Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Happiness vs Craziness

Over the last two months I have been joy filled.  Rarely am I sad or upset for longer than an hour, but it is more than that.  I feel like I am a miracle, correction: I know that I am a miracle.  I also know that all of you are too.  When I was a child, I talked to God all of the time.  We had a non stop conversation in my head.  By that, I mean that I spoke to God constantly and I could feel God listening, his (raised Catholic) presence was reassuring and calm.  Once I was having very strange stomache symptoms and they were looking into testing for me.  I was very scared, I prayed for a whole night for God to make it go away, to make everyone forget that I was sick.  "Please make this like it never happened, make it disappear."  It did.  Nothing was ever said or done about it again and the symptoms simply petered off. God and I were tight like that.  But time went on and I began to feel alienated from my creator.  As my sexual appetite increased, my shame of it caused me to end my open door policy with God.  There were thoughts I did not want God to have access to, so the distance grew between us.  I no longer believed that God would listen to my prayers, in fact, I wasn't even sure if God existed anymore.  Those were some very lonely times for me.  As a teenager I learned about mortality.  I began to meditate daily, I decided that I wanted to live a good and meaningful life.  I could feel my compassion growing, my connection to the Earth and my connection to living things. I did not equate this with God though.  To me, God was a person in the sky judging me and though I knew I was a good person, I grew to resent the thought of him.  I continued this belief system.  As my marriage, and later, engagement were crumbling around me, I never asked God for help.  I had myself, I was good enough.  There was however, a deep desire to recieve help.  I think that it was a subconscious call to God.  It was answered.  Everything I wanted or needed to make my transition smoother from my unhealthy relationship to freedom came to me.  I only needed to think, "I could really use a __________." And someone would offer me one within 24 hours. I began to really feel that someone was looking out for me.  I began to practise gratitude for these gifts, but still avoided the term "God" when referring to said force of love and protection.

Time went on, as did my healing.  I journaled, I blogged. As I did so answers came to me.  I was consulting a higher power and accessing it via written word.  I didn't recognize that at first. When I attempted to solve a problem by writing about it, thoughts came out of the blue, thoughts accompanied by a huge sense of relief, sometimes accompanied by a flood of tears.  Like when you're having a rough day/week/year and that one person shows you such kindness with a touch or a few words and suddenly you are a blubbering sobbing mess and you are grateful for the safe space they made for you to be exactly that.  So started my regular conversations with God. Via type. 

Through a series of small miracles and a good friend, who I have come to love dearly, my conversations with God moved beyond print and into thought.  For the first time I heard God's voice not as my own.  I contacted my friend, a little freaked out.  He laughed: "It has begun." He told me. Then he told me he calls it conversing with his higher self.

Since then all the shame that I felt about my thoughts has disappeared.  My open door policy has now become one of no door whatsoever.  Every thought I have now is considered a prayer.  God shares my entire existence with me.  From my silly thoughts and observations to my deepest desire to be free of certain fears, God listens.  Sometimes God even communicates in the form of coincidences, running into that one person who will give me the perspective necessary to heal from a wound that has been on my mind... A little nature made heart shape when I'm feeling unworthy... My prayers are answered on a regular basis.  Every thought is a prayer.  Every physical sensation has become an opportunity to revel in this world that has been created for us and therefore deepen my connection to God.

So society could look at this post and see someone who is manic.  They would see someone choosing to believe  in a fairy tale.  Being a Christian in our society, is more than acceptable, but being someone who openly admits that they talk to God and that God talks back... Well, let's not get carried away now.  That's bordering on a mental health issue.  I think that it's a sign of spiritual illness that our society discourages people from conversing with God.  God is suppose to be separate from man,
 I was taught as a child.  Only priests and prophets could speak to God,  I was merely a peasant and unworthy.  I must turn to the clergy and the Bible only for true spiritual guidance.  Despite my upbringing, I have realized that the church does not hold the patent on Devine communication. There is no monotheistic monopoly on God's guidance.

So here I am, living in the state of constant grace. I am not a mere optimist. I am blessed to be able to recognize this world and all that is in it as the amazing miracle that it is.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Tuck That Shoulder

I have this heart, my rib cage has proven time and time again that it is inadequate at keeping it safe from harm. So I carry it up my sleeve.  Sometimes I write it into a journal; abstract and digital, a false vulnerability.  All may view it, but unless you are amazing at code, you cannot touch it.  I quickly stuff it under my pillow as he walks into my bedroom.
Sometimes his hand will graze it in the early morning hours when he tucks his arm under my head.
I have been known to walk around with my heart in my hands, but do not let that cliche fool you, it merely allows me to stash it away quickly at any sign of danger. It's best to know where your heart is at all times.
"Don't fall." He warns me...
Like anyone wants to fall with their most precious cargo held out in front of them...

