Making Memories

In every moment we have the opportunity to embrace life and make memories. I believe that when we leave this earth what we leave behind is the love that we share and the memories we have made with those that we love.

Some memories will be beautiful and others will be painful but how we live is what will be remembered. How we made someone feel. How we treated them. How we loved or hated them.

I also believe that during our dying process we relive the memories of our life. We work on releasing the guilt for the pain that we caused others and we have our hearts healed by the beautiful memories we make in love.

In my training I was taught that when we remember our bodies do not know that it is a memory. Instead our body reacts as though what we are thinking about is happening in this moment. So if it is a bad memory your body, your cells, your being reacts. Whether with sadness or fear your body reacts. The same is true with happiness, love and joy. If you think of a beautiful memory then your body reacts in kind.

I find myself looking at the beauty in my life. I left California in search of myself. I have found many things out about myself over the last year. Mostly, I have come to realize that I am a good person and that I deserve love. This has been a huge lesson for me. So now, now, I focus on making beautiful memories. I am thankful daily for my blessings and the beauty in my life.

Five months ago I met someone. He has taught me a lot. Some of it has been painful. Some of it has brought about changes within that I never dreamed possible. Regardless, it has been beautiful.

I am making memories. Beautiful memories. I have love in my life. I laugh a lot. I am constantly called an “emotional witch” because I cry when I feel the need to cry. I laugh when I am happy and very seldom do I find myself angry. When I do everyone knows it!

But this particular post is about some of the beautiful memories I have been blessed with over the last five months. Memories that I will always hold onto because they fill my soul with joy and beauty and every day they make me thankful I am alive.

Dancing. Have I ever told you how much I love music? Did you know that I love to dance? I really do! There is something amazing that happens when the music starts and you can feel it in your body and begin to move with it. I just love to dance. I am blessed with a sweet, gentle man who loves to dance too. I have had many nights over the last five months where the music starts and I find myself in his arms dancing in the kitchen, living room, wherever we are. I love every single moment, even when I am stepping on his feet! These dances are some of my most treasured memories.

I live only a few miles from the beach. Unfortunately I don’t get there quite as much as I would like to but I have some beautiful memories sitting on the shore watching the sun rise. I also have the memory of the first time I went to the beach with Rodney. It was nighttime. I only wanted to go to make an offering of thanks. I made my offering, it was a full moon, and the next thing I knew I was being pulled into the ocean. Laughing and finding myself feeling safe within his arms. It is a memory I will hold onto forever.

Almost anyone who knows me knows that I have refused to go to a movie theater for years. They give me the weebee jeebees. Well he talked me into going to the movie theater. We have now been there twice and I love it. They are a lot nicer than I remember, reclining chairs and arm room but ultimately it is something that I enjoy doing that I would never have done if he had not come along and convinced me to try it again.

So far my absolute favorite memory happened a week or so ago. We were laying in bed watching tv, listening to the rain, thunder and lightning. All of a sudden he looks at me and says, “Do you want to go dance in the rain?” I, of course, said YES!! You see I love the rain. I love thunderstorms and I have never danced with anyone in the rain before. He is on crutches but that did not stop him. He got up and grabbed my hand and we headed for the front door. We stood outside, crutches and all, dancing in the storm until we were soaked to the bone. Laughing, holding each other and swaying to the music that only we could hear. To this moment in time I have to say that it is the most beautiful moment in my life.

One of the things I have learned from having this man in my life is spontaneity. I don’t need to plan every little detail because chances are my plans are going to go straight out the door and never be realized. He is constantly going and nothing is ever set in stone. I am learning to adjust and am finding it refreshing and life affirming. Just one of the many beautiful changes in my life. I am thankful for the lessons and honestly I think it makes me feel younger and I have a deeper sense of freedom. A freedom to just be me and do what feels right rather than what I think is right. Beautiful moments come from his spontaneous ways and for that I am forever thankful.

