The Depths of Soul
I returned home from my time in India too soon. I’d planned the “perfect” final quarter of college as an internship in neighboring Nepal and two days before ended up having my trip canceled by my college due to a heightened security alert. So rather than getting on a bus headed for Pokhara, Nepal, I was suddenly on a plane to chilly Ohio where my parents and siblings lived. I no longer had a Colorado home to return to and so I went to spend the holidays with my family and sort out what would come next.
This part of the story would take an entire memoir to explain, and still surprises even me to this day. But with humility, I need to ask for your patience and courage to follow me here…
I received a very unexpected email from none other than the woman my husband had been dating and adventuring through Australia with – the “other” woman, as our culture would refer to her. And, if I’d not had that experience in the heart of Kanchendzonga Wilderness, then I would never have been ready for what showed up in her email.
She explained that things had not worked out with my husband, as they’d hoped, and that she was now in the Tahoe region with a job working for an alternative energy company. The man behind this company was a millionaire who lived on the lake and who had a vision for a non-profit that encouraged people to explore their spiritual nature. He had seed money and some notions about spirituality but was looking to hire someone to propose how to use this money to bless others.
“You’re the only one who keeps coming to mind, Heather,” she wrote. “I really can’t think of someone more perfect for this. But there’s a catch – housing is part of the package and you would have to move in with me in the cottage on the lake.”
My heart stopped. Roommates? How could I ever possibly move in with her? The woman who’d changed my entire life – and (not yet) for the better? I closed the email. No way.
But I felt a stirring in my heart that grew and grew, and it said, “Go.”
If I’d learned anything up to this point, it was to listen to and trust this inner guidance. So, I replied that I wanted to learn more about this opportunity. Within a few weeks, I found myself living on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe.
Up to this point, hardly anyone had known about the affair my husband had had with this woman. I hadn’t shared anything about the end of my marriage as it came to me so clearly that the purpose of all this was for my growth and freedom in the long run. And, that if I shared the human details and the he said/she said of it all with those who loved me, this situation would rapidly escalate into a scandal that loved ones felt meant they’d have to choose sides. That outcome felt like it would sap the little emotional energy I still had each day. I knew I would end up spending time caring for all my concerned friends and family, and their broken hearts rather than seeing what the bigger, spiritual picture was unfolding for my growth and development of deeper purpose.
When I moved to Tahoe no one knew the complexities of this time. I got hired for the proposal phase and then my contract was extended to conduct community research and then to begin implementing and designing the programming for a spiritual community center in historic Truckee called For Goodness Sake.
The five months we shared during that time in the little cottage on the lake remain some of the most precious memories of humbling self-realization and healing. I can truly say my roomie and I became friends. We confronted the ugliness of what had happened and aided in each other’s mental, emotional and spiritual growth. And we’re friends to this day. The “how” of this is a story for another time.
My time in Tahoe and then in the nearby town of Truckee, proposing and then planning this non-profit were some of the hardest and richest months of my life. I fell madly in love and became fixated with a man I dated for a short time, an obsession that would come and go over the next several years.
I came to terms with what had happened in my marriage, filed for divorce, used my voice to stand up for my truth when my soon-to-be ex-husband said he was planning to move to the Truckee region, and discovered more about who I really wanted to be in this world. But most significantly, I had the most transformational experience of pure forgiveness I’ve ever had – before or since. I forgave my husband for all the lying and cheating and betrayal. The vitriolic hatred that had taken over my heart and mind in the last few months of my time in this region dissolved within a matter of hours after an intense spiritual experience. It was all gone – 100%.
In the very same moment, I had a revelation that if any of what I’d faced and endured over the past year and a half could empower me to help others in times of darkness, then ALL of this was worth it. Worth every ounce of pain and suffering. Worth all the terrifying uncertainty. Worth “every scalding tear.”
< Thanks for continuing to read about my journey. Again, I feel I need to repeat this: Please be kind to yourself as you read through this. Although my story can seem very heavy, I am not weighed down by it and have no intention for you to be either. This is a story of triumph and healing. Thank you for giving it your time and witnessing. Much love…>
Heather Barron is the Founder of Luminous Life, and Luminous Ceremonies. She is an Integral Life Coach, Marriage Celebrant and Wedding Officiant whose sole goal is to thread more light and spread more joy in the world. She does this through life coaching, designing and officiating weddings and ceremonies of all kinds, writing fiction and non-fiction, hiking in her beloved Colorado Rocky Mountains with her precious pup, by listening deeply to others, and by smiling with love and kindness everywhere she goes. Learn more and become a fan by clicking on the social media icons below! Thanks for reading!