“She was a colicky baby,” that’s what her mother always said. Skip the lullaby… a beast in the belly of this babe began tickling “her”— frantically in the style of Brahms but, sometimes soulfully like a pensive adagio. “It” appeared taunted to the core, this little one was, born with an itch. “She”— balled her notably intoxicating brown eyes out— to be heard. Some “where” betwixt the first and second chakra… her deepest wounds resided… fresh from the womb and, some, residual from a life unknown. And, they were ready. Ready to unveil themselves in transcendental shapes and colors over the next 30 years…
A NOTE FROM THE BLOGGER:
As my mind begins formulating this post on forgiveness, I reminisce a recurring melody from a dream I recently had in which the focal point was absolution, sound tracked to the Edwin Starr song War from the album War & Peace. Except, in my dream the lyrics were different. They went a lil somethin’ like this… “Forgiveness (uh) What is it good for? Absolutely Somethin’!” And, there it was over and over again… plain and simple… in one of those abstract sleep states wherein I felt, both, absorbed in playing “the dreamer” and, simultaneously, deeply conscious of “the sleeper” experiencing the dream. Somewhere in the middle (a some place I refer to as no-woman’s-land) I was suspended. And, long enough to confront my own involvement in this lucid experience, I came out of it awakened. And, ready to write… But, before you continue reading please indulge in a short exercise… 1. Take a deep breath 2. Close your eyes 3. Bring to focus one dream you’ve neglected pursuing in your life 4. Say out loud “I forgive myself for neglecting… (fill in the blank)” Now, 1. Take another deep breath 2.Close your eyes 3. Bring to focus one person that you may be holding resentment towards 4. Say out loud “I Forgive You for… (fill in the blank)”
And, resume reading…
THE ROOTS OF FORGIVENESS:
Forgiveness has been a rotating center piece for me, for quite some time now. It continues revealing itself in multitudes of reflective ways. Where to start? I suppose with Resentment, the seething side kick of Forgiveness. Because, as us humans know well, we rarely experience one without the other. 8 years old. That’s when I can retrace my earliest experiences with resentment…
She was a sprightly lil 8 year old… born with an awareness much deeper than her earthly years accounted. She carried a wicked temper and a moonbeam smile…both of which spoke volumes to the many lives she must have lived, prior. Messy, entertainingly unpredictable and incorrigible at times… from head to toe, that “lil one”. Bright-eyed and curly haired, she was… bursting! Bursting with enthusiasm, potential and the raging mouth of a Gypsy… leaving her folks speechless on many (early) occasions. But, Hey (!) she was an Italian born into an artistic family, who could blame her? She was a fire ready to spit.
RETROSPECTIVE ON RESENTMENT:
I can remember feeling thoroughly pissed off at being seated with the “kids” during holiday gatherings. This feeling went on to taunt my adolescent self as I began touring the country with a tribe of full blown artistic adults who, after every show would go out and party. I was not invited because, for all intents and purpose… I was considered a “kid”. And, this fact really irked me. I seethed with the thought of having to retire to bed when fun was being had, without me. We always lived far from extended family but, on rare occasions when we would gather, I despised the thought of sitting at that shitty kiddy table because, I didn’t feel much like a “kid” at all. I can still see that peeving round table haphazardly set up in the corner for us… adorned with mismatched chairs, dinnerware and misfits….oozing with adolescent anxieties, all from the same bloodline. This table never felt in full coordination with the rest of the Holiday themed tableware offered up for the: parents, uncles, aunts or “big kids” but, it sufficed for us “littler ones”. Because, what would we care where and what we were eating off of? Most kids don’t… they had much larger complexities brewing inside their raging hormonal selves. But, I did! I cared, A lot!
In daylight, she dreamed. She was excitable when the feeling of life being lived was being embraced— She longed for awake-ness! This Iowa bred child never belonged to the suburban world, she felt “real” in the big city… thriving on its synergy, pleading to know “What’s Next?” She never fancied the idea of sleep but, she did it so well and so peacefully, for how little this growing bud did of it. It was always deep and uninterrupted until… it wasn’t. And— that was rarely a pretty sight. Her restless mind sought the enchantment of stillness, craving “it” like no other. But, when the world was sleepy, words sprouted and a bridge was formed. And, where that bridge lead… Tears fell— from where feeling the world was no longer necessary because, she could finally feel… herself. And, it was in that place, much later in life, she would meet solitude face to face. She was discovering the healing qualities of pen, paper and a solid cry.
