Today I am so thankful to lead a normal life. Making mistakes and laughing to others about it. Knowing it’s ok to be an unmade bed in a sea of “seemingly” perfect beds. It’s ok. Not perfect. I have gratitude for my awareness of…Shit’s def gunna happen, sometimes all in one day. Sometimes all in 30 minutes. I’ll be fine. I’ll fix it, or maybe it doesn’t need fixing. Maybe I’ll have gratitude for Spirit orchestrating things just the way life SHOULD unfold…
I feel gratitude for the folks on my path. Teaching me more about myself and how to BE in the world. I know most people I meet are caring and supportive and generous souls. I feel thankful that I can be real and messy and quirky and forgetful and have that be ok.
If these are the only issues today – it was a damn fine day. I feel thankful that I can dig deep and muster GRATITUDE even when life feels like a dirty trick. Even when it feels like someone might be filming me with a hidden camera. Even when everything I touch turns to shit. Even when. Gratitude lives here. Everyday.
Who are you really? What makes you tick? Not what do you do for a living. Not who are you in relationship to others…(mother, son, sister, brother, wife, grandpa, etc.). I was asked to describe who I am. After much thought about why I think I’m in existence, I came up with this description.
I am love. I am light. I am truth, real and raw. Both colorful and dark. I am synchronous with growth, death, rebirth following the cycles of nature. I am my own best friend, confidante and lover. I am sensual, funny and deep. I am a beautiful mix of human and spirit. Light and heavy. An unchanged core of varying human experience, I am a beautiful mess.
When you weren’t looking I was having fun. When you weren’t looking I made friends. When you weren’t looking I got all A’s and B’s. When you weren’t looking I got trophies and ribbons. Praise and encouragement from teachers and strangers. When you weren’t looking I followed all the rules.
When you weren’t looking I was unraveling. When you weren’t looking I was starving myself. When you weren’t looking I kept our family secrets. When you weren’t looking I hated you. When you weren’t looking I was planning to die. When you weren’t looking I felt isolated and weird. When you weren’t looking I wished it was you who died. When you weren’t looking I could feel crazy.
When you were looking I told you I loved you. I keep our family secrets. When you were looking I followed your fucked up rules. When you were looking I believed all your fabrications about people and the way life worked. When you were looking I believed the beautiful, sweet story of our tragic, broken family. When you were looking I was the perfect daughter. When you were looking I silenced the truth I felt so I wouldn’t upset you. I silenced who I was because I always felt defeated. When you were looking I made it seem like I had a sane Mom.
Your looking, an uncomfortable look of ownership, dangerous caged rage. Those eyes tho, burned a hole in my soul. A hole so deep, my lifetimes fell in, waiting to be rescued. But you were still looking so they’d have to wait. Because when you were looking, it wasn’t safe for me to own anything. It would be taken. Any semblance of aliveness was forfeited. No choice at all, the need for food, shelter and love was ever present. When you looked, I surrendered it all, smiling. Set on fine China, dainty flowered setting that hid the tears. Because when you were looking, appearance was Queen.
When I was looking, the color turned to death. I could flirt with pink and green and orange and red but only for a minute and it surely would be detected and devoured. This fed the hungry beast inside you. When no-one was looking. It slithered, smiling, through the caverns of our existence. Spreading it’s brown paralyzing slime onto our child lives. Twisting n turning so we never could sense direction. When no one was looking. Your inner beast ran through our home salivating, relentlessly stalking. This was not a safe existence for children, when no one was looking.
Intolerable and exhausting. Swimming upstream from birth. We surrendered, we yielded to crazy, to the killing of our innocence, our right to be free, to live unburdened. There really was no choice. We handed it over because we’re just children. We craved belonging, safety, love, softness, easy breath, dreams. Sacrificing our well being over and over. The darkness victorious, stamping out our light, our dreams, our drive. When no-one was looking.
Mission accomplished. Torched souls, we assist you in drawing the shades of life, a smiling mask donned in public, living “as if” so as not to raise any suspicions about our fucked little lives. All this darkness placed inside, the saccharine sweet lies conflicting with and twisting our fight for sanity, lucidity, transparency, space.
All this “looking” but no seeing. Your eyes glued shut Mom. You didn’t really have to “see”your food to be able to eat it, now did you? You could smell the life force, the need to be stripped of our aliveness, our need to be silenced and gutted. Sensed like an animal in the night. Just to feed your emptiness. She fed from and possessed our every emotion, when no one was looking. She took everything. Our joy, our anger, pain and peace. And handed us back blankness, autopilot, apprehension, lack of self trust, hate and suspicion of others. Insanity. We learned so many things about darkness and dancing with crazy.
