Autumn Interlude

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Originally posted on Life Is A Journey… Not A Guided Tour:
It’s been quite a while, I know. Life has been… well, how can I put it? It’s been a lot of putting one foot in front of the other,…

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What’s Beyond #MeToo?

Dear Readers, this post goes deep and might be a bit disturbing to read. So I’ll understand if you skip this one for now. But if you’re up for something real and somewhat uncomfortable, here goes. As much as I’ve shared a bit of my healing journey, sharing the amazing change that can happen using hypnotherapy and other healing modalities, I haven’t written much in this blog about one major part of my life. However, because I’ve experienced so much exceptionally deep inner change to something that was incredibly painful and shameful for much of my life, I want to share what’s possible. To let others know that if I can do this, so can others. To spread hope.

Thanks to many brave women who decided to speak up and speak out about having been sexually harassed or assaulted, especially when it came to having been victimized in the workplace, the #metoo movement was born.

As much as yes, I’ve been sexually harassed and treated poorly at work a few times, my biggest pain centers around having been molested when I was young. In my home. In my own bed. By my older brother.

Boom. There you go.

When it was going on, I was terrified to tell because I believed I’d get in trouble. I thought shit would rain down on me if I told. At the time, I’d been groomed and dominated by my brother for our entire childhood, with him seeing what he could get away with over and over. Again and again, I did what my brother wanted, even when I didn’t want to because I wanted him to love and accept me. I wanted to feel validated in his eyes. And acceptance came when I was the little monkey who danced for him by letting him to things to me. Things no one should do to a little girl.

The thing about being molested by someone in your own home, by family, by people who are supposed to love and protect you, is when it happens your psyche splits. As much as I was terrified and wanted more than anything for it to stop, another part of me blamed myself for it happening. My mind rationalized like a mutherfucker. If only I didn’t do this then he wouldn’t… I should have stopped him. And other lies.

It’s a brain thing.

The thing is, when my parents found out about the molestation, they were horrified and terrified. They were in shock. My father wanted to kill my brother and he wanted to protect me. And he was terrified that if word got out, he’d lose his ability to provide for our family.

What Dad did was put a latch on my bedroom door, swear us all to secrecy and send my brother and me both to psychiatrists. It was no help. The woman I saw made me feel ten times more shame than I already felt, making me believe I should have been able to stop it. And it was evident that the shrink my brother saw had little effect, because two years later when I forgot to lock my bedroom door and he was home on college break, he tried to rape me once again. This time I was able to fend him off. But I didn’t tell.

Life went on and I kept my deep, dark, painful, shameful secret. I believed for decades that it was my fault.

After a career at sea, I finally settled down to create a family and decided to do some therapy. With my therapist’s help, I was thirty-seven when for the first time in my life I realized and owned that I had been a victim. (The majority of victims of molestation who tell, don’t disclose until their thirties or forties if they ever do at all). I still felt shame around what happened, but I was now angry. Really angry. I wanted my brother dead. No, I wasn’t going to take steps to make it happen, but if he’d been killed over in Iraq, it would have been ok with me.

Every time I thought about my brother or had to deal with him, rage flared.

What took me years to realize was, my anger wasn’t hurting him or changing the past, it was hurting me.

The short answer to what’s beyond #metoo, is healing.

Beyond metoo is healing

All our emotions and emotional triggers like anger, irritation, and rage, come from within. They all emanate outward. And as I discovered and studied energy healing, and had several healing experiences, anger and anxiety that seemed to be constant companions began to dissolve, being replaced by peace. It was magical and miraculous.

Over time, as I thought about the past and thought about what my brother did to me, I was able to remember without being flipped into instant anger. It was freeing! Blaming myself and feeling shame were gone, and anger was leaving as well.

For anyone who has been sexually assaulted, traumatized or violated in any way, healing work is a way to reclaim your sense of self. To reclaim power, dump shame, and heal personal boundaries. Can this be done through talk therapy? Probably, but the process is a hundred times longer and can be painful and draining.

As much as I thought my story was going to end there, a year ago I experienced a healing moment so deep that I hadn’t even realized I still wanted a loving, caring and protective older brother until that part of me let go the desire. The part of me who still wanted validation and a relationship with the person who had spent our childhoods being so disconnected from his own sense of self and power that he had to find it through taking mine, dissolved.

