Spiritual Disconnect

Turtle

 

Recently this picture was posted in a group I am in.  As a response a member asked (paraphrased) if the reason that people in the U.S. are emotionally and spiritually bereft due to what our Ancestors did to the Native Americans.  This got me thinking on why people in the U.S. are so disconnected from Spirit.  I am not discounting the history of our Ancestors.  There is a lot of hurt and pain in their actions that we have to live with but ultimately I feel that there are several reasons that we are disconnected and here I will address a few of them.

1) We live and walk on concrete and asphalt.  We wear rubber soles on our feet.  We are surrounded by buildings and artificial light.  We very seldom feel Pachamama (Earth) under our feet.  We do not feel Her rhythm or heartbeat.  We do not see the sun rise or set.  We are disconnected from the very planet we live on.

2) We are always trying to obtain “more,” we are very seldom just satisfied with what we have and even less grateful.

3) We have no rituals from our homelands.  We are disconnected from any ritualistic ways that our Ancestors may have had.  The rituals we now have focus on work and obtainment not on the land and appeasing the Gods.  Any rituals that our Ancestors had were destroyed by religions that did not want us to know about them.  We find through archaeology some of the things that our Ancestors did by piecing the artifacts together but very few true rituals exist today unless we had a grandparent that carried them forward and few did!

4) We have no ceremonies.  We celebrate holidays with an abundance of food and family but most ceremonies to honor are gone.  The current ceremony is watching the game of whichever sporting event is on during the family get together.  There is little honoring going on and most have forgotten what the meaning of the holiday is.  If you are not a Christian then most of the holidays celebrated in the U.S. are not significant to you as the majority are based on the happenings of Jesus.

If you are pagan you know that the majority of these holidays were taken and changed to fit the story that is told by the church.  There are many similarities but things have been changed enough that the ceremonies once practiced are no longer in full form so we recreate to honor our beliefs.  As honorable as this is and as necessary as it is for those of us walking alternative paths we still miss the connection with our Ancestors because it was not their ways.  We can only continue to work at the connection and follow their lead when we are creating ceremony to ensure that they are included.

5) Lack of prayer!  Most people pray for things, for miracles, for money, for whatever item they feel they can’t live without today.  Prayer has turned into a pleading rather than a conversation with Spirit. Any thankfulness is an after thought rather than a forethought.

The majority of people do not walk in prayer.  Prayer is there to fulfill a need not to communicate with the Gods/Spirit.

I believe that our Ancestors walked in prayer.  They believed they were at the mercy of the Gods and made offerings to stay in their good graces.  They made offerings to the dead knowing that the dead were still available in their realm. They made offerings in thankfulness and in hopes that they would be blessed. They were blessed because they were thankful.  Their offerings were given from the heart.  Things that meant something to them.  Not things that they ran to the store and bought!

Now, most bury their dead and forget about them.  They don’t feel the connection to them because they do not honor them in anyway.

6) The disconnection of the land is profound.  We no longer know where our food comes from let alone what is in it or how it is made.

Microwaves have replaced cooking.

Televisions have replaced dinner tables where families sat and shared their days.

Our Ancestors cooked their meals, they planted their food and killed their animals for meat, clothing, utensils and many other items they would use throughout the year.

7)  We live in a disposable society.  Nothing is made to last.  We have significant waste.  Something breaks and we buy a new one.  We want for nothing.  We buy food and don’t eat it so we throw it away.  We are not invested in the production so we have no qualms in the tossing out of things.

8) Our survival is not dependent on others.  We no longer depend on a tribe of people to survive or do their part.  The majority feel that their survival depends on how much money they make and what they can afford.  No longer do we have to depend on others to help us get through a rough winter or stock the cabinet with food to get us through the dark months of the year.  Now we can go to the grocery store and buy what we need whenever we need it.  Sick?  You don’t need a Shaman and the Spirits to heal you, instead you go see a doctor.

9)  We no longer see the person sitting next to us as connected to us.  There is hatred and discrimination based on religion, color, sex – anything “different” than what we view as “us.”

We hate over politics.

We hate over religion.

We hate over social classes.

We hate over skin color.

We hate over what we call foreigners.

We hate over sexual preference.

We look at others as being “less than” and hate when someone is “needy.”

Hatred begets anger, anger begets hatred, it is a vicious cycle and all of it stems from judgment and a perspective of self against the world.  If someone isn’t like us we hate, we judge, we don’t understand their ways so they have to be wrong.

10) Lack of communication – We live in an age of technology where we have the opportunity to reach millions yet we don’t know how to communicate.

We start with our own judgments and we voice our opinions based on our perspective at that moment in time.  The problem comes in when someone disagrees with us.  We do not keep an open heart and approach differing opinions with love and listening.  Instead we take offense and immediately find that person offensive.  We become angry and divisive.  We have lost the ability to listen to others because the world revolves around “me” and “my opinion.”

We no longer lead with our hearts.  We do not walk in compassion.  Everything is based on logic and the brain and what we “think” we know.  In turn no matter what the other is saying we can twist it to what we believe it to be.  Our media does this daily and we follow suit.

None of these things happened over night.  They have been years in the making. We are the only ones that can change our perspectives.  We are the only ones that can create the change we are seeking.  We start with our connection to Spirit/God/Goddess and we slowly build upon it.  These are just a few things off of the top of my head that seem very obvious to me so I tend to find it surprising that so many don’t see them.  Hopefully, something here struck a cord and your perspective has changed a bit by reading this.

Can you think of other ways we have become disconnected? I would love to hear your thoughts!

In Her Service,

Sage

I Am Weary

I am tired. Actually the word I think I am looking for is weary. I am weary. For several months now I have been working on getting everything in order to leave. It has been a lot of work. It has been an emotional ride. One that has taken me to places within that I never thought I would go. This last week has been really tough. It has brought more loss and more questions. Questions that I have no answers to. I find it difficult when I have more questions than answers. It makes me feel chaotic within.

I feel very disconnected at the moment. Maybe it is due to all of the retrogrades going on. Mercury in retrograde always messes with me. It started today and will stay there until May 22. Besides the outer manifestation of this planet being in retrograde I always find myself going deep within and finding the self reflection of everything going on in life. Generally, I end up changed because my perspective gets shifted and life becomes new again. Maybe this is what is happening now. I really don’t know but am hoping that this is what it is.

My life has always been about being responsible. I am the oldest of 4, actually 6 but that is another story, I grew up being the oldest of 4. I always took care of my 3 siblings. I went from that to marriage, kids, and more of being responsible. Over the last 43 years everything has been about being a responsible person, sometimes I succeeded and sometimes I failed but it has always been the focus of my world. Today, I just want to not be responsible for anyone or anything other than myself. Today, I just want to disappear and never have to worry about being responsible again. I know this is not an option but it is how I feel. I am tired of being responsible. I am weary of life itself.

My decision to leave has hurt some. Those that love me most. They don’t understand and in turn have chosen to take it personally. It hurts my heart and makes me angry at the same time. I wasn’t trying to hurt anyone. I was trying to find a way to live my life, to heal my own pain, to move forward. It wasn’t an easy decision but it was one that I felt I needed to make. I have stayed in a place I have hated all of my life for the very people who are now upset and feel betrayed that I am leaving. Somehow betraying myself is better for them so I should continue to do so. It hurts me deeply. It also makes me deeply angry. Angry at the selfishness of it all. Angry that I am left feeling as though I have done something wrong because I made a choice for me. I am working on my anger over it all but honestly I do not know that my feelings of needing to be selfish for myself will change anytime soon. I know deep in my soul that I need this change, even if my head is making me question every little thing.

As it stands right now, in this moment, my trip has been delayed. I had hoped to leave early and that did not work out. I focused on the actual target date and that is not working out either. Now I am looking at next month. My guess is that it will be after Mercury goes direct on May 22nd. Sometimes you just have to take a step back and see which road you are suppose to take. Right now I am working towards following my dream but allowing life to happen and unfold as it is meant to. I am weary, I do not know where I am going but I know when I get there it will be fabulous. My heart hurts, my head is filled with unknowns, my body is yearning and my life is unfolding as it should even if I don’t understand it all in this moment. I am trusting that Spirit knows what is next and will tell me when the time is right. Until then I dive deeply within and try and figure out all of this chaos that is swirling about.

