Healing through Surrender

Several months ago while traveling through Peru, my husband and I had some intense conversations. In all the years we’ve known each other the trip allowed us to open up and tell the stories within the stories.

We were walking a plaza in downtown Cuzco when I shared that I had left everything with my first husband. He listened. I didn’t realize I hadn’t shared the details of my break-up when I was 22 years old with two babies. He knew the bullet points. He knew the Cliff Note version. He had openly shared some personal things about his previous marriage from when he was younger. I shared as a matter of fact without even seeing the reoccurrences of so many other things.

“You realize you have a pattern, right?” He said looking at me across the table in the most quaint cafe of the plaza.

“What do you mean ‘a pattern?’ With what?” I asked.

“You have walked away from three different relationships and have left everything behind. You have lost money and other things….” He shook his head in agitation.

It was an aha moment of sorts. One thing is to know it and another is to see it as he pointed it out. I stared outside the window watching an indigenous woman walking her two alpacas. He went on to take a tally of the things I left behind: money, houses, cars, businesses, and the last one was a huge dream which I had for decades. We discussed “my pattern” to extent. But, I let him know that sometimes when the issue is so large, that it starts to destroy the purpose of your soul navigating through this life, the only thing to do is let go. Completely! Even if it includes leaving everything behind. Especially if includes breaking away from toxic energy.

I rarely look back. It’s a waste of energy and time. It truly serves nothing for my creating of the future. Until…until I am hit with a blockage of trying to buy a house or pay for something to help others. Then a bit of anger arises for allowing those folks to bulldoze their way into my naive inability to fight for what was righteously mine. I’ve lost a lot of money. And things. But, I believe peace is priceless.

But when I experience that anger, coming from Ego, I step back, quiet the mind, and allow myself to return to divine surrender.

I cannot change the past or any choices I made then. Leaving toxic relationships was survival. Money is energy and it returns. Always returns. Things can always be replaced.

You can look back at patterns in your life. I will not be leaving what’s mine anymore because I am very conscious of the types of people I now attract into my life. I will not be placed in that type of situations.

There are casualties in every war. Sometimes it’s people. Other times it’s places and things. What I have learned is that by walking away I made a clear path to any karmic debt. Some would say, including my husband, that I am too nice and that I deserved to take legal actions in everyone of those past relationships. I, however, feel that my life has been enriched by all the lessons those three experiences taught me. I have grown and evolved spiritually because of them. They will always be considered blessings in my life.

It’s important to let go. And when you do be mindful to truly allow the universe to align with your dreams and desires.

Always return to love. The love and respect you deserve for yourself.

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Struggles…

Many years ago…12 to be exact…I was experiencing a struggle with my eldest daughter. She arrived into my life at the age of 11-1/2 from Romania. And with her came a lot of secrets and demons. She suffered from multiple personalities and deep wounds. There was no way to reach her regardless of all the love and security I provided. At the age of 18, finishing high school, she plotted to hurt me and some other family members. The heartache those days was immense. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced up to that moment in my life.

My son’s friend’s mother came over to get him one day. I shared my struggle through tears and heartbreak. She took me aside (a woman who truly didn’t know me that well even though our boys were super close) and she shared a personal story about her eldest son. She told me, while holding me, that sometimes we had to let go in order to continue helping our other children. Up to that moment I didn’t know anyone who had undergone things that broke the mama heart that profoundly. Whether it was addiction, mental illness, or whatever…I had not known someone personally who was navigating through similar experiences.

I listened to her. She had been at this for years. I felt her own release in that conversation. I listened so much that, now 12 years later, I can still remember her words of wisdom. This woman just lost her son a few days ago. That said son who was struggling with his own demons. And as I write this I swear my heart breaks even deeper. A parent should never, ever, have to do what she’s had to do this week. I know he’s finally at peace. She does too but there is always the uncertainty of how much we did or didn’t do to fix and save our loved ones. The doubts creep up and we are consumed by the unknown of it all. It’s hard to decipher what is real and what is not. Guilt and shame are familiar emotions that push the grief up. It’s all part of healing and letting go.

I know without a shadow of a doubt, that when someone has these struggles the only thing you can do for them is hold space. The loss is inexplicable. It’s unreal and I cannot imagine how my friend is holding herself up this week. So I pray and send loving light to her and her family since she’s not near me (although I wish I was with her at the moment). I keep meditating and hold her heart in mine. No one knows what another endures…not what she had to do for her son, not what I’ve had to for my own children. We have little windows we show to the world, but behind closed doors and blinds the truth of it is quite different. I am blessed to have had her 12 years ago to help me navigate my own grief, shame and guilt because I was completely lost. I had to let my daughter go. I had to love her from afar and continue to do so daily because she refuses the love. In the end I had to put my energy into those in my house who were willing to receive the love and security. And it continues…

That’s all we are asked to do: love and serve those who receive it (who are willing to accept it). We can’t fix or help those who don’t want it. It’s like hitting yourself against a giant boulder while the ocean smashes against you over and over. It’s pure insanity.

