a hard pill to swallow

Could our hardest lessons be our biggest teachers?
How would it be to embrace challenges with a grateful heart? To actually see the gift of the challenge and welcome it whole-heartedly?

Sometimes life gives us a hard pill to swallow.

It was over 20 years ago. I was living with my then husband and son many miles up route 33 in the hills behind Ojai. My friend Linda and her 4 year old daughter came to visit. Her husband dropped them off, they were coming to have an exciting weekend visit, to get away, get out into the mountains, hang out with friends.
What she didn’t know, but realized very quickly, was I was in a dangerous situation, one that she herself understood all too well, having experienced the same thing herself several years earlier. You see, my husband and I were caught in a vicious and escalating abuse cycle. It was getting worse, and I was desperately trying to hold my perfect little life together, as it was imploding and exploding around me.

The next day, my husband went off to work. Linda said, ‘I’m not hanging around in this drama. Here’s your choices: you can leave with me or stay here and take your chances’. Within the hour, Linda, her daughter, myself and my not yet 2 year old son packed up a wheel barrow with a black plastic bag of a few precious things and my guitar and wheeled it down the long driveway to the highway. We stuck our thumbs out and started hitch hiking. The guy who picked us up didn’t ask any questions, but I’m sure he knew something was up. We threw our stuff in the back of his pickup truck, piled in, and he drove us all the way to Santa Barbara, 60 miles away. I was absolutely terrified. My husband was threatening, violent and was surely not going to be happy about this turn of events. I had a young child to take care of, had no money, no plan.

When times like those come around, there is no turning back. There is only faith to guide. For me, it was literally a decision to live, to stand up for me and my child’s safety. It was a choice point, and turning point in my life.

In retrospect, I know this was a very important lesson for me to learn, a game-changer. In retrospect, I survived, and I learned incredibly valuable lessons for having gone through the experience. Would I wish it on anyone? Never. Do I wish it DIDN”T happen to me? I wouldn’t have it any other way; it brought me here, to where I am today. Now, I can look back and say I am truly grateful for the learning.

Could we close the gap, and start appreciation as the proverbial ‘sh*t hits the fan’? Imagine all the suffering and fear that might be alleviated. Hey, here comes another big lesson, whoopee! how exciting! I can tell you, I’m not totally there, but that gap is getting smaller. And I find the more I appreciate, whatever the situation, the happier I am, and the FASTER I learn.

Are there ways you are not facing hard decisions? Letting things slide? Sometimes we need other’s perspective to help us to open our own. I am so thankful for the wisdom and experience of Linda’s presence that gave me the push I needed.

And now I offer that to you. A gentle tap, a little nudge. Is there a decision to be made that could change the course of the rest of your life?

Are you ready to take a stand for your life?

Are you ready to honor and cherish your path?

Let me know when you you’re ready. It is my joy to support you to saying yes and actually doing something about it.


One thought on “a hard pill to swallow

  1. Claudette Chenevert

    WOW Nicola. I am sure this is resonating with a lot of people, myself included. Why do we wait to be struck down before changing our ways or changing directions? Do we actually need those hard lessons?
    Unfortunately, I think some of us do. I look at my son and see some of the same mistakes I made and thinking to myself “Should I try to stop him?” And I know the answer to that is that he will continue doing what he does until HE is ready to learn from it.
    I told my father once to let me learn from my own mistakes just as he had learned from his.
    Tough at times but worth it in the end.
    Thank you for sharing your story.



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