An Extension of My Mother

As I have been doing my work, to try to extract myself from my families dysfunctional patterns I have come to realize I am an extension of my mother. I first assumed that this extension began when I was born or sometime there after. I was doing an emotional healing session when the energy of my mother came up. The practitioner encouraged me to go back to when this entangled relationship started. I took a deep breath and allowed my sub-conscious mind to go back through my childhood. I took another breath and time kept unwinding. Another breath and it was dark, I was warm and suspended. It took a few more deep breaths until I recognized I was in the womb. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I came to realize that my entire existence was nothing other than a manipulation so my mother could entrap a man to marry her. My mother became pregnant to escape her childhood home. What I felt was tremendous fear while I floated in that womb space and I was very aware that I was already being rejected. The fear that I felt though was not only mine but my mother’s. The fear of being found out, the fear of being rejected and abandoned, the fear that I would not be the boy she so desperately needed. Somewhere in her mind she believed a boy would bring her security. I was not to be a boy. I learned to tow the line, to be a “good little girl”. I feared making a mistake, I was hyper aware my existence was expendable, I could be rejected or abandoned at any moment. When I was young my job was to be sweet and well behaved so friends, neighbors and those at church would compliment my mother on what a good girl I was, more so what a great job she was doing. As I got older though I became a bit more of her energy source, she would push the boundaries. Now I was expected to not only make her look good but to also make her feel good. I was her companion, best friend and confidant. To the outside world we had this perfect mother-daughter relationship and one of the unwritten rules to make sure other’s envied her for it. My personal belongings were there for her taking. Money I earned from babysitting or jobs was often “needed” by her and saying no was not permitted. No matter what she told me I couldn’t or wouldn’t flinch. I heard the latest gossip about family and church members and the random comment on her lackluster sex life. One morning as I was getting ready to leave for school she informed me she was thinking about divorcing my father, it wasn’t uncommon for her to create an upset at an inconvienent moment. I was overwhelmed with emotion; I needed to get to school, I needed to get out of there, I needed to cry. I was engulfed in fear, grief and rage. I apparently didn’t react in the way she had desired. I vaguely remember saying something to her, what I don’t recall, her response was harsh. She may have slapped me across the face. I was in complete flight mode. I went to school and avoided coming until late. She berated me when I got home and then ignored me for days. The silent treatment was one of her favorite tools and then when she was done she would be sugary sweet. I became accustom to the silent treatment, not having her talk to me was fine it was the uncertainty that was unnerving. In hindsight I suspect she was just trying to hurt me, to get a response or reaction, this gave her a sense of power.

There was a part of me that despised my mother. I detested the the smell of her, the sound of her voice, even her mere presence could make my stomach churn yet I was so enmeshed I found it difficult to get away. There were subtle little things that let you know you could never make it on your own. In comments only you could here she would point out where you had failed, how you hadn’t measured it, how yet again you had let her down. A childhood of conditioning, no matter how hard I tried or worked it was never enough, if there was any praise she somehow was able to turn it around so she was actually the one receiving the praise. I continued working hard into adulthood, put myself through college, got a job, married a good man, bought a house and had a family. All the right things, along the way there were put downs, road blocks and sabotage.

I would distance when possible or when together with the family avoid her but about 8 years ago it finally came to blows. I dug my heals in, avoided all contact and things became ugly. For the first 4 years I lived in fear every single day! Fear that she would kidnap my kids, fear that she would kill me or my husband. Fear that she would do something that might possibly force us back to her. I was so completely a part of her that breaking away was painful and frightening. What if she was right and I actually couldn’t make it? It has only been in the past couple of years that I have felt I can breath. I am also coming to terms with my life situation. I am learning what it feels like to no longer be enmeshed, that I am my own person and get to have my own dreams, my own failures and my own successes. It is overwhelming at times, I have so much freedom. I have also come to realize I lack an identity, I really don’t know who I am now that I am no longer controlled by my mother. My life feels like it is in a constant state of flux because who I was yesterday is no who I am today. What felt important a month ago has lost interest. Each day is a new adventure and gratitude has become a wonderful tool to help me through my dark hours.


