LOSS

Tears fall while talking to Shane on the phone, but he knows his mother well. He goes on unperturbed offering kind words in a soft, warm loving way. He understands how much it hurts when Cory visits then leaves.

“Be gentle to yourself,” he said, chuckling because we go through this every time.

There is something about Cory visiting home then leaving which rips a hole inside me. Most mothers miss family members who live far away, but my feelings of loss are exacerbated because of the separation from the ‘origin family’ to keep myself safe and authentic.

Once the self-flogging about every little thing that wasn’t perfect, including me, had worn itself out, and enough tears shed, a tired calm has begun to replace the jittery anxiety. A little wine by the fire helps too.

One so tired out to be able to rest and sleep, but for me the opposite happens, my body moving while th rest of me tries to catch up. On 4 hours of sleep- buzzing around putting toys away downstairs, laundering sheets, remaking beds, putting Thanksgiving stuff away, and zipping around like road runner on speed.

But slowly, ever so slowly, my center will be found. It just takes time.

THREADS OF MYSTERY

Take yourself as you are. Whatever feelings are there, accept them even if you don’t want them, want distance from them, or don’t want them to be mine. Because if mine, does that make me a bad person?

Take it all, be in it, be in me. Fleeing makes it harder to become whole, authentically whole. Fear of criticism from others (or myself) spins denial of all that comes up, splintering, and splattering myself all over the place.

Solid and whole is the goal. That means accepting what might look and sound like pettiness. In doing so the pettiness is really pettiness of another. No wonder annoyance arose on my part. It was appropriate to the situation.

When first the habit is to attack myself, opening up with acceptance to all feelings is OK and so are you.

Wanting to move past all pettiness to deeper wisdom, it won’t happen by jumping over the potholes. All feelings need acknowledgment. There lie the answers of what makes you you. There lies the answer to mysteries, by untying the knots of confusion, then scattered threads weave together as one.

KINDNESS TO SELF

Resisting the urge to invite Seth on our one-night camping trip has been hard. That primal need for clan, but more so guilt in not asking due to his circumstances and how much he would enjoy a trip out.

His wife’s curvature of the spine makes it such that they don’t do trips. She can barely walk. And he took such great pains buying and revamping a van into an overnight hotel complete with queen bed, fridge, and electrical abilities too many to mention.

Yet last spring when he came, my anxiety combined with dire sleep issues, made the visit to our favorite glen a horror not a pleasure- trying to please him, trying to ensure he had a good time not attending to my own needs. It became a blur of tiredness, not the relaxation usually offered by the falling sound of water in the glen and streams.

The pull to invite continues. If he had wanted to spend time with me he would take me up on the offer to bring his cute doggie down for a run in the meadow. He hasn’t, and only came with Don as if two together is what, safer?

Our outing is moved ahead to next week because after a dry summer it has started to rain. Homing in on my own needs over others is a new experience. The training to do otherwise breaks the mold in every way.

Dig deep, what is best for my being? I have days to contemplate and hopefully resist the urge to do something impulsive rather than mindfully healthful.

You can decide it’s fine and make it so, only finding out after how wrong you are, knowing all along that is so anyway. Or take stock in my well-being and honor it.

BE ME

It is a foreign concept to care for myself and my own needs over the guilt my mother instilled. The urge for clan is primal, and after several weeks of calm, the pull erupts again, so much there are dreams about interactions.

My mind plays out scenarios of our ‘family’ being loving, caring, and connected. But each attempt made fails, bringing me backwards to the sister they knew who was malleable and molded into an invisible ghost.

It is like tearing my spirit away, yet in doing so, my spirit freely becomes who I was meant to be, thinking, or believing all along I’d lost her to the unwanted hands upon me as a child.

She is still there. In saying no to others who have pressured me throughout life to do and be who they want, and instead choose more healthy ways of being, this admirable person emerges- me.  

CHALLENGES

Go, go, go. Do, do, do. The more done the better person you are? Then? Tiredness.

There is a great underestimation of the wreckage completed before my life really began so early in childhood.

The expectations now often ignore the facts because for decades the imposed silence about something as tragic and horrific as being hit by a Mack truck wasn’t treated as such.

How does a child grow with a monster, or many monsters in her belly? When around every corner in her own home, her own bedroom, there is terror disguised as ‘family’ that she once loved?

So, go easy dear one. Don’t push. Don’t allow that critic to start yammering- or ignore her as she is a compilation of those voices that silenced you all these years out of their own need for safety from the truth.

