Stepping into Sovereignty

In Jhenah Telyndru’s book “Avalon Within” she defines Sovereignty as “a self that makes fully conscious life decisions based in wholeness and right action, rather than from a reactionary place of unconscious motivations.” This is the best definition that I have found to describe what it means to be sovereign.

If you have followed along on this blog or even if you know me you will know that the one thing I repeat over and over when someone is care-taking for another is that you have to take care of yourself first. This was something that I held closely to me when I was caring for Mike during his dying process.

Yet, what I have found since his death, is that we are always care-takers whether we are caring for others or ourselves. We need to always keep our well being in the forefront. If we do not take care of ourselves then we cannot be there for others. So many times we forget to get enough sleep, eat right, check in with our bodies to see what it needs as well as checking in with our emotions to see where we are and whether we are stable enough to continue on.

Let’s face it, we get wrapped up in life and when chaos hits we just react. We don’t stop until it is all over and by that point we are just a mess. We do not stop to consciously make decisions we just react. Obviously, in a life or death situation this is necessary but all to often we live in a state of fight or flight because we react to situations without pausing. We very seldom stop and think about what it is we are doing because ultimately we just want to help.

As a healer and as someone who walks a shamanic path my life purpose seems to be to teach, deal with death and help those that need healing. This is who I am and it is what I strive to do. There have been very few times that I could not find a way to help whether it was just being present or to listen. I have always gone out of my way to help if possible. I have never said “No, I won’t help.” Until now.

To make a very long, sordid story short in 1988 I left my abusive husband. During the extremely nasty divorce that followed I lost custody of my three sons. I cannot begin to tell you the heartache I felt then and the pain that has been carried over the last thirty years. It has literally affected my whole life. Regardless, I held out hope that when my son’s were old enough to make their own decisions they would want to know their mother. They are old enough and that has not happened. For years they have been told that I was a useless human being.

The few times I have had time with them there was always interference, even as adults. It has come to the point that one quit talking to me, according to what he said to me personally, because he did not want his new wife to be caught up in the drama, even though I was not the drama. Another quit talking to me because my ex daughter in law brought my granddaughters to visit me and he felt that it was a slap in the face to his brother. The third one has sporadic communication with me and I was thrilled to get to go visit him and meet my grandchildren a few years ago.

In April of this year their father’s wife died suddenly. Their step mother. It was unexpected and I am sure difficult for all of them. I know one of the hardest texts I have ever had to send was to tell my son I was sorry for the loss of his mother. It was the last communication we had. I referred to her as his mom because that is how he referred to her when he wrote about it. On the one hand I understood but on the other my heart was breaking because he is my son and I should never have had to refer to another woman as his mother. I think that day was the day that I began to just let this whole situation go.

With that said my world was rocked when my phone rang and it was my ex husband. I have changed my number twice in the last three years so he would not have it and somehow he still gets it. I literally went into a panic attack. I could not answer and it took me a good thirty minutes to be able to breath normally and think straight. Yes, the abuse that I suffered at his hands still haunts me and I avoid him at all costs so seeing his name just really threw me. I didn’t answer. Instead I sought out a sibling to make sure that all was well with his family and my adults kids. Nothing was wrong with anyone but what it boiled down to was he is having a difficult time dealing with the death of his wife and somehow I may be able to help.

I sat with that for a long while. I sat with the grief that this man has caused in my life over the last thirty years. I sat with the terror I lived when he would hit me. I sat with all of the feelings and hurt that this one man had caused in my life. I decided not to return his call. He hadn’t left a message so I did not feel that I needed to respond. Just another missed call.

Then I really sat and thought about it all. I remember when Mike died he called me. He wanted to express his sympathy. He had never seen or spoke to Mike but he felt the need to call. One of the last things he said to me was “when you are done mourning give me a call maybe we can work things out.” Umm no!

After really thinking about it I became very angry. I kept thinking “The Audacity!” You literally used my son’s as a weapon for thirty years and now you want me to help you?! I sat with that for about a month. It was literally making sick. I just couldn’t let go of that anger. Then a beautiful friend of mine gave me a healing session with an energy healer and I was able to release that anger.

