I Can’t Commit to You Fully Because I Might Rather Die

When Mom was pregnant with me, my eleven-year-old brother died in an accident that she and Dad blamed themselves for. He was their only child.

Mom wanted to die. Wanted us to die. Believed deeply that we would die in childbirth. She was so committed to this idea, she laid out funeral clothes for us before leaving for the hospital when she went into labor.

Her disappointment was palpable.

I’m not going to tell the whole story. I’m fifty-four. It’s a long story. But I do want to share this one thing…

All the planetary intensity lately; massive full moons, Chiron the Wounded Healer making some seriously impressive dance moves across the sky, added to my curiosity about the path I’m on, has brought all of this in utero trauma right to the fore – in one of the darkest and most difficult winter/springs of my life.

“To what end?” you ask.

The end of the story has yet to be shown. But what I know for sure today is why I’m so fat.

I’ve been asking myself this for a long time. I didn’t used to be out of shape and a binge eater. Well, not all the time anyway. But for the last ten years, I’ve felt an unwillingness to take care of myself. Nothing motivated me to take care of my body. I grew spiritually in leaps and bounds, but I refused to take care of my body.

With intensity I refused. It was puzzling. Until the sky started moving around in all of its transits, squares, trines and sextiles, and the people I commune with started sharing their struggles in ways that made me look hard at my history. One friend suggested it was time to write the story of my childhood. To do that, I wanted to go back and touch it again. Remember what it was like so I could tell the story in such a way that you could feel it. I asked to be shown how to do that.

When you ask with an open heart, Guidance comes in such amazing ways; a phrase uttered by a friend, a book recommendation, an urge to return to a childhood home… Breadcrumbs. I followed. Because I love crap like that.

I share my mother’s wish to die. How could I not? I was part of her for six months while she refused to take care of us, refused to commit to living without my brother. Looking back, I recognize that I’ve acted out this Death Wish in many different ways. Risky behavior, disordered eating, being unable to commit to anything long term. Addiction.
But the thing that strikes me right now is that I am entrenched in the emotions Mom was feeling as she awaited my birth/our death. I don’t want to be here. I won’t commit to being here and I won’t take care of myself.
There is healing to be done, that is for certain. I’m grateful for all the teachers in my life who have given me tools for this work.
I don’t know how this will unfold; the healing of a wound so existential, so primal.

I do know that it feels right to sit with it. To see myself as that tiny, unformed human resting in such despair. And to simply honor her. At the same time, honoring Mom. I can feel her pain as clearly as if it were my own. How could I not? There is a sense of weightlessness that comes with Truth when you’ve been struggling against some invisible something. I am not expecting it to stay forever. I’m just grateful it happened at all. I really needed to see the Light even if only for a moment.

What steps will show up next? I’m curious.

That’s a start.

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A Stick in the Wheel of a Careening Bicycle

Momentum. It can serve. It can drive us into the ground. Without something to break it, like a stick in the spokes of a bicycle, momentum can wreck us at the bottom of a steep grade. Is this the stick that will break the downward momentum for me or is it a record of my demise? Time will tell.
A Year of Divine Offering. I had vision. Apparently, not the same vision the Divine was having. Whatever. If this is Her vision, then maybe all isn’t lost.
I am so tired.
I’m a spiritual type. I am a believer. I think of my life as a conversation with God. If that title wasn’t already taken, that’s what my memoir would be titled. But I’m bored. The conversation is the same over and over…. And over. My life is a series of the same moments set on repeat.
This winter has been brutal. And yes ~ I know it’s May. Shut up. It feels like winter in my soul. Dark and dry and cold. I am getting bitter and hopeless like my sainted mother. Sarcasm. Sarcasm that tastes bitter in the back of my throat. At least I understand her apathy. I understand her commitment to depression. She lost a child. But I have nothing but opportunity. I have the gift of her experience and a desire to do it differently.
And yet. Depression and apathy are unwelcome visitors far too often. And even when depression stays home, apathy comes to me as if I am its only charge.
So let’s talk about Divine Offering and the vision. I saw myself facing challenges with an almost superhuman excitement, knowing I had the Divine on my side and it would be with ease and sure footedness that I would navigate the guidance that came concerning these challenges.
What actually happened was that straight out of the gate, I took matters into my own human hands and ignored ALL the guidance that I was being given concerning my relationship. It took a while to right that ship. But God is patient and I believe. So, even though I was impatient and impulsive, the lesson was beautiful. And the wisdom deep. Embarrassing. But deep. In the end, I realized that all my relationships are here to help me remember my True Nature. They’re not here to make me happy, or complete. They’re here to help me realize I am already Loved. Already complete. That I am, in fact Love Itself.
That seemed like a big lesson. I felt like it might be THE lesson. The one that would break open all the locked gates that I’d been banging around on for my entire adult life. But after the high, came… nothing. Nothing, nothing, No Thing. I’m still waiting for some unnamed thing. Something worthy enough to write about? Maybe. Who the hell knows?

