#1: Holes in my Soul (18:15)

I share how I decided to create this podcast along with an intensely personal story about reconnecting to a loved oneon a deeper level.

Life can be rough. We’ve all been there as part of our human experience. Have you ever felt your energy or vibration getting zapped without warning? Sometimes without even recognizing it, you’re on this sudden tailspin and everything starts going haywire. It can be really difficult to regain your sense of well-being.

I’ve been down a rabbit hole, after making a life decision that turned out to be more of a challenge than it was pleasant. By no means is my current situation the worse thing I’ve ever experienced in my life, I’ve just recently realized I’ve slowly allowed my energy and balance to get off-kilter.

Sometimes it’s just a matter of quietly listening or shifting your perception. I was able to get back into that zone recently after feeling trapped and hopeless. I have found my hope again and am working to recreate the life I once loved. I’m sharing that journey through this podcast

I met a business acquaintance after work the other night. In a little twist of irony, as I was explaining my humble beginnings on a naval base, the bartender interrupted us. He was born on the same naval base a few years after me. We had each moved to Hawaii at age three, when the navy had relocated our fathers. Talk about strange coincidences!

Having become somewhat of a hermit since moving to Vermont, meeting my friend was out of the “new normal” I’ve created for myself. We discovered we have a lot in common, including raising children by ourselves. The break from reality and finding a common thread with a kindred spirit was both refreshing and thoroughly enjoyable. My friend helped spark the fire inside me that’s been slowly dying over the last several years. I just really didn’t realize I was allowing it to happen.

When I need to think things through, I love to drive and listen to music and just zone out, then somehow inspiration strikes. Driving home after this pleasant evening, I was thinking about how to structure this podcast and where to begin. I needed to make it happen, as a creative outlet to regain the balance I once had, and to hopefully inspire anyone who might stumble upon the recordings.

 As I drove home, Lady Gaga came over the radio. I was singing my own personal rendition of  "carpool karaoke" at the top of my lungs, while contemplating my universe and how I let it get this way. I sang with Lady Gaga’s verse… "I bow down to pray. I try to make the worse seem better. Lord, show me the way, to cut through all his worn out leather. I've got a hundred million reasons to walk away. But baby, I just need one good one to stay.”  At that moment, a deer crossed my path. I felt like it was my father acknowledging the earlier conversation and telling me to be patient for just a bit longer. I could hear the man’s voice inside my head telling me it would all make perfect sense soon.

Whenever I see an animal, especially while deep in thought, or its an animal I don’t encounter very often, I love to find out the wisdom of that animal. What has led up to my ability to just jump in and start recording this podcast became abundantly clear once I read the deer’s wisdom.

From Animalspirits.com

  • Gentleness in word, thought and touch
  • Ability to listen
  • Grace and appreciation for the beauty of balance
  • Understanding of what's necessary for survival
  • Power of gratitude and giving
  • Ability to sacrifice for the higher good
  • Connection to the woodland goddess
  • Alternative paths to a goal

I’d like to take a little trip back in time to 1994. My oldest son was in kindergarten. I had written this little story called Healing the Holes in My Soul. It was a piece that really helped launch my journey of writing longer essays to find my balance and heal what I wasn’t quite sure was wrong with me at the moment.