 

Hugs

Do you ever have a day where something shifts? Where you know that your heart just took a giant leap and your perspective has changed, forever?

A couple of weeks ago I was meeting my friend Raven in the parking lot at the post office. I had my son, Jeremy and soul son Kity with me. As usual we all stood in the parking lot talking. I had packages to mail and things to drop off for Raven so once business was taken care of and we had finished our visit we were all hugging each other good-bye.

Hugs, I am one of those touchy, feely, huggy, type of people. I am a believer that there is nothing more healing than the touch of someone who cares for you. A hug can make a lot of pain just disappear. A hug can change the whole energy of one’s day. Hugs, they should be what makes the world go around.

So back to our hugging each other good-bye. We had completed our hugs and were headed to our perspective vehicles when this woman spoke up. She said “Are those hugs for anyone?” I said, “Of course!” and immediately I turned around and headed straight to her. I gave her a huge hug and before you knew it there stood Raven, Jeremy and Kity standing in line to share their hugs with her too. You could tell that it meant a lot to her. She proceeded to tell me that she had been a widow for 30 years and that her kids and grandkids were not huggers. She missed having hugs. I gave her another hug and said good bye. Wished her well and got into my car.

Today, I met Raven for lunch, next to the post office. As I was pulling out of the parking lot I thought of that lady. I had just spent several minutes hugging my friend and telling her how much I am going to miss her. For me, hugging is a part of who I am. I can’t imagine my life without hugs. Seriously, I meet someone and I hug them. Obviously, if I am doing business and a hug is not appropriate I will shake a hand but hugs are the ticket for this girl when at all possible.

I was thinking of this lady in the parking lot. I understand how hard it is to have your spouse die. I understand how empty one feels inside when you roll over in bed and there is nobody there to hold. I understand how awkward it is to reach for a hand that is no longer there. I understand. Life changes. In ways that until you have lived through it you just don’t understand. You miss the knowing looks, smiles, the slight touch of a hand, and hugs.

This lady made me realize how blessed I am. I have a lot of people in my life that are huggers. I can’t imagine not hugging those that I love but more importantly I can’t imagine feeling like my family and friends didn’t want to hug me. I can’t imagine how lonely one must feel that you feel the need to ask a complete stranger for a hug. I can’t imagine. To me the thought is heartbreaking.

This whole thought process has taken me weeks to digest. I see so much ugliness and bitterness in the world we live in but alongside of that I see a lot of love too. This whole thing made me once again realize that I never know what another’s story is and how their path has led them to the place they are today.

So in closing I thought I would share my thoughts on all of this. There is a lot of sadness, bitterness and loneliness in this world. Some people have closed themselves off to experiencing the beauty in the world we live in. What is needed more than anything is for us to meet people exactly where they are in this moment in time.

We do not need them to be the people we want them to be, we need them to be them. We need to accept others right where they are. They have their stories, their pains, their own horrors just like we do and yet they, too, are still standing.

Maybe a bit more bent. Maybe they have built walls around themselves so they can hide from others (I am a firm believer that we humans build walls without realizing that we are not keeping others out but rather barricading ourselves in), maybe they are afraid to open up because they don’t want to be hurt again, maybe they are filled with fear, there are a million maybe’s but ultimately what matters is that we love and accept them just as they are in this moment in time. No expectations. No desires to change them. Just meet them where they are.

Next thing you know they will be greeting you with a hug. Why? Because hugs should be making the world go around and by loving them just as they are you are showing them that they are perfect just as they are in this moment in time.

In Her Service,

Sage

Facing the “What If”

It has been almost 11 months since my world changed. My world looks nothing like it did even a year ago. I have done all that I can to move forward, to heal, to find my new normal, my new way of being. There are days where I stand frozen in fear. Afraid to take another step for fear that it will be the wrong step and my world will blow up again. The littlest things can strike fear in my heart. Yet I take a deep breath and face it. It is never easy and it always makes me sick to my stomach, I do it anyway.

There has been one steady, stronghold in my life and that is my son, Jeremy. He has gotten me through days that I did not want to survive. He has been there to love me through. When I walk upstairs and tell him I need a hug, he immediately stops whatever he is doing to just hold me. He lets me cry until I can’t cry anymore. Sometimes he understands and others he just thinks his mom is weird. I am weird, that is beside the point. It is always the little things that get me the most.

The last couple of months I have been planning on getting in my car and going. No set destination. Just go. A few months ago I had gone through a dark time and when I came out of it this trip is what I saw happening. I have held true to it and I have been letting go of all of my “stuff” both physically and emotionally. It has been a roller coaster ride and many days I wonder if I will ever get off of the roller coaster. It has been intense and many times it has filled my heart with more love than one can imagine as well as pain that cuts deep.

The last couple of days I have had this thought of “what if” I don’t go. My leaving is coming quickly and now the fear is setting in. Why the hell would I want to walk away from the people that are there for me? Why would I leave my comfort zone? How can I leave my son? He has been my life for 23 years. Trying to envision life without him by my side is something I am having a hard time seeing. Who is going to hold me when I fall apart? Who is going to tell me that it will all be alright if I am out in this world by myself? All of my people are here. All of my love is here. These thoughts scare me more than anything.

Don’t get me wrong, I am good with being alone but even when I am alone I know that my family and friends are not to far away, all I have to do is call and they come running. If I am hundreds or thousands of miles away they can’t come running and I have to face these demons alone. It is a scary thing to think about. As scary as that is to think about I think the worse thought that goes through my mind is what if my son needs me and I can’t get to him? He was in a car accident not to long ago where he went off of a 50 foot cliff and was stopped by a tree. What if something happens and I can’t get there within moments?

I understand that it is all about letting go and letting him be the man that he is stepping into but my thought process always goes back to what am I going to miss? He doesn’t currently have a girlfriend, I won’t be here to meet his next girl. I have never been good at being absent in his life. Maybe because he was the one child I was granted the gift of raising. I have always been here to protect him. To hold him when he hurts and in turn the last 11 months he has returned the favor. How do I let that go?

I will because I have to. I will because he needs me to. I will because in my heart I know that it is time for me to leave. I was asked the other day what it was that I am running from. I was taken aback by the question and it made me stop and really evaluate why I was leaving. Once I looked at it though I knew that I wasn’t running from anything, the things I love most are here and there is nothing to run from, but rather I am running to something, that something is me. I am on this journey to live a life that is filled with love. I am on this journey to heal myself as well as others. I am on this journey to find out who I am and what it is I want the last section of my life to be. So, no, I am not running from anything I am running to my next chapter.

I know that this journey is a journey of self discovery. I know that my heart is filled with excitement and wonderment. I know that once I actually get behind the wheel and begin to drive I will be changed, forever. I am embracing that. I am following where I am led and for me that is what my heart is yearning for.

Things don’t always go as we plan. Many times we do not see the pain that lies ahead of us and I am sure that there will be pain because where there is pain there is growth. Those dark moments when I feel completely alone, scared and want to run home will be the moments where I find my strength to keep moving on. Those dark moments when I don’t know what to do next will be the moments where I find my courage. There will be many lessons in this journey and ultimately this journey will be about loving myself through it all. I have done this before, I have walked this before, and now it is about remembering that I can keep moving forward and be happy with the woman I am as well as the one I am becoming. I can reclaim that which I have forgotten and in the process I will find the beauty that resides within and without.

