To Wallow

I believe there are some people we meet on our journey who we are meant to meet, at a specific moment, for an important and meaningful reason. I have someone in my life that challenges me, that sees me and that understands me in a way that is difficult to build without a lifetime of shared experiences. She’s a coach but she’s so much more.

Originally, I hired her to help me re-launch my husband’s business when I sold my shares in my company. She quickly saw I wasn’t ready. What I needed was someone to help me understand how to transition from my husband’s business, a business where I was in partnership with his son. I needed to embrace letting go. I needed to embrace the sadness of leaving a place I believed I belonged. I needed to embrace that the people I worked with and worked for me may not really be my friends…after all I was paying them to come to work to do a job not to spend time with me during the work day. I needed to embrace my husband’s son let me down. He wasn’t the friend and partner I had wanted him to be. He wasn’t the friend and partner I tried so eagerly to be to him.

She gave me permission to allow myself to grieve the loss of what I had known in order to allow myself to be open to something new. My emotions over the last year and half have swung from anger to disappointment to sadness to peace about my company transition. This coach introduced me to a colleague who shared the true definition of the word “to wallow.” The word means to roll oneself about, to immerse oneself in. This colleague went on to add this process allows us to reinvent, to create something new. So, I spent the better part of the last six months wallowing in order to embrace something new.

This career transition has been an undercurrent while meeting my biological father and my brothers. I hadn’t realized how much of my life and emotions were swirling together. While I took time to wallow my career transition, I haven’t faced the emotions of meeting my Dad. I have tried to be positive, to see the beauty in my adoption journey, to embrace my Hawaiian culture and to fit into this new family. I have been working so hard to not let anyone down, to not disappoint.

I had the opportunity to check in with this same coach and she offered a perspective that I had missed. She again gave me permission to embrace what I was feeling. To be angry, to be sad, to mourn what I have missed. She cautioned if I didn’t really stop to embrace how I was feeling I might regret losing the opportunity talk to my Dad, to share my hurt and to allow him to surprise me by being there for me.

I have struggled all of my life to fit in, to find my place, to belong. I have spent a lifetime trying to be part of other people’s families. I have tried to keep moving as fast as I can, to drive towards success, to achieve. Deep down I have known that if I stop, if I wallow, if I really look at my life and my family I might not survive. I am not a victum. I always find something I can learn from in the challenges life throws at me as well as the opportunities. I am a survivor.

My parents and grandparents have failed me. This reality has begun to sink in for me as I allow myself to mourn the loss of the family I should have had growing up. Six people who may have thought they were doing what was best for me ultimately let me down. And because of this, I don’t trust easily. When I do trust, if you let me down, I will move on. I know this quality about myself. I am not proud of this reaction but I know I can survive. Now that I have finally found the family I truly believe I was meant to be part of I find myself emotional and sad. I find myself on shaking ground not sure how to balance and restore my strength without pushing people away.

I am grateful to have a coach in my life that asks me the hard questions even if the question is as simple as – how are you really doing?

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