Friday, October 4, 2013

A Mothers Heart

How can I describe the feelings that course through a mothers heart. The joy, the pain, the sadness, the fierce protectiveness and of course the love.

The moment a mother learns of her pregnancy, a seed is planted in her heart that will eventually turn it into a "mother's heart". We go from a carefree girl to a woman who can never again spend one waking moment without thoughts of her children. A woman whose heart can be so filled with love or heartbreak that it physically pains us.

I recently read this quote ~ "making a decision to have a child - it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body". Elizabeth Stone. How true are these words. Each child holds a piece of mothers heart, but will every child treasure and protect that heart?

We learn that we can endure the pain during the teen years, when our children are preparing to leave the nest. They are testing the waters of independence, learning to make their own decisions, form their own judgements and stand apart from the family unit. Sometimes their choices can be heart wrenching, but as mothers we have to trust that what we have taught them as children will not be forgotten even through the tempestuous years of rebellion. We must remember that rebellion is but a tool to help them on their journey to adulthood when they will make their own decisions and move towards creating their own family unit.

But, you may wonder just how much can a mothers heart endure? It seems an almost indestructible organ. Having watched my own mother raise six children and the enormity of heartbreak she suffered, the death of my oldest sister, the terrible illness of another, watching some of her children go through divorce, the difficulties of challenging children and yet she lived a full life. Even in the final days of her life her mothers heart was visible through her dementia as she displayed enormous concern for the safety and well being of her children.

I have learned through raising two children to pick my battles wisely. That one decision can make or break a relationship with a child and ease the heart pain somewhat through tempestuous years.

But how does a mother cope with the child who turns away, the child with addictions, or the child who takes their own life? How does a mother turn off that heart pain and go on with life? I cannot imagine cutting my child out of my life, but the mother of addict sometimes must do that. I recently read the blog of a mother to an addict. She talks of the many emotions, hurt being one of them. "Hurt is one of the emotions that never fully dissipates. Usually I am able to put the hurt aside and shield myself. Occasionally, however, it jumps out at me. I have never hurt like I had while suffering through my son’s active addiction. For me, it is a hurt that even overshadows the death of a loved one. I spent a long time with this emotion. For many years I couldn’t separate the disease in my son from my son himself. His addiction was a personal affront and I held onto very deeply. The pain from this emotion took me to places I wish I never would have seen. This was the hardest to reconcile within myself. Hurt was the most destructive emotion for me and it drove my life."

But then the joy, overwhelming love for your child. It's euphoric, dare I say addictive and when that child becomes a parent and give you grandchildren your heart is filled once again to overflowing with the enormity of the love and protectiveness you feel for this new life. Knowing they are not your own child, but your child's child creates a different feeling in your mothers's heart. This time around, you are experienced, you've done this before. So you think, "I can handle whatever comes my way." But you are not prepared for the depth of love, the fiercely protective instinct you feel towards this new life but also for your child who created this life. Now you watch your child experience the heart pain of being a mother, you feel her pain but there is nothing you can do to fix it. When she was a tender age, a kiss or a hug would fix everything, but now.....

So you continue on, the heart pain is now just part of who you are, always there in the background waiting to makes its appearance like a thief in the night. You wake up and there it is, the ability to turn it off is nonexistent, it permeates your every cell, you breath it in, you breath it out - it is who you are.

This heart, my mother's heart, what a strong organ. It has withstood nearly 40 years of this heart pain and yet it still takes care of my body, quietly working in the background providing the very lifeblood that supplies every cell in my body with oxygen. What a miracle and what a privilege as a woman that we can experience this heart pain. Be it joy, be it sadness, be it hurt ~ these all help us grow and learn in this amazing journey called life.

Friday, July 19, 2013

A Year of Firsts

Yesterday marked the last first in my year of firsts since my mom passed away July 18th, 20012. The first anniversary of her death.

It has been a difficult year enduring her first birthday, our first Christmas without Nannie, a first Mother's Day that I couldn't remind her how much I loved her and then yesterday, the first anniversary of her death.

Memories flooded in and out of my mind all day, her last day in the hospital before she died. The pain she endured, the pain we all endured watching her suffer. Watching as she slowly slipped into a coma which blessedly gave her peace to transition to her next journey. How privileged we were as we stood touching her, letting her feel our love and then sending her home surrounded with that love. She left this life knowing how loved she was.

Mother's Day this year ~ how can I explain my first Mother's Day without my mother? It is next to impossible. This woman who give me life, who nurtured me, who loved me, who hated me sometimes I'm sure, was my biggest cheerleader, wiped my brow when I was sick, sat up at night massaging my calves when I was crying with leg cramps, washed, folded and put away my laundry every week until the day I moved out, looked after me and my new babies, lived a moral life and gave me a woman I am proud to be told I resemble in looks and mannerisms. She also gave me a bodacious butt which I am not quite as thankful for...