I long for a time…

Today I woke up fatigued. Not tired from lack of sleep, but fatigued from the times we are living in. Fatigued with everything. Going to the market is fatiguing, people living in a perpetual state of fear and worry from the news of the pandemic,. I’m not looking to get back to normal, normal wasn’t working and I’ve never cared for normal if I am going to be honest. As I ponder this, I realize I am fatigued with living a lie. The whole thing is a lie, we are told so little of what is really going on in the world. If we watch the news we are fed lies that the world is out to get us. We have been manipulated into believing the hamster wheel is the only way. We need to work harder, work more, buy more and feel inadequate. Races, religions, genders, countries, states, cities are all pitted against one another. I like to believe we would all like to live in peace and harmony, yet there is that pull to fill the void within through being better than someone else. There is so much we can learn and share from each other if we could put away the story we’ve been fed. I normally enjoy the quiet, I live a slower life, yet this isn’t slow. The energy is anxiety filled and we are getting very little information on what is really going on. We have shut down our lives. When I allow myself to jump in and listen to the outside world my head spins. The data doesn’t match up, the numbers don’t make sense. My friends husband just got out of the hospital, he tested positive for Covid-19, yet his symptoms didn’t match. None in his family are sick, the friends they vacationed with aren’t sick, the guys he hangs out with aren’t sick and only one other co-worker is sick. I am baffled how this is so contagious but no one close to him has gotten it. I wear a mask when I go out to be considerate of the world around me. I am social distancing and I am sheltering in place. The longer it goes on the more fatigued I get because the worry and anxiety in the world is growing. It is vital that we use our intuition around this virus as I don’t know that we can have faith in those that we expect to give us proper direction, instead we have finger pointing. Once again we are being distracted by fear mongering and blame. What is the next step? What is the plan? All of humanity is in a holding pattern of wait and see? I am finding the fatigue encourages me to do nothing, to waste time as I wait yet I don’t know what I am waiting for nor how long I will be waiting. I keep thinking as the weather gets nicer and I can get out more I won’t be so fatigued. Time in nature always reinvigorates me and clears my head. For now it is windy and cool, so I continue to wait. I long for peace and harmony, a time when our policies and beliefs have changed and there truly is enough for everyone. I long for a time when we can all live from a place of abundance and gratitude and help one another. I long for a time when all people are free. I long for a time when this is behind us, when we can freely move about and enjoy life. I long for a time when we can hug our friends, talk to a stranger and do the things we love. I long for a time when I close my eyes at night and know all is right in the world.


Grieving What I Never Had

The other night I was numbing out and turned on a sitcom. There is something about John Goodman that has always felt familiar. My dad has similar features and a similar disposition as Goodman’s characters. While I sat there I felt a great wave of sadness rise, I miss my dad. I have not seen him in a number of years and to preserve my freedom and emotional well being I burned a bridge. I sat with that sadness for a couple of days, allowing it to be rather than shove it back down. I realize what I was feeling was grief, not for what I had lost but for what I had never had and will never get. I was grieving for a dad who loved me for who I was, who was proud of me and would cheer me on in whatever my pursuits where. I was grieving for a dad who could freely share his emotions rather than drown them in a beer. I was grieving for a dad who created a soft place for me to fall rather than “getting me ready for the real world”. A few more days have passed and that sadness has not abated, it still lingers and I am alright with that. This is a gift that I am giving myself. For years I have been in denial, making excuses. Now I am allowing myself to feel the feelings of loss and grief. He is the first man I ever loved, he was also the first man to push me aside, to reject me for not being what he needed me to be. It is time for me to let go of that, to allow myself to make peace with the fact that it is not my responsibility to make him feel loved or valued or to feel good enough. He is on his own journey and I can only heal myself. Only I can love myself into being, not him. So tonight I will write him a letter letting him know how much I love him, how grateful I am for all he did for our family and for what he taught me. I will tell him I am sorry for things I have said, for past actions and for not being who he needed me to be and then I will burn it and send it off to the cosmos for healing. Someday I might be ready to actually send the letter to him but for now I will release it and free myself. As the sadness and grief fade, and I trust they will, I will allow myself to fully feel the love I have for this man. I have not allowed myself that for a very long time out of fear, now I am ready to allow that love and to allow myself to accept that he has always done the best that he could do. I will allow myself to remember, to laugh, to cry and to love again. I only hurt myself by expecting anything other that what is.