BEING A “CHILD”:
My exposure to “artsy fartsy” adults, in childhood, molded my perception of “adulthood” and, from what I could see… it looked good! These fulfilled humans actively creating, living and doing meaningful work in the world— excited me! I gained nourishment in witnessing happy people and their artistic drive enticed me towards greater self expression. I accredit my upbringing to broadening my scope of empathy, teaching me a great deal about myself (early on in life) and how to share that with others, unabashed. Thanks, folks! What wasn’t so easily recognizable was, throughout, I also harbored resentment in simply being “a kid”. Something about being a “child” felt less than equal to what I was feeling on the inside. And, it’s surprising because I was well respected as a child by those around me. I grew to wrongly assume this feeling of inadequacy would remedy itself when I turned “of age”… an unforeseen time when I could rid myself of this foreign title, a thing the rest of the world called “being a kid”. And with that, begin a journey to rediscover the layers of resentment, the little girl in me had found a nice little hiding spot for… but, before that an intermission erupted bringing to the forefront inherent frailties of my human condition for reexamination, at a later date. What I didn’t account for, and what would reveal itself to me much later on in life was, the minute I removed myself from the despised “kiddy table” to join that seemingly well put together “grown up table”… I would no longer have the option of returning to that small (yet cozy) oddly shaped table nuzzled in the corner. I call this phase: “The Indecent Exposure of My Wicked Nature” (Coming to terms with feelings of inadequacy).
She was stripped, Bare. And, barely exposed but, feeling cold. Buried was comfortable, “Can’t I go back?”, she asked. But, she knew better. A crumbling earth beneath her feet, she searched for the way… all was unmarked. All the way. “Excuse me, would you let me borrow your road map?” Her chest grew tight and where there once was open space, walls upon walls were assembling. She was disillusioned by the haze, Grieving the facade, of all that she had come to know. She longed for transparency. And, in fleeting moments of clarity, rejoiced in ecstasy at the promise of a clearer tomorrow. She flipped, mentally and a, Switch— occurred. Deep in her fragile bones. She was no longer familiar, to even herself. That joker of a mirror, reflected only a morsel of the truth. And, the little she felt she knew… was nothing, to write home about. And, anyway… “No One here would understand.”
“WHAT’S YOURS IS MINE” :
I have a notion that it isn’t until we can forgive ourselves for relinquishing our inherent truth, trying relentlessly to meet worldly expectations, that we can begin the process of forgiving others. We, instead, become masterminds in giving up on ourselves time and time again. The challenge is stepping far enough away from the scene or our supposed circumstances to bare in mind the core of our matters (or the core of what really matters). We get overly comfortable in resistance and resist coming to terms with the outcomes of all that our minds have created. So, what do we do? We continue returning to a finger pointing place of blame, like children, prior to grasping the “sharing” thing. Remember that ol’ adage… “What’s yours is mine and, mine is yours?” Well, besides being severely neglected as something we should carry with us from childhood into adulthood… it’s a bit how prolonged resentment thrives. It is something we all share the burden of because, everyone around us feels it. It influences our every relationship and every ounce of our being. But, it is not ours to keep anymore and it is not ours to contaminate others with…it is tired. Similar things can (and will) be said on the nature of forgiveness.
