My sister’s eyes

Mia eyes

My sister and I, we have the same eyes. Well..not the same eyes but the same eye color. We also share the same birth mother. Sometimes the same hair style too. And that is where it ends with us. She would not know any of this as we had a falling out many years ago. I do not remember what year it was but I believe it was 2009. You see, I said some not so nice things to my sister, I was so tired of hearing how she was handling things in her life, how she portrayed everything wrong in her life as being someone else’s fault, how everyone else’s view point was wrong and I broke down and told her so. Sadly, she has never spoken to me or tried to make contact with me since that day. Apparently, she got the “hold a grudge” gene of the family. At the time, I was not very knowledgeable of mental illnesses and my sister has been diagnosed with many. I do not recall what all they were but they required many medications for her to function in life. She has three children and I cannot imagine trying to deal with mental illness and children at the same time. I know many people do but I do not know how I would be able to do it. Some of her meds made her almost catatonic, which was odd to see and be around. I know she tried her best, or as best as her meds would allow, in raising her children, managing a home and trying to figure out what she wanted to do in life. Sometimes mental illness does not help you do this well. Today though, I have much more insight on mental illness as I have worked with, been married to and helped others who suffer from mental illness. I have more compassion and adaptability to being around someone who suffers from a mental illness. Sometimes my sister posts a new photo of herself on her public Facebook profile. Only one time have I seen a photo of her that she appears to be truly happy in. I private messaged her when I saw this photo…she was so beautiful while standing outside and she looked so vibrant and happy to be alive…but she bitch slapped me with her response. You see, both my sister and I are adoptees. Same biological mother, different biological fathers. We each were raised and nurtured differently.  Each had different religions put in front of us, each had different traumas to occur, which helped form who we are to this day.  When I was searching for my bio-mom, I found out I had a half sister who had been put up for adoption like me. We each were searching for our bio-mom for different reasons. I do not think either one of us were expecting what we found. But…it is what it is and we had closed part of the circle of biological family.

I have two nephews and one niece through my sister. I would love to see them today, as they were very small the first and only time I have seen them.  But my sister would never allow any contact with them after we had a falling out. I wrote letters to the oldest two and sent them to their father in hopes he would give them to them. He did and my sister got pissed. See…she was treating her children like some divorced people do…they decide the viewpoint the children will have based upon their own perceptions of something. The children are not allowed to make a decision on their own and some divorcees feed their children a one-sided view. Maybe some day my niece and nephews will want to meet me and have a relationship. I think more than likely it will not happen. After hearing a one sided version of something for many years, it becomes a truth. Since they know no other version, it is one that will stick with them.  I suppose that not caring can play a role too. I am only a blood relative and since they were not raised to value that, it will not have value to them.  Maybe when they are older….they will get curious and come in search for me.

…and then…they were gone…

I have noticed recently that my tribe circle is growing smaller. I guess you could say that it is getting smaller but I like the growing smaller version better. I say this because…even though the circle is getting smaller…it is getting tighter and more refined. I do not feel that it is being reduced in quality but getting better. I feel that those who have the same knowing system that I do are showing up more in my life. Many people have a belief system but as we grow older in life, we gain knowledge that is true to us and the path WE are on in this lifetime…which allows those who are on a different path to fall to the wayside. Those who have fallen to the wayside are still available to talk to but…the conversation has changed over the years. The topics are different…more broad and less defined…more like “Crazy weather we are having, eh?” conversation vice in depth subjects on how to better ourselves and what we need to learn in the current life path. I have noticed as my circle has grown smaller…the ones who are left feel like they have lived many lives and do not consider themselves as following a religious sect. I like this about them. I like how I can toss an esoteric subject into the air and they have something thought provoking to say about it. Gone are the days of explaining to someone what I am talking about…I speak and my tribe just…knows. No longer do I sit and ponder why something happened or did not happen. I never selfishly think….why me? if something not so great happens in my life. Instead I take a look and notice if anything about the situation looks familiar in case I am repeating habits that are not beneficial to my path forward. I spend more time waiting than acting. I no longer get impatient because I know whatever happens will happen when it is time. Sometimes…something never happens…and that is fine too. I do not have the desire to spend my time analyzing situations and people…trying to make them conform to my way of thinking…or concerned as to why they did or did not do something…they are who they are in this lifetime and they have the right to behave and act however they feel the need. If they break a societal law or agreement…then the upholders of the Law can handle it…I accept that it is not my job to make someone be a better human. Maybe in the next life, tables will turn and they will be a kinder, gentler human to the Mother and her inhabitants. I always hope others will be the best versions of themselves but the attempt to bully someone into my way of thinking may shortchange them on a learning experience.  I hope you wake each day and embrace whatever comes your way. Be strong or weak…be whatever you need to be for that moment in time. Take advantage of doors that open to you and do not weep for very long at those that close. It is your life path you are walking on and no one else’s. May it be beautiful, may it be scary, may it be bittersweet…may it be whatever you need at the moment.

