went to see him again. It was a joyful day that brought much healing. There I did sessions with him and his beautiful wife and discovered what my rainbow wings meant. He told me I could communicate, with anyone, at any age, at any level and leave an impression, make a difference in their lives. It started to make sense. I always thought I never fit in anywhere. After this I realized I did not fit anywhere because I belonged everywhere. I realized the only person I needed to please, accept and love was myself. The external reward system of society would never lead me to confidence, respect, value or worth, these must all come from within.
My wings remind me to love myself, believe in myself, and to have faith in myself. They are my heaven. My ship is everything I have been through, the rough journey on the Sea of life yet as much as it represents HELL, the lighthouse reminds me to look to the light and reminds me of my wings.
I can go through hell, but heaven will always be with me too.