She was a blooming “Night Owl” finding wisdom in words. Darkness brought about questioning that became evermore prominent in her “Teen years” – navigating new terrain. Her only real option was to befriend the moon and gain strength from its dim light. Twilight whispered a sweet refrain of promise, every single day… for the Dark that came next would somehow start feeling “right”. In stillness she could resurrect her animal nature, the part of herself that felt overly domesticated when the sun was present. Because, where you come from, I go…”When you sleep, I awaken.” She grew to covet the “turning” of day into night as it became routinely transformational to her Becoming— ignited by whispered words from unknown sources transcending the reflection of her indistinguishable form…”She will have bloomed a dozen times in your sleeping hours… and come daylight, no one can know…”
After such an adventurous childhood of performing, traveling and getting paid copious amounts of money to do both of those in congruence… I craved “normalcy”, whatever the fuck that meant. I suppose my parents figured it was the “right” thing to do. My brother and I wanted a home and we wanted a dog. We settled in Burbank, California. And, the “adult table” looked a lot different in this Pleasant-Ville-Esque Landscape. Maybe, I will go back to the kid’s table on the East Coast… Pause… Where were all those happy, artistic, adults I grew up around? They were nowhere in sight, here in the West. And, neither was the kiddy table. Faster than I could rethink my decision to get up and go back… I was an uncomfortable, oddly misshapen teenager and that kiddy table had evaporated into thin air. And, with that… so had my entire understanding of where I now belonged.
I was growing up faster than I wanted and I could no longer see where I came from or where I was going. But, my peripheral was filled with the exciting prospects of budding adulthood… it felt like something more controllable then adolescence. I resurrected my Moxie but, directed it solely into the outer world… getting overly consumed in materialism and the state of my physical being. I was experiencing a preoccupation in existing with a lack of emphasis on existence. And, alongside “growing up”…my resentment at being a child did not vanish it simply shifted because, I had not yet developed a transparent relationship with myself or my emotions. Getting “in touch” with myself seemed like a REALLY grown up thing to do and, since most of the active role models in this complacent suburban atmosphere weren’t involved in that, I didn’t see the need to dive in… until the shore met the water and I found myself knee deep in what can only be described as an ocean of blame. Nice to meet you “Normal”.
Her childhood was a full blown movie musical. And, not in the Sound of Music sort of way… In a John Waters “Cry Baby”, poetically twisted, sort of way. When she begged for “normal”, she knew not of the ramifications…”Damn it, if this is normal… get me the hell out of this hellhole.” Where once she relished in the rouge of show business now, she was becoming drunk on trapper keepers and the public school system. She had a lot of teachers but, few inspiring role models. Suburbia was bland and her provocative nature was fizzling. She was going numb. All of which left her perfectly equipped to take on her “Twenties”, which thematically developed into a full blown film noir… expressive, dramatic and sexually motivated. The thrill was remembering what being alive, felt like– And, she sought it out… industriously. Until, revelations of her mortality confronted her “early twenties” had catapulted her seamlessly into the next phase of her evolution, with a conscience.
“A TWENTIES PHENOMENON” :
I stayed put. After graduating from high school, I knew I wasn’t ready (just yet) for furthered structured schooling. This had been the longest time period I had ever spent calling one place “home” and I wasn’t even convinced I liked it all that much… I got acquainted with a humdrum existence. It was easily inviting, and somewhere I must have been welcoming it. But, for what it’s worth… I was not accustomed to mediocrity. I was always willing to put in 100 percent of the energy required to fulfill any given scenario, no matter how trivial what I was “doing” to make money seemed. No doubt, I was depriving myself artistically because I just couldn’t understand how someone could “make ends meet” AND do what they loved. It just didn’t seem fathomable. So, I started drowning in the confusion. I was grasping to find a way out of the box, spending far too long analyzing how it was that I got into that box in the first place. And, unconsciously shifting from one state of confinement to the next without taking credit for creating my reality. I didn’t feel unique anymore, my dreams were withered. I was one of many and that’s how I greeted my coming of age.
My “Twenties Phenomenon” was a real evolution of time and space, for me and my proclaimed “self”. It is then that I fully accepted the bullshit that was being presented to me, as real, and stopped asking a lot of important questions. In this time, I made a conscious choice to sit at the “Big Kid Table”, where I could pay the bills and quietly mope in my own extinguished creative self. Because, hey… everybody’s doin’ it! Errors upon revelations, upon more errors upon more revelations, were the name of the game. I indulged in co-dependent friendships and romantic relationships in a grotesque attempt to “figure it all out”. But, it wasn’t coming quick enough and all I was doing was hiding further and further from myself. The uneventful atmosphere in this new place, as a “20-something-year-old”, somehow felt appropriate. “Ah, yes! Did it ever!” I became insistent on “doing” to fill the void of “being” present. I looked in the mirror and all I could say was “Shit… who are you?” This confusion and angst ensued long enough for me to become aware of its presence. Once that happened, grandiose gestures from the universe took over… helping me claw myself out from the shallow grave I was digging myself.