All desire and longing for a relationship with my older brother faded into the sunset. It vanished. Disappeared. No anger, no sadness, no regret.

I no longer wanted what I never had.

I know that before we’re born, our soul creates a blueprint of our life. We meet with members of our soul family and make agreements with them. Relationship agreements. We choose life challenges to give ourselves opportunities to grow. I know I had a soul agreement with my brother and I now feel that the big challenge I sought to overcome through painful dynamics of our relationship has reached mission complete. The growth has been nothing short of miraculous, and there’s nothing for me there anymore.

Because he’s still essentially the same disempowered person with no desire to change, I’m now ok to have nothing to do with him. In fact, I prefer it.

Experiencing trauma in life is shocking. And when our bodies experience shock, trauma becomes physically and mentally wired into us. Having our boss grab our ass, or having a co-worker you hardly know, who’s old enough to be your father unexpectedly plant a drunk kiss smack on your lips when you’re trapped in an elevator on a ship in the middle of the ocean, can be traumatic and shocking.

Shifting perception from blame and shame back into a state of self-empowerment takes time and effort. The solidarity of the #metoo movement has helped millions of women begin to heal. And as much as anger propels us to rise up, take action, and make a change, becoming mired down in anger for years eventually hurts us. Being able to let go of pain and anger takes inner work, and this is where energy healing shines.

Today, as much as yes, a horrible thing happened to me, I’m no longer a victim. I have my power back and am free from the past.

Posted in Energy Therapy, Holistic Healing, Hypnosis, inspiration, The Voyage | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Little Cub

Once upon a time, Mama Bear had a Little Cub whose cub-hood she imagined would be full of all sorts of friends, activities, and school. But Mama’s dream for her cub wasn’t Little Cub’s dream. He had other things in mind, and one of them was taking on some big challenges. Challenges that would make life harder than it was for other cubs. Sure, he played with other cubs, loved to laugh and have adventures, and went to school, but some things were extra scary, like loud noises. And getting his fur cut and having his big teeth cleaned was really, really uncomfortable.

As Little Cub grew up he loved to have fun and help people. He also didn’t have much fun in school. In fact, things seem to get harder and harder. Mama Bear got him help from this bear and that, and everything they tried helped… some. But the times she tried to help her cub with his becoming anxious about things, nothing seemed to help. He just got more and more anxious. To the point when Mama Bear realized her cub needed some very special berries to help it go away, but everyone who could give her cub berries was too busy to see them for a year. Eventually, one day, Little Cub just couldn’t go to school more day. He had to leave.

As much as Mama Bear had long dreaded the thought of having to take on the responsibility of educating Little Bear, she knew it was something she had to do. And she did.

A year into Little Cub being home, Mama Bear had an out of this world experience that began to change her from the inside out. A process began that took hold of her and amongst other things, messed with her mind from time to time. It made her outlook on life very negative at times and brought temporary body aches and pains with the inner changes. The way she saw the world began to change, but because she wasn’t a butterfly, she couldn’t build a cocoon and hide away from the world during her metamorphosis process. She had to keep being a Mama Bear. And sometimes it was very, very hard.

As Little Cub’s friends began getting their driver’s licenses, he was still afraid to go back to school. Even to learn to drive. When Mama Bear’s head was in a bad place she didn’t know if Little Cub would ever learn to drive. But with Papa Bear’s encouragement, they signed their cub up for a driving school. A while back, Mama Bear finally found someone to give her cub special berries to tame the anxious thoughts, and he’d also been talking with a wise bear every now and then. Little by little, the cub began to get excited at the thought of driving.

And then he did it. He went back into a classroom for the first time in three and a half years, making it through a two-hour class where didn’t know another soul in the room. Sure, when he finished his first class, there was a lot of complaining about this and that, as Mama Bear expected. But with each class, he was less and less nervous, and more and more confident. When it came time to go, he came bounding down the stairs ready to go without dragging his paws or complaining about having to go. And he started doing his homework for the class without being asked or prompted.

Little Cub was doing school!