I’ve transformed, Mother. And what a trick this MOTHER word! I’ve stripped your ugly from my existence. No longer a subscriber. I was the one who escaped, by some small miracle, I made it. My Spirit rose up to assist me. I was made for greater things. Without your sad influence. Without you looking, I’ve dug and scraped and washed and scoured you from my loins. 30 years is a long time to live, surrendering one’s essence, in service to another. “Out of service” an outstanding book title I foresee in my future. Although, “when you weren’t looking” could work, too. My mind is free. Free to roam without restriction, censor or proper.
Thank you Mom for leading me to the edge and shoving me off. Body sinking to guaranteed demise, my Higher Self was there to catch my fall. The Human Spirit is a powerful force that can lift you up and beyond what you thought was possible. Listen to the call, take the difficult challenge of putting yourself first, staying the course and rising from the asses.
I’m in love with the smell of October rain. Arriving upon a cool, warm, wet, chilly breeze. Coating crunchy leaves and crispy flowers. Gathering dusty, dried earth for a communal autumn hug. The rain slowly arrives, moving in on the quiet. Settling into its resting place, lukewarm and lovely.
Making up for Summer drought, it falls. And falls. Smelling like forest floor. Like rich brown soil. Like the underpinnings of fabulousness with a side of mushroom spores and pine bedding undertones. Resurfacing the foundation of new life. Possibilities. Rich mineral magnificence.
The fragrance of possibility. Of spent corn stalks, cold harvest moon mist and pumpkin spice. In the air, previews of icy rains and solid precipitation. The falling away of what is no longer needed. That which weighs us down. Rain showering off the unwanteds, the old, the haggard, tired. The dead crunchies in our lives.
Washed into tomorrow on an endless cycle. Each rain flushing our discarded patterns. The old, worn out becoming new again. Replaced, reset, realigned by fresh new growth. Breathing in a little slower today to fill my empty spaces with the smell of rain in October.
This week I met a child. No ordinary child, you see, she was extraordinary. What made her extraordinary you wonder? Well, really nothing and everything. She, unknowingly, touched some of my unhealed shadow. She was able to stir up some of my long held, restricted, outdated beliefs…her presence so magical, playful and open hearted.
So rooted in the moment, she held my hand and started to dance, spinning around, motioning for me to dance with her. In a public place. We danced and twirled. I complimented her “purse” as I referred to it. She quickly, confidently corrected me, “My satchel”. “Oh!” I said, amused, “Of course, how silly of me”. She added, “Do you like my dress?” I replied, “Yes, it’s amazing, the flowers are so pretty.” She is usually adorned with the most fun, colorful, feminine, alive dresses and proudly displays them where ever life takes her.
Everyday for this child seems exciting, like it’s her first and last day on this earth – all rolled into one. Excited as hell to be here, experiencing, tasting, feeling, making the most out of each social encounter, showing up as is, beautiful. Simple, no complications. A gift to everyone around her.
Where has OUR sense of honor – for our own existence – gone? Did we grow out of it? Was it shamed out of us a long time ago? Hers is alive and well, on display for all to see. No apologies, no minimizing, she is fabulous and it’s palpable. Why do we save our “ “special items/clothes/shoes/perfume/jewelry/colorful accessories” – for an event that seems worthy? WE are worthy – WE ARE THE EVENT. We ARE what we’ve been waiting for.
Even in the most mundane days/tasks the raw material for fun, joy and connection is waiting for us to notice. I share the experience here, with this extraordinary child because she truly is “special”. In a society where the highest academic achievement is still king – I find it to be a bit shameful that infectious joy, compassion, aliveness, presence, spontaneity and heart are not as prized as report card marks. I became the student this week. She, just living in the light, is a natural teacher.
I feel a little piece of myself in everyone I know, everyone I meet. We are all a mixture of light n dark. A fine recipe of delicious complexity. I am joyful and depressed, I’m hateful, I am optimistic, I’m a killer, I’m jealous, I’m content and curious, wild, responsible, disengaged, entitled, invisible, enraged, tired, discouraged, complacent, magnificent. Big breath in….. real, lost, embarrassed, hopeful, dreamy, open, humiliated, passive, judgmental, honest weird, eccentric, lonely, pissed, accepting, blank, spiteful, alive, proud, blessed, dismissive and aggressive.
