Safety Must Be Kept On Here

I want you to come close. I want you to feel my words in this post. If I can relate a single message to you it is to stay open to love and acceptance. It is to stop fearing what you don’t know or understand because of a different point of reference. We all come from diverse backgrounds.

Back in April my husband and I traveled to Peru. We visited the most amazing places. While in Cusco we noticed something unlike anything experienced here in the states. Children ran free. My husband would say constantly, “Safety’s off!” All throughout main streets little children were walking around. They weren’t orphans. They belonged to the community. The entire city takes care of their kids. They watch over them. We asked everywhere we went. It was shocking for us to witness it and by the end of our trip we understood that their society has come together to raise the next generation. It’s beautiful to witness.

It scared me to see three and four year olds so close to the roads. Or, walking around among strangers. Or, running through dark alleys. We aren’t used to this. But, safety as we know it were off. An entire city, and small villages, takes care of their young ones. They make sure they are fed. They make sure to keep all eyes on them. The children all know it. They don’t test their boundaries because they are free to roam. Free range babies!

We live in one of the most powerful nations in the world. We used to be the admiration capital of all other countries for a long time. Unfortunately, safety measures are always on. Safety is never off. We have a huge problem with our children. Our country has children available for fostering and adoption but it’s freaking chaotic to reach the system. Unless you witness these issues firsthand there is no way to explain it. The laws are ridiculous. And now we have a heartbreaking reality of how we treat children from other countries, separating them from their families who flee from a life of destitution. They come here to give their children a better life. This is not an immigration problem. This is deeper than that.

There are two issues that cause tremendous arguments in our world: politics and religion. If your belief system constitutes in you believing that keeping children in prisons away from their families is humanitarian and compassionate then you need a new belief system. You may rationalize it anyway you want but there is a huge imbalance with your moral compass. This is not about what’s right for our nation. This is what is broken with our society. This is a humanitarian issue not a political or religious one. This is dividing us and tearing us completely apart into fear and hate…and disgust.

I am pretty good about putting blinders on when it comes to other things. I don’t go into issues that lower my vibration or energy. But when it comes to children and the elderly population I cannot ignore it. I want to live in a world that safeties are off and I don’t have to worry about my children being taken or hurt. I want a nation that takes care of its citizens and takes care of all humanity the same. It’s in our differences that we evolve and learn. It’s in diversities that we grow. We’ve lost the integrity of our initial foundation/principles that created this great country. What’s happening is sickening and psychotic.

I heard a woman speaking to another at a coffee shop recently say the most horrific things about immigrants. I waited to finish my coffee. I got up, turned to them, and voiced my hurt through tears. I asked them if they had kids or grandkids? And then I wished them a safe life. Before either could speak I stood there in complete disbelief and let them know that I was Hispanic (which shocked them because I look like them) and that I loved them and hoped that they could see that we (Latinos) are like them. We love our kids. We love our families. And we love to believe that this nation is still one of freedom and dignity. It isn’t a political problem. I told them it was a racist and hate one. It was a moral issue. I didn’t expect a conversation. I went to the car shaking in anger.

No one is exempt from discrimination and hate. I, however, believe that in order for change we cannot move through it with more anger and hate. We must look at the indifferences and educate through love. We must show the world that we will fix this issue through compassion, righteousness, and tenacity. And we will win until another issue arises. Where there is light there will always be darkness trying to destroy it. Just don’t let that darkness destroy your faith. There are many things that will be coming to light. We must stand firm in our convictions. We must dig deep into our hearts and show others what that looks like.

Rant over!!

Question what you read, watch, hear and see. Don’t assume anything! There are a lot of things happening that need your attention. Open your hearts wider than your mouths. Thank you. I love you.

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Help the World Through Love

I was taught about the depth of acceptance this weekend. My daughter gave birth to a baby girl on Saturday. The baby is healthy. She will be going into a loving and safe environment. Along her side was a woman I am blessed has come into her life to guide her. She’s helping navigate the roller coaster of emotions. She’s a true earth angel.

