Those of you who know me well know that I have for several years been choosing an intention at the beginning of the New Year. Starting at the beginning of last year, my intention for the upcoming year has been that of Restoration.
2018 is known to me as the year of Restoration because in some ways, there is not really a word for the intention I set. The vibration of 2018 took on a tone similar to restoration, but I don't believe there is really a word to describe the actual feel I received when looking into the upcoming year, as the actual feel of 2018 was beyond restoration... A rebuilding of things, but better than they were in the first place.
Nearly everything had been taken from me from 2017, the year of Empowerment. Ironically all these things were taken as a way of showing me that true empowerment has nothing to do with the physical objects a person has.
Real, lasting empowerment comes from being secure in who you are as a person. Empowerment is knowing whatever life gives you, you will be you. That nothing can take yourself away from yourself. That no matter what, you have a voice that speaks, and with that voice you can change lives.
To sum up the year of empowerment (2017), In one year I went through:
-The ending of a 5 year long relationship, immediately followed by moving to an ecovillage where I worked over 60 hours a week unpaid
-Breaking down, incredibly suicidal as I had thought the ecovillage would be a safe place to integrate my past of being abused in many forms, when in actuality it became dangerous to do so
-Getting kicked out of the ecovillage, essentially made homeless as a result of being suicidal
-Being given places to stay, only to find that there was an unspoken expectation and pressure to heal that I could not live up to, because I could not promise I would be able to heal at all.
Like a chrysalis, every part of myself had to break down completely if there was ever going to be hope of rising above my past.
Finally, I stopped running. I chose homelessness over comfort. I allowed myself the space to fall apart and be as unhealed as I needed to be, and because of this, the time when I moved into my car turned out to be the most healing.
In the same year, I also:
-Learned how to farm and grew my own food
-Lived in the woods, sleeping in my car and bathing in lakes
-Visited a hotel that looks like a castle quite often (It's called the West Baden)
-Fell in love, over and over again, as the most amazing human beings I have ever met entered my life for a moment, before being gone once again in the whirlwind
As I got a management job and a place to stay all in a day (with girls who remain to be two of my best friends to this day), things were looking up, for a moment.
After a particularly trying day at work in which two of my employees were fighting with each other, I took a different route home, wanting to spend time at a beautiful cemetery in the countryside to collect myself.
In a moment that remains clear in my mind to this day, I accidentally locked myself outside of my car in near-freezing weather, the grass becoming icy spears in the cold of night. In desperation, I tried to break back in before doubtfully trying to open the doors to the church nearby.
To my surprise, it opened. Not only that, but it was heated, and I spent the next few hours trying to break into my car then spending some time inside recovering from the cold... By the time I saw a light shining outside, it was nearly 4AM and I was nearly falling asleep inside the church.
The light shining was a police officer, and while I was initially grateful that I would finally be helped, I was instead falsely arrested and thrown in jail with a felony charge of burglary.
There, due to my GMO allergy being intentionally ignored, I didn't eat or drink water for 2 weeks... The only thing I ingested was milk.
I came out of the experience with awareness that I never knew I would have, on the cruelty of humankind and the redemption hidden behind bars. Had the other girls in there not shared their milk with me, I may not be here today.
Those that I was taught should be trusted turned out to be wolves in sheep's clothing, and those that I was taught were wolves were actually sheep. It was a turbulent year.
The beginning of 2018 felt more like the end of 2017; It began with a near death experience in which I totaled my car, being injured with nothing more than a small scratch on my head. The person who towed my car says he has never seen someone make it out as unscathed as I was. It kind of felt validating, really, because I feel what I've been through emotionally would have killed most people, yet here I was, alive.
After driving 15 hours on my way back home to Indiana I hit a patch of black ice and my steering stopped working. There was nothing I could do to prevent it, I drove straight off the road into some woods as the road curved off to the right.
I distinctly remember exiting my body at the time the wreck happened. I flew about 20 feet above the car, where I saw the car go off the road from a third person perspective. I saw it happening from this removed perspective and thought, "There is NO WAY, after everything I have been through, that I am going to die this way."
In the car I had screamed and threw my arms up over my head and closed my eyes as everything grew loud and chaotic around me, then suddenly quiet, eerily quiet.
