It’s all about the chili spaghetti!

My life has been going through a vast amount of transitions over the last year and a half.  I have lost my spouse, moved, and now I am deconstructing my life to get into my car and leave.  Changes are both within and flowing through my life significantly.

The last couple of weeks everything has felt as though it is upside down, but in a good way.  I made a trip to Florida (a gift given to me from my son and his friends) to meet my grandchildren.  It was absolutely fabulous.  As any grandmother will tell you their grandchildren are the best in the world.  Mine are no exception!  They are kind, caring, funny, adorable and everything I could have ever dreamed for.  It was a new beginning and a beautiful way to start this journey that I am preparing to embark on.  My heart is full.

While going through all of these changes I noticed that I have been craving the same food, every day, for over a month.  I couldn’t figure out why.  It isn’t really like it is my favorite food.  I mean I love spaghetti just about anyway it can be made but the combination of chili and spaghetti hasn’t been something I have eaten a lot of over the last 40 years.  Until now.  I just can’t get enough of it.  It hasn’t gotten old in anyway.  It is really the only thing that I want (except chocolate of course).  It has literally driven my son, Jeremy, up a wall.  He has given me all kinds of headaches over it.  He isn’t into eating it every single day and doesn’t understand why that is all I really want. Honestly, I didn’t quite understand it either.  Until today.  I was having a conversation with my son’s best friend, Kity, while I was making this morning’s helping of chili spaghetti when he pointed out that when your life is going through so many changes you seek comfort (wisdom out of the mouth’s of babes).  In this case comfort foods or food at this point.

I knew as soon as the word’s came out of his mouth that truth had been spoken.  I have been so wrapped up in the thoughts and feelings about where my life is going and trying to live in the here and now, enjoying every moment.  I have been working diligently to let go of so many things, both materially and emotionally, that I didn’t think about the comfort level of life.  It has been a long while since I have been “alone” and not had someone to share my deepest thoughts and feelings with that everything just stays inside of me now, unless I am writing.  Normally, my comfort would have been voicing my thoughts, fears and dreams with Mike.  That doesn’t happen anymore and now there is nobody.  It is an adjustment and apparently one that I am working through, with chili spaghetti.  There is humor there, somewhere.

What this all means is that when we find ourselves going through life and so many things start to happen all at once we seek comfort.  Some seek it in alcohol. Some seek it in drugs.  Some seek it in food or sex.  Apparently I seek it in chili spaghetti.  Why is that?  Why do we turn to outer comforts to work through the things life throws at us?  Why don’t we see it when we do?  I didn’t see it.  Really I just thought it was an insatiable craving.  Instead it is a way to seek comfort.  Why are we blind to our own needs but can fulfill the needs of others and see them quite easily?

I have walked a path of self discovery and healing, one that has enabled me to get through a lot of things in my life for over 20 years now. Even now I still find that many times I am blind to my own needs. I continue to discover new and exciting things about myself daily.  I have found that I like different types of music, some of my son’s music is pretty cool (which is amazing to me). I like conversations with 20 something kids because their perspective is so enlightening. Somehow I think we as parents of these kids have created amazing creatures that see the world in a way that we never could because of our conditioning, they teach us so much if we are willing to listen. I find myself attracted to several types of men (this one is really surprising to me). I find that one of the things I find most attractive is intelligence and open mindedness, more so than how someone looks. I find myself surprised at some of the discoveries about myself but I also find that I am still blind to many things.

One of the things that I did after my first marriage, a time when I needed to find out who I was and what I wanted, was to try something new each day and write down what I liked and didn’t like.  Broccoli?  Do I like it or hate it?  Styx? Do I like their music or do I hate it?  I honestly didn’t know who I was nor what I liked.  I had been told for so long what I liked and didn’t like, what I could do and couldn’t do that I didn’t know who I was.

Looking back I see that this was the beginning of my journey of self discovery but at the time I was just trying to figure out what I liked.  I find myself going through this again only in a different way.  I am not walking away from an abusive marriage but rather learning to live after losing the one person I thought would always be by my side. I am learning to live again and in the process I am re-discovering who I am.  I am picking the pieces of my life up and putting myself back together, only in a new way.  It is scary as hell and exciting all at the same time.  I am finding that I have a very low tolerance for stupidity and loud noises.  Just things that before I would have just dealt with.  Now I remove myself from it.  Time is to damned short to tolerate things that annoy, bother or hurt you.

I suppose my point in writing all of this is that no matter what you are going through, no matter how bleak or bright things look at the moment, you will seek comfort.  Will you be aware that you are doing so?  Will you be blind to it? Will it really matter?  I think knowing that a particular food, act or need is providing you comfort shifts your perspective and when you shift your perspective even just a tiny bit the world changes.  Your world changes because you are now aware of the why’s and how’s.  In closing, I ask, where do you find your comfort? How does it fill your heart? How does knowing that tiny bit of information make your view of the world different?  Try figuring it out, you might be surprised at your own answers, I know I am.


This thing called life…

Let me start by saying I walk a shamanic path.  I have been following a pagan path for over twenty years and a few years ago everything shifted.  I was called out by the powers that be and in turn my world shifted along with how I do things.  It isn’t that there is such a large stretch to go from one path to the other but it seems that there is a large group of people that just have an issue with the word shaman.  So here I am following my shamanic path, if you don’t like it, oh well, it is what it is but ultimately it works for me on more levels than you can imagine.

