Sadness

Sadness doesn’t always look like despair.
Grief doesn’t always look like sorrow.
Mourning doesn’t always release tears.
Sometimes it looks like isolation or withdrawal.
It can look like sarcasm and anger.
It may appear like everything is fine.
Other times it shows up like silence with a broken smile.
It can hide itself in a bed with lights out or through addiction.

Be kind. You never know what another soul is experiencing. We have been taught in society to wear masks … way before this pandemic. It has been ingrained in us. Our job is to love and accept others without immediate judgment.

Surfing Grief

Today I watched a man grieving in the cemetery near our home. He was drinking a beer, swirling around in screams while the liquid fell out of the bottle as he stomped over the grass. He was crying. I stopped for a few seconds across from him at the stop sign, struggling with going to talk with him, or just giving him his space. The scene looked like something from a movie and I felt it. Whoever he was screaming and pleading to was absolute loss and grief.

And so I did….I left him in his private moment as the rain began to fall slowly over the mountains. I felt the break happening for me as well.

Grief does that to us. It is inexplicable. Its pain cuts through the depth of the soul. It has no limit, no expiration date that shakes us up and relieves the pain. We are turned around, upside down, through an inexplicable sense of shame, guilt and other emotions. We regret what we did not do or did do. We place those we loved on some pedestal, that at times, is pretty irrational as well. But, grieving the loss of a loved one is freaking hard. And, it comes in waves: one minute you are okay and the next your world feels unrecognizable.

The man over the tombstone reminded me of that wave. He reminded me that it never really goes away. Loss is a riptide that at times causes a wave that clears everything in its path. We move through the grief. We surf the deep waters of emotions wondering if we survive the heartbreak. We move into other paths of life. It doesn’t go away. We don’t get over it. We evolve and learn from it but the loss can still sneak up at any given moment.

In order to love you must risk it all and grief is a component of its circumstances because where there is love there is loss. Sorrow is a recycling sentiment that appears over and over in different events. It’s okay to let the emotions visit. It’s okay to sit with the memories of the things we no longer have, the loved ones who have passed on, the things that will never be. What is not okay is to get stuck in those moments and live in that time. There will be days that the pain is so much that you feel death clawing at you. You might want to go scream at the ground in a cemetery as well. Then other days you will be filled with the sweetness of gratitude for having had those moments in your life. No matter what anyone says grief never vanishes. It just masks itself into something new and you recognize it the minute you experience the tug in your heart.

Do yourself a favor and don’t close up to love. Don’t shut yourself off from the world because you deserve to live through love again. It will never be like those that you experienced. It will have different lessons, perspectives and joy. Loss does something to make us believe that we will never live that way again.

Grief doesn’t just change you, it reveals the innermost part of your spirit. We’ve come here momentarily to love, learn and experience life. In the sadness of grief comes the ability to rejoice and celebrate life to the fullest. So often we are consumed by mourning the death that we forget what lived in that person. We focus on the missing rather than the stories of joy. Truth is that each soul who leaves us has always left a little part of themselves behind through memories. And it’s from that other place that they start to reach out through dreams, songs, signs and synchronicity. Rejoice in the stories of the past. Allow for grief to show you how much you loved. It’s okay to feel that mystifying sorrow. This is how you know that your love transcends through time and space. This is how you know that your loved one will help you find love again.

If you find yourself at a loss today…please honor the moment. Send love to your missing parts. Be gentle with the memories. They won’t go away. To me, death is a door that ends one existence and opens up into another. There is the before death and the after death. And life is changed forever.

Waves

Remember not everyday is filled with rainbows and butterflies. Some days are full of aches and scars and deep wounds. They require a little more heart expansion. Others require forgiveness. While still some allow you to feel the bliss from humanity and how we are the collective of something much bigger than ourselves.

Be humble. Be available to sit with all that arrives. Don’t let it paralyze you. You are meant to always show up and rise to the occasions of your life.

You get to choose how you react to it all.

There are days that compile several emotions from all corners of the heart. The world doesn’t prepare us for those moments of pure joy and heartache that happen simultaneously. The heartbreaks are so intense that you feel you cannot survive. They are invaluable experiences that force us to move into compassion without judgment. Huge heart pulls. Those days are truly sucky. They are wrenching. Ugh.

I ask that on those roller coaster emotional days you truly be gentle with yourself. Don’t discard the emotions. Don’t bury them. Don’t try to process them all at once.