She had stepped into the Jungle, of the cement kind. And, the first thing she met was fear. She felt in a sense, Left -In the wild. Forced to fend for, and off, herself with no adequate resources. This was an unexpected turn of events for a flower who, at one time, felt pregnant with the ideals of hope and optimism. She was wilting. And, who better to pour resentment on then those who invited her to this hellish party? This soil, deceives. She felt unkempt in, and on, this earth. Who is to blame for this mess? “Who?”, she begged to know. This singular question marked the sprouting of her “adult” curiosity. And, the singular answer, would transform the trajectory of her womanhood.
PARENTAL FIGURES & ROMANTIC ENDEAVORS:
Numero Uno on the Agenda: Defining tightly held illusions and loose realities pertaining “Parents”. I suppose I find reason to bring this up because, it relates to everyone and, it’s a large part of our individual healing process, as adults. It’s extremely easy to get suffocated by the emotional burden of “being the child of… (fill in the blank)“ or by “having a parent who… (fill in the blank)“ or being “scared by… (fill in the blank)“. We all got a story, ain’t that the truth! What’s yours? What is it that you are holding on so closely to from childhood that’s preventing you from moving onward? Realistically, there’s something. So, how does one begin to look at their parents with new eyes? Well, my first answer is simply through the experience of living. And, my second is by welcoming more awareness and perspective on the situation. Rather than being clouded by how our relationship WAS, with any one individual, it can be helpful to focus on how we would like our relationship with that person TO BE… right now. In this very moment. This shifts attention from the pain we may have experienced to the joy we have the opportunity of experiencing, together. And, is a major step in developing forgiveness.
Over the years, I’ve witnessed many friends and lovers in long term struggles with their inner child. Some of them have managed to move through these emotional traumas gracefully, with eyes widening. And others, seem to be so consumed by pain that they are unable to shift perspective to “The NOW”. Because of this, I’ve thought long and hard on how: conceiving, birthing and raising me shifted my own parents. In the nearly 36 years they have been a partnership, they went to counseling one time, and that was in the first year of my life. After I was born, it took them 6 years to decide to have another child… suffice it to say, I was more than a bundle of energy! It has only been in experiencing the complexity of romantic relationships and the effects of bringing two lives together that I have managed to get a clearer perspective on how much having a child would (no doubt) change the atmosphere for any two people… Loving someone is the easy part. Figuring out a way to coexist, is a whole nutha story…
So said Pat Benatar… “Love is a Battlefield”, and that was the caption for her segue from early to mid twenties. Falling “in love” was something she did naturally, it was second nature. Like most, whenever she wasn’t taking proper time to define herself, she looked to others to help her do so. Until, she realized only SHE could redefine herself. And, when that happened… the need to “be seen” felt less important than the desire to see herself. She became more interested in singularly figuring out how to fully embrace herself with less focus on “giving” half of herself to another human being. In essence, learning to fall in love with herself was a full time job and, one she was devoted to… above all else. The interesting thing about Truth was, that once she started pursuing it vigorously… she could no longer deny it. And, what did this mean for her romantic life? A lot. It meant, that she was making less attempts to be a player in the charades of Love and Lust. And, more attempts at simply learning how to better love, in general. In many cases, she would find herself alone, time and time again… Feeling bitter at the repercussions “her truth” seemed to impose on the people around her. Many hearts were wounded, on her watch. Hers included— And, she knew it. To this day, the men that have chosen to love her, have been the single most valuable stepping stones of self realization. And, come what may… she was always happy for the sheer opportunity to have loved, and to be loved in return. Even if all that remained was sweet remnants of loves power and scattered pieces of a faint beating heart. She could always appreciate the growing pains of feeling her heart breaking… wide, wide open.