Breath is Life

During this pause, when all activities have been cancelled and life feels like it is crawling, I have found myself breathing deeper. I have started to consciously create time to focus on my breathing. I find myself craving the quiet of meditation when even my brain is in a pause, even if the pause lasts just a couple of minutes. I have been educated on the benefits of breath work, I have even taken some classes. Yet, it just never stuck. With everything around me slowing down it feels so critical to make sure I am breathing for life, not just existence. For some reason it feels as though I am breathing for more than just myself. I am breathing for those who can’t because of the virus. I am breathing for those who are wrapped in fear. I am breathing for the vulnerable and the confused. I am breathing for the earth. Each conscious breath is like a prayer as we move through this crisis. I imagine humans across the globe assisting others in the same way. Together we become the lungs, creating a new and healthy rhythm together. Our hearts beat in unison for all living beings, each inhale fills the collective lungs with love and peace and healing, each exhale we release old, pent up wounds, deeply held fears and anger. The new is waiting for us to breath it in, I imagine it will fill my nostrils like the fresh sweetness of spring blossoms. The old, worn out belief patterns are longing to be released. They have served their time, the reasons they were created are from the past and ready to be let go. There are times holding on serves us and there are times when it serves us to let go. Along with breathing consciously I am taking time to figure out where I need to let go. Taking time to thank those habits and patterns that at one time served me but are now ready to be let go. It is spring, a time of rebirth. As I watch my apple tree budding and getting ready to bloom in all her glory, it is also time for me to bravely grow and bloom. I will take time to observe how nature will be rebirthing this spring and going within to see how I can also rebirth into who I am meant to be at this time. I hope you will tune into nature and be inspired to grow and blossom as well.


Just another day…

This morning, I laid in bed for a few minutes and counted my blessings. We have a roof over our head, food on the table and our family together. I got out of bed, stretched and was determined to be productive today. Right now the days seem to blur together with little routine. The kids school plan has taken some getting used to, it isn’t consistent. They are bored and getting antsy. I’m less than motivated. Our state has a stay at home order until May 1. The kids are looking forward to returning to school and seeing their friends in May. Prom has been rescheduled for June. The spring musical is on hold. Graduation is as scheduled. However, Germany has cancelled Octoberfest. I don’t want to crush my kids dreams, I do however try to be realistic. They would rather focus on the known and that is, they are going back to school and life will soon resume. I logged on today and in my inbox was a message that our Governor has cancelled in person classes for the remainder of the school year. I’m not surprised but I do have to deal with my kids disappointment. We have a daughter who is graduating this year. She really feels like so much of the hard work was for nothing. I get it, I just can’t do anything about it. They will now have virtual celebrations, awards nights, etc.. At times I have a lot of grief wash over me, I feel sad and disappointed for her at what she will miss out on. I feel helpless and out of control. There’s a good chance she won’t even start out college like she was dreaming. She and her room mate have been planning their dorm room colors, who will get what. So many dreams down the drain. So many “lasts” and “firsts” gone. I understand this is just a moment in time and there will be many more memorable moments in life, but she is to young to know that. She is invested in what had already been planned and with that comes disappointment and sadness. As a parent I haven’t figured out how to ease the pain. Nor do I seem to have been able to convey the importance of feeling her feelings. We are in bubble, suspended from moving forward. Waiting… Waiting for what? That I don’t have the answer to that. As the tension builds in my shoulders, I return to counting my blessings and motivating myself to be productive. We will get through this and be better for it I assure myself. Cheers to all those who have worked hard, dared to dream big and will graduate this spring! Keep dreaming!


