I remember reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love and wondering how anyone could have an experience in a bathroom floor and begin negotiating with God without ever having prayed before. Little did I know that two years after reading that book I found myself paralyzed at 3:30AM in the midst of my own negotiations. The only difference with our scenarios was that I did not have a husband in my bed. I was alone and six children were sleeping, keeping warm from a winter’s cold. I wasn’t looking to get out of a marriage. I was looking to survive my life.
I had gone to the restroom and when I went to wash my hands to return to my warm bed I collapsed on the tile floor never making it to the area rug. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t speak and tears followed with force. I thought I was having a heart attack as my chest begun to tighten with each sob. It was then, that without sound, I began to negotiate with our Creator. If this was going to be my last moment on earth I was going to beg and plead for a second chance.
I cried for so many reasons as the pain began to subside. I still couldn’t move my arms or legs. I just laid in desperation sobbing to the unknown silence of my master bath. I wanted so badly to yell out to my children to help me get up, or get me to the nearest hospital. Instead of fighting the paralysis I went with it like a wave flows with the ocean push. It was then that I realized my life was ending if I didn’t change. I heard a voice from within me clearly say, “Millie, let it go and move on before you die.” Without sounding melodramatic I know the voice did not come from the cosmos, or a schizophrenic delusion. No, this was my own spirit letting me know that if I didn’t make changes soon I would definitely die. My health was deteriorating. My spirit had become dark and dense. I had the makings of a bitter woman trying to survive day to day.
I was finally able to get up from the cold floor. The wetness remained from the pool of tears. My legs felt numb and for however long I was down there, I was exhausted with fear. Would I truly die if I didn’t make a decision to get a life of my own? Where did all my passion run of to? Why was I so badly in pain because of this relationship of 18 years? I was going to die because I was completely lost in the mundane acts of taking care of everyone else but me. I realized at that moment if I didn’t forgive myself I couldn’t be part in anyone’s life that mattered. Forgiveness wasn’t about him, but allowing myself to heal from abuse: the emotional and psychological abuse of allowing another to dictate and control MY life. I was completely aware I participated in the role. I couldn’t put all the blame on him. I consciously participated in this story, playing the part with Oscar-winning performance.
It was at that moment that I decided that changes were not luxuries but means for survival. That has brought me here four years later to living authentically. During those first few months I questioned my sanity, my strength but mostly my faith. I walked away from all that I knew and was accustomed to having: the materialism, a successful business, and the ability to provide affluently for my children. I wondered how I allowed another (or others) to dictate my life and choices. I was on a Ferris Wheel that never stopped and I played the role of martyr very well. If it wasn’t the animals or the children, it was the business and a man who had so much control of me that I couldn’t think for myself. It wasn’t until a year later, while driving through these mountains that I went to pick up the phone to make a call to “inform” him I was heading out to the store that it hit me. I didn’t have to call anyone anymore to give details of my whereabouts. It was then that I questioned the age of my soul. Forget about the chronological age of my existence on earth. I wanted to know how old was the soul that chose to endure these lessons. We all have an age of existence and an age of wisdom that arrives from our soul. It has taken me another few years to finally gather some understanding of the age of my essence. I must say that the journey to find my voice has been delightfully surprising. Mysticism has allowed me to receive guidance through nature, meditation, and quieting the ego.
When you are in the midst of turmoil, problems, chaos, and life beating down on you, remember that your soul is guiding you to learn. Stop for a second, a moment, and listen. Nothing lasts forever. Our fears and anxieties are created in our minds, driven by ego. Step back and ask your spirit what it really needs. I can assure you it will answer with a flutter, a sign, or a simple whisper. It is then that the Divine has answered your call. Your soul will always guide you to the best possible solution…all you have to do is listen!
About the Author: Millie A. Mestril
After raising six children, working in the corporate world, and being part of a relationship for eighteen years, I found that happiness was not consistent in my world. I left the business world, ended a relationship that was deteriorating and headed to the mountains. My best friend and I bought a small motel in the middle of gorgeous country and began the greatest journey. What started as a visit to Asheville in May of 2010 became a permanent home for us. Now with only one teenager at home, I am able to be part of a wonderful world of meeting people from all walks of life. We’ve transformed an old gem of a place into a sweet and quaint oasis for others to find peace. To those looking into our lives it seems we saved Peaceful Quest Retreats, but the reality is that this place saved us. Every day brings joy, inspiration and a zest for life I never knew existed. The lessons have not always been easy but the ride has been scenic and delightful. I can’t imagine ever returning to a life that was not authentic to my spirit. ~ Millie A. Mestril
Please feel free to visit our website at www.peacefulquestretreats.com . I also have a personal blog at: www.momentswithmillie.wordpress.com