Well last night my phone rang again. This time he left a message. Believe me when I tell you that I understand the pain of loss. When my only daughter died I became so angry at God for not only taking my son’s away but also taking my daughter away. My life changed because of that anger and I found the path that I have walked for 27 years. When my husband died I felt that my world had come to an end. All of my dreams had died with him. If it weren’t for our son I probably would not be here. I have dealt with an enormous amount of grief for the last thirty years. I have had a great support group, my family. I have had great friends that helped me get through some of the hard times but ultimately it was my pain to heal and my pain to deal with.

My first thought on hearing his voice message was “just no.” Then I started to feel guilty. Am I not a healer? Is this not my job? Is this not why I am here? I started questioning myself. Then the thoughts of “if I do this maybe things will change and my son’s will come around.” To say that I didn’t sleep much last night is the understatement. Even this morning when I woke up I was still unsure of what I “should” do. I had posted on facebook without giving details and had so many telling me to protect myself, not to do it.

Then a fellow sister caught me on messenger. We discussed the particulars of what has been going on and she helped me see that saying no is really alright. During our conversation it was as though a light bulb came on. I realized that I was not obligated to help my ex husband. I realized that my son’s have made their choices. I have realized that they can no longer be used as weapons. They have chosen to not be a part of my life and therefore they are no longer weapons. I can’t lose what I have not had in the last thirty years! But most importantly I realized that I had to take care of me first. I had to put my well being before anyone else’s.

Helping him would only put me in a situation that is not healthy. It would once again have me reliving all of the pain and torment. It would not be healthy for me.

So many of my thoughts fell into place all at once. I felt the anger I have carried for so long disappear. I felt the strength of stepping into my own sovereignty coarse through my veins and I knew that even healers have to say no every once in a while. I knew that the past can no longer hold me hostage. I knew that this battle has been fought for to long yet I have survived. I knew that I had stepped into my own sovereignty and that is where I needed to be all along.

In Her Service,

Sage

 

 

 

The Desert

That desolate desert! So many times, from a spiritual perspective, we come to a place where we feel as though we are in a place of non-movement. We are stuck. I call this the desert. We feel lost, disoriented, out of sync. We are searching for something but we have no idea what it is we are searching for. As humans we become frustrated and we try to “make” things happen just so we don’t feel “stuck” anymore.

I call it the desert because for me it reminds me of being lost in a desert. You keep aimlessly wandering looking for a way out. Along the way you have mirages of pools of water that you run to only to find that there is no water, no sustenance.

It can be frustrating. It can be life changing.

I have been there many times over the years. At first I would find myself turning every rock I could find over, is this where I am suppose to be? Is this something under this rock that will take me out of here and get me moving again? I am here to tell you that this is normal! I know, if you are there, it does not feel normal. I know, if you are there, it is dark, cold and desolate and you feel very much alone. If you are there you are wondering “When will this end?”

I am a firm believer that when you shift your perspective you shift your world. I say this because I live it all the time. When you enable yourself to see things differently, step out of the way you were taught, step out of the thought processes that you allow to rule your world and open yourself up to seeing things from another point of view, everything shifts.

After a very long trip to the desert I had an awakening of sorts. My perspective shifted and since then I no longer fear the desolate desert.

Why? Because what I found was during the times I was lost in the desert I was not really lost. Instead it was a time of great growth. Everyone needs down time. Just as our physical bodies need rest so does our spiritual bodies. When we enter the desert we are not really lost but rather we are integrating, absorbing and growing but most importantly we are integrating all that we have learned.

The desert is where we find the lessons that have been offered during the situations we have faced.

The desert is where we build the strength we need to go into the next phase of learning.

The desert is where we find solace and mend our hearts when they have been hurt or broken.

The desert is where we prepare ourselves for the next leg of our journey.

The desert is where we look in the mirror and really, deeply, see ourselves for who we are and who we are becoming.

The desert is where we begin to dream again.

When you look at the desert in this way you soon realize that it is not a desolate desert at all but rather an oasis.