My daughter has brokenness in places I pray will heal. Her inability to see things, due to mental disabilities, is heart wrenching to witness. And yet, she is my daughter. She is my heart. The baby was born a day after her 28th birthday. I am grateful for that. I cannot imagine her spending a lifetime celebrating her birthday with a child she had to give to another to raise.

I was blessed to be given moment by moment messages and conversations as she birthed her. Even many miles away I was there holding her hand and her heart. I pray she gets birth control and we stop the madness. She knows no one can force her do anything. It’s a control mechanism that even with my psych degree I cannot comprehend.

A few days before giving birth she begged me to take the new child in with the other two. I told her I couldn’t. I begged her to make responsible choices. The new baby will go to a loving family who has enriched me with compassionate gifts in love. Those lessons are magnificent.

This week I lifted my daughter with sweet kindness, letting her know she was strong; that she was a fighter; that these children were gifts to the world; that in each of those little souls she lives forever. I asked her to be gentle with herself. I asked her to please be mindful…and other intimate conversations that I’m sure she has already forgotten. Regardless of the words sinking in or not, I will continue to show love.

But somethings do stick. Every so often, in her limited capacity to converse, she shares a snippet of words I’ve said to her in the past. My heart skips a beat. I actually do a bit of a happy dance. I get an aha moment and pray more sticks.

I am her mother. She disappears for a bit and returns to me to let me know I have been her mother since she was 9 years old. She tells me that no one else has ever loved her like me. That’s huge! For her and for me. I take it in and accept it. I will continue to love her for however long love lives in me.

People have judged her due to her irresponsible acts…her choices. And I remind them that she’s human. She has her journey. She’s not a monster. We can dislike her choices but she is still my daughter and I will continue to love her in spite of it all. She is mentally ill. She is navigating in the capacity of her own awareness. If I rejected every mentally ill person I wouldn’t have a job. She deserves the same love a person who is mentally healthy receives. The lessons in true love are not in loving the easy ones. The true experiences are in accepting and loving the difficult ones. Those are the biggest teachers in our path.

Be kind to those who are suffering. Be loving to the addicts, the lost, the homeless, and those who don’t fit in your spectrum of what is normal. You don’t have to fix them. You just have to be loving. The world has so much hate. We do not need to keep fueling it with fear, anger, discrimination, and lower frequencies.

And…ultimately… show up and be in the presence of those who need a little light. Your heart will expand even wider. You have the capacity to transform another by accepting them. I love you. ~m.a.p.

Celebrating Life

I sit in deep silence this morning as our kid sleeps way past her normal time. I was afraid of getting up and making coffee. It’s rare. She has this ability to feel me when my eyes open. That’s the connection we have. So this morning I am well aware of how we exhausted her this weekend through the travels.

Four years ago today we got the call. Department of Social Services said we had two hours to get her or she would be placed in foster care. My boyfriend, now husband, said immediately, “Where do we go?” He did not bother to discuss it. He was ready. He had never had children. I had raised six of them pretty much on my own.

Kali is technically my granddaughter. I adopted her mother from Romania when she was nine years old. Her mother is mentally challenged and has severe mental illnesses. She is out in the world functioning to the best of her ability. She is a survivor. Also a stubborn woman who doesn’t want to get on birth control. And she knows her rights. Next month she will be 28.

In a bit we will go and get her second son who just turned one. Kali is unaware of the details. At some point it will be discussed. For now we are the only parents she knows. And we love her beyond words. We are parenting her with the utmost amount of love in our hearts.

That’s the thing with the future: you don’t know how it will play out. Four years ago, she was 5 months old, my youngest daughter was about to graduate high school. I was looking forward to an empty nest. I was planning trips and retreats and books I would write. God had other plans. Because let’s face it, I am a mother. I have been mothering all of my life. It’s a job I know well.

