Usually when I return from program I can't wait to share everything I have learned and discovered with as many people as possible. It's been a month since I got back from level III and while I have wrote about a few of my experiences shared a few details I truly have not been forthcoming with everything I discovered about myself. I consider this program the most important in my life yet also the darkest. We all have a place in us we have stored our darkest lies, secrets, and stories. It was in Arizona that I discovered the source of my way of being after all these years.

I have spent most my life committed to my mother and through that commitment defending her. She passed abruptly and tragically when I was 19 years old and I always felt it was my responsibility to look after her, even when she was gone. My parents separated when I was 13 and it was in that moment that I took my mom's side. I had always believed I did it because I loved her so much and she was right. It was always my father's fault for what happened to our family and anyone else who happened to be in the way. It was at my latest training that I learned the box I live in is that of right and wrong. While I have been aware of this and have spent time doing "the work" around it; it wasn't until I was truly challenged at Level 3 that I saw how firmly I was standing in this box. I also discovered it was my mother who drew this box for me.

My mom was the one person I was most committed to in my life even though I spent the least amount of time with. She was the one who introduced me to the idea of right and wrong and I clung to it as ultimate truth. My father left so he was wrong. My sister decided to "pick my dad's side" so she was wrong. My grandparents attempted to help my mom and discouraged her from all the men she dated so they were wrong. My aunt, who is much younger than my mom, was always the baby of the family so she was wrong. My stepmother "broke up" our family, so she was wrong. I grew up knowing my family through my mother's perceptions and they were all wrong but her. I discovered that the broken agreement between my mom and I was that she did not take care of me and I did not love her. I was committed to her and I always took her side but it was based off a lie, one I believed deep in my heart, and because she was alone and I felt guilty. I was the only person she had left.

Because of this lie I found myself alone most of my life. Even after her death I stayed committed to her defense. Most of this was not direct or even had anything to do with her, but it hung on the perception that everyone else was wrong no matter what. 30 days ago at program I had to break this commitment to her and it felt, no still feels, like grief. I had to give up what I must which was the lie that I had to defend my mom at all cost. I had to come to terms with the fact that I didn't have a great relationship with the rest of my family because that's how my mom and I created it, not because they were actually wrong. I discovered that everything I thought I knew about everyone was a delusion. And most importantly, it was one that I chose to continue to live when I was no longer a child.

This is not about blame, I decided to live like this. The reality is my mom created her life and while she did not deserve what happened to her, it was her choices that led her down that path. Not my dads, not my sisters, not my aunts, not my grandparents, not my stepmom's, not anyone but her. And my life is the one I created, up until now!

I now stand here in reality, in this new freedom and life that I've been given. I would be lying if I said it was easy. I would never go back and I have no regrets. The path now is moving forward from a new place, in a new way of being, and discovering all the possibilities that has opened up to me.

In loving memory of Debra Anne Ward - I let you go!