by Natalie Marie Ritter
Finding My True Identity and the Shoe That Fits
I will start my transformation experience stories with an Earth card since my sun sign is an Earth sign and I was born on Earth Day!
As a fixed Earth sign, I value stability, security and predictability. From a young age, I experienced the opposite of those values and for a long time I just accepted it and drifted through life. I had more experiences that echoed those traumas even after I was an adult by recreating those feelings in new relationships. Eventually I was faced with a divorce. I thought for sure I was going to die and not make it out alive. I spent a lot of time, energy, and force to keep my family together. It got to a point where I could no longer hold everything together and I knew inside myself that it wasn’t the right thing. I blindly continued the divorce process, not knowing where it would lead me. My world crashed but then I woke up. It sparked me to really understand myself, how I got to this point and then move forward in new ways, begin a new Journey. The end is the beginning and I learned that not only will I survive, but when I allow, beautiful things can happen! I am happy to say that my kiddos have two great parents and two great homes
There have been times that I thought I had most things figured out. Eventually I learned that the journey to the self is not a straight line, but rather a spiral where I have come back to the same challenges multiple times, like the image in the Receptivity card. I have died many deaths and been birthed many times. As I have lived more life, I have understood the importance of not just having my mind on, but tuning in with my body, with my entire being. In the past, I was a person that would ask for answers that were outside of myself. Eventually I learned to look inside. I have learned to recognize and allow all the opportunities that happen for me to redirect me back to myself.
For a long time, I focused heavily on the times that my father could not show up for me. Those thoughts and stories kept me stuck, disappointed, unworthy, etc. Recently, I was able to go back to a pivotal time (via EMDR therapy), look at it straight on, feel all of the feelings and then recreate a better understanding—a new Perspective—that did not make me a victim. A better understanding that separated my father’s choices from my worth. I was so focused on my father showing up for me, I wasn’t fully seeing that every single time my father did not show up for me, my mother was right there and so were several other strong women in my family. This change of focus changed my experience years ago and impacted me going forward. After much healing work, I was able to honor my father’s journey regardless of how much it hurt me. I continue to keep my mind open on my triggers and wounds to gain even more understanding since I know that my father was a teacher. Even after his death, I am still learning lessons from that relationship.
SURRENDER + PRAYER
These are two things I am still very much learning. There have been times in the past that I experienced Surrender but it was after I had clung on for dear life! I have also experienced prayer when I was feeling in dire need! I am practicing surrender in the moment and for me that means “allowing”. It means letting up on my resistance and being open to the gifts of each experience. It means finding bliss and freedom in not controlling everything and choosing trust instead.
Prayer is helpful for surrender. Too many times I did not call on my spiritual support and I went at it alone. This usually drove me into the ground. Luckily I have grown in knowing when to call for help and when to hand a situation over. Once I pray, connect and hand it over, I feel at ease and I watch to see what happens, trusting that everything happens for my higher good. In addition, choosing to feel gratitude really shifts my perspective and is a great tool in my spiritual belt!
I will end my transformation experience stories with a card that has repeatedly been shown to me and has become one of the most important cards to my specific journey
When I first saw the Grace card, I thought about how pretty it was and it made me feel good inside. It made me smile. Then I learned more about the meaning and it took me back to my hardest childhood wounds. I never thought of my story as a Cinderella story but the truth is that my childhood experiences did parallel Cinderella. It’s also the truth that coming from such harshness, made me lose my true identity. I am still in the process of finding it. I have done a lot of work to overcome and rise above my childhood wounds but I know that I have not fully been restored – yet. This card still makes me feel good inside because it tells me what I have to look forward to. I have been through a lot but I know that I will still have my happily ever after.