I’ll Take an Alignment For One

If you have someone in your past who died a lonely death or just someone in your life who feels misunderstood or unloved; wouldn’t you give anything to put yourself in their place and take away their pain & loneliness? Those of you who are energetically sensitive can relate a little more but just like a mom with her child: you want to avoid & divert ANY & ALL pain and tragedy. For most Moms it’s because YOU can’t bear to feel it or see it in them because it makes us feel horrible.

Well, we find out, as we get older how necessary that pain is for their growth. Kids who have an easy life have a harder time in adulthood when the shizz hits the fan & their perfect life on the surface falls apart. But thats not my point here..

If you can’t take away the pain & suffering of someone who died or you can’t do it with your own child who’s in pain, what are the alternatives?

When we are hurting deeply, we can send all that love & acceptance that desire to our own childhood heart.

Likewise, if someone has wronged you and/ or succeeds in making you feel like shit as an adult and you to want to lash out, you can send more love to that angry heart.
You want to be strong & say no one can make me feel bad without my permission, but there’s no denying that you feel slighted & unloved & misunderstood. You could cause an argument that’s consists of the battle of the needs and who’s are top priority, but you know that’s a he said/ she said scenario.

So you shut down to prove a point.

There’s a difference between not reacting and shutting down. There are many studies on silence as a weapon in relationships. It’s actually the worst form of fighting. Its futile to “make someone see the error of their ways” by punishing them. It DOES Not work! Arguing, blaming, giving the cold shoulder, tit for tat. We even see it on social media. If you don’t “like” my posts I’m not gonna ‘like’ yours. Preschool behavior doesn’t end the cycle of pain & rejection.

I will withhold myself from you until you say sorry- then and only then- are you deserving of my voice and presence again. 

Its not them… really.. Its YOU!

If you continually find yourself among people who “cause” you to speak your truth or to constantly defend yourself; It’s a sign that YOU are not in alignment with your true self.

When you are constantly irritated with others, It’s a sign that you are irritated with yourself. Or if you have to engage in every argument on social media, you must look within yourself to see what point in you needs to be proven. When people say love yourself & all that jazz- It’s telling you to bring you back to yourself in Love.

How to bring yourself back to Love?

Celebrate everything you do RIGHT which is actually EVERYTHING!

Because nothing is wrong that you do. Or you wouldn’t have needed to do it in that moment.

“If you’re not telling yourself what you’re doing right and/or telling others when they do right, then truth is NOT being spoken. Because If you are not telling YOURSELF this- then you will continually be mad at OTHERS for not telling you when you do right. Weird huh?
Everyone Likes praise, & to be acknowledged & heard but Social Media is filled with people who HAVE to be heard & MUST state their opinion and can’t take anyone who disagrees.

Why?
Who knows…
All we can do is get to a place where we don’t NEED validation from others because we’ve given enough to ourselves. We’ve filled the scars of childhood (or adulthood) where our love was rejected, & our openness was punished. Our bright shining excited eyes were shot down by someone with their own unhealed pain. There’s been so many times in my life that I’ve taken on others pain, and it’s drug me down to the depths of MY pain. Not only did this make me miserable and hating life; it made me lash out to those around me.

In order to stop this cycle of giving rejection or bitterness to people who give it to us; we HAVE to find a way to fill our own buckets & come back to kindness- to ourselves first.

We are all using life to remember how magnificent we are!

We are all emotional millionaires who forgot their pin#. But the child in us knows the pin!

So how nice are you gonna be to yourself and to that innocent child to get your pin#?

THE PIN FOR ALLIGNMENT.

No one can do it for you.
No one is invested in YOU as much as, YOU-no matter what lies they spin.

On this Halloween Eve, here’s some great advice:

Happy Halloween! (seems like an oxymoron)

🎃🎭🎃🎭🎃🎭🎃🎭🎃🎭

Freedom, One Day At A Time

Just over 2 months ago, I declared my son healed. He wasn’t physically….yet, but I spoke healing over him. I had to. I was tired of spinning in circles of everything that was wrong with him. I was done making deals and pleas with God.

He was in jail for the second time this year and the sixth overall from the last few years. I realized I was begging for the wrong things. As stated in my previous whining posts, it’s been a roller coaster ride. And not the new flashy, sexy roller coaster, but the old wooden, creaky, break-down-at-any moment roller coaster (where they would casually say: “You knew the risk” if something were to go wrong.

I was finished making deals and decided to get off the roller coaster, so I sent my first born incarcerated son this message of not only HOPE but of FAITH.

"Your potential is not measured by your surroundings at the moment, but by the quiet moments of your heart. Where you ache deeply for your family and kids. Where your shame has pushed you into places and spaces that smothered you into numbness.

Whatever it is that pushed you into those conditions you're in; whether it was a society who said you weren’t worthy of getting well; or your own spiral into self-defeat; you can come back.

Anytime, come back.

You’re needed. You’re wanted.

It might not seem like it.
We might be scared and worried at first, but it’s only because we care. We have been conditioned to fear the worst. So have you. That’s why it horrifies you to think of being that person you were before. After all – those were the days you needed to escape from. The stress and pressure of expectations and disappointment were off the charts some days.

What if you fail again?
Oh but my son, what if you don’t?
What if the last half or more of your life is filled with unbelievable joy? What if your kids and grandkids are gathered around you to hear your war stories? Not real war, but your days of the drug war. You won’t glamorize it like alcohol is. You will tell the cold hard truth. You will tell those precious souls that evil starts small. With a thought. A nudge. A risk. A desire for something more. You will tell them not to be afraid or embarrassed to admit their concerns. If they are in over their head, it’s the right thing to do to seek help, but mostly that ALL THAT GLITTERS IS NOT GOLD.

