Resilient tree symbolizing healing and self-discovery.

A coronary artery bypass graft is a life-changing operation; there’s no denying that fact. It marks a significant moment in one’s life, an event that forces you to pause, reflect, and confront the harsh realities of your existence. Yet, in the midst of the immense challenges it presents, this surgical procedure offers an unexpected opportunity—an opportunity to rebuild one’s life on their terms, free from the trauma and abuses of the past.

Before I found myself facing this life-altering surgery, there were dreams I held close to my heart. Dreams of writing, of teaching, of traveling to places unknown. These aspirations had always been a part of me, lingering in the background as I navigated the complexities of life. Little did I know that this surgery would become a catalyst, propelling me towards a deeper understanding of myself and what truly matters.

My journey began long before the surgeon’s scalpel touched my skin. My sadness, the persistent ache that had settled within my soul, wasn’t a recent development. It had been a constant companion, a shadow cast by the emotional turmoil that had haunted me for years. And now, as I grappled with the impending surgery, I found myself struggling to trust my own body.

The truth, I came to realise, was that my body hadn’t let me down. It hadn’t failed me in my time of need. Instead, it had borne the weight of a lifetime of emotional trauma and the scars of family abuse. The passing of my mother and, in particular, the deceit perpetrated by my sister had proven to be too much for my already fragile heart to bear. It was this emotional burden that had finally taken its toll.

During this period of self-reflection, I confronted a harsh reality: Continuing to engage with certain family members was detrimental to my well-being. It perpetuated old emotional wounds and reinforced the toxic perspectives that had plagued me for years. Their opinions, deeply rooted in my father’s viewpoint, were a reflection of a dysfunctional past.

I carried within me the DNA of my parents, but what they had given me was a childhood marred by cruelty and pain. In the therapist’s chair, during moments of quiet introspection, I realised that the only way forward was to listen to myself. To care for and love myself unconditionally. It was time to release the hatred I harboured towards my family, a hatred that had poisoned my thoughts and perpetuated a negative spiral of emotions.

Hatred, I learned, often stems from love. It’s a complex emotion that can consume us if left unchecked. In my journey towards healing, I understood that I needed to shift my thoughts from hate to love. It was time to let go of my parents and sister with love, to forgive them for their shortcomings and hurtful actions. They were no longer a part of my life, and ruminating on them only hindered my progress.

The unexpected blessing in the midst of this heartache was the surgery itself. It served as a turning point in my life, one that brought my immediate family together. Like a cocoon of protection, I was enveloped in their love, and I felt it. For once in my life, I could appreciate what love truly felt like, and their love and support shone brightly. A stark contrast to the emotional distance, neglect and abuse that had characterised my relationship with my parents and sibling. 

In the sanctuary of therapy and self-reflection, I uncovered a profound truth—I had entered this world as a light worker. Despite the efforts of others to extinguish it, my light still burned brightly within me. In a world yearning for illumination, my purpose remained unfulfilled.

My healing journey, sparked by that surgical intervention, began with a simple but profound belief—belief in myself. It was a belief that my light could shine even brighter, that my purpose could transcend the limitations imposed upon me. With that belief, a new life began to unfold—a life filled with love, forgiveness, and the relentless pursuit of my true calling as a writer.

As I share this deeply personal journey with you, I hope it serves as a reminder that even in our darkest moments, there is a path towards healing and renewal, waiting to lead us back to the light. My journey is far from over, and my purpose is yet to be fully realised, but one thing is clear—I am a bright, shining light in a world that desperately needs illumination. And it all begins with believing in oneself.

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