Living Large

We did it.  We finished moving.  After two months of planning, packing, moving, and cleaning, I finally got to turn in the keys to my old apartment on Saturday afternoon.

This has been a mega project that has absorbed much of my focus and attention, along with a new job that I started at the same time.  I was at that apartment complex for a total of 5 years and I was at my previous job for 5 1/2 years.  Within a two month period, a great deal of my life has completely changed.

It’s not easy making changes that big.  It disrupts routine.  It rocks me out of ruts and pushes me to deal with things I didn’t even know I was avoiding.  I used it as an opportunity to go through E V E R Y T H I N G and purge, purge, purge.  I came across things I had all but forgotten about.  It brought long forgotten memories, dreams . . . even nightmares . . . back to the surface to be seen and dealt with.

I had forgotten I had been married until I came across the divorce papers.  That was back in 1996.  18 years ago.  I’ve been divorced for 18 years.  Wow.  That was so many lifetimes ago for me.

Sometimes when I have moments like that, where I’m suddenly transported to a much younger version of me, I find myself wanting to reach out to the younger me and give her a hug.  Knowing the path that lie before her, I feel like it’s what she could use most.  In that hug I am saying, “You’re going to make it.  It’s going to be okay.  Just keep believing and don’t give up on yourself.”

Not in a “cheer up kid” kind of way, but in a very deep heartfelt sorrowful “I’m sorry that I can’t tell you that it’s going to be easy, but it’s how it needs to happen” kind of way.

I remember one time, not long after my divorce, when I had been renting a room out of a home that was running a daycare in it.  (I don’t care how good the deal sounds, don’t EVER rent a room from a house running a daycare. Run.  Run as far away from it as possible.)  I made too much money to qualify for any state assistance (something like $50/month too much), but I most certainly did NOT make enough money to pay for childcare, rent, food, gas, car payment/insurance, etc.  I basically worked, so that I could afford to go to work.

I was at a very low point in my life.  A nonstop series of traumatic events kept hitting me like tsunamis, each one becoming harder and harder to recover from.  I was exhausted, under-fed, and under-nourished.  I didn’t have a support network or any friends to go to.  I couldn’t think clearly.  I always felt weak.  But I had a young toddler who was looking to me for care and love.  So I kept pushing myself forward.

On this particular day, I was at the end of my ever-loving rope.  I had $5 to my name.  We were out of food.  My son was unhappily in a stroller.  I walked slowly up and down the aisles of the grocery store, starving.  I was trying to decide what would be the best way to spend that $5.  What would give us the most food that would last the longest, but also make us feel full.

I was so exhausted I could barely put one foot in front of the other.  My son was squirming and starting to get vocal in his stroller.  There was another woman with a kid somewhere else in the store, and that child was having an outright temper tantrum.  My raw nerves couldn’t handle the screaming.   I stopped.  I thought to myself, “I can’t do this.”  I just stood there silent in the bread aisle staring straight ahead.  Something in me gave out.

My vision began to get blurry as huge crocodile tears poured down my face.  I wasn’t making any facial expression, I wasn’t crying in any way that I understood crying to be.  My facial expression, in fact my entire body, was absolutely still except for the tears coming down.

I gave up trying.  I couldn’t see the point of this existence or of fighting this hard just to barely survive from moment to moment.  I didn’t have any answers, any solutions.  My body, mind, and soul had been pushed to the limits for far too long.  I didn’t know what was going to happen, I didn’t know how this was going to solve my problems.  All I knew, is that I didn’t have anything left in me to give.  Not one more step.

I also didn’t care anymore what happened.  I didn’t care if they hauled me away to a mental ward.  I didn’t care what anyone or anything threatened me with, I didn’t have anything left in me to move or care about anything.  I was willing to accept the consequences of whatever happened by me deciding never to move again.  Being absolutely still, was all I could do.  The tears were acting on their own, I simply didn’t have the energy to stop them.

So there I stood for many minutes, feeling like I was on the best vacation from life I had ever happened upon, when something incredible occurred.  A woman who seemed to me like she had appeared from nowhere, gently placed her hand on my shoulder and told me in the most loving and kindest of tones that she had once been where I was, and she wanted me to know that things would be okay, even if it didn’t feel that way right now.