So when you get wrapped up in your day to day living don’t forget to stop and appreciate the special moments. Take time to recognize the moments that you share with those you love. Remember to show or tell those you love that you love them often. Life gets to busy. People get wrapped up in their own pain. They just let it slide. They think that they will always be there to tell and then they aren’t. So today, I am making memories, reflecting on the beauty in my life and telling those I love that I love them. We are loving those that love us and making a difference together.

Live, love and laugh and always find the beauty.

In Her Service,

Sage

Looking Back

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Her Service,

Sage

Hidden Healing

For many years now I have worked on healing my own wounds. There have been many. If you have read my blog prior, you know this.

Yet, for all of the healing I have done, all the tears I have shed, all the heartache I have endured, I am finding that beneath all of the stones that I have turned over there are still many shadows lurking.

Just about the time I thought I had myself completely together and had a handle on my own healing life threw some wrenches in the mix to show me that I still have plenty of work to do.

It started with an invitation to Thanksgiving dinner that ultimately ended up being an un-invite. It was extremely painful.

Then it went into a step forward to help someone I thought was my friend to only find that I was more a means to an end.

After that it was being thrown into the middle of a situation that cost me relationships that I valued.

These are just a few of the situations that have occurred over the last couple of months and each of them has caused me to re-evaluate where I stand and what my truth is. I have for years had the same friendships and they have been strong. With moving I have stepped out of my comfort zone and tried to make new friends only to find that what I see as friendship is not always what others see. It has, on many levels, been disheartening. Yet I continue to move forward and I have cut my losses.

At the beginning of all of these happenings I met a man. I had actually met him a couple of months before but really had not had the opportunity to get to know him until November. In November that all changed. To be quite honest I never thought it would be more than maybe a one night stand. Something I am not comfortable with but I have learned over time that no matter what your hopes are sometimes they happen. I liked this man from the moment I met him. There was something about him that I felt very drawn to and I didn’t quite understand what it was. His name is Rodney.

Over the last couple of months I have faced more shadows, walked through more grief, faced many demons and ultimately healed a lot of hidden wounds. Why? Because of my relationship with Rodney. Through all of the things I listed above he has stood by my side. He has supported me and helped me through some very trying times. He has given me strength when I didn’t think I could make it through another day and through it all he has made me laugh. But ultimately he has helped me heal a specific area of my life that I had completely and utterly ignored for decades.

A little history here. As a child I was sexually molested by my grandfather (I call him “Satan himself”). Through the ages of 5 to 12 I was his play toy, so to say. I have blocked many of the memories out, they are just to painful to remember. Some of them have come back over the last couple of years and none of them are pretty. As they appear I work through them.

I knew that the memories would return when I was going through my training. During that time I would journey to retrieve a soul part and for three years I would be taken to a little girl in a sandbox. As I would begin to talk to her I would be thrown out. The trauma was so deep that it took me three years to even have a conversation with her. I have worked with her now for well over five years and still the healing is not complete.

Then there was my abusive marriage. It included more than just physical abuse and it just compounded the wounds I received as a child.

In fact almost every marriage I have had there has been a sexual wound that has just compounded the ones received as a child. I am not going to go into details because they are not necessary.

I will say that with my late husband, Mike, there was no abuse, instead there just was no sexual contact for the last 8 years of our marriage. His choice, not mine.

As a woman in her early 40’s having my husband tell me that he was not interested in me sexually was hard to deal with. I did though. I loved him enough that I literally just shut off my sexual desire and anything to do sex. It did, however, compound the sexual wounds that I had already incurred.

I am now 52 years old. Along comes Rodney. He is kind. He is gentle. He is patient. Every day he helps me heal.

I have to say that Rodney is the first man in my life that I trust explicitly. It has just never happened before. There was always fear. Fear of abuse. Fear of abandonment. Fear that I was not good enough.

