Do, do, do, but what if just being? That is hard for a an anxious person, as if sitting on hot coals. Sit? Be still? Feel your center? Yes…
When depression hits you like a sledgehammer, and tears fall for no apparent reason though memories erupt plaguing my internal peace, and all looks dismal…just be with it. Go deeper.
Remembering the readings of the meditators that say look at your flaws and shortcomings without judgement, just be curious, but accepting of all you see.
With my tendency of feeling badness, what else might be uncovered? But what if it is goodness so sweet it is like miles of chocolates oozing with caramel? That what lays hidden from me are qualities of great depth, wisdom, clarity, beauty, and vast oceans of compassion?
Amends were made to the three brothers pressing me to join in explaining why it’s not possible for me do so. Now they are placed beyond daily thoughts so much because the ones who really are interested in me and my life are my real family, Samuel, sons, grand-children, a sister-in-law, and friends.
These brothers act as if they are caring, but aren’t interested enough to answer emails or interact in a way other than what serves their own needs. OK. My situation has been put forth plainly without their decades of gagging me. That took enormous effort. Maybe once again going forward can occur without so much angst.
The ups and downs of being drawn to the fire of origin family… all it’s memories, the secrets forced on me to keep, the ravages of expecting me to be someone I’m not (pleasing doormat), getting burned, cooling off, then doing it all over again, over and over… well, maybe sufficient mental beatings have occurred to stop doing that. It is challenging enough to keep my sanity.
My mood dropped like a rock, forgetting how severely the change of season affects me. The warmer mornings called me onto the porch to watch the sun rise, rather than hunkering down under the full spectrum lights to improve mood. So that has begun again.
The usual meditation routine went by the wayside for months after years of hardly missing it, but that too is needed and room must be made for it once again. And the pot oil, no wonder sleep wouldn’t come.
When sleep issues arose the dose kept going up and up, doubling over time. No wonder my head felt manic with thoughts. Too much causes problems instead of curing them. Backing down to a modest does has helped a great deal.
And the simple work of being with me begins again. How hard it is to be in my body and be OK. To not run. To breathe, and be OK.
To boldly go where no man has gone before… (thank you Star Trek) yes, breathe, go inward, don’t be afraid, traveling through layers and layers built up over decades. Move through walls guarding my interior like fortresses built out of fear ignorant of my own truth. It is only when you relax the herculean sinews straining to keep you out of yourself that suddenly you arrive at your core.
Galaxies of resistance can be battled by a single breath. And then? The miracle of knowing who you are, what you want, what you need to do, and who you need to address.
Armor is melted by the breath.
Resistance is too.
And so you find love and all the things you’ve been searching for…. Knowledge of the why’s for your actions which confuse you, tending to ask others why you do what you do.
How would they know? You know, but you have to be brave enough to look. It isn’t all bad in there. There are things to do to make amends.
There is also beauty in my truth. You must honor that too, perhaps the hardest things to do… to honor one’s own beauty.
SLOW, slow down. For life it’s been fast, moving ahead of my body- like two separate entities. Staying as one, after a lifetime of division, takes focus. My body cradled my spirit, yet my spirit has been flying off somewhere, often not knowing where.
There is that safe dreamland where much of me spent. You talk to me? I’m not there. I could pretend to be, yet most time was spent in that safe place others call disassociation. I call it zoning out.
With the very first meditative session presence began. Wanting more of being in this body that has carried me all these years, meant more meditation, years of it. But with the addition of marijuana oil came a whole new definition of presence. Not fleeting but with staying power.
That gift, suggested by my younger loving son, has offered a world where sleep is possible. My arthritic knees and other joints don’t ache. Anxiety is kept at a minimum as long as my days are unfettered with worry or too much stimulation out there in the fast paced ruckus.
The gliding, graceful heron takes me with her as she swoops for fish in the creek. The orange of the butterfly shines in the sunlight as she flutters by as if following me while crunching over hickory nuts in the hedge-row. The squirrels have been busy because most are just shells, the meat already having been buried.
Days can move from one to the next with grace and beauty, but it does take focus on slowing my ever busy mind down, and focusing on being in my body. My mantra still works, it’s OK, it’s OK. You’re OK, you’re OK, you’re OK…
Feelings of joy burst forth from me. Sleep came like a baby night after night. Feeling so good an email was sent to Don, his wife, Seth and his wife, inviting them all for pie. What?
And that night no sleep. A double dose of sleep medication was needed. The next morning, believing this is the only way for my soul to speak (sleeplessness), an email was sent to both brothers about the feelings being wrestled with all summer and before.
Don’s response was warm, kind and thoughtful, though no comment about his continued interactions with Tom. Seth’s in in my mailbox with fear of reading it. When he criticized me for writing the book and wouldn’t answer me, it sent me to the hospital thinking I was having a heart attack. That is how vulnerable telling the truth makes me.
Why do you consort with the devil who did so much damage to me? That is what runs though my mind. I am a fractured person, shying away from them as they make an unlikely friendship between themselves, along with Stevie and Tom, then suddenly a happy email with an invite?
Because, that’s what happens when you grow with horror but are forced to pretend calm and love towards attackers appearing as brothers. It does make a broken person, or a split one. Half of me wanting a family that gets together for a pie party, the other half who lives in reality.