There has been some seriously strong astrological transits happening. I’m blaming part of this opportunity for growth on that. And part of it on politics. Because who doesn’t love to blame Trump for shit? But here’s the real deal:
I may never be okay. I may actually turn into my mother. I’m closing in. I think we might be only one person. As much as I’ve despised and loved her, I think I might BE her. As if she’s figured out how to be immortal.
No. I don’t believe this. Not really. Although, part of me feels it intensely.
Ancestral shit storms are real. And this one has been begging to be healed for many lifetimes. And as I stepped up to the counter to apply for the job, I was optimistic. I was enthusiastic. I was downright superhuman. I had no idea.
As a kid, and even now, I gravitate toward fantasy fiction. I loved stories about overcoming obstacles. The Never Ending Story, Labyrinth… where someone who was much stronger than they realized, faced overwhelming challenges. And I was smart enough to understand that the demons they faced were their own.
When Artax died in the swamps of sadness, I almost couldn’t watch the rest of the movie. Who kills horses or dogs in movies? But, I get the message now. Only my swamp is apathy. Depression. Judgment. And I’m being pulled under just like Artax. Just like Mom, Grandma and on up the lineage. And down. To my daughter.
I used to be so judgmental of Mom’s refusal to use her talents. She was a brilliant visual artist. And she wasted it. She was consumed by apathy and she wasted her talent.

Just as I am wasting mine. Because I can’t live up to my vision.
So, here is what you need to know. If you subscribe to this blog, it has just changed. It’s not going to be pretty. It won’t be superhuman.
This is me offering it to Divine Love. This is me doing the thing I’ve been avoiding. I wanted things to be pretty. I wanted to write about stuff after the fact; when I had the lesson all figured out. You know… to give you hope. Well, hope eludes. So now, I’m just writing as I go. No wisdom. Just reality.
I’m a believer. I believe there’s a way out of the swamp of apathy and depression for me. I believe the Universe wouldn’t have let me choose a lesson plan I couldn’t succeed at. But damn. I’m scared. I’m scared because sometimes I am so tired that giving up feels like self care.
Writing is what I know to do. Before I got consumed with the what and the how, writing was my salvation. Let it be my salvation now. Whether anyone understands or gives a shit. Let it save me from repeating history. Divine Beloved, fill the space between us. Make me courageous. You said “Write”. Let me do that. Let me let go of expectation. Make me brave enough to write in my own voice even if it doesn’t serve anyone but me. Please don’t let apathy kill me. Let this be the stick in the wheel of my bicycle.

The Surrender

As told to me by my Uncle Bill, a supremely quiet and gentle man.

“It must have been mid-June the day my brother Tommy and I and Paddlefoot went swimming in the irrigation canal behind our barn. It was so early in the year, that the water was still too high and cold for swimming. But, we went anyway. We thought we were pretty much grown up enough to make our own decisions. Tommy was twelve. I was ten. Paddlefoot went wherever we went because as our dog, that was kind of his job. He was probably the smartest of the three of us. He did a lot of whining and pacing his giant feet around when we got to the ditch bank road. If he was trying to talk us out of it, it didn’t work, because after a bit of pushing and shoving each other, we were both in that cold, fast water.

We’d do cannon balls off the bank and the water would carry us down stream a pretty good ways until we could get to the side and pull ourselves out. I remember how good the sun felt. How  we’d lay down on the sandy ditch bank to warm up before jumping in again.

And then it happened.

I jumped in and the water was carrying me just like it had ten times before. I was trying to swim to the edge to get out, but it seemed like the water was going faster now, pulling me toward a head gate where the water was going out of the ditch into a culvert under the road.  It sucked me into the culvert and the gate slammed down behind me. Cold darkness surrounded me. Panic filled me. I was under the road with both head gates closed. The water was still in there. Quiet. All I could hear was my heart pounding in my head.

I grabbed the bars of the gate and shook them as hard as I could. They didn’t budge. I kicked. I pried. I braced myself against the wall of the culvert and pushed as hard as a ten-year-old boy could push. But nothing I did was making any difference at all. I was trapped. My lungs were on fire. I was so cold I couldn’t feel my body anymore. I thought about Tommy. Paddlefoot. And my mom and dad. I was terrified that I would never see any of them again, so I used every ounce of strength I had left to shake that iron gate. But there wasn’t even a hint of movement.

I realized there was nothing left for me to try. I had no strength left to try anyway. My time was almost up. I was going to have to take a breath. I knew I was at the end, and I relaxed. I let go of the gate that had imprisoned me and the most amazing thing happened. It opened. And with a whoosh of water, I was back out in the canal, coughing and gagging, swimming for my life. It was like the minute I relaxed, the gate opened.”

**********************************************************************************

Uncle Bill told me this story when I was in my thirties. It was memorable because he was such a quiet man. I was visiting them for an afternoon when Aunt Bert excused herself to the kitchen leaving us in awkward silence. And then out came this story of the power of surrender. I used to wonder if I had hallucinated the whole thing. It was so out of character and seemed so random.

I mentioned this story to my cousins over a decade later on the day of Uncle Bill’s funeral. None of them had heard it before.

I’ve always been so grateful for this strange moment, this extraordinary gift. Whenever I’m faced with something that I’m fighting against with all my strength, I remember…

“The minute I relaxed, the gate opened.”  (William Thomas)

Unlikely Doors To Awakening

When I was seven, my whole life changed. It sounds dramatic, I know. But it’s true. Not because we moved to a different place, though we did. Not because my mom got clean. She did. And not because my dad lost his mind, which he most certainly seemed to. Any of these things is life changing for sure. All of them together still would have been manageable but for one thing. The thing that really changed my life…

I forgot God.

