Let Go. Be Dragged.

Let Go. Be Dragged.

The sun above us was a blessing and a curse. For me, freckled and pale, the sun had been a foe since childhood. For my children, it was the promise of another long day at the beach. We were here- feet in the wet sand, wind blowing hard as it does on the Bruce Peninsula. My boyfriend flinging my son into the warm water, both laughing hard with mischief. My bikini-clad daughter sat pensively assessing her castles in the sand. She had built an empire only to have it come crashing down beneath the careless paws of a rogue Golden Retriever. She pouted for a moment, shrugged and then ran off to join her brother. I leaned back in my bright green lawn chair and turned to my friend beside me. My hat and sunglasses hid my face, but damn- they were necessary. I was grateful for the private moment with her. There was something I wanted to address and talk out- a chasm I wanted to cross. “We both know I’m sensitive…” I began. My friend nearly spit out her beer. “Yeah, yeah, yeah…” I said. “Seriously, though.” She tucked flailing brown locks behind her ears and smiled wide. “I’m listening,” she urged. “My skin, my stomach, my emotions, but also my empathy- all sensitive. It’s getting harder to navigate these days.” I paused to spy my loved ones diving into the waves. “I take on too much. I immerse myself in their pain.” My friend drew an elastic from her beach bag and tied her hair back. “Tell me more about that,” she said. “I don’t know how it...
A Winter Memory

A Winter Memory

I kicked at the frozen slush behind my front tire with force. It fell and crumbled onto my still snow-covered driveway. I was a lazy shoveler and the only one who suffered for it was me. It was a full-on effort to park my car on the snowy incline every day, but I did…usually. My friend was already in the van. She shook her head to the beat of The Arkells, her dark hair dancing. I smiled. I felt light today, lighter than I had in a while. Lots of acceptance and tears and good music and prayer was happening. Days like this began to build upon one another. Thank God for it. I climbed in and checked my reflection in the rearview mirror. My lipgloss was still intact. Perfect. We could go. “Where are we off to again?” she asked, still grooving. “Mexican,” I answered. “Damn, for a second I thought you were gonna say Mexico….” I laughed. What a thought. Somewhere warm and foreign and bright. If only… My friend turned the radio down and turned to me as I pulled out of the driveway. “So what did you do today?” I shifted in my seat as I recalled, silently, the events of the day…the highlight being a snowball fight with my kids. But then I remembered the man I met. The man at the park whose son played with mine, who came up beside me the way only extroverts can (how do they do it?!) and spoke to me as if I’d know him for years. “I seem to invite disclosure,” I said to my friend....
The Reach Within

The Reach Within

That reach…that ever-present longing for what feels apart from myself… I used to live reaching everyday. I used to pine for approval and safety on a moment-to-moment basis, but no more. Now those feelings are fewer, but they still happen. They rise up quick and sharp and take me over with surprise and because I am still so new to this, I falter. I fall back on what I used to do. I look for love to make me feel safe. I look for it where it will never be found. Every once in a while I am overtaken by insecurity so fiercely, it shakes me. The real me lies back in a shadow while a frantic, needy shell sits up and looks. And all of a sudden I am a little girl afraid that I am not enough. So this is what I do. I go on a search for things that I think will tell me I’m good and worthy. Invariably though, it’s late. My kids and my boyfriend are asleep. My friends are busy. So I go to Facebook, to Twitter, to Pinterest, to Instagram. Nothing. I search my phone for a pretty picture of myself. Ah, I found one. But oh, my arms look big and I’m barely smiling. It won’t do. The discomfort is growing and I cannot seem to find anything to abate it. Food and wine only make it worse. I’m spiraling. I want to write, but what can I say? Words seem vain. Nothing’s working. Until finally I break. Finally, I feel all of the feelings that I have tried so hard...
The Wait

The Wait

“I just feel like a big, fat liar,” I told her. I used silly words on purpose. They disguised the lump in my throat. My friend beheld me lovingly. We sat on the grass with no blanket beneath us. Her high wooden fence provided an imaginary privacy. Our voices carried and so any nosy neighbour could hear us. “What is it you lied about?” she asked. I leaned back and stretched my legs out in front of me, my body turned slightly away from her. I didn’t like feeling like this: guilty. “I told everyone he was my soulmate. I thought that he was. Even after we decided to part ways, I thought that was it for me.” “It’s a seductive term, isn’t it? Soulmate. It sounds so final, so romantic, so special.” My friend picked a blade of grass and took a deep breath. “You will have countless people cross your path in this lifetime. Some your soul will recognize, others will seem completely unknown to you, but really, honey, it’s all an illusion. There is no separation between us at all.” “You mean like some of them I may have met in past lives?” I asked, shielding my eyes from the sunbeams and turning to face her. “Yes, if reincarnation is a helpful concept to you, you can think of it that way. Each person in your life has one shared purpose: to help you remember who you really are. That’s it. It’s not sexy, but it’s true. Your job is simply to release your relationship with them…to be willing to see its higher purpose.” I considered her...
Ending a Marriage, Saving the Love

