Last month we talked about the real and comprehensible struggles that the holidays can bring; coupled with the stress COVID has weaved and the layers it has added, the gravity of havoc is serious. And also ripe with opportunity.

Before I go on, let me preface this by saying that I personally understand the process of wounding and healing. So, it is my intent to dignify the whole process with acknowledgement in hopes to bring some comfort to all readers no matter where you fall on the spectrum.

Is this event happening to you or for you?

And while I can say I’ve experienced BOTH, the point is, they both exist and need to be honored as such. Had someone asked me shortly after being assaulted, “Gabby, is this happening to you or for you?” I’d have looked at them cross eyed because the pain I felt and the pieces of me left victimized didn’t need to learn lessons, they needed healing – THIS was their first priority.  And the truth was, this assault, it did happen to me, against my will, and that truth needed to be honored. Yes, this did happen to me and frankly, for a long while, it did smell like shit, period.

Until suddenly it didn’t. Yes, this did happen to me.


“Now What?”

Once enough of me was healed, just enough strength restored, then and only then could I begin to ask, “How might I grow and learn from this so as to relinquish my power?” And in this transition I began to see and smell manure, not just shit. They look the same and smell similar but when applied for a different purpose, I learned a new tolerance and appreciation for that wicked smell and all the flowers that grew afterwards.

The two gifts in particular that I wish to share today have served me as the foundation in all challenging and traumatic events going forward.



First and foremost, wounding showed me my body’s capability to HEAL. That with the right intention and attention, wounds weren’t the end of me, just a part of the process. The value of this realization has lent me strength to endure as well as a spirit of curiosity inspiring the question – do I have what I need to heal already or do I need to seek new resources? 

In short, resiliency.     


Nurturing Yourself

Second and my personal favorite, it has taught me to be my best friend, ALWAYS – to act in kindness, gentleness, most especially when I might be struggling so as to advocate for healing and not add to more wounding. While I can’t control the wounding outside of me, I sure can stop the wounding inside of me coming from ME. 


Honoring the Process of Healing

So, no matter where you are in the process – smelling shit or manure – remember, you can heal and have direct access to it by the way you are treating yourself, speaking to yourself. Maybe all you smell is shit right now and that is OK. Simply, keep your nose active and ready for the subtle shift when the smell might change. 

For, as I found – pain wasn’t the problem – it was the fear that it would go in vain. So, I urge you, when the wind shifts the manure smells your way, pick up the manure, begin your gardening and enjoy the beauty that is to follow. 



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