After waking before the light of day I stumbled into the kitchen for my coffee and opened up the blinds. I could hear the noise under the silence. I lighted my candles and stared outside. I am trying to embrace the rest of this holiday season. Three of my children are home and we went through a box of slides that my mother had kept since I was born. I bought an old projector last year and never got around to seeing these photos. Hundreds of pictures I had never seen popped up on the wall, reflecting a life I imagined but didn’t witness in my mother’s life. There was a picture of me with my parents when I was less than two years old on a bed. I have few pictures of my parents together. With each click of the projector, a new question would arise. I understand how lives can remain frozen behind a smile in color. But, those pictures do not tell the entire story. They are stories within stories that have become puzzles to me. I have heard the many versions of truth from family members growing up. These pictures have little to do with me, rather a lot to do with the protagonists and antagonists of the past…one that has formed the woman I am today because of history.
I held that picture from my memory. I began to cry. I don’t know what overwhelmed me in seeing the textures and colors; the smiles and expressions; the little girl oblivious to what was happening behind the flash of a camera. I was overcome with an eager intensity and I allowed it to release. And, as day broke, the clouds clearing over the mountains I felt a sense of gratitude beyond words. This is me now. This is living.
The candles flickered, the incense burned, and I could still hear the past begging for recognition. Life appeared in such immensity that everything around me was all that I am. The illusion of reality continues to interrupt my life during family gatherings. This holiday has been about stepping over boundaries, retracting, making way for new space, and the hiccups that arrive with accepting questions and answers from loved ones. Life has invited me to visit moments of silence to sit and hear a story from childhood that now has acknowledgment and understanding. Some of these stories are made up, fictional fairy tales created by ego to satisfy my perception. I took that path…made it here. I should’ve done that…but ended there. You know these stories well. In a moment of clarity the Divine will show you a reality that seems to interrupt the core of your belief system. Those things I have said, “NO” to and “NEVER AGAIN,” somehow become the YESES. They form new stories. The unexpected becomes the protagonist even when I thought it was the antagonist in the stories.
I attract everything I think, especially those things I don’t want. I have given thoughts so much power because they have been truly present this week. And so, this morning, somehow in my state of spiritual connection my heart opened up and let go. I have been blessed with finding answers to matters I had no questions. Funny how this has happened! I have found old VCR home movies and we have watched them to then place them in another box for my grandchildren. I am done moving through stories. I am ready to continue forward. My kids have appreciated this openness that I had not foreseen or planned on having this week.
Virginia Woolf said, “You cannot find peace by avoiding life.” Life needs to be acknowledged in the presence. It needs the wisdom of time, gratitude for each breath, and love for each connection. If you let it, life will break you and then stitch those parts into a more remarkable being. When you let life guide without the fears of the unknown through faith and trust it will give you everything you have wanted and more…while being fully present with joy. This is the adventure. We are who we are because of the stories from the past. This road into the past has allowed my family to figure out where we came from and how we got here. It has been an unconscious clearing in my home.
Allow yourself to feel alive in those solitary moments when the reminder of living is magnified. Give your soul permission to visit and revisit the parts of you that need mending. Then may you return to the present with a full understand of how awesome you are! Be embraced by Divinity!