In Jhenah Telyndru’s book “Avalon Within” she defines Sovereignty as “a self that makes fully conscious life decisions based in wholeness and right action, rather than from a reactionary place of unconscious motivations.” This is the best definition that I have found to describe what it means to be sovereign.
If you have followed along on this blog or even if you know me you will know that the one thing I repeat over and over when someone is care-taking for another is that you have to take care of yourself first. This was something that I held closely to me when I was caring for Mike during his dying process.
Yet, what I have found since his death, is that we are always care-takers whether we are caring for others or ourselves. We need to always keep our well being in the forefront. If we do not take care of ourselves then we cannot be there for others. So many times we forget to get enough sleep, eat right, check in with our bodies to see what it needs as well as checking in with our emotions to see where we are and whether we are stable enough to continue on.
Let’s face it, we get wrapped up in life and when chaos hits we just react. We don’t stop until it is all over and by that point we are just a mess. We do not stop to consciously make decisions we just react. Obviously, in a life or death situation this is necessary but all to often we live in a state of fight or flight because we react to situations without pausing. We very seldom stop and think about what it is we are doing because ultimately we just want to help.
As a healer and as someone who walks a shamanic path my life purpose seems to be to teach, deal with death and help those that need healing. This is who I am and it is what I strive to do. There have been very few times that I could not find a way to help whether it was just being present or to listen. I have always gone out of my way to help if possible. I have never said “No, I won’t help.” Until now.
To make a very long, sordid story short in 1988 I left my abusive husband. During the extremely nasty divorce that followed I lost custody of my three sons. I cannot begin to tell you the heartache I felt then and the pain that has been carried over the last thirty years. It has literally affected my whole life. Regardless, I held out hope that when my son’s were old enough to make their own decisions they would want to know their mother. They are old enough and that has not happened. For years they have been told that I was a useless human being.
The few times I have had time with them there was always interference, even as adults. It has come to the point that one quit talking to me, according to what he said to me personally, because he did not want his new wife to be caught up in the drama, even though I was not the drama. Another quit talking to me because my ex daughter in law brought my granddaughters to visit me and he felt that it was a slap in the face to his brother. The third one has sporadic communication with me and I was thrilled to get to go visit him and meet my grandchildren a few years ago.
In April of this year their father’s wife died suddenly. Their step mother. It was unexpected and I am sure difficult for all of them. I know one of the hardest texts I have ever had to send was to tell my son I was sorry for the loss of his mother. It was the last communication we had. I referred to her as his mom because that is how he referred to her when he wrote about it. On the one hand I understood but on the other my heart was breaking because he is my son and I should never have had to refer to another woman as his mother. I think that day was the day that I began to just let this whole situation go.
With that said my world was rocked when my phone rang and it was my ex husband. I have changed my number twice in the last three years so he would not have it and somehow he still gets it. I literally went into a panic attack. I could not answer and it took me a good thirty minutes to be able to breath normally and think straight. Yes, the abuse that I suffered at his hands still haunts me and I avoid him at all costs so seeing his name just really threw me. I didn’t answer. Instead I sought out a sibling to make sure that all was well with his family and my adults kids. Nothing was wrong with anyone but what it boiled down to was he is having a difficult time dealing with the death of his wife and somehow I may be able to help.
I sat with that for a long while. I sat with the grief that this man has caused in my life over the last thirty years. I sat with the terror I lived when he would hit me. I sat with all of the feelings and hurt that this one man had caused in my life. I decided not to return his call. He hadn’t left a message so I did not feel that I needed to respond. Just another missed call.
Then I really sat and thought about it all. I remember when Mike died he called me. He wanted to express his sympathy. He had never seen or spoke to Mike but he felt the need to call. One of the last things he said to me was “when you are done mourning give me a call maybe we can work things out.” Umm no!
After really thinking about it I became very angry. I kept thinking “The Audacity!” You literally used my son’s as a weapon for thirty years and now you want me to help you?! I sat with that for about a month. It was literally making sick. I just couldn’t let go of that anger. Then a beautiful friend of mine gave me a healing session with an energy healer and I was able to release that anger.
Well last night my phone rang again. This time he left a message. Believe me when I tell you that I understand the pain of loss. When my only daughter died I became so angry at God for not only taking my son’s away but also taking my daughter away. My life changed because of that anger and I found the path that I have walked for 27 years. When my husband died I felt that my world had come to an end. All of my dreams had died with him. If it weren’t for our son I probably would not be here. I have dealt with an enormous amount of grief for the last thirty years. I have had a great support group, my family. I have had great friends that helped me get through some of the hard times but ultimately it was my pain to heal and my pain to deal with.
My first thought on hearing his voice message was “just no.” Then I started to feel guilty. Am I not a healer? Is this not my job? Is this not why I am here? I started questioning myself. Then the thoughts of “if I do this maybe things will change and my son’s will come around.” To say that I didn’t sleep much last night is the understatement. Even this morning when I woke up I was still unsure of what I “should” do. I had posted on facebook without giving details and had so many telling me to protect myself, not to do it.
Then a fellow sister caught me on messenger. We discussed the particulars of what has been going on and she helped me see that saying no is really alright. During our conversation it was as though a light bulb came on. I realized that I was not obligated to help my ex husband. I realized that my son’s have made their choices. I have realized that they can no longer be used as weapons. They have chosen to not be a part of my life and therefore they are no longer weapons. I can’t lose what I have not had in the last thirty years! But most importantly I realized that I had to take care of me first. I had to put my well being before anyone else’s.
Helping him would only put me in a situation that is not healthy. It would once again have me reliving all of the pain and torment. It would not be healthy for me.
So many of my thoughts fell into place all at once. I felt the anger I have carried for so long disappear. I felt the strength of stepping into my own sovereignty coarse through my veins and I knew that even healers have to say no every once in a while. I knew that the past can no longer hold me hostage. I knew that this battle has been fought for to long yet I have survived. I knew that I had stepped into my own sovereignty and that is where I needed to be all along.
In Her Service,