I know that my son will be fine. I raised him to stand on his own two feet and he is a good man. I know he will miss me as much as I am going to miss him but I also know that he can’t grow with me standing over him. This journey isn’t just about me, it is also about my son finding his own way. Our journey’s have been intertwined for a lifetime and now the fork in the road says we go our separate ways. It is time and we are ready. He is my greatest cheerleader and I am his biggest fan. He can and will accomplish all that he chooses to put his mind to. I will find me and in the process live. My whole body is yearning to go and live. My soul is singing just thinking about it. I am trusting Spirit to lead the way just as I will trust Spirit to help me take my next step when I am not sure which way to turn.

Life is a journey. How we choose to live it is part of that journey. How we face our fears, mend our broken hearts, grasp the opportunities in front of us help form the people we are becoming. Just as I do in all things I am jumping both feet in knowing that I will come out the other side of this journey a bit bruised and battered but changed for the better. I will be standing in my truth and amazed at the mountains I have climbed all because it was time to let go and explore.

In Her Service,

Sage

 

 

 

 

Dancing With Death

Death. It is a word that strikes fear in many hearts. To many it is an ending and it is eternal. To others it is a new beginning. Your beliefs, thoughts and feelings dictate which one you adhere to.

It wasn’t so long ago that our ancestors were intimately familiar with death. They prepared the fallen, they prayed over their bodies, they dug their graves or they put them on a pyre, sent them out on the water and burned them. In our society today we are disconnected from such things. We are seldom present at someone’s death and if we are we are affected deeply, yet, we do not understand why. We find it traumatic. Normally, the body of the dead is taken elsewhere, prepared for burial or cremation and a ceremony is held to honor the person who is now gone. Those left behind are left with an emptiness that can take years to go away. I have always said that I am a selfish person. I am selfish because although I know that the one that is gone is not so far away they are not physically here for me to laugh with, cry with, hold, touch. I can no longer enjoy their physical presence and I always want them back so I can do all of those things with them once again.

My beliefs are that death is not an ending but rather a new beginning. Our soul is eternal. We leave our physical bodies behind but we move into a new dimension where we are no longer the human that those left behind remember. Rather we are pure love, pure energy and we are free of the daily grind in which those of us here call living. I very seldom cry for the dead, instead I cry for the living, those that are left behind. I cry because we are left to continue on without the one we loved. To find our way without their laughter, smile, and hugs.

In my “about me” section of this blog I talk about being gifted with walking the dead to the gates. My dance with death began many years ago, although I did not realize it at the time. As I have walked my path I have made it a practice to light a candle for those that are in the process of crossing over. I say a prayer and I light the candle asking that their journey be filled with love and that their crossing be filled with ease. I also ask that the light of the candle be a guide for them to the otherside. I have done this for nearly 20 years. My family knows that if there is a candle on the mantle and it is lit that it is not to be extinguished nor touched. The candle burns until their Spirit has crossed. I always did this out of love. Love for the friends that came to me and told me they were losing a loved one. Love for the friends that were crossing. I was never instructed on how to do this or that I should do this, I simply followed my heart and my intuition.

Thinking back over the years I see now that my dance with death began way before I recognized what it was. The turning point was when my father died. I was utterly and completely devastated. I could write a whole blog just on how remarkable my dad was as a human. He was not perfect in any way but he was a remarkable human who made a huge difference in my life. When he died my whole world shifted. I had already been in my shamanic training for a couple of years and one of the things I was taught was how to communicate with loved ones that had crossed. I know that sounds weird and I know that it isn’t really something that can be taught but during my training the ability became something I could do. I couldn’t do it with my dad. There was to much pain. To much loss. I didn’t want to see him or hear his voice again because that would make the loss fresh and new again and losing him was by far one of the most difficult things I have endured in my life.

Then my father in law died. I attended his death. Literally. I took care of him during the last week of his life. 24 hours a day my husband and I took care of him until his last breath. I was actually the one that walked into the room after his last breath. I said my good-byes and then went and told my husband that his dad was gone. As I was walking into his room, just outside his door, I was shown a very clear vision of a white light. I was filled with it and at the same time I was filled with a feeling of complete and utter peace. I knew before I got to the bed that he was gone. There was no question in my mind.

During my training we are taught a death ritual. I knew that my father in law was going to die so when we were preparing to go stay with him I took the items I would need. After his death, with the permission of both his son and wife, I performed the ritual. It was life changing on many levels. I am not going to share all that happened during that ritual but I will tell you that it opened my world up and I began my dance with death fully and completely. My life has not been my own since that fateful day.

Samhain is a holy day in the pagan path. It is a day when the veil between the worlds is thin and most often practicing pagans honor their dead. A month after my father in law died it was Samhain. I decided that to honor my ancestors I would journey. Little did I know that I would open wounds that had not healed and heal them all in one journey. On this journey I finally came face to face with my dad. It literally rocked my world. It was one of the most amazing, heart wrenching, fulfilling meetings I have ever had in the Spirit world. He gave me a lot of things to think about and he gave me messages for my mom. From that moment forward there was no doubt in my mind that my dance with death would be what my journey in life would be about.

In our society death is symbolized by the grim reaper. It strikes fear in many hearts. In my work death is a woman, dressed in a white flowing dress. Her hair is raven black, her face glows in beauty and her hands are the most amazing hands I have ever seen. Her fingers glow with a silver and purplish color. They can heal a soul with a touch and they can take a soul. She is pure beauty.

Shortly after meeting Her for the first time I was told that my job is to walk people to the gate. I didn’t understand at first. Then I had friends die. I began to understand very quickly. I would receive a feeling or what I call a “knowing” that someone had died and then I would receive a phone call that indeed that person had passed. I would immediately be pulled to an iron gate. I can see it as plainly as I see my computer screen. I would stand in front of the gate and there would be a gentle breeze. The direction in which the breeze was blowing would be the path I would walk down. I would walk the path and there I would find the person that had just passed. I would take their hand and walk them to the gate. At the gate I would tell them the message that I have been given for them personally and then I would stand and listen to all that they had to say.

Some say that they are not ready to go, their work is not done. Others are happy to be leaving. Those that are not ready to go I sit with. I explain that although they do not feel that it is their time Spirit has other things for them to do and indeed they need to walk through the gate. I then listen to their messages for their loved ones. I have yet to walk someone over that does not leave a message for those left behind. Some of us left behind want to hear the message and others don’t believe or just can’t handle it. Either way I honor the living’s decision on whether to deliver the messages.

Once the messages are given I walk them to the gate. I hold their hand until they are ready to walk through. Usually I can see a beautiful array of lights on the other side of the gate. For me this is very comforting. I know that those lights are our ancestors standing there waiting to greet us. Eventually one light shines brighter than the others and I can hear a whisper and I know that it is time. As the soul crosses through the gate it is the most amazing sound of joy and feeling of peace that anyone could possibly feel. I am honored to be a part of the process.

When my husband was diagnosed with cancer I became his caretaker. Being a caretaker is exhausting work. It is rewarding in many ways because there are memories that would never have been made had I not been taking care of him but taking on the role of caretaker is not for the weak. You literally watch the person you love slowly fade away. Their light becomes weaker day in and day out. Your heart breaks and re-breaks over and over again. It is a pain filled journey as you slowly say good bye to the one you love.

I was blessed in the fact that my husband carried the same beliefs as me regarding death. He did not fight it when the time came. There was no reason to hold on when he knew that he wasn’t going to just cease being but rather he was off to start a new adventure.

I experienced things that I never thought I would experience through his process. Some good and some confusing but overall it was a beautiful experience. He was surrounded by people who loved him. He absolutely knew that he was loved and for him, that was huge. I believe it was one of his main life lessons.

Upon his death we all said our good-byes. In my home we honor our ancestors. Without them we would not be here. They are important to everyone in our home. My husband now joined the rank of ancestor. We believe that our ancestors guide us and protect us. We believe they are always walking with us and in turn we with them.

Because our ancestors honored their dead we felt it necessary to do the same for Mike. We loved him while he was here and we knew that he would never leave us but his physical body was all that was left to represent his journey on this earth. I chose to wash him. I used essential oils and water and washed his body in preparation for him leaving from head to toe. I combed his hair and then it was time to dress him. Our son picked his clothes that he would be cremated in and he stepped forward to dress his dad. Once his body was ready the crematorium took him away to be cremated.