Come back.
So much love awaits you.

I knew the law had him by the nuggets, but I wanted HIM to WANT to come back to life. I wanted Him to make the decisions to recover, not just going through the motions. I wanted him to lead his own recovery so the success rate would be greater.

During his court hearing, his lawyer presented the name of the rehab he had been accepted to. The Judge started to approve his release from jail to the rehab when he slowly looked down at his notes. What followed was at least a 2 minute dead- silence tense moment in the courtroom, with all eyes on the judge as he looked from his notes to the computer. I knew my son was squirming inside but as usual, on the outside, he was cool as a cucumber. I was holding my breath wondering what the problem was.

Just 3 days before, my son almost got written up in jail for a problem with a jail razor not being turned in correctly. My son told me that it wasn’t him but he’s not a snitch so unless the other guy confesses, my son would probably be going to the hole for 24 hrs. I was thinking the judge was reviewing that and would punish him. At last, he spoke. It was a discrepancy in the number of cases. There was one missing. It was soon cleared up by the prosecution and the judge cleared my son’s release at 5 am the next morning.

My husband and I picked him up from that jail in the dark of the night, for the second time in 2 years. This time it was with hope, with the promise that this nightmare might be over. My son came out of the triple-locked electric doors with an old white shirt on and a garbage bag full of moldy clothes.

He was free. Would he run? My husband was prepared for that.

He didn’t. We proceeded on the 4-hour drive to rehab. The judge said we could only stop for an hour for a meal. Although I was concerned the judge would “find out”; we laughed about it as we stopped in to see his sister, went shopping for pants for rehab, and made the 9 am appointment for his CDL that was expiring quickly. We kept getting lost finding the rehab but finally made it by the 1 pm deadline. My son took his things, hugged me, and said. Thank you, Mom.

My husband and I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Almost as big as we did 2 years ago at the Las Vegas airport when we sent him off with a total stranger.

He was free, in a way. But we were too. Free from worrying about the stark realities of jail. A place where they are just babysitting them through their time there. Addiction might as well be a wart on their toe as far as getting “treated”. Although they did take me seriously when I called medical and said he was going to hang himself. They listened to the tapes and put him in solitary.

He recovered from that mindset, Thank God.

So here we are 5 weeks into rehab. There still are no promises. I’m trying to give my son space to heal. I’m letting him learn to take care of himself. When he figures out he needs something and asks me, I make sure I get it to him, no matter what the barriers. I want him to feel how it feels to have food, a nice bed, and take vitamins again. I do this because I know that to take care of others (his kids, a job, responsibilities); he has to relearn how to take care of himself.

It takes so much patience. From the addicted one AND from all involved. I feel a bit sorry for those who aren’t involved. Oh, I know it’s easier to wash your hands of something. It’s easier to push all the work onto someone else to fix what actually takes both parties to fix. It’s so much easier to say, “call me when you’re sober”. Or even disown someone. If there’s a threat of violence or abuse, I can totally understand. But to fellow humans, family, even; it still saddens my heart that they miss out on the process of change:

  • #1 The service given to a struggling human.
  • #2 The joy of watching them change day by day, week by week.
  • #3 To hear their thoughts and dreams of better days ahead.

It’s disheartening to hear:

“He’s still the same, and until he’s back to the person I want him to be, then he’s not deserving of my time.”

Maybe not in those words but it’s implied. As for me, I choose to take the good with the bad. I choose to aid in any way recovery-minded. Yup, I choose to bring him a basketball at night, when he wants to play basketball.

Because recovery is an entire mind-body and soul transformation. It's using muscles they haven't used in a while. It's feeling feelings they haven't felt. It's them leaving behind all the coping skills that they've honed in on for months and years (however illegal they were), and convincing them there's a better way- But mostly giving them the space to find it.  

He went into rehab with a bullet hole in his leg, I’m hoping he will come out with lead-strong strength and conviction in his healing. And I’m forever grateful that I get to witness it.

Rat Park

If only.

If only I could go back to those days when my kids filled my house with muddy shoes and red punch stains around their lips- I mean pure cranberry juice without sugar, of course- as any good Mom would buy- I would relish in the mess this time.

I promise.

I would take those old Tony Robbins tapes and replay them over and over.

His theory is that every decision, every action, is dependant on what ‘state’ a person is in. State of mind, state of body- how we feel at any given moment has proven to be paramount in my search for addiction ’causes’.

As my Papa would always say “I wish I could do it all over again knowing what I know now.” I used to think that was such an old thing to say.

Well, now I’m old.

But if I could do a time travel- even for a day-I would pull my kids close to and whisper to them how many times they are going to feel confused and uncomfortable; and how it’s ok to feel out of sorts, that they can be in those moments and survive without having to change it or distract from it or bury their feelings.

As I described in this blog post when my son was spared a horrible accident as a toddler; this time-travel, I would tell him how strong and valiant he is. I would look in their little shining eyes and say “No matter what- you’ll be ok. The pain won’t last. You can work through it.”

Of course, I may have said these things to them, but I think I may have also done a lot of the opposite. “What do you need to feel better right now?” Eeek!!! Distraction, suppression, external validation. Anything to avoid the current state of fit throwing, or anger or sadness. Parenting advice changes every few decades so I only take partial blame if this happened.

