|Kaunala Trail, Oahu|
I've always known deep, down inside that nature has a unique ability to bring healing in many capacities. In fact, it's something I've been philosophizing over for years, but especially beginning my senior year at Brigham Young University–Idaho, as I slaved to bring my BFA (emphasis Graphic Design) project to life.
The BFA class was set-up for two semesters: one semester to figure out concepts and logistics, and one semester to execute the physical product of our creation, whatever it may be. The task was daunting throughout, with constant deadlines staring me in the face. The work moved along slowly and almost reluctantly, yet it was quite intense. Every attempt to move forward drained me physically and emotionally.
Looking back, I realize it paralleled the relationship I was in at that time. I was supposed to be married at the end of BFA semester one, and my original plan was to plow straight through the rest of school. I just wanted to be done! However, my fiance threw a huge (and might I add, selfish) fit. Too exhausted to battle it out, I raised my white flag and applied for deferment. BYU–Idaho granted his wish and approved my taking summer semester off and finishing up in the fall.
A few weeks later, the truth came out. Apparently, he'd been having little talks with my family members, especially my dad. He was mistakenly confident they would agree with his opinion that finishing school was a waste of my time. He revealed to them his scheme to marry me and whisk me away to Texas, in attempt to stop me from completing the degree I'd been working so hard for. So… everything he'd ever told me was a lie! Needless to say, that relationship ended pretty quick—one month before the wedding.
I was hurt and betrayed by someone I had loved and placed trust in. The hardest part, however, was losing my best friend (his sister). I haven't a clue what he told his family, but it must have been awful, because they attacked fiercely. I received several venomous emails from his family. Three were from her, my supposed best friend, who was now striking the lowest of blows. And she could, because she knew me better than most. And she knew what would hurt me the deepest. And wow! She did a terrific job…
I had to get away. Now I had an entire summer wide open, with nothing to keep my mind off of everything. It was all such a blur. The next thing I knew, I was living in the avenues in SLC with my Dad's cousin and his family, interning at Skogen group, and working for Chevron Credit Bank. I had an incredible view of the city, so at night I'd stay up late either reading books for distraction or writing in my journal, contemplating how to move forward.
Emotionally, things didn't start progressing until my cousin Ashley came home for the summer and we began running trails every morning. That's when I began to understand the true healing power of nature. The dirt, rocks, twigs and leaves provided excellent grounding. The mountains gave me unsurpassed strength to cope. The brilliant sun warmed my disconsolate heart. The sunflowers that lined the trails inspired me to always turn my head toward light and truth. The sky revealed endless possibilities as the clouds took shape. The creeks and rivers taught me to flow with life—in, over and around any obstacle.
The groundwork of my BFA project completed itself this way. As I ran, knowledge would stream into my mind. It would stay there, until I returned home and emptied my head into my sketchbook. Day after day. By the end of summer, I was ready to successfully proceed to phase 2 of my BFA.
If you are in the midst of a struggle, get yourself to nature. She will help you to overcome the things that now seem so unsurmountable. She will heal you, if you listen to her.