It happens. It happens by design, allowing us the process of remembering God. This is the way we “succeed” here. We find our way back to God, the Universe, Divine Love, Source, our Higher Power… whatever we call it. We find our way back to Who we really Are. We find that God is actually in us. That we are part of Him and She is part of us. See what I did there? Don’t let it blow your mind. What? God is transgender?  God is definitely male. And God is most definitely female. God is definitely All genders. All ethnicities. All ages, all, all, ALL…

Divine Love is All. And yet…

There’s this existential angst. There’s the searching and the constant feeling of failure and coming up short. Good Gawd, it’s exhausting!

Remembering is simple. But it’s not easy. It wouldn’t be a grand design if it were easy. But believe me when I say how utterly simple it is.

Remember being a kid? (Before it got messy) When being a kid meant that you did things because they made you happy. And unhappiness seemed to only last a few moments. And then bam! Happy again. That’s pure magic. It’s letting the emotions be. Just be. Happy, sad, angry, bored, scared. And “happy” didn’t have a bunch of shit attached to it. It didn’t mean “successful” or “debt free” or any of the multitude of things “happy” means to us now. Happy was just our natural state of Being. When we were kids, we weren’t anybody. We weren’t trying to be somebody. We didn’t have impostor syndrome and we weren’t seeking our purpose. We didn’t sulk around trying to find ourselves. We already were. Well guess what? You still Are.

And if you’re in the state of searching and seeking for what else is out there besides all this angst, good for you! Not everyone is ready for the notion that there’s more to this life than birth, work, and death. The fact that you are curious about true meaning is a nudge from the universe that you’re here to wake up.

Now, slow down. Take a deep breath and hear this… It is not as complicated as your big, beautiful brain is trying to make it seem. By the way, your brain lies. It makes shit up, so it has something to solve because that’s what it’s designed to do; solve things. It is not always your best resource. Keep that in mind next time you’re awake at three a.m. with your mind going all Armageddon on you.

There are many roads to remembering. Doors leading to our Divinity are always being opened for us. I went around trying different doors for a long time because I could just feel a truth begging to be known. One of the things that really opened me up to my true nature was the suffering of my childhood. I believed there had to be purpose in that much screwed up-ness. My childhood always felt like some kind of puzzle to be solved. As if the answer to the question “Why am I here?” was hidden in the life I had been born into. And it was. Not quite in the way I imagined. It was actually much simpler than what my imagination came up with.

We all come out of childhood with wounds to heal. The mistake that we can make is thinking that someone else can heal our wounded parts. The truth of it is, we have to do it ourselves. Which is really okay because when we were kids we all said at some point “When I have kids, I’m going to tell them they’re smart and beautiful and can do anything they choose to do…” Well, now you have a kid. The kid that needs you the most. The kid that didn’t feel loved or encouraged. The kid that wasn’t allowed to be thoroughly pissed off… The dreaded inner child. Joke if you must, but she’s the real deal. I cringed at the thought too. Turns out she was the gateway to freedom. So maybe just leave this particular door cracked open in case I’m right.

If you can operate in a state of suspended disbelief and accept the suggestion that you too, have an inner kid, then you get to be the parent to yourself that you never had.
Believe me when I tell you she’s in there. She’s waiting. Maybe patiently. Maybe not so patiently. You’ll recognize her by the emotions that are the most familiar to you; the places where you feel stuck. The places you feel the least lovable. Start looking there. And when she shows herself, don’t assume anything. Ask her what she needs from you. And then… listen. And trust the answers you get. Be as honest as you can with her. Tell her you’re going to learn how to take care of her.

I know my inner kid is alive and well because I wasn’t going to write about this today. I was going with a title closer to “Compassionate Discipline”. What happened was that while waiting for inspiration to strike, one of my inner kids reminded me that the reason it’s a topic of interest to me, is because she’s trying to figure out the difference between discipline and punishment and where compassion enters into it at all.

So, if you were to ask me how to begin parenting that inner kid, I’d say this; listen. Be still. Pay attention to, and really feel what you’re feeling. Because it might just be what your inner kid is feeling. And then, as weird as it sounds, you have to start a dialogue with that kid. Expect it to go well because you’re an optimist. When it doesn’t go well, don’t worry. Inner kids can feel pretty unappreciated at first. It could take some time and effort to really get to know them.
Persist. Persist because when your inner kids feel heard and loved, the whole world opens up. When you parent yourself, you are awakening the God energy within you. You open a portal to Divine Love that is everything that you forgot all those years ago.
I was a seeker once. I was looking for my purpose. I knew there was more. I never imagined finding it would start with a conversation with seven-year-old me. Now, I don’t really seek anymore. Not outside of myself, anyway. I listen more. I pay attention and watch for the moments where I feel that familiar twinge of abandonment, oppression, unworthiness. Then I grab that kid up in my arms and I love her, and love her, and Love Her.

Post Script… If you want some great insight on awakening to your inner Divinity, working with the inner kid, and learning how to live your life Outrageously Open, visit Tosha Silver’s website I am a student in her school of Living Outrageous Openness. Inner kid work is only a part of the curriculum. She offers many, many more tools to support you while you learn to live your life with a greater sense of peace, joy and purpose.