Earth Day and New Beginnings

Today is Earth Day and a new moon. The new moon speaks to me of a new beginning. Every month we get a chance to begin again. Actually every second of every day we get a change to begin again. The new moon is combined with Earth Day. A day, that was created 50 years ago, to encourage us to become more aware of how we walk on this earth. An opportunity to become more conscious of how we impact our environment. This year seems special since many of us are in a pause. Often times we are consumed with the normal activities of a busy life. Today we are living in a slow down which allows for time to be more reflective. There won’t be any big events, this year the slate has been wiped clean and the new moon reminds us of an opportunity for a new beginning. How will be individually and collectively live more intentionally on this planet and with each other. What habits will we change, what will we give up to make a difference. For years I have worked to live more sustainably and more intentionally. It isn’t always easy but I like to believe each little step makes a difference. Last year I decided to switch my husband’s coffee to a local roaster who sources ethically. We have been buying big box coffee that is stamped Fair Trade, but wanted to start using coffee from smaller businesses that know where their beans come from. That was relatively easy and even a bit fun. My other upgrade was to use only fair trade chocolate. This is challenging and inconvenient. Fair Trade chocolate is not as easy to find. I’m talking all chocolate, the candy we buy to the chocolate chips and cocoa we use for baking. The chocolate in cookies and ice cream or the hot cocoa my kids enjoy on a cold evening. Summer is right around the corner which means bonfires and s’mores. There won’t be any Hershey’s chocolate bars around the fire so we will have to get creative. Making this change is inconvenient and not fun, but feels rewarding and worth it. So far my kids have been understanding, not sure how it will work when we are confronted with the outside world. This pause in life is showing me I have to be willing to be uncomfortable or inconvenienced in order to live more harmoniously with the Earth and all her inhabitants. This year we are driving less, doing less and growing (personally and in our garden). We are all being required to give up what was in order to make room for what will be. Spring is all about new birth, rebirth. Nature is there to guide us, to renew us and to inspire us. We just need to take the time to appreciate her beauty. So in honor of Earth Day today I am going to plant some herb seeds and to honor the new beginning of this new moon I am going to pause to envision the world I want to live in and who I want to be when we emerge.


The Right Time

I have struggled with committing to writing, primarily because I don’t really know where to start. Then, globally we came to an abrupt hault. The right time, is right now. The pandemic has us staying home. For some this is ok, for others this may be a frightening time. I come from a toxic home, I am currently estranged from my family. Right now I work to stay in the present moment, the past is the past for now. So, if I am going to commit to a practice of writing, sharing and hopefully helping others it is the now moment I need to write from. There are three mains rules in a dysfunctional family; don’t talk, don’t trust and don’t feel. That’s makes what we are experiencing with a global pandemic a whole lot more challenging. There are a lot of feelings and our go to tactic of ignoring them will add to the anxiety. Those who suppress their feelings can end up with health issues, depression or rage. I’m still not the best at talking honestly about my feelings so I am writing them out and when I can walking with them. When we haven’t dealt with our feelings in the past it can feel overwhelming when something this big comes up. There are so many different emotions that might arise but because we haven’t been addressing them before we may end up exploding or completely withdrawing. There is a feelings wheel that I use, it can easily be found online, to help be move beyond the basic feelings of happy, sad, mad. There are so many amazing feelings we can experience. If I am feeling sad for no apparent reason I will go to the chart and explore what is under that feeling of sadness. More often than not I discover I am feeling grief or abandonment. or vulnerable. Once I know that I can sit with this emotion for a bit or journal about it. It is usually something coming up from the past that I didn’t deal with. If I allow myself a bit of time I usually can move out of the funk I was in. There is no better time to explore your feelings than right now.

Don’t trust! This is the one I am currently exploring. There was a lot of gas lighting in my family. When you growing up learning that what you saw “wasn’t what you saw” you have a hard time trusting yourself. If I can trust myself how can I trust anyone else!! The message I keep getting during this crisis is to trust. I am a control freak and I learned to try to control everything in order to survive. I can’t control this. I can’t control any part of it. Yes, I can control the small things like staying home, washing my hands, etc… but I can’t control the things that scare me. So, I can’t control the world around me and I need to learn to trust and have done it by yesterday. I find that if I tune out the outside world I feel better. Which means limiting social media, turning off the TV and limiting my time shopping. I have unfollowed anyone on social media that is stirring the pot, posting unhelpful things and anything that agitates me. I have a few groups that I log into because I like what I read, it is inspiring, informational or soothing. Some may say this is sticking my head in the sand. I disagree. Again, I can’t do anything about my external world so I need to focus on creating a sanctuary in my home. Turn the TV off. I don’t watch the news, I rarely watch TV for entertainment any longer. In January I started hearing so much fear mongering on the news about the virus that I asked my husband not to have it on when the kids are around. As things grew we would check in now and then but in the past month we haven’t watched the news at all. I haven’t found anything helpful on it, actually I have found it to contradict itself regarding anything useful. With less social media and less TV, I am finding that I have to listen to the voice within for guidance. When I am finding myself really struggling and not trusting the process, I turn to my higher self and have a conversation. This is also when I go for a walk so I can talk out loud. This isn’t about asking for anything, it is about sharing my pain, fears and frustrations with my higher power. If you don’t believe in a God Source then think of it as talking to your unconscious self. The main point is to have an opportunity to talk it out without someone trying to fix it for you. When I take time to talk it out I feel so much better, able to take another step forward. During these talks I get to put it all on the table. I get to get really mad and then it dissipates. I get to feel my fear and then it is gone. And somewhere along the way my mood changes and I feel lighter. Then I can get back to learning to trust myself again. When we grow up in an environment of not trusting it will take a long time to learn how to trust. We need to allow ourselves to take baby steps and the place to start is with ourselves. I have found not trusting to also be an asset right now. I don’t trust the news to give me the truth or to tell me what I need to know. I don’t blindly trust everything I read or hear. I have to come back to my center and feel. What feels right to me, how to I need to best care for myself and my family. The time is right to learn to trust yourself.