So, today we celebrate the life of this little girl who shines. She truly has this inner light that keeps us glowing in her presence. She is waiting on her baby brother. She insists he is bright as well. She should know because she’s been talking about him before he was even born.

Live through love. Have no expectations of the future. Recognize that the best parts are the surprises. I love you.

Spend Some Fun

I love road trips. I enjoy the long stretches of road while I drive. Something about being in a car, heading to an adventure, that fills me with joy. I go into a zone of pure meditation. Sometimes with music, other times in silence. I commune with the Universe in ways that seem magical. Time doesn’t really exist when I travel.

Except when you have a four year old in the car for hours and hours. Then it all becomes challenging. And it becomes another form of awareness.

We took off from North Carolina to Maryland yesterday afternoon. My husband has a graduation to attend and I get to visit one of my precious sons. We will be going to Washington DC this weekend as I’ve never been.

In one of those long stretches of jibber jabber, my husband begged Kali to sleep. It was way passed her bed time. She went silent for a few minutes and then asked him, “Daddy, can you spend some more fun with me?”

We laughed. He asked, “You mean can I spend more time with you?”

“No! Can you spend more fun with me now?”

Darlings!!!! When was the last time you spent some fun? What fun have you created lately? She finally went to sleep and as I drove a few more hours, before hubby took over, I thought about the ways I would spend some fun this weekend.

Make each moment count. You get to decide what’s joyous in your life.

I love you! This I know for sure. And it’s total fun!!!! ~m.a.p.

Collecting Love

“What happens when people open their hearts?”

“They get better.” ~ Haruki Murakami

Love heals all. I was playing with Kali Rose this weekend. It was one of those marathon weekends of non-stop fun. In a few weeks it will be four years that Matt and I have her and she’s evolved with so much love because of our love and patience. She went from being a shell-shocked infant who could not hear a loud noise, be touched by anyone outside of us, feeling unsafe and emotionally broken to the core. Her eyes would haze over with doubt and fear and she would cry with such deep sorrow that our hearts could do nothing more but listen attentively. I prayed that one day she would feel the love and safety that every one of us deserves on earth. Today, she is a spunky-sassy-sweet 4-year old who knows what she wants and how she wants it. She is happy, safe, in a constant array of learning from her surroundings and people. She’s our little hippie nature girl who captures things quickly and repeats what she learns with the speed of light. I find we must be careful about how we talk and express ourselves around her cause she’s become a little echo.

I dreamt of this. I prayed for this. I only wanted her to feel the love and complete sense of acceptance that every human deserves when they come into this incarnation. She is not a shadow of what she was four years ago. She’s not stricken by fear or paralyzed by environmental changes. She is our little super hero that continues to teach and love us unconditionally.

When we love and feel the love we heal beyond anything else out there. We are blessed. I will never know every aspect of her grief, abuse and fears those first 5 months of her life. I only witnessed a small fraction of what was happening and what would have happened had God not intervened. My heart overflows with gratitude for those who stepped in and allowed us to raise her.

As we sit on the edge of another soul entering our home and hearts, I am gathering even more love. I am collecting it from anyone I can for the next great event. I am returning to Divine wisdom and the knowing that this little boy will heal like Kali has.

Love has a way of stretching all impossibilities and making things magical. She’s proof that endurance and courage have no age limit when love is involved.

Keep giving your soul out to others. Keep loving. You never know who you will touch. You just don’t know where their life line is dangling and your love might be the hands that bring them back to life. You might just save another soul by being you. ~m.a.p.

New Beginnings

new beginnings

I take the month of April as a time to celebrate. All 30 days honor as my birthday. On April 1st, I lost one of my sweet elderly clients. I loved him dearly. Although he was in hospice care, I didn’t expect his departure. On April 3rd, I lost a family member who died way too young, leaving three young girls. Yesterday I visited a brand new baby at the hospital who will be adopted by a beautiful couple. She was born from a crack addict who abandoned her as soon as she could leave. Holding her in my arms completed the circle of life. As two souls left this world, this little one came in fighting for her existence. Life is fluid and magical. I left the hospital celebrating it all…the losses and the gains. All three cases are heartbreaking and require emotional acknowledgment.  All three souls touched me in deep ways. I keep hearing the pain out there but I also keep rejoicing the healing and love.