From my school of thought, Triggers can act in both positive and negative ways depending on what we do with them. Negative triggers are merely glimpses. They act as opportunities for turning points but, never really formulate or, cross on over to the other side. They subtly reveal those nameless places we deny ourselves from going. They trigger some tarnished part of our being that we swallow over time, to be seen… momentarily. Sometimes they leak repressed emotions, failed to be recognized, acting as emotional cancer we are diseased to live without treating. And, they are the things that need (so desperately) to be unveiled. But, until we can acknowledge the existence of our “Triggers” and turn even negative ones into positive ones… we are blinded. I define a positive “Trigger” as a Spark. A precise moment in our life that seems to ignite some incredibly strong force, acting as an internal compass… redirecting us… home. Isolation. That was one of my triggers. Being physically removed from: the artistic outlets I grew to trust, the extroverted family I was nurtured by, the country I knew as “mine”, the society I grew conditioned to believe was “right”, a religion I knew but, never felt embraced by, an education system that taught but, constricted my innate urges and… “My life” was turning into… a copy-cat.
Living unconsciously was something so socially accepted that I fell into (and in love with) it willingly and without question… until, I did. And, that was because I was removed from it. That was the very beginning of the end of everything I ever claimed to know, the many things I had yet to learn and a desire to go deeper into the unknown. But, could I ever forgive myself for the time that was lost, in getting so lost? Only time would tell… For now, I was forced to reexamine what I had chosen as a life for myself. I recall a distinct trigger mid-twenties waking up, in a home on the East Coast (a place I so longed to return and had), with one thought… “This isn’t my life, this is not how the rest of my life looks.” I can’t explain what a sensational experience it is to open your eyes and see something, clearly not there, so clearly. I returned to the West Coast one month later. I have since come to listen to my triggers as they seem to redirect me when I’ve lead myself astray. Like a lost puppy… sniffing its way back home… that’s a trigger! I believe our most primal triggers are our parents. From the time we are born, we recognize our mothers scent. And, soon thereafter… we know the presence of our father the moment he walks in the house.
She idolized them, her mother and father. And, she envied their relationship. Oh, How they shared the artistic world, together! “They” were everything she always hoped she could find and so much nothing like what she thought she was ever worthy of … They epitomized Timeless love. Anyone who knows them, would say the same. They were the perfectly opposite coordinates on a map, that somehow supported and steered each other to their highest selves— Home. Few things were easy for them, in the physical world. But, their love… it was. “Easy”, in the right kind of ways. She held inside pure admiration for her parental unit, quite a rarity in this day and age. More often than not destructive role models get headlining news. The magnitude of being born to such an intensely magnetic duo, laid the groundwork for, and subconsciously guided, her definition of Love… The very thing she needed to infiltrate her being… the thing that would essentially bring her back, to herself… home.
“WHAT RUG?” OH, YOU KNOW THE ONE…:
So, what now? Well… A lot, in fact! The things we discreetly push under that imaginary rug, as if no one will notice… those are the things that ultimately define the kind of adults we become. Those are the building blocks supporting our character as human beings. Our foundation drastically alters the degree of friendship, companionship and general energy we are equipped to offer humanity, as a whole. These attributes manifest themselves in the kind of work we do, how we play and where our motivations in living, exist. The further we delve the more we realize that they reside in the deepest crevices of our childhood hopes and fears. And, most of the time they turn into latent potential, seeking a way OUT. Or, to be expressed. So, have you cleaned out your closet lately? Anyone who is in the process of doing so knows… It’s like a who’s who of monsters in there. Few people want to resurrect those demons but, we all got em’! So, how in the hell are we suppose to get to “the goods” if, how we look at that closet is so dauntingly distorted by the haze of pain and blame, that we never choose to go in? At some point… we will be forced down that road. And, this leads me effortlessly into my next topic… Becoming Your Own Nemesis.
