Some years are pretty uneventful with life changes. You go through the daily routines, family issues, keeping the same jobs, everyone is healthy, same friends, and life is pleasantly stable. But, there are some years that come in like a massive tornado storming through everything and twisting your life around. This week has been the anniversary of such a year.
In a year’s time I’ve lost loved ones to misunderstandings and family gossip/issues. I’ve cleared up my friends’ list and stuck with deleting those who didn’t really show me the utmost love and respect. I got engaged, had a granddaughter come live with us, died in the hospital for a snippet of a moment, fell deeper in love with my fiancé, acquired him as a house mate with a bunch of animals, had to sell my car, awakened to many different possibilities, and had my last child graduate from high school. I have seen my dearest of friends endure difficult life transformations; my children make painful choices; dealt with stressors of mental illness and destruction; and even made friends with a neurotic cat I thought hated me. A year has brought me closer to many who I wouldn’t have been closed to before. I have met amazing souls. Most importantly I have made peace with me. I’ve forgiven myself for a lifetime of self-deceit.
I have had several other things happen this year: personal ones that have deepened my faith, spirituality and belief system. I have entered into the wise years of midlife with some acceptance that I know nothing of what I was able to articulate for most of my life. I know zero…zip…nada. I’m okay with that. I am learning to keep my mouth close to those around me of things I feel, but my ears opened to the things I can share. My heart has been broken, healed and enlarged because of such acceptance, conviction and awareness.
I am empowered by a few things: the surrendering of pain, the consenting of change, and the reward of letting go. It isn’t easy! I am still very human and learning is a constant complex forte. I am selfish with my time, even now that it seems to move quicker with a little one in tow, and the solitary moments of having Divinity visit every morning. I am trying to find balance where there seems to be a disproportion. But, it is all a matter of perception. I have always wanted this moment and this life. I feel gratitude embracing me when I step back to realize I have received everything I’ve manifested in my dreams.
A year in a life can make a huge impact. Anniversaries of hurt and betrayal stay for a while. The year is over. The mourning has subsided. I have so much more to enjoy ahead of this journey. All hours work with the days whether we accept them or not. Each day works beautifully within the weeks. Each week flatters the consecutive junction of months. And, each month gathers in triumph as the sum of a year. It is nothing in the scope of reality. Everything is an illusion of how we choose to live our lives. Every lesson this year has been inspired with surrendering, love, compassion and most of all connection of self and spirit. The greatest exercise has been in loving the tenderness of time. Holding my granddaughter and feeling her joy, sadness, love, and spirit has been the icing of the cake this year. What better way to begin a new chapter? May your painful endings connect to wonderful new beginnings…always!
Yesterday I was finally able to visit with a guest/friend who had been staying here for a week. Our busy schedules didn’t allow for us to sit and catch up. She asked how I was holding up with this “new addition.” I answered her, “People normally get 9 months to prepare for a baby. Even through adoption I had at least a year. I had 2 hours from the time DSS (Dept. of Social Services) called me to ask for us to pick my granddaughter. In those two hours I had to get bottles, diapers and formula. And, then we had to get a playpen. It was like running around without a head attached. But, we did it.”
She listened attentively, going through some of her own emotional turmoil from the week, “I guess you go on crisis mode and just do it.”
I turned to look into her eyes and said, “Exactly, you go on crisis mode! And, that’s what you are going through right now. That’s how YOU are going to get through this issue yourself.” It’s beautiful when you come up with the words on your own. We visited for a small amount of time moving from the week, back to a few months and then retelling a year. I love the way that happens. Her words echoed in my heart. Her story opened me in places I can’t even begin to explain. She’s a remarkable woman. I was blessed to have her as my teacher for a little while.
As I was trying to fall asleep I thought about her comment. Many times we give birth to new situations (often times not pleasant) and we go into crisis mode. Our survival instinct kicks in and we take care of the matter at hand without second guessing. I believe, unfortunately, that I work best when I am on crisis mode. I have no time to think. My spirit does the guiding. If I have time to analyze I don’t always accomplish what I am suppose to achieve properly. Perhaps 22 years in the corporate world taught me to think on my feet. I don’t know. I find that successful people tend to go into crisis with a subconscious awareness. They then step back and fix whatever didn’t go right with analytical compartmentalizing. These folks don’t go around sticking their heads in the sand every time a situation arises.
