You Are Fire

I admit yesterday was a challenging day: emotionally and spiritually. Some personal matters got to me in a way that surprised me. Later, before coming home from work, I visited a sweet elderly client who will be 85 next week.

He is in the middle stages of dementia, in between recognizing that he’s slipping and shifting, and accepting that his mind will be completely gone in no time. Watching him struggle is not an easy feast.

He sat trying to tell me about his deceased wife. He got frustrated and in that moment his tears swelled. Mine began to let go. All I could do was sit holding his hands in mine. I told him it was alright. But the truth is that it’s not alright. And he knew it. It sucks. It’s pure yuckiness.

So we sat there. In silence. Crying. Wiping each other’s tears. Then eventually voices returned to the room. I broke the silence with sarcastic humor and he laughed.

We cannot deny our truths. I remembered at that moment how I felt when I lost my memories and I had to go home with a man I didn’t know after my accident. My brain injury was literally a wake up call. I remember staring at pictures of us and the anger and frustration of not recognizing the moments, or the person. It was excruciating and debilitating.

My client held the picture of his wedding day. He couldn’t understand the white dress or where it was. He recognized his gorgeous wife but he didn’t know what was happening. I took the photograph and traced her dress and told him they were the loveliest couple ever. He smiled. He agreed. He doesn’t remember her name anymore. This is the part that hits him hard.

This was the end of an emotional day. I got him up from his recliner and hugged him tightly. By the time I was leaving he was on to something else. The moments came and went. I believe the visit was truly cathartic for me. I needed the release…and so did he.

This morning I woke clear and free of the inner critic scolding me. The chaos was gone. A gust of wind pushed outside and woke all of us up. Our daughter slept over 12 hours. We all slept great.

Each day I am thankful for long nights that turn into mornings, friends that turn into amazing family members, dreams that turn into reality, challenges that turn into blessings, and likes that surprisingly turn into love in the most unexpected manner.

It’s a great day to have a magical one. Embrace all the emotions and allow for the visitations to come and go. You are a freaking fire. I love you.

Forgetting Foolishness

My neighbors returned from Savannah where they went to spend their spring break vacation.  Sophia came to see me to tell me all about her trip.  She was able to visit many of her friends and classmates from last year when they lived there.  She saw a girl from her classroom who was “really mean” to her throughout her first grade.  The little girl asked Sophia if she remembered her.  Sophia said she did.  The little girl apologized in the most grown-up way for all the things she did to her and said, “We were foolish back then when we were little!”

If a six year old can realize the foolishness and ask for forgiveness then I sure can as well.   I have committed my share of utter foolishness not just when I was little or younger.  I have been part of nonsense many a times in my adult life.  I’ve written letters to those I’ve carelessly hurt and asked for forgiveness.  Most of them have returned with love.  Others, the silence has cut deeply.  Sometimes my foolishness has been caused by hurt or a reciprocating of ego-bruising madness.   Regardless of who or what initiated it I have learned to take responsibility for my story and actions.

Ahhhh!  To hear a little girl’s story while she’s playing with balloons in the kitchen, moving erratically all over the place and her eyes fixed to mine as she retells this story made me want to weep for all my senselessness and rubbish events.  But here’s the thing, without those crazy and irrational moments I don’t think I would have learned a thing.  I learn mostly by the passionate inability of filtering.  My small brain moves like Sophia playing with her balloon. It’s here, there, up, down, sideways, and then…it stops to analyze what just happened.  Sometimes the balloon just pops and I am standing still holding no thought at all.

I went to bed recalling my past foolishness.  As I was falling into slumber I really couldn’t think of much.  I have been trying to desperately forget the hurt from past events.  I must be doing a hell of a job.  In my healing I’ve forgotten the foolishness: from myself and others.  That’s the beauty of finding that the scars are being covered and healed.  It does not mean that the injuries, damages, and suffering did not happen.  It just means that they no longer control my life.  The foolishness, aloofness, carelessness, and lack of knowledge have been forgotten.  Each act of stupidity has allowed me to learn and return to love.  In my own development I have been able to step away from ego and forgiven myself and others.  And, that’s all I need at this moment.  We are all so foolish back then when we were…!

The Past is a Wilderness Forest

There were times after I left my ex that I was lost. I was completely and indescribably rattled by the unknown future. I had a bleeding ulcer, and other serious health issues. My doctor told me that if I didn’t change the problems that were causing the stress that I would end up in a hospital. I was emotionally, physically, psychologically and spiritually ill. I chose to leave everything behind. I walked away from all that caused me damage. If it wasn’t for my friends and family I don’t know how I would have survived. Those days now seem like another lifetime trapped inside of a fog. God has a way of guiding us through everything once we relinquish and surrender to Him.

I know what it is to fall into the deep hole of desperation and depression. I read a lot of books, blogs, hear stories from so many, and I see how hopelessness pays us a visit every so often. It’s part of our human nature. It’s the process of our evolution and life experiences. Even after three years I still have days when I feel like my life is slipping away from me. Last week there was such a day when the life force outside of me seemed to suck the inside force. I felt the grip of desperation trying to claw at me. Each time I return to my hometown I go through these emotions. On these days I question myself: What am I doing in this life? What’s my purpose? Am I really living authentically or pretending?

Then I sit quietly for a moment, grab my thoughts, tighten my faith, and visualize exactly how much I’m loving my new life (absolutely authentically!). At times guilt comes in and tries to take over. Yes, guilt…that inexpressible emotion that cuts slowly but deeply like a paper cut from a manila envelope. You know that cut that bleeds just for a second but stings for days when you go near something hot or with alcohol. It lingers to remind you of pain. That’s how guilt is. It lingers even when you try to put on a happy face. This guilt only arrives through ego when all is perfectly aligned in harmony. It basically says, “You don’t deserve this. You need to go find a job and make more money. You are a ridiculous dreamer. How long do you think you can run a place in the mountains? Who’s going to come? And, why?…” Ego has these fantastic conversations with me. I have to hike, meditate, and remind myself that Ego is not in charged. It is in those moments that I step outside of me and be as gentle as I can with my spirit.

I return to the present. I focus on this moment. Last night I watched the movie The Wolfman again. I heard a quote that stuck with me (again), “Don’t bother looking back. The past is a wilderness forest.” And it is. It is a wilderness forest that one cannot see once it’s past a certain point. What’s the point? When do we pass that point? I like to believe we can all live by taking giant leaps of faith; by surrendering to the impossible and then being surprised for every miracle that appears in our way. It is then that we can lessen the days of guilt, desperation, depression, anxiety and fear. There are choices in how we live our lives. Don’t let Ego decide for you!