The Human Healing Project: Finding Hope and Connection One Story at a Time

Spring 2021

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Marie Mokosso Nutter

PURPOSE AND INTENTION. Who I am, or what I’ve been through, is not nearly as important as the purpose or intention of this [writing]. To be clear, I am not an expert in healing, psychology, or philosophy. I am, however, a human being who is finding expertise in my lived experience, and is choosing to turn my own healing project into a universal crusade of love. My intention here is to simply support others who may be suffering in an open or a silent life struggle, and to help others who are struggling to connect to someone who is.

The specific moment in life that led me to the beginning of this project wasn’t my first lesson in loss, grief, or dealing with a difficult time. This was the event that shook me to the core, and was like nothing else I had ever experienced before. It happened during the holiday season of 2017. As others were spending quality time with their loved ones and friends, my family was finding out that my twin brother went missing on his solo adventure overseas. If you search for his name, “Mark Mokosso,” on the internet, it will not take you long to confirm our family’s global loss documented for the world to see. Nothing could have prepared me for what was to come.

As I began to navigate an extremely complicated life experience without the luxuries of guidebooks full of black-and-white answers, crystal clear outcomes or storybook endings, I slowly came to realize that our healing journey can honestly feel grey, messy, and sometimes very painful. With that said, if we allow ourselves to be open to finding hope again in what feels like a hopeless situation, our healing story can become exactly what it is supposed to be—a way for us to grow.

IS IT EASIER TO HANG ONTO OUR PAIN? That sounds like a silly question, but sometimes it might be easier to hang on to the reasons why we do the things we do than to take ownership for the challenging life events placed in our path. It definitely feels easier to refuse to eat the vegetables on our plate while cursing the universe for not giving us the dessert we asked for. What if we choose to see our veggies (or difficult times) as opportunities purposely given to us so we could grow into better human beings?

Accumulated past events that have left a mark on your spirit are what I like to call “personal scar cards.” Whether we are aware of it or not, they are something that we all carry inside us wherever we go. The personal scar card I carry also continues to hold marks for losing loved ones to cancer, old age, car accidents, and rare disease. Previous experiences have led me to support others suffering from depression, suicidal ideation, anxiety, addiction, PTSD, divorce, unemployment, loss of child, and loss of childhood. I’ve also known what it’s like to stare down the possibility of a shortened life expectancy through health scares affecting my partner, while luckily coming out on the other side in one healthy-ish piece.

Professionally, my current day job as a pediatric operating room nurse leads me to support families while witnessing the pain and suffering of children who are born with medical conditions requiring surgery or intensive medical care. Even as I type this… I find our global experiences through a pandemic, and civil unrest from social injustices, as reminders of our opportunities for us to grow as a society.

Despite the painful events that life can present, I know I am still lucky to find my breath. Far worse can always land on my plate. In my human experience, I continue to see that:

  • I am surrounded by others like myself who are still healing in various degrees from pain too deep or too fresh to immediately bounce back from.
  • We can give ourselves the permission and acceptance to heal, one breath at a time.

I believe our personal and collective healing can find its roots by looking back into our past while remaining open to learn and grow from experiences outside of ourselves. We might gain not only a new pair of kid gloves to use on ourselves and others, but we may start to let go of the urge to compare and contrast our individual “scar cards.” Our jagged little pieces no longer need to dictate our thoughts and behavior, as our healing hearts begin to lead the way.

In order to move forward, sometimes we need to look back. You may be surprised by what you find, and where you decide to grow. As a nurse, yoga teacher, and writer, I continue to find that I will always be a student first, learning ways to sharpen my self truth. If there’s a time where you feel you know it all already, this is the time to see what you might have missed…. Let’s search for purpose behind our story. [View full article…]