We are constantly being pulled by the Divine while shuffling our feet to Ego’s criticism. When the crisis mode occurs we have little choice on the matter. Four years ago when my best friend lost her husband at the age of 38 she proceeded on crisis mode like a tornado. She took care of things rather quickly. There’s a saying that you shouldn’t make any drastic changes within a year of a huge life event. But in a matter of four months we packed everything and moved to another state, bought a business, and the crisis mode became a way of life for a long time. It wasn’t until a few years later that I think she began to see the influence of those quick changes without taking time to examine them beforehand. We all need time to heal, sit, process, and learn. It is then that we realize the strength of spirit. I am always surprised at the resilience of this woman!
After 3-1/2 weeks my crisis mode is finally entering the next stage of acceptance and stability. I am making no rash decisions, or trying to guess the future outcomes. That would drive me insane at this point. Every so often Ego visits and I have to shut down completely. I am having to re-do and modify my personality. What I see now is that in the process of moving forward without thinking with my head, but with my heart, I have gained invaluable lessons. Every new adjustment, modification and change in life is a crisis of self. There’s no difference between a birth of a baby (with 9 months to prepare), or the death of a loved one (with no time to say goodbye), or even a natural disaster destroying your home with all your possessions (without warning). We are made to withstand dilemmas, catastrophes, and trauma. It’s within the grace, faith and compassion that we choose to overcome these obstacles that determines our placement in the world. And, those are beautiful opportunities every day from God.
“When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.” ~ John F. Kennedy
Every few months I have a night full of nightmares. As rational as I am, I wake up several times during the night sweating, in destitution, heart racing and with uncontrollable shakes. I get lost in past violence where my body is taken from me and discarded as a rag doll. Once I am awake I can gather my thoughts and try to go back to sleep to then (what seems ridiculously impossible) continue with the same dreams. Last night was such a night.
My ex of 18 years used to wake up, a few times a year, in a panic thinking he was still in a Cuban prison from when he was in his early twenties. The dreams would replay as if he was at the present time stuck in Cuba and couldn’t leave. In complete disorientation he would wake up with severe muffles of terror. He spent three years in a third-world-country prison for trying to flee the island on a tire tube. He was found ten miles of shore. This event would forever change him and detach his personality from truly allowing love, especially to himself. Each time he had these horrific violent dreams I would try and soothe him. Unfortunately when it was my turn to have my nightmares he would chuckle them up to, “Ay, mija (Spanish slang for dudette or along those lines) don’t worry! It was only a dream. It’s not real.” I never once shared with him what the dreams were about but he never really asked. He was too self-absorbed with his own head and his double life.
But, nightmares are not okay. They aren’t supposed to be casted to the side immediately when we wake to terror. I don’t mean relive them, but don’t discard them. They serve their purpose. Sometimes the subconscious is desperately trying to reach a place of rewiring. Your spirit is working the kinks out so the fears of waking moments can find a place in peace. We fear those things that terrorize us with reasons. They become scars for life. They permeate into the voice of paralysis in moments of letting go…such as in dreamland.
It takes me some time during the morning to ground myself from such violence and turmoil. I breathe in. I say prayers. I ask God to protect me, and then immediately ask protection for my children. There are monsters in this world. There are horrendous events that can either turn us into victims or create us as survivors. I am a survivor. I tell myself this when the terror comes to morning light. I am a better person for having gone through such events. I am not going to chuckle them to, “It was only a dream.” I have chosen to better myself because of that past. We all have choices. We survive via coping, allowing and faith.
We all carry some form of mind trip piggy-backing from the past. Those are the events that show you how powerfully strong you are. Surviving anything that forces you to touch the gateways of death pushes you to embrace life…to never take breathing for granted. Those nightmares serve as a reminder that you are here. You weathered the storms. You overcame the inconceivable monstrous and dreadful events. Your spirit soars higher because of your perseverance. Here you are! Bravo to you, my friend, bravo!!!