And Give Me Peace…

Once again the ease of life presents her gifts before me, as she always does, but often my ability to be present, calm, and centered is so off I cannot let them penetrate. The lavender’s scent in baskets can be noted, though it’s been there all along the past week. The scented candle in the warmer seems especially fragrant. And a slight feeling of boredom sets in.

That’s when I know I am there at my center feeling peace. Because after a life of cortisol bursting days where my jumpiness is at the ready along with screams of terror at any little surprise, peace can sometimes be confused with boredom. It’s not boredom, the calm gives me with peace equating to happiness, even bliss.

Days home after camping, walks daily in the meadow with ‘mother’ nurturing me with her bounty of caresses… Hermie the young buck in the field lifting his head wondering what I’m doing in his territory, the graceful heron floating by over the water, the natural bouquet of blossoming milkweeds emitting a luscious scent amidst a spray of look-a-like wild baby breath, all these gifts are finally able to reach my center after a week of quiet, beauty, and plenty of sleep unaided by drugs.

JUST BE

We wake each day anew. Not what was yesterday, or this time last year, sometimes wondering where she is, only remembering the very best days when peace filled me. Because not every day is like that.

You must go with what is now. Though growth occurs that does not mean it comes easily or without pain. It does mean without backsliding. Yet once hurdles are successfully mounted, the ropes of growth pull me back to the hilltop more quickly.

There is an insistence to go my core, yet barriers stop me. Unseen curtains shielding the way. It takes work to go slow enough to enter the sacred space of internal wisdom and clarity.

That is where solace is found, wanting to go there again, working toward that goal. The barriers are resistance to my truths, not wanting to face my humanness, foibles, character flaws, or maybe hardest, my talents, achievements, generosity, sweetness, or anything else on plus side.

Pull back the curtains and see what’s there. Accept all there is, work on what’s needed, try not to judge, and just be.

PHOTO BY PATRICIA

Friends Are Family

My beautiful grand-daughter Cindy….

Hearing the ding of emails coming in, taking a breath, a sigh of relief calms me knowing that any emails coming from the culprits of those in the so called origin family will be diverted to junk mail.

I’ll never see them or know emails are there unless I look. And mostly there won’t be any. No one interacts much unless wanting something, which is rare. But it’s a necessary step right now to feel safe, find my freedom again, and be at peace.

The emails come from friends, those few that are real family, trusted and supportive in a honest way, not in ways that serve only them. And in they come, reliable, loving, and filling the ragged holes that the origin family ravaged with their fake interest and hollow words.

Friends, the family made after years of work, commenting on the video and photos of my 8 year old grand-daughter in a huge dance competition where she recently took first place among all the area dance studio’s participants.

Oh to see her whole, loving, and complete, the age when I was first attacked. An age where the longing for ballet classes was not to be because food used to survive the traumas put too many pounds on to my little kid frame.

She’s a winner to us regardless of any wins, her grace and beauty overflowing. Tears fill my eyes while watching, and joy sent sparklers of shivers down my legs to my toes….

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COMFORT and BEAUTY

Each lap brought more comfort, the honeysuckle bushes in their full splendor, the scent filling me up at each passing. The lilacs also owning their space, emitting a bouquet of loveliness almost intoxicating. The earth so dry the clay cracks, the warmth of each day increasing as summer approaches.

My flip-flops becoming moist in the early morning before the dew dries. Rest at the creek continues to bring surprises; the heron gracefully floating by to find another fishing spot, an oriole singing its specific melody, her bright orange mingling with the coral pink quince blossoms as it jumps from the flower to the feeder.

The meadow erupts with buttercups, soon daisies will gather with them. The beauty of spring overwhelming in its bounty of colors, songs, and scents, giving way to summer with all her secrets exposed. Traumas early on cracked my soul from body, spirit from flesh. The decades passed living split has opened up to wholeness where the core integrated with all other parts…

PHOTOS by PATRICIA

SPRING

Photos by Patricia

Spring moves along at its beautiful pace while wishing for more warmth along the way. But enjoy the ride because once the heat hits you’ll be wishing for cooler days. Perplexed at why this spring was so upsetting to sleep issues, it has settled down.

