I did something this morning I've been wanting to do for a very long time. I was terrified to do it, but it had to be done.
I finally spoke to the police officer who handled my case all those years ago. We both still live in the same small town, so our paths have briefly crossed a number of times over the years but we've never actually spoken until today.
I was grocery shopping by myself when I spotted him walking down one of the aisles. Spirit called me to reach out, and in the past I would have ignored that voice but not this time.
You see, not everyone did a terrible job of supporting me back then during the giant, tangled mess that erupted after I came out about my childhood sexual abuse - and this officer is one of those people.
I said his name, not knowing if he would remember me, and he turned around,
"Oh hello, Natalie."
He knew who I was! Okay! This felt more doable now.
I told him I had something on my heart that I wanted to say to him, then I started to talk, and the tears flowed as freely as the words that have needed to find him for many years now.
I thanked him for his kindness in the way he interacted with me back then. I thanked him for honoring my suffering by being respectful and cautious with me when I was so fragile. I told him he was among very few people who actually did so, and that his kindness was not lost on me.
I didn't bother to wipe the tears pouring down my face because I honestly don't care about social pretenses anymore. This is me, and I will crack open and spill out my heart because I know it's my natural state of being and I know the world needs more of it.
Unsurprisingly, he responded gracefully and he even had kind words to say about my advocacy work. After our brief conversation, we shook hands and said goodbye, and continued our shopping.
But Love changes us, and I walked away lighter and free-er and less afraid of speaking my heart in those moments I feel so strongly called to do so. And grateful, I felt grateful. So grateful that my chains have been loosened and have fallen away. So grateful that fear no longer has a firm hold on my heart, stifling my life force and clipping my wings.
Grateful that I can finally fly.