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How Did I Get Here?
My husband and I love cafes. We are certifiably addicted to mochas. Every weekend we leave our two children with their grandmother, who bless her dear heart, keeps them gleefully for us overnight. This means we get to date again! We especially look forward to our java runs in the morning after a lovely night of ... well, you know. Our favorite place lately has an atmospheric vibe that I love. There are paintings on the walls featuring Eric Clapton, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Duke Ellington. We sit and sip, we muse and talk, we bond and eat. These are the moments that conspire to infuse me with enormous bliss. I feel indelible gratitude for my life, for our life together. I often find myself asking rhetorically and knowingly, “How Did I Get Here?” Born into fear, chaos, pain, and emotional annihilation, the proverbial phoenix has risen.
For one thing, I wanted to face the truth from a young age. I had an inborn razor sharp drive to see reality. I cannot attribute this to anything other than my innate nature. I just did. I fought tooth and nail to get into therapy at fourteen. I threatened, coerced, I begged, I yearned. I believe that this is not always the case, some folks turn toward repression, denial, and thus the proverbial head-in-the-sand result.
I don’t know why some mothers lack that, besides of course their own pain, unresolved and unprocessed, of which they are so unconscious. That may qualify as an answer to our “WTF’s!” what was she thinking? How could she? And in my case, the same can be said of my father, though he did not physically abandon me until later. It is hard, parenting. Selflessness, shaping life around another’s want and need is not always a breezy walk on the beach. Especially when we have unhealed wounds, of which I had many. My parents lacked the capacity for reflection that is essential to facing unhealed trauma. When actively healing, it is hard too. I had some very hard days as a young mama. But never did I walk out on my children. I was speaking with another fellow advocate recently, who said to me, “You do not give up, parents who abandon their kids take the easy way out.” My therapist explained to me that abandonment of a child is “total annihilation.” Perfect description.
If you choose the darkness either by chosen silence, minimizing your pain, excusing parents who have abused, neglected, beaten, emotionally raped, sexually abused, dismissed your needs, or abandoned you, you do so at the cost of your soul. Living that way is to enslave yourself. You will get sick, you will be depressed, you will suffer. It goes against the divine order of things as we are all meant to shine.
Suggestions: Educate yourself, discern what you wanted, then and now, and what you deserve and deserved. Then give as much of it to yourself as possible, and give it to your child. Surround yourself with the energy of soulful mothering/fathering. My husband grew up never knowing his father, and he is truly an incredible, connected, emotionally available, sensitive father. It is hard but it can be done!
One amazing miracle of giving someone else what you did not get, is that in a vicarious way, you get it too. The most amazing part is that we are capable of doing this in the first place. Think of a world in which no one could turn it around. Jesus. No one would ever heal.
I remember journaling about a vision of the kind of family we wanted to create. One of my entries which I wrote when carrying my second born, went like this:
“We travel, drink organic coffee from artsy mugs as we drive, we listen to groovy music like French bistro classics, Led Zeppelin, Tori, Sade. We roll the windows down and tell the children to feel that warm sun, we soak it in, we have the energy of love and passion all around us, we stop on the way to our destination, lay down a cotton blanket, and have a picnic of organic strawberries, homemade pasta salad, muffins and subs. We affirm the children’s reality and sense of themselves each day, we tell them they are beautiful, smart, loved, loving, and lovable. We dance in the sun and then get back in the car and keep going.
At home, our children have organic fruit for breakfast, we feed them so well and ourselves, we wake up grateful for each day, turn on Sting or Buddy Guy, and light incense. Dylan rests peacefully in my arms with tiny blue socks on his feet. Our home smells of ylang ylang. The windows are open and a warm summer breeze blows in. Dylan sees the clouds and laughs for the first time and we rejoice. We sit outside under a sycamore tree and talk and laugh. there are many hugs, kisses, I love yous, and just love! They see Daddy loving Mommy and Mommy loving Daddy. They see Daddy and Mommy working out problems in a respectful way. Daddy and Mommy are so in love. They see and feel this everyday.”
Nothing is worth the sacrifice of your soul light. And anyone who would ask you to do that is not loving you well. Mantra and Meditation:
Good Love Does Not Hurt.
The confrontation and assessing parental legacies of trauma is intense. The cost of snuffing your own light is immeasurable, even deadly. (think addiction, suicide, domestic violence)
This is when we begin to take out the abuse on ourselves, when we choose not to accept our own goodness. Please shine. This year, I joyfully keep healing and love in my life, I invite miracles and peace, and I pledge to enjoy many blessings. And mochas.