Healing The Holes in My Soul

“You have beautiful eyes,” the stranger said to me, as he tried to get my eyes to meet his gaze.
“Thank you,” I shyly replied as I looked away.
“You know,” the man said as he continued to try to make my eyes meet his, “it is said that the eyes are the windows to the soul.”
Jokingly, I covered my eyes with my hands and told the man, “You better not look at mine, then.”
“Why? Do you have a hurt soul?”
“No, I have a healed soul,” came my quick response—one that surprised even me.
The man tilted his head and continued to look at me as if I were not finished with my comment. I quickly lifted up one of my feet and showed him the bottom of my shoe. “See? A healed sole!” He laughed but commented that there were indeed holes in my “sole.” I looked at the bottom of one shoe and then the other. “Yep, there are some holes, all right! Guess my soul isn’t as healed as I thought it was.”
I didn’t like that this man was trying to weasel his way into my being. I have always hated pick ups— pick up lines even more.  Although I admit I was intrigued by him, I was not prepared to continue the conversation. Sure, I probably piqued his curiosity with my comments but I was done. Out of there.
• • •
I told a friend about the incident and was asked if the man had tried to see my heart. After some thought, I replied that it didn’t matter, I was not going to let him see my heart no matter what he said.
“The holes in your soul can be fixed, you know,” my friend, who was always trying to fix people, told me.
“Hey,” I smarted back. “I’ve healed most of them. Besides, I like the holes that are left—I suppose they give me some sort of character or something. They make me real. I like them. It’s not as though my soul looks like Swiss cheese or anything.”
I didn’t feel like being “fixed” at the moment. Just wanted to think aloud. I continued my thoughts in silence to avoid any further comments. After all, I reasoned to myself that my heart had been protected for many years by the comfort of that soul with the holes. If the holes were all healed would my heart be lost for ever? Maybe the only way to get to it is through the holes.
• • •
Several months later, after the holes in the soul incident had long passed in addition to some ups and downs along the way, I spent three hours of one afternoon in the office of a retina specialist.
Three hours on a Tuesday afternoon having my eyes dilated, poked, and prodded to be topped of by having dye injected into my arm so some extremely close up pictures could be taken of my eyes as the dye passed through.
I had my eyes dilated once before and made the mistake of driving to the doctor’s office alone on a bright sunny day. Not a good move. I swallowed my pride this time and asked my mother for some help.
I guess I was expecting an answer this time about why my vision was so distorted in my right eye. I was expecting a remedy. Instead I was told that I had little holes in the retinas of both eyes and that the one big hole was causing the vision impairment in my right eye. Because of the inflammation around the blood vessels near the larger hole, laser surgery could do more damage than good and the doctor couldn’t guarantee that he could restore my sight.
The holes are caused by something called Histoplasmosis, a fungus that is predominant in the midwest. It usually effects the lungs but in some instances, can cause tiny holes in the retina. Since most of the holes are so tiny and not directly in my focal point, they do not seem to have any effect on my vision. It’s that one large hole that’s the culprit. I was told that 90 percent of the midwest population has Histoplasmosis in their systems and that it can remain dormant until something like extreme stress triggers it.
Completely frustrated by not having an answer for correcting my vision, I burst into tears. I hate to cry in front of people but was defenseless at stopping the tears so I just let them run out of my dilated, sore, tired eyes down my cheeks.
• • •
Despite the fact that my brothers and I spent many years away from our mother as children, she had consistently been there for me in my adulthood, always remorseful of the events that took place more than 20 years ago. And being her strong daughter, I always told her that it didn’t matter. It was over. We would not have turned out to be the people we are today had we had a different set of circumstances growing up. We learned, and we grew from our experiences while she held on and grieved for the past.
It pleased my mother so very much to be able to help me do something that Tuesday afternoon. She has been trying to mother me for so long and I have resisted with all my might. She was there with me—seeing my frustration, my pain—something seldom seen by anyone. Why not? I had healed the big hurts. Why did I still feel that I had to keep up the facade of being an unhurtable, unbeatable, unlovable person?
When you are put in a situation to be your only source of strength and emotional support at a tender age, you learn not to rely on anyone. You learn to cope and you develop defense mechanisms that become outmoded as you become an adult. When you are ridiculed for expressing emotions or opinions, you learn to suppress them for fear of being hurt. Unfortunately, the good emotions can get suppressed along with the bad ones.
• • •
My mom walked into my home with me after helping to pick Jacob up from the day care center. He was happy to see his grandma. I thanked her for driving me to the doctor’s office and apologized to her for being such a wimp. As this woman, my mother, turned to go, she looked back at me and said, “What the heck, I know we don’t hug much but I am going to give you one anyway.” It was the first time in more than 20 years that I didn’t cringe when she tried to hug me. It was the first time I just let her hug me and felt what a hug from a parent is suppose to feel like.
I realized that in all those years of being without her, my brothers and I would hug her good-bye after seeing her once a year and we’d go back to a living hell until her next visit the following summer. That’s why I couldn’t hug her. To hug my mother was to be abandoned by her. I learned not to feel her hugs. I learned not to rely on her or anyone else emotionally. If I didn’t feel her hugs, it wouldn’t hurt so bad after she had left.
To think I had spent nearly 15 years undoing the outmoded behaviors I had carried into my adulthood, continually on one spiritual, healing path or another. Healing. Growing. Living. It seems the more I learn and grow, the more wonderful people and new lessons enter my life. I have learned to see the lessons, to see the signs, because they are always there. I just never knew it. And I had never noticed the distance between my mother and I until now. After all, we were the best of friends.
• • •
It took some holes in my eyes to heal the some holes in my soul. Although the distorted vision in my right eye is still there, it is more of an irritant than anything else. Something because of those holes made me see something I might not have otherwise.
My heart is not lost inside my soul—the two are working in unison. My mom hugged me and I felt it. I also felt the joy it brought her. (copywright L.A.Rowell)


Moving forward, I’d like to share more writings about how I found my balance once before. I’m determined to find it again and hold steadfast to it this time around.

Whether it’s through meditation, exercise, nutrition, walking in nature, talking with a trusted loved one, or seeking a professional help, there are many ways we can restore our balance and learn to love the skin we’re in and the lives we live. Maybe the first step is in recognizing that we WANT to.

Thank you for joining me! I’m looking forward to sharing more stories as I work to regain my balance and recreate a life I love.

You can contact me at Lisa@VTBalance.com.

Until next time, love well my friends.


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