I was married for 14 years.
There were good times, but it was definitely a toxic relationship.
I am an avid reader. I love books of all kinds. So it makes sense that the day my ex-husband and I decided to split up, I went to the bookstore for comfort.
I remember walking past a shelf of books, not even knowing what genre it was. I was on my way to the books about spirituality. Well…and horoscopes. I wanted something to tell me I was strong and would be okay.
All of a sudden, a book fell off the shelf and hit me on the foot. Of course I opened it because I knew something in it was meant for me to see. The first line I saw was a quote:
“And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ~ Anaïs Nin
Instantly, I began to cry.
Those words were meant for me.
I began to devour pieces of this book, “Broken Open” by Elizabeth Lesser. The funny thing was, I couldn’t read the book straight through and all at once. I skipped around and always found the words I needed at the moment.
When I felt good and strong, the book would disappear. I would not be able to find it anywhere in my house, car or desk at work. But when things would get tough again, it would show up in the most obvious places.
I have no explanation for this.
It kinda freaked me out a few times.
I even panicked a few times when I thought I needed to draw some strength from it and I could not find it.
But it was there when I needed it most.
It taught me a lot about the Phoenix Process and how it was okay to break down and burn…let these horrible experiences change me in ways. And before I knew it, I would be burned to ashes and begin rebuilding myself from them.
I have let several people borrow the book, and have bought a couple of copies for friends that I felt could use it. The last borrower has yet to return it—3 years later.
I have thought about buying another copy to have just in case I need it. But when I stop and think about it, I am in a different place. I no longer need those words of strength. I am strong enough now on my own.
I understand the process of death and rebirth within myself now. I have come to know when the process is starting over, or where I am in the process.
I still hold the quote close to my heart though. It truly reminds me to step out of my comfort zone.
To allow myself to break open when the bud becomes comfortably uncomfortable.
Author: Holley Carroll Abrica
Apprentice Editor: Lois Person / Editor: Renée Picard