Allowing

If you had told me 2 years ago that I would love again I would have cried and then laughed at you. I never believed when Mike died that I would ever love again. I honestly just could not see how I was even going to live the rest of my life without him. It was one of the hardest times of my life thus far. I couldn’t imagine life without him. Love again? Never! Laugh again? Doubtful!

I think the aspect of loving again that scared me the most was opening my heart. Let’s face it, in order to love someone you have to open your heart and allow yourself to feel. Feel the fear. Feel the love. You have to be able to trust again. Trust that if you give your heart to someone they will treat it gently. You have to open yourself up to the possibility that you will be hurt. The thought that I could have a best friend again was beyond my comprehension. I didn’t think I could ever share my deepest, darkest feelings with anyone ever again. Mainly because I didn’t feel that there would be another person that could understand me or love me enough to just allow me to be me, no matter how messy that me is. Loving again was not something I truly thought was possible.

In the last 2 years I have traveled several thousand miles. I have seen and made a couple of friends. I truly had no definitive plans and I never dreamed that there would be a future, anywhere. I thought I would just be a wanderlust for the rest of my life. No roots. No future. Just being.

Apparently, Spirit had other plans for me. I originally thought I would be staying in Texas. That didn’t happen. I ended up here in South Carolina. What brought me here is not near as important as the fact that I have stayed. It is beautiful here. I love the landscape. On one side of the street you have the forest, the beautiful green pine trees and on the other you have the ocean. If you know me you know that I love both but there is something that touches my soul deeply when I stand at ocean’s edge. It is truly where my heart is filled and my soul is at peace.

I thought that being alone for the rest of my life was exactly what I wanted. Then it happened. I met someone. At first I wasn’t sure I could love him. I actually didn’t want to love anyone. I just wanted to be me. Funny how life takes you down the roads you believe are closed off with barriers! At first it was the fact that he could make me laugh. Oh my does he make me laugh. It felt good to do so again. It had been a long while. Then I found myself spending every moment I could with him and actually looking forward to those moments. When his protective side came out I felt safe. When we would talk I could tell him things that I would never have told anyone else and he listened. More than listening he understood. Slowly we began to build a friendship.

I am a true believer that the foundation of any relationship is friendship. If the person you are with is not your best friend then when your world falls to pieces you will find yourself alone. It is the worst of times that your best friend is there to help you pick up the pieces and get you through. They are the ones that pick you up when you have fallen, when don’t feel like you can or want to get back up to fight again. Friendship is the ultimate key to love.

Let’s face it, every relationship goes through stages where you want to be with that person every day, spend every moment with them to where you just don’t like them. The friendship you build is what will get you through the times where you just don’t like them. The friendship is what will get you through the roller coaster of life and in the end it is the friendship that will overcome anything and everything that life brings. Without that foundation you most likely won’t make it through together for very long.

It took me a while to come to grips with my own feelings. Letting go of what was, allowing what is in the here and now has been one of the hardest things I have ever done. I had a beautiful relationship and although this relationship is different I have a beautiful relationship.

On the one hand I find myself still going through many stages of grief. I have found myself extremely angry that I have had to let go of so many dreams, wants and desires that I had. On the other hand I find myself embracing the life I have. There are a lot of struggles and I still do not have a firm and steady footing but I can honestly say that I am happy and very much in love.

“Allowing” life to unfold. Learning to trust. Learning to “allow” myself to love again. Learning to let go of things that no longer serve. Every day is an adventure. Some days I pass with flying colors. Other days I cry at every little thing. Everyday I strive to live this thing called life to the best of my ability.

I will never fulfill some of my dreams. I will, however. continue to dream. I have learned to open my heart and at times I find myself shutting it down again but ultimately I have allowed love in my life again. As scary as that is, it is here, I am open to it. Will it last forever? What is forever anyway? For me. forever means that you carry the love you share with you when you leave this earth so in that aspect, yes, it will last forever. The love we share today will always fill my heart. The memories we make will always fill my soul. In this aspect I know that this love, the love that has begun to heal a shattered heart. The love that has helped me find my way will forever be with me.

I don’t know what the future will bring. Obviously, nothing I planned 2 years ago has been what I thought it would be, instead my heart has been opened, my healing has been difficult and my grief has been intense but today I am alive and living life in a way I never dreamed I would. I am thankful and I am blessed.

Life is never everything we believe it should be but when we step forward and live it to the best of our ability we open ourselves up to allow things to be better, sweeter, more intense than we could have dreamed.

For me, I am going to continue loving this man. I am going to continue letting go of what I had and embrace what is here now. It is different but it is just as beautiful, just in different ways. I look at my life and I am in awe that I could be so blessed to have this love in my life. I am in awe to have the laughter. I am in awe to feel protected and have the knowing that at the end of the day I was and am loved. I never dreamed it was possible and yet here it is and I am in awe of the blessings.

In Her Service,

Sage

Making Memories

In every moment we have the opportunity to embrace life and make memories. I believe that when we leave this earth what we leave behind is the love that we share and the memories we have made with those that we love.

Some memories will be beautiful and others will be painful but how we live is what will be remembered. How we made someone feel. How we treated them. How we loved or hated them.

I also believe that during our dying process we relive the memories of our life. We work on releasing the guilt for the pain that we caused others and we have our hearts healed by the beautiful memories we make in love.

In my training I was taught that when we remember our bodies do not know that it is a memory. Instead our body reacts as though what we are thinking about is happening in this moment. So if it is a bad memory your body, your cells, your being reacts. Whether with sadness or fear your body reacts. The same is true with happiness, love and joy. If you think of a beautiful memory then your body reacts in kind.