That gesture of such a real and true kindness from a stranger, clicked something back on in me.  I felt myself come back into life.  I looked around.  Suddenly feeling more life in me than I had in awhile, I quickly walked up and down the empty (and now quiet) aisles trying to find the woman to say thank you, but I never did find her.  I was openly crying now, facial expressions and all.  I didn’t care what anyone thought, I was just so grateful for what had been given to me.

I suddenly knew exactly how I needed to spend the $5, and I did so confidently.  I had renewed faith in life and in my ability to overcome.  This was all just temporary.  This wasn’t the whole of my existence.  I had overcome far worse in my life before and I could do it again.  I’ve always found a way through life’s challenges, and I would continue to do so because I wasn’t going to let hard times get the best of me.  There is always, always a way out, around, or through obstacles.  Always.  I would not give up.  I would not let myself or my son down in life.

That woman saved my life.  It didn’t take money or anything of a material nature.  She didn’t do it by lecturing or judging me for being such a young mom (which I got plenty of on a daily basis from all kinds of supposed loving, church-going people . . . which is exhausting and not helpful at all).

What this woman had done that was different from all of the well-intentioned mouthpieces that go around parroting loving and inspirational phrases, was that she offered the words she said to me with a truly open and unguarded heart.  She selflessly gave of her heart to an absolute stranger standing frozen in the middle of a bread aisle.  She had nothing to gain from it.  She said it with absolutely no ego involved.

That’s all I had needed.  Something real.  Something true.  That stranger showed me in that one moment, more true heart and care than I had been able to find in all of the people in my life at that time.  That’s how starved I was for it, and how little it took for me to be willing to give life another try.  To continue to give of my own heart to others again.

With this move and new job, I’ve again been having my limits challenged.  There’s something about being pushed beyond my limits that helps me reset my priorities again.  Helps me regain proper perspective on life.  I go back to that moment in the bread aisle.  I am reminded of how rarely people truly give of their heart.  How even in their “lovingness” they are just as closed off and isolated from one another as the “cold-hearted” of us.  Simply saying loving things, doesn’t make you loving.  Simply going through the motions of being a “good” person, doesn’t mean you’re “good”.

We’ve been conditioned since childhood to see the world through the lens of certain behaviors and actions dictating whether you are a good person or a bad person.  If you ignore someone you are bad.  If you bring them pumpkin bread when they’re sick, you’re good.  Those are all superficial things.  Just because you can put a good show on the outside, doesn’t mean you’re a good person.  Just because you can’t hide the hurt in you and you act out, doesn’t mean you’re a bad person.

We’ve got it all wrong.  All of that is superficial judgment.  It’s both more simple and more complex than that.

It’s more simple in that, anything done with an open heart . . . is “good”.  Anything done with a closed heart is “bad”.  That’s only if you’re needing or wishing to slap labels on things such as good or bad.

It’s more complex in that, it means you can’t judge someone or a situation based on what is being shown or by a set list of characteristics of what it means to be good or bad.  The only way you’re actually able to know or discern the difference between whether the actions of a person is of one persuasion or the other, is when your own heart is open.  Until then, you will struggle to see clearly who is truly in the right and wrong.  You will more easily be persuaded by those who have the gift of gab and can spin a good story, and/or you won’t be able to see past your own projection onto others.

The irony is that when you’re truly coming from an open heart, you realize how absolutely pointless and futile judging others truly is.  That it’s when you can see things for what they really are, that you no longer feel the want or need to judge others.

Speaking for myself personally, when I hit those moments where my heart truly opens and my guard is completely dropped, that what comes forward in me is an incredible love and sorrow.

When a person can see through everyone’s mask, how could they feel anything but incredible love and sorrow?

When you can see how they hurt inside.  That life has broken their heart in some way and they are just trying to make the best of it that they can.  When you can see how alone they feel.  The loneliness and heartbreak I see hiding in people’s eyes as they go about their day, pretending like they’re fine . . . is heartbreaking and painful to see in another.  I feel overwhelmingly heartbreaking sorrow and actual physical pain in my heart.  The things we argue over and fight about are so pointless and miniscule in the big scheme of things.  So trivial and meaningless in the face of real love.

