My dear friend Miriah was introduced to me by a mutual dear friend of ours. Miriah and I were only acquaintances for the first few years after we met and barely crossed paths a few times. But, as in any good story, there is Divine Timing in the magic of a deep and true relationship.
A short time after I had separated from my was-band I started thinking about Miriah. I didn’t know it, but she had started getting similar intuitive nudges to reach out to me. I don’t remember who called who, but a phone call was made and we chatted about becoming each other’s accountability partners on some of the things we were working on in bettering our lives. I admired Miriah for her accounting abilities, her entrepreneurial skills in equine massage and healing. I also loved having conversations with her as she was very well spoken and so smart! Miriah had done so much work on herself. I admired the determination and discipline she had for her self growth. She was also a champion at being a strong, confident, independent and compassionate woman ….. I definitely wanted more of that in my life!
We arranged a little get together and one magical evening we sat in my living room and proclaimed our passion for truly wanting to become the best versions of ourselves. We had grand aspirations of wanting to find this path of authenticity not only for ourselves but also so that one day we might share our path with other women to assist them in finding their light. We both knew we could only do this by first finding our own light, which we had both been seeking and now committed to each other, we would walk this journey together!
After several years of shared growth I was being asked to make an impossible choice in my personal life. Now up to this point in my life I thought that the choice to leave my marriage was the hardest thing I had ever done but now I had to make a choice even more difficult and heart wrenching than leaving my marriage. I had met a man I had fallen in love with but the situation with my children’s father was making it difficult for us to live in the same city with him. I had petitioned the courts to be able to move my children and was told that they were too stable where they were so they would not be able to move….. So the first person I called was Miriah and she agreed to meet me right away to discuss this impossible choice I was facing. After hours of going over all the details we outlined a great plan of action which I could not have come up with on my own. Thank heavens for her connection to Spirit and the guidance she offered me in those turbulent times.
I shared with Miriah that evening that I had never done drugs but my addiction to my toxic relationship must be similar to a heroin addict who knows it is not healthy but feels such a strong desire to “use” again… and go back to familiar addiction. This was to become day one for Miriah’s sobriety, which I knew nothing about at that time. She tells me now that she had never met anyone who had not used drugs and that if I could go through life with challenges and obstacles to overcome without numbing myself out, then she could as well. Little did I know that this would also become the day that would solidify one of the most beautiful and truest friendships I have ever known. I may have had a significant impact in her life with her sobriety but she has had an even bigger impact on my life as well as the countless other lives she has had an impact on, in recovery.
This year I’m paying tribute to 50 women or groups of women who have had an impact on my life and Miriah Stuart guided me and walked with me (sometimes even carrying me) back to my path of authenticity….and THAT HAS MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE!
After that night in my living room we had weekly phone calls and monthly visits to discuss not only our business plans and goals but also our personal self growth plans and goals. We held each other accountable with grace and love. We trusted each other and supported each other through some amazing growth personally and business wise as well.
I did ultimately move away from my boys for reasons far beyond just wanting to be with the love of my life and Miriah was a big reason I was able to have the courage to do this for myself.
For the next ten years, Miriah would open up her home to me as I would fly into Portland multiple times during the year to visit my children. Her home became my sanctuary. There were many visits that were filled with tears and heartache. There were other visits filled with joy and triumph. She was there for each trip to celebrate with me or cry with me. She picked me up off the floor a number of times and re-assured me that there would come a day that this would all be over. Miriah lived a little ways away from where my children lived. Each time after I would visit them; I would drop them off and say goodbye. Then, I would drive back to Miriah’s home. I would have to go across a bridge to get to her house and I would imagine that it was a magical bridge. After crossing the bridge I would enter Narnia and nothing from the outside world on the other side of that bridge could affect me in her magical world. Her home, her hugs and her sweet dog became my true sanctuary. One particularly tough visit, I returned early in the day to Miriah’s, defeated by not being able to visit my children. I fell into the beautiful bed she provided me, curled up and cried until finally exhausted I fell asleep. When I awoke I felt numb and hopeless, I had nothing left in me to keep going forward. I managed to get myself out of bed and walked into the hallway to see a sign she had hanging up. It said….
“Almost crumbling to the ground, she stopped….. Looking at how far she had traveled and all it had taken to get there, she recognized her strength. The strength she had inside of her, the strength she had gained along the way…. Her inner power! and so, she stood up, standing tall, she faced forward and continued on.”
So, I straightened….stood myself a little taller, I faced forward and every time I visited, I continued on, no matter the challenge. And my sweet Miriah was there for me, by my side, no matter the challenge. She would guide me back to my path…. EVERY-SINGLE-TIME!
Two years ago I once again stayed in Miriah’s beautiful sanctuary along with my sweetheart and my mother. We were there to celebrate the graduation of my youngest son from Gladstone High School. On this trip, Miriah and I took a quick moment for our own sacred time alone together. We looked into the depths of each other’s eyes, knowing the journey our souls had been on together for the past ten years….an entire decade had passed! The day had finally arrived that she had promised me would one day arrive for me. We honored each other with long hugs, tears of joy in overcoming the impossible and deep sighs of knowing that this chapter was over and a new one was about to begin.
Now that we are both moving forward with new chapters in our lives, I am so proud of what we have both accomplished in our different lives respectively. At one time we both identified ourselves as the poster children of Melody Beattie’s codependency model and now….. so many years later ….. We both celebrated wildly when we took a codependency quiz and found that we had put in the work to no longer identify with codependency….. We were both Codependent No More!!! We had BOTH faced forward and continued on!
It is difficult to sum up in words what this woman means to me…. She is far greater than an accountability partner, my love for her is beyond a friendship, it is even deeper than a sisterhood….. She has been the deepest and truest soul I have ever had the honor to walk this path of life with….. And much of this path, she has carried me. Her connection with the Divine has inspired me tremendously and I trust her guidance is from this space of Divinity.
I love you sweet friend. Never doubt your place on this big huge planet….. Your love, your guidance and the way you live your life is a shining light of sanctuary to those of us shivering in the cold of the dark night of our soul. Thank you for sharing your light….. Not only with me but for the countless numbers of those in recovery who hear your story and are inspired to change their life…. Because you changed yours!!!
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and I am so glad I took the path that walked alongside of you, for it has made all the difference. Deepest bows my soul sister.