What If This Is It?

What if this is all there is? If who I am right now is who I will always be? No grander purpose than living an ordinary life. Is that enough? For me, I mean. I already know it’s “enough”. At least I should know it. And cognitively, I do. But, I’ve always had this secret belief that I’d do something, well… more. 

Here’s the proof… I wrote this in a journal a million years ago when I was in my twenties;

I Believe…

… that my Higher Power is a part of me.

… that what is true about me is housed in my Soul.

… that the God I know may not be the God known by someone else.

… that if I live my life listening to the voice that is my Soul, my inner compass will   remain closer to “True North”. 

… that it is when I get into the ego part of myself that confusion is pervasive. 

*.. that there is something I am meant to do in this life. 

*… that what I survived as a child is a key to my purpose here. 

*… that in my Soul I have a gift from God. If I choose to follow my heart, that gift will become a way for me to touch the world. 

Part of me is embarrassed that I felt so important. Another part of me says for that critical voice to sit down and shut up. Because I am important. We all are. 

But what if I never realize any more lofty purpose here than just getting up every day and offering my whole self to Love? What if nothing grand ever shows up at my door and says “Go out and teach the world how to overcome childhood trauma. Open a center. Write a book. Fill a lecture hall with open hearts and minds, then speak to them.”

Is that okay? To me, I mean.

What would happen if I stopped waiting? What would my days feel like if I relaxed into them a bit more? If, after awakening and saying ~

“Let the Highest begin to occur in this life.

Let me remember why I was born on this Earth and what the Soul is here to accomplish

And use me to that end.” (Tosha Silver)

What if I just breathed in and out all day, did the work that I do, created things as I’m drawn to create, practiced deep gratitude for all that I am and all that I “have”, and served my community in whatever ways I’m drawn to serve?

What if I stopped expecting to be offered something grander than that? If I stopped waiting for my holy purpose to show up and treated my whole mundane life like it is my Holy Purpose? 

Just as it is ~ ordinary.

 

“Divine, change me into One who can offer my whole Self to you in every moment.

Even when my mind tells me I’m not enough; let me feel Your presence in the every day activities of this life.

Act through me. Speak through me. Write through me. Let me find you shining brightly in my own Being ~ and in the faces of All I meet.

Even if this is all I’ll ever be. If I never “touch the world”. If I’m already living “my purpose”…

I’m in.

I am utterly Your own. ”

 

(Don’t look now, but I think I may have just discovered true surrender)

 

 

 

 

 

How to Love YourSelf

Relationships have been my greatest teacher in this life. The Divine has used relationships to help me see myself more clearly. It could be argued that the reason for this is because I’ve always been in one!

As I felt this one winding down, I wondered what a relationship with mySelf would look like.

Immediately, Walt Disney took over and I started thinking about rings and ceremonies and honeymoons. Where would I take myself? Should I tattoo my ring on to signify the permanent commitment I was making to myself? And the vows! They were going to be awesome!

The thing that happens when I veer off track like this, is that God distracts me. Or maybe Mrs. Beigh was right in first grade and I just really do have a short attention span. In either case, I lost interest in my upcoming wedding to myself.

But the magic of offering it all to the Divine, is that She can very artfully and gracefully bring it around to the back of the house to introduce it in a whole new way. This time by whispering to me through dreams about an inner child I had totally abandoned.

This dream is recurring and has really freaked me out. I am always just realizing I left a child or a pet somewhere and forgot to take care of it.

I had a version of this dream twice in one week. And the thing is; once you offer something, it’s kind of important to pay attention to the answers you get.

So, I acknowledged the message. Even though I didn’t really understand what to do about it. My prayers are usually pretty off the cuff, so it was something like this…

“Okay, Divine. I can see you’re giving me this message about abandoning my inner kid. Thank you for being so persistent. And thank you for it being dreams. You know how I love dreams. But, if there is something specific I need to do, please make it clear to me. I’m so available for this growth. Use me for the Highest Good.”

Then the little signs started showing up. Little synchronicities that alone don’t mean anything, but if I’m paying attention, mean everything…

I found my second grade silhouette. And I thought “I really want to remake that and feel the Light I know is in that girl.”

My nieces were on my mind… I kept thinking I wanted to let them know I’m always here for them as they enter high school. Mostly to let them know that even though there will be many opportunities for them to feel like they’re not enough, that is an illusion that if they call on me, I can very quickly dispel.

One of my daughters felt “off” to me. I thought “In those instances, what would I have wanted my mom to say to me?”

I know what you’re thinking… these aren’t signs, they’re thoughts. Yes. And no. Our brains get a bad rap these days. We’re always encouraged to get out of our heads; and I agree. I spend a lot of time out of my head.

But if you’re living a life where you’re offering it all to the Divine, to the Universe, to God, to Whomever you embrace as your Higher Power, then a thought isn’t always a thought. Especially when the “thought” feels spacious and creative and full of Love.

 

These nudges from Spirit all fell within a week or so of each other. Another important aspect of it for me is that I acted on some of the nudges. I re-painted my seven-year-old silhouette; found the Light in her. I reached out to my daughter. I made a plan to reach out to my nieces. Following the Guidance keeps you and God talking. It keeps the conversation from being one sided. This is how I see it.