Just be. Life is preparing you for such an incredible strong journey.

Believe me, tomorrow may just be the best day you will have so far. Don’t judge your future by the experiences you are having today. Don’t criticize the moments because you fear them. Don’t carry them alone because of how others may see you. They aren’t walking your path. You might be teaching them an experience they need for their own journey.

May you always be led by faith and grace. Things always have a way of working out. It requires you to shift perspective. And in that process you will see things in a different light. ~m.a.p.

The Runner

I visited a friend who is struggling. She’s selling everything to flee and run far away from here. I recognize the behavior. For the large part of my life I ran. I either ran towards something or ran away from it. I ended up in the mountains running from a life that was comfortable into a life of pure work…but spiritually enriching. Because the “comfortable life” was empty and full of imprisonment by a man who was emotionally abusive. It took years of stripping my ego and self worth to build it into something authentic. At forty-two years old I hadn’t a clue who I really was. I was playing different roles depending on who needed them.

Seeing her today gave me palpitations. I wanted to just hold her and let her know that no matter how far she runs she will always have to deal with the core truth of herself. The running is only temporary. It will never be permanent until she lets go of the issues that she’s avoiding. I am sure someone (or many) tried to tell me the same thing eight years ago. I didn’t hear it. And I am blessed to have had support because I really struggled. It was a horribly painful time. Talk about dark nights of the soul…for several years.

Love and heartache have a way of pushing us to extremes. Nothing forces us to run quicker than the feeling of abandonment and toxic energy. It’s exhausting. It’s paralyzing so when the energy arrives to sprint away the body just sees it as survival. Who am I to try and stop her?

I hugged and kissed her, wishing her the very best. It will be a delicious adventure and a painful one. She’s headed to the desert. Nothing strips the soul deeper than that. I get it. I feel it. I know it well.

Darlings, you can only do what’s best for you regardless of what others tell you. If you need to run, do it. If you need to stay, do it. If you need a break, have it. But do not let another soul force you into making harsh decisions because of fear. Wounds heal…eventually. Love returns when you return to it. As soon as you recognize that you are a divine lover to yourself things begin to align. Until that moment you will continue to run yourself ragged. You are the most precious commodity in the world. Don’t let someone else make you feel otherwise. ~m.a.p.

A Broken Heart

broken heart

A few days ago I caught up with a dear friend. He began to express that it’s been one of the darkest moments in a long time for him. I heard what was said and the underlining of what wasn’t. My heart was fracturing as I listened to him. I have had moments like this. I have witnessed friends lose their jobs after 20 years. I have seen some others drink their problems away thus creating a blockage and denying all the emotions inside. I have seen others just disappear into their own shelter without a word. I have heard from others whose health have deteriorated asking for a purpose to it all. I have experienced the death of some others who just couldn’t handle the massive shifting of life because sometimes it’s all freaking shit. It’s hard. It’s unfair. It can suck us thin while removing our faith in humanity. And, as if all this wasn’t right on the surface of deep empathy, I was then asked that same afternoon by someone else, “Can a person die of a broken heart?” I immediately answered, “Absolutely! We can die from anything we manifest through thought and emotion whether it is in abundance or the lack of it.”

For most of my life the answer to that question was an absolute “no!” I did not believe you could die from a broken heart. Grieving passes. We get through things. At least…we should. However, things have changed. I have changed and experienced the shattering of my heart several times. We all have. Our stories consist of fractures, brokenness, fragments and so much more. It’s part of being human. One important criteria for living is feeling. The more you feel, the more exposed you are to disappointments, anger, hatred, heartbreaks, dishonesty, etc. But, on the same token we are also exposed to joy, beauty, love, and the rainbows of a thousand delicious emotions. The darkest of hours and moments in our lives push us to either lock up or open up wider. It’s a choice…but we must endure it. Life is not really meant to be a struggle but we sure do a great amount of persistence to make it be impossible. There are always lessons in these experiences. Without sounding over dramatic, I do believe we can die of a broken heart that manifests into a heart attack. We can create illnesses, weaknesses and every imaginable bad thing that can be attracted by intention.