I find myself looking at the beauty in my life. I left California in search of myself. I have found many things out about myself over the last year. Mostly, I have come to realize that I am a good person and that I deserve love. This has been a huge lesson for me. So now, now, I focus on making beautiful memories. I am thankful daily for my blessings and the beauty in my life.

Five months ago I met someone. He has taught me a lot. Some of it has been painful. Some of it has brought about changes within that I never dreamed possible. Regardless, it has been beautiful.

I am making memories. Beautiful memories. I have love in my life. I laugh a lot. I am constantly called an “emotional witch” because I cry when I feel the need to cry. I laugh when I am happy and very seldom do I find myself angry. When I do everyone knows it!

But this particular post is about some of the beautiful memories I have been blessed with over the last five months. Memories that I will always hold onto because they fill my soul with joy and beauty and every day they make me thankful I am alive.

Dancing. Have I ever told you how much I love music? Did you know that I love to dance? I really do! There is something amazing that happens when the music starts and you can feel it in your body and begin to move with it. I just love to dance. I am blessed with a sweet, gentle man who loves to dance too. I have had many nights over the last five months where the music starts and I find myself in his arms dancing in the kitchen, living room, wherever we are. I love every single moment, even when I am stepping on his feet! These dances are some of my most treasured memories.

I live only a few miles from the beach. Unfortunately I don’t get there quite as much as I would like to but I have some beautiful memories sitting on the shore watching the sun rise. I also have the memory of the first time I went to the beach with Rodney. It was nighttime. I only wanted to go to make an offering of thanks. I made my offering, it was a full moon, and the next thing I knew I was being pulled into the ocean. Laughing and finding myself feeling safe within his arms. It is a memory I will hold onto forever.

Almost anyone who knows me knows that I have refused to go to a movie theater for years. They give me the weebee jeebees. Well he talked me into going to the movie theater. We have now been there twice and I love it. They are a lot nicer than I remember, reclining chairs and arm room but ultimately it is something that I enjoy doing that I would never have done if he had not come along and convinced me to try it again.

So far my absolute favorite memory happened a week or so ago. We were laying in bed watching tv, listening to the rain, thunder and lightning. All of a sudden he looks at me and says, “Do you want to go dance in the rain?” I, of course, said YES!! You see I love the rain. I love thunderstorms and I have never danced with anyone in the rain before. He is on crutches but that did not stop him. He got up and grabbed my hand and we headed for the front door. We stood outside, crutches and all, dancing in the storm until we were soaked to the bone. Laughing, holding each other and swaying to the music that only we could hear. To this moment in time I have to say that it is the most beautiful moment in my life.

One of the things I have learned from having this man in my life is spontaneity. I don’t need to plan every little detail because chances are my plans are going to go straight out the door and never be realized. He is constantly going and nothing is ever set in stone. I am learning to adjust and am finding it refreshing and life affirming. Just one of the many beautiful changes in my life. I am thankful for the lessons and honestly I think it makes me feel younger and I have a deeper sense of freedom. A freedom to just be me and do what feels right rather than what I think is right. Beautiful moments come from his spontaneous ways and for that I am forever thankful.

So when you get wrapped up in your day to day living don’t forget to stop and appreciate the special moments. Take time to recognize the moments that you share with those you love. Remember to show or tell those you love that you love them often. Life gets to busy. People get wrapped up in their own pain. They just let it slide. They think that they will always be there to tell and then they aren’t. So today, I am making memories, reflecting on the beauty in my life and telling those I love that I love them. We are loving those that love us and making a difference together.

Live, love and laugh and always find the beauty.

In Her Service,

Sage

Hidden Healing

For many years now I have worked on healing my own wounds. There have been many. If you have read my blog prior, you know this.

Yet, for all of the healing I have done, all the tears I have shed, all the heartache I have endured, I am finding that beneath all of the stones that I have turned over there are still many shadows lurking.

Just about the time I thought I had myself completely together and had a handle on my own healing life threw some wrenches in the mix to show me that I still have plenty of work to do.

It started with an invitation to Thanksgiving dinner that ultimately ended up being an un-invite. It was extremely painful.

Then it went into a step forward to help someone I thought was my friend to only find that I was more a means to an end.

After that it was being thrown into the middle of a situation that cost me relationships that I valued.

These are just a few of the situations that have occurred over the last couple of months and each of them has caused me to re-evaluate where I stand and what my truth is. I have for years had the same friendships and they have been strong. With moving I have stepped out of my comfort zone and tried to make new friends only to find that what I see as friendship is not always what others see. It has, on many levels, been disheartening. Yet I continue to move forward and I have cut my losses.

At the beginning of all of these happenings I met a man. I had actually met him a couple of months before but really had not had the opportunity to get to know him until November. In November that all changed. To be quite honest I never thought it would be more than maybe a one night stand. Something I am not comfortable with but I have learned over time that no matter what your hopes are sometimes they happen. I liked this man from the moment I met him. There was something about him that I felt very drawn to and I didn’t quite understand what it was. His name is Rodney.

Over the last couple of months I have faced more shadows, walked through more grief, faced many demons and ultimately healed a lot of hidden wounds. Why? Because of my relationship with Rodney. Through all of the things I listed above he has stood by my side. He has supported me and helped me through some very trying times. He has given me strength when I didn’t think I could make it through another day and through it all he has made me laugh. But ultimately he has helped me heal a specific area of my life that I had completely and utterly ignored for decades.

A little history here. As a child I was sexually molested by my grandfather (I call him “Satan himself”). Through the ages of 5 to 12 I was his play toy, so to say. I have blocked many of the memories out, they are just to painful to remember. Some of them have come back over the last couple of years and none of them are pretty. As they appear I work through them.

