Stepping into Sovereignty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Her Service,

Sage

 

 

 

Looking Back

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Her Service,

Sage

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

 

 

 

 

The Past – What Does It Offer?

What seeds are you planting? How do you see your future playing out?  What is your heart’s deepest desires?  What steps do you need to take to make those desires come to fruition?  Is your past holding you back?

On any given day you can sit and talk to someone and if you really listen you will hear their dreams.  Dreams of the past:  “When I was younger I wanted to be ____.” Dreams of the future: “One day I want to ______.” Dreams of the present: “If only I had the resources I would _____.” But they are just dreams, right? Things our hearts desire but we never truly expect to have because we believe we have no way of accomplishing them.

Many times we dream a dream, something we really want, and we take steps to accomplish them.  The road is long and difficult.  We give up, believing that we will never get what we really wanted, just before it was going to happen.

I can’t begin to tell you how many times in my life I have done this.  I look back on my life and often wonder “what if.”

“What if I had pursued a career as a Forest Ranger instead of getting married?”

“What if I had stayed in Wisconsin and married that man I loved so very much?”

“What if I had pursued my passion for healing sooner?”

I could go on and on with the “what if’s.” They never end.  We use these lost or postponed dreams to beat ourselves up on a pretty regular basis.  Don’t we?

We can’t change the past.  We can learn from it but we can’t change it.  We can look at all of the things we have lived through, survived, and we can yearn for the “could have’s,” but when it comes right down to it we can’t go back and change a damned thing.  What can we do?

We can begin by looking into the past and finding the lessons that are there. What did you learn by not accomplishing what we “could have” done?

As an example, my first “What if” was “What if I had pursued a career as a Forest Ranger instead of getting married?”

Looking back my marriage brought me 3 remarkable sons and from those sons I have 7 amazing grandchildren, let’s put that aside for a moment though.  I think we can all agree that these are gift’s and not lessons.

What did I take away from the marriage?  The marriage ended in divorce.  The marriage was rife with turmoil.  The marriage was ugly and something that caused all of us extreme pain.  Myself, I endured physical and emotional pain. Yet, I walked away a new person.  I learned that I have strength I didn’t know I had.  I learned that I can stand on my own two feet and not just survive but thrive.  I learned that my heart can be broken, no, not broken, rather shattered, into a million pieces and I can heal it, one piece at a time.  I learned that I can stand in my own truth and although fear may engulf me, Spirit will always protect me.  I learned to love myself and that I am worthy.

I could go through each one of my “what if’s” and tell you what I learned by them. The bottom line, for me, is for every “what if” or “could have” that lays in my past I can see and find lessons, some difficult, some easier. They have shaped and formed the woman I am today.

I could choose to hold onto my past and all of the “what if’s,” let them define me, make me feel as though I have failed in life.  I can choose to beat myself up over and over again by just focusing on the past and the dreams I didn’t accomplish. We all know someone who does this daily.  Instead, I choose to look at the lessons, learn from them and let the past go.

The path I walk says to shed our past as a snake sheds it’s skin.  All at once.  Leave it there.  Write a new past.  The belief is that our bodies can’t tell the difference from things that happened in the past and what is happening now. When you sit and think about the pain of the past your body feels it as though it is happening at this very moment. Your body reacts to the memories you choose to remember.  It doesn’t know that it is a memory, it believes it is happening now. This, for me is one of the greatest reasons to leave the past in the past. Once you have identified all of your lessons is there a reason to relive all that has happened over and over again?  I, personally, would prefer not to relive all of that pain. I choose to leave the past where it belongs, in the past.  I have learned and those memories don’t need to be rehashed over and over.

I cannot move into the future, nor can I live in the NOW if my focus is always mired in the past.

The past has helped form the person I am today.  The now will be the past in a few moments. Standing in the now, at this very second, allows me to make wiser decisions for my future.  When I look in the past, tomorrow, I will know that holding onto what has happened may offer me lessons to learn from but there is nothing else of value to hold onto.  Living there only impedes my now and prevents my dreaming of the future.  You can’t move forward to the future if you are still reliving everything in the past.  It just can’t happen.

Do you believe that everything happens for a reason? I am not sure that I do.  I do, however, believe that Spirit brings us to things we have agreed to learn in this life and how many times that lesson has to be relived depends on how well we learn it.  I also believe that if we are brought to it, we will be brought through it.  Tattered, scarred, yes, but we came here to learn and live.  We can only do so if we are aware enough to look, learn, listen and let go.

Back to my original questions.  Are you planting seeds for the future or are you letting your past stop you? Do you see a future or are you to busy looking at the past to allow a future to unfold?

Find your deepest heart desires, embrace them..  Let the past go.  Live in the now. Dream your future into being! You will be amazed at how beautiful our world can be when you let the hurts, mistakes, lessons of the past go and step into the now.  Go find your beauty!