Throughout my life there have been two theme’s that have weaved themselves into my world. Abuse and abandonment. I had literally closed myself off to the possibility that there would ever be anyone that could make me feel safe in the bedroom. Rodney has done that. He is truly the first man that I completely trust. He is also the first man to put my satisfaction before his own. In turn, he is the first man to bring me orgasms. Yes, that is plural because every time we have sex I have multiple orgasms. I feel safe and loved.

Rodney is a man of great patience. When I am facing my wounds. When I am crying and can’t explain why, he is patient, he loves me through it until I can get to the point of telling him what is going on inside. He is not so worried about the past as he is about the now of things. He understands my brokenness, even if he doesn’t always like what he is told and he literally helps me face those wounds and then loves me through it.

Some issues I face and they go away quickly. Others it takes me days to process. Either way he never forces an issue. Never.

Within our society we focus on women’s bodies more than any other thing. Sex sells. After having 5 children via c-section as well as a hysterectomy my body is not something that I have loved. When I look in the mirror I see scars, stretch marks, sagging boobs. Desire is not a word that I have felt or known. Until now.

I love the woman I am. I love what I have to offer another. I know that I am a good woman. I know that my heart is true and that I love wholly. Yet, looking in the mirror and seeing the body that houses that woman is not something I have enjoyed doing.

There are still hurdles to cross. Some may seem inconsequential to others but to me, to me they are huge. One of those hurdles is lingerie. Something that millions of women take for granted on a daily basis. Lingerie sells because sex sells. For me though it strikes fear in my whole being.

Imagine my fear when Rodney asked me when I was going to get something pretty to wear to bed. It literally made my stomach do a flip. I seriously wanted to throw up. Why? Because 24 years ago I walked out in lingerie and I was asked what the hell I was doing. I was told to go back to my room and change because it just wasn’t going to work. I have not worn lingerie since. So to have Rodney ask me about getting some struck fear in my heart. Fear of rejection. Fear of failure. Fear of being undesirable, again.

The key here though is that because of who he is and how he treats me he has made me look at that fear. I have yet to buy lingerie but I am thinking about it. That is a step in the right direction. Another aspect of healing. There have been many moments of healing that which has been hidden.

There are moments that he doesn’t always understand. There are moments when he gets frustrated with me or doesn’t want to know why I am the way that I am. There are moments when he wants me to just leave the past in the past and get past it all. Yet, he doesn’t push me. He supports me no matter what I am going through. I know that it would be easy to just push it all aside but I also know that doing so is not going to help me heal those wounds. He understands that and in turn he offers me patience and love. He shows me that I am no longer there. He shows me that I no longer need to have that fear. He shows me that I am desirable and worthy. He literally loves me through my wounds and when I walk out the other side of that wound he is standing there loving me some more.

I know that he cannot heal me. I know that I have to face my own darkness. I also know having someone who looks at me with desire, love, kindness, caring and gentleness has given me the ability to learn to love my body for what it is. It has given me the ability to see myself in a different light. It has given me the ability to look at those fears and face them head on and know that when I walk through I am still going to have that kindness, love, desire and gentleness. Nothing is forced. Nothing is ugly. When I look in Rodney’s eyes, those eye’s show me beauty and in turn I am finding my own beauty.

Within all of these moments the most amazing thing is that he has opened up an area in my life that I pushed aside, tried to deny and in turn he has given me the opportunity to heal that which has been hidden. For that I will be forever grateful. Seeing my beauty through his beautiful eye’s has been a remarkable journey.

In Her Service,

Sage

Learning To Live Without Words

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Her Service,

Sage

 

 

 

 

 

Expect The Unexpected

I always laugh when I begin to make plans. I already know that every plan I make is subject to change at the drop of a hat. The Universe has a way of laughing at me just when I think I have gotten everything together and know where I am going. My plans never seem to go exactly the way I see them. I am good with it though. I learned a long time ago that if I just go with the flow things work out better than I could have imagined it. Especially when everything seems to be falling apart.