At times when she became her own worst enemy, her mother became her savior. She was the epitome of unconditional Love. And she did it so easily that, sometimes, it fortified her daughter’s resentment. She was becoming increasingly unpredictable but, “The Mother” was unshaken. She seemed less and less reactive to her daughter’s expressive outbursts and this, in turn, made the outbursts less and less frequent. She stood fearlessly, beside “her girl”, without a shred of doubt… because, she knew the clouds would part and the lightness of the sky would shine down on her beloved daughter, soon enough. Her “Mama” was her backbone. And, as she was learning the ways of the world… she realized she needed that support more and more, every single day. Just to get by…
CUTTING THE BULLSHIT:
And, cut to the chase… All parents do the very best they can with the tools in their toolbox. Some equipment just turns out to be subpar but, for what it’s worth… no one is ever “fully” equipped to handle parenthood, and that’s the truth. We react in the best way we know how, to what is presented to us and it is our job as grown children to move from a place of blame into a place of understanding. Humor me and step away from how you are feeling about your parents at this very moment and picture your mother, or your father, at 7 years old. Start a dialogue with that kid. What questions might you like to ask that child? Perhaps the first step to healing an open wound is to go right back to its source. There’s a chance that recognizing your parents as human or starting a relationship with the children they were, before you were even born, may help strengthen something you’ve been denying for years. I am fairly certain no little girl dreams of being a shitty mom and no dad makes a conscious choice to have a child that he plans on neglecting. Whatever the circumstances may be… only we have the power to control if we are still willing to make our parents the cause of our suffering. Or, if we are willing to cut the bullshit and say… “It’s time to get off of this already!”
She could always count on “Dad” to call her on her bullshit. And, that’s the thing she admired most about him. She began to see striking resemblances. She was her father’s daughter, there was no mistaking it! All of the things she most loved, and hated, about herself… she recognized first, in him. And, she possessed, to the core. This brought them closer together. The Artist, The Perfectionist, The Thrill Seeker, The Performer, The Socialite, The Temper, The Madness, The Passion… It came from him, and she knew it. She began recognizing an inherent desire, “to make her father proud”, although he was as gentle and forgiving with her maturation as any parent could be. Until she was proud enough of herself, to love herself properly, she would never be able to return that Love, to the people who made her, in all the ways she could… Unconditionally.
“SOME THINGS YOU JUST NEED TO LET GO OF…”:
My extensive work with children has shown me how grounding (or destructive) the relationship with our parents can be to our personal development. I have witnessed the best and worst case scenarios and continue pulling from both of those sources, as ways to find forgiveness in my own life. It is important to identify with those around us who have lessons to share from different experiences. If we are able to fully acknowledge the road others have traveled we can support them through the healing. I am enlightened by those who are willing to share their journey through childhood traumas and how it shaped them as people. I am continually in awe of those who had complex family lives but, managed to create the ideal rather than the example. My father was one of them.
In fact, my dad used his own experience as a tool to becoming a positive and loving male role model to thousands of kids. His work as a director, writer, musician, actor and now cherished Kindergarten Teacher, pale in comparison to the emotional effect he has had on so many children, as a mentor. Because of his growing up, he seemed highly adept at accessing a child in need and willing to offer support. This was in perfect alignment with his life work, establishing two very successful educational performing art organizations, for children. He embraced the opportunity to offer a safe, artistic atmosphere for children to fully express themselves. When I began writing this post, I asked him what his thoughts were on the topic of forgiveness and with a lightness in his voice he exhaled and said: “Some things you just need to let go of…” and then… he proceeded to sing the song “Let it go”, from the Disney movie Frozen. Thanks Dad, for being such a stunning example of how WE as people CAN move past what we were “born into” to create a reality in alignment with the highest good of all. You are a hero if ever I saw one.
She would soon realize she was not the hero in her own movie. She had been so busy trying to “fix” the broken parts of herself that she could no longer see the real movie playing on the big screen. The heroes were all around her. They were part of her family, they were in the children she taught and amidst the eyes of strangers on the street. They were everywhere. They were her roadmaps… they were guiding and teaching and redirecting her all along the way. Once this inner revelation took place, she knew it was in her best interest to stop trying to fix and just start accepting all that was being offered. And, what was next… let’s call a revelation of the Ego… a strong desire ignited inside of her … a desire to give back. The time had come for her focus to shift away from herself and onto the world around her…
If, and only if, we can move away from resentment- there is strong likelihood that, at some point, we will be met with a new and just as powerful menace, Doubt. Where to go from here? The choices are simple… we either Stay put for years upon years upon years… stuck in the molasses of our own self criticism and sinking self worth. We start “to do” a lot of stuff, or make a lot of money or fill fill fill our world up with sex, drugs, people, work— anything really that can help us cope. In essence, we overcompensate in any way humanly possible by getting caught up in the material world… with things that help distract away the time. Let us call these things “The Great Avoiders”. Their soul purpose is to help us forget our souls purpose. They are accomplices to our doubt. They pester us into believing we do not deserve to do what we love, be loved and respected fully and to live a life that surpasses every “Fairy Tale” version of happiness we could have ever envisioned for ourselves, as children.
