For Tuesday Tales this week I’m stepping away from the romance to finish up a contemporary fiction that’s due out in October. A Second Chance is the prequel to My Wildest Dreams, the first book in A Growing Wings series.
In A Second Chance, Jenny finds herself struggling with the aftermath of an unexpected sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). She is coming to terms with having a second chance at life and what these changes will mean to her current life. We jump into this story about half way in, two months after the SCA, because it was the best scene to incorporate our weekly prompt of ‘writing’.
For more fascinating story snippets from the wonderful authors in the group, return to TUESDAY TALES here.
A few weeks later, one of the inspirational women I follow on Facebook posted an interesting thought. She was talking about dreaming big dreams and setting goals and intentions, and she wrote:
“…everything that is not in alignment with that rises up to be healed or transformed. I call that ‘Your stuff coming up.’ You can choose to heal and clear this so that you can move forward…”
Hmmm, I’ve noticed that these dreams contained lots of anger and ‘old’ frustrations, surfacing in my mind, mostly when my body has shut down for the night. Some of these memories and angers are from way back, twenty years ago some of them. Maybe, in order to heal and go forward, I can’t suppress these feelings anymore. I need to deal with them and heal them.
One way of releasing hurts and negative emotions is writing in a journal. I decided I needed to pursue this, to try to clear some of this from my mind and my subconscious. I headed to my bookcases, knowing I had several nice, blank journals to choose from. Looking through them I couldn’t decide which one to use. They were all too “pretty”; too pretty to write ugly thoughts in. I thought about getting a school composition book to write in. But then, I thought, if I’m writing these words to “get them out of my life”, then I don’t want them written down and “engraved” so that I can go back and re-read them, keeping them written and permanently in my life.
I decide to use scrap paper and write the “ugly” things on them, the thoughts I don’t want to see again, the thoughts and feelings I’m trying to release. I will write them down, then tear up the paper and toss it in the trash. This will be my “trash journals”. I think that the tearing up and throwing away will also symbolically help me.
The next day at work, as I headed out to my car for lunch, I grabbed some scratch paper to take with me. I scribbled away the entire time.
December 15, 2010: I’m going to begin my “trash” journal. I don’t want to write in a “pretty” journal and keep my words forever. I don’t want these where anyone else can see them – I don’t want them where I can go back and re-read them and keep them in my mind. The purpose of these are to release the negatives and the anger – to write it and acknowledge it and then throw the words away and move on with my life.
I’m trying to accentuate the positive – to think on the good things to bring more of the good into my life. But … I still have some angers and negative, complaining thoughts in my head. Some old. Some new. Some frustrations with life. I won’t consider these “complaints” as I’m trying to strive to be complaint-free. This is for healing. Because I find if I don’t express these thoughts, they creep into my dreams and my sleep. They find their way to surface in some manner. And working themselves out in anxious, angry dreams isn’t helpful. It brings matters to my attention, but if I don’t do anything, it’s like an un-lanced abscess – still festering away and keeping me from the peaceful, joyful life that I deserve.
Releasing these feelings will allow for an enhanced spiritual life – one where I know myself better – where I’m more attuned to those around – where my spiritual and psychic senses can open up – to a life where I can be in contact with my guides and where life in general is the life I need to be living.
I fully believe that for circumstances to have been what they were the day my heart stopped, that it was not my time to go. There is still more I need to learn or something I still have yet to do. Otherwise, I would have left this life peacefully fifteen minutes before the alarm went off on a normal routine Thursday morning.
Instead, I was in an airplane, in an unusual and out of the ordinary trip to San Francisco – with Carla beside me to sound the alarm and start CPR to keep me here … with three doctors within a forty to fifty foot radius of me … with medical equipment and a defibrillator within arm’s reach.
What are the odds of that? Astronomical, I’d venture to guess. To know this, with every fiber of my being – but yet to continue life as before – unchanged – would be a gross waste. A travesty.
To honor the unseen guides and loved ones that were with me, and the physical beings on this earthly plane that were responsible for keeping me here with every effort of their beings, I choose to move forward and live a higher life. The purpose of my life is not to work a mundane day-to-day job, to eke out a bare bones paycheck-to-paycheck life. The trivialities and pettiness of co-workers are not important to me or why I’m here. I choose to move beyond that.
I choose to do the things necessary to my life, in living a higher life. One of the necessary things I need to do is to release anger and frustration – not to keep them sequestered and buried deep in the recesses of my mind. That, I choose to begin doing today. The other things, I’ll learn along my new path.
My intent was to write down the ugly thoughts, then tear it up and throw it in the trash. Something with this first writing prompted me to keep it. I’d started with the negative thoughts and emotions, yet thirty minutes later, at the end of my lunch, I’d already moved into an epiphany. I felt I needed to keep this ‘A-Ha’ moment.
I met Carla for dinner that night, and shared the thoughts that were racing through my head all day.
“I’ll be changing,” I warned her.
“Changing?” she asked, acutely more attentive to my words. “Changing how?”
“I don’t know,” I replied. “I’ll find out as I go along. It won’t be huge changes, like I’m not suddenly going to move out, or move to Alaska, or have any other drastic life changes. My basic personality is still going to remain ‘me’. But my life HAS to change, in some fashion. It would be a huge waste if it didn’t.”
I read her the last part of what I’d written and tried to explain how I felt I must become more attuned with my spirituality, not in a “church” or organized religion way, but as my inner being and connectedness to all that is. I had to question ‘why?’ I intended to slough off the pretenses and false faces that I often wear to the rest of the world. I had to become real. I had to be true to myself.
“I still don’t totally understand. C’mon Jenny. Fess up. Are you, like, going to move? Going to change jobs? Shave your head and move into a commune?” she joked.
“No, nothing that radical. But, I have to take this second chance and have it stand for something. I have to change.” I took a sip of water, trying to come up with the words to explain what raced around in my brain. “To continue life unchanged is like to taking this second chance and throwing it in the trash. It makes it mean nothing. And, I don’t want to disregard the importance of this second chance.”
“As long as we’re still friends. I don’t want to lose your friendship over your journey of becoming more, as you say, real.”
“We will always be friends. You know how far Amber and I go back. You know I don’t take my friendships lightly, nor do I lose friends over trivial matters.” I reached across the table and patted her hand to acknowledge my words. “But, to go further with these new goals, to take off my masks and attempt to truly live a more authentic life, with loftier dreams and aspirations – will mean I must make changes in my life.”
That night I copied a quote in my journal, my ‘pretty’ journal, the one that I keep:
“Nature is one connected whole. At any given moment every part must be precisely what it is, because all other parts are what they are, and not a grain of sand could be moved from its place without changing something throughout all parts of the immeasurable whole.” Johann Gottlies Fichte, 1800
After the quote, I added these words:
My intent is to move some grains of sand, not a lot of sand, but important grains of sand. And in the moving of these few select grains of sand, the immeasurable whole will reflect changes. I cannot do this and remain the same identical person.
Onward bound, here we go … to a life with greater awareness!
Whatever that life may be. What was coming up ahead was the biggest mystery and I had no earthly idea what lay ahead in my future.