When I set out on this journey in 2018 of wondering why this epidemic is happening and why in God’s name- as my Mama used to say- it had chosen MY family to implant itself on; I had no idea the answers would be so elusive, yet so vast in nature.

Everyone is just trying to feel ok at any given moment. That moment then turns into a lifetime of addiction because of what brain changes occur. I tire of the argument of whether it’s a disease or choice because as I’ve stated in many posts– how does that change how we treat it (or them?)

Pam Jones Lanhart, a recovery advocate, parent coach and Arise interventionalist, states it so well:

“The science and evidence based research shows that addiction is a reward and response. I think “pain” is a broad word but there is now doubt that people start using because the drink or drug does something for them. “When I drink this drink, I feel less anxious.” Or “when I use this pill all of my emotional pain goes away and it feels like a warm, comforting blanket.” The word pain is relative. But pain could mean the pain of feeling left out. The pain of a family divorce. The pain of a label such as adhd and being made fun of. Pain doesn’t necessarily mean big T trauma. But it does mean that the substance is the solution for the negative emotions that they are experiencing.

So of course, we all make a choice to use or not use. Everyone does it. So we live in a culture where substance use is social glamorized and yet when someone gets ill from it, we demonize and shame them.

NO ONE and I mean NO ONE chooses addiction. Not one person who took a drink or a toke off of a bud expected to become addiction. That’s a ridiculous notion and not informed by any data or science. “When I used I was rewarded with a really good feeling. So I used again.” And eventually the neuropathways of the brain are reprogrammed and THEN in spite of all of the negative consequences and the fact that the using is no longer working for them, they can’t stop. That is the definition of addiction. Continued use in spite of negative consequences.

No one expects this. It sneaks up on them and before they know it they are addiction.

That being said, today 7,000 people will choose recovery. 7,000!

And yes, it has EVERYTHING to do with pain. We all have pain. When I drink a glass of wine I feel free. The pain of my life dissipates. Let’s face it. If substances didn’t make us feel better on some level, none of us would use them.

So using is a choice.
Addiction is NOT a choice
Recovery is a choice."- Pam Jones Lanhart

As I have explored the CHOICES and CAUSES of my son’s addiction, I keep coming back to the connection theory of Johanna Hari. Even if we never know someone’s true reason for starting (and maybe they don’t and won’t ever know either) we can still get a picture of the importance of a person”s ‘state’.

“Get a rat and put it in a cage and give it two water bottles. One is just water, and one is water laced with either heroin or cocaine. If you do that, the rat will almost always prefer the drugged water and almost always kill itself very quickly, right, within a couple of weeks. So there you go. It’s our theory of addiction.

Bruce comes along in the ’70s and said, “Well, hang on a minute. We’re putting the rat in an empty cage. It’s got nothing to do. Let’s try this a little bit differently.” So Bruce built Rat Park, and Rat Park is like heaven for rats. Everything your rat about town could want, it’s got in Rat Park. It’s got lovely food. It’s got sex. It’s got loads of other rats to be friends with. It’s got loads of colored balls. Everything your rat could want. And they’ve got both the water bottles. They’ve got the drugged water and the normal water. But here’s the fascinating thing. In Rat Park, they don’t like the drugged water. They hardly use any of it. None of them ever overdose. None of them ever use in a way that looks like compulsion or addiction. There’s a really interesting human example I’ll tell you about in a minute, but what Bruce says shows that both the right-wing and left-wing theories of addiction are wrong. So the right-wing theory is it’s a moral failing, you’re a hedonist, you party too hard. The left-wing theory is it takes you over, your brain is hijacked. Bruce says it’s not your morality, it’s not your brain; it’s your cage. Addiction is largely an adaptation to your environment.

We’ve created a society where significant numbers of our fellow citizens cannot bear to be present in their lives without being drugged, right? We’ve created a hyperconsumerist, hyperindividualist, isolated world that is, for a lot of people, much more like that first cage than it is like the bonded, connected cages that we need.

The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection. And our whole society, the engine of our society, is geared towards making us connect with things not people. If you are not a good consumer capitalist citizen, if you’re spending your time bonding with the people around you and not buying stuff—in fact, we are trained from a very young age to focus our hopes and our dreams and our ambitions on things we can buy and consume. And drug addiction is really a subset of that."
~ Johann Hari

This came up on my memories today. I’m unsure who to give credit to. It says what I feel in my heart, even though I know it is sometimes difficult to do.

The key to supporting people living with addiction in reaching their full potential is the exact opposite of “letting them hit rock bottom.” It is instead to move the bottom of that pyramid of human needs up so that the 
needs which are known to bring people closer to reaching their full potential are being met.
( Such as feeling loved, worth saving, forgiveness)

It means to foster social connectedness rather than to force isolation.... Wich leads to shame depression and death😭
It means to practice acceptance rather than intolerance.
It means to fan self-worth rather than to fuel shame.
It means to love rather than to disdain.
Mostly it means to never having last regrets for others...I can't imagine being on the brink of death knowing that you are a complete disappointment to everyone.

My Mama

I’ve been a little quiet the last few days. My best friend from childhood has died. She’s my second childhood friend I’ve lost and third close friend in the last few years.

Her house is where I learned to pray. Her house is where I learned service as her mom would have us take plates of dinner to the old town hermit. Her house is where I learned food storage and the importance of taking care of yourself and your family. Her house is where I learned entrepreneurship. See my family wasn’t this way. My parents came from large poor families who struggled from generation to generation. Her family had the “right name” which is prevalent in small towns. They had a business. A business which at the age of 13, yes 13, we would drive her dads little Datson around town filling up pop machines. We would sit in the dusty tin building and sort all the empty pop bottles for return to Coke and Pepsi for credit. I would run an actual cash register and stock shelves. It was like playing store except it was real.