Since returning from Cory’s, sleep has been consistent, deep, and lengthy. A blessing. Gratitude pours forth and energy abounds. Walks in the sunshine, or on a misty morning are miraculous in their splendor.  

Each day new glorious with more growth than the day before. Blossoms everywhere! Just as it feels like something quite new blossoms internally. A shift of enormous magnitude that no one but me knows or notices.

The weights of the world once carried like boulders upon my shoulders have melted away, especially the ones linked to the origin family where every interaction was something I’ve done wrong if not pleasing, placating, or in agreement with what another wants or is pushing for.

Freedom and peace come from self-care, nurturing myself in a way never taught. Those are the roses growing inside of me, as bountiful as the explosion of spring…

Self-Loving Kindness

PHOTO by Patricia

One of many misfortunes of having the stomach stapling over 40 years ago at my mother’s urging, is this sensitivity to water and any possible contaminates in it. The last three days have brought me down with no apparent reason for a gurgling painful stomach other than possible irritants in the changing bacterial count from our public water.

It may not affect others, but does me, and sometimes drastically with an infection only dealt with by a prescription from the doctor to kill off the pesky organisms. It feels a bit better each day so it probably won’t come to that this time.

But it does, once again, bring up the hate for my mother. Always a testy relationship filled with love and hate all at the same time. Not something wished on anybody. Fury and warmth, clinging to any form of the latter but hardly quenching my thirst for love because it is only now that I’m able to begin to show kindness to myself and appreciate all that my being forged through.

Love from another won’t fill me up, love for myself does that. That quest is ongoing after a life of the opposite. But that hate? Mom wanting a thin daughter. Was it out of love for me, or was it because a fat daughter was not good for her?

Kicking at the ice topped snow while walking the white glistening meadow, it occurred to me as the talk to myself continued, that yes, she urged quite excitedly to look into that surgery which would magically change my life. But as a fully grown adult, the choice was mine.

True, yes, yet though my body was matured into the 30’s, my emotional being was stuck at a much younger age where all growth essentially stopped.

So the hate isn’t all for mom, there’s plenty for myself. But that isn’t the way forward. Forgiveness is, for her and for me. Hate won’t propel me onto the path of happiness, peace, and wholeness. Only self-loving kindness, a path that is softer and sought out with focus.

Through focus the old grooves can be tripped onto new ones by remembering who I am, where I came from, and how I moved through the necessary stages of life.

PRECIOUS MOMENTS

The upside to enormous pain and struggle is the appreciation of what others call norm and are used to. Being whole, feeling whole, moving as one person, not a shattered mess of a being buzzing with anxiety.

That is the miracle, a feeling of wholeness standing at the counter, in my body, complete. The moments are fleeting, after all it’s been 60 years of fracture, so the glue hasn’t set yet.

But with work, years of therapy, energy to heal, then energy when there wasn’t any energy and pressing on anyway, some success has yielded.

Recognizing What’s There

Nibbling at the corners of my heart is nostalgia, welcoming the new, saying good-bye to the old. The starkness of isolation, knowing this past week would have been spent with a houseful of guests; Cory, his wife, our lovely grand-daughter, and the new baby boy whom we’ve not yet met in person, but he gives big smiles over video, brightening up noticeably when seeing our faces.

The nostalgia of origin family, the three brothers now finding comradery, acting as if they want to include me, the wariness of it causing me to hold back and hold my ground. Fighting feelings of wrongness and instead reminding myself some things just are. That closeness is not possible and isn’t a reflection on me.

The new offering bright hope over the niggling nostalgia because in so many ways freedom that never was tasted is coming home into me. Free to feel good without the constant self-harassment beating me down, opening to new ways of being that fill me with hope, light, and positivity.

Hey, who is this? Is this really me? Yes, yes, and more yes… My mantra while meditating learned at the Zen Center almost 20 years ago — Go back to the breath. Find your true nature. That is what is said silently when getting lost counting to the mere number of ten because thoughts are askew, as thoughts tend to be.

Because after all this time, and so late in life, I am still searching for my true nature, ripped from me in childhood. I’ve been searching for lost pieces ever since. Snippets of my true being briefly experienced fly away, but each time they settle back down I learn they are truly mine, keeping each one like a tattered quilt piece needing loving care to restore and make as one. Over time the whole, though a bit battered, becomes a work of beauty and strength.