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

I am so full of shit

I talk so poetically about no longer feeling fear, then I turn the corner to walk into my favourite coffee shop and he is sitting in there.  I freeze, then I quickly retreat to where he can't see me.  My heart is in my chest, I tell the kids we can't go in there.  They know why. Then I pause, breath, and ask them if they would be comfortable waiting outside while I get my coffee.  This is my opportunity, I tell myself, to prove that I am safe in his presence.  The kids both shake their heads no. They are worried he may come out to talk to them.
"Okay, not today then." I say to them.  Then I take 15 steps and my knees start giving way,  just like last year before I left. I put out my hand and catch the flower bed to slow my fall.  
"This is crazy." I tell myself.  Then I wonder how I'm going to get home if this keeps up.  I consider sending the kids to the house to grab my cane. Then my eyes fill up with tears as I realize that my subconscience doesn't give a fuck if I have forgiven him.  Then my daughter puts her hand on my shoulder and tells me that everything is going to be okay.  I realize that there are bigger issues at hand here.  
"Yes, it is." I tell her.  Then I take 3 deep breaths stand up and walk 5 wobbly steps. The more I walk the more stable my knees become.  Then I list in my head all of the things I am grateful for in that moment.  I also begin to realize that my belief that fear impeeds compassion  has been disproven.  I still felt compassion for him, I was not angry, I did not replay past hurts.  Which is good, however my sure fast way of healing didn't quite go as planned.  Forgiveness is just a part of the healing process, not the whole of it.  On and off I have considered that I may have PTSD, I don't think there is any doubt now, however I noted how quickly I recovered from the shock and reminded myself that this will only get easier over time.  

So we went to the gellataria, Then to the docks.  I stripped down to my bikini walked right into the water, floated on my back and let the cold take me back to the now in a way that only Muskoka River water in May can. 

So, small steps.  I am glad that I saw him before I walked in.  This was a safe and gentle way for me to have him reintroduced into my life.  I can do this.  

Solids and Liquids

When I put something in print, it's like that piece of me is solidified.  A snapshot taken on a particular day.  Interestingly enough, the days I write are the ones in which I am working through emotional transitions.  Like an open shutter photograph with blurred movement.  Ani Difranco put it best when she said she didn't take good pictures because she has the kind of beauty that moves.  So as people peer through my snapshots of the year past, they may see 20 different women in various states of undress.  If they run their eyes over them fast enough they may see her dance to personal victory.

I give you today a snap shot of a woman smiling.  She is cross legged on the wood floor, back straight, her face tilted up to the camera.  Her eyes are dry and her heart clear.  She has taken a moment to pause from her dance and her legs are the good kind of shaky. She is radiating gratitude.  She's grateful for the music that came into her life over the last 6 years, because it has shaped her steps, made her muscles lean and strong.  It has given her something to share and use to connect with the new people in her life.  She has remembered the good stories and no longer fears their effect on her heart.  She knows that her past dancing partner is as ever evolving as she and wishes him nothing but the best as he too moves through his own melody.  Though they will never resonate again, she hopes he has found harmony in life with others.  She has removed the greatest obstacle to compassion; fear.  Though, she happily accepts that dissonance creates character in music as well as life.

Moving forward to the parts that cannot be captured in full as of yet...I am learning to love unconditionally.  I love so many people in my life, giddy-hard-to-contain-myself-when-I'm-around-them love and deeply-relaxed-lean-into-them-love. Romantic love is no longer a looming threat on the horizon, but a billboard in the distance with peeling sun-bleached type stating the number of kilometres to the beach.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A Little Wine...

About two months ago, I decided to stop drinking alcohol.  I thought I was seeing a pattern of irritability and depressive moods within 24 hours of consumption.  I also noticed that I couldn't keep my big mouth shut and my opinions were suddenly VERY important and that was before I even finished my first drink.

So lastnight I had half a glass of wine with some friends.  I saw imediately why I don't drink anymore.  I noticed I was talking louder, I could feel the strain in my throat.  I felt this need to be heard, I found it hard not to interupt the person I was talking "with".  I put the word with in brackets because really it was more like I was talking at them.  I needed to sober up.  I dispised this feeling.  I went out for ice cream and sat at the docks and allowed the cool air to refresh me.  A headache came on and suddenly. I was exhausted and just wanted to be alone in my room.

I had nightmares, nightmares I haven't had since I was with my ex.  I woke up hugging myself and reminding myself that I was safe.  My side hurts like someone is stabbing it with a spoon.  My head has seen better days.  All this from half a glass of wine.

I'm glad for this experience, I'm happy for the time I spent with friends, but I can't help but feel that the time would have been better spent if I had been completely sober.