Instead of beating myself up for the email invite, which has brought much pain during a wonderful week of sunshine and peace, maybe it is just one more leap of growth- growth, truth and authenticity. It is exhausting and one of the hardest hurdles accomplished taking 6 decades for words to come that no one wants to hear.
My soul feels ragged, like the pieces that fit so smoothly just a few days ago, now don’t. With time, and loving kindness towards self, wholeness and peace will be restored.
And the fervor internally subsides. After a life-time of upset, calm. Instead of maneuvering myself back into chaos because I’m used to it, the thought all consuming is… it’s OK to live out your life peacefully.
The gift if you take it is tranquility.
Shadows appear longer, with mornings dark, cool and wet with dew. The usual fall into fall with a lower mood seems less severe probably circumvented by the incorporation of exercise and a long path to healing which has taken decades– yet continues. The meadow dances with yellow mustard dotted at the edges with sunflowers opening happy faces as if nodding when walking by.
Pumpkins gathered in Samuel’s patch decorate the house and some are fun to paint. Others await painting by grand-children at the next birthday party in October when my son reaches the ripe old age of 40.
How did that happen, as the memory of him in a little powder blue sun-suit carrying his sand pail out to the sandbox is still so vivid? Memories of over 50 years ago are also in sharp focus, my first apartment in college, cooking hamburger helper in the evening, but also the feelings of loneliness that never quite left since childhood.
And that slowly melts once getting to know and make friends with myself. The loneliness of childhood sexual abuse is unlike any other, sharper, emptier, so painful one runs from it until learning to stop, be still, and let it up with all the gunk that my origin family would not hear and barely acknowledged.
Healing is a life’s work…
There are changes. The drop in mood, the drop of reddish leaves along with hickory nuts in the path walking by, the earlier darkness, a cooler feeling to the day despite it reaching high temps, and moister air in the mornings causing the train whistle to sound closer.
Hermie, the young buck in the back woods and meadow I’ve come to know, is growing antlers as they curl forward with more prominence day by day. Always changes. It is hard to keep up with change, my being usually feeling behind trying to catch up. Being able to be in my body will do as nature takes me for wild rides.
The meadow, like a color-changing magical flag, has flown several colors, from yellow buttercups to white daisies, now white again with Queen Ann’s Lace dotted with lovely purply flowered plants… what a sight. And soon it will all turn over to deep yellow as mustard blooms.
Butterflies flit in groups among the butterfly bushes as my float swirls round and round in the pool late in the day. Their antics are more inviting than a drive-in movie. Bees love the sweet blossoms too. Staring at the puff clouds a turtle appears like a mirage in the white fluffs slowly morphing into a dog or goat drifting by overhead.
The floating relaxes as if still in the womb, cooling me off for the evening, hair still wet by morning. It is a quiet life, but suits me. Longing sometimes to have the ability to travel more easily, the quest is to come to terms with my real life and stop chasing what wasn’t meant to be, not for me.
There is still so much beauty. Just still myself to let it in, and let the newly found respect for my real needs satisfy my soul.
In trying to be
What others want
Pieces scatter like a bucket of wash water thrown out with a splash. Saying no to Stevie caused weeks of worry, sleepless nights, and guilt tinged with grief. All these feelings to sort out; guilt for saying no to my younger brother, grief that our relationship is so poor along with reminders of an origin family where insurmountable pain existed which wreaked lives shortening them.
Trust the wisdom that caused me to say no, though it has been hard to like myself ever since. The wonder of exciting days awaiting dissolved, my ability to stay on track nutritionally went too. All the feelings about myself went sour, positive feelings that took persistent, long-term work to develop.
Why can’t you help your little brother? (the critic ever-present) Though it wasn’t my help, it was Samuel’s he desired. Just bate my sister as if really wanting to see me, a TV in my room, put there just for me…NOT. Repeated video chats, once calling back SEVEN times when I wasn’t up to answering him, then the rarity of actually answering an email, also telling me how much fun it will be on the lake, etc., but what he really wanted was collusion in his chaos.
The man could have another house that did not need so much work. But he wanted to do the work. (I don’t) He is 65. Really, buy a house that has 30 outdoor stone steps required each time to just get inside it? No indoors stairs to the basement. You carry groceries and all else up those steps?
Flat surfaces for us. Also, with my limited abilities, focus is finally being honed onto the closest and most important relationships- my husband, then children, their children, and friends who feel much safer than brothers and more enjoyable to be with. Not so with Stevie.
He can be very demanding, even telling me what I can say and what I can’t. Like hating Trump. Maybe that is a sweetness within him, not wanting others to say they hate someone, yet in less than a year he was saying the same thing.
I surely don’t want to be around his energy, the chaos within him of both retiring and being in a new home, huge life changes that seem to be bringing out a excessive restlessness in him. That is an energy hard to around since my own insides are often in turmoil. What I crave is the ability to be still and be OK with that. To feel it to my core and have this newly found peace spread throughout me.
Long, long ago, when we were both living at Mom’s in our twenties. My rooms were in the basement. Mom was beginning Alcoholic Anonymous meetings. Stevie had begun a job as a bartender. He excitedly talked me into turning my little living room in the basement into a bar. Uh, OK. It doesn’t matter that’s where I live, or that Mom is drying out. Will you then love me?
The aftereffects of saying no have been grim. Yet in its wake there is an enormous leap of growth into self-preservation, respect of self, and yes, a continued path towards love of self.
it is the things
you say no to
that really show
to your growth