I knew that the memories would return when I was going through my training. During that time I would journey to retrieve a soul part and for three years I would be taken to a little girl in a sandbox. As I would begin to talk to her I would be thrown out. The trauma was so deep that it took me three years to even have a conversation with her. I have worked with her now for well over five years and still the healing is not complete.

Then there was my abusive marriage. It included more than just physical abuse and it just compounded the wounds I received as a child.

In fact almost every marriage I have had there has been a sexual wound that has just compounded the ones received as a child. I am not going to go into details because they are not necessary.

I will say that with my late husband, Mike, there was no abuse, instead there just was no sexual contact for the last 8 years of our marriage. His choice, not mine.

As a woman in her early 40’s having my husband tell me that he was not interested in me sexually was hard to deal with. I did though. I loved him enough that I literally just shut off my sexual desire and anything to do sex. It did, however, compound the sexual wounds that I had already incurred.

I am now 52 years old. Along comes Rodney. He is kind. He is gentle. He is patient. Every day he helps me heal.

I have to say that Rodney is the first man in my life that I trust explicitly. It has just never happened before. There was always fear. Fear of abuse. Fear of abandonment. Fear that I was not good enough.

Throughout my life there have been two theme’s that have weaved themselves into my world. Abuse and abandonment. I had literally closed myself off to the possibility that there would ever be anyone that could make me feel safe in the bedroom. Rodney has done that. He is truly the first man that I completely trust. He is also the first man to put my satisfaction before his own. In turn, he is the first man to bring me orgasms. Yes, that is plural because every time we have sex I have multiple orgasms. I feel safe and loved.

Rodney is a man of great patience. When I am facing my wounds. When I am crying and can’t explain why, he is patient, he loves me through it until I can get to the point of telling him what is going on inside. He is not so worried about the past as he is about the now of things. He understands my brokenness, even if he doesn’t always like what he is told and he literally helps me face those wounds and then loves me through it.

Some issues I face and they go away quickly. Others it takes me days to process. Either way he never forces an issue. Never.

Within our society we focus on women’s bodies more than any other thing. Sex sells. After having 5 children via c-section as well as a hysterectomy my body is not something that I have loved. When I look in the mirror I see scars, stretch marks, sagging boobs. Desire is not a word that I have felt or known. Until now.

I love the woman I am. I love what I have to offer another. I know that I am a good woman. I know that my heart is true and that I love wholly. Yet, looking in the mirror and seeing the body that houses that woman is not something I have enjoyed doing.

There are still hurdles to cross. Some may seem inconsequential to others but to me, to me they are huge. One of those hurdles is lingerie. Something that millions of women take for granted on a daily basis. Lingerie sells because sex sells. For me though it strikes fear in my whole being.

Imagine my fear when Rodney asked me when I was going to get something pretty to wear to bed. It literally made my stomach do a flip. I seriously wanted to throw up. Why? Because 24 years ago I walked out in lingerie and I was asked what the hell I was doing. I was told to go back to my room and change because it just wasn’t going to work. I have not worn lingerie since. So to have Rodney ask me about getting some struck fear in my heart. Fear of rejection. Fear of failure. Fear of being undesirable, again.

The key here though is that because of who he is and how he treats me he has made me look at that fear. I have yet to buy lingerie but I am thinking about it. That is a step in the right direction. Another aspect of healing. There have been many moments of healing that which has been hidden.

There are moments that he doesn’t always understand. There are moments when he gets frustrated with me or doesn’t want to know why I am the way that I am. There are moments when he wants me to just leave the past in the past and get past it all. Yet, he doesn’t push me. He supports me no matter what I am going through. I know that it would be easy to just push it all aside but I also know that doing so is not going to help me heal those wounds. He understands that and in turn he offers me patience and love. He shows me that I am no longer there. He shows me that I no longer need to have that fear. He shows me that I am desirable and worthy. He literally loves me through my wounds and when I walk out the other side of that wound he is standing there loving me some more.

I know that he cannot heal me. I know that I have to face my own darkness. I also know having someone who looks at me with desire, love, kindness, caring and gentleness has given me the ability to learn to love my body for what it is. It has given me the ability to see myself in a different light. It has given me the ability to look at those fears and face them head on and know that when I walk through I am still going to have that kindness, love, desire and gentleness. Nothing is forced. Nothing is ugly. When I look in Rodney’s eyes, those eye’s show me beauty and in turn I am finding my own beauty.

Within all of these moments the most amazing thing is that he has opened up an area in my life that I pushed aside, tried to deny and in turn he has given me the opportunity to heal that which has been hidden. For that I will be forever grateful. Seeing my beauty through his beautiful eye’s has been a remarkable journey.

In Her Service,

Sage

Expect The Unexpected

I always laugh when I begin to make plans. I already know that every plan I make is subject to change at the drop of a hat. The Universe has a way of laughing at me just when I think I have gotten everything together and know where I am going. My plans never seem to go exactly the way I see them. I am good with it though. I learned a long time ago that if I just go with the flow things work out better than I could have imagined it. Especially when everything seems to be falling apart.

I haven’t written in a couple of months. Life had gotten the best of me. I just couldn’t find the words to say what was going on in my mind and heart. Many days it wasn’t good and even today I struggle with just focusing on the good. It has been a couple of tough months. I have kept my head above water but it hasn’t been easy. I am still standing though and as I sit down to write this I find that my heart and my head are actually on the same page again so all is well with the world. That does not mean that it is perfect. It doesn’t mean that I have any answers whatsoever but it means that deep down I know that everything is going to work out and be exactly what it is suppose to be and once again life will be different.