I opened my eyes slowly, suspended in my seatbelt upside down to the sound of rain falling peacefully. My hand was wet and, after finding a light, discovered it was blood, but not enough crimson to signify alarm. The adrenaline was working its magic and I calmly gathered the basics, praying that my keyboard was just as unharmed as I was (It was, and as I write this it still sits in my room across from me!). When a car drove by, I honked my horn where a burly man helped me crawl out of the wreckage, with a look of complete shock on his face.
Later on that night, I walked home with a bloody bandage on my head, carrying a floral print suitcase. I imagine it was the weirdest thing people saw as they drove off to work at 6AM.
The year of Empowerment changed my life in the sense that I found my will to live, not only my will to survive. It took the forces that wanted to kill me manifesting externally (in people or things that tried to kill me) rather than internally (as in suicidal thoughts) for me to realize that I wanted to live.
I had already been feeling Restoration was my intention for 2018 at the time the car crash happened, but after it was over I was even more resolute. Again, the actual vibration is something even beyond restoration; it is like a rebuilding of everything, but in a better way than it was to begin with.
Things began to happen; amazing things. Something had changed within myself. I was no longer afraid in a way that I think only surviving things you never thought you would can create.
Soon, I got a new car thanks to my mom. Everything seemed to fall into place, I went to court and learned that the judge of my case went to that church. Despite how hopeless everything seemed, I won my case and had just a small charge of trespassing.
I developed some of the most awesome friendships I have ever had.
Love was everywhere I looked...
,,,Then, just as quickly as it all began, it was over.
2018, the year of Restoration, in retrospect, had to do more with restoring relationships than anything else. It is not possible to restore something that has nothing missing. My journey didn't really begin until I went back home to Colorado that March, technically the same as I always was, but forever changed.
In circumstances in the past, where I would have just kept quiet, I no longer could. I began to tell my story. I began to put words to the abuse I had endured for years on end in the past, and this came with some interesting dynamics.
I never realized until surviving abuse myself that oftentimes, the one who speaks up about abuse gets blamed in the family for naming what nobody else has the courage to. Even if the family is dysfunctional, if other people in the family aren't ready to face it, you become the problem for talking about the elephant in the room.
It was a harsh awakening. Instead of being seen for who I am, I was alienated from other people when I shared my story because they told themselves that my story was too unlike their own for them to even begin to understand what I was going through. Instead of being respected for overcoming the odds, I was seen as defective for having odds to face at all.
Rather than ask why I was bullied, nearly killed, falsely arrested for being 'alternative' as the policeman worded it, many ask what is wrong with me. Though they won't come out and say it, most blame me for being the one who isn't well adjusted to a society that is profoundly sick.
I understand why people come from this perspective. From the outside view I would seem to have things easy. I've always been sensitive, and I, too, used to see this as weakness and deny it within myself completely.
People don't know about the fact that I almost died of a mysterious illness years ago, that thanks to my tendency towards obsessiveness I was able to find the cause. People don't know about the fact that I have survived all types of crazy abuse, and I'm no longer going to even make hiding that part of my past an option because these experiences have shaped who I am so much that denying them feels like denying who I am.
All a person sees, when they see with the eyes of man, is who I appear to be externally.
Only with the eyes of Spirit can a person see the wounds that run deeper than their very bones.
Part of myself thought when I went home in a blaze of glory that the universe would unfold, opening up and giving me all the things I had wanted to receive. What I didn't realize going into the Year of Restoration was that I would need to be the one to create it.
I set out to start my own business, not knowing fully what I intended to do. I had my why, but not my what, or my how. I was quickly met with resistance from those closest to me, particularly the women in my family. I wished I had been in a place where I was determined enough to not let that have an impact, but if I am to be perfectly authentic, it hurt, and in fact made me question everything. I went through a period of completely giving up on my goals, on my dreams, and my own path, because it threatened my connection with other people.
Not only that but I continually found that I had to prove myself to my family. People who survive abuse in their family don't often talk about their stories, and now I see why. People don't talk about their abuse stories because they are oftentimes pressured into silence. My story is not seen as being my way of finding my voice, but rather has been seen for the negative ways the other people in my life are portrayed when they weren't able to stand up for me when I needed it the most.