If we’re honest, several of these are living within us. Sure the positive traits/experiences are easy to embrace and recognize. The darker, shameful, maybe even shocking tendencies we def try to conceal, deny, excise. They need love and compassion too. They’re looking for recognition and expression. To be lovingly surrounded with safety, protection and containment.
I’m in love with warm blankets on a chilly night. Held and comforted in thick fabric. My soul oozing deep appreciation for cotton crops and birds of flight. Suddenly, cold is put in its place, made to observe the newly created heat boundary.
Heavy heaps of edged material, happy to be in service. Fresh from the dryer and smelling so. An olfactory field trip to a well drained forest floor. To a string of laundry overhead, dangling from a sun drenched, tattered rope. Without dampness. Without apologies. Without leaving my bed.
Weighted, grounding, reassuring me of universal support and temporary safety. Shield me from imagined, knocking horrors that come to visit in darkness. Cover me in kindness and compassion, nothing and everything present and promised. I’m in love with warm blankets.
You fought, you pleaded with me to shut up. Oh I wouldn’t shut it. Not for a hot second. You created this mess. All of you. Perpetuated it by keeping the lid on, simmering, bubbling. Me poised to explode. Abuse years, haunting memories, flashbacks and dirty tricks making their way to the surface. Into the now. My mouth too small of a space for this hot garbage baggage to escape. It came through my pores, my guts, out of my eyes. Violently it breached the walls I had erected to keep the silence with you. For you. About you.
I wanted to save you. All 5 of my sisters. I would physically carry you if I could. Come with, I begged. I tried to wake you, slap that cool-aide pitcher out of your hand. Jesus Christ. You were abused too, I saw them, I saw you. How dare you deny this? It wasn’t your fault. It was just the way it was. Generational. My best efforts to save others were received like “attacks, attempts to ruin the family or make problems”.
Even in my dreams, I was unsuccessful. You were frozen. I would escape, door left open, and no-one followed. You stayed. I pleaded. I escaped. You dug in harder. How I wanted to remove the dark cloth from your eyes. Rip and tear and claw until you saw. Scream like the wounded animal that I was…until you connected – with something. With reality.
Torturous to want something sooo out of my control. Yet, I kept on. Pain and anguish were frequent dinner guests. A plate and seat were saved. I wanted someone to board the reality bus. Empty bus then, empty now. Oh, how delicious it would have been to have someone stand beside me. To honor OUR truth, OUR breaking up with dysfunction, OUR naming the insidious virus. Divorcing the dead from our life.
As children, our leader wanted us distracted. Our perfect saccharine sweet smiles. Pretty pin curls and dresses. Manners and obedience and black paten leather. Exceptional family. Got us so much outside attention. Stroked her gross ego. Believable. The world believed the picture. We were not allowed to question. blindly pleasing, serving. Resistance just a dream. Beautiful little liars, all of us.
Remembering all of this. Remembering all of the ways we had to leave ourselves. All of what we were forced to give up in order to belong, to have somewhere to live, food and some semblance of safety….
I walked away. Cutting the frayed cords, split ends. I was tired of hemorrhaging on those who drank my blood out of both sides of their mouth. I decided my life was worth saving, worth better. Donned with the ole oxygen mask, I stepped new steps out into the world. Lonely, edgy steps. Only taking small sips of life at first, barely looking back at the owned, the victims, perpetrators, the voiceless.
I actually did you a favor. Free from the reminders that my face brings. Free from the sting of my authenticity. Free to believe the beautifully creative fairytale you tell of your past. The fabricated loveliness of the overcrowded vacant house we were raised in.
I am no longer the one who ruined this amazing family unit. I am no longer the lost sheep. I am no longer cause of chaos and making poor, defenseless mother sad. Gag. I am no longer trying to pry you from your completely functional, well adjusted existence. I have no desire to wake you. You are completely correct, my energy, my desire to transform and re-parent, and evolve, and open my heart, and see and hear and feel – that is all for ME. I won’t waste any of that on you. My bad.
As a courtesy, I will leave you alone. You all function way better in a slumber. No matter how delicious, I will not remind you of the atrocities. We can leave them where you’ve buried them. How dare I devote any portion of my life and love to those who think I’m trying to ruin theirs? I will even tuck you in with soft, fuzzy blankets. Sleep well. Sleep well.