I am good with change. I know many do not like change. I have heard it said that the harder you fight the changes the harder the changes become. I quit fighting. I step back and just watch. I look at me, look at my feelings within and I figure out where I am and how I am adjusting. Sometimes I adjust better and others I just cry. Either way I find that the less resistance the easier the change is. I do my best to just go with the flow.

My world has changed significantly the last month. My son came to South Carolina. He faced many challenges the first couple of weeks he was here and yet he has managed to keep on moving forward. I would like to think that it is because he was taught well but really it is because that is who he is. He is a determined young man and I am proud of him. His challenges have created many challenges for me and yet I am doing alright. In fact, I am happy. Did you hear that? I am actually happy.

I don’t have a place to live. I am staying with a friend. I am looking for a place to live and my life has been one huge challenge after another the last 2 months but I am still here, still doing what I have to survive and I am still standing.

The biggest change in my life, other than housing, is that I have met someone. I never, ever thought I would find anyone to make me laugh a full on belly laugh again. Yet he does. Every single day I laugh. It is the most amazing thing in the world.

I met him a couple of months ago but we didn’t really get to know each other. We would say hello in passing and then just go on with our lives. Then one night we were both hanging out with friends and the next thing you knew we were there, side by side, talking, laughing and getting to know each other. It has been an amazing journey since that day. He not only makes me laugh he also shows me how much he cares. He says he doesn’t but I see and feel it every day. Every day he makes me smile. Every day he makes me feel like a woman. Every day he shares his life with me and every day he is by my side helping me and supporting my decisions. I can talk to him and know that he is going to listen and although he may not have answers he will be there.

I have a couple of friends who are not fond of him. I know from experience that if you base everything on what your friends feel you will find yourself alone and miserable. I have to acknowledge that they have a right to their feelings and thoughts and ultimately it doesn’t change my love for them but I have to do what is best for me and right now, in this moment, he is what is best for me.

Honestly, I have not felt this complete happiness in a very long time. It is healing. It is helping me let go and more than anything it is making me feel alive again. I was lacking that deep within. I was going through the motions but deep inside I was empty. I had no will to really live. I had promised that I would so I went through the motions but until now I didn’t realize that I didn’t care whether I was walking this earth or not. Now I care. Now I know that I am suppose to be here doing me and finding complete and utter joy within is the key to that.

My joy is not based on one individual. Instead that individual has shown me that I have a life that is worth living and in turn that I can find my happiness again. He woke me up. He woke my heart up again and in turn he helped me heal me. I will be forever thankful for all he has offered me and all he has shared with me.

I have no idea where this relationship will go. I am one of those people who love and love fiercely and love is not something he wants in his life. I am doing me. He is doing him and right now we are doing us. I am good with that. Whatever comes about I believe it is meant to be and I now know that I have the capability to care deeply again and be me without condition. It is the most liberating and joyful feeling in the world. This has been his gift to me. He has opened me up. I am thankful.

Sometimes we just have to expect the unexpected and embrace the change that it brings forward and right now that is exactly what I am doing. Good? Bad? Indifferent? Really it doesn’t matter because life is going to bring what it brings and I am going to stand strong and continue to just be me.

In Her Service,

Sage

Then There Were Women

I hate to say it, but it is true, for the majority of my life I have not trusted other women. I have always been a tomboyish kind of girl and now woman. I love sports, working on things and have always related to guys better than girls. I could, and have, sat in a room full of women and been extremely uncomfortable. I could, and have, sat in a room full of men and never felt uncomfortable.

Here is the thing, part of this, is because of society. I see it now. I didn’t before. We pit woman against woman. You always have to be the sexiest. The prettiest. The smartest. The fill in the blank. I just couldn’t relate. Maybe because my dad was one of those men that always stressed knowledge before beauty. I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup. I had to keep my grades up. I played sports. Oh, I did girl things, I cooked, still love doing so for that matter. I didn’t wear a lot of dresses. I was and still am a blue jean girl. I just never felt the need to compete. I couldn’t compete. I have always said I am just me and what you see is what you get. No hidden agendas.

I have been on the losing end of competition and I don’t like it. I always strive to be the best in everything I do. It has been something that has been a life long thing. I have been on the losing end of relationships where other women were trying to take whomever I was dating. I lost. Why? Because I generally wouldn’t compete. If you want someone else then I am not your girl. That is how I look at it. Yes, my heart has been broken but I survived.

I have very seldom trusted another woman with my deepest, darkest places within. I didn’t trust because let’s face it, women gossip. I am not one to put myself out there because I don’t want to know that the trust I had was broken. It has happened to many times.

Guys didn’t have a need to talk and for the most part they got me. So for the most part the most important people in my life have been guys. Not in a sexual way but in a friendship way. I knew I could share and it would stay right there. Somehow I found them to be more compassionate and understanding and really more trustworthy. This had been my life until a year or so ago.

A little over a year ago I was accepted into the SOA Seminary program. There were a small group of women and our assignments were very personal, very deep and really it was terrifying. As time went on I found solace in this group of women. They became true friends. They knew the deepest, darkest parts of my soul and yet they always stepped up and supported me. They didn’t judge me. They were there for me when I needed them most. There was no competition, it was all about loving each other through. It changed my life. It gave me a new perspective on the ability we have as women when we choose to be who we are with no apologies.  To these Sisters (and I use that word with a deep understanding that they are truly my Sisters of heart) I thank you for this beautiful lesson.

When you are able to so profoundly change a view you have carried for your entire life your entire life changes. Because of my SOA Sisters I have found my relationships with other women more enriching. I have made some beautiful friends. Women that get me. Women that know that I am not competing with them but rather loving them for who they are. I have been blessed with a handful of these women and ultimately it has made me a better person.