Ending a Marriage, Saving the Love

So yesterday I did an interview with one of my dearest friends in the world, Macha Einbender for herfuture.com. It’s raw and honest and, hopefully, helpful. The truth of my marriage ending is that my former husband is a gay man. A conclusion we both came to in July of last year after over two years of agonizing, beautiful and committed soul-searching. Chances are you know someone who has gone through, or is going through what myself and my former husband did. And while I don’t dwell on the sexuality (although for 2 years it was hard not to), I do emphasize the intense spiritual work it took to leave that marriage with our love completely intact.  You can listen...
My Detour into Crazy Town

My Detour into Crazy Town

Two nights ago I took a detour into Crazy Town. You know, one of those nights where one fearful thought is allowed to fester and grow until you’re ranting and raving about things and people you cannot control, seeking out reasons to get upset, looking at things on the internet that are anything but helpful etc etc etc I hadn’t done that in a good, long while. Fueled by fear and too much wine, I spun out. I did things I wouldn’t normally do, said things I would not normally say. The triggers, I believe, were two-fold. Firstly, earlier that day I ran into an old neighbour who had no idea that I had separated from my husband. Reliving that is never fun and it affected me more than I thought it would. And secondly, I was by myself. I have had two little human beings literally hanging off of me for eight years. And yes, I did have periods of time where I would be away from them, but since the separation the way I view time away from them is different. When they are with their father, especially overnight, I feel afraid, anxious and guilty. He is more than capable of caring for them. This is all me. And I have to laugh. I have to laugh because if I take this too seriously I’ll get stuck on the things that don’t really matter. I’m transitioning out of one life and into another. It’s scary sometimes, but I’m okay. And I have to remember that when I do get stuck in the fear I may do some...
When I Get Lost

When I Get Lost

For a minute there, I got lost… I trust so easily sometimes. I slip and slide into that which I do not want and it’s days gone by before I realize I am somewhere else, somewhere I never desired to be. I open up without a care. I invite those from hither and yon into my yard before I finally see the crowd has grown too large and I have no more to give. For a minute there, I lost my way… There used to be a gatekeeper between my brow and my crown. Where has she flown off to? I used to keep a compassionate distance between my heart and theirs. It narrowed until it disappeared. And now I’m here in the midst of a life I do not care to live. But I will let it go. Because the distance is imagined just as all boundaries are. And the only thing I require is kindness. Kindness to direct me, connect and protect me. So when I get lost I ask, “What is the kindest thing to do here?” And then I can trust. I can open up. Kindness is my gatekeeper and my reminder that I am enough, exactly as I am. Here and now. Just as I am: The whole, the we, the everafter. No separation, no suffering, no shit. <deep breath>...
Sorry, Christmas, I’m Just Not That Into You

Sorry, Christmas, I’m Just Not That Into You

But usually I am. Usually come December 1st I’m blaring carols, stringing up lights and half-done my shopping. This year is different though. And I’m not trying to be all dramatic and depressed and make a big deal where a big deal need not be made. But this year feels different and I’m not going to pretend that it doesn’t. I have not started shopping, I played carols for the sake of the kids, and I ended up crying while stringing up the lights. I have spent the last seventeen Christmases with Michael as my partner and this year he’s with someone else and so am I. And it’s better this way. We are happier this way, but Christmas brings up all kinds of memories that I’d rather not think about right now and that’s where I am. I will deal with it. I will grieve it and let it go, but I’m taking my time. I’m walking hand in hand with my Higher Power and taking my time. It’s sad and uncomfortable and it’s strange to know that while my life is actually better these days, there is a part of me that yearns for the feelings of holidays past. It’s complicated and reminds me how we’re not easily pleased until we let go of all expectation. So Christmas, I’ll tolerate you. I’ll acknowledge your beauty and your magic and peace. I’ll pray to see this differently. But this year, I’m just not that into you. Hey, there’s always next year. Flickr...
Whispers