After the third day of class, Mama Bear asked her cub if he wanted to drive on their quiet dead-end road, and with little hesitation, he said, “Yes!” And he did. Down the road and back. And then he wanted to do it again. And then out onto another road, up a few hundred yards, turned around, and back home. And before long, he went out with the instructor and other cubs for more driving practice.

With Little Cub’s first week of driving school behind him, he likes the teacher and is getting used to being back in a classroom. Yes, he forgot to do one assignment which will be done over the weekend and passed in late with no penalty. (Did I say the teacher’s great?) He’s got a few hours behind the wheel, driving with Mama Bear, a driving instructor, and Papa Bear, and he’s catching on fast.

As much as some things about life are extra hard for this cub, driving isn’t one of them. Yay!

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It’s September

I can and can’t believe it’s September first. School starts this week, and in preparation, I watched an online summit all about executive function last weekend, picked up a small folding table that will be a work station for my teenager this school year, and bought a memory stick for him. Because school happens at home now, it looks very different from regular public school. Most of his classes conclude when he’s put in a set number of hours because he’s working with an independent study private high school, so even though we took a break for August, he didn’t necessarily finish all his classes. But he’s only a few hours shy of the one class he’s required to have all four years: English.

Basically, we pick up where we left off a month ago. Some of Little Man’s classes are ones we create based on his interests, and because he’s into things online like gaming and virtual reality, we’ve been able to incorporate things like game characters and storylines into English class and writing. As with most teens, there are subjects Little Man likes and does without too much complaining and ones that are the bane of his existence, like math.

A week after we get school rolling again, Little Man will be taking driver’s ed at a local driving school. As a parent, we all get nervous thinking about our kids becoming new drivers, but Little Man’s biggest hurdle won’t be behind the wheel, it will be getting back into a classroom. The first time since he left public school three and a half years ago due to severe anxiety and panic attacks. We’ve traveled a very long road since then and as much as just walking into the room and getting through that first class will be anxiety-provoking, I’m confident that he’ll make it.

Other than getting ready to jump back into school, my own personal inner world is still shifting and changing bit by bit courtesy of Kundalini energy being active in my body. Doing healing work every now and then has been helping get through the process of extreme change. The process that has devastated me for the past few years, rewiring my body and brain to such an extent that my life has become a shell of its former self when it comes to being active and productive.

With limited energy, I have to prioritize what I can get done, so things like yard and house projects are on hold. The only yard work that’s getting done with regularity is because Little Man has been our mower. I haven’t been able to do squat and my man doesn’t do regular yard work, but if a tree needs to come down he’s your man. My house isn’t as clean, organized, or as uncluttered as I’d like, but I know I’m doing the best I can. One day I’ll have more energy and will be back in the game again.

In the meanwhile, the way I see the world is very different. It’s expanding and opening, seeing black, white, and all shades of gray in-between. Understanding and appreciating the world in new ways.

September sky

Here’s to a September filled with blue skies, white puffy clouds, comfortable temperatures, and apples ripe for the picking.

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Oh, The Madness!

I bet you think I’m going to write about the recent insane gun violence going on in my country right now. Psych! No. Well, not exactly. Maybe a little. I was prompted by a quote I came across which stated, “A saint was asked, What is anger? He gave a beautiful answer. It is a punishment we give to our-self, for somebody else’s mistake.”

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned through the world of energy healing and developing a spiritual outlook in life is how our emotions work. Both for and against us, and often both at the same time.

Being a sensitive person and at times a deep thinker, when I’d get upset it would hit me hard. And sometimes I loved to wallow in my feelings. Let the sorrow flow through me, going round and round, or hold onto anger as it burned within.

Sometimes the fire in my belly moved me to great heights, and sometimes it brought on heartburn.

Anger is strong. It can motivate us, get us moving, get us up off our butts. Yet it can stop us in our tracks just as quickly. It rages deep within or simmers just beneath the surface waiting to erupt.

When I was in my early twenties, anger toward blatant sexism from my boss and his son motivated me to earn a small boat captain’s license. Their disdain for my being female spurred me on. “I’ll show them!” And I did. To this day I believe I was the only female captain my old, sexist and racist boss ever hired.

Anger toward the status quo has moved people to make change. Big change.