I haven’t written in a couple of months. Life had gotten the best of me. I just couldn’t find the words to say what was going on in my mind and heart. Many days it wasn’t good and even today I struggle with just focusing on the good. It has been a couple of tough months. I have kept my head above water but it hasn’t been easy. I am still standing though and as I sit down to write this I find that my heart and my head are actually on the same page again so all is well with the world. That does not mean that it is perfect. It doesn’t mean that I have any answers whatsoever but it means that deep down I know that everything is going to work out and be exactly what it is suppose to be and once again life will be different.

I am good with change. I know many do not like change. I have heard it said that the harder you fight the changes the harder the changes become. I quit fighting. I step back and just watch. I look at me, look at my feelings within and I figure out where I am and how I am adjusting. Sometimes I adjust better and others I just cry. Either way I find that the less resistance the easier the change is. I do my best to just go with the flow.

My world has changed significantly the last month. My son came to South Carolina. He faced many challenges the first couple of weeks he was here and yet he has managed to keep on moving forward. I would like to think that it is because he was taught well but really it is because that is who he is. He is a determined young man and I am proud of him. His challenges have created many challenges for me and yet I am doing alright. In fact, I am happy. Did you hear that? I am actually happy.

I don’t have a place to live. I am staying with a friend. I am looking for a place to live and my life has been one huge challenge after another the last 2 months but I am still here, still doing what I have to survive and I am still standing.

The biggest change in my life, other than housing, is that I have met someone. I never, ever thought I would find anyone to make me laugh a full on belly laugh again. Yet he does. Every single day I laugh. It is the most amazing thing in the world.

I met him a couple of months ago but we didn’t really get to know each other. We would say hello in passing and then just go on with our lives. Then one night we were both hanging out with friends and the next thing you knew we were there, side by side, talking, laughing and getting to know each other. It has been an amazing journey since that day. He not only makes me laugh he also shows me how much he cares. He says he doesn’t but I see and feel it every day. Every day he makes me smile. Every day he makes me feel like a woman. Every day he shares his life with me and every day he is by my side helping me and supporting my decisions. I can talk to him and know that he is going to listen and although he may not have answers he will be there.

I have a couple of friends who are not fond of him. I know from experience that if you base everything on what your friends feel you will find yourself alone and miserable. I have to acknowledge that they have a right to their feelings and thoughts and ultimately it doesn’t change my love for them but I have to do what is best for me and right now, in this moment, he is what is best for me.

Honestly, I have not felt this complete happiness in a very long time. It is healing. It is helping me let go and more than anything it is making me feel alive again. I was lacking that deep within. I was going through the motions but deep inside I was empty. I had no will to really live. I had promised that I would so I went through the motions but until now I didn’t realize that I didn’t care whether I was walking this earth or not. Now I care. Now I know that I am suppose to be here doing me and finding complete and utter joy within is the key to that.

My joy is not based on one individual. Instead that individual has shown me that I have a life that is worth living and in turn that I can find my happiness again. He woke me up. He woke my heart up again and in turn he helped me heal me. I will be forever thankful for all he has offered me and all he has shared with me.

I have no idea where this relationship will go. I am one of those people who love and love fiercely and love is not something he wants in his life. I am doing me. He is doing him and right now we are doing us. I am good with that. Whatever comes about I believe it is meant to be and I now know that I have the capability to care deeply again and be me without condition. It is the most liberating and joyful feeling in the world. This has been his gift to me. He has opened me up. I am thankful.

Sometimes we just have to expect the unexpected and embrace the change that it brings forward and right now that is exactly what I am doing. Good? Bad? Indifferent? Really it doesn’t matter because life is going to bring what it brings and I am going to stand strong and continue to just be me.

In Her Service,

Sage

Hurricane

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Her Service,

Sage

My heart in Texas

Shattered heart. Broken woman. Lost in darkness. Grief stricken. Tired. Strong. Weak. No hope. No dreams. No trust.