Don’t talk! Isolating is something that comes naturally to me. My conversations with my higher self really help with this don’t talk rule. I can say anything, in any way without judgement or fear. This is huge in letting things go. I used to carry so much around with me because I didn’t talk. When I did talk I often felt judged and then was consumed with shame. I have been doing this practice of talking to my higher self for a few years which has made it easier to talk openly with other people. Because I don’t have as much bottled up inside me I find I also don’t have as much I need to say which leads to better conversations. Now more than ever we need to be talking. We need to check in with others to see how they are doing and also allow ourselves to be checked on. We don’t have to have all the answers or be strong or positive during this whole thing. When I learned the rule “don’t talk” I suspect it was about not exposing our dysfunction to the world, however don’t talk is just flat out don’t talk at all. I learned not to talk much at all, I am the wall flower, the observer and the one usually talked over. It means feeling that I am intruding so I don’t reach out as much as I would like. I am using the stay at home order to be my excuse to reach out, check in on people and let them know I care. Right now is the time to talk!


Let’s Get Real

We are in the midst of a pandemic. I’ve noticed a lot of fear mongering, a lot of posts about when we get back to normal and a lot of jokes/memes of being stuck at home. I’m not seeing a lot out there about taking the time to feel your feelings. This can be scary to now be faced with our feelings if we haven’t been in touch with them before. I learned from an early age to ignore my feelings. If I wasn’t happy just don’t bother the world around me. For years I stuffed those feelings, until one day I could no longer stuff them, there just wasn’t room and I had a hair pin trigger. It has taken me many years to explore some of those ignored feelings and to challenge myself to not look away when I have feelings come up, which brings us to our current situation. There are so many levels to this thing and it is so important we get brave, roll up our sleeves and face our feelings. FEAR! That is probably the most common feeling many of us have right now. However that fear won’t look the same to each of us, which means we may not find the support we need outside of ourselves. How we “react” to that fear may also look different. It is critical that we take time to sit with our feelings, better yet, walk with our feelings. I personally find if I can get outside, walk and allow my feelings to come to the surface they are much easier to process. In the first few days that we were advised to stay home I felt myself get agitated. At first I figured it was a full house that was causing me agitation, then assumed it was the collective energy I was picking up. Finally I had to get real and acknowledge the agitation I was feeling was my own fear. Fear isn’t that simple though. I had to ask myself to go deeper and ask where was the fear originating from. This was a fear of abandonment and rejection. If my worst case scenario came to fruition I would be abandoned, homeless, alone and no one to turn to. That is a pretty scary thought and something that feels outside of my control. In the days to come I noticed I began to fall into a place of lack and validation of those thoughts came to mind. I had previous experiences come to mind of when I had been on my own, when I hadn’t been supported. I finally broke down and told my husband how I was feeling. Once I put it out there I was able to shine light on the dark feelings. Did it change anything? No, nothing changed except that I am not hiding those feelings and trying to pretend they don’t exist. It is ok to be afraid, angry or sad. We can’t control everything, in actuality there is very little we can control. What can I control? Taking care of myself, paying attention to when I feel agitated and doing something like walking, writing or taking deep breaths. I have also become much more aware of counting my blessings and praying. I encourage you to take time to sit with your feelings, to use this pause to let go of some of the baggage you have been carrying around. If that feels to big to take on, then just be willing and see where it takes you.