But the flip side of anger helping people move forward is when it scares them. This was what I grew up with. Big, scathing, dark anger. Anger that attacked me. And I grew up afraid of anger. Having anyone around me become angry was dangerous because the number one experience I had with anger was from my mother viciously attacking me.

The irony was because I never learned how to hold personal boundaries and speak my feelings, anger would simmer and boil within me until it pulled a Mount Vesuvius. And it was not pretty. I’d say something scathing to someone and I’d stop talking to them for a few days, thinking that the longer I stayed mad at them, the more they’d be punished. It was not a healthy cycle at all. And worse yet, I’d think about things from years ago, and rage would flare up just from thoughts in my mind.

In reality, when I got mad, it was because something deep inside me was becoming triggered. Activated. And when I began to using hypnosis to explore my unconscious mind, the thing that runs 85% of our day, I discovered these knots in my energy field that were beliefs I’d created when I was very little. When someone or something made me mad it was because a belief I held about myself became activated. Something along the lines of, “I’m defective and broken.” What a revelation!

I discovered that how I feel about everything in my world is a product of my own mind. And my mind is a product of a combination of my own personal biochemistry combined with my upbringing. Expectations of my family and society helped mold me, as they do with everyone. And experiences I had helped me create beliefs about myself that became part of my programming.

The cool thing about learning how to not only access but deactivate unconscious emotional triggers is experiencing far fewer of them. Walking around on a daily basis with more peace in my heart as a permanent state of being.

So for those who read the headlines and are angered yet again by senseless killing and our leaders not acting appropriately, we can either use that anger to propel us to create change in the world or if it’s too overwhelming, recognize that something within us is being triggered. And it can be healed. After all, how we feel about the world around us emanates from within our own minds and bodies.

Posted in Energy Therapy, Mental Health | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Trip To The Northeast

Recently, I had a chance to fly from the Northwest to the Northeast and spend a few weeks by the ocean in Maine. This is one of my oldest happy places, where I spent many summers on the water learning about boating, reading the weather and the water, running around on the rocks, and picking blueberries. I spent hours walking with my gaze downward, looking at all the rocks, seeking treasure.

This trip I didn’t do as much adventuring as I often do, but I took pictures every day. Pictures from our deck and around the island. Sunrise and sunset, sunny days and stormy weather, local water foul, boats, and Fourth of July fireworks. Enjoy!

Leaving the Northwest…

Made it to the Northeast.

Caught some late day light.

Made it to the local harbor Fourth of July fireworks.

Then the weather went from humid, hot, and hazy to a thunder boomer with downpours. When a house on the other side of the island was hit by lightning, we lost power for several hours but was treated to a magnificent sunset.

Lots of birds and boats enjoyed the clear weather.

The variety of sunrises were beautiful. I love the sun sparkling on the water.

A cove on the other side of the island features working lobster boats and a small yacht club where I learned to sail many years ago.

And more of the cove.

As I looked out from a local beach, the fog rolled in.

One of the island’s two lighthouses sits at the end of the beach.

 

A great blue heron, several eider ducks, seagulls, osprey and other waterfowl frequent the waters around the island.

This mischievous little beast was forever being told to get off the sofa. His solution was to lie on a pillow, as if to say, “I swear! I’m not on the sofa.”

IMG_1350_sm

It was great to get away for a while, and good to get back home. Until next time.

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Who Am I?

Who I am is never a question that’s bothered me. It’s never been something I’ve sat and pondered or worried about because I always had an answer.

If you’d asked me who I was when I was a girl, I’d have said my name. Later on, I might have added that I’m a girl. And as I grew up I would have added more and more qualifiers. I’m a student, a musician, and a friend. And as an adult, I thought of myself as what I did for a living. I’m a merchant mariner. I’m a wife and mother. That’s what we do. Every way we categorize ourselves is who we are.

And then I began to have metaphysical experiences that took me beyond labels. I experienced the incredible strength, power, and unconditional love that is my higher self; my direct connection to Universal Source, a.k.a. God.

During hypnotic regression, I experienced myself in other lifetimes. I’ve been not only female but male as well. And not only white, but black, and other colors in-between. And I even saw a lifetime when I was a reptile, a six-foot-long lizard.