 

The next thought was ~  “I haven’t posted anything about this life of offering for a long time.” And as I looked at my last post and remembered what was happening when  I wrote it, I remembered the relationship I wanted to forge with myself.

But this time, all of the inner kid dreams had happened. And the reaching out to my own inner kid and some real kids in my life.

And it was clear.

This relationship with myself isn’t about what I need as a fifty-three year old woman… at least not exclusively. It is about that inner kid I’ve locked in a room for safe keeping and forgot to come back for.

When I asked God this morning “Which kid? Where do I begin coming back to myself?”

I just knew. “You come back to the first time you felt abandoned. The first time you felt less than Loved.”

When I closed my eyes and reached for her, this is who I found…

Day One Week Old

 

“Dear One,

I am so glad you’re here. I’ve been waiting for you for a hundred lifetimes.

You are my deepest Love. More than that.. You are Love itself.

You are the most Sacred of gifts, and I am so grateful you’re mine.

I love the weight of you, the way you feel against my heart. It is the feeling of coming Home.

As I look down at you nestled peacefully in my arms, I see the magic of God in your eyes, and I am filled with wonder.

You can rest in me. You will always have me. You are mine as I am Yours.”

The Life of Offering…

She was thirteen when she realized she was pretty.

She was fifty-three the day she was overcome with a sadness she recognized but couldn’t name.

She wept. Right there in her living room while brilliant, warm sunlight poured through the giant picture window.

She was unafraid of drowning.

This is how a life of offering is unfolding for me.

It seems to come with a presence of soul. An ability to allow whatever comes up to just “Be” as fully as it is intended to be. So, when sadness bubbles up, I’m unafraid of drowning. And when Michael Franti sings “Hey, Now, Now” ~ I dance. With all the joy, no matter where I am. That, to me is the best of a life of offering. All the feels. Without fear of drowning in any of them.

As I’ve been making my way to and through the ending of a marriage, I’ve offered the situation to Divine Love every day. Sometimes in every moment of every day.  It might not be the ritual that one would expect of offering. I’m not so much begging for help, although that does happen, but I’m offering mySelf to the Divine. My Whole Self.

While I have been all stages of desperate for answers about how this will unfold, I’ve also yearned in a very real way for the Highest Good to come from this experience. I don’t just say “Divine Beloved, I offer this whole sticky mess to you to deal with. Free me from this situation. Thank you very much.”

My prayers have been more.

“Divine Beloved, please change me into One who can trust Your timing in this. Let me rest in this sea of not knowing what is to come. Let me be kind, truly kind to myself and to others. Change me into One who remembers to breathe and stay present so I can see the path when the time is right.”  And all kinds of shorter, prayers like “Let the Highest begin to occur in this life…”

I knew without question this relationship had something to show me. It has always been one of my greatest teachers, but I could feel change coming like a locomotive. I knew it would be big change, but I wasn’t so bold to believe I knew what it would be. You can never turn your back on change thinking you know how she’ll present herself.

When things in our house would get so tense that I would beg God for relief, beg for the next step to be shown, I was always given the “caution”, “wait”, “slow” sign. It was so frustrating at times. But the signs were always so clear. I couldn’t ignore them. Once when I said “Okay God, this is unbearable. I’m taking this to mean that I should go. I’m leaving this house. I’ve made a decision. If I’m about to do something stupid, please stop me.” Thirty minutes later, I’m shopping and every aisle I turn down is blocked. No joke. Blocked. By people who don’t even seem to notice me, let alone make room for me to pass. After a solid ten minutes of this, I just laughed. “Okay. Point taken.”

The way things finally unfolded between us was so much more than the beginning of the end of a marriage. It was like a bright light was being shone on my entire life. It was an instant “knowing” of all the ways I’d orchestrated this very moment long before we had ever met.

The things I decided about myself when I was thirteen were visiting me today. So were all the ways over the last twenty-three years of our relationship that I put space between us without meaning to. Or, maybe I did mean to.  There’s also an incident of immediate karma that I’ll share when it stings a little less. When I can more readily see the humor. Because it is actually funny ~ in the most humiliating way. This immediate karma is, I believe, one of the big reasons it was important to wait.

I am resting in the unknown right now. Waiting ~ mostly patiently for a clear path to appear. My cat and me in an upstairs room in a chateau in magical McDonald Forest. All I know for sure right now is that I feel a deep and abiding faith that even in this sad ending, scary unknown, all really is well.

WILDLY OPEN

“Write when you’re bleeding, publish when you’re not”.  (Author Unknown)

I saw this quote on social media but I can’t find it now, so I cannot give proper credit; which really weighs on my mind, because it is truly brilliant.

As someone who writes about my life experience, I am familiar with the clarity writing can bring to a particularly bloody inner battle. I also know that none of that stuff should see the light of day until the hemorrhaging has stopped.

This is why I’m not going to talk about this summer.  Not yet. It has been one of the most difficult personal journeys I’ve known. And I’m still finding my way. There is Light filtering through the dark canyon of the last few months. Not clarity exactly, but a sense of which way is forward.