The Lady was turning into a Lush but, not in the way you might think… Her fixation was not on opulence but, on a Lushness of life, that’s what she craved— A deep enriching sense of living. And, her “doing” was focused on “being” a positive, healthy and productive member of society. In essence, she was consciously evolving. And, “God it feels good to be doing good!” She was tapping into the abundance of living— the palpable stuff and the stuff she knew she was on her way to finding… the richness within herself, an appreciation of greatness for those around her (strangers and friends alike) and a sense of wanting to bring out the “heart” of every matter. As her womanhood took shape, she would soon learn to accept that it wasn’t so much about the grass seeming greener on the “other” side. But, instead… realizing that we all share the same soil. How she tended to herself, effected those around her and visa versa. She was not contented to live in the dessert any longer. She wanted to do so much more than simply “Survive”… She was on a path to Thrive. What an empowering day it was to finally come face to face with her womanly self and realize, it may not resonate with the rest of the world but, “To hell with it! I am who I am!”
No matter what your definition of fulfillment is, for some of us, there seems an incessant urgency for MORE. To be more, to accomplish more and to understand more… From my own experience, when I have denied myself being in touch with this inner urgency, I have lost a major part of who I am. And, ironically… those times ended up bringing me closer to understanding the beauty in that urgency. 10 years go by and just then… like the blink of an eye your memory is vague. It’s fading… all of those things you ever dreamed of being, all of those things you thought you could do and, with it, the person you so hoped you’d “turn into”. In reality, the preoccupation with trying to “turn into” something may have turned you into what the rest of the world wanted you to be… taking on various titles to suffice a temporal craving for permanency and denying the reality that everything, is fleeting– everything is temporarily a part of whatever we need, at that very moment, to grasp the dynamics of existence. What you failed to realize is, You were born whole. Now, can you ever forgive yourself for forgetting that truth?
Dear Langston Hughes,
I have seen it dry up, fester like a sore and I have felt it run… I smell it like “rotten meat”, all around. And, I see it on the faces of passersby… “crusted” and sugary. But, I don’t want a taste of it’s “syrupy” sweetness, it does not look sweet- to me. I agree, it just “sags”… with the weight of a “heavy load”. The real question is not “Does it explode?” but, instead… will we allow it to Explode? Once we’ve reconciled the dream and the deferment separately, we can then ask the genuine question, Which is our fate, Explosion or Implosion? Will we deny ourselves the experience of a passionate explosion within? Do we fear our dream illusory? Do we have the courage to believe it can thrive in the realms of the outer world? Do we keep it hidden, contained and safe? Do we dare feel the momentum of such force, pulling us into its magic? Or, do we continue denying that magic exists? Better yet, do we softly implode little by little, into ourselves in a not so subtle attempt to be- without “it” for too god damn long… ?
Which will it be?
ACCEPTING THE TERMS OF THE AGREEMENT:
It’s only fitting to culminate this post on forgiveness by redirecting attention back home, to ourselves, in an attempt to emphasize the power of self forgiveness. This is the only way towards extending real love into the world around us and, the only means for which we can accept responsibility… for our Greatness and our Vulnerabilities. Resentment, Doubt, Fear, Love and Forgiveness are all in the contract of being human. Developing a relationship with how we are perversely overusing or sadly underusing these things, is the core material we are to study as consciously evolving adults. Are we self actualizing to manifest clearer outlets of self expression and do we give liberty for others to do the same? This is the core material folks! Our experience in the external world is the manifestation of everything we have going on inside of us… are we happy with what it looks like and how it feels? If not, we have to change it… for the sake of ourselves and all of humanity.
