Shania doesn’t believe her singing has gotten any better since the “healing tour” began on OWN, yet she recognizes that it has very little to do with her voice. She understands that without healing she can’t get back to what she loves…signing. Once again stepping out of her comfort zone, Shania reminds us all the “if you’re not living on the edge, you are taking up too much space.” This week Shania took those steps closer to the edge and to facing her fears by rock climbing.
By pulling herself up and refusing to give up, Shania took another symbolic journey to overcome her own self-doubt. She went through several rituals in this episode in order to help her move forward and heal. She began with rock climbing, a little jam session in the dirt and then….on to Golden Willow Retreat in Taos, New Mexico. While staying at a center that provides support in grief and loss, Shania re-looked at the death of her parents, the death of her marriage and so much more. Here she met Ted who had experienced a HUGE amount of loss…his brother, first wife, both of his daughters….just too much. All of this led to him creating this retreat for others who are having a hard time dealing with their own losses. Knowing that hope is a gift in the midst of loss, Ted did his best to help Shania through her own.
As they began, Ted shared “here’s where you chisel down to get to your true gems…your heart”. As they discussed Shania’s losses, Ted noted that it was important to allow your wounds in your life time to heal….to be seen, heard and valued. As they worked through some of the issues, Shania shared why the betrayal of her friend hit so deeply. Blindsided, she felt she should have “defended myself, defended my family, defended my marriage or defended the way my marriage ended”. Ted was quick to point out that Shania had no control over those areas and to remind her that you “can only clean my side of the street. I can’t clean the other side” referring to the lack of control over being able to do anything about Mary Ann’s actions. When she asked him whether she should confront Mary Ann, he simply asked her whether she choose to stay caught in the drama of the past or if she would rather step out of it… an easy choice if you ask me. I think she has given Mary Ann more time than she ever deserved.
Next Ted offered up an exercise for Shania. Write letters to those she had unfinished business with and then they would mail them (via the fireplace). “Allow the time for you to drop into your heart, taking the time to heal to move on and that’s where forgiveness lives”…a great exercise. Writing can be so therapeutic – words have such power and the ability to heal. As Ted encouraged Shania to read her letters out loud, she panicked for a moment. So much to share and so personal. However, she did! She began by sharing her frustration over her voice. Next, she wanted to tell the truck driver who killed her parents that she forgave him and blessed him on his path. Then she opened up about her biological father and shared that she was OK with him not being there as she grew up. All of the easier ones came first. Shania then moved on to her ex-husband, Mutt, and finally expressed some anger at him for hurting her family with his decisions. Unclear on whether she felt she needed to clear the air or if she’d be able to just move on, she knew this would remain unresolved. Hummm…I’m really starting to think this has more to do with her promising him that she wouldn’t tear him apart on national television. I am sure he was worried about this when she told him about the show. Thinking the conversation began with ”for the sake of our child…”. After that brief Mutt discussion, Shania moved on to Mary Ann. Encouraged by Ted to talk to Mary Ann (symbolized by a candle in the room), Shania was able to work through a bit of her anger. “I admit that I’d feel better if she at least explained or maybe admit what happened…..I’m angry with you but I don’t want you to pay. I just want you to initiate peace between us”. Then a bit more honesty “I see you as ugly, cruel, pathological and sick. This is where I am able to feel for you. I am sensitive to anyone sick and always cry when the murderer is hung”. WOW! Yes our little Shania actually said that! Good for her. It is nice to see her opening up and acknowledging her feelings.
Working hard and coming out of her comfort zone, Shania was able to release a bit more than she had expected and was in need of a bit of relaxation. She got just that with a Reiki healing session given by Ted’s wife, Marcella. For those of you who aren’t real familiar with Reiki, it is an alternative therapy that allows for the transfer of energy throughout the hands to promote healing for the mind, body and soul. In a final ritual, Ted and Shania’s loved ones share kind words and their love for her as they stand around the fire. This retreat completely bombarded Shania with support and love. As her sister, Carrie reminded her how much she loves her and appreciates her as her sister, I couldn’t help but want to hug my own sister. As the ritual came to a close, Ted removed a piece of fabric draped around Shania’s shoulders…symbolic of her old skin. Reminding her that the skin no longer fits her, he removed the cloth and said “the seed of the new is in the shell of the old”. The ritual was a reminder that moving forward Shania was able to leave the pain and anger behind. Ready to move on with her life and her marriage to Fred….Shania was reminded that her circle of loved ones was tighter than ever and her new skin was what she makes of it.
Not everyone gets the opportunity to have so many people help them through their pain. Many are forced to move on and never address the issues in a healthy way. Some people aren’t emotionally capable of allowing themselves to own their pain. If you don’t, it will stay with you forever shaping your choices and decisions…and possibly holding you back. The silver lining in it all is that pain brings about change and through loss, there is growth. As with Shania…from the ashes of her old marriage comes a beautiful, healthier and stronger tree that never would have taken root if it hadn’t been for the journey she took. With every loss, something is gained. All you need to do is see it.
As for the teaser for next week….Bo Derek & David Foster people!