Sha-La-Ma-Loke, my friend

Upon life and death

A few days ago, a happening happened and I’m still at unrest about it. An elder lady I knew died. This happens often, I know but…..this time was different. Unexpected. I had talked to her a few minutes the night before, heard about her weekend with friends…a reunion of sorts, she said her daughter was coming to visit her and she would leave me and my Dad alone to visit. I was visiting my Dad in the rehab center, in which, this lady lived here full time now due to an accident that brought her here. She met my Dad a year earlier in the same rehab center and she became smitten with him because he was fun to talk to. My Dad had to be in rehab several times over the year and she was in and out of the same rehab, so they had fun together when they were in there at the same time. She was a very independent lady before she ended up in the nursing home. I do not know how many years she had been wheelchair bound but she took that wheelchair out in the community using the busing services. She went shopping and to events…she did not let the wheel chair dominate her life. Then she fell out of her wheelchair and could not get to a phone…eleven hours later, a neighbor noticed that her light was on in her home in the early hours and went to check on her. The neighbor found her…her leg bent underneath her and due to being bent for eleven hours, she lost the use of that leg, which brought her to the nursing home. It was decided (by whom I do not know) that she could not live in her own home any longer.  So, to hear of her death…the death of someone who did not appear ill or had heart issues or anything indicating she would die soonish…well, it took me by surprise. My Dad was supposed to meet up with her in the morning before he left for his doctors appointment. He could not find her. When he got back, the staff informed him that she had died that morning. He was shocked, to say the least. I was shocked when he told me. I thought, surely they will do an autopsy and find out what had happened. My first thought was that it was assisted suicide but how could that be? She was not on life support and even though she had a nerve disease…the reason she was in the wheel chair to begin with, it did not seem like it had progressed to immediate terminal…just future terminal, you know? But my Dad assured me that could not be…and then I thought maybe she committed suicide all by herself because she hated living there…she was no longer in her own home…she was handicapped and even more so now that she lost the use of her leg…but surely that could not be either. She was too vibrant of a human being to want to take that path. All we could come up with was an aneurysm…or a heart attack. Later that evening, the lady’s daughter stopped in and talked to Dad and tried to explain to him that her mom was sick, which we knew but maybe it was some sort of sickness that we could not see. The next day, her daughter came to visit Dad again because her mom had left my dad her wheelchair. My Dad had looked for the same wheelchair because it was so easy to turn and use….now, how would someone who suddenly died know to leave a wheel chair to my Dad?  This is when Dad found out that it was an assisted suicide. Apparently she hated being in the nursing home so much that she no longer wanted to live any longer. The weekend away with family and friends was her chance to tell everyone good bye…and anyone she told that she was leaving the earth soon was made to swear to not say anything to my Dad because she thought he would try to talk her out of doing it. So…in the end, she was still independent and did it her way. Her leaving life this way saddens me. Though I have not walked in her shoes and did not know what she had to deal with on a daily basis…it still saddens me that she left too soon. She still had so much life in her and things she could have taught people…her grandchildren got short changed with her leaving early…granted, her family lost a member but we outsiders lost too. I will never get to ask her what color her lipstick was or where all she lived and what was her favorite thing to do before she got wheelchair bound. So many questions I should have asked but didn’t because I thought I’d have more time. My Dad won’t get to pick her up from the nursing home for the day and take her to lunch like they had planned. He’ll no longer have her phone calls to look forward to once he is back in his home…

