I look back at my life thinking I could have been so different. I could have been just like the people who caused me pain. If I had continued the cycle the effects of my reality would disheartening. Today I am a mother of two boys. I can show them living with compassion and how to be good men. I would have been able to learn how to be a mother if I let toxicity win. I would have gone down the darkest path with no light at the end of the tunnel. When asked if I would change the circumstances, I reply with no. My reasoning is if I changed one thing no matter how small I would not be the person I am today.
I am a mother, wife, writer, I hold so many roles sometimes I take it for granted. When our life it gets busy I forget to take a look back at how far my family has come. When Justin and I got together it was just Travis and I. I was a single mother with a small child in tow. I had weight on my shoulders enough to give to twenty people. From custody battles and being new to Red Deer, Alberta, Canada I was in a lost place. I didn’t plan on meeting anyone I wanted the opposite to be alone and figure out where I was going. The universe worked in funny ways giving the chance to meet my forever partner in life. He did have his own mental baggage. Given everything that seemed stacked against us I fondly look back and see that everything that happened my life was building up to giving me what I really needed. I needed somebody to love and somebody to teach me the value of allowing love to be given.
When I first met Justin I was so bitter about trying to heal my mental wounds. I was angry with the world that surrounded me. In six years that we have been together, I have learned to let it go. It wasn’t easy to let someone in breaking all my barriers. I had placed walls to protect my already broken spirit. I thought if I didn’t let him in it would be easier to walk away when things got tough. I had been so hurt in the past from others I believed that I was unlovable. I was terrified that he would hear my story and run far away. He still stayed even when I told him about my past abuse, my own self-destruction, and the life I have lived before meeting him, this was the first time somebody actually saw me instead of leaving. He gave me acceptance and patience and showed me that it takes small acts of kindness to heal.
If I had taken the path of allowing toxicity to fully take effect I wouldn’t be here today. I would not have a partner to share my life with. My children would not have the quality of life they have today. If I chose to let the hate and pain turn me away from learning compassion I don’t think I would have the people in my life that bring love and true joy. I’ve met great people by allowing myself to share stories and bring a voice forward. So when the universe gives me these challenges I know that I need to rise above them and live my life to the fullest. I do believe that everybody has two different paths they could take. If they choose to let the darkness consume them they become ugly and corrupt. If they go down that path it is so hard to become a better person and I feel that some people get attached to feeling destructive. The other path is rising from the turmoil and finding beauty in small increments of time. If they let the light in good things will happen with time. I’m glad I chose the path to let others in and letting go of the pain.
Written by Ali Johnson