Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing was conceived quite by accident. How that happened is a lovely story. It was the marrying of my two passions - writing in my journal with my non-dominant hand, trying to manage my emotions, my feelings, and photographing wrought-iron gates.
I have literally hundreds of slide images of gates, and I was planning to sell, or show, a collection of framed photographs to galleries, so was in the process of titling them. One morning, I wrote in my journal the most amazing words that described a gate I had just titled a week or so earlier. I was flabbergasted! The words gave voice to the photo far beyond the visual element.
This prompted a search of all my journals, as I looked for words and phrases about such things as positive and negative feelings, ways to treat ourselves and others with more loving-kindness, and principles of living. I found prose that matched with three-quarters of the gate photographs that now appear in the book.
That tells you the story of how the book originated. It does not tell you of the woman I was and the woman I have become. It does not tell you of my anguish, my joy, my triumphs, my selbacks. It does not tell of my journey. It is that journey that is reflected in my book.
My introduction goes into more detail about my mental and emotional status after the loss of an unrequited love for whom I had left my marriage. I was devastated and became a mess - drinking and crying for two months, unable to care for myself; I had lost touch with reality.
The experience changed the course of my life, diverting it to emotional awareness, healing, and growth. It even included sobriety. That experience has been at the base, the foundation of my healing. It is this and similar events that have taught me to look at each experience, especially when unpleasant emotionally, as being brought to me for the purpose of healing old emotional wounds. This seems to be the case as I have aged. My book is the accounting of how that healing took place.