It is such in families where sexual abuse occurs. Silence the victim, victimizing her further. And victim is just a word. When the devastation is silenced, that is what destroys.

A child is resilient and can take waves of change, even pain. But in this silence, she is entombed. Who she was dissolves away like a puff of smoke. The only leftovers are anguish and a loneliness that gnaws like a piercing dagger.

A shell on autopilot. Who you expect me to be, I become. A pleaser. What you want, I am or give, ignoring my own needs, forgetting them, going from obscure invisibility, to nothingness.

But I am.

This time of peace after a period of healthy sleep. The critic starts up with shoulds. You should be more of this, and that, like a better friend, sister… If you don’t, you will be all alone. But energies are instead focused on the most important relationships, wife and mother/grandmother.

After attending to my own psychological, spiritual, and physical needs, paying attention to Samuel comes next. For the first time I’m really getting to know him and be the best partner I can be, enjoying this rare and valuable time together.

We have come to a place of peace together. After 45 years of kids, jobs, and stress, it is cherished. The little voice trying to worm in with buts about not deserving peaceful times? That is the voice to silence by countering it with self-care and kindness.

DEEP PEACE

Could it be that our natural state is happy peacefulness? That no matter what is on the outside, our insides can hold quiet equilibrium? Because days stretch together where my internal being has found such bliss. Quiet equanimity. Void of chaos or quarreling inside my head, or my spirit, the fights of before more easily confronted in their falseness.

The critic quieted with greater ease, not booming louder than the soft wise voice, causing destruction to my peace, health, and happiness. That there is a joy in living, but one must find it. There are daily struggles, yes, but the ones within throughout my life (which were not mine) have been ferreted out, looked at, and let go- hard, hard, work, and it’s not over. Lulls of joy, then? The old critic taking over.

Starting each morning when sitting in silence is often perturbed by restlessness. But no, sit still, go deep, don’t be afraid, or be afraid but do it anyway.

Why so hard to go to center? The thoughts, memories, not really of the traumas, but of origin family, and the impossibility of being close with any one of them. My fault?

That thought/belief, plagues me, yet in going deep the answer is found. Health, peace, which translates to happiness, are found within my own being, unattached to those who cling together on a lie, that what happened didn’t.

My life is free, honesty the tool to dissolve the bars of my cage. Honesty with self. So go deep and stay, it is OK.

SUNDAY

Photos by Patricia- 6AM this morn…

My church,

My pew,

My home.

She opens her flowing robes welcoming me, this morning goddess. The chilly creek being hit by warmth creating her once again. The air so cold the thought of a winter coat, but my thick jacket, hat and scarf will do. July and so cold? Later in the day, a sundress, and a swim.

The magic formed by cool meeting warms enthralls me every time.

STAR

Take the day

Like a star

On the tip

Of a moon

And enjoy.

Maybe instead of take, which implies force, it’s more so soak it in. Let it in with all parts of my being. This thought descends along with feelings usually run from. The golden orb peeks her face above the creek casting beams along my path while mist rises, the sun’s warmth meeting cool waters. Absorb the day, absorb myself by accepting the sorrows, and the joys.

Let it be, let me be.

SOLITARY LIFE

Walking the meadow each day on my own, as well on my own the rest of the day, though Samuel is always around since retiring, my solitary life doesn’t mean being disconnected from the world or others cared about. My core, my soul, connects intuitively with all.

That includes origin family members, though after repeated attempts at connecting in person, it is best for me not to as doing so leaves lasting feelings of hurt, confusion, and sadness behind.

Though many families enjoy their extended family’s, as it should be, not so for me, and probably many more like me who were sexually abused as a child by a family member(s).

A piranha, which is how it feels. Shut up, shut down, be what we want, not who you are.

No thanks. My best buddies continue to be what mother nature offers, bringing smiles, peace, and fulfillment; birds, flowers, chipmunks, squirrels, and so much more. But mostly it is getting to know myself.

Though sometimes helpful, it isn’t from others that answers come, it comes from within, that well springing eternal even after death. Because we each make an imprint with our lives. Given the gift of life… live it. Because it is a gift, there is only one of you.

MOMENTS

There is the realm of thinking. Then emotions. Physical abilities which often don’t work right because thinking is on fast forward… Then there is the rich loam of the soul, the core gathering all the parts into one.

How many of us are able to collect the fruits into one basket? Often it feels like everyone but me. Yet another whisper floats up, you have the power to live in the now, right this moment.

There are only so many strung together to make a life. And right this moment, be there.