These are all the things that I have felt and been this last year. Yet, here I stand. Finding a new way of being. Here I stand looking for a new tomorrow. Here I am living in the moment. There is pain. I will not say otherwise. There is doubt. I would be lying if I said otherwise. Sometimes seeing that hope and feeling it is the scariest thing on earth. If you have no hope you can’t be hurt. If you have no hope you can just get through and not have to worry about anyone or anything. If you have no hope you are existing, not living.

My heart has been broken so many times over the last 30 years that there are times I wonder how it can feel anything. There is always pain. There is always hurt. Finding happiness and joy is something I generally don’t expect, yet, I strive for it. I yearn for it. I pray for it. When it shows up I celebrate it. It isn’t often and when I feel it I revel in it. I bask in it’s light. My life has been filled with grief for so long that I wouldn’t know how to exist without it. I would really like to find out but I have a feeling that it is here to stay. I have had to befriend it just to breathe. The beauty of grief is that it is a great teacher. It teaches you to appreciate every moment. It teaches you that nothing is permanent, everything changes, in a blink of an eye. It teaches you that life is short and you are here for only a short time so you better make the most of the life you have.

A year ago my heart was shattered. I had no hope. I could no longer dream. I was buried in darkness and couldn’t find a way out of it. Grief became my best friend. Grief almost destroyed me. I felt as though I couldn’t take one more loss. You see over the last 30 years I have grieved, non stop. First it was the loss of my sons, having to start life over, losing that start and going home only to have my grandmother die, another start, then the death of my daughter and loss of my marriage, another beginning to face, so many friends that I can give you their names by the order that they died, another start, the loss of my dad, father in law, my “other” dad and my husband, 14 deaths in the last 6 years. Another start. To be honest I am tired.

I needed a change. I needed to find a connection. I needed to rejuvenate and find my place in this world. I planned my journey. Obstacle after obstacle appeared. They are still showing up. Then I felt the need to be the friend I wish I had, had this last year and I came to Texas. For the first time in years I felt joy. Along with that joy there has been a lot of pain. A lot of letting go. A lot of doubt. A lot of being unsure of myself. A lot of life.

The land here has spoken so deeply that each day I am amazed at the beauty in the sky, the earth beating beneath my feet, the life that pulses through even among the concrete. I find myself dazed many times. Just standing in amazement at the beauty of this place. I have yet to find words to describe it, yet, it fills my heart fully. The thought of leaving brings tears to my eyes, a crack to my voice and feeling of extreme loss.

The people here, the people of Texas. They are open, kind, warm. They have welcomed me as one of their own and I feel very much at home with them. I have made some beautiful friendships that I know will last the rest of my days on this earth.

In the short time I have been here I have found love, not the all engulfing, can’t live without you love of a partner, but rather a love that fills my being with hope. I gave up on hope a long time ago. I quit dreaming. Now, well now I have glimpses of hope, it isn’t long lasting, something always makes me dash it because to hope means I have to believe in another and I have a hard time with that. I just can’t put my heart in the hands of another because doing so means that I have to trust them and trust does not come easy for me. If I trust you enough to share my world with you then you have to be someone very special and there are very few that I feel that way about. Yet, there are glimpses of hope. There are moments of dreaming.

For me, the hope and dreaming means that I am healing. I may back up and step away. I may walk away and throw that hope and that dream away, I have done so many times since being here. Each time a piece of my heart is ripped open again, but for me, it is a sign that I am healing. It is a sign that someday I will no longer have a shattered heart and I will be able to hope and dream without feeling the acute pain of loss. That day isn’t here. The pain I feel in this moment, in the last 3 weeks has been great. Someday. Believing someday it will be, means that there is a sliver of hope telling me that there is healing happening. It is a beautiful way of being. Hope is here, healing is happening, and fear is fading.