I have shared this story with many people and usually the reaction is always the same, “I don’t think I could do that.” For me it was all about honoring the man that was such an integral part of my life for so many years. I would not have done anything different and I do not find it strange to have done it. It was a pure act of love on both my part and our son’s part. It was our last act of honor to him.

Over the last 11 months we have found many ways to honor Mike. He now walks with us and we know he is near. For me he is slowly fading away. This is not a bad thing it is a healing thing. It is time for me to move forward and he has brought me much healing over the last four months to enable me to do so. He will, however, continue to be with our son until they meet again.

I was honored by Spirit to walk my husband to the gate. It was life changing and intense because so many emotions flowed through me but how beautiful it is to see the one you love embraced by those that have gone before him. My dad was the one that waited for him and met him through the gate. I and everyone around during his death had little doubt who was there to greet him. We all knew, we all felt it.

My point in writing this post was not really to make it about me but rather to share my experience with death. I dance with death daily. She is always present and She is always showing me new things that I have yet to experience. I have a very intimate relationship with Her and I no longer fear Her.

This is the reason for this writing, death is not something to fear. It is not the end it is a new beginning and the more you embrace death the more beauty you find in life. Dancing with death is an experience that many are to afraid to embark on. We are disconnected from the death that surrounds us yet it is truly one of the most beautiful dances one can share.

May your dance with death be filled with the beauty and understanding of the precious life you live.

In Her Service,

Sage

Within The Cauldron

At the bottom of Cerridwen’s Cauldron it is dark. There is no light. Transformation happens within Her cauldron. It is never easy. It is never a walk in the park and it takes determination to peel the layers away so when you emerge from the darkness you are no longer the person who entered.

I have been within this Cauldron many times over the years but never like I have been in the last year and a half. It has been the darkest, most treacherous, heart wrenching, earth shattering trip within the Cauldron I have ever experienced and I am thankful.

Cerridwen is my patron Goddess. Many fear Her. I adore Her. She has guided me, taught me, loved me, knocked me on my ass, held my hand and always made sure that I knew that no matter what She is here. To many She is the Hag, to me She is the beauty that resides within this world. Not the beauty that we think of when we see a pretty picture, no, the beauty that lies deep within each of us. The beauty we are afraid to share because we carry so much pain and are afraid to love.

Fear is a nasty beast. We all have it. Most of us are afraid to open ourselves up to others for fear that we will once again be hurt. I have been dealing with this on a very personal level for a while now. It is hard to trust others with your heart. It is hard to trust yourself. The emotion of love is hard because so many times there is loss attached to it. Love itself is not painful. In fact, it is one of the purest, most amazing energies in the world but the emotion we attach to it can and does hurt. Usually because we attach expectations to it and when those expectations are not met we incur hurt.

In our society we tend to affiliate love with sex, passion, relationships. In reality love is an energy that flows throughout the Universe on a continuous basis. We feel it flowing every time we sit in nature. We walk away filled with a sense of wonder and peace, to me this is love. It is abundant and it is beautiful. We just misuse the word and we have redefined it’s meaning in a way that we now believe that love hurts.

As I have been working on emerging out of the Cauldron it has been a long, arduous trip. I have struggled with being without my husband, my best friend. I have struggled to find what makes me happy. It is funny how so many times you find happiness within another and when they are no longer here you no longer know what makes you happy. It is a journey of rediscovering yourself. Somehow you lost yourself in the love and the relationship with another. I have struggled with finding my footing, with my inner and outer beauty, to open my heart again, with trusting others, with letting go. I have struggled with life itself. I have searched for the blessings in life and I have found many. I continue to stay focused on the blessings all while struggling with my inner self.

I am not good with compliments. I can give them and mean them with all of my heart but receiving them is something I have struggled with for a long while. When someone tells me that I am awesome my first thought is that I am nothing special. When someone tells me I am beautiful it creates a reaction within that makes me cry. I don’t see it. I know that within I am a good person. I always strive to do the right thing. I always give all of myself but I have never considered myself to be anything but a normal person just trying to get through life. I can be a pretty sarcastic person (I know this is a defense mechanism) and when someone tells me I am beautiful my first reaction is “here let me loan you my glasses.”

I am learning. I am working on accepting the view that others have of me. In the process I am finding me again. I am finding that person that has been within for so long, the woman who knows what love is and is willing to give her all. I am finding me again. It isn’t easy. It is a daily struggle. Not because I don’t feel worthy but rather because I have to find my boundaries and not give up on myself.

Over the last four months I have started to dream again. There is great pain, at times, in dreaming. You see things you want and you strive to make them happen and when they fail you feel as though you are back in the bottom of the cauldron. It is dark, you fight to catch your breath, you scratch your way out and you emerge once again, changed. It has been a daily happening for me. At some point in every day I find myself thrown into the Cauldron again. I can hear Cerridwen cackling through the whole process and yet somehow when I emerge She is standing there telling me “Girl you got this and I am holding you up.” Transformation is painful.

Today, the Cauldron is deep and dark. Today, I struggle with letting go of another dream. Today, I let go. Today, I stand in the knowledge that I have done my best and my best was not good enough. Today, I realized that if you have to fight to make something happen that should happen easily then it just isn’t what it should be and you have to let go. Today, I am changed once again. Today, I let the love of the Goddess, the love of Spirit flow through me and show me the beauty of this world. It brings me strength. It gives me hope and ultimately it helps me emerge a new person. I am falling in love with this person I am becoming.

Shedding the old is not easy. It is our comfort zone. It is how we know to be. Yet, many times if we really look, those old ways bring pain, old comfortable pain. Letting it all go and stepping out of our comfort zone is not an easy way of being. You find yourself in awkward situations, you find yourself searching for how you feel about someone or something and the answers aren’t always clear at first. The world seems murky. With time though clarity comes and you see everything in a different light, your perspective has shifted and life is new and fresh again.

I know that each day I find something new within. I find that I can do all of the things I dream of doing. I can have the life I see in my visions. I can and I will. The Cauldron is dark and deep but Emergence is bright and beautiful. Soon Resolution will be here and the cycle will begin again, but for today, my trip to the bottom of the Cauldron has brought me into an emergence that is new, scary and exhilarating all at the same time. Letting go and becoming is a journey and my journey has really just begun. I see it, feel it and know it. I am embracing it and allowing the love to flow. Cerridwen is holding me up and showing me a beautiful new world, flawed and beautiful, just like me.

In Her Service,

Sage

Opinions

I have had many conversations over the last year with people about other people’s opinions and how we react to them.

I do not care who you are or how old you are (or young for that matter) at some point in time you have been affected by someone else’s opinion of you. It is part of life.

First of all let me begin by sharing two things I say all the time about opinions.

“Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one and they all stink.”

“Somebody else’s opinion of me is none of my business. Nothing they think or say about me is going to change who I am or what I do.”

Those, in my world, are true statements.

We live in a society where everyone has an opinion about everything. It doesn’t matter if you are talking about religion, politics, the color of the sky, or anything in between, everyone has an opinion. Most are more than willing to voice their opinion to prove their point.

Over the years I have seen and experienced great pain over people’s opinions. It seems that most often they are masked in what most consider “concern” and are heart felt when they are said but no matter how you look at them they hurt.

Many of us have gone through life and have been wounded by some type of abuse. Whether it was verbal, mental or sexual, the abuse was there. We all carry our wounds and many times someone’s opinion of us matters because we have not healed the wounds that we carry within. It could have been our parents who abused us, a family friend, a grandparent, uncle, anyone. We walk through life hoping that we have gotten over it. We walk through life hoping that nobody else will re-open that wound and inevitably it gets re-opened whether intentionally or by accident. We are human and we have feelings and when abuse is involved the wounds are deep.

I was asked today how to get oneself to the point where other’s opinions do not matter. It is a hefty question and one I am going to try to tackle a bit here. First of all you have to look at the big picture. What do I mean by that?