But it doesn’t bring me to my knees in helplessness, hopelessness, and powerlessness.  I don’t feel anger, anymore, about how unfair and unnecessary it is for the world to suffer in the way that it does.

Instead, I feel a great weight fall away from me.  My guard, my defense, my mask.  I feel my pride disintegrate.  I feel my judgment and need to be in the right dissipate.  Something bigger than me, unfolds and expands from deep within, a feeling that I refer to as ‘opening my big momma heart’.  All of these feelings combined, I refer to as “forgiveness” and “letting go”.  I stop feeling the need to try and make anyone or anything be or do anything other than what they are.  I let them be, because I need all of my own attention to be focused on being who I am.

When everything that isn’t real has fallen away from me, I feel the overwhelming need to sing the heartbreaking love I feel for every human.  For the collective, yes, but more than that.  I feel it for every single human being as an individual.  This intense force of energy that barrels through me like a bull charging a red flag.  The passionate and sorrowful heartbreak that comes from witnessing a child needlessly suffering and hurting, but that there’s nothing you can do personally about it because it’s their life and their choice.

But you want to at least let them know that they’re not alone.  Soothe them with heartfelt sorrowful songs . . loving lullabies, that sing of their heartbreak and pain.  Letting them know that you’re there, that you are a witness to their pain and suffering.

And the love.  The endless open love I feel pouring through me.  It’s nothing to do with whether someone is deemed worthy of love or not based on whether they are following social protocol, simply existing is reason enough to be worthy of love.  Every being, every individual, is worthy of love.

People do things and act in ways that are not like themselves when they are hurt or in pain.  Have you ever seen how a mistreated or abused dog will lash out or try to bite when they become scared?  Has the dog become evil?  Does the dog no longer deserve to be given love?  Or is love, care, and patience what he needs more than ever?

It’s no different for people.

To judge anyone as “bad” is to cut yourself off from love and if it is severe and persistent enough, you will become the “bad” you are judging.  The more you try to recoil, shield, and protect yourself from the bad, the more you push yourself into the darkness.  The further into the darkness you go, the less light or consciousness you have.  The less light or consciousness you have, the more you go into denial and ignorance about what is really happening.  The more you go into denial and ignorance about what is really happening, the less control and power you feel you have over your life circumstances.  The less control and power you feel you have over your life and circumstances, the more you become either a victim or aggressor.  Being locked in either role of victim or aggressor, is to be locked in a perpetual prison of suffering and miserableness.

When you can see that victim and aggressor are both sides of the same coin, when you can see that neither one is the way out of your suffering . . . and you’ve actually reached a point of truly being done with suffering . . . only then can you begin the path towards true freedom.  It is a path of humbleness and true forgiveness.  A path of getting out of your own way.  Of letting go of pettiness.  Of uncovering who you really are versus what you’ve become in an effort to survive the moment your heart broke when you were a child and your innocence was lost.

The path to truly learning how to love again.

big duck

 

Comments

  1. Your heart is so huge and you write about it more eloquently than any writing I have read. I don’t just read your writing, I FEEL! your writing. You make me laugh and cry in 1 sentence. Thank-you. You know reading over your posts here, these would make a fab book, even for people who don’t know much about astro. They are still interesting enough to understand the astro.

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    • Omg did your comment get a huge bawling out of me. It felt so good to me to read. Thank you.

      I think a book is bound to happen (get it? bound? book? haha 🙂 ) in my lifetime since it’s something that gets brought up time and time again by others like the universe is trying to drop me hints (by using the verbal equivalent of Chinese water torture) . But. I’m in no hurry. And. I might be too lazy. Or. I’m just a great procrastinator.

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      • Dude you’ve got it all there and damn you deserve some compensation for every time you’ve been struck by the Cosmic bowling ball and got back up again with a smile on your face and a deep bow. The pics if you can use them, easy to digest bite size wonderful, heart wrenching stories, with fab lessons for us all. I hope your new spiral in life brings you much joy, Goddess bless. xx

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