Stories that Connect Us

Today I heard a story that cracked me wide open. It was one of those stories of loss, grief, and survival that lingered all day. I sat with the soul who shared and wept as she shared memories of her deceased son. I held her hand and, together in the silence, we held space for each other.

I had nothing of words to share. All I could do was give my love through the energy of touch. I loved her deeply. I felt her pain. I felt her emptiness. I felt her soul. I also felt her love.

I heard her forgiveness as she processed the loss, while questioning God for taking him. She went through the layers of grief and I could feel her release. Her body began to surrender.

It was powerful. It was truly an honor to witness her bloom. She was coming out of muck into something that she didn’t recognize.

I am forever moved by the human spirit and the millions of stories that connect us. There are stories within stories that teach us to dig in the depth of our own humanity. We either learn while evolving spiritually or stay stagnant and live in a hell of emotional imprisonment. There is no in between when it comes to these empathetic connections.

I find myself holding space for myself during these times. I step back and count the blessings with the Divine. All that is loss moves through pain while holding on to the past. All that is gained moves through love and forgiveness in acceptance of what is now. The awareness is always there but our perception isn’t always so clear. We are thrown into the flux of human emotion as we forget our spiritual journey. Once we set humanness aside and return to spirit we are aligning again with truth. We become aware of who we are. The grief doesn’t disappear. We are able to accept, visit with it, and move through it…until next time. We no longer wear it as a shield as not to get hurt ever again.

And this is why we must share with others. This is why the stories must be told. What you experience may just be someone’s life jacket to keep going.

We expand. We aren’t merely surviving. We are living. We are here to truly evolve through love and letting go. We are here to walk the sacred journey until we are not. What we do with our time is truly mystical. We are asked to just show up and allow for the mysterious to unfold.

I love you.

Be Gentle

Remember not everyday is filled with rainbows and butterflies. Some days are full of aches and scars. 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. Be gentle. You are meant to always show up and rise to the occasions of your life. But…please take care of yourself.

Today I heard of a distant friend who took her life this week. She was always there for everyone. She never ever shun away from listening or taking time to help another. From the outside you would’ve thought she never ever worried.

And that’s the thing about depression. That’s the thing about empaths and how we take on the woes of the entire world. If we aren’t careful we lose ourselves in the process.

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.

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. Go be with you in the same loving manner you provide for those you love.

Just be. Life is preparing you for such an incredible strong journey. Reach out to others in your circle. Be authentic and don’t let shame and guilt dictate your decisions.

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 giving 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. It may require some time alone to figure it out. Your higher self always asks of you to show up and be gentle with you. And in that process you will see things in a different light.

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.

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!