Everyone has an opinion because everyone has a different perspective. Our perspective is based on the things we have experienced in our life. They are based on our spiritual experiences, our personal experiences, our heartbreaks, our victories, everything we have experienced in life, both the good and bad.

When you take the time to look at someone and see what their life experience has offered them you can see where their perspective is and why it is different than your own. It doesn’t mean they are wrong in their view it just means that it is different because their experiences are different.

Many times over the years I have heard people say to me, “my mom was abusive and that affects everything I do.” For me, and this is just me, I look at the abuses that I have endured in my life and I look at the people who inflicted them. I do my best to try and understand why they were abusive. What was their life like? What did they endure as children? Why did they act the way they did? Were there outside factors such as alcohol or drugs that contributed? How did they become the people they were and why?

There is healing in looking at your abuser and their lives. Do not misunderstand me, there is no excuse for abuse and we are not looking to dismiss the abuse but rather it is a matter of understanding what made them tick. Why they did what they did. Many times we just can’t look at them. We despise them. We can’t look at them as anything other than the monster we remember. To do so would make it where we have to look at them as humans with issues and we just can’t. But to get past their terribleness, in my process, it is necessary.

You see when you can look at the big picture. When you can see why they did what they did you take away the power they have over you. They become small. They are not all powerful. It is a painful process, no doubt, but when you can look at them and see that many times it is their own wounds that caused them to act the way they did you can begin to forgive them. It does not mean that you have to do anything other than recognize that they are or were the people they are because of the lives they had or the choices they made in life. They become human and no human is perfect.

We all have shadows. We all have done things we don’t want others to know about or things we have done that we are not proud of. Things we would rather forget. How we handle our shadows determines whether we heal them or not. I am a firm believe in embracing your shadow. I know I am the farthest thing from perfect that exists in this world. I have made many mistakes in my life. I have done many things that I am not proud of. Each of these things have affected my life in one way or another. I have had to face the consequences of my decisions many times over the years and I still do. I am far from perfect and anyone who says otherwise doesn’t know me. For me though, looking those shadows in the face and accepting them as a part of who I am, knowing that I don’t have to be perfect, that I am here to learn helps me see who I am as a person. Do I run from the things that I am ashamed of? Do I hide them from others? Do I inflict the pain that I have caused myself on others?  These are all questions that when you are working with your shadow that you have to ask yourself.

When do you feel most powerful? Are you most powerful when you are demeaning another? Are you most powerful when you are facing a fear? Are you most powerful when you are standing in your truth and following your heart? Are you most powerful when you love? Answering these questions tells you where you stand within yourself. If you only find power in creating pain in another then you are not powerful at all, in fact you are weak, because hurting others is causing the same pain you, yourself endured and you have now created a pattern.

This journey, this life, is all about figuring out who YOU are, not who someone else thinks you are. We all have opinions but when you use yours to create pain then you are not one with Spirit. Instead you are trying to control and generally when one is trying to control another it is because they feel out of control of themselves. The thing is that if you can accept that there is no such thing as control and you have none you are free. I can’t control what the weather is going to be tomorrow. I can’t control my son. I can’t control what decisions he will make. I can’t control anything. Hell, I can’t even control my own feelings. When I hurt I cry, when I am happy I cry, when I am angry I cry, I can’t control it. I feel it and I cry. It is who I am. When I finally realized that I didn’t need to control my tears I realized that I was embracing who I am. I know that at times it makes others uncomfortable but that is not my problem, it is theirs.

I don’t do well with anger. I can’t handle being around angry people. It upsets me and it makes me feel pretty damned crappy. So when someone is angry I can choose to try and deal with it or I can walk away because I can’t control their anger. Control is an illusion and we all think we are the master of it. We aren’t. We can only make choices for ourselves and live with the consequences of those choices.

My point is that we can’t control what other’s think. We can try to appease them, to make them happy but at what cost? Is making them happy making you miserable? Is dealing with their opinions something you want to bring unto yourself so you can better yourself to please them? Most often when we try and change to please another we get ourselves in a position that we change this and then they find something else they don’t like so we are in a constant state of changing to please them and we never do. At some point we forget who we are because we don’t recognize the person we are looking at in the mirror. I have walked that journey and I can tell you from experience that it is a very long journey back to yourself when you don’t know who you are anymore.

Over the years I have found that when I am with someone who is trying to control or manipulate me into doing something for them I stop and check in with myself. Is this good for me? Is this what I want? Is this going to make me a better person? Am I going to compromise who I am to make them happy? I have learned to say No. We are people pleaser’s. We want everyone around us to be happy. It is an impossible task. There is always someone who is not going to like the way you did something, the decision you have made, the voice you use, the way you act. No matter what you do you will never please everyone. At some point in time you have to determine if you want your life to be one that is based on your need to please others or yours to live. It is a hard decision because you are going to upset people. When you say No it tends to make people unhappy but not nearly as unhappy as when you say Yes to please them and then feel bad because it isn’t what you wanted.

For me I strive to be the best me I can be. One that knows who she is and what she wants. I live my life on my terms. I try not to hurt people and I do my best to be happy with who I am. I love hard and I can be intense but I do not apologize for that because it is who I am. It took me years to figure out who I am and a lot of healing. Once I realized that my abusers were human and no longer had the ability to harm me I was able to forgive them. I did not invite them back into my life, I am not stupid, I no longer needed to give them power by offering myself as a sacrifice. Instead I realized that in reality they were weak. The only time they had power was when they were hurting me and they couldn’t do that anymore. Forgiving them for what they did was the easy part. Forgiving myself for allowing it was another story. As a child you are not allowing your parent to harm you, but as an adult holding onto it and blaming them for all that happens in your life is allowing them to continue their abuse whether they are alive or dead. They still have control.

My grandfather sexually abused me for many years. I was a child. He used my family, to keep me quiet. He would tell me that nobody would believe me and if I told I would never see my grandmother again. This went on for years until I was old enough to stay away from him. He would come around and I would head the other way. I did not tell anyone until I, myself, was pregnant with my first child. He was dead by then. Once I told there was a sense of relief yet I couldn’t forgive myself. I beat myself up worse than anyone else on earth could have. I told myself over and over that I should have been smarter. I should have told. I should have….. the list never ended. Somehow I was to blame for his sick and twisted actions. Then I started looking at him for the man he was. I looked at how he was a deacon of the church and when he was around others he was always the center of attention because he made himself noticeable. I looked at how when he was home he was mean to my grandma. I looked at him from an outsiders view and I realized that he was not a mentally stable man and he gained his power by hurting others.

To this day there are many that speak very highly of him. It is their view of him and that is okay. I knew a different side of him, the dark, ugly side and once I realized that his sick and twisted ways didn’t just happen to me but to others too I realized that it wasn’t my fault. I was able to forgive him. Forgiving him does not mean that I like him. It doesn’t mean that I love him. It doesn’t mean that I even want to claim him as my grandfather. In fact, I call him Satan himself. I can’t say that I have no fond memories of him. He taught me how to fish. He took me camping and I have great childhood memories of camping at the Kern River and Salton Sea. What it means is that I can now separate my memories of his sick and twisted ways from those that are fond. When I think of the good things that happened on my camping trips he isn’t a part of them. I remember exactly who he was and what he did and forgiving him for his acts never meant that I would forget. Instead it meant that I could forgive myself and move on. He couldn’t rob me of the sweet memories I have and he couldn’t make me feel powerless anymore. Ultimately I was able to forgive myself because I realized that his actions no longer had power over me.