My father had several open heart surgeries. He was a man who loved deeply. He was a Casanova, that one guy that lit a room with his charisma and good looks. He was charming, funny, friendly and extremely loving. He was a womanizer and had a PhD from the Houdini University of Disappearing Into Thin Air. He knew when to take it all in but not know when to let go. My father’s heart was wide open. He wore it on his sleeve, apparently with everyone. And so, he died with heart problems, prostate cancer, and a solitary journey to his death that was long and painful. His mind left him years before he was gone. My father died of not only a broken heart but resentments, anger, and disappointments that he couldn’t express. He lived in his own hell. Each one of us has an incredible novel and his was definitely not boring. He punished himself till the very end for all that he thought he created to hurt others.

We are all going to die. It’s a given. The moment you are born that’s the point of destination. What we do with the in-between is called life. Allow for the darkest parts to guide you into the light. Let creativity step in. A friend sent me a sweet message in an email, “Create! Save God from Boredom!” If you allow your heart to stay open and you accept your presence as a conduit from Divinity you will not die of a broken heart. You will fly and your Spirit will thank you for being authentic to your purpose. Create doesn’t mean to make a painting.  It means create all that you want with intention.  Do not let your heart close up. Do not let it die before your time. Do not let the past dictate your future. You don’t live there anymore. If you are sad, sit with it.  If you are happy invite that to stay for longer.  We grieve, we love, we give, and we die. Amidst the gasps of it all lies the purpose and the legacy of who you are.

Surrender to the unknown!

Make it magical!

I love you!

No Judgment Zone

Let’s Get Real…no judgment zone!

Kali and I had quite an adventurous day. She is an incredible hiking buddy. The kid can go on and on. The parkway is

lit with fall colors. Magnificent. True magic up there.

As I drove back home it hit me: soon winter will be here. My chest constricted. Most people don’t know I suffer immensely from SAD (seasonal affective disorder). And believe me I have tried “to snap out of it,” “exercise for it,” “take supplements,” “meditate and calm the mind,” name it, darlings. I’ve done it. Even through a deepened spiritual practice I find myself in the arms of grief and depression.

Yesterday I read a post of a man on my FB friend’s list. We’ve never met. He was vulnerable in sharing his depression. I read the comments and started to cry. I don’t know him. But I do. I know how depression can hit the most happiest of folks. I feel it coming right when the weather cools down. When the leaves are all gone. When the days get short and gloomy. And when the first snow hits the ground I literally have a panic attack.

Okay so if you are judging already then I urge you to stop reading this. Move on to something else!!!

I am no one’s hero, especially for myself. So after having ended up in the hospital several times during past winters I have been proactive. I now put my self righteous attitude to the side and go get meds for three or four months. I shut my ego off. Because…because the emotions are real. The hole is dark, narrow and deep. I refuse to be defined by what others think. I know how mental health can knock you on your ass if you aren’t careful. No one knows what someone is enduring inside.

Healing happens when we face it.

I urge you to stop before you give advise to someone with mental health issues. Please! Depression is not exclusive or inclusive. It’s not racist. It doesn’t care about your religious or political beliefs. It is a chemical imbalance. It is a lot of things and it doesn’t require your judgment.

And please don’t say something like “it is all in your head” cause it really is and you sound like an idiot saying it. It’s all in my little head, alright.

My husband and I have discussed moving from the mountains many times. We come up with several places and as soon as I remember that winter is severe there I take the fantasy out of my mind. I need sun. I need warm weather. I never imagined people suffered from weather changes. There is such a thing as the winter blues.

Darlings, being vulnerable is courageous. So many of you feel alone. You feel depleted and worthless. You are NOT. You are here for a deeper purpose than you can see at this moment. Get help. Talk with someone. Recognize that your mental health doesn’t determine failure. It doesn’t decide anything but that your mind and body need help. If you had a heart condition you wouldn’t hesitate getting help. If you had kidney issues you would run to the doctor. So why is your mental health ever in question?

I’ve lost several folks to suicide. I won’t tip-toe around that subject ever again.

I know myself well enough not to ignore the signs. Today, hiking through those mountains with my kid brought joy. As I stared out to the furthest peak I was reminded to be gentle with myself. The next season will be here soon. I am grateful for a husband who never judges and holds me when I breakdown in tears…when I can’t verbalize the sadness. And he also lets me know I am not alone.

You deserve the assistance needed to move through this. It’s okay. I got you. You got this. I love you.

Pictures are from a gorgeous day on the Blue Ridge Parkway hiking with my little girl.