So, even though I’m a woman, I’ve been a man. Even though I’m a human being, I’ve been a reptile.

Years ago, when I first began to get into healing work, when I’d say affirmations like, “I’m beautiful and powerful,” there would be an immediate internal pushback. A voice that quickly replied, “Bullshit.” So, I wasn’t beautiful, or powerful, or close to perfect in any way.

And as I worked on healing a host of emotional triggers in my life, I met the voice. The one who was always so negative and unhappy. I had no idea she was my orphaned inner child, and I had no idea the purpose she served. As we met during healing sessions and I heard her story of woe fueled by beliefs she created, I not only learned to appreciate her brilliance, but I helped her let go of her stories and beliefs. The ones that kept her trapped in misery.

As my inner child became happy, something very unexpected happened: so did I. As she began to know herself as sparkly, beautiful, clever, a survivor, amazing, and perfect, so did I.

And one day, my inner child flipped the tables on me and began to know herself as part of God. She recognized herself in the bigger picture of life. The drop of water in an ocean. The gold thread in the tapestry of life. The expression of life that is so very necessary and valued simply because she’s here. And so do I.

Who am I? I’m the eternal spirit, informed by lifetimes as different expressions of beings, currently playing the part of a middle-aged female who wears a lot of hats, and who loves to learn and write. I’ve got lots of stories to tell, but I’m not my story. I’m so very much more.

Posted in Spirituality, The Voyage | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Sunsets

It’s been a while, and I’ve tried to write a post several times but they end up as drafts, not fully formed. My Kundalini awakening process is still affecting me profoundly every day, making life feel very difficult much of the time. However, progress is being made, even when it often feels like a snail’s pace.

My writing desk sits next to a large window that faces west, and whenever I catch a colorful sunset, I can’t resist. So here are a few colorful sunsets from the back yard. Enjoy.

Sunset Fire

sunset fire

Pink and Blue Sky

orange sky

colorful clouds

These were all taken standing just outside our door. And the last 2 were from the same evening, several minutes apart. The only editing done was cropping. No color alteration has been made. If you want to make your sunset photos a bit more dramatic, take your camera out of automatic and underexpose the pictures a stop or two.

Sunset glory!

 

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Karma’s a Bitch

This Mother’s Day, I’ve been thinking about my relationship with Mom. She was a beautiful woman who was also a talented concert violinist. She married a doctor, had three kids and lived a good life. At least, that’s the way it looked from the outside. What most people didn’t see, and many still don’t know, was, she struggled with her mental health.

Mom as a bride

Mom, the happy bride.

She began to see a psychiatrist in her very late twenties, around the time she and my Dad got together, thinking therapy could fix her and she’d be ok going forward. But that’s not how it went. For over twenty years, she was psychoanalyzed, and even given a diagnosis of Manic Depressive Disorder, these days called Bipolar Disorder. It made her life difficult at times. Very difficult. Finally, when she was about fifty, in a state of hypermania, mom was hospitalized and finally medicated.

It took a severe crisis for her to get the help she’d needed for most of her life. Medication, in conjunction with continued therapy, made all the difference. Unfortunately, I was only home for two more years before graduating from high school and going out on my own. By the time my formative years were over, I’d only known a mother who zigged and zagged, up and down between depression and mania, with interludes of being stable.

As an adult, I never thought much about my first 10-12 years of life because there was nothing to remember. Not very many specific memories to recall. But when Mom started spinning out, around my junior high school years, I remember her getting drunk late at night in the kitchen, waking me with her sobs. And I remember Dad moving out, believing he was the cause of her pain. I remember being left with a parent I didn’t want to live with. And I remember pleading with my father, for him to stay and for her to move out. “Mothers stay with their children,” was his response. I was devastated.

What my father didn’t clearly see or understand was my mother’s treatment of me when she was manic. She’d attack me with her words. Like a razor cutting me down. When I was disobedient, wanting to do something other than what my mother dictated, she’d attack. When I exerted my will, instead of being able to see I was a child with a child’s maturity or a teen who was growing independence, she sliced and diced me. I got good at reading her moods, doing what I thought she wanted me to do and saying what I thought she wanted me to say, lest I unleash the dragon. The tone of her voice or how she moved, tipped me off. It helped me hone my ear. I can hear people’s moods, intent, and whether they’re being authentic by the tone of their voice.