Things began to lighten when the summer retrogrades started to shift. But, this Change Me Prayer created space when things were closing in around me.

WILDLY OPEN

Change me Divine Beloved into One who is wildly open to whatever needs to occur at this turning point.  Let me trust where You guide my own heart.  Let me know that perfect actions are shown at the right time.  Fill me with patience and clarity. And let me be genuinely kind to myself and others.

All is well.

Change me O Beloved into One who is WILDLY open and trusting of Your plan despite any current uncertainty. Let me trust that You know exactly where the heck You are guiding me, even if this is not currently apparent.  (From Change Me Prayers by Tosha Silver)

I read it. I wrote it out. I read it two or three times a day. And when it wasn’t in front of me, I recited the parts I could remember.

And things began to move. There was the feeling of spaciousness within this oppressive change energy. Then  ~   I was given a task.

“GRATITUDE”

When the Divine gives you a task, it is undeniable. It can seem to be one of your own thoughts at first. But, after it shows up as an Oracle card, and then a song, you have to admit that it’s being suggested ~ strongly.

And the truth is, I am grateful. For all of it. But, specifically…

* My dad,  ~ and the day he called me a quitter.

* The moment I decided my worth was all wrapped up with being

sexy.

* A mate who reinforced both of these things for most of my adult life.

* Being able to see this much bigger picture.

*  The oh, so sudden recognition that I put myself in the life

circumstance I’m experiencing right now. And that it has a

purpose. It is not random. It is the perfect unfolding. No matter

how painful at this moment.

* Teachers. The Ones who give me validation and hope. And the

Ones who give me something to struggle against.

* My body. It has done all that I asked of it. Always. Thank you.

*  Eckhart Tolle. Seriously. Being in the moment has saved my life

so many times this summer.

* This house.  And the knowledge that I do not care about

new houses or fast cars.

 

My GRATITUDE LIST goes on and on. It is laced with big things like I just mentioned and little things like Sharpie Markers, Hummingbirds, my bed, autumn days, ripe plums, good neighbors, SLEEPING DREAMS!  And so many more things that I will add to my brightly colored gratitude list over the next days and weeks, because “Thank You” is the most important prayer there is, I think.  It’s on the list of Outrageous Openness tools. And… it was suggested. Strongly.

Thank You, Divine Beloved, Angels and Guides for all of it. The whole messy, perfect, Beautiful Life you’re leading me through.

I am so very grateful.

 

The Last Place I Saw God

When we misplace something, the first thing we usually do is trace our steps back to the last time we remember having it. But, what if you don’t remember having it? Like our seemingly unending search for God; it’s not as if we lost Him.

Or did we?

Tosha Silver leads her students through a meditation to reclaim the Throne of our Hearts. The first few times I relaxed into this meditation, I so wanted to reclaim a throne.  I mean, who doesn’t want to sit on a throne? When I closed my eyes,  I could easily see a throne… it just wasn’t my throne. I think it may have belonged to the Empress on The Neverending Story. I tried many thrones from many movies, but none of them felt right. It was forced. Fake. I was trying. And in meditation, when you’re trying, nothing happens.

But, when Tosha said “It will feel like plugging into your power”, I knew exactly what this throne looked and felt like.

It was the last place I remember knowing God…

I’ve been visiting this place pretty often these days. It began as a memory, because it is an actual place. I realized not long ago, that the memory of being there had more depth of feeling than other childhood memories. So, out of curiosity, I visited the place in my mind’s eye ~ slowly approaching the yard gate… a gate that has appeared in many recurring dreams over the last fifty years. Interesting, right?

I entered the front yard of my earliest childhood memory. I felt the warmth and rough solidity of the sidewalk beneath my bare feet. I saw the rectangular, white house with its daffodil flower bed acting as a protective threshold.

And I saw the three year-old girl in the shade of the elm tree that reached its lovely branches over the front step. She sat on the bottom step, her knees falling to her right as she faced the screen door.

This is her Throne. As I held her in my mind’s eye, I could feel her. The whole yard was held in the invisible Divine. I felt encompassed by the Love she was bathed in.

She sat, completely immersed in conversation with Spirit. No doubts. No fear. No sadness. Utterly connected to Heaven. As if she was still as much there as here.

She is the One who has been patiently awaiting my return. My three year-old inner kid who knows God. She’s been here all along as I have traveled the path of forgetfulness ~ now and then reminding me with dream images of a yard gate.

Now I visit this place not as a memory, but as the place within me where I am always with God. Where God and I are One. The Throne of my Heart.

Sometimes I bring another of my inner kids to this magical place to be bathed in Divine Love. To a place of remembering their Divinity.

 

 

1965

The sun is hanging low in the brilliant blue October sky. The air, just crisp enough to make him pull on his denim jacket as he leaves the house. With his short legged, brown dog at his heel, he turns to wave at her as she stands watching from the kitchen window.  She had started to pull on her boots and come with him – for the first time in weeks.  He had told her to stay. Even though she said she felt better, he wasn’t convinced.  To him, she appeared a bit tired – and more than a little green around the gills as his dad put it.

Besides, he’s old enough to do chores on his own.  He started 6th grade this year. Next year, he’ll be bused to a bigger school than the community school he’s gone to for the last six years, and in just a couple of weeks he’ll go on his first real hunting trip with his dad. Yes, he’s definitely old enough to feed a few cows by himself.