If you find yourself in the desert, take time to rest and recharge. Take a few deep breaths and instead of turning every rock over to find where you are suppose to be just allow yourself to sit and “be” – just “be” – don’t push, don’t fret, don’t stress, your way will be shown to you when it is time.

Just “be” and know This too shall pass!

In Her Service,

Sage

 

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

Looking Back

Do you ever stop and think back over your life? Remember what your dreams were when you were young? Do you ever just sit and wonder how much different your life would have been if you had followed those dreams? Or did you follow a different dream and are happy with where you are in this moment in time?

If you follow astrology at all you know that we have several planets in retrograde which for me seems to be a time for reflection and letting go. Although, the last 2 years have been about nothing but letting go. This year though, it has been about facing my past and feeling the deep disappointment I feel in myself and then letting go of all of it. This last week it has been about looking back on what my dreams were and letting them go. After all you can’t make room for new if you are holding onto the old. Even when you don’t realize you are holding on.

I was in the middle of a conversation this week when it hit me. The conversation was about having a 25th wedding anniversary. Something I don’t ever see myself having. It hit me in that moment that all of my life I wanted two things. I wanted to be married and I wanted children. Well I was married, to many times. I never wanted to be married more than once but apparently that wasn’t in my cards. Then when I actually found love and happiness, he died. Now, well now, I am in a new relationship. I am in love, something I never thought possible again, but lets face it, I am 53 and the chances of having a 25th wedding anniversary is pretty much slipping away. There are no wedding plans and honestly I don’t really believe marriage will ever happen again for me.

This made me cry. It was a dream. It was something I always looked forward to and now I am looking back and working on letting it go. It is hard to let something you wanted all of your life go. It is hard to face the realization that your dream is dying day by day and will never come true. It is hard. Yet, the only thing you can do is shed your tears, feel your pain and work on letting that dream go. What is ahead of me is beautiful so why so much sadness over a number? A question I have yet to answer.

Going through the process of looking at my dreams when I was young I realized that there were many dreams that I never achieved. I didn’t go to college to become a forest ranger. I didn’t marry and have the happily ever after. I didn’t travel. One of the things that I always thought would happen in my life is to have life long friends. Yet, I don’t. Really when it comes down to it most of my life has been lived alone. Yes, I was married, yes I had children (that is a whole other story filled with immense pain) yet, I didn’t have many friends. I still don’t. I love the few that I have. I have one best girlfriend. She is 2,900 miles away and I miss her every day. Here, the women I thought I was building friendships with well as so many others, they have disappeared. I am alright with it though. It isn’t that I don’t care about them but honestly they were friends before I came along and when you have an issue with one you apparently lose them both.

My whole thing with friendship is that it is a two way street. I have learned that I only have so much to give and once I feel that I have been used or taken advantage of I walk away. So, here I am, 2,900 miles away from my family, my best girlfriend and I am working on letting go of my dreams.

It has been a long, arduous journey, this life of mine, and each day I find more of me and let those parts that I pushed away go to make room for new. I refuse to give up. I refuse to believe that my life doesn’t serve a purpose. I refuse to believe that in some small way I don’t make a difference. I refuse to waste this thing called life with living in the past and not embracing the future. So I move forward. I feel my pain. I embrace the woman that I am becoming each day and I know that it is time to start dreaming new dreams all while looking back and letting go of what was and what never will be.

In Her Service,

Sage

Past Haunting

There is an old record that continues to play in my head. I am sure that we all have one. It shows up when you least expect it. It shows up when something unexpected happens which triggers old feelings or memories. Sometimes it is easy to turn it off and other times it gets louder and louder and ignoring it doesn’t stop it. It doesn’t have to be a truth. It doesn’t have to be where you are, in this moment. It is there, always, whether it is in the forefront or lingering somewhere in the back of your mind.

Mine is “you are not enough.”

Not good enough….

Not pretty enough….

Not smart enough….

Not sexy enough….

Not confident enough….