The thing is, she never went after either of my brothers, just me. Something about their being boys made them different from me. Special.

After Dad passed away in early 2012, my mother’s mental health tanked. She couldn’t even begin to process the grief of the loss, and her brain ramped up into mania faster than I’d ever seen, even on medication. Despite all attempts to get her help, she ended up being hospitalized when she became a danger to herself.

Teaching moment for all social workers in mental hospitals: don’t ever tell a patient’s family that you usually like to get people treated before they get this bad, without asking the family what they’ve been trying to do for the weeks leading up to hospitalization. When an adult refuses medication, the law stipulates that they can’t be forced to take any medication unless they are a danger to themselves or others. Hypermania is a bitch.

About this time, I was listening to a radio program called Ask Sara With (Psychic) Sara Wiseman. Being about a year into a spiritual awakening, my interests leaned toward energy healing and clairvoyance, and I decided to call into the program to glean some higher wisdom around why my mother attacked me when she was manic.

When Sara tuned into my situation, the first thing she saw was that it wasn’t personal. Then she told me she saw that something happened to my mother when she was little, and the next time I meditated, I should focus on this. Coincidentally, I was trying to develop a meditation practice, so I did as she suggested.

About five minutes into a fifteen-minute meditation, I suddenly remembered and focused on my mother when she was a little girl. I pretended I was her as a young girl and asked to see what happened. Before I knew it, I saw a scene of my grandmother going off on my mother, ripping her a new one. Just like my mom did to me.

Holy smokes! She went through the same thing!

In a flash, I saw that my grandmother also went through the same treatment from her mother. I don’t know much about that side of the family, but my mother told me once that her mother wasn’t quite right. I don’t know if she also had mental illness, or a personality disorder, or what.

A second later, I saw that my great grandmother and her mother had the same dynamic, and this was a chain that went back several generations; about seven or so that I was aware of. An energetic pattern of action and reaction passed down from mother to daughter. Mother-daughter wounding. Karma.

That was the beginning of not only understanding what was going on but healing it. As soon as I understood, feeling great empathy for everyone, I sat in my heart and asked every healing Being I could think of to come into my heart and heal the chain. I sat and waited until I was flooded with emotion, crying as the energy that had been trapped in an endless cycle was finally freed. Dissolved. Transmuted back into pure Source Energy.

A few days later, I spoke with my mother, who was still hospitalized higher than a kite and very delusional, and I purposely pushed a few of her buttons just to see what would happen. Instead of getting my head ripped off, as I expected, there was a slight hesitation and no attack. No anger. No venom. Her trigger had been deactivated. It was miraculous!

Not only did she never attack me again for the rest of her life, but a physical problem she’d been dealing with for a decade suddenly and inexplicably healed as well. Healing mental/emotional problems affects our bodies positively as well.

People usually think about Karma as this painful consequence that’s going to sneak up on a person and cause harm if they’ve caused harm. It’s very loosely true; what I think of as the very simplified, “kindergarten” perspective. When in fact, it’s much deeper and complex.

Painful experiences like these are chosen from our soul’s perspective, to give us opportunities to grow. Instead of blindly reacting, again and again, we can do something different. It’s not always easy to choose something different because it’s human nature to simply react. But doing healing work makes change easy by dissolving pain and all forms of inner resistance in our lives. You can make soul growth easy.

Posted in Holistic Healing, Spirituality, The Voyage | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Love

I know, it’s not February. It’s not Valentine’s Day. But I’ve been thinking about love. The love we grow up with, and how love changes as we age. How we see it differently as we mature from kids and teens into adults with committed relationships and families. When I was a kid, I loved animals. We had a few different furry pets and eventually got a dog. Dogs are always happy to see you. It’s easy to love a dog.

I was one of those kids who had a crush on pretty much any boy who was nice to me for more than two seconds, or who was cute. Yup. Full on crush. One of those, “please notice me or I’m going to die,” type things. I thought I struck pay dirt when one boy wanted to give me a knuckle sandwich.

