Healing Hearts From the Inside-Out

February 28, 2023

Nikki is currently the Founder and President of the TM23 Foundation and self-published author of childrens’ picture book titles, Mommy Brings Home the Bacon, Mommy’s Got a Bun in the Oven and MightyMom.  Her first memoir is being published in Fall 2023 and she currently writes weekly blog articles for Nikkimark.com , as well as other third-party outlets, to support those who have experienced loss, are feeling lost or want to learn to help others navigate both.

This story took place in United States

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We all have wounds.

Some of us have lost children. Others have lost parents, siblings and pets. Meaningful friendships and marriages have ended.  Businesses have failed. Mysterious mental and physical health issues have chronically attacked and deteriorated lives. The human list of ailments goes on and on. Even if we have someone to blame for them, they are still our own to endure and heal.  

I stared my biggest wound in the face on Mother’s Day, May 13th, 2018.   

That Sunday was twenty-six days after my 12-year-old son went to sleep and unexpectedly never woke up. It was one day before what would have been his 13th birthday. And it was the day I learned what it felt like to want to die.   

I was sitting in Banc of California stadium in Los Angeles that afternoon watching a professional soccer match between Los Angeles Football Club and New York City Football Club.  22,000 fans were drinking, singing, and cheering on all sides of me. Music was thumping. Smoke bombs were firing. And jumbotrons at both ends of the stadium were capturing the magic of live sports. When the stadium suddenly erupted over a home team goal, my nerves jumped and something inside me snapped. Tears raced down my face as my entire being plunged into a thick nasty darkness that surrounded me like quicksand.

“So, this is what it feels like to want to die,” I thought to myself as an indescribable loneliness settled in. Stronger waves of grief pummeled me from all sides until I touched a deeper layer of sadness that I can only describe as terrifying. 

This is some form of depression, I suddenly realized, taking a short break from my own circumstances to empathize with the staggering number of people who suffer from the condition.  

That was the first time I ever truly understood why some people don’t feel loved even when they are, and why it’s so hard to convince someone to live when all they want to do is die.   

In that moment I heard two clear options: Sink or Swim.  

Sinking meant succumbing to the bitter suffering I tasted that day and passing more of it on to my family and friends. I glanced over at my younger son sitting next to me and understood that was not an option.  

So, I started to swim.  

I swam away from my darkest thoughts. I swam through my most brutal emotions. And as I frantically searched for hope, I turned to other people’s stories to help me find my way.   

“If you can’t accept what is outside then accept what is inside,” Eckart Tolle later spoke to me in his bestselling book, The Power of Now.  

“It’s not that others can’t help us,” the author of Radical Forgiveness, Colin Tipping, further clarified for me months later. “They can. The right therapist can help us explore our minds and break down our thoughts. The right healers can help us reconnect with our hearts. Doctors can help diagnose our physical bodies. But at the end of the day, actual healing takes place on the inside.” 

Not only does healing take place on the inside, I have learned, but that’s where it starts.

“Healing Hearts from the Inside Out” means genuinely believing in our own selves more than anyone else has ever believed in us before.  It means trusting that when we heal what divides us on the inside, we contribute to healing what divides our greater world on the outside.  And it means finding comfort and feeling empowered knowing that when we heal parts of ourselves, we heal parts of our world.  

If we do little else in this lifetime but address our individual wounds and prioritize the healing and strengthening of our own hearts, our impact on humanity will be substantial.  

Throughout my journey I have become overwhelmed with gratitude and awe for every person who has ever shared their story for the benefit of others in need, like me.   

If they found ways to heal their hearts and transform their suffering into something meaningful and fulfilling, so can I, I often remind myself. 

And if I can do it, so can you.   


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