This place, these people, they have opened my heart, it will be hurt, that I have no doubt about, it already has been, but the gift they have brought to my life is the true heart of healing. Love, they have given me love and in the process they have offered me hope. The journey to self is long and arduous, finding healing is a gift that is greater than any pain. Here I have found the beginning of that healing. Here I have felt joy. Here I have felt acute pain and I didn’t go to that deep darkness, instead I just kept holding on and I found solace in the land and sky. Here the sky brings comfort and the land reminds me that I am still alive and I need to live the time I have left with all of my being. Here I have found gratitude for the life that I have been given, pain and all. Here I am finding life over death again. Here I am blessed. Thank you Texas – both land and people you have helped me find a piece of me I had forgotten about. Thank you for the love!

 

 

Widow – Another Label

According to websters A “widow” is defined as “a woman who has lost her spouse by death and has not remarried.”

I really dislike this word. I mean really! There seems to be a stigma attached to the word “widow.” When someone uses the word you can see the connotation of sympathy in their eyes and yet somehow it feels more like they look at you as though you are helpless.

I am a lot of things, helpless is not one of them. I am stubborn. I am ornery. I am intelligent. I am funny. I am beautiful in ways that shock people. I am sad. I am happy. I am many things but helpless is not one of them. Not yet anyway. There are definitely things I need help with. I am a human. We all need help with something.

Our society has the weirdest ways of seeing things. We have to label everything. Single, married, divorced, widowed. All labels. All carry their own meaning. Why? Why can’t we just base things on the individual. Why do we have to define people by their marital or lack of marital status? It isn’t just your marital status you are labeled with it is your sexual orientation, color, religion, political views, the list is endless. It is how we define ourselves as well as others. Why?

I have no answers. I only know that I really dislike labels and out of all of the labels I have carried in my life “widow” is the one I dislike the most.

When Mike died I changed my status on facebook to widow. It seemed appropriate at the time. I had never been a widow and had no clue how that label would affect me. After a year of being a widow I decided that if I were going to be labeled I would prefer to be labeled as single. Why? Because I don’t like the way people look at me when they are told I am a widow. I am not helpless. I am a capable, intelligent, woman who is getting through life the best way she knows how.

There are many labels I have carried in this life. During my training the shaman I worked with explained that most of these labels are roles we choose to step into. The role/label of wife, daughter, sister, auntie, mom, grandma. The role/label of friend and foe. We label everything. We step into and out of the roles that these labels portray daily. How many of us are conscious of the choice of stepping into them and out of them? How many of us see them as ways we define ourselves as well as how others define us?

When you own your story. When you are able to take responsibility for who you are and stand in your own truth you no longer have to take the labels of the society you live within. You can create your own if you feel like it. For me I choose not to be a widow. It isn’t who I am. Yes, my husband died and no I am not remarried but ultimately that makes me a woman standing on my own two feet. Living life on my terms and being who I am. Finding my strength and weaknesses and embracing them all. I do not need another person in my life to define me yet I will choose to love someone else when it shows up. I do not need to be married to be complete but if I choose to remarry it will be because I want to be with that person for the rest of my life. They will be my best friend. I will need them in many ways but I will not need them to define me.

I will step into my roles when I choose to and today and every day after I choose to never step into the role of widow again. I am not helpless and it is alright to always just be a woman whose husband died without the label.

How many labels do you carry? Are you conscious of how they affect your life? Do you choose what labels you wear? Are you aware when you step into a role that is labeled? Do you know why you choose to wear the label? Do you know why you choose to step into the role that is given to you? All things to think about. All things to knowingly be conscious of. Are you choosing or are you allowing the world to choose for you? Are you defining yourself or are others defining you and you just go along with it? Be aware. Choose. Step into your roles with full awareness. It not only will shift your perspective it will make you more aware of the people around you and how you view them. Step into your own sovereignty and love who you are.

In Her Service,

Sage

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

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