Oh goody! He wants to eat lunch with me!

My older brother had to explain that this wasn’t a good thing. I was five.

I didn’t fare much better in middle school, still crushing from time to time, and in fact, true love didn’t finally come calling until partway through college. It was amazing and lasted over three years.

One of the things about love is, as much as it lifts us up, sending us soaring above the clouds, eventually we come down. It’s nature. What goes up must come down.

Sometimes love hurts. And sometimes when we love someone, we hurt them. Not on purpose, but it happens. Especially with our kids. They always seem to want to do what they want to do, not what we need them to do. And it’s the job of a parent to raise a child so they can survive in the world, make a living, and take care of themselves. Because one day, we won’t be there to do things for them. That’s love.

We have to raise our children so they can survive in a dog eat dog world.

Most of us remember our first heartaches when we broke up with our steady guy or gal, whether it was in middle school, high school, or college. Or when our love was rebuffed in the first place.

I was such a love junkie. Falling for some guy who didn’t know I was alive, and mooning over him. Or the time I found out that the guy I’d been crushing on for most of summer camp, liked me back, two days before camp ended. I cried until I fell asleep during the car ride home. And waited by the mailbox for a letter, flying high when one came, then anxiously awaiting a reply to the one I’d immediately send. Eventually, the letters stopped coming. I was twelve. Oh, the heartache!

Years later during my wedding ceremony, we included readings from Corinthians in the Bible that talk about love being kind, patient, and blind. About it protecting, having hope, trusting, and persevering. This religious sort of love sounded really nice. Something to aspire to. But it’s not always realistic, is it?

We all get jealous and get angry at our spouses. We all get sick and tired of this or that, especially when we’re sick or tired. We end up in fights, lashing out at those closest to us: family. We hurt them and they hurt us the deepest.

We love them the deepest and would walk through fire for them. We’d even die for them.

I never experienced this depth of love until the day my toddler ran full tilt toward the street, and I suddenly saw a big SUV come around a corner, barreling down the country road. Time slowed down, and I not only calculated that I wouldn’t be able to get to my son before he got to the road but because of a row of bushes, the driver wouldn’t see my son until they were feet from him, too close to stop. I calculated getting there in time to push him out of the way and take the brunt of the hit. I might break a few bones, but I had a much better chance than my toddler. I’d even die for him.

Fortunately, the SUV turned into a driveway just before it would have hit my son, and all was well. Other than me being a sobbing mess for a little while.

When I began to work on myself, using hypnotherapy, I began to experience a different sort of love. I had experiences of unconditional love. Of spiritual love. I saw scenes from my past when I wasn’t treated lovingly but thought it was love because it came from a family member. We all believe that love sometimes hurts, but I learned that’s not love. At least it’s not spiritual love. It’s what I now refer to as human love. A real mixed bag of emotions. In spiritual terms, what we call human love is actually attachment. An energetic bond or connection.

The love I began to not only feel but to embody, session by session, doesn’t judge, isn’t jealous, doesn’t lose hope, has all the patience and faith in the world, and accepts me exactly as I am, warts and all.

The love I experienced was unconditional beyond words. Accepting me, everything I do and everything I am, without any conditions. It was overwhelming at times, leaving me in tears. And it didn’t take too many experiences for me to know it’s what we are at our core.

As I dove into healing work, uncovering and dissolving root causes of all sorts of discontent in my life, session after session reunited me with bits and pieces of my inner child. The one who was hurt by love when she was little. The one who was clever enough to figure out how to survive. The one who waited for me to go back in time and save her.

I witnessed these parts of myself, kept separate for decades, come back into my heart. Come back to love. And I saw them morph from scared and sad little girls into joyful children. Who morphed again as they aged right before my eyes. Eventually rejoining me at my present age. Bringing that joy back into my heart. Bringing unconditional love back to me.

What I never knew when I grew up, was real love doesn’t hurt. And if I’m feeling hurt and not feeling loved, it’s because there’s something deep within me blocking the flow of love. Doing healing work changes us from the inside out, letting go of things that no longer serve us, so we can walk in the world with more inner peace, flow, patience, understanding, grace, wisdom, and most importantly, love.

 

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