The Red Thread

An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but will never break.”
–An ancient Chinese belief

Last fall I attended a women’s circle that a friend was hosting. The majority of these women I had never met before and we were covering the topic “Childhood dreams, Adult realities” . As we went around the room each woman shared either about a dream they had as a child or about their childhood and how it impacted their adult reality. I was amazed at how these women showed up and shared. There were stories of losing both parents as a child and being raised in poverty by a grandmother, of a father who walked out on his family leaving a mother to struggle to keep her kids together and fed, one woman shared about her mother’s mental illness and how as a young child it was her responsibility to not upset mommy. The stories poured out about surviving great childhood trauma, yet here we were still standing strong. No one wanted pity, just a sacred space to tell her story, to be heard. As I sat and listened to these stories it became so clear that we all have our trials and tribulations throughout our lives. It isn’t about comparing where we are in the mix, if our stories have weight or worth, it is about using our voices to share and to support ourselves and each other. One woman shared she felt guilty as she listened to the others share because that was not her childhood reality. The women rallied and assured her she need not feel guilty on their account. Each woman in her vulnerability showed her true strength and resilience. Each woman was proud of what she had created out of the rubble of a traumatic childhood. If we don’t share and aren’t willing to be vulnerable we cheat ourselves and we cheat humanity as a whole. We need to understand that we are not alone in our challenges, dysfunction or abuse. We are all one and when we talk free of ego or judgement, we understand that a little more. We ended the evening with a Red Thread ceremony, a movement created by Shiloh Sophia. We gathered in a circle and passed a ball of red yarn around. Each woman would share what her new dream was, wrap the red yarn around her wrist, then pass to the next woman. When we were done we had a visual of how we are all connected and that connection goes on to other women doing similar work. I walked away from that gathering reinvigorated in my pursuit of wholeness and happiness, knowing that together we can all find peace. That gathering was over 6 months ago and a lot has changed. What hasn’t changed is the need for us to be willing to show up in this world and to speak our truth. During our gatherings we speak uninterrupted, this is something many of us never receive. The cost of this is to listen deeply when the other’s speak. When we listen deeply, setting our ego self aside we have much to learn about ourselves. This is something I have been carrying with me and practicing when I am encountering someone I don’t share the same beliefs with. I pay attention to where I get defensive or angry, there is a lesson to be learned. I pay attention to where I feel the need to jump in and explain my beliefs and ask myself what am I being shown. We are being given great opportunities to grow and expand exponentially, it is our choice if we want to use them or pass them by.


A Crack in the Facade

My journey to wholeness began about 19 years ago. I had grown up believing that if I tried hard, worked harder, exuded perfection I would finally be okay, be acceptable. I worked my way into near insanity. I was filled with resentment, my ego raged and I was the queen of judgement. I lived in fear that someone might see through my highly polished facade. It felt safer to keep everyone away than to create genuine relationships where my secrets might get out. My entire existence felt like a house of cards, all it would take is for one small mishap to bring it crashing down. I was angry and exhausted. I was overwhelmed and living day to day in survival mode. Sadly, I didn’t know it. The way I felt was my norm, when life was calm I would stir the pot. That is where I was comfortable. If there wasn’t some sort of crazy I was waiting for the shoe to drop. A little over 19 years ago I had my first child. This in and of itself turned my world upside down. He rarely seemed to sleep and cried if not held, I was exhausted. Each day in my exhaustion and fear of not being a good enough mom, I tried to bond, to connect. The days and nights blurred together, each day in my exhaustion I would take pictures of him. Something, anything to help me get through the hours alone and to feel like he was really mine. Then, in a blink, he left this world and left my emotions in tatters. At six weeks he died, just like that. He was healthy, developing as he should and within my first couple of hours away from him he took his last breath and his body shut down. They call it SIDS. My life spun out of control in the months to follow. The grief and despair I felt were outside of my control. I would spend my days numb, alone and crying, I didn’t know how to let go of the pain nor did I think I deserved to. I didn’t know how to allow my pain to flow so I held onto it, it was how I knew I was still living. This would be the first crack in my facade. In the years to come that crack would grow and there would be new cracks. Those cracks would lead to a new path of living, of believing and eventually to healing.