Secrets Kept

secrets

“I thought about how there are two types of secrets: the kind you want to keep in, and the kind you don’t dare to let out.” – Ally Carter

Secrets have a cost. We all have them because of taboo, shame, guilt, intimacy, embarrassment, and self-worth issues. Meantime, while they sit inside gaining energy, they eat away at our psyche. Ego feeds them with remorse and negativity. Secrets often times have a huge price to them. And even though we are entitled to keep things to ourselves, there are those little secrets that still nag for release. There are those small disclosures that eat at us in disgrace. Unfortunately, the longer they are kept in the closet the larger they become.

Sometimes, in the middle of nothing in particular, I return to a specific memory. In that memory I can conjure up the emotions of that time, with the person, and the things exchanged. I realize I have never been one to dig for secrets, including my very own. The reason my exes could cheat so easily was due to the fact that I never checked them. I never went through their things. I never followed them, until I was ready to face the moment of truth. Then there was no going back. I am completely oblivious to my surroundings, and when in my own bubble, I try to stay there out of fear.

What I’ve learned, through journaling and past therapy, is that avoidance is a form of keeping secrets. If you can’t be willing to dive into the heartache and discomfort then the secret continues to lie inside. Sometimes the best way to keep a secret is to pretend there isn’t anything to keep. Is it a form of delusion? Is it clinical and psychological avoidance of sorts? Is it survivor instincts repressing the deep and emotional pain? I don’t really know why we keep certain things inside.

I don’t have many secrets. I can’t really say there is anything badly enough to keep eating at me. The few things gathered in a basket of shhh, are more personal things about love and relationships. Some sweet intimate memories must remain inside forever. They are mine to hold and cherish alone.

The shame from my rape at 18 took eighteen years to be released. It had become an inconceivable shameful event that created many self-esteem issues. Once that was purged, I was able to allow for restoration and restitution. I was able to free myself from the monsters. Now there isn’t much inside that can control my psyche with oppression, only secrets of the loving kind. The secrets that are filled with shame birth a new identity in us. Those things that are due to infidelities, stealing, lying, sexual indiscretions, rape, abuse and much more, are the ones we need to allow release. The letting go of such “monsters” allows for divinity to step inside. Forgiveness is easier when it is for someone else. Real forgiveness, however, starts inside. The past has allowed each one of us to get here. We learn from our mistakes. We are better because of the lessons gathered along the path of life.

Skeletons in the closet serve no purpose unless you are decorating for Halloween. We are created in the light of Spirit. In that light all secrets are diminished. Let go and realize that you are not your secrets. You are evolution of such experiences. Good or bad, they have brought you to the awareness of today.

“And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter— they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long.” – Sylvia Plath

Ocean of One

Last night

I found you in a dream

sitting,

waiting,

melancholy and hopeless

by the rocky shoreline.

I asked what was happening.

You answered,

“I’m waiting for the waves

to come get me.”

I stood staring at the wave-less

vastness

knowing that the ocean

doesn’t grab.

You have to be one with it.

“Darling, life doesn’t work that way.

You have to become

the water, waves, sand,

the sun, the moon, and the breath

that holds it together.”

I reached my hand down to you.

You grabbed it. You held me.

Together we melted

into the water….

and we

became

one

with

All.

The Need to Find Home

growth

“Wisdom tells me I am nothing.  Love tells me I am everything.  And between the two my life flows.” – Nisargadatta Maharaj

I have been self-absorbed lately, so much to the point of trying to find purpose on a life I’ve created from love, faith and the awareness of lessons. Ever since I was a child I have always known what I wanted from life. I’ve never been without goals. Except now I am looking for “home” through the internal maze of consciousness. I am not depressed.  I have bouts of sadness at times because of loss, changes, and those who have come and gone, leaving me to question my humanity. I am left to question my character and how I have been part of others and their drama. But, I am aware that we all live through this because it sums the total of our lives. Without reflection and deep introspect we are nothing.

I was driving back from town early this morning and out of the blue, tears began to flow. I was overcome with joy, giddiness and something else. I know there is no such thing as “out of the blue” because inside of each one of us we know the answer to every moment, feeling, and choice. Our psyche will form false illusions through ego, but we all have the answers. I pulled to the side of the road shaking off “the whatever issue” that was strangulating me. Even though it felt good it also felt sad. It is that “whatever” attitude that brought me into releasing the tears. I was admiring the scenery coming up the mountain as the sun was casting minimal light through the fog making the bright colored leaves even more magnificent. I began to say the word, “home,” out loud.