I remember waking up Mother's Day, wanting to pick up the phone to give her a call which I always did first thing on Mother's day. This year there was no card, no gift wrapped to bring out to her which I knew would bring a smile to her face. There was only emptiness especially in my heart. There would be no visit for a coffee or a special lunch. There would be no Mother's day brunch at the Court. I recall one year surprising her with all of my husbands brothers, their wives and children and his mom and dad who my mom really enjoyed spending time with. She was genuinely surprised and I was gratified that I could give her that.

Mom was very organized and had her Christmas shopping long done before she passed away. A few days before her death, she told me to make sure I wrapped the presents for everyone at Christmas. They were only small tokens but a very large reminder once given and opened of the huge loss we all were all sharing. Christmas felt wrong this year without her.

Don and I always kept her with us for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. On her first Christmas after dad died we woke up, made coffee and sat down to open our stockings. I gave her one and tears sprang to eyes. I asked her why she was crying and she told me that was the first stocking she had ever had in her life. I learned so much about my mom that I had never known in those last few years. In her stocking one year, I put a miniature Royal Doulten figurine she had admired in a jewelry store. She was so surprised I had remembered how much she had liked it and couldn't believe that I went back to the store and got it for her. Now that little lady sits in my curio cabinet and I remember that precious moment every time I look at her.

When I go out these days I notice mothers and daughters and how fortunate those daughters are to have a mom. Even if she drives that daughter crazy, she won't be there forever. I wish I had remembered that fact when I got annoyed with my mom, her forgetfulness and the amount of work it was to be her primary caregiver.

Now that my year of firsts is over, I can move on to learning how to be motherless, learn how to be the respected head of my family as I realize that I am the matriarch of my family. I see how life and time continue to march forward, relentless like ocean waves that constantly wash ashore reminding me that I am moving closer to the time when I too will make my journey home.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Thoughts on Friendship

I wrote this post a few years ago on friendship. With my emotional and spiritual growth this year I wanted to revisit this subject.

What do friends mean to you?

What makes a friendship?

What draws us to particular people and not to others?

In the past year I have met numerous people through my calling to Reiki. These connections were instant, deep, loving and at a soul level.

Why do we connect instantly with some but not others?

We feel this instant connection and yet in other relationships there is no depth. Time spent together produces those uncomfortable moments or lapses in conversation. Do emotions play a role here ~ are there resentments ~ jealousy ~ bitterness that resides so deeply they can't be identified yet somehow put up a wall that is difficult to get over?

With the change I have gone through in my perceptions, I find attractions are much deeper than simply ~ I like you. Our emotions play a role in how we psychically present. Recently I took part in an interesting experiment. Using a crystal my Reiki master stood about twelve feet away from me. Working through the different layers of my aura, she discovered that mine was vibrating nearly eight feet away from me. However, when I induced a sad or negative thought, it shrunk down to only one foot outside of my physical body. Could this be why the attraction to some and not others? When we enter a room full of people there are some we barely see and others that we are attracted to instantly.

Our energetic vibrations when produced from positive thoughts make us attractive to other souls that are also vibrating at this level. I can offer an example here. I know someone who vibrates at such a low level and projects such a black and negative energy, that I can barely stand to be in their personal space.

As physical bodies with a thinking brain though we are often not in touch with our higher self. So I offer thoughts on the more obvious reasons for these connections. As humans we need reasons for "why".

Maybe the deep connection that is felt instantly is something as basic as our likes & dislikes.

Maybe these connections start from the ever so basic first impression. Research states that your first impression is made within nine seconds. Could that also influence the possible friendship?

A dear friend who lives hundreds of miles away from me is one of those unexplainable connections. We have known each other for over 20 years. We share the odd email and occasional phone call. Years ago I went to visit her. Our conversation started when I arrived and didn't stop until I left. It was like we had never been apart. How can that be when we don't constantly refresh that friendship on a regular basis? The connection just remains constant.

These new wonderful friendships in my life have really made me think deeply about why some relationships work so well and so comfortably while others, although the love is there, present those uncomfortable moments where participating in meaningful conversation is almost painful.

Or, maybe it is me ~ I have undergone such an amazing transformation this year. I have opened to new ideas, new possibilities. I am light and I am love. My empathic and intuitive abilities have expanded and deepened. New friends that I have connected with are also at this heightened state of awareness. We share deeply with each other ~ sharing that has no price. I have learned to simply accept this unconditional love which in the end makes me a better friend as well.

Everything in life happens for a reason ~ these new and deepened relationships are here to strengthen my resolve, help me in my emotional and spiritual growth. Older friendships no longer serving my higher purpose are falling away. I can liken my rebirth if you will to the tree which once stripped of its' foliage stands prepared to endure the harshness of the winter, only to burst forth with new growth and beauty with the promise of spring.

The clay cannot become the beautiful porcelain until it goes through the intense fires of the kiln ...

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Reiki Speaks ~ To Me

Where do I begin to extol the virtues of Reiki?