Although my parents were poor, they had good qualities. My dad worked just as hard, if not harder than my friend’s dad. He always had a few jobs plus the National Guard on weekends. My mom had a childlike mentality but with a sailor’s mouth! She loved to play and have fun but was quick to state her opinion on someone’s actions.

This quote by Anne Skinner reminds me of my mom, she was such an advocate for kids but anyone over 18 or so she determined should just “know better”.

If a child were to appear at your door – cold, frightened, alone, and tired from a long journey…

If he or she were anxious, heartbroken, raging, and confused… unsure of why they have come here, where God is, whether or not they have been forsaken…

Would you refuse entry to the little one? Would you first demand that his fear dissolve, her anxiety be healed, his confusion clarify, or her heart be mended?

In your most authoritative spiritual voice, would you urge the little one to first “get over it,” accept everything the way it is, urgently forgive those who have harmed them, or quickly “raise their vibration?”

Or would you provide sanctuary and safe passage from a long voyage? A warm, safe, contained temple in which the stories, the feelings, and the images of this one ragingly alive nervous system can be illuminated and held, articulated and metabolized in an environment of open, tender interest, curiosity, and love?

Inside this majestic human body the beloved is at work, spinning out worlds of experience which are soaked with intelligence, sacred data, and saturated with both sweet and fierce grace. Things are rarely what they seem here… doorways and portals opening and closing by way of the breath of the divine as it makes its way into form…

… as it finds its way into this rare world of time and space… with you as its vessel.- Anne Skinner

Humans are AMAZING! How could be be so silly at times to think otherwise? It’s because we all get lost sometimes. Life happens and we react.

So at what age “should” we know better? I know I’m still doing foolish things. As a mom though, I just can’t let go of my children especially when they are in need. To hear someone say: “Just get over it” to a struggling person or to me, seems heartless.

Now that I know how the brain in crisis thinks:

Survival.

Just like my parents always had to do.

It changes how I view ‘stupid’ things others do. Of course, it’s all perception. In the grand scheme of things what do the “stupid things” matter?

We have no way of knowing their true journey- their thoughts and feelings and what drives them.

When you have motivation or direction what do you do? Tread water. It’s like being a saddlebag, you’re just along for the ride of wherever life takes you.

It’s called survival mode. We all do at it certain times in our life, when we are grieving, when we are healing from an accident, an illness, a divorce, we go on automatic pilot. But there are people who for whatever reason: poor education, poor social skills, or addicted to a substance or a ‘thing’; seem to always be in survival mode.

My parents did just that. I wasn’t raised to plan ahead. I wasnt told that there are endless upon endless possibilities out in the world. In fact, really didn’t even know what existed outside of TURKEY LAND, I had to learn all that as an adult.

I wasn’t given the confidence to conquer the world, or even my demons. I was almost taught to be a victim, a by passer. Someone who watches everyone else move forward.

But I knew there was a better way. I wanted to feel better. I wanted to feel in control of my life. I wanted to love, I wanted “perfect” children. like all the “other” families kids. And I worked hard for all that. I did my best, but the years that I prospered were when I had momentum; when I had a goal, a plan. Nursing school is one example. But the other seemingly mundane years of daily life. That’s where the real magic lies. We don’t see it until later sometimes, when we are ailing, confused or just wafting. We see the real benefit of knowing where you are going and how each daily task will get you there or not.

My personality- although at times I may seem to be a free spirit and sort of a gypsy, I thrive and come alive when I have direction, when I feel safe, loved, supported, and egged on. When people recognize the potential in me and appreciate my efforts and my uniqueness. Such a great feeling to be recognized.

When we are in a midst of chaos or confusion, (& sooo many things contribute to chaos or confusion–gossiping, poor health habits, messiness & disorganization), is the time to stop and ask ourselves-” is this what I want & will this get me there?

So my post today is to honor my friend and what her family did for me as a young child. Rest in paradise.

I can smell these lilacs from my childhood

I’m also honoring my beautiful Mom. For her struggles, that I understand more than ever now. And for her heart. She had a huge heart, especially for kids.

May you both rest in paradise

No Regrets

I hurriedly rushed through the sporting goods store looking for the items on my son’s “list” for this weeks “drop”.

  • A coffee mug
  • A hat with a flag or a CAT logo
  • A lighter
  • More protein mix and protein bars and maybe pre-workout mix
  • Head -n- Shoulders Body/ shampoo wash
  • More cigarettes
  • Magazines

This day was special. It’s the eve of 4 weeks in rehab. 4 weeks to a person with years of substance use is HUGE. This is after 5 weeks in jail. Although this amount of time is a great victory, it’s a drop in the hat compared to the amount of time using……..years.

Insurance companies, and others, might insist “Shouldn’t he be healed by now?”

Hmm, I’m not good at math but 48 months doesn’t equal 2 months. The brain is amazing but neuroplasticity takes time. Just like it took time to adjust to the drugs.

We “think” that as soon as we get them out of that cycle of chaos and get them a shower and some decent meals, they will be good-to-go. If that were true- there would be zero return to use after jail.