It doesn’t change what happened. It only changes my perspective of the person that caused me pain. When you can shift your perspective you are able to see them for who they are and you are then able to begin healing. It is not an easy task to do and although we can all do it not everyone wants to. Why? Because then we have nobody to blame for all the crap we have been through or done since then. Bottom line is that most people do not want to find their healing because they have to take responsibility for their own choices and it is to hard to say “I really screwed my life up.” It is much easier to say “My life is screwed up because so and so did this to me.” There is no personal responsibility in that, it is someone else’s fault. When you start taking responsibility for the decisions you have made based on the abuse you suffered you step into your own power and your whole world shifts. That abuse no longer has power over you and instead you step into your own power and can begin seeing life from a different view and making wiser decisions. It is an arduous journey but ultimately it brings you peace within and life shifts significantly. It isn’t for the weak of heart and as I said not everyone will walk that path.

Letting go of the pain you have lived with over the years is something that each of us faces at one point or another. This life brings all types of pain. Pain from abuse, pain from loss, pain from broken relationships, there is pain in every single human alive. Letting go is something we are not good at. We allow our pain to control our every move, every decision, every single thing in life. Once you get to the point of forgiveness you always have residual pain. Something will happen that brings all of the pain back up for you to deal with. I know that for years, and even now, I have what I call triggers. Someone can use a certain combination of words and I am instantly taken back to my abusive marriage. All of the fear comes rushing back, all of the hurt I have had in my life regurgitates in my throat and I feel like I am going to vomit.

Why? Because our bodies do not know that our memories are just memories. Instead we have a built in mechanism called fight or flight. Every human has it and when we have a memory that brings fear our bodies react to it. It is a natural defense mechanism. This is why when you are thinking of fond memories your feelings are sweet, emotions flow and you feel good. When you are remembering not so fond memories your body reacts because it is preparing you to fight or run like hell.

A few of the things I do when the memories of abuse come up are to take a few deep breaths. I start there and then I take a moment and ground myself back into the here and now. Once I get my mind wrapped around the fact that this person no longer has the ability to cause me harm I ask Spirit to take that energy, that memory and to use it for good. I change the mechanism of the memory. I can talk to you about it now and have no emotion over it because the memory no longer invokes a reaction, in turn I can help you, because you are going through it yourself and I have been there done that, so to say. It is all about being able to recognize where the emotion is coming from and taking that emotion and releasing it. Some release it to Spirit, others send it into the earth to be mulched. I do both. It depends on how recent the pain is.

When I am feeling grief over the loss of my husband or the loss of another I take those feelings and I see them literally going down through my body out through my feet and I make it into an offering to mother earth, asking that I no longer feel that pain. Each time the pain is lessened. Each time I am healed a bit more. After releasing those feelings I see a white light flow in through my crown and down through my body. You never want to leave an empty space. Energy loves a void and leaving a void invites energies that you don’t necessarily want. Bring that loving energy in and fill your being with the love the Universe has to offer. Over time the pain subsides and you have shifted your perspective enough that you can move on.

Ultimately all of this boils down to not taking others thoughts of you onto yourself. They are their thoughts, their feelings, their way of being, not yours. It is not your responsibility to acknowledge, acquire or take it unto yourself to make them happy by changing for them. It is your responsibility to stand in your truth and take responsibility for your own way of being. It is your responsibility to own your own choices, both good and bad, and be willing to face the consequences of those choices. Learn to say no to others and recognize what is best for you. Believe me once people know and understand that you can and will say no their perspective shifts and respect begins to form both within and for you. You are no longer controllable and you are seen as someone who is not willing to compromise who you are to please others.

There is no reason to put a hard ass face on, when you stand in your truth people know that you are you and there is no compromise. They no longer look at you as a hard ass but rather as someone who knows who they are and can’t be controlled. Your world changes and you are now standing in your truth. Opinions of others are none of your business, that is their problem. They will no longer share them as often because much like water rolling off your back they realize that their opinions no longer control your emotions because you know you well enough to not let it bother you anymore.  You find your own freedom in the process of letting them think what they want.

Go be the best you can be!

In Her Service,

Sage

My Sister’s Family

After we left the beach I called my Sister. I had not seen her in 6 months. I don’t remember the last time it had been that long. It is uncommon for me to stay away that long. I usually take a weekend here or there to go and spend time with her and her family. I absolutely adore my Sister and her family. My life is truly blessed because each one of them is a part of it.

I only have one Sister, Renee. I have several brothers, but only one Sister. We grew up sharing a room. We were always friends. Then I left. I married and I moved and we went years without spending time with each other or really seeing each other. When I returned home 27 years ago she had gotten married. Her husbands name is Mike too. I call him Mikey. She had a daughter, Megan and then several years later another daughter, Haley and a son, Alex. I cannot begin to tell you how much I love each and every one of them.

My Sister is one of those people that puts up a strong wall and makes you feel like she is going to kick your ass just for looking at her, until you get to know her, then she is the kindest, biggest hearted woman you will ever meet. She would literally give you the shirt off of her back if you needed it and for family there is nothing she wouldn’t do. Over the years we have not only been Sisters but she has been the best friend I could ever have. She has been there for every thing in my life. The good times and the bad. Her love has never wavered.

In many ways we are very much alike and in others you would swear we were nothing alike. The bottom line is that she is and has been a very important part of my life.

Her husband, Mikey, has not just been a brother in law, he has been a brother and a friend. He and Mike were close. My loss was their loss and I know that it really hit Mikey hard. Since Mike died he has gone out of his way to call me every week to see how I am doing. When he knows I am falling apart he calls to make me laugh so many times he calls more than once a week. I have to say that I have never walked into his home and not felt welcomed. There is always a hug and a loud Sista! awaiting me. I adore him. I have told him before and I meant it, if they could clone him I would marry him. Him and my sister have been married 28 years and they are lucky to have each other. There is love there and it is obvious to anyone who knows them.

My niece, Megan is 28 years old. She is wheel chair bound and is one of the most phenomenal young ladies I have ever known. She demands your attention and will make you laugh faster than anyone I know. Get her going and you will be rolling on the floor in laughter before you know it. She has brought pure joy to my heart more times than I can say. I think the funniest thing I can say is hearing Megan say “work it daddy work it” is still hilarious to me. If you knew the story behind it you would smile right along with me. She is a beautiful soul that has taught us all patience and love. I am honored to have her call me Auntie.

Then there is my niece Haley. I don’t even know where to begin with this young lady. She is truly the apple of my eye. I absolutely love this girl. She was a shy toddler that has bloomed into the most beautiful, and I mean absolutely gorgeous young lady I have ever known. Yes, she is beautiful to look at but her heart is the sweetest heart I have ever had the privilege of knowing. She is not only beautiful on the outside, she shines from within. She is smart, funny, and beyond caring. This is a young lady that I have watched grow into this being that makes our world a better place to be. Someday she will change the world for everyone instead of just a chosen few.

Alex, oh my goodness. This young man is growing like a weed. In 6 months he has grown a foot taller than me. He is kind and caring and always has a huge hug for me. I am honored to have been there when he was born. I knew that day that the world would find joy in this child. He is funny. He has the best sense of humor. He is shy and quiet. He is smart as a whip. He loves movies and he is a fabulous baseball player.  That child can hit some home runs!

To say that I love my Sister’s family is the understatement of the decade. They have each in their own way brought me joy. I am not only honored that they are my family I am deeply blessed. Each one of them has taught me something about myself and each one of them has changed my life for the better. They have always included me in everything. Mike and I loved spending our weekends with them, watching Haley and Alex’s ball games, going to their parties and more than anything just hanging out with them, spending time.

This past Christmas was the first time in many years that I did not get to spend Christmas eve with them. Nothing felt right because I wasn’t there. My sister and I would be up all night getting everything ready for Christmas morning. We would be cooking, cleaning, but more than anything we would be laughing. I can honestly tell you that Christmas eve was my favorite day of the year because I knew that I was going to laugh until I hurt and then I was going to wake up and watch these beautiful creatures we call children fill the house with pure joy. I love our Christmas eve’s.

As I said it had been 6 months since I had seen them, it truly is unheard of for us to go that long. So when I called my heart was filled with joy to find out that they had no plans for the weekend and immediately we headed that way to spend the rest of the day with them. We ended up staying the night. Although I fell asleep early I am extremely glad we did.

