I used to live in closets. Not the literal kind, but the closets in my mind. It was not always that way. When I was a child, like most children, I would run and play and I believed that the sky was the limit for my dreams. It was not until those of the tangible world started dictating to me what I should believe about myself, did my world view change. It was not until the universe brought me back to my vision of what could be my reality through the ownership of my dreams, that I was enlightened again.
The enlightenment took quite a long time in mortal years. I am probably one of the lucky ones who discovered my freedom from the slavery of the dictates of my tainted mind in my 30s not to waste another day.
It was October of 2006, I was 36 years old, and my reawakening or rebirth occurred. How was I so special? How was I so blessed? How was I so . . . The truth was that my whole life up to that moment prepared me for my shift. All the happenings of my life, all the experiences both good and bad brought me to that moment in time, where my openness and tolerance of what would once be considered radical and kooky new age thought became manna from the heavens. Where my acceptance of traditional religion would be broadened by a simple adjustment to my spiritual mind. Where my life took on deeper meaning, where I could see clearly through my pain and tears that God had a bigger plan for me, one of service to others, not just myself. My mother reminded me throughout my earlier days that I needed faith to realize that the sufferings of a mocked little girl would allow me a glimpse of compassion for myself and others, she reminded me that the challenges of my marriage would be my guide to greater understanding of the human spirit, and she loved me enough to accept me for where I was in this life, as much as my pain made her ache, and allowed me the independence and space to confidently forge in a direction that would open so many doors for me-doors I never knew even existed.
Now, you may be asking what happened in October of 2006 that changed my life? It is so simple really. I asked the universe for help and for the first time in my life- too desperate to ignore- I really listened for and heard an answer. I was finally at such a low point in my self esteem, in my value of every waking day, in my consciousness of my own desperate reality that I had two options: flounder in my own self deprecating despair or grab the hand so too speak of whomever was willing to offer me a way out of my self imposed pit.
I chose to grab on- little by little- perhaps with the tiniest of baby steps, but I chose to listen and act. I think about those small moments in time as little presents, gifts of immeasurable value that by themselves have no meaning but as a whole changed my life. I could have ignored them. I am sure that God or the universe would not have given up on me, but it probably would have taken longer for me to become the woman I am today. Nevertheless, my reality was I chose to grab on to the figurative hand of God, I cherished the delightful little morsels of knowledge, I embraced the love surrounding me, and let the questioning begin to the point where the pieces to the puzzle of life started to fit and so many people, so many different and surprising sources, in so many different ways, offered me a new path to my life’s journey that would bring me an unending stream of joy that brings me to my knees most days in gratitude for the past that has prepared me, the present that I am challenged to experience and the future that is beyond exciting. Regardless of what happens in this life, I live by the old adage, everything happens for a reason and everything works out for me, no judgments.
Now that I think about it, I can clearly see all of their faces- my angels in this life, my guides.
I have always kept a journal. I still have them all. I suppose that I keep them to remind me of what was, of where I was emotionally, perhaps a validation of my pain. When I reread the books of my past, most of the content causes me great sadness because that is where I berated myself for falling short of perfection.
And this enlightenment and habit of journal writing I would need. Because years later, came my greatest test. My biggest challenge. I was about to walk into unknown territory- not able to see a foot in front of me as the day turned to night and darkness encompassed my soul. For you see, I once thought that everything that was good in my life died on April 12, 2011. All my life’s notions of safety and God’s loving eyes watching over me disappeared in a poof. All my beliefs in a world full of miracles and possibilities, gone in a blink of an eye with the final breath of my mother. My mother, my confidante, my mentor, my champion gone at the age of 67. Leaving us nothing but a memory of her last few days, struggling for air and a lingering fear that if this happened to her it could happen to me. My own personal struggles aside, I fought for her in her last days. I prayed beyond anything that I ever believed in my life that she would get well and survive this illness that takes so many in their prime. I just don’t understand anymore! I want to return to my little girl ways, my belief that people are here for a purpose and don’t go until that purpose is complete. My belief that God is good and doesn’t want us to suffer left me during those last days watching my mom declare that what she was going through was a nightmare of epic proportions. Certainly, this nightmare did not go beyond our family but that does not take away the impact on the lives of her children, of me. This is something that cannot be reconciled in a few days, the loss of faith, the loss of trust, the loss of life, the fear that has come over me like never before. Perhaps the fears that originate in my childhood but have revisited me now. I always thought of the buffer system as being put in place so that we are protected by the generation before us. It is the men in my family that die young Not the women. The women are strong, tough, hardy, beauties who despite the odds forge on to live and love another day. The women in my family lived for twenty more years after their husbands passed on. A mother’s love to watch over her babies, make sure that they follow the right path, go in the direction of their dreams, under the watchful eye of God. But, this is not to be the case with my family. My mother is gone- My mother is GONE too soon- like the Neil Diamond lyrics state- just too soon and I did not prepare for this loss. It came at us. Like a bullet to the chest- at least for me, I wanted to champion this survivor mentality that I begged God to let me witness. Begged God- pleaded with God- how can God be good and this happen- these are all the questions that I now struggle with – and struggle I do. I feel the headaches in my eyes- as I numb myself to feelings. I feel the pressure build to the point that no