As it is, my son is learning how to take care of himself again. For year’s, yes years, he has been in pure survival mode. Trying to find a place to stay every night; trying to maneuver his substance use, trying to justify his substance use, trying to deny his substance use. Putting poison in his body TO SURVIVE, yes survive. Every day his body told him- SCREAMED at him in fact: “GET DOPE or DIE”. It is survival to them.

But now, his focus is back on learning his body’s other cues. Cues of revitalization. Healing. Repairing years of damage to cells. Brain and body. He has scars. He has a bullet hole. He has ingrained pathways in his brain that automatically go into the quickest way to feel better and the quickest way to obtain the resources in order to feel better. To slow the hell down, sit in class after class, face his demons, face the pain he has caused his family, and face losing his freedom, must be daunting. To refocus that energy on lifting weights, or smoking, is a dream to me.

I gladly provide any of these items for the same reason as I picked out his baby food when he was little. As mothers, we are nurturers. It doesn’t matter if they are grown, men. Everyone needs their “person”. More and more studies are showing that even having one person believe in them, makes recovery more sustainable. Plus, nothing is promised. No time, no future, no measure of success is promised, day to day, with anyone, but especially with substance use. If I can buy my grown son some protein bars, I will gladly do it. Anything to keep him learning, contemplating, hoping for a better life.

I made the drop-off time at exactly 7:22.30, which is the time my son wrote down- just to mess with them. Ever the jokester, I love having his humor back.

As I made the drop-off, I could see the group inside, sitting in their 7 pm meeting. Unbelievably, I could see my son in direct view of the window! I had vetted over 25 rehabs by the time this one was picked. It wasn’t the best, but it worked out being the one needed. I didn’t have any idea it would be within a few miles of my house, in fact straight up the street!

Call me a stalker if you’d like, but I am cherishing every second of this. I cried and prayed every day for 2 years for this. Every day, I worried about his life being taken. He just told me about a guy who hung himself at the sober living house he’s supposed to go to after this. People are so tender inside. We have zero clue of the demons they must face. What appears on the outside is not truly reflective of what’s on the inside. They struggle with what awaits them. Going from having nothing to rebuilding everything back up must be horrifying. My son has no house, car or job to go to. If I can be his “person” to help him maneuver that, I will gladly take on that role. I will cherish every second of my role as his Mother during this precious time.

I sat outside in my car after the drop off and yup, you guessed it- cried. But these were tears of joy. This was everything, I mean everything, I could have wanted to happen. Prayers answered, dreams come true.

I am truly living in the moment with zero care of what anyone thinks of what may be the right or wrong thing to do. I don’t see anyone else making any effort to save a life, and that’s fine; but what I’ve said through all of this journey, as for me:

I want ZERO regrets 

To Each Their Own (Journey)

The following quote with my writings came up on my Facebook memories a few days ago. It’s over 5 years old, yet I’ve been musing about it for days and today it hit me hard. Although my situation and my struggles are completely different now, the advice (my own advice) are timeless! How cool is timeless (& situational-less) advice?

Today I overheard a patient tell another patient “Everyone knows their own journey”.

It stopped me in my tracks, I went Into my office- closed the door, and felt that familiar lump in my throat.

It doesn’t matter how many books you’ve read, how many classes you’ve taken, hours of meditation, praying, or positive thoughts you’ve tried to manifest, nothing prepares you for that moment when time stands still. When you get that phone call, read a text, discover a secret in a child’s journal, see a partners email or lose a huge project you’ve been working on, or realize that what you have yearned for – for weeks/months/years even, maybe isn’t going to happen right here, right now.
Your heart drops to your stomach, it feels like the blood is draining from your body.

As someone who feels things deeply (& chooses my energy & attention carefully) I can’t quite internalize the concept of having "No Expectations".
I just have to remind myself (& am so grateful for the wiseness of our elderly) in these moments which help with that.

Everyone’s journey is, indeed
their own. And really has little to do with ours! No one can tell them what’s best for them….

When it collides beautifully with my journey or painfully departs from what I want… all I can do is LOVE thru it💗myself & them also, trusting that the universe knows what’s best.

Time is irrelevant. (As hard as that is to navigate in real time)
Intention & destination are what matters. Memories are wonderful, but if you didn't enjoy them by living in the moment, by placing a certain time expectation on the relationship, you were probably eventually disappointed. The process of reciting earthly time or the numbers of phone calls or even counting sunsets, marking points in time as proof of the relevance of the relationship is not really helpful if ultimately, the thing, doesn't fulfill their (& yours) highest destiny.
And if their intention is not YOUR intention.

We just don’t have the understanding to know how the shaping of our hearts & souls is all working together for our best purpose.

Just like you can’t protect a child from pain…..you can’t keep yourself from disappointment.

Today hearing my wise patient say the words I needed to calm my restless heart & dry my flowing tears….helped me to remember
TRUST THE JOURNEY.

💥
TRUST MY JOURNEY.


Wow. I mean- you could argue that I’m just re-telling my same old self-destructive stories: that no one cares, no one understands, no one can handle me. Or that I’m justifying bad behavior. Or you could say that I was drawing on some ancient sage advice. Whichever it is, I welcome the perspective. These days I live day to day. Moment to moment. I don’t count on anything, yet I hope for everything. Some days I want my life to be finished. Others, I get a twinge of excitement at the future. I have a bit of PTSD about the future. I think I may have invented that.

Future PTSD. Afraid of what the future will throw at me.

Psychoanalyze that.

It’s pretty simple actually. Everything goes back to living in the moment, for the moment. Type A people with their Franklin Planners are cringing about now.

But rumor has it- that if your past experience prove you are unsafe in your feelings, then you tend to be scared of the future.