You hear talk of Southern women all the time. They are like no other women on earth. Well coming to South Carolina I have met many. Some have taken the time to get to know me and some have stayed on the fringe and are just acquaintances. Some are drama queens and some are down to earth and filled with love.

There are two that I can say are there through thick and thin. These two women are amazing women. I have learned so much in such a short time from both of them. First there is Miss Barbara. She is that woman who doesn’t need to compete with any other woman because she is her and you either love her or you don’t. She doesn’t care one way or another! She is 76 years old and she shines. She has zero problem sharing her mind and always, at least within our group, always says what she says in love. She will be the first to tell me that I am screwing up with no apologies. She has had some amazing experiences and her stories will have you rolling on the floor in laughter.

Some of the things she has taught me is that age doesn’t matter. You can do and be anything you want and if others don’t like it then that is their problem. Be you. She has also taught me that I am alright just being me. Please me no matter what others think. I love my time watching football with her (even though our teams are rivals). I love my time listening to her stories and I love her attitude.

Then there is our girl Jesse. She is 12 years younger than me. She just turned 40. She has had some life experiences that I wouldn’t want to have and yet through it all she is one of the most AMAZING, CARING women I have ever known. She is tough and soft all at the same time. She has the most beautiful smile and it literally lights up the room.

Some of the things she has taught me is that no matter what your past is you are not defined by it. Make life what you want it to be. She has shown me how to be kinder and gentler. She has shown me that I can trust a woman with my secrets and I won’t be betrayed. She has given so much of herself and never asked for anything in return. She has taught me selflessness. She has taught me how to be a better woman just by being her and not judging anything.

To both of these women I say with the deepest of gratitude, thank you. Thank you for sharing so much of yourselves with me. Thank you for picking me up when I fall. Thank you for being there no matter what. Thank you for loving me. You have changed my life for the better. I love every single second we spend together. You brighten my world in ways you will never see nor understand and I love you both.

To the women that feel there needs to be competition. To the women that feel that they can’t trust other women. I can promise you that there are women in this world that are not those women. There are women that don’t care if you have make up on or are dressed to kill. We see you for who you are and the outer shell isn’t it. Find your women and trust them. It is an amazing adventure that will enrich your life beyond words.

 

My heart in Texas

Shattered heart. Broken woman. Lost in darkness. Grief stricken. Tired. Strong. Weak. No hope. No dreams. No trust.

These are all the things that I have felt and been this last year. Yet, here I stand. Finding a new way of being. Here I stand looking for a new tomorrow. Here I am living in the moment. There is pain. I will not say otherwise. There is doubt. I would be lying if I said otherwise. Sometimes seeing that hope and feeling it is the scariest thing on earth. If you have no hope you can’t be hurt. If you have no hope you can just get through and not have to worry about anyone or anything. If you have no hope you are existing, not living.

My heart has been broken so many times over the last 30 years that there are times I wonder how it can feel anything. There is always pain. There is always hurt. Finding happiness and joy is something I generally don’t expect, yet, I strive for it. I yearn for it. I pray for it. When it shows up I celebrate it. It isn’t often and when I feel it I revel in it. I bask in it’s light. My life has been filled with grief for so long that I wouldn’t know how to exist without it. I would really like to find out but I have a feeling that it is here to stay. I have had to befriend it just to breathe. The beauty of grief is that it is a great teacher. It teaches you to appreciate every moment. It teaches you that nothing is permanent, everything changes, in a blink of an eye. It teaches you that life is short and you are here for only a short time so you better make the most of the life you have.

A year ago my heart was shattered. I had no hope. I could no longer dream. I was buried in darkness and couldn’t find a way out of it. Grief became my best friend. Grief almost destroyed me. I felt as though I couldn’t take one more loss. You see over the last 30 years I have grieved, non stop. First it was the loss of my sons, having to start life over, losing that start and going home only to have my grandmother die, another start, then the death of my daughter and loss of my marriage, another beginning to face, so many friends that I can give you their names by the order that they died, another start, the loss of my dad, father in law, my “other” dad and my husband, 14 deaths in the last 6 years. Another start. To be honest I am tired.

I needed a change. I needed to find a connection. I needed to rejuvenate and find my place in this world. I planned my journey. Obstacle after obstacle appeared. They are still showing up. Then I felt the need to be the friend I wish I had, had this last year and I came to Texas. For the first time in years I felt joy. Along with that joy there has been a lot of pain. A lot of letting go. A lot of doubt. A lot of being unsure of myself. A lot of life.

The land here has spoken so deeply that each day I am amazed at the beauty in the sky, the earth beating beneath my feet, the life that pulses through even among the concrete. I find myself dazed many times. Just standing in amazement at the beauty of this place. I have yet to find words to describe it, yet, it fills my heart fully. The thought of leaving brings tears to my eyes, a crack to my voice and feeling of extreme loss.

The people here, the people of Texas. They are open, kind, warm. They have welcomed me as one of their own and I feel very much at home with them. I have made some beautiful friendships that I know will last the rest of my days on this earth.

In the short time I have been here I have found love, not the all engulfing, can’t live without you love of a partner, but rather a love that fills my being with hope. I gave up on hope a long time ago. I quit dreaming. Now, well now I have glimpses of hope, it isn’t long lasting, something always makes me dash it because to hope means I have to believe in another and I have a hard time with that. I just can’t put my heart in the hands of another because doing so means that I have to trust them and trust does not come easy for me. If I trust you enough to share my world with you then you have to be someone very special and there are very few that I feel that way about. Yet, there are glimpses of hope. There are moments of dreaming.

