12.08.12 Truth & Wisdom

Within The Darkness of Pain, Seek The Light

Within The Darkness of Pain, Seek The Light

BY Melissa Rousseau

Glass half empty?

Try, not a single drop for days, weeks, months, years, or the rest of my life. I was in a deep, dark hole of hell. A hole of grief so consuming that every single one of my senses ceased to work. I was numb. Except for the one and only feeling of absolute and utter destruction.

I had lost my soul mate and mother to a year-long battle with cancer. A messy, intense, gut-wrenching year of watching her helplessly evaporate into thin air. And of course, with that came the inevitable knowledge that I would have to continue on in this life without her.

Prior to this darkness, I had spent the previous year studying for my Masters Degree in art education. And after a year of insanely challenging work, I watched as all of the art teaching jobs evaporate as well. Evaporation and disintegration were becoming the ruling themes for me. I had also suffered from intense chronic pain and debilitating depression for most of my life, so this devastating change of course had the potential for real emotional derailment. It was a daily challenge not to fall off the edge when my prevailing internal conversations ran the gamut of “I’ve suffered from debilitating chronic pain my entire life. I will never be able to do anything. My depression is too heavy and too constant – totally unbearable. I can’t seem to nail down a career, or any kind of a job, for that matter. I’m 37 and single, with no babies or love in sight. I am alone. And I’m living at home with my parents once again, completely broke.”

“And now, my best friend, co-designer in life, and mother, is gone forever. And I could/should have done more to save her.”

Complete and utter heartbreak.

I had built a high mental cliff to fall from and I never let my body or mind forget it. I re-visited those “failures” and sadness on an hourly basis, firmly cementing them as my history, and unknowingly, as my future.

I proceeded to spend the next two years mostly in bed. I would occasionally peel myself up to go to school or food shopping, but would always return to my safe haven, where I could escape in TV and movies. I was aching with hopelessness. My heart and lungs throbbed with pain. What was the point of going on?

I somehow managed to get through rigorous schooling for muscular therapy and holistic nutrition, desperately trying to turn some of my own darkness into potential light for someone else. But my memory of getting through these months is hazy. People always say it takes time. That grief changes shape and will always be there, but that it will be less piercing and invasive. I simply didn’t believe. Until 2 years had gone by and I was…still somehow, functioning. But deep down I knew there had to be more to life than just functioning.

One day I picked up Louise Hay’s book “You Can Heal Your Life.” It was more out of desperation, and clinging to the slight notion that I could still make my mother proud in the life in the time that I had left here, than for anything else. I started simply and slowly to teach myself a new language. And to introduce that language to the rest of my being.

“I am a vibrant being of love and light.”
“I am a vibrant being of love and light.”
“I am a vibrant being of love and light.”

At first it felt totally foreign, similar to foraging a new path through thick, tangled and unforgiving underbrush. Uncomfortable. Impossible. Irritating. But slowly new paths were, in fact, created. They were subtle, but recognizable when I would return the next day to trudge on and dig a little deeper.

I began to visualize what that mantra actually looked like. What I looked like surrounded by love and light. Something began to click when I realized how much POWER my words and thoughts held. And I began to believe that the words and stories we tell ourselves, even those told without our full awareness, held the key to our happiness and health. I was intrigued.

And so began my healing. My hourly and daily healing, a constant practice of self-love in its most basic form.

It has been two and a half years since my mother’s passing, and I have embarked on a brand new journey. One that is filled with hope, passion, excitement, fulfillment, love, continued daily meditation, mantras and affirmations. I have moved across the country to breathtaking Northern
California, I’m submerged in my career as a holistic nutrition and wellness consultant, and I am living in a beautiful, serene, healing place, while I surround myself with positive people, energy, and experiences.

“I am open to the positive abundance of the universe.”
“I am open to the positive abundance of the universe.”
“I am open to the positive abundance of the universe.”

As I was sitting quietly, reflecting and writing this piece, I received the most lovely note from my father, who had just been out to visit me in my new home. We are both inspired followers of Wayne Dyer, among many other positivity pioneers, who are a firmly planted in the power of the “change your thoughts, change your life” world. My father has watched over the past years as I’ve struggled, quietly offering support and encouragement, along with a subtly placed Wayne Dyer book planted here and there. It is always an exquisite moment to realize that the hard work you have done can be inspiring to others. I built myself up again from scratch with an unbreakable strength to design and pursue the life I’ve always dreamed. I know my mother would be proud.

My father’s note below is further loving confirmation that he is too:

“I thought on the plane about your major life move. In a sense, you have built your own ship—from scratch–and have launched it on a sea of your choosing. Not a sea we have known back here, but one where you have also studied the charts carefully yourself. Also, you have spent a long time studying the design of this vessel, tweaking here and there, making wholesale adjustments as needed, and the result is a novel and seaworthy craft, capable of enduring much and responding to evolving conditions as you go forth. At last, you can sleep well, knowing that you have both seaworthiness and flexibility to change course and grow, and have found an interesting and embracing sea on which to sail. Of all of that, I can be proud, and so can you.”

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Melissa Rousseau is a Holistic Nutrition Consultant, Wellness Educator, Muscular Therapist, and crusader for mind, body, + spirit nourishment. She began her wellness career out of an interest in the power that our bodies have to heal themselves when given the proper tools. Many years ago, she embarked on her own wellness adventure by using powerful healing methods including massage therapy, nutrition, acupuncture, meditation, and breathwork to nurture and heal her own body from chronic pain and fibromyalgia. Today she empowers her clients to live their most vibrant + balanced lives, believing that when the mind, body and spirit are in balance, potential is endless.

Comments

  • I Have No Comment

    Beautiful story Melissa… It’s very brave of you to share your story… I too have suffered a lifetime of long bouts of depression, in fact, I’m suffering from one right now. I feel I have too much to lose to share with anyone anymore.. and frankly, out of my very few friends, who wants to hear my cries anymore? I turn 35 next month – which depresses me with no love in sight…. The sad part is… from the outside looking in my life looks absolutely incredible… truly amazing from a professional perspective… in fact, I have friends I grew up with who have told me after canceling plans with me on several occasions that the reason they canceled plans is because they were jealous of me… jealous of my lifestyle and what I have accomplished… of course the irony is that I couldn’t be more miserable and suicidal on a regular basis… but if I told them this, they would laugh at me. So what do I do? I’ve tried everything – books, doctors, meditation…. you name it… I don’t know what the path is for me… but it’s difficult now getting older and balancing the depth of depression..

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