As he turns the faded green John Deere tractor onto the county road, he laughs at the sight of the brown dog bouncing through the sage brush, hot on the trail of a jack rabbit. “You’re never going to catch one!”, he yells.

When the tractor crests the small rise in the road between the house and the barn, he slows slightly and lets his eyes take in the beauty of Autumn.  Red Winged Blackbirds huddle together on the telephone line that stretches down the dirt road ahead of him.  Soon, they’ll join a larger flock and fly south.  The canyons that creep up the dry, brown hillside are lined in brilliant shades of red and yellow.  Haystacks, square and tall, dot the countryside; proof of the summer’s efforts.  He pulls in a deep, cool breath and sighs with contentment at the sight of his world.

Suddenly, in front of him, the little brown dog. Instinctively, he steps on the clutch and stands on the brakes. The tires skid.  The dog is too close. He cranks the wheel hard to the left.

There is sun and sky, a swirling of dust and the sound of a hundred blackbirds taking flight.

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A vague back ache. Or a damn painful back ache made vague by a perpetual  Valium fog. It had been hanging on for the better part of a day; an irritation mostly, but insistent. And now, at the dinner hour, it begs to be addressed.

This oppressively rainy March day was only the latest in a string of soggy days that had effectively turned the babbling brooks of the small town into raging rivers;  and took what will to live that was left and washed it away.

As the rain smattered the kitchen window, the wind whistled and the cheery yellow and blue valance danced ever so slightly, even though the window was closed.

This house was aged. Single pane windows quivered against the weather.  The wooden floors creaked under the slightest weight; even the svelte brown cat affectionately called “Coffee” as he patrolled.

This house was shelter at best.  It lacked the warmth and comfort necessary in order to feel like a home. It’s true there were braided rugs, house plants, the faint smell of lemon Pledge and a television set that was on more often than not; a source of noise to mask the emptiness that threatened to suffocate all who lived here. But it hadn’t been a home for a long time.

This back ache. She leans against the kitchen counter and curves her belly in toward the small of her back. Only minor relief. As she stands in her kitchen, listening to the wind blow the rain into the window, she lets go the tears again. They fall to the floor unchecked. They never fail her.  The tears need no prompting, only permission to fall. After a few moments of silent crying, she is openly weeping.  Her body wracked with sobs. And the back ache is suddenly more.  More than an irritation, it’s angry and demanding.

She straightens herself, wipes her face with a dish towel and runs a glass of water from the kitchen faucet.  She pops the top off the small, brown prescription bottle that is never far from reach and shakes out into her palm a small, white pill that will end this pain. And maybe the back ache.

Valium helps her sleep. In sleep there is an escape from this unbearable void that has become her life.  Without Valium, the sadness would consume her. There would be no escaping the guilt and agonizing truth that she is to blame for the death of a boy; a boy with blue eyes and blonde hair; hair that was darkening with each passing year so that at the age of eleven, she thought it the color of dirty dish water.  He brought to this house, practical jokes, salamanders, a love of trains and toy tractors – and joy.

He’s been gone for six months now. Sometimes even with the Valium, she sees him in her dreams. It’s worse to dream of him. Waking is to experience the loss of him all over again. It’s dreamless, drug induced sleep she seeks.  But today, this gray day in March, she wakes on the rough, green couch just as a flash of him enters her mind. He is walking away. But pauses to look over his shoulder at her and give a smile and a wave.  She opens her mouth to stop him from leaving; to say “Don’t go.”

She’s awake. A single tear making its way down her cheek. The house is dark except for the blue glow cast by the television. As if on cue, a small, brown dog with sad, brown eyes rises from his position on the floor in front of the couch.  He is now eye to eye with her. His tail thumps the floor twice and he smiles as only dogs do. He lost his boy, just as she did. And after all this time, it’s hard to tell who’s grief is deeper, hers or this little brown dog’s; who still sits and waits for the school bus every day at 3:30 PM.

She doesn’t reach out to him. Doesn’t stroke his head; only swings her legs over the edge of the couch and reaches to turn on a lamp. A stabbing pain grips her low back.

The back door opens, letting in the sound of March.  The dog’s tail thumps twice more and he rises to greet his master.  As the door closes, no one calls out. No words break the silence of the house.

Before the accident, they were a married couple like any other married couple. This was their home. This is where their life played out; when it was good, and when it was less than what they expected it would be. Since the accident, they are trapped here.  Each trapped by memories of the past, and an inability to leave this house where he was alive. Neither has a reason or the strength to speak about the past, or the future they didn’t ask for or want.  She feels his questions sometimes, in the moments that he sits quietly, watching her. He never asks her to talk about the future though, and she’s grateful for his silence.

He uses pot holders to get his dinner plate out of the oven.  He sits alone in the kitchen to eat; only the sad eyed dog quietly sitting vigil at his feet. The sounds of  rain and wind compete with the quiet monologue of the evening news on the television in the next room.

As she does his dishes, he shares the day’s news. It consists of rainfall in inches, a quickly melting snow pack, and how many dollars worth of grain he sold to the local cattle ranchers over the course of his ten hour day. He leaves out the hour he spent unwinding at the bar. He leaves out the stop he made at the liquor store to replenish the brandy supply he keeps hidden at the feed store.

