43 years ago today, a baby was born struggling to breathe. When the doctor’s forceps pulled her out of the birth canal, she wasn’t crying.

She was whisked away to the ICU after being quickly shown to her mother, not allowed to be touched.

A tube was stuck down her throat to force-feed her, as the placental abruption that had occurred 2 weeks prior in the womb had stopped her normal feeding.

The night of her birth, she screamed with all her might for her mother or nurse or any female caregiver to come. No one came.

Her thoughts were: what will happen to me? (I could die), and, in my most vulnerable time of need, when I express myself, no one comes. Am I worthy of my needs? Of living? Am I loveable?

It was that day that this baby shut her heart closed, for the enormity of these emotions and this truth was far too much for a newborn to bear.

She spent 4 days in the ICU. Her mother was permitted to touch her once.

On the 5th day, mother and baby could finally go home.

The union was short-lived.

The doctors left a piece of placenta inside the mother, and she woke up hemorraghing huge amounts of blood.

She was rushed to emergency, not allowed to bring her newborn baby with her.

She scrambled to find whoever was available to come take care of her baby, terrified of what might happen to her, and not knowing how long she would be away.

Eventually mother came home, but her milk had dried up because of all of the trauma and time that had passed since the birth.

Almost 2 weeks since birth, mother and daughter finally had a chance to bond. She held her baby in her arms, pouring out affection and emotion, apologizing for the rocky start to life.

This baby is me.

3 days ago, I finally had the courage to go deeply into my birth pain. To feel the existential aloneness, sadness, and pain that I have felt my entire life, that I have known as ‘me’.

As I allowed it, blackness literally circled around my heart and came up and out of my throat. Then I saw my heart in my hands, shredded and dripping blood. I literally died. I finally mourned my own death. The grief was so deep, it had me on all fours screaming and crying.

I felt a stabbing pain in my heart. It literally felt like lots of daggers. It wouldn’t go away, so I asked it; do you have a message for me? What should I do? It said, take me all the way in. Oh my god!

I cringed as I prepared to receive this sharp knife pierce my heart. I allowed it to move through me. In it’s wake, a triangular opening from the centre of my heart to the outside world. Wider on the outside, and only a dot of an opening to my inside. The wall has been broken. Finally.

Some time afterwards, I felt the feeling of no tension in my chest whatsoever. A sensation of total relaxation. For the first time there was no threat…I could relax into the safety of my own being.

My birthday wish for myself was to finally open my heart.

Thank you God, Universe, my own soul, for granting my wish.

I love this photo because I can see in my face how relaxed my heart is. There is a new kind of beauty here now, one that can only originate from the heart. And the big light of the candle is right over my heart chakra. How fitting.