First Stage - Calcination
CALCINATION is the first of the following seven major operations in the alchemy of transformation.
Psychologically, this is the destruction of ego and our attachments to material possessions. Calcination is usually a natural humbling process as we are gradually assaulted and overcome by the trials and tribulations of life, though it can be a deliberate surrender of our inherent hubris gained through a variety of spiritual disciplines that ignite the fire of introspection and self-evaluation.
Fall of 2010 I started college at Ferris State University thinking that going to school meant that I was starting a new future for myself. I thought of myself as a strong and ambitious single mother and I thought that I could take on the world. I had high hopes, dreams and ambitions.
I thought that I had worked so hard to get there and that I could achieve anything, so I put pressure on myself to achieve my goals and dreams and I just knew I wanted to help people and change the world and I thought College was the way to do that, and I loved it. I loved school and it was harder than I ever imagined that it would be. Going to school full-time as a single parent is one of the harder things I have done. (Really think about it or make sure that you have decent babysitters and backups for your backups. Make sure that you have a decent Support Network, of which I had none of these of course.) Going to school full-time with two kids one of which was having some developmental social and emotional problems, I was in a very devastating car accident with my kids and I was left with no transportation.
Big Rapids isn't exactly a big town but it isn't exactly a small town either and having a small child and doing grocery shopping; trying to make it to school carrying everything, my kids school, and work all the time on foot was hard. That winter we had so much snow that they cancelled school on multiple days for the public schools. I had to take the kids, my books, and bags for the kids with me through the snow to all of my classes because I couldn’t afford to pay for a year of daycare for a couple of snow days. The snow was waist deep on my kindergartner so I often had to carry him as well as everything else and by 2012 I injured my back so severely that I wasn't able to continue on with school. In fact it was so bad I could barely get off of the floor to care for my kids, and in between the painkillers and muscle relaxers I began to feel like I was losing my mind. I could no longer go to class, or work. I lost my car, my grant, my education, my job, my home and a lot of my posessions, and I would lose so much more.
That was the beginning of the end for me because I went from having such high self-esteem thinking so highly of myself and being so proud of myself, to falling into a deep pit of despair. I went from being on top of the world thinking I could have it all and I could do it all, and I could do it all on my own, to feeling completely worthless and unable to achieve anything. And I desperately needed to prove to myself and to the world that I was worth something. I thought that my worth came from what I could make of myself.
During this time is when I met Mark and meeting Mark was like meeting my guardian angel, My soulmate my twin flame. It was that whole Fairy Tale scenario of walking into the room and laying my eyes on him and my life was forever changed. I just knew. It was like magic; and I knew that my life would be forever changed. It just wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. Sometimes you have to walk through to hell to get to heaven.