I, of course, got the Wolfie (my Sister’s nickname) drill on what this trip entailed and whether I would be coming back. I couldn’t give her an answer because I don’t know. I have no idea what will happen in the future but what I do know is that no matter what happens I am not letting years go by without seeing, hugging and loving this family. They are just to important to me.

I fell asleep on the couch. I have to tell you that I have not slept that hard, that long or that good since Mike died. Seriously, it was as though everything that has kept me up all these nights just fell away and I was gone. I called it the sleep of the dead. Mikey said that you knew I was in my comfort zone when I could just pass out like that and you know he was absolutely right. My life has been turmoil for a year and a half and being there, in that moment, I felt the safest I have felt since this journey of losing Mike had begun. The world felt almost right yesterday and I was surrounded by love and had said good-bye to many things I loved and I was safe. There is nothing better than feeling loved and safe and it has been a while since I had felt that. I am thankful that my refuge was at my Sister’s.

I woke up this morning to Mikey making waffles and honestly before I even thought of coffee all I could think about was how blessed I was to be there. I got up, walked in the kitchen and gave him a hug that I will never forget. It was so filled with love and understanding that it touched my heart. I proceeded to the coffee pot because I don’t function well in the morning without it but it was the first time in a very long time that I woke up feeling good.

We spent the majority of the day with them. Alex had a baseball game but we needed to get home so as each of them left I gave them a hug and said my good-byes. My Sister was hard to say good-bye to. She gave me her sisterly lecture about being safe and then told me to have fun on my trip. I told her that I had no idea if I would return but she best watch out because I may just show up on her doorstep and want to live with her. We both laughed and I got in my car.

As I drove away I cried. More good-byes. Each one hard. Each one a lesson in letting go but knowing that no matter what, they have my back. Each one a blessing. Each one has changed my life for the better. Leaving them is hard. Leaving them is not forever but if or when I return their lives will be different, they will be different. They will go on without me but for all of us there will be something missing and it will be that up close and personal contact that we have become accustomed to.

We all change in moments when we least expect it. Today I changed again. I said good bye to the very people that have gotten me through the worst time of my life. I know they will always be right there, always loving me and me them but when I see them the next time their lives will be different. They will be older, losses will be had, hurts will be healed and new wounds will be opened and in turn none of us will be the same. What I do know though is that the love will always be there and nothing on this earth can or will ever change that. My Sister will always be my best friend, my Mikey will always be one of my heroes and greatest men I know, Megan, Haley and Alex will always be my heart and always be beautiful. They are love. Together we are a force that can’t be beat and the love we share can and will overcome any mountain put before us. We have climbed many and the love has only grown.

This family reinforces my belief that love overcomes all. They are the epitome of love, caring, sharing, laughter and all that is good. I am honored that they call me Sister and Auntie. There is no better feeling in the world than knowing this love and being a part of this family. They rock life and I am beyond proud of each of them. So for now it is good-bye but it is not forever instead it is until we meet again. To my Sister, Mikey, Megan, Haley and Alex thank you all for loving me, sharing your lives with me and being you, you are the best of the best.

In Her Service,

Sage

 

 

My Ocean

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I have said it many times, I was raised here in Southern California. I grew up in Escondido. A few miles down the road is the beach. There are several, take your choice. Once you get there you can pretty much drive for miles and see nothing but the ocean. I have loved it since I was a child.

Growing up I spent my weekends with my surfboard and the ocean. I remember getting my surfboard on my 13th birthday. I loved surfing. I miss surfing. Before I had a surfboard I would go with friends and I would use theirs. My parents always took us to Moonlight beach and that is mainly the beach I remember from my childhood. To say that I love the beach is the greatest understatement that any one person could ever make. I would live at ocean’s edge if it were allowed. I.love.the.beach. It holds my heart.

As an adult I have found my greatest solace at ocean’s edge. I can go and sit for hours. I can sit and just listen to the waves lap against the shore. I can sit and look at the vastness of the ocean and it fills me with wonder.

I remember going to the beach with an old boyfriend it was nighttime when we got there and the moon was full. I didn’t care I needed to go to the edge. I got to the edge, fully dressed and found myself standing waist deep in the ocean staring at the moon. It was truly the most wondrous thing I have ever seen in my entire life. The boyfriend stood there laughing and telling me to get out. I stood mesmerized. I couldn’t move. My heart was right there, where it needed to be, and it would never be the same after that. The moon was glorious and I gave no thought to my clothes, to any danger, to anything other than I was enfolded in the ocean’s arms and at that moment nothing and nobody else on earth mattered.

To me, the ocean has a hypnotic way about Her. I go to Her edge and all else ceases to exist. To this day it makes no difference if there are a million people there or just one, it is just me and my ocean.

Over the years I have found that the ocean is a place that makes me weak when I am strong and strong when I am weak. She makes me weak when I am strong because She shows me that she is all powerful and within a blink of an eye can take a life with no struggle. She makes me strong when I am weak because when I am standing at Her edge I can feel Her strength and She will take my pain, if only for a moment. She brings me hope, always. She shows me what strength is, always. She fills my being with a sense of love that I find in no other place.

There have been two trips in the last six months where I would go in to my ankles and find myself further and further in. The first time I was up to my neck in water and could have easily dived in and just swam until I couldn’t swim anymore. It was cold but I did not feel the chill. Yesterday I was ankle deep and before it was over I was waist deep. Once again I could have just kept going. She would have gladly taken me in Her arms.

Yesterday was a trip to say good-bye to the memories I shared at Oceanside beach with my husband. It was more than that though. It was a trip for me to say good-bye to my ocean. There are no words for me to use to describe the love I have for the ocean. I am a believer that She resides within me along side the stars in the sky. We are connected to them all and I never have enough ocean time.

I have not surfed in many years but every time I am there I want a board. I want to get on that board and paddle out. I doubt I could pull myself up anymore but I could be surrounded by Her beauty and hear Her voice.

For me there is nothing better than feeling the sand between my toes, hearing the waves crashing to the shore. It soothes my soul. It fills me with an energy that I can’t quite describe.

 

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I always take an offering. I always stand at Her edge and talk to Her. I thank Her for all that I am. I thank Her for all that I have. I thank Her for all that She has given me over the years. The solace when my tears flowed, the energy of Her waters when I needed healing, the beauty of Her just being, the vastness that makes me feel so small.  She is truly a beautiful part of this earth and no matter where I go She is with me and within me.

Yesterday I walked Her shore one last time. I told Her that I was leaving and I didn’t know when or if I would be back. I told Her that I would find Her in a different state and although She would not look the same She would know it was me and I would know it was Her. I thanked Her for all of my memories on Her shores.

As I got ready to walk away I heard Her call me. I went back to Her shore and started to walk in. I got to my waist and I just stood there. I was in another place and another time. She was there. We were one. She expressed Her love to me by making the waves a tad bit bigger. I drew closer in and then She told me to be safe and to never forget Her. How could I? She is a part of me. For that moment we were one. I said good-bye with tears in my eyes and a heart filled with love. She is my ocean and I will never forget Her. She will always be mine. We will always be one and with that one more good-bye, one more heartbreak is complete.

In Her Service,

Sage

Our Final Goodbye

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This weekend was a weekend of good-byes. When I made the decision to leave I did so fully aware that I was leaving all of the people that I love and adore. My family, friends and the land I have called home for 27 years. I knew there would be good-byes. I knew that they would be difficult. I knew that my heart would break several times over. What I didn’t know was how many people truly love me. For so long I have questioned my life, felt alone, felt as though there were very few that I could turn to. I realize now that it wasn’t them it was me.

You see, for the most part, I only share parts of me with the public. There are very few that get to get close enough to really know me. I very seldom reach out to others when I am in pain. I very seldom reach out to others when I feel the need to talk. I just don’t do it. If you are a part of my life and I have ever reached out to you, you are one of my chosen. To me, my inner pain is mine. My inner thoughts are mine and honestly they are no different than so many others. I don’t reach out because I know and understand that everyone has their own lives to deal with, their own pains to heal and honestly I never felt that adding mine to theirs was something that I needed to do.