Whispers

Whispers in the schoolyard are all in my head. The looks up and down, a mixture of pity and “I’m glad it’s not me”, they’re all in my head. A mother says to another mother under her breath “I don’t know what I’d do”. You can ask me. I’ll tell you. I dispense naked honesty like water from a fountain. What you do is question a lot…like everything. What you do is cry a lot, sometimes right there in the middle of Target. What you do is pray a lot and listen a lot. And what you do is love a lot. Because this life I’ve chosen has no room for victims. And that’s why your voices, your judgments are only in my head. It’s not real…the pain, the fear, the anger. It’s all a dense and muddled smokescreen obscuring the safety of a Love so fierce it knows no opposite. It knows nothing but Itself. I take it with me as I walk through the schoolyard knowing how many people I still have to tell, how many people may have opinions of their own. I take it with me and remember they’re all me. We do this together. We deny until it hurts too bad and then we soothe until we’re ready to heal. And I don’t want to change you. I want to go with you. I’m already walking, but I know you’ll catch up. I feel your breath on my neck and I know we’re almost there. And maybe, my sister, maybe we never left. ♥ Flickr...
Steps

Steps

I still remember how it was. I remember the anxiety and the nervous thoughts constantly passing through my mind. I recall the fear, the nasty comments I reserved only for myself and I can absolutely feel the compulsion again: That need to feel better, to fill up and then to empty. It’s insane. I know it. But I also know that we all have our own ways of pushing away the uncomfortable and this just happened to be mine. Recently I have noticed a bit of this repeating in my life. I have noticed how resistant I am to thoughts that leave me feeling unsafe, unloved and unworthy. All this time I thought I was doing some good. I was forgiving. I was surrendering my grievances to my Higher Power. I was trying my best to let go. But I was missing a step. In order to let go, I had to fully acknowledge what I was releasing. I had to feel the discomfort. I had to meet it, shake its hand, shoot the shit for a bit and then let it go. In short, I had to face my fear. I don’t like doing it. I really don’t. I would much rather pretend it doesn’t exist or plead with Spirit to take it away from me altogether. But I am being guided to give it less power. I’m being shown that it’s not near as bad as I think it is. And so I’m trusting. I’m going on faith. I’m willing to be led into a light that, right now, still blinds me. Teeny, tiny steps. I can...
The Call for Love

The Call for Love

I’ve never been to Boston. I’ve never seen its sights, soaked in the history, walked its streets. I’ve always wanted to, but haven’t yet. And hearing the news yesterday didn’t make me want to stay away, it made me sad, but it didn’t make me afraid. “Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.” Albert Einstein And make no mistake, the events at yesterday’s Boston Marathon started with a thought of fear. A Course in Miracles teaches that everything is either an extension of love or a call for it. Yesterday’s attack was a call for love. It was a chance for me to go back to my Inner Teacher and ask for help. There is so much pain in the world… What can I do to lessen it? What grievances am I holding onto that are contributing to the chaos? I have a role here. I always do. And it is always to choose love over fear…to forgive any thoughts of separation and to allow our Inner Guide to show us how. This is the inner work…the work of prayer, meditation, forgiveness. Of course there is much work to be done on the outside too…justice, treatments, counselling etc. And when that work is anchored with a loving heart, there is an ease to moving forward…an expansive, pervasive kind of healing. We can do this. We can rise to the occasion and not tackle this event at the same level that made it. As it says in the Course: “Where there is love, your brother must give it to you because of what it...
Body Work

Body Work

I’m searching for the middle ground.  For nearly all of my adult life, my body has been the enemy.  I fought it fiercely and resented it endlessly.  Now it is balance and compassion I seek.  I know I am not my body.  I know that Spirit is my reality, and yet this flesh and bone is my carriage.  It sweeps me through life to the truth.  It is the wave I ride to the great beyond.  There’s no sense in fighting anymore. How do I love and deny something at the same time?  How do I pay close attention to something that isn’t even real?  When I look outside of myself I see that I shouldn’t carry this extra weight on my thighs, nor the added flesh on my hips.  I see I should be lean, should not eat bread and should detox regularly.  It seems to me this body is a weapon of mass distraction.  It’s design: to keep me afraid, keep me comparing and blind me from what is real. So what do I do?  How do I find the happy medium of understanding I am sweet Spirit and blessing that which appears to contain it?  I’ve asked.  I’ve prayed.  I’ve meditated.  What I heard is Forgiveness. So I look at myself in the mirror with an awareness that I exist above & beyond what I see before me.  I also recognize that I have choices and every time I choose what I put in my body, I invite the Divine in with me.  I know that I am not guilty.  I can forgive thinking that I...