Gabor Mate might call that unhealed trauma. I call it – my reality. So having expectations, in my world, tends to be opposite. Expecting the worst. Paranoia.

Apparently I need to work on that pronoia stuff.

As for others’ journey, they need to work on their stuff too. We can’t do it for them and really can we fault them? If they are operating in their MO at all times, filling their needs as they perceive them at the time, is that bad?

“It’s selfish”, you might argue. “Everyone should be courteous to everyone else”.

At all times? So everyone should live and breathe and do what someone else thinks they should do- at all times?

“Well no, only when the situation arises”. What situation is that? ” the one where I think they should do things differently”. Oh ok. Are you going to tell them when those arise? “No, they should just know”.

Ok.

And so enters the never-ending human behavior argument that existed wayyyy before any pandemic. It’s what almost every marital argument or divorce court hearing is based on. Is someone else responsible for my needs and my own happiness? Where do their rights to happiness end and mine begin? On paper, in many counselors offices, it’s called a compromise. We each give up a little In order to achieve a goal. The problem arises in what that “little” constitutes.

Ahh but that may be grounds for another blog. For now, it might be safe to say, everyone is always doing the best they can with what information they perceive. Most of the time we have no way of knowing what their information or experience is. Not do we really need to know. (in my opinion.)

So much more to this. To go deeper here’s a pretty long video on self actualization (knowing needs and wants and how to improve by our interactions).

What Does Love Say?

This is true – even if we are talking to ourselves.

Meeting ourselves where we are.

Two years ago I wrote in my journal:

I wish I was more grateful
I wish I felt more secure
I wish I was more loving
I wish I was less worried

I still wish for most of those things. Truth be told, the last few years have kicked my trash. I am extremely grateful for many things, on the daily…….My God KNOWS.

But it seems to never even out. If it’s not one thing it’s another. I find myself telling my same old story. It’s like groundhog day. If it’s not one child, it’s another. The places and spaces that appear as challenges in my life, seem too unsolvable, especially in the beginning. They stare at me in the face, like a bully on the playground. I seem incapable of what that GUY in the sky thought I could do.

My purpose? Do we ever find it? If it’s to enjoy each day for what it brings, as a wise elderly housekeeper told me years ago; then I’m gonna have to change my story real fast. I’m 54. I find joy in many places but I am not still not sure of my value. Joy seems selfish.

I know life is short. Problems are temporary. They change like a silent old black and white movie. Sometimes I feel like that is my life. It flashes before me without much (valued) effort from me. What effect do I really have on scenes that will play out anyway? Is everyone prone to these lonely thoughts? If you look at their problems, it would seem that way. Everyone just wants to feel relevant. Is relevance real? Is it genuine? Do I need recognition to feel real?

Yes, I know I shouldn’t.

I’m actually the Queen of NOT wanting attention. Don’t give me an award and ask me to speak. God No. I can think of no worse torture.

But, at times, I want to know I made a difference I guess. Don’t we all. Those who are in front of me want that to.

The never ending circle of life- of LOVE.

Anger says: “I’m so mad that I can’t get my way and I don’t know what to do about it.”

Sadness says: “It’s so unfair that I can’t get my way.”

Fear says: “I can’t imagine not getting my way.”

Denial says: “My way would be so much better.”

Boredom says: “My way is anything but this.”

Emptiness says: “It seems as if my way is always opposite or different than how things are.”

Acceptance says: “The Universe is always orchestrating life in my highest favor, whether it seems to be going my way or not.”

Peace says: “When my way is put aside, the way is shown.”

Compassion says: “I understand how you feel. I didn’t get my way either.

Joy says: “Everything is always going my way, no matter the details, outcomes, or circumstances.”

Love says: “I embrace the one who needs life to be one way or another and I cherish the one who has no particular way to be as the eternal innocence of all.”

Oneness says: “Even the notions of getting my way or having no way to be are equally unique ways of the Universe playing in form.”

Transcendence says: “All paths lead to the same way.”

Truth says: “I AM the way, the way I AM.”

Matt Kahn
What would love do? 
Sit with it.
Sit with you.
Sit with me.

Hope Floats- in a Simple Black Bag

I zipped up the last zipper on the thrift store duffel bag. There was still plenty of room left in it, despite filling it with 2 pants, 2 workout pants,6 shirts, 6 white tees, 8 socks, 8 underwear, and a bag of vitamins and hygiene products. The bag wasn’t new, but it represented a new adventure for my son. No, he wasn’t going away to summer camp or college. Well, sort of a college. He would be living in bunks with other men. Hopefully no partying late at night before exams. No, not jail either. Been there done that- 6 blasted times!! This time it’s rehab. That’s right. Bring on the jokes- haha. Years ago, my sons would have been the first to make a pun about rehab, but not anymore. Well -they still might. We are a dark-humored family.

Along with the duffel bag – goes it’s companion, the little carrier pigeon. I named him Float.

This little bag represent Hope. Hope that I carried around for 16 months. When I wrote about it 6 months ago, I didn’t know if I would ever deliver it. But Hope floats. From one location to another, hope abounds.

Most Moms in my area pack bags and buy suits for their missionaries. They know their exact sizes. I don’t. I don’t know what my son looks like these days, or how much he weighs. Yet, I have no shame that my smart, funny, handsome son is not going on that kind of mission. He’s on his own mission. And after 16 months, I was able to deliver Hope Floats to him. 💙

It’s a strange feeling, you know, heading into the cinder block jail to retrieve your own flesh and blood. Sure, you’re supposed to feel embarrassed or whatever society tells you that you should feel. But all I felt was excitement & hope. This wasn’t the Morgue, which I called on his last birthday to make sure he wasn’t there. This wasn’t a hospital where 2 of his friends had been the last few months, one of which didn’t leave alive.