Early this year it whispered my name. I answered the call, by ordering a distance Reiki level I course with one distant attunement.

Could I do this thing called Reiki? I did not know, so I did not want to invest a lot of money ~ just in case.

I watched the DVD and received my attunement. On the night of my attunement, I experienced a tingling that started in the top of my head and worked its' way down through my entire body.

Then I was invited to join a Reiki healing circle. I along with another level I channel, a level II channel and a master shared thoughts and feelings and gave and received reiki. I received my first Reiki treatment that night and was overwhelmed by the power of the energy coursing through my body.

When I started this journey, I had much to work on ~ emotionally, physically and spiritually. I have faithfully self healed with Reiki daily since my original attunement.

Working with the energy, both I and my master realized I was not fully opened to Reiki energy, so she attuned me four more times. What a difference in my ability to channel the energy after her attunements. The palms of my hands which sparked after the distant attunement were now alive with energy, singing a beautiful song. Even the soles of my feet were humming.

As I work with Reiki, I feel old habits, thought processes and patterns, negativity, anger, resentments and criticisms fall away like leaves from a tree as winter encroaches. These negative patterns that no longer serve my higher purpose have dropped away as a water droplet that once released from a flower petal is gone forever. Negative emotions once bound to my heart are stripped away revealing a heart lightened with love. The energy now flows in and through my entire body, chakras are no longer blocked, they are spinning in perfect harmony, chi ~ the very essence of me is beautifully flowing like a river free of encumbrances.

I have witnessed these miraculous changes in myself and also in others through this universal energy.

My husbands father who was hospitalized after a fall which fractured his neck was not expected to live the family was told. Lying in a bed uncommunicative, intubated, a feeding tube surgically placed in his abdomen he had no quality of life. But then Reiki energy was given and taken. He is now sitting up in a chair daily reading the newspaper.

I am constantly humbled by the power of Reiki.

Every time I receive Reiki, I experience more and more healing. The voice of Reiki speaks louder and louder, calling to me to continue moving forward in my journey. Level II is in my very near future and then I will begin to prepare myself to hold the position of master so that I too may share this miraculous gift with others, mentoring and nurturing students of Reiki the way my master mentors and nurtures me.

I am so grateful that I listened when Reiki whispered my name and Grateful that I answered the call. I have finally emerged and I like who I am becoming ~ the butterfly that had been ensconced in a chrysalis for a lifetime has finally broken free. Like an eagle, I am soaring to new heights, heights I never dreamt possible.

I am Reiki ~

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Grief ~ The Loss of a Mother

What is grief? It is a question that eludes an answer until you suffer a loss. You cannot comprehend the depths of despair until you suffer that loss.

You attend a funeral to support a friend and you go through the motions. "I'm so sorry for your loss", you say, but do you know how they feel? No, you cannot understand until you experience a loss.

When my father died and my mom cried constantly, fell into a depression, did not want to eat, I couldn't understand her grief. I still don't as I have my partner and cannot understand the loss of a husband or wife yet.

But when my mom died, in that second that she took her last breath, I understood a loss. The loss a child feels when their mother dies. My mother who I had known even in her womb. I knew her thoughts, I felt her emotion, I felt her pains. In that moment, I lost part of my heart, lost the one person in life who loved me unconditionally and I knew would defend me to the death.

A mother ~ we love her we hate her. But she is the only person to whom we have that bond, a physical bond that even a father cannot understand or feel. A part of our body is ripped away when she dies.

Feelings that have lain dormant come bubbling to the surface in the days following the death. Tears are constantly threatening, where do they come from, it seems there is a never ending supply to freshly attack at a moments notice. There is no rhyme or reason for the tears. It can happen in your home or it can happen in public, it evens happens in your sleep. You may be in a store and see something that triggers a flood of memories, bringing on a fresh onslaught of tears.

Having gone through two difficult weeks following a catastrophic fall which ultimately led to my mothers death, I felt like I was falling, deeper and deeper into a pit of depression. I knew it was happening, but I didn't want to take off this comfortable blanket of grief, sadness or depression which laid deep in my own personal hell.

But then, suddenly there was a small opening in my clouds of depression. A wee ray of sun shone through and you think, maybe just maybe it will get better. Waking up one morning I realized there were no tears on the pillow.

Now here I am almost one year later and I am so grateful for the time I was gifted in spending with my mom, the impromptu visits, grabbing a coffee, having lunch, shopping, enjoying a joke, seeing 
her laugh which didn't happen often after my father passed.

Being fortunate enough to be with her during her last two weeks of life, caring for her and being there, sitting with her as she took her last breath and moved on. Knowing I gave her my all, there are no regrets, only abiding love for this woman who gave me life. I am able to spend time thinking of her, even her last moments and the privilege that was mine to be with her as she transitioned to the next life.

The bond between mother and child is never broken not even by death, her love is wrapped around my heart and I now give that same attention and love to my daughter and granddaughter, who I hope some day with remember me with the same love and devotion with which I remember my mom.


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