With that out of the way, this last year has been a rough, heartbreaking, liberating, growing, in your face type of year for me.  It started with my husband going through chemo and fighting cancer, then losing the battle (do you really lose a battle or do you just move onto something better?) and me walking him over to the other side.

I am blessed because that is my greatest calling on this path, walking others over to the other side. It just happened one day and here I am, showing up and doing this whether I wanted to or not.  I think of it as a deep, abiding gift that Spirit bestows on me.  How could I not?  I mean, seriously, holding someone’s hand, hearing their final messages for their loved one’s, telling them how very loved they are, seeing them walk through that gate, knowing that their soul just went to pure love, how could that not be considered a gift? Believe me it is heart wrenching and beautiful all at once.  Especially when it is someone you truly love.

Onto today.  A couple of months ago I found an old love.  He tore my heart out and rocked my world in ways that I never thought possible.  It was a gift.  How can so much pain be a gift?  It was a gift because his actions forced me to grieve.  When Mike died I just didn’t.  I had to be strong for everyone around me.  I had to be strong to just get through my days.  Don’t get me wrong, I cried, a lot!  But I didn’t really grieve all that I had lost.  My best friend, my way of life, his laughter, his smile, all of the things that just made him, him and us, us.  I just didn’t.

Here I am 7 months later and I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.  The pain is beyond words.  I don’t want to get out of bed.  I don’t want to eat.  Hell, I am not even sure I want to live anymore.  All because one person walked in and made me dream again.  One person made me laugh again.  One person brought me hope that somewhere out in this world there was still love.  Then that one person threw it all away. It opened all of my wounds up, the loss of my sons, my daughter, so many that I have loved and lost, my husband, what I perceived as my life. It hurt like nothing I have ever experienced before.  I do not think that I have ever cried as much as I cried those three weeks.  I don’t think I have known such pain, ever.

Grieving is not for sissy’s!  Real grief doesn’t just go away.  You just learn to live with it.  You learn to befriend it and find ways that you can walk with it rather than through it.  I learned this while grieving for my husband, the old love, the life I no longer have and the life I thought I would have.  Promises broken.  Grief shows up.  Life stops for a moment and then it starts to move again.

One day I woke up and had this all engulfing vision of me leaving.  Being who I am my first thought was “I don’t ever run so why would I run?” But that wasn’t it. Each day that all engulfing vision filled my soul, over and over again.  It just wouldn’t go away.  I could see it as clearly as I see my hands typing these words. I did what I always do, I took it to Spirit.  All was confirmed.  I was to leave, hit the road jack and don’t ya come back.  A new adventure!

That has been a couple of months or so now and I can’t say that I don’t waiver or that I don’t doubt.  I wake up some mornings and think “Oh my Goddess what the hell am I doing?  I am leaving everything and everyone I love behind to get into my car and just drive.  No destination, no real plans.  Just go!?”

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day. She so wisely pointed out that I was not leaving everyone I love behind but rather going to see other people I love and share some of my time with them.  I can’t tell you how comforting that thought was and still is.

On the mornings that I wake up with doubt I sit with it.  I try to understand why the doubt is there.  This morning I realized that part of this is in the “letting go” of what I thought and hoped my life would be.  The other part is just me being human and as another friend pointed out this morning it is also “ego” wanting to stay in it’s comfort zone.

We get so wrapped up in our lives.  We have our families, our children, our friends.  We never want to lose any of them.  We hold onto our lives out of fear that we may lose someone or something.  We get stuck in our own little worlds.  We never want anything to change.  Our jobs are secure so we do the same things day in and day out and we call it living.  I know I did.  When Mike was still alive our lives were filled with love, laughter and a bit of normalcy.  Then he died and nothing felt right anymore.  We moved to a new house.  We have done everything we can to find “normal” again.  Then I realized that normal is not where I need to be.

I need to expand.  I need my heart to feel the mountains, oceans, trees, the dirt under my feet and the road under my wheels. I need those moments that take my breath away, like when I went to Oregon and on the drive there I saw the wonder of nature and Spirit. I need to see people that I love and care for, nurture those friendships and love them in ways I can’t from afar.  Hug them. laugh with them and just be.  I need to let Spirit guide me fully and in all things just as I have for what feels like forever.

This is no longer a “want” it is a deep seeded “need.”  It is a demand from Spirit to learn to be me again and to let life happen on it’s own terms.  I will find me in ways that I didn’t know existed.  I will open myself up more than I dreamed possible.  These are the things I am shown.  Yet, I am human and this thing we call life says that I am crazy and doubt seeps in.  I refuse to let it take control.  So here I go on an adventure that there is no destination to.  Here I go trusting that all will be exactly what it is suppose to be and I will be led to be exactly where I am suppose to be at the right moment.  Here I go learning to live, love, and laugh again.  Here I go living this thing we call life.

In a few months life is changing and I am embracing it to the fullest!  I just have to get the “normal” stuff taken care of first.  In the mean time I am loving those that are here and being me each moment of each day.  This thing called life is such a remarkable journey, don’t you think?