Over the time of writing this piece, I have found more information about her death. The disease she was inflicted with had progressed to the point that her arms would be purple each morning due to lack of oxygen. Less oxygen was getting to her brain and she was having memory lapses. She did not want to get to a point that she would not be able to make a choice herself on living or dying. She was a strong woman and wanted to go out on her own terms, not end up hooked to life support and her children having to disconnect the machines that kept her in the land of the living.

I understand better now why she did what she did. And I realize that she truly cared about my dad and did not want to see the pain in his eyes if she told him what she planned to do. She also worried about his health and knew that this type of news would have put stress upon my dad’s heart and cause him issues or possibly death. She was a strong person who advocated for others and in the end, advocated for herself and the choices that she wanted to make. She is an inspiration to others and I am blessed to have met her.

My Kintsugi Heart

Someone breaks my heart daily.  I don’t take it personally.  I’m sure it wasn’t intentional, right? Surely someone wouldn’t purposely cause harm to a very delicate item.  Strangers have broken my heart…you know, those people who are talking down to their kids in a store…emotionally abusing them in public…yes, those people break my heart. The ones who abuse animals…oh my…I think that makes the biggest crack in it….the parent who uses their child as a pawn in a divorce? Yes…that cracks my heart too…that caregiver who backhands an elder…that makes a jagged gash to my heart…but people close to me break my heart too…those verbal bitch slaps sure do sting…the family member who doesn’t see the point in living any longer…those are rough ones to handle…the arrogant ones who think they know so much…you know, the ones who are book smart but light on life experience? Yeah…those make my heart twinge…possible internal damage to a chamber.  Again…I try to not take it personal, you know? I know…deep down inside, these hurtful people are good people…they weren’t born bad or mean…then again, maybe they were…but still…I try to see the Light in everyone…sometimes I have to look really hard but I always find it eventually.  I have a secret way to repair the damage…do you want to know what it is?  You can use it too…it is called Kintsugi…the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold, silver or platinum…it is how I mend my heart…I imagine a little paintbrush dabbing liquid gold on the ragged edge and then these heavenly hands come and hold the wound together as it dries…these hands have shown up to help me so many times over the years…it took me many years to accept whose hands were helping me but I got there eventually…in my own way…in my own time…my heart still gets broken daily but that is okay…my heart is beautiful with the gold lacing across it…it is a work of art, you know? Almost like filigree…but thicker in some places because those breaks were so deep…I suppose…as I near the end of this life…my heart may be more gold than flesh…and that is okay…I will still look for that Light in others until there is no more Light in me.

Owls

Yesterday I was getting the mail from the box and there was this painted rock on one of the stones…it was of an owl and on the backside of the rock was the word, SMILE.  It is a current trend to paint rocks and leave them around the county for others to find. You can leave them or move them to someplace new. I left it where it was. This morning I took the dog out and I could hear a Barred Owl cooing across the road in the trees. I love listening to them talk to each other and the cute noises they make. Today the owl flew out from the tree and glided around the edge of the tree line and past the side of the house. I love it when they do this! Owls are one of my favorite birds to watch and listen to. Owls deliver messages from the other side. When you see an owl, it usually means that change is coming. Some cultures believe that when you see an owl, there is going to be a death. The death could be of a person you know or it could be the death of a relationship or job…seeing an owl means: change. I wonder what change is coming my way? In what ways have animals brought you messages?

Pieces of You

Have you noticed that some events that happen in your life leave you a bit…less whole? Some occurrence left you a little bit fearful, a little bit anxious, a little bit less trusting…on the outside you appear whole but there is this little, nagging thing that just doesn’t feel right to you. Somehow…you lost a piece of yourself along the way.

Over the years, a few more holes in your armor come about. Childhood