Not funny enough…

Not wife, girlfriend, mother, daughter, sister, friend enough…

I know this is not true. I know that I am enough of everything. I am just me. I am a loving, caring, compassionate, intelligent, woman. I KNOW this. I love who I am. Yet, it takes very little for this record to start playing its tune, rather loudly, over and over again. Some days I can ignore it other days it engulfs me. I have worked hard to overcome this record. It has played for so many years that it is ingrained within my being.

This year has been a rough year. This record has played many times over the last year. The journey over the last year has been a difficult one. I still have not really found my footing. I have moved, met new people, fallen in love, and struggled with this record.

Stepping out of my comfort zone more times than I can count, putting myself out there and trying to establish myself here has been difficult. I thought I had built some pretty good friendships only to find that when I was not in a position to do what was wanted of me I was accused of not being myself. I had no choice but to say no. That was obviously not taken into consideration but ultimately what it showed me was that the people I thought were my true friends were not really friends. I was a convenience. As long as I did all that was wanted we were good, once I began to say no they walked away. It has been well over a month since I have heard a word from them. I won’t make contact because I am not the one that walked away. I am not the one that expected them to do something they weren’t capable of doing.

What it did to me though was bring up this old record of “you are not enough.” It hurt. It broke my heart. Why? Because I trusted. I loved. I was always there to help and yet I was not enough. Yes, I KNOW that this is not true. Yes, I KNOW that it is a reflection of them and not me. Yes, I KNOW! Yet, the record plays on. I look back and try to see what I could have done differently and ultimately my answer is nothing. I followed my heart. I asked nobody to agree with my decisions, I did what was right for me. Ultimately this is all I can do.

Today though the record continues to play. I find myself listening to it in the worst of ways and it really has me in a cycle of never-ending turmoil. On the one hand I know that what my record is playing is not true. On the other the record continues to play and ultimately it is affecting  my relationships. All I can do is look at it, feel it, recognize the fallacy of it and try to explain to those that I love so deeply why I feel the way I do. Will it be enough? Will it ruin what I have built? Will another walk away because I can’t get the record to stop playing? I can only pray that there is compassion and understanding. I can only give what I am and work through the haunting of my past. Until I can once again see my own worthiness I can only hope that those who love me will stick around.

It is like peeling the layers of an onion. Just about the time you think you have worked through it another layer shows up. Hopefully someday all the layers will be peeled and the record will stop playing. Until then I keep taking two steps forward and one step back knowing that I am, at least, making a tiny bit of progress.

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

Learning To Live Without Words

I am a word person. Let’s face it. All you ever have to do is sit and read my blog and you know that about me. I am no different in person. For me, words speak what the heart cannot say. I try to choose my words carefully and I give a lot of thought to them before I use them, yet, I don’t always get what I mean out clearly. I think that is part of being human. Many times we let our emotions rule what we say and we forget to use the words we mean to say and instead it comes out differently than intended. This is why I strive to think before I speak. Especially when something is important.

I recently realized that I am learning to live without words. Three words to be exact. Three words that can bring a person to their knees, warm their heart, change their world. Those three words are “I love you.”

When I was in California I had my family and a few chosen friends that let me know daily how loved I was. I never went a day without feeling loved nor did I go a day without being told how much I was loved.

Now, I struggle. I struggle to find my footing with people. I feel off balanced and out of sync. On many levels I feel as though I cannot be all of me. I have to give myself out in small doses. I find this very frustrating.

What I struggle most with is learning to live without words.

 

They are just words. I have heard that before. Yet words can heal the broken. Words can break the weak. Words can build a person up to make them stronger. Words matter.

To many times I have seen what wasn’t said break a person’s heart more than what was said. I remember when my dad died, hearing that he never said I love you, I saw the pain that caused. I have witnessed the hurt and heartache over the words not spoken because of the questions it leaves behind. The doubt it breeds within someone.

Almost everyone remembers the last words spoken to them from a loved one who has passed. They hold onto those memories. Why? Because words matter.

I am adjusting. I no longer hear the words on a daily basis. I no longer expect to hear the words at all. I want to cry when I do, because for me, they are a heart speaking. While I adjust I find myself closing my heart a little more each day. It is harder to penetrate. I am slowly reigning in my emotions and in turn I am changing. Changing who I am and who I will be in the future. It is more a survival mechanism than a hardening.