Until we Accept the terms of the agreement for “Being Human”, we simply won’t understand its potency. We will continue resurrecting our haggard, lifeless demons from the depths of our subconscious selves… tiring them out repeatedly, diminishing our inherent light and infecting every shred of our potential with the persuasion of Doubt, that we just won’t let ourselves break free from. That ain’t living. There is no fine print stating that everything must be a struggle. However, when we repel and challenge the very nature of goodness, that is being offered to us… we are met with all of those things. There is no justification to withhold– from ourselves, and the world, all that we are. Because, we can’t bare it. Life doesn’t have to be a bitch and then you die… but, as the saying goes… so it is and so it shall be. Only you can decide.
All was gold, behind the lids of her deepening chocolate eyes. Stillness, beckoned her to retreat into the warmth of its truth… and further, and further, she would embark. In “it”, she would go. Lightheartedly and with a knowing that none of her trivial questions were ever really trivial, no matter how old she was becoming… they were specks of gold reflecting an endless mine reverberating: “Who is to blame for this mess I have made?” She found that answer, in the mirror. And, learned more productive ways of asking to receive a clear and direct answer: “I acknowledge that I am to blame for both the joy and mess in my life… how can I best be of service to these matters?” To find herself- she had to fall and it became so apparent that she would start accepting it with gratitude (just for another chance at redefining herself). She knew it was always about climbing back up, to a place so high… that One place, that could make one forget the paralyzing state that proceeded the rise. This place of awakened motivation, courage and inspiration– “The Lift”. When we fall, we get a chance to feel… And, if we get low enough we may actually even be close enough to feel—the roots and the source of— our own existence, wherein lies the real Gold… the only thing worthwhile that ever really meant anything, to us, at all.
Define how you have let yourself down. Accept what has been experienced as a learning tool. Move forward with new knowledge and honor your innermost self. Do the things you love, for fucks sake! Even if you’re penny pinching… it won’t always be that way! You were meant for great things, go do them! And, show the children around you the way… Be the positive role model you always wish you had, and stand up for your inner child! Say I’m sorry to those you’ve neglected and say I forgive you, to those who may have neglected you. You are an adult now, take responsibility for the life you are living and how you are handling yourself in the world. Be kind and gentle and loving to yourself. Take time to say “Hey, you… good job! Keep on with the keeping on!” Nobody is ever gonna love you like you can love yourself so, take advantage of it! Reciprocate honesty with those around you and express how things make you feel and there won’t be any stinkin’ time to build up resentment. The truth is like a breath of fresh air, some of us are living without it but, we all gotta have it! So, take a deep breath and say “I forgive you” trust me… it feels so so good! And Now Ladies & Gentleman…
She wasn’t “Twenty-Something” anymore but, her twenties served her well. She got lost, and found, loved and lost, traveled and gave back, worked and played, got lost some more and… found some more! She turned 30, loving herself and that felt monumentally worthwhile. Being present, was the best gift she ever gave herself. And, it lead her on a path of learning how to embrace others unconditionally with an appreciation for the importance of sharing. Of all the advice she had received, no one ever mentioned the challenge AND reward that would encompass the process of self forgiveness. Life seemed more and more about learning to forgive herself for the many necessary “mistakes”, she needed to experience, to grow. And, that sometimes the best fucking plan was just to throw out “The Plan” all together! She realized, “The most intriguing thing about getting lost is never knowing what incredibly awakening place you’ll be found next!” The “unknown-ness” of Darkness and Words were her closest allies. They had supported her through misguided resentment, doubt and courage. And, they had steered her back to remembering childhood…. a place where forgiveness was only (always) moments away from being embraced. Because, there were more pressing matters to address. Her words revealed the deepest aspects of her-self that even she didn’t know existed, until they did and so, she continues sharing. On the topic of Love… she has found it’s the most productive use of her time here. So, she does that instead of choosing fear. She seeks to support others in finding ways to absolve themselves and others, to make room for the many positive experiences of living. As for learning to forgive herself, she’s on the mend. But, more than willing to spend the rest of her life figuring out how best to honor her inner child and their shared dreams…