For me, the hope and dreaming means that I am healing. I may back up and step away. I may walk away and throw that hope and that dream away, I have done so many times since being here. Each time a piece of my heart is ripped open again, but for me, it is a sign that I am healing. It is a sign that someday I will no longer have a shattered heart and I will be able to hope and dream without feeling the acute pain of loss. That day isn’t here. The pain I feel in this moment, in the last 3 weeks has been great. Someday. Believing someday it will be, means that there is a sliver of hope telling me that there is healing happening. It is a beautiful way of being. Hope is here, healing is happening, and fear is fading.

This place, these people, they have opened my heart, it will be hurt, that I have no doubt about, it already has been, but the gift they have brought to my life is the true heart of healing. Love, they have given me love and in the process they have offered me hope. The journey to self is long and arduous, finding healing is a gift that is greater than any pain. Here I have found the beginning of that healing. Here I have felt joy. Here I have felt acute pain and I didn’t go to that deep darkness, instead I just kept holding on and I found solace in the land and sky. Here the sky brings comfort and the land reminds me that I am still alive and I need to live the time I have left with all of my being. Here I have found gratitude for the life that I have been given, pain and all. Here I am finding life over death again. Here I am blessed. Thank you Texas – both land and people you have helped me find a piece of me I had forgotten about. Thank you for the love!

 

 

Love Wins

For years after my first divorce I struggled with letting people take advantage of me.  I was like the carpet by the front door, wipe your feet on it and walk in.

After so many years of being told that I would never amount to anything, I was stupid, unworthy, to fat, to ugly, basically a worthless human, I struggled with not only finding out who I was and what I liked but also that I was worthy and deserved love.

Bottom line, I was deeply wounded and finding my own voice, strength and worthiness.  Learning to love myself and that woman I saw in the mirror was a long and arduous journey.  It was not a journey that was completed over night.  In fact, it has been a daily journey for over 27 years.

There are setbacks, then leaps forward and the cycle continues on and on, over and over again.  It only takes someone to use the right combination of words to throw me back.  I call them triggers.

These triggers can and do rock my world.  They bring back the fear I had for my own survival and ultimately they make me feel insecure and inept.

Recently, I went through an ordeal where I not only felt unwanted, hated, and so many other things but worse than that I felt unworthy.  I felt as though I had no strength, no voice, no way of figuring life out anymore.  This time was different though, this time it was caused by deep, buried grief. I held on.  After burying my head under the blankets for 3 weeks I got up and started again.

My heart was shattered, my body felt as though it had been beaten, my mind was numb but I didn’t quit and I began searching.  I searched for my voice as well as my strength.  I knew it was there.  I knew I would survive but would I ever be whole again?  Would I love this new me?  Would I love that woman in the mirror again?

When my life gets turned upside down I turn to Spirit.  Spirit is where my faith lies and thus far in life Spirit has never let me down.  Oh don’t get me wrong, I have had many disappointments because things didn’t turn out the way I wanted them to but always the final outcome is better than even I can imagine.

Over the last 23 years I have worked very hard to be an example to my son Jeremy.  I wanted him to have love beyond words and a mom he could be proud of.

A mom who showed strength in the face of adversity, who could overcome the obstacles in front of her.  A mom who spoke her truth and stood strong in that truth.  I wanted him to know and understand love, but more importantly I wanted him to know and understand compassion.

I wanted him to know and understand that no matter what gifts life gives him he is no better than anyone else that lives and breathes.  I wanted him to know that prejudices against others because of race, sexual orientation or any other divisive issue breeds hate and hate kills the soul.  He needed to know that we are all equal regardless of who we are and what we believe.

I needed and wanted to be an example to him as a woman who had a deep, abiding faith in Spirit.

I never wanted him to see me a total wreck. I failed at this after 23 years of striving to succeed.  He saw me fall utterly and completely apart.  Do you know what I learned?

I learned that my son has grown up to be everything I had hoped for!  He was strong when I was weak.  He was kind, caring and compassionate.  Never once did he waiver in his love.  He helped me pick the pieces of myself up and encouraged me to find my own way in putting those pieces back together. No judgment, no anger, just love.

I am back, a little bit tattered but when I look in the mirror I am happy with the woman I see again.

Here is the thing.  I know they say after your spouse dies you should not make life changing decisions for 6 months to a year.  This is really great advice. Sometimes though life happens.  You need or have to make decisions for you well being so you can survive.

I believe you have to trust that everything is unfolding just as it should.  Love finds a way to your heart and then your heart gets broken again.  If never given the chance, never being open to it, how do you you if you can love again or trust another? Having my heart broken made me grieve for all I had lost.  It also showed me the strength I carry within.  It changed me.  Life is all about changes right?  Nothing ever stays exactly the same from one moment to the next.

I not only survived it I came out of it all with a knowledge that I can love again.  More than that I want to love and be loved again.  I never imagined that I would ever feel that way again.  I had love, I lost love and my life was just about getting to the end, until I realized how much love I truly have to still give.  So many lessons in such a short time.  I find it amazing.

I don’t “need” anyone.  I instead stand in choice.  One of the things I learned in my training was that everything we do is done in choice.  We live in choice.  This is a beautiful way of seeing life.  It is all about taking responsibility for our actions and be conscious of our choices.  Knowing why we are doing what we are doing and trusting that our intuition is right rather than delaying everything and then blaming others for our bad decisions.  I have made many bad choices in my lifetime.  I own them all.  They were mine and only mine.

Anyway, I choose to love again.  I choose to be open to see where the road leads me. I choose love and in my heart I know that love will find a way.  It always does.

My belief is that Spirit brings you to the people who will make you stand up and be your best self.  Spirit offers you the opportunity and the lesson and how you choose determines how you grow.