Learning to live without words has been a huge adjustment for me. I am learning. A lesson I never dreamed I would have to endure but here I am learning it.

Sometimes the lessons life offers can be so disappointing. Learning to live without words is one of those disappointing lessons.

In Her Service,

Sage

 

 

 

 

 

Hurricane

Mother Nature is powerful. That statement is an understatement. I have lived through fires, earthquakes, tornadoes and now a hurricane. It was something I will never forget.

Let’s face it, when you move to a new area one of the joys is learning the land. Learning the weather and finding out what you are made of. Can you handle it? Will you survive it? How will you react? What will you learn? There are so many unanswered questions when you are facing something you have never faced before. Much like life the weather can show you things about yourself that you never knew or help you rediscover things about yourself that you have forgotten. That was the case this past weekend when facing a hurricane named Matthew. An experience that was not only exhausting but also exhilarating.

In my last post I talked about the women in my life. The lessons I have learned and the friends I have made. Hurricane Matthew hit here in South Carolina and I found out what the women here are made of. Pure grit and amazing love.

Having never been through a hurricane I was rather feeling out of step with life. Yes, natural disasters have hit my world many times and many times I have faced situations that not only scared me but also taught me. This is no different.

I live a block and a half from the beach. I can literally walk there in a matter of moments. When the hurricane headed our way they ordered evacuations rather quickly. I have to say that I was rather annoyed that I had to leave so soon but I packed a few clothes, grabbed my cat, Seth, and headed inland to my girlfriend, Jesse’s house. Little did I know that this would create an adventure of a lifetime.

So Matthew decides to show himself. I, along with Faith (an old acquaintance from California) and her daughter Anna are all at Jesse’s so we have safe shelter. We are doing alright. We make food to have in case the power goes out. We have an ice chest to fill with water and essentials. We have our blankets and pillows and we are all fairly comfortable. Then the storm hits. Next thing we know we are flooded! Literally.  The water is flowing into the house. We are calf deep in water and it is still flowing in. Faith’s car has water up to the doors.

Our first priority was to get all of the animals to safety. Once we managed to figure out where all the animals were going we loaded what we could in my Jeep and we headed out. Yes, I know you shouldn’t drive in flood waters. I get it! You don’t know what is underneath but I also know the feeling that if you don’t drive out you aren’t getting out alive. We took the chance. Obviously, we survived because I am sitting here writing. It was scary and heartbreaking all at the same time. I am watching my best friend’s house fill up with water and there is absolutely nothing I can do. Feeling helpless is one of the worst feelings in the world.

There is a woman. Her name is Carol. I met her when I came to South Carolina. She has an amazing story in this thing we call life. She is a retired soldier and police officer. I have talked to her many times and each time I have gotten to know her a little better. She now owns a bar, along with her husband Larry, called 707. Every time I had seen her I had seen her at 707. Although I have had many conversations with her I had not spent any time with her outside of the bar.

I have found over the years that generally bar friends are just people you sit and talk to but when push comes to shove they aren’t really friends. I learned this lesson many, many years ago and it was a tough lesson to learn. It is also a lesson I have never forgotten. One thing I can say is that I am finding that to not always be true here in South Carolina as the people here tend to meet at the bar and share life outside of it. The bar is more of a “hey let’s go have a drink and then we will go bbq.”

Sometimes lessons need to be relearned with a new twist on them. That is the case here. Carol and I have always gotten along really well but I didn’t know her outside and although I adored her I just didn’t know what she was like outside of the surroundings I had met her and gotten to know her in.

Something you may not know about me. I take the word “friend” very seriously. I do not consider everyone a friend. I have many acquaintances but my friends are few. If I call you my friend I mean it. I don’t take it lightly. I make friends and keep them for life. It isn’t a matter of accumulating people it is a matter of giving my heart to them. To me a friend is someone that I would risk my life for. A friend is someone that is there through thick and thin and someone that can be depended on. I just don’t use the word flippantly and when I call you my friend I mean it. I have committed to you for the rest of my days. It is who I am. Acquaintances come and go, friends last a lifetime.

