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I found myself unexpectedly doing the ugly cry yesterday.

Perhaps you are familiar with this dance that goes like this: gasp, gasp, gasp, breathing like a fish out of water, followed by a river of snot and tears making their way out of all open surfaces on your face.

Did I mention I accomplished this during a class via zoom where all participants had a front row seat? A breakdown of epic proportions with an audience. If you haven’t done it yet, I would strongly suggest keeping it that way :)

The fortress of emotional barriers I had so carefully constructed to “keep me safe” crumbled beneath me. Betrayal has the capability to bring you down like that.

And just to be clear, I’m not talking about the kind of betrayal where you go to downtown Willow Glen, and place your order for two ice cream treats at Icicles, and the clerk tells you with a straight face, “That will be $22.00.”

That’s highway robbery. And also I will pay for that ice cream anytime because it is amazeballs.

Chances are pretty good if you’re breathing right now, you have experienced betrayal. I mean, if we were voting, betrayal would win for being the biggest asshole emotion. Grief would come in at a close second. Not that it’s a contest though.

I mean, I had been writing to process… without a filter, and utilizing several obscenities. Highly therapeutic. I spoke with the people I trust the most in my life. I vented and cried and yelled. I spoke freely without censorship because these people have earned their ticket to “Michelle’s Crazy Show”.

Then, much like making soup, I left the pot on the stove to simmer slowly, releasing the taste of savory herbs , and the real me came to the surface. Finally, I arrived at forgiveness.

The catalyst came when the facilitator (of the class where I completely lost my shit), shared a poem by John Roedel. The dam broke and the tears came, flowing out of me freely as a baptism of sorts, renewing me.

I had this vision of placing my head on my mom’s lap, as I did on long car trips as a little girl, especially during the holidays. Immediately, this feeling of security enveloped me - my dad driving the Chevy Malibu on one side, Foxy riding in the passenger seat on the other, and 7 year old me sandwiched between them, snug as a bug.

When the class was over, I sat in my chair reading, trying to unwind when my 16 year old stumbled in. She brazenly perched herself next to me, leaving little space, leaned in and said, “I’m ready for you to rub my back now, Mama”. It was evident she wasn’t going to exit the premises until this occurred. And as I placed my hands on her back, she gently placed her head in my lap, just as I had done with my Mom.

It was as though God was saying, “I see you. I love you. I am here.”

And this is my Thanksgiving prayer for you. To love and be loved as you are meant to be.

Happy Thanksgiving You Magical Unicorn,


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