So I was grateful. And a bit nervous. After all, even though the judge authorized him to leave with only me and my husband at 5 am, he could have easily took off the minute we got outside. It’s addict behavior for sure. But my son knew his freedom was at stake. He told me a few days later: “I’m tired of running”.

So here we are, me with a big bag and a little bag and I had my son again. Safe and sound. We spent the next few hours driving north for 4 hours as the sun came up. Hearing, once again, his stories of jail, and his hope for the future. He wants to build tiny homes and other sustainable projects.

He had been given a spectacular plea deal. Unheard of really. For weeks he had agonized over what his final plea would be and when they finally changed it at the last minute, he was happy to sign it. He went from an almost guaranteed minimum 18 months prison time with 3 years probation to rehab completion then probation for 18 months! Absolutely incredible. I would like to say my ( & all the people I asked to pray) prayers worked. All I know is I was incredibly grateful because I knew prison would only increase his criminal mindset that he had developed the last 2 years while obtaining 6 felonies all for drug use.

Over the next few weeks he would call me with his “lists of what to bring”. I gladly provide these items because I don’t want him to have any possible reason to leave rehab, which is so common. I also have lived for over 2 years not knowing if that day would be the last time I talked to him. I still don’t know & I want every interaction to be heart-centered, recovery minded, & validating where he’s at emotionally.

In life, we are not promised one more day with our loved ones. In addiction that risk is raised probably 1000%. If I can still buy my 35 year old son socks when he is unable to, I will buy socks. The maze of addiction and the correctional system that goes along with it, is so convoluted and confusing and in most cases, heartbreaking beyond imagination.

Not many people understand my devotion to my son’s recovery. 

And, so there’s not many people that I can chant victory to, even if it’s a premature victory.

As it is, My son has made HUGE leaps and bounds. He may have been legally pushed, but guess what? He stood up and took what the judge and court said and he is trying his hardest in a system that demands complete compliance from a confused and rushed brain.

My son is slowly starting to unravel the last few years and the effect it’s had on him and many others.  Its going to be painful. He’s in denial in certain areas, but he’s getting his old self back too.

He will adamantly state that he’s the same yesterday and today and that he knew what he was doing,  he just let it get out of hand and it was too much to fix. He’s facing huge challenges as he has nothing left to his name. That’s degrading and embarrassing to him. It is truly one thing that I believe kept him in active addiction. Shame and discouragement of how to even fix it all.
The path of least resistance while in addiction and being dope sick is to continue the cycle.
I wish I had more resources to help him, but ultimately he still has to do it himself. He has to peel off that sticky bandaid and face the rawness. But I can help.

I will continue to provide anything to aide in his recovery.

I will never stop supporting recovery with Love. 

Life is too short to not have hope, to BE hope and to give h♥o♥p♥e♥

So bring on the lists son. I’m here.

⛵Hope Floats⛵

The Lure of the Chicken

Admit it. You’ve done it.

You’ve bought the chicken. You were minding your business, heading straight for the veggie section and there it was. The cart.

The smell. The warm roasted herbs and spices hit you at exactly the right (or wrong) time when you’re suddenly ravaged with hunger while running errands. The trouble is, it’s kind of an illusion. Not an illusion like McDonald’s where the bright colored flashy menus show thick, high (like 4 inches high) burgers with brightly colored lettuce and fresh pickles; but which are a stark contrast to what you pull out of the brown paper bag. Stuff which has been shown in experiments to last YEARS without biodegrading.

No, this illusion is a real chicken. After the initial cut and bite- thus rewarding those hungry taste buds- the dryness of this impulse buy finally sets in. Yup, the toasted brown bird that sat under the light (for hours) now sits in the fridge for days drying out even more. Maybe if you’re lucky, you’ll get a chicken sandwich for lunch the next day out of the deal, but no one seems to want the chicken after the initial satiation is filled fueled by the delectable AROMA.

We are not alone in the cult-chicken following. Rumor has it that Costco sells 157,000 of these birds A DAY! And that’s just Cosco. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe everyone else is satisfied with their chickens. Maybe it’s just me.

I rarely intend to buy an already cooked chicken when I go shopping, especially when I KNOW it will dry out quickly. A couple years ago, I went to Kauai to get Married! I didn’t Intend to see chickens there either. But there they were – everywhere!

Even though I didn’t intend to see chickens they were a nice touch to a beautiful island! And my son would always ask them as they stared blankly at him,”What DO you want?” I’m sure their intent was food and maybe attention.

Act as if what you intend to manifest in life is already a reality. Eliminate thoughts of conditions, limitations, or the possibility of it not manifesting. If left undisturbed in your mind and in the mind of intention simultaneously, it will germinate in the physical world.

Wayne Dyer

Deepok says that whatever you intend to do or say or accomplish, you must SAY IT IN WORDS:

Intentions compressed into words enfold magical power.
- Deepak Chopra

So if intention is so important as Wayne Dyer and others always professed, why we’re the unintended things so prevalent? Is it simply because we forgot to set an intention? If my intention at the store was to only buy sustainable food, I would have never bought it.

So here’s the weird thing, despite (or IN SPITE of?) my dry chicken. Everything I’ve intended in the last year, worked out in a completely different way- key word- WORKED OUT. I won’t go so far as to say, everything happens for a reason, but shizz does happen.

