Today was a big day – a really big day. Two years ago as I’ve written before I lost a business that I put my heart and soul into. The problem is, it wasn’t just a business it was a school. It was a school I loved. It was a school my children went to. In the end, I didn’t have the finances to sustain it. There are things in hindsight I would have done differently and things I wouldn’t change for anything. In the end, I was betrayed by some people I trusted and the pain and the loss were excruciating.
I live in the same town but I can’t drive by that school. I drive around it. I take the long way. If I have to drive past I close my eyes until we are past or cover my eyes so I can’t see it. That seems pretty extreme doesn’t it? Perhaps that explains the depths of the pain I felt over the loss. I recently learned that the school has now closed. Those that plotted to overthrow me, those who betrayed me for their own gain, I’m guessing have now learned that it was not nearly as easy as it looked. I don’t know how I feel about that. Part of me feels vindicated. Not that they failed but that they finally realized that what we were doing there was no easy task. It took heart, soul and determination and it wasn’t something you could look at strictly from a “business perspective.” Part of me is sad. The legacy of the school is now gone forever. Part of me feels free. I can’t explain it but the news lifted some of my shame.
So today I had to drive by. I decided to be a big girl and open my eyes. It wasn’t so bad. The aching in my heart only lasted a few minutes as all the memories flooded. The tears that flowed down my cheeks were cleansing. Today instead of just being mad, I could finally be sad. I could grieve what was no more. I could grieve not only my loss but my failure as well. More importantly I could put it in perspective as a moment in time that is over.
I said in a previous blog that I needed to have a good funeral for these feelings and I did. I have really done some amazing healing from that, but grief is a mysterious thing. It takes a long time to walk through and in some small way its always with you. Images have ways of triggering that grief. It’s not a bad thing. I see old pictures of the school and I cry. Now I can drive by and cry, but the tears are no longer tears of shame but tears of sadness and grief.
This process has been amazing. When it first happened I wasn’t sure I could survive it. I didn’t know if my heart could take the pain. But now I’m coming alive again. Slowly. In some ways it reminds me of by favorite geranium plant. This week the gardener butchered it. He hacked it way down. There are no leaves left on it. Simply brown branches where this beautiful geranium once was. This amazing geranium once smelled like roses and now is just a pile of sticks. 2 years ago, I was a pile of sticks. My beautiful leaves gone – destroyed by sadness. My sweet smell which I call my joy – completely gone. But now, slowly but surely my leaves are coming back and every now and then I get a whiff of that sweet, sweet smell of joy. The Lord had to really wack me back, but now I’m coming alive again. Look out!