Back to the storm. So we have to evacuate Jesse’s house. Carol had offered her home to me before the storm and she was a few blocks away. We made it there and she graciously opened her home to Faith, Anna and I as well as my cat, Anna’s dog and one of Jesse’s dogs. Yes! We had a houseful. Already there was Carol’s daughter Tiffany, her husband Sean and their 2 cats as well as Carol, Larry and their dog Jazzie. To say we had a houseful is the understatement.

We got there and the first thing offered were warm pajama’s. I have to tell you that nothing on the face of this earth feels better than a pair of flannel pajama’s when your blue jeans are soaked from walking waist deep in water! I have never been more thankful for the warmth of a pair of pajama’s!

There were many adventures on this day. I will have to write about them on a different day. This is more about what I found that day than the storm and the adventures I had.

Here is the thing. I found 3 women who are no longer acquaintances.  They are friends. Carol has over the last few months protected me on levels that others may not understand. She has opened her heart as well as her home. She fed and clothed me in a time of need but beside that she showed me that just because you meet and know someone elsewhere does not mean they won’t be there. She has been there for many things, slow and steady. One of the things that hit me during the storm happened when I went to give her a hug. She wrapped her arms around me and held me while I cried. I was so overwhelmed with all that had happened it was a sweet relief to let it out and know that this beautiful, kind woman understood and shared her heart with me. She shared so much with me in that moment that words can’t rightfully describe it.

Her daughter, Tiffany, had always been around but I think that on many levels she is like me. She just doesn’t trust a lot of people and she sits back and watches people before she decides if she wants them to be a part of her life. Friendship means something to her too. On this day I believe we became friends. We faced adversity together, we laughed together, she made the best hot chocolate (in the fireplace with 2 cups, a teapot and a sterno) that I have ever had. By the end of the storm she went from someone I knew to a friend. We have already gone all in for the next storm! Tiffany, if you read this I will gladly go on any adventure with you!

The third woman was Faith. I had known Faith from California. I didn’t know her well but I knew her well enough to always be happy to see her and just enjoy her company. During this storm we found ourselves side by side facing adversity unlike anything I have experienced before. If we were going to die we were going to do so together. She stood by me, side by side, through all of it. We had quite a few adventures that day, Tiffany joined us for one of them. Imagine 3 women in a foot of water, wearing flip flops or no shoes at all, wind blowing, rain falling, pulling a downed tree out of the road so they could get by. Yeah that was us! We laughed through it all. We rocked it!

We experienced a lot of things during Hurricane Matthew. Yet, for me, the most important thing I experienced was the love and true grit of 3 women who stepped up and showed me that friends come in many forms. I would go to war with any of these three women by my side. I would sit with them in their darkest times and am happy to stand by them in their good times too. To me, I made 3 beautiful friends. They showed me, once again, how beautiful it is to have strong, intelligent, caring, loving women in my life. They taught me to leave all preconceived notions behind and to just be in the now. They also taught me that not all lessons learned in the past are set in stone, change your perspective and you change your world.

Thank you Carol for being that slow and steady friend that understands that friendship is worthy of many things and sometimes you just have to be willing to accept the whole situation for what it is and be thankful for all of it.

Thank you Tiffany for confirming that watching and waiting to see can produce extreme beauty and the beginning of a good and firm friendship.

Thank you Faith for having my back, making me laugh in the worst of times and showing me as well as allowing me to show you that we can surround each other and always know that we’ve got each other.

All of the individual thank you’s could go to each of these women in totality. Each of them showed me the same things over and over. Each of them have offered their hearts, their friendship and their laughter with me. Each of them are unique in who they are and allow me to be me. I love you each more than you can possibly know. Not because you gave me anything but because you showed me that friendship comes from the heart. I am honored to call each of you my friend and I am looking forward to many years of growing, laughing, crying and standing side by side with all of you. You women are phenomenal.

Yes, then there are women and these women, well, they are AMAZING!

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.