In many ways I feel I've had to prove that I never deserved to be abused in the first place, which is kind of crazy considering that nobody deserves to be abused, period. Some of the pressure came from external sources, some from within myself, but either way the outcome was the same; beating myself up for being human, flawed, and struggling.
I would try to strike a balance between honoring myself and honoring those I cared about, but too often found myself petrified with fear when my needs of being heard conflicted with my family's need for comfort and personal validation, to on the flip side steamrolling my way to being heard.
TheYear of Restoration was not about physical restoration, though that has happened tenfold. I love beautiful things and creating a room that is a center of this peace has been an undeniable aspect of my own journey. My personal style has been transforming, too, and I've realized that I actually love wearing dresses!
But that's not what it's about, either.
More than restoring myself, I have been called to restore my relationships with others; especially those who are hard to love.
This has meant understanding what love really is.
The hardest thing to overcome this year, surprisingly, has been forgiving my mom, who has played a role of looking the other way when I was being abused.
By pressuring me into maintaining some form of a relationship with my abusive father (who is a malignant narcissist), my mom didn't realize that she was telling an abuse victim to stay with their abuser. My mother is living in a reality where I don't have an abuser, and where I am simply cutting out my dad for any reason at all besides the truth, besides my own reality, where I have been physically bruised, mentally torn, and emotionally poisoned.
While she didn't intend to hurt me, it hurt possibly worse than the abuse actually happening in the first place.
I've realized that the harder people for me to forgive is not abusers at all, but those who are passive to it.
Despite everything I had been through in 2017, I still maintain that the worst of what I've survived hasn't been being physically deprived via lack of food or shelter. The hardest things to survive are the things that nobody thinks are real because they can't see it physically. Emotional wounds that eat away at your soul, that's what nobody sees. That's what erodes the body more than changing seasons and moving landscapes ever will.
Until experiencing what I have, I never knew how much more painful the unacknowledged, unseen wounds are. Now that I do know, I can't go back.
Only with the eyes of Spirit can a person see the wounds that run deeper than their very bones.
Unfortunately it took the reopening and festering of the physical scar on the left side of my face for me to finally recognize that it has been harder to live with passivity than it has been to live with conflict.
Even if how things really are with my mom stings, I'd rather see things the way they are than continue on with the hope that someday Home Depot will sell milk.
At the time when the scar got a bacterial infection I had been obsessing over the unrealistic and contradictory messages I've been sent:
On one hand I'm told to take as long as I need to heal, then on the other am made to feel ashamed for not being more healed (because being completely healed supposedly means never struggling). On the one hand I'm told that it makes sense to need space from my father, and on the other hand I am made to feel weak for not being willing to put myself in harm's way by maintaining contact. On the one hand I'm told that I am enough, on the other hand I'm told that I'll be enough when I have the education, the job, the money. On the one hand I am told to be myself, on the other hand I am punished for being myself if it does not validate who another person wants me to be.
And all at once I realize this isn't about only my mother, even though she's been the one to bring many of these to my attention. The issues at hand are societal issues, and as such are slow to change.
My intention for starting my own business was to be able to assist other people. To be honest, I think I've been cut out for entrepreneurial work and I don't think it matters which direction I take it in; I am naturally talented in the arts, I have been able to research my way out of everything including my bizarre health problems, and I am incredibly resourceful, able to find my way through any situation, no matter how impossible. Learning business will be just another project of mine.
My new approach is not to be loud. I am working in quiet towards what I want to create, discovering it all the while. I am not working to gain validation from anyone, and I don't know if I could have honestly said that at the beginning of the year. I want to be sure that I'm doing this for me. I need to be sure.
I want to become refined in my intention; I want my intent to be so pure that nothing can take away from my peace. I want my peace to be contagious.
I'm learning to lean into what I don't want, to walk towards my triggers, to chase my fears...
This year, I have a new intention; As the intentions of past years get carried over into the next, I desire a new path, one that will be revealed in the following post...
Stay tuned, and as always, stay strong. <3
Peer into my life...
Hi! My name is Tessa Rae. A Tesserae is a piece in a mosaic. All souls are one aspect of the massive mosaic that is life on earth...