I love you, my dear friend. You know who you are…you will always be the words of wisdom when I struggle through my own little demons of guilt for not doing more…. I am here!!!!!

Your Loss is Felt

We went to Yorktown in Charleston, South Carolina. My husband loves the Navy, having been a corpsman in his youth. He wanted us to see the ships there. I have a hard time entering places with stagnant energy. It was hard to be in the ships. Lots of memories stored in the small spaces. A lot of times I just went outside.

We were up on top. My husband went to see the planes. I sat on a bench. The heat was horrible this past weekend. A woman asked if she could share the bench with me. I scooted over and we sat there in silence.

“It’s so hot here!” She said. “I’m melting away.”

“Here it’s okay. It’s an oven in there. I don’t know how these souls do it while out at sea. I admire their dedication. After seeing this I have a whole new respect for them.” I shared this as she began to fan herself with her hand.

“My son was in the Military.”

Her head lowered and I felt the grief. I felt her loss immediately in between the gaps of breath. I felt that inexplicable break that arrives when your heart has been ripped apart. Nothing else was said.

I went closer to her. Held her hand and said I was sorry. I looked into her.

There on a deck we sat in quietude. It was short lived when out little girl ran over to me. I let go of her and she thanked me. She got up and met her husband to leave. But I didn’t let go of her heart until that evening when we finally arrived home.

We have stories within stories. Some we share. Others we vault up in compartments that allow us to survive. The scars are deep and sacred. They connect us through humility and other levels of faith.

My heart goes out to all you folks who have lost someone. I can promise you that they are always with you. A part of them is left inside the cellular walls of your heart. You are never alone in your struggle. There are threads of love stitching us all together.

I’m here. I see you. I feel you. Others do as well. I love you. ~m.a.p.

It Only Takes One

Many years ago I attended a Tony Robbins seminar. It was gifted to me from a dear friend. I was in the worst financial crisis of my life, at the time. Our business had gone under. My ex and I had built a home and we were depleted. Creditors demanded their money. I was under the illusion that it was the end of everything. My fear of being homeless with six children was paralyzing me. It was absolutely one of the worst periods of my life. I was in a dark hole. To make matters even more interesting I had an accident months prior that erased my memories of many events from the past. I was struggling to make sense of every decision and every choice.

I attended the weekend seminar (hesitantly). Tony has an ability to pump you up. He is all energy and I sure needed that. In the midst of all the exercises he mentioned that when he started his teachings and lectures he had decided that quantity didn’t matter. If one person showed up to his lectures then that was the one soul who needed it. I don’t remember much else except the feeling that I could do anything. That weekend catapult me into other amazing beliefs about myself.

That seminar was back in 2002. To this day I have kept that lesson close to my heart. If one person reads one of my posts or blogs then that’s the one who needs it. If one person is touched by my words then I have done my duty as a human to help another.

We are in a society that believes that our worth is determined by how many “likes” we receive. We are obsessed with numbers and the need to be accepted. And this is not who we are. I grew up in a generation that didn’t have symbols on a screen to determine our worth.

When you compliment a person on the street, or at a store, or on the phone you might just be that one soul who has really seen him/her. You might just be the lifeline that allows them not to feel invisible. You might change their world with your acknowledgement. It’s that simple.

So…keep doing what you do. Keep showing up. Keep sharing with the world. Keep striving to be light for others. Even if it’s just one person that shines a little brighter because of you…you’ve done your job in human form. It only takes one person, darling!

I love you. I see you. I feel you. I understand. You are not alone.

~m.a.p.

A Privilege to Tend Legacies

Over two years ago I was assigned to a sweet man who didn’t speak, was mentally disabled and was dependent on others for care. I was given his case and a day later he was in ICU fighting for his life. I never got to see his eyes open. That last week of his life I would go see him every day. I would read to him as he was in a comatose state. I would touch his hands and his blood pressure would go up slightly letting me know he was aware of my presence. He was the first client I was assigned to in this new job. I will never forget the touch of his thinning skin underneath my hands, or the rapid eye movement under his lids, or the way his salt and pepper hair sat across his forehead. I will forever remember the way his soul was barely hanging to the body as it tried to leave. I wasn’t there when he transitioned but I felt him for days even though I never met him awake.

Today I lost my sweet 96 y/o. In a few days she would be 97. I saw her on Saturday and I begged her soul to finally leave. She did this afternoon. I will never ever forget the lessons this spitfire taught me. I will forever hold her up on some pedestal even when she scared my little girl during a Christmas party. (She took a hot sip of coffee and went to blow on it and her dentures went flying across the table. She began gently cursing while trying to feel for them on the table because she was blind). She was a hoot. And the stories she shared were priceless.