He does not ask about her day. The dark of the house as he drove into the driveway, and her tear stained face tell him that for her, today was the same as yesterday. The same as every day since their boy’s death.

He had disagreed when the doctor wanted to prescribe Valium.  it seemed like a bad idea, insane really. In the end he hadn’t fought it too hard. She had been inconsolable, overcome with anguish. Valium offered her sleep- and him freedom from her steady weeping. So he had relented. And it has numbed the both of them.  Their pain is still there, but dulled for the sake of survival.  he suspects she takes more than anyone knows. He suspects but doesn’t ask.  That would open him up to the hard questions, too.

The rain gets louder on the roof. She turns from the sink and their eyes meet for the first time since he got home.  He can see that she’s in pain. More than heart break; real, physical pain.

He stands so suddenly, his chair topples over backward, sending the brown dog scurrying out of the way.  As he reaches her, her knees buckle and she lets him hold her up. He  so rarely touches her, she feels like a feather in his arms.  He’s startled at her lack of weight. His heart races as he eases her onto a kitchen chair. She says “We need to go to the hospital.”

The rain drenches and the wind whips as they slosh from house to car. The world is absent of light. No moon, no stars, only blackness holding her in its wet, cold embrace.  She lays curled like an infant on the cold blue vinyl of the car’s back seat. With each pothole hit too hard, and corners taken at too high a speed, she takes in a ragged breath. As she tries to steady herself with one foot pressed against the car door, her mind replays the last time she made a trip to the hospital. In the back of an ambulance with her blue eyed boy. She trembled as she held his lifeless hand in hers. She had wanted to light a cigarette to calm her nerves. Too much oxygen. It wasn’t safe. So she had ridden with him, silently willing him to live.

This ride- in this dark cold car bumping down dirt roads with a faulty heater blowing lukewarm air at high speed- this ride was a necessary lie. She knew there was no help at the hospital. She wasn’t meant to survive this. Couldn’t survive this. God wouldn’t ask this of her, too. These moments spent listening to him tell her of river surges, washed out roads and detours, trying to reassure her, all with a tone of suppressed panic… she takes in these moments as her last. Before this dark, stormy spring night is over, she’ll have cried her last tear and breathed her last heartbroken breath.  And she will see him again.

 

He drove through the hundred year flood of that March night, bathed in the blue glow of the car’s instrument panel. He talked to her about the water, about the roads they would certainly find still passable. He talked into the silence. He asked her questions when the silence became too much, just so he would know she was still conscious. Every now and then she would cry softly when she was in pain.

He didn’t usually let himself ask the unanswerable questions. But this night he wondered how they got here. What was the point of all this?

A year ago they had the life they’d wanted. They’d been married twelve years and had a child; their freckled faced, confident, fun loving boy.  When faced with questions from friends and family about when they were going to have more children, she had always answered that their family was perfect just like it was. What more could they want?

Were they being punished for only wanting one child? What kind of god would create this living hell? He wondered bitterly if the doctor should have put him on Valium.

Unanswerable questions should not be asked. He cleared his throat as if doing so would clear out the horror of the last six months.  “We’re here” he said to her as they pulled up to the Emergency Room door. “I’ll get some help.”

As the car door slammed shut, she turned onto her back and stared up at the headliner.  Tears ran from the corners of her eyes into her ears.  She put her hands over her face and wiped her eyes hard.  Just before the orderlies opened the door and helped her into the wheelchair, she whispered into the darkness “I’m sorry I wasn’t strong enough.”

As she disappeared through the double doors, he paced the short waiting room twice and sat down in an uncomfortable and all too familiar chair.

They had waited here. Together with family and a few close friends; they had paced, sat, cried and made promises to an unkind and unjust god.

He had sworn to be a better dad, to be there for his little family. Promised not to sit on a stool at the Office Bar every night after work while his eleven year old son fed cows and chopped fire wood.

That’s where he had been that day. On a bar stool as his son lay dying under the weight of a tractor overturned in a ditch; a little brown dog sitting at his side.

The call had come in for him to meet the ambulance at the hospital. “It’s bad. Don’t waste any time.” his sister had said.

When he’d gotten here, his pale and anxious wife was outside the door- not waiting for him, but greedily smoking a cigarette. Her hands trembled. She paced quickly and was quietly repeating “Please, please, please, please, please…”

 

All of the begging, all of the bargaining fell on god’s deaf ears. It had been too long.  Too long under that weight while his parents had gone about their lives. Too long before help had arrived.

She had collapsed. Had been hysterical then catatonic in a relentless, repeating cycle until the doctor gave her a dose of Valium and sent her home with a renewable prescription; an unending supply.

Had that been a good idea? He wondered again as he sat here waiting for the news that would define his future.  Would it have turned out differently if Valium hadn’t numbed her to the point of apathy and constant sleep? Would she have chosen the future? Would she have chosen a new life?

Just like before, the double doors swing open, revealing a tired looking doctor.  This time he says  “Congratulations, it’s a girl.”

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Tbis is the story of my birth; my entrance into this world. It seemed so unfortunate for a lot of my life. But as my relationship with Divine Love gets deeper, my entire crazy childhood seems so amazing.