GATHERING

As families gather on this special day, my being does too, all  parts making a whole. That doesn’t occur all day everyday as little things cause chaos, or too much stimulation. But today?

Gratitude. As laps are completed hoping to metabolize the medication needed at 2AM due to sleep issues, the air so still though grey and damp, the talk to myself is out loud with no neighbors to hear this strange woman ruminating to herself.

The stillness is so loved, as wind does not invite internal gathering. Prayers in the night to mother nature/the universe are answered, maybe not in expected ways, but if one is looking, they come.

Mine came after lap ten when the sun peeked out momentarily, and the extremely shy heron unaware of my presence. I was miraculously able to obverse the hunting process nearby as she waded ever so slowly in the shallower part of the water and snatched up her dinner.

There is great joy and peace in the land and her beauty. Gratitude flows as families around the nation come together, and I am able to gather myself like a newly grown bouquet even after a tough night.

ATTACHMENT

My younger brother is stopping in today with his wife as they came from about 4 hours away to help another brother whose wife just had surgery. Not sure how to feel about it. I sent fancy gifts to all three brothers just recently. Then my critic kicked in chastising me for rewarding bad behavior.

Because no matter how much each one might protest, I am a shameful secret if I speak up about the facts. That for me has been the only way out of the gunk that burdened my tiny shoulders as a child and haunted me all my days until now.

Broken as a child, then whipped as an adult. The lashes over and over stingingly debilitating. Freedom taken by those who believe they have done nothing because they didn’t touch me that way. But grouping together in alliance and conspiring to silence me as a life sentence breaks a person too.

Getting too close to the fire burns, and feelings of wariness are relevant and need listening to. Family, or so-called family, are dangerous. My life began to expand and deepen into a peaceful safe existence only when keeping away.  

Family are Samuel, sons, grand-children, and friends. The origin family is wanted, craved for, desperately yearned for at times, but not trusted.

Wisdom

 Without adequate sleep confusion and chaos kicks in along with the habit of eating without being hungry for food, but ravenous for a soft place inside to hold and comfort me.

Going ahead each day when they are easier is enjoyed then bam… my center is not felt, parts float about scattered, pain fills me. The adult voice caves to the petulant demanding child, and all hell breaks loose.

That wise voice centered within the depths of my being needs to be heard and respected. The willful child craving love, gentleness, and kindness, needs guidance not the license to run things.

Work and time require daily attention towards centering my being, going to my core, that place of knowing that during easier days is not investigated or inhabited. But on those days exploration and settling into my depths is as valuable.

My way becomes lost so easily. Tiredness compounds it exponentially. Sunday’s gathering of friends could not be attended due to it, and a pity party of one ensued instead. Stumbling back onto the path of groundedess, grabbing myself back into one being that makes room for all parts is the path to peace. Breathe, be in each moment, don’t run, stay.

SLEEP PLEASE!

Try to rest, and be gentle with yourself. The pace required of myself, and the push to see the good things in my life over all the challenges… well, it is hard to do with inadequate sleep.

The time change threw me off balance. Go to bed earlier? Later? Nothing seems to work. Awake and alert at 3-3:30 am morning after morning has finally forced me look at the reality of that. Time to adjust the goals of the day ratcheting them way down.  

Where or where are those long sleep filled nights? Lack of sleep gets in the way of things I want to get done making me feel sickish because the urge is to just keep going anyway. But that’s not possible. Hitting a wall I have to just stop.

Be realistic. Until a more healthy sleep pattern returns, it is important for ongoing self-talk about rest. Rest is OK, more so, urgently necessary for health. Allowing for rest over productivity is a statement on love of self.   

Universal Unity

The aloneness felt now is not the one haunting most of my life like a double edged sword, a searing loneliness to run from. This aloneness is to sit with, explore, and accept in its entirety. Because we are born on the path from womb to air on our own, and leave this world on our own.

It seems so very odd at times, this craving for less stimulation or fakeness found in so many people, choosing instead the bluebirds, the swaying meadow grasses, and other creatures living under mother’s hand.

Then, the realization that we all make choices about our lives, though mine didn’t begin until recently, the freedom to make my own. Cages of the past confined me, but the door of the cage began to open and daringly my being began to slip free.