medicine can alleviate it- it is only with tears that I feel the release of the pain that binds my heart everyday. I have lost my trust in this world, in the goodness of the universe, of the simple joys of this world and for this I have numb myself. Not sure in what direction I go, I am stopped in the thoughts of my mind- stuck in the mud of negativity. Lost because while I am surrounded by many – I feel so alone. Alone with my debilitating thoughts that I hope and pray will stay for only a while- but then again I have never grieved this way before. This is a foreign concept to me. My life without my mother. Those who love us try to comfort us with words and touch , but it leaves me feeling angry for the most part. Angry because all I want to do is to talk to her and while she was woken from her nightmare, this one without her has just begun for me. So why is this such a nightmare for me- why? If I noticed the signs, she was willing to fight but she was also preparing me for the worst. Expressing to me her fears that this is not over, that the cancer will not leave her until it eats away at her. Such a beautiful soul- such a loving spirit. I miss her terribly- it stops me in my stride. How is it possible that I go on knowing that I need to forge my own way without her sage guidance. Is this the end for me or will I be appear to recreate the path to my soul’s bliss once again. I feel numb. Thank God I have stopped using food as my drug because it is so hard to combine numb with uncomfortable in my own skin. I don’t know if I was sedating myself to the point of apathy. Lord knows I would not take the anti-depressants because I do not trust doctors- I never have- but food – it has always been my friend and enemy. It is not something that is illegal, but the fear of being unattractive is tantamount to the death of my inner beauty. I am left with this raw anger and it is ugly and not loving. I don’t know what to do with myself at this point because there is no script. People just get through this and either I will make it to the end of the rainbow or I will die trying. I am 41 years old with a two year old and an eight year old who still need me, so it would be even a bigger tragedy if my life is ended so young. So where are the tools that will help me get through this- because as I see it my relationship with my source is really at a crossroads. Not certain what to do now and desirous of real rest. I suppose that my journey begins with the simple question- will I make it- can I muster enough faith to carry me through this very difficult time- because that is what this is a time where I must define what my life looks like once again. If I really want to walk this journey then I must establish rules- 1. Be patient with myself 2. Trust my instincts once again 3. Surrender my fear and 4. Let go and let god! Before I let go and let God- I need to trust that relationship again- like God cares about me – like God loves me- like God loves my mom. I am in a lot of pain, separated from my polyeanna of how life should be and how it is. This is my challenge. Break out of what is routine for me and break into a higher awareness of what is out there for me. I then pray tonight that maybe there is something good that can come out of this pain, maybe something wonderful that can come from an unknown situation. I used to believe in miracles now I am just hoping that the good magic will return to my life so that I can believe in myself again. For I miss her, but need to find some way to go on, for it would be a greater tragedy if I did not.
Where does one start, at the beginning of course.
Did I think that my self-proclaimed enlightenment would protect me from my present or future suffering? Perhaps I did. Has it protected me- I would say a resounding no- but am I aware –definitely. Fear of failure, an underlying theme that has been a part of my story since childhood has shown up in my mature years once again. And now, the only person who is looking back at me in the mirror of life is me – and she is asking me, what am I going to do next, how am I going to react and process this and once again how lucky I am to have this opportunity to learn and grow.
My brick wall is self imposed. My brick wall is my fear. I can imagine that it is gone and move on by replacing the fear with confidence that I am where I am supposed to be at this time in my life. I can’t blame others, I am responsible for my own choices. I am responsible for how I decide to proceed. My prayer remains, God please take care of me and guide me. Isn’t that was we all want signs that our life is going in the direction of our purpose and our dreams. That our lives have profound meaning and the imprint we leave on this world will be a good one. Isn’t that what we all want, to feel special, appreciated, to love and be loved.
I wish I could change so much in my life- but then again I just read something that said who would you be without the big issues in your life- the drama in your life- I think I would be free- free to run- free to play – free to be me – look me in the face and love who I see – that is something that I want- It has been quite a long time since I have been able to do that- I miss that feeling of pure beauty- of divinity inside- of the feeling that I can be whatever or whoever I want to be- but am I glorifying the past- I think so – I am so glorifying what was and what probably was not –
Do you want to read something like this? A story of angst heartache – pain – despair or do we all love the survivor story- we love the hero and her journey.
Because the harsh reality is that my mother did not survive breast cancer, no matter what I did to try to help her. I now had to become the hero of my own journey. I had to figure out how to rise above – I was no longer the petulant child whose immature sense of what is right and wrong would offer me relief. I was going to have to walk through this one, whether I liked it or not. I would soon come to learn that holding on to the pain and suffering would not be the answer as it could not bring her back. I needed to figure out a way to navigate through it- and my God, if I knew then what I know now- I would learn so much. I would say to myself, the same thing that I say to you now. Relax, it will all be alright. You and I are stronger than we would ever think. Even thought I would revert many times to a place where life felt so uncomfortable; So foreign; I would experience joy and the impossible many times over that would give me the hope to carry on.
So I, like I did as a child, teenager on the verge of becoming and as a young adult, I will wrote all about it! And writing will liberated me once again from the closets. Bringing me out in the sunshine, where I would raise my head up to the heavens, nodding with a knowledge that I am never alone. And grateful, that I have my mother orchestrating something wonderful that keeps on happening day after day!