I am home. At this moment I look back at a some very difficult years. I’ve had to re-establish my sense of identity and my purpose as things have evolved. Every change and challenge has pushed me to question my sanity, beliefs, and connections. I’ve made plans and now have had to deviate from many of them. However, the new journey has been delicious because it has shown me other parts of myself. But, at times thoughts transpire and I recognize them as small hiccups that push the internal needs to frustration.

The Divine has reshaped the map to the future with some humorous points. At times I see the irony and humor in the childish idea that I have control of my life. The joke is on me! I realize what home is now. I see it through the faces of loved ones, the places I’ve lived and the memories collected throughout my days. Home is deeper than a place of residence. It is something in me that remembers and settles with ease. This could be through anything. Home is the essence of who I am.

Something happened when I had the near-death experience almost three years ago. Something significant came back with me deleting all sense of fear. Normal problems now seem ridiculously dramatic circumstances trying to push my higher evolution to learn quicker. In this state of awkwardness I let things fall too easily at times, while at other times they grab a hold of me and suck the air out leaving a vast emptiness with answers to no questions. I don’t understand the struggle here on earth. I don’t comprehend the suffering. Where I went in those moments of leaving my physical body I was at peace.  I was engulfed by a light of love. Nothing compares to that. And this morning as I witnessing the reds, oranges and yellows on the mountains, I recognized that sense of awesomeness that must be experienced as I let go. I keep surrendering with constant clarity that whatever is ahead is rigged in my favor.

I want to live fully. I want to live to the highest desire of my authentic soul. I want to live with passion even when I have no clue to what is ahead. I want to watch sunrises and sunsets as often as I can. I want to see my children grow old, experiencing the magnificence of life. I want my friends around me through the tough and easy times. I want to drink wine, slack off, chase fairies at night, have fun, and still be responsible to know better. I want to keep waking up every morning to the smell of this body aging, growing, and expanding. I want my mate to hold me, touch me gently, wipe my cares and tell me that we will be together until we are not. I want to be guided my synchronicity and serendipity. I want to live a life that is meaningful to that light I witnessed as snow was falling outside of the hospital. I want to continue to hear autumn leaves wrestling while mimicking the sound of rain. I want to experience the changing of four seasons for sixty-something more years. I want to look in the mirror and see the best of me that no other person will ever see. I want to meet strangers and give them a smile to take with them. I want to continue to want things that money can’t buy. I want to stop the urgency of hurt in others and let them know that they are not alone.

Life is truly a bitch at times, but we get this incredible opportunity to make it whatever we want. This is our home. This is my home. Mass consciousness carries energy and it’s time to alter the negative vibes and make them positive ones.

I have become little in my “knowing” while constantly being bombarded by my guides and the remnants of passing souls on a day-to-day basis. It’s not easy to live among the living and still have a foot firmly planted through the veils of reality. I returned from that other dimension with a keen awareness of the miracle of consciousness. There is no description that can do justice to the world outside of this physical one.

Even all these years later I try to make sense of my need to go home when I see beauty unfolding as I did this morning. I continue to struggle with fitting in my body while feeling comfortable in my skin and those around me. I have this achy feeling of not belonging in this reality where the complaints outweigh the contentment in humanity. I haven’t a clue of what I want, as I used to, for so long in my life. There is no grounding until we wake up as spiritual beings. I feel that clearly nudging at me through meditation. There are people truly battling the claws of death through illnesses and they are holding on to life with passion (sometimes through fear). I am blessed to have a chance to stay here and breathe one more day.

We, in this human form, waste so much precious time expecting others to make us happy, tell us what we need and should do, and give us a reason to wake every morning. We live with constant stress of perfection that doesn’t exist. We want to know without having to walk the path. There’s no way! It’s better to live with the wisdom of experience, the open heart of love and the in-between world of accepting that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. It’s okay. It is in that world that, I guess, I find home time and time again. The sadness comes and goes. Joy and grace visit just as often. I will continue to move through this world holding tightly to what I do know is true for me.

As I type this I am witnessing the essence of earth dancing outside. This is the quietude of presence that assures me that what’s to come is beyond anything I could imagine. It’s in that anticipation that the willingness to continue spoils me and brings me joy. Won’t you meet me there? Grab a hold of your truth and let it evolve into the best you there will ever be. Your thoughts are ripples in the waves of mass consciousness. Together we will make this place home!