I believe deep down inside each of us we want to love and be loved.  Many times we have been so hurt and had failed relationships that we are afraid to jump. We live in fear that the other person won’t love us.  We fear that we won’t be good enough.  We fear.  For me my triggers start to come alive again.  What if I am not worthy?  What if I am not good enough?

And then something amazing happens, the self talk goes away and I remember that I am worthy and I love that woman in the mirror.  I have worked long and hard over the years to know who I am and what I want.  I have stood in my truth when it has cost me more than most are willing to lose.  I have been all of the things I had hoped to show my son a woman can be.  I realize that I am love and no matter what someone else chooses to believe I am more than worthy.  It is true freedom when you love the person you are and trust that what is brought to you is going to be perfect just the way it is.

I don’t need to change him.  I can love him just the way he is.  I can love with all of my heart.  I can jump because regardless of what fear there may be I trust my heart and I trust that Spirit is leading me exactly where I need to be.  I am jumping.  I am giving it my all and nothing less.  Because that is me.  I don’t know how to be anything other than that.  If it is to much or not enough I can look in the mirror and know that I offered all that I am with no conditions.  Love wins either way.

I believe we all make mistakes.  I have made many.  With that said though I also believe in second and third chances.  As many as it takes to make things right in our hearts.  I believe in forgiveness.  To me forgiveness is a form of love, whether you have to forgive yourself or someone else.  The act of forgiveness is an act of love.

Ultimately, we all live in choice.  We choose if we are going to be kind and compassionate.  We choose if we are going to forgive ourselves or others.  We choose whether we will be lonely.  We choose happiness.  We choose to never give up on someone and ourselves.  We choose if we will open up and love again.  We choose what our life will be filled with, pain or joy.  We choose.  What choices will you make?

In Her Service,

Sage

The Rings

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There are days when you can feel your emotions right on the edge.  You know where every little thing threatens to make you cry or brings up an emotion you just weren’t expecting? Today was one of those days for me.

It started with me going through all of my altar stuff.  Dismantling your life is tedious and exhausting work.  It also brings back a ton of memories.  Looking at my altar stuff I found things that were given to me as gifts that I knew I couldn’t part with.  Other things I used as a representation for this or that.  They will mean nothing to anyone but me.  Trying to decide what to get rid of and what to keep is a feat in and of itself.

Then you add two young men who want things that meant something to you for their own altars.  In my previous post I talked about Cerridwen being the Goddess I work most with and on my altar for years I have kept a beautiful glass pig.  My son wanted her.  Then there was an owl for Bloudewedd that Kity wanted.  That doesn’t count the small minute things that each of them claimed as their own.  It is one of those things that you find very kind and sweet.  They want to keep you and your energy near them and at the same time it is difficult to let go of those things that have brought you so much comfort for so many years.

Emotions run high on both sides.  The receiver and the giver.  We all felt it.  It is a way of letting go and preparing for a future that we are all uncertain of but know is necessary. Trepidation, love, laughter and a few feelings of what is really going to happen once the reality sets in and this new beginning actually begins.

And then this happens…

I get ready to head upstairs and I stop at the end of my bed for a moment.  I look over and I see my wedding ring laying there next to Mike’s.  I know immediately what needs to be done.  I pick them up and head upstairs.

The memories come flooding back.  The first time we were married we went for simple gold rings.  The second time he bought me a beautiful Goddess ring and I bought him a celtic type weaved ring.  I ultimately couldn’t wear my ring because it would break my hands out so we opted to go back to the two simple gold rings we had originally.  I wore them for a while after he died, until I couldn’t anymore.  After so many years of wearing them all of a sudden my hand would break out in a terrible rash every time I wore them.  I finally figured that it was his way of telling me to let go and I took them off.  They have sat there together since.

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I am standing in the kitchen and I ask Jeremy to come in.  I had already given him the weaved ring a couple of months ago.  I try to make sure that he has things that meant something to his dad to hold onto.  They were so close and Mike’s death has been extremely hard for him.  He lost his best friend the day his dad died, he lost his dad way to young.  They had to many things left to do that will never happen now so the small things are most important now.

Into the kitchen he comes and I ask him to put his pinky finger out.  He does and I put both of our rings on his finger.  He looked at me kind of funny and I asked him if he knew what they were.  He didn’t.  I told him that they are our wedding rings and he immediately cried.  I cried.  Then we laughed.  He told me how small our hands were. The moment was beautiful and now we move on.

I keep telling myself that they are “just rings.” Yet, deep in my heart I know that they are more than “just rings,” they represent a friendship that was true and deep.  They represent a love that was unique and fulfilling.  They represent pain, loss, love, laughter and a life of happiness that ended way to soon.

To the outside eye they are “just rings” but to me they are filled with memories. My only wish now is that our son will make his own memories with them but never forget what they represent in his life.  A mother and a father who love him more than life itself.  Parents who loved and laughed together.  He can add his own memories to them and someday he can share them with his own family. For now, for me, they represent letting go and starting anew.  The memories are sweet, my heart is full and those rings are now our son’s.  The circle of life moves forward.  I am thankful.

Memories & Love

Mike is here today.  He just keeps showing up in everything.  It is not a bad thing, it just brings up so many feelings.  I guess they are feelings I need to let go of.  Sometimes it isn’t so easy to do.  Other times I can identify them and feel them and let them go.  Today it seems to be all about yearning.

A deep yearning to have that companionship, love and understanding back in my life.  I miss having my best friend, the one who knew me as well as I know myself. I miss having those deep, comforting hugs when I am afraid of the changes life is bringing.  I miss having that someone to laugh with.  I miss having someone to share my daily thoughts with.  I miss having someone to love.  I miss having a best friend who is by my side daily. Someone that I trust explicitly.  Someone I know has my back no matter what.  I miss having someone who thinks the sun rises and sets in me, no matter what I look like or how bitchy I am. I miss having someone to cuddle with when I am laying in bed at night.