My choices. Not what you think I should do, or more so, my critic always yammering about abnormality and get your ass moving and doing something other what you are doing. Choices that move me towards a peaceful life looking at myself with new eyes that see a being as normal as you and everybody else.

That is a miracle for someone who believed she had no right to be here, that she was a ‘fluke of the universe.’ I am the universe, and so are you.

The Miracle of Being In My Body

The time change is a bitch with no one liking it any better than me. Why put people through this chaos with their body systems twice a year? More accidents happen because of it, and more illnesses.

Last year my idea was not to change, and it helped tremendously. I went to bed an hour earlier, earlier than my grand-kids! That worked better than forcing my body to change its natural rhythm which caused sleeplessness making me a terrible grump to be around languishing in self-pity. Hours of sleep were lost for years until connecting with my needs, respecting them, and having the option to do because work was no longer an issue.

Yet this year the thought of turning in so early, then getting up earlier didn’t thrill me, so forcing my body to stay up was attempted but without success. My body has its own natural rhythm, and now more into my body, connected to its needs, and honoring them, better health is enjoyed in all realms; emotional, spiritual, and physical.

TURKEY TIME

Samuel set the fire last night without giving me permission to light it this morning, though I wake three hours before him. I took a chance and managed just fine as it glowed warmly while sipping coffee.

And since sons have families of their own, and daughter-in-law’s need to be close with their extended families like daughters everywhere, the actual Thanksgiving Day is usually spent with just Samuel and me. So why wait?

My turkey was purchased last week as the sale extended earlier than usual. The store was busy! After 45 minutes of shopping- ENOUGH! So many choices, and too many carts.

I mostly shop on-line then Samuel drives to the store where there they plunk it in the trunk- fast, easy and fun. It’s impossible to remember the last time my shopping was done in person, and may not occur for another year.

Padding out to the little garden in the dark, wet, cold morning several bunches of fresh sage were cut, then stuffed into the turkey’s cavity. In the oven it went with a sigh of satisfaction and memories of all the other happy holidays celebrated.

Kitty and I sat rocking warm and happy with visions of turkey dancing in our heads..

THE GNARLY PATH

When forced against my will as a child to suffer egregious acts upon my body, over and over, at any time the attacker felt like it, then afterwards (for life) forced by other members of the family to keep quiet about it because it makes them uncomfortable or ashamed if it leaked out… what does that do the little girl attacked?

I can tell you. It leaks out anyway in the form of sarcasm, of remarks disguised as OK but holding all sorts of hidden meanings even to me. Being judgmental and critical also keeps others at bay. It has taken decades to begin to look at what my real feelings are, or who I really want to be, then be her.

It is a hard job when so much of my life had to hidden away, hidden from me too. My mother once said while raising my boys, “This is the best time of your life.” She could read me even when not wanting to be read. And much of those years were fraught with depression, struggle, and great anxiety, an anxiety that has followed me doggedly.

But she was wrong. Those years were the hardest. To be there for my kids when I couldn’t be there for myself? When my safe place was zoning out, what others call more appropriately, disassociation. It never felt safe to be present because what else might happen?

But my sons gave me purpose and kept me fighting, if not for me, at least for them. Once grown it is possible to see that something must have been done right amidst all the wrongs, because they are the most empathetic, sweet, hard-working human beings as any of the best.

But it is only now these past few years where I’ve felt peace, and that maybe, just maybe, I am of value, and really feel OK. Delving honestly into my odd behaviors, which often are still quite adolescent in nature, I am able to look more kindly at my flaws and quirks.

When looking at what is really there with compassion, acceptance and gentleness, the possibilities of self-love, then changing or growing into a deeper, wiser, version of myself occurs. Looking, exploring, accepting what is seen with open eyes, and loving myself anyway…. instead of running, that is the path to peace and freedom. Acceptance.

It has not been easy. The gunk had to scraped out, but first talked about. To begin to talk about what the family had deemed taboo, was near impossible and took great courage. Family, who speak of love, yet confine me to a tomb of silence. Is that love?

But forging ahead, year after year, my insides that had rotted from what they did and what I had been forced to contain, came up bit by bit. My tender interior bled with loss, and grief over what had been stolen. Who I was, or was meant to be? Gone. She shattered at the first attack when no one came to stop the internal bleed. I was left to sop up the mess myself. And it needed mopping up for the next 60 years.

The work doesn’t stop, it just changes, from survival, to keeping the peace.