Now here’s a strange twist. I’m not a regular Bible reader but I flipped open my dusty Bible tonight and it landed in 2 Samuel: 19 which mentioned INTENT! I googled Samuel 2 to try to find out what it was about and found this reference in another WordPress blog: Mcburnett’s Musings. Weird. Right next door.

Mephibosheth, in the Bible, was a great grandson of King Saul. He was dropped by a nurse when he was 5 while they were fleeing a battle. It left him crippled. He lived in Exile to avoid being slane until the king sent for him. He was nervous, thinking he was surely dead meat now.

His intention was to just stay alive.

“He repeatedly referred to himself as a dead dog – not a worthless dog, not a despicable dog, but as a dead dog”.

But the King (David) welcomed him, like the prodigal son, inviting him to his table. McBurnett summed it up with this:

☩ We are born into the king’s household.
☩ We were created in his image, just a little lower than the angels.
☩ We suffered a fall from which we cannot recover.
☩  We are saddled with human weakness to which we fall victim. Given our human tendencies, we repeatedly fall below our own expectations and intentions. Our heritage and lineage explains our behavior, but it does not excuse it.
☩ We live in exile. Our father intended for us to dwell in the palace, but because of ancestors’ behavior, we have been cast out and must deal with the consequences. David raised the question, “What of Jonathan’s descendants?” and Jesus raised the question “What of Abraham’s descendants?”
☩ We are redeemed by the grace of Jesus/God, as Mephibosheth was redeemed by the grace of David.
☩ We are in hiding. Like Adam, we hide our shame from God. We are afraid of the judgment to come. Meanwhile, God is seeking us like the lost sheep or lost coin.
☩ The king does not want to find us for punishment, but for redemption.
☩ The king wants us to feast at his table forever.- Mcburnetts musings.

Yes, that went deep quickly. That wasn’t where I was going to go with this post. I feel like I was led around the pasture by the reins. Maybe someone needed to hear it. My takeaway is that sometimes our intentions aren’t God’s intentions for us. I know beyond truth, that my intentions for how I wanted my life to go, didn’t work out and I’m grateful for that! My intention yesterday, when I walked into the store, was not to lose my wallet, but I did. When I realized it had fallen out, I quickly turned around the corner and saw my shopping list bouncing away. My wallet was nowhere to be found. It was never turned in at all. After canceling all the cards and mourning the injustice of it, today I had the freedom and the money (on another credit card that I didn’t have to cancel yesterday) to buy a new wallet. It’s not the same as my loss- then stolen wallet, which I LOVED the design and have kept for over 4 years, but I was able to do it.

Blessings.

Tonight, I’m sitting at the King’s table- ya know- my husband’s; with my oven-roasted chicken in a plastic-covered case, looking vat my Kauai chicken mug, and I couldn’t be more grateful that all is well for the moment. 🐔🐓🐔🐓

Be That Person

Reposted with permission from Mattkahn.org

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Be that person who demands a more kind, peaceful, and compassionate world that doesn’t leave evolution any other option when leading by the power of your own living example.

Be that person who reaches in for nourished support, while reaching out to those who have forgotten their hearts as the source of eternal sustenance.

Be that person who fearlessly meets conflict with curiosity, daring to ask more questions, instead of making assumptions about the paths only other people’s feet have walked.

Be that person who transcends the ugliest of circumstances by showing there is no single moment absent of the beauty of our true enlightened form.

Be that person who builds a living relationship with the nature of divinity, no matter how often the seasons of change move through your field.

Be that person who holds no expectation over another person’s head, while maintaining an uncanny degree of ethical worthiness for how you will and won’t allow yourself to be treated.

Be that person who meets the venom of negativity as the defense mechanism of a snake afraid to part with known realities by shedding another layer of skin. When seeing the operating system fear hides in, a bite of venom becomes cleansing medicine instead of poison within the wisdom of a shamanic heart.

Be that person who turns turbulence into transition and sadness into a celebration. Much like a song initially only your heart can sing or hear, written by the lyrics of each tragedy survived, that brings other radiant souls towards you to share in the mutual glory of a mission fulfilled.

Be that person who measures achievement by the deeper qualities each moment cultivates in you, whether demonstrated with immaculate precision or still being brought to the surface by the moments in view.

Be that person who remains an ally to the innocence in every heart with the intuitive discernment to know how to hold space for the healing of others without being a place for anyone’s unprocessed pain to hide.

Be that person who cannot be manipulated into taking sides in a battle only molded by the hands of greed. For whenever sides are taken, the ‘I versus you’ or ‘us against them’ ensures no one will be that person who brings greed to justice — a justice only served when each of us dare to be that person — together as one.

Be that person who leaves this planet with the most breathtaking garden of insight to discover, grown from the seeds you so intentionally planted by insisting there is more to life than a rhythm of loss and gain.

Be that person, who becomes the person, no longer hiding within you, but brought to the surface for the unending joyful benefit of a world still afraid or unaware of that person deep within themselves.

Hear the peaceful rumble like the drumming of sacred ceremony echoing throughout all directions and corners of Mother Earth. It is an interconnection of light beings mindfully assembling for the salvation of our planet. It is a movement of progress only set into greater motion when that person dares to step forward. As each of us answer this call to be that person, it is only then when we the people can be heard, acknowledged, and respected by the reciprocity of collective progress. Welcome to the Love Revolution.

#BeThatPerson

All For Love,

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