Each moment spent with someone is a gift. Whether it is their last or whether it is their entrance into this world, or into our lives. Elderly folks are the forgotten ones. I am always surprised at how few visitors they get in facilities. All they truly want is acknowledgment for their existence. And in return they will forever supply a little bit of love…and a whole lot of stories. Sometimes the stories are silent. Other times they are created by itsy bitsy memories. Either way, it is a privilege to tend to those legacies. And it is an honor to love them for who they are today.

I am so blessed to be able to witness humanity on every level. Thank you for being here!

Going Home

I visited my favorite 96 y/o this afternoon. She’s fragile. I went into her room and sat next to her. She asked to touch my face and immediately said what she always says, “Hello. You are my favorite nurse! What time is it? Are you giving me medicine?”

I kissed her. She held my hands. I told her I just came to visit. I asked her how she was doing.

“I’m going home. I’m ready. That’s how I’m doing?”

“Where are you going, darling?”

She immediately said loudly, “I going to be with the Good Lord. I’m ready! I plan on seeing my husband. I’m gonna dance again. I’m gonna get my vision. I will sing and feel young again.”

She’s ready. I’m not. Not quite yet. Not today. Maybe not tomorrow. So I let the tears fall without her knowing. I will miss her…her spunkiness and smart remarks are precious. I will miss her stories. I will miss her soulfulness and smile.

She shared more about love and life. She was tired. In a loving and gentle manner she let me know after a bit that she wanted to go to sleep.

I kissed her tightly. Her fragile bones wrapped around me. Her lovely fingers traced my face. And I left keeping it together trying to be professional.

Outside were leaves flying all over. The trees showed their beauty as they stand the test of time and weather.

She has lived through some major weather changes: storms, floods, sunrises, and seasons. Her colors are dimming. She’s ready to go home…dancing, whistling, swirling in the wind like the autumn leaves falling right outside her window.

(Photo taken outside of her facility. Reminded me of her love for life. Vibrant).

I Don’t Really Know

Elizabeth Gilbert sometime ago wrote on her blog an article about not knowing: not knowing why bad things happen. I have given that so much thought. I am often in deep connection with divinity and ask the same questions: “Why does this happen to some folks? Why do some people die so young? Why this? Why that?” I am returned with the unknown of echoes from the universe. I don’t have to know. And, when things happen in my own life that rattle and shake and shatter pieces of me I ask in the silence of prayer: Okay, God, what’s the meaning of this lesson? Most of the time I intuitively know the answer to be “just because it’s part of my evolution.” But, this is in my case.

I don’t know why a mother must lose her child so young. I don’t know why some people have to die in massacres that destroy our faith in humanity. I can’t understand what’s happening to our earth. I don’t really know why so many are stricken with grief and fear while others seem to have it easier. It’s not for me to know. I can only focus on what I see and that alone has little control.

Our lives are strings of knowing and not knowing; of accepting and growing; and of letting go to what is our humanness. This life at times is blindsided, full of short vision, and it isn’t until something tragic happens that we gather together in faith. I don’t believe God allows for this. I don’t believe that there is a puppet in the sky (in no religion) that determines who gets what. I don’t believe that what happens in another time is paid here…sometimes I fantasize that this would be an easy answer.

Most of us journey through our days trying to remember things while others are trying to forget horrific events. Some of us spend countless hours running towards a goal to better our lives while others are running away from the past. It’s a matter of picking and choosing what thought you will give energy to at any given time.

My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those lost in this shooting that happened a few days ago. When will it all stop? How do we stop it? What can we do to be open to humanity without putting up walls and living in fear?

My heart is also opened to all those struggling on a daily basis with mental illness, poverty, hunger, injustice, bullying, bigotry, racism, and atrocious violence.

Every single one of us started out as a seed of hope. We were a blank canvas and our parents, teachers, society began to dictate what was on that canvas. Not one particular person to blame.

We can’t be responsible for the past of our childhood. BUT, we are responsible on how we participate in the drama and our lives. We get that choice.

As I have mentioned that I don’t know these answers I do know one: love is the binding force to humanity. Love is the thread that ties every belief and religion. Love is the hand that embraces us through Spirit. Love is God. It’s the universal language. And, this knowing comes from a lifetime of witnessing how love changes one person at a time. Let’s not lose faith in humanity. Let’s not lose hope in our future. Let’s continue to ask the questions of how to help and prevent these tragedies without such hatred. It was hatred that created the tragedy. Let’s not go into that mode. You cannot live in the same space of love and still live with the same intensity of hate.

I love you. Have a blessed day. May you choose the right question and answers that enlighten your path.