A week ago my husband and I made another difficult decision. We will be taking on another child who needs a loving home. We will love him with the same ferocity and acknowledgment that we’ve given to others. I will be 50 years old in two weeks. It’s not an easy decision but it is the right one. He sat across from me and shared that “Batman never questioned or ignored his bat signals. He armored up and went to the call….” In this case he is Batman…and I am his side kick (yours truly). We will answer the call and provide the superpower of love.
I suspect this is going to be one of the most intensely surprising April’s. We leave in two weeks to Machu Picchu on a spiritual journey of sorts. It’s been calling for me for some time. And, we need this before re-entering another phase of parenting. I sat across from him and said, “Darling, this is not my first rodeo. This will be number 8. I know how this works.  This is number 2 for you. I know you will continue to be magnificent in your role….” So, Peru will be healing and full of mystical surprises.  My spiritual guides have been preparing me for some incredible experiences there.
I feel it’s time to recharge and return to the origins of me. It’s hard to define that. It involves faith, grace, and acceptance. I suspect that something is emerging and it’s lovely on so many levels.  I am open to the expedition of self. It is spring after all…regrowth and newness.
I urge you to make decisions without worrying about how others will react. I ask that you live fully and love openly. Life is fragile and beautiful. You get to decide how you choose to live it. You never know what’s around the corner even when you think you have it all figured out. I look forward to my journeys…the trip and another round of motherhood. For months I was living with panic attacks and anxiety during the night. I couldn’t figure out why. My soul knew of the changes. I resisted unknowingly in my human form. Once it showed up I was able to return to peace. And here we are…today is beyond lovely. Our little boy will be arriving to a home full of joy and love.
I want that for you as well….joy and love. Over and over again. I love you.

The Compass

road-sun-rays-path

Yesterday I had a huge challenge appear in my path. I was expecting it for some time. I knew it would cause a halt on the journey or at least a major detour. But, like all things when it finally appears you are frazzled by its presence. The knowing doesn’t even matter. It becomes a void of doubt, shame and guilt. Immediately I sat back and took a deep breath. The first person I could think of reaching out was my husband and I knew what he would say. He’s my husband. He would want me to do whatever felt right for me. The second person was my eldest son. At almost 30, he is wise beyond his years. We were both working so I texted him briefly. I gave him the condensed version.

I asked him to please answer what I should do without me being his mother. I wanted his honest answer without thinking of me as this woman who thinks she needs to save the world. He came back with a quick long answer. Immediately he took a step out of the family circle and answered the question without a single sense of being my son. He was a man. His opinions were defined by how he’s been raised. After his answer I asked him to then remember I was his mother.

He paused. I could see the (…) dancing on the screen. And then he answered with such love and compassion that I broke into a pool of tears. He asked me to stop. He asked me to also follow my heart. He asked me to go into my sacred space and ask for divine wisdom, but to please take my heart and hold it in my hands, caressing it and loving it the way I love him and others.

My son showed up as a compassionate and amazing guru and I forgot all about the dilemma/life changing event that had appeared in my path. The lesson turned into something magnificent and delightful. I needed the reminder. I had to truly get back on the right path.

He thanked me for teaching him to step back and look before reacting, reminding me that I forget myself along the way. I forget to count myself as a blessing. Hours later he called me to make sure I was okay and I thanked him through sobs. I told him that he had saved me from taking a detour into the thickness of a dark forest.

In the end…that is all we want. We want someone to be our compass when we get lost. Mostly we want to know that another soul understands us so well that we don’t have to feel along when hardships show up.

Have a beautiful day!