Instead I just work through it all on my own. What I am finding though is that there are many who cared. There are many who would have been there had I given them the opportunity. I just didn’t. I don’t trust people easily. I definitely don’t trust them with my inner pain and insecurities. I don’t trust them to be there when I need them and therefore I don’t reach out. There have been a few instances where I have and found that people were to busy, yet, there have also been times that those that really care will drop everything and come running if I need them. Mainly those people are my family. My family has been my stronghold for so many years that I often wonder if I will be able to live a life without seeing them, hugging them, being an intricate part of their lives. I know I need to do this. I know that I need to leave and find my own way but it is difficult to imagine on some days. Especially because I am not going to anyone or anything that has a definite purpose. I suppose that is part of the journey but it is truly the scariest part of the journey.

For so long I have depended on my husband. He knew me. He knew every single thing about me. My thoughts, my beliefs, my fears, my heart, my hurts, everything. It is a beautiful thing when you have someone that knows you as well, if not better, than you know yourself. I held nothing back from him and he held nothing back from me. We talked about everything. We did not agree on everything but we had enough respect for each other to agree to disagree and honor the other’s ways of being and thoughts. We had a unique relationship that I am finding is not so common. I miss it terribly.  When your rock leaves you find yourself on shaky ground and it is a scary thing to endure. Finding your footing is not always so easy. Finding complete acceptance in another’s eyes is something we all want but are not so easily willing to give.

Late Thursday night I was led to go to the beach. You see I have been to two beaches since Mike died but I had not been to “our” beach. I just couldn’t face it. I couldn’t go back. There were to many memories. We have gone to Oceanside for years. It was our place. It was a place we would go when we needed or wanted to escape for a day or two. Near my birthday every year we would go and spend three to five days there. There are a million memories that live at that beach and I was not ready to face them.

Last week I did a lot of work on letting go. I did heart wrenching things that really caused me to go to the brink of total heart break again. Things I needed to do even though I did not want to. They were hard but I did them. Then on Thursday night I was in a place where I could hear Spirit giving me more to do. The biggest thing I had to do was go to the beach. I needed to say good-bye. I needed to face that pain so I could move forward. I talked to my son, Jeremy, and asked if he was ready, he was. We took a bit of Mike’s ashes with us.

The last two weeks he was alive all he wanted to do was go to the beach. He wasn’t strong enough and we had terrible weather. He had lost so much weight that he couldn’t handle the cold and those two weeks the weather was cold and wet. It made it impossible for him to go. It didn’t take the want away though. So we had decided that at some point we would take a bit of his ashes to the beach and he would always be a part of our beach as well as the ocean.  Friday was that day.

We left the house a little later than I had wanted but we really had no other plans. I had decided that we needed to make the full journey and that is what we did. For 23 years I have gone to the same metaphysical shop. It was where I had my first reading. It was where I bought my first pagan book. It has been an big part of my life for two decades. It became a day trip for us. Mike loved it as much as I do. We would get up and get ready and head to Lady of the Lake.

On the way there I noticed, while driving down the freeway, that everything was this beautiful, lush green. We have had rain this year and because of it everything is blooming and it is lush and beautiful. We haven’t seen that in a while and I had to take it all in. I wanted to remember the beauty. I told everyone in the car to put their phones down and to pay attention. They did. We saw the beautiful green, the gorgeous orange and yellow marigolds blooming, the amazing orange poppy’s. There was so much beauty that it was truly surreal.

Then we made it to Lady of the Lake. For several years we would be greeted by Richard. Then a couple of years ago we went in and his energy was off. We knew something was wrong but we didn’t know what. He died shortly after that visit. Before he died though he started training a young man named James. James is a joy. He is my viking. We adore him and he always brings a smile to my face. He is caring and compassionate. After Mike died I made the journey through our day trip to prove to myself that I could. When I walked in James knew that Mike was gone and immediately came up and gave me one of his huge viking hugs. He told me how sorry he was. I, of course, cried. He made that day a bit easier because he took a moment to show me that we mattered.

Thursday we walked in and I told him, “I am not coming in here for anything other than one of your hugs.” He immediately walked over, gave me a huge bear hug and a kiss on the cheek and we stood and talked while the boys looked around the shop. I told him about my trip and told him what our journey for the day was. He knew it’s importance and he not only blessed us on the day’s journey but expressed his wish that my journey be filled with love. He is a remarkable young man. I will miss the store and I will miss James. It is funny how a “place” can be so heart filling. Walking out of the store was hard. It was a good-bye that I knew I needed to face but it didn’t make it easy.

Our next stop was Fillipi’s. This is an Italian Restaurant that I have literally grown up with. I love their food. They not only have the best cheese pizza on earth their spaghetti, lasagna and meatballs just can’t be beat. Our day trip always included Fillipi’s.  It is a place where memories flow. From the first time Mike met my Sister and brother in law to our last birthday party there. There are memories.  Each one of them is sweet and it would be difficult to pick my favorite. I needed to say good-bye. So cheese pizza, salads and drinks were our meal for the day. As usual it was fabulous.

When lunch was done we headed to the beach. I have always loved the drive to the beach. It is pretty much a two lane road. If you turn one way there is the Pala Indian Casino where I went to my first Powwow and if you turn the other you head to the beach. So many memories, no matter which way you go. We headed to the beach. Normally I would be the passenger. I was the driver and my perspective was a bit different. I just couldn’t get enough of the beauty around me. We were looking at street names, there was a Sage Rd. that my son pointed out, I pointed out Star Trek Ave., it is amazing what you see when you are really looking and paying attention.

We got to the beach. I had forgotten that it is Spring break. There were a ton of people. I am not good with a lot of people. I prefer small groups. My energy gets scattered and I become drained quickly with large groups. The joys of being an empath! I was not deterred though. I was determined to complete this trip. I found a parking space, paid for my parking and grabbed my camera. I took my shoes off and went barefoot. Yeah I am one of those girls who absolutely hates shoes and would rather be barefoot. We got to the beginning of the pier and I pulled the camera out only to realize that when I went to Florida I took the Sim card out and had not put it back in. So all we had were our phones to take a few pictures. It was meant to be.

We started by walking the pier. We had this thing when we would go. We would always walk the pier before we did anything else and this day was no different. I got about a quarter of the way down the pier and lost it. All of the memories came flooding back. The way that Mike and I would walk side by side, many times holding hands, looking at the surfers, looking at the birds, looking at the beauty of the ocean. We would get to the end of the pier and we would stand and look at the horizon. This day was no different. We followed those footsteps, except Mike wasn’t holding my hand. He wasn’t talking to me about the guy who couldn’t catch a wave. He was there in Spirit but he was not there to watch the horizon with me. We got to the end of the pier and I stared at the horizon wondering if he could see everything. If he knew how hard it is for those of us who loved him to keep moving on. I wondered if he is happy. I wondered if I would ever find that type of love again or if there would always be this emptiness within, never to be filled again. After a few moments we decided to take a picture of the three of us and a very kind lady saw us trying to take a selfie and offered to take the picture for us.

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We headed back down the pier and finally made it to the beach. I always make a point of taking something to offer to my Mama Ocean. Usually it is blue corn meal and today was no different. Jeremy and I walked out to ankle deep water and I made my offering and then he offered his dad’s ashes to the ocean. It felt right. It is what Mike would have wanted. He no sooner put his dad’s ashes there and the waves came in bigger and stronger and he was gone. Next thing we knew we were knee deep in the ocean. I believe She knew She was taking one of Her’s home. I reached down and picked up 3 stones. One for each of us. We had once again found strength within to say good-bye to a man that we all adored. We had finally taken him to the beach where he wanted to go before he left us. He is home now and we can all move on. Our good-bye is said. Next is my good-bye to my ocean. That will be my next post. Won’t you join me in my tale of a love affair that has been a lifetime in the making?

In Her Service,

Sage