No matter how much you work on being the “all” to yourself there are still things that as a human you need and/or want.  Overall, we are creatures of comfort and although we can find comfort within and know that we are “enough” we still need and want the scent of another human, the touch, the sound of a soothing voice. We can only transcend so much because we are human.

We were made to love others and in turn to be loved.  I believe we choose to come to this earth to learn to love ourselves, walk in Spirit, and love others.  We give a part of our heart to those that we care about and when they leave us, whether it is by choice, death, a move, whatever the case, they take that part of our heart with them.

We are always right there with them.  Cheering them on, crying beside them or laughing at the silly things life offers.  Whey they die they take that part of our heart that we so freely gave, with them.  I believe that is why for the rest of our lives we can feel them when they are visiting us from the other side.

They show up in many ways, whether they are living and breathing but out on their own adventure or dead.

It can be a song, music fills one’s soul and most often you can hear a song and it will flood you with memories.  Memories of a person, a place, or a time in your life.

It can be a smell.  How many times have you smelled a flower, perfume, cologne, a certain food and the memory of an individual comes to mind?  It happens daily and very seldom do we give it much thought.

It can be a place.  A place you shared with someone.  An event that happened at a specific location. To this day when I hear about or see a coroner’s office I think of my best friend Sue and a guy named Chris. A ride in a jeep where we took the corner on 2 wheels, 2 autopsies, vicks vapor rub, popcorn and oatmeal as well as a breakfast at the Bluff’s before the events of the day.  Most of all I remember the love shared between friends.

The memory of this day brings on many more memories, memories of 26 years of steady, true friendship.  Marriages, divorces, babies being born, burying a child, father and husband, graduation from the sheriff’s department, Alzheimers, birthday parties, fighting cancer, phone calls, laughter, tears.  A deep abiding knowing that no matter where we are in life, no matter where the other is in location, we are always there, by the others side, loving each other and always just a phone call away.  Why?  Because we gave each other a piece of our heart. We share love.

There are many different types of love.  How we love, who we love, doesn’t really matter.  What matters is that we came and we loved.  We give it our all and when we leave, we leave a part of us with those we deemed worthy to share our hearts with.

Go give your heart and love to someone today.  It will change your life and theirs. Go make a difference in this world.  Love someone.

Does love always win?

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I use to believe that love always wins but I have been shown that this is not always the case or is it?

You can love someone deeply and truly and if they aren’t willing or ready for that love it can and will be rejected.  That rejection hurts so deeply and there is nothing you can do to change it, at that point you can only love from afar.  That leaves you hurt and wanting.

Somehow you lose a part of yourself, you also seem to lose your strength in your beliefs as well as part of your dignity.  Oh, you eventually get them back but they come back different and they once again show you a part of yourself that you didn’t see before.

It can make you question your own sanity and it helps you find out what you are made of. Can you move forward?  Will you stay stuck, yearning, hoping that “someday” they will wake up and see what they have lost or rejected?

Why is it so important for them to know what they have lost? Shouldn’t we be focusing instead on what we gained from the experience?  Why do we as humans have to be validated, especially where love is concerned? Isn’t love something we are suppose to give freely without an expectation of a return?

In our society we associate passion, sex, giving, understanding with love.  When they are not reciprocated we beat ourselves up.  We blame ourselves.  There must be something wrong with me, why am  I so unlovable? We always bring it back to us being unlovable or somehow unworthy.

We just don’t stop long enough to realize that it isn’t always about you.  There are times when rather than beating yourself up you need to realize it is more about meeting others where they are at, at this moment in time.  What has happened in their lives that they can’t accept love? What fears do they carry within around love? Do they worry that they too are unlovable?  Do they feel unworthy? Have they been told they are hard to love?  Have they carried the belief that they don’t know how to love or that they aren’t worthy of true love?

Sometimes it isn’t about you.  Sometimes it is about them. Sometimes it is about both of you. Sometimes you can identify the why’s but there are many times you can’t or don’t get the opportunity to find out. What if you both believe the same things about love? What if you both feel unworthy? Unlovable? Then there are large hurdles that need to be faced and if both are not willing to face them then nothing will change.  Sometimes you have to feel the hurt and pain, pick yourself up, put your dignity back in place and walk away.  You walk away knowing you loved wholly and truly.  You gave it your all.  You may not have done it in a way you are proud of but you followed your heart.  You did what you felt was right at the time.  It just wasn’t what they needed or wanted at this moment in time. You can’t force them to need love or offer love in return.  No matter the outcome you both walk away changed forever.  You will never be the same and neither will they.

So back to my opening statement “I use to believe that love always wins but I have been shown that this is not always the case or is it?”

Oftentimes, I will start writing with no idea where it is going.  This was the case this morning.  I started out writing about my upcoming trip and ended up writing about love.  Many times it is me processing beliefs, perspectives or whatever other feelings pop up.  This morning I started with the statement that “I use to believe that love always wins but I have been shown that this is not always the case.”  I kept writing.  I got to this point and the realization came that indeed love does always win even when it feels like it has lost.

You see you walk away changed.  You walk away knowing yourself better.  You walk away loving yourself just a little bit more gently.  You walk away knowing that there is still love in the world.  You walk away with soul growth regardless of what the pain in your heart feels like.  You walk away a new person.  You move on and you continue to carry the love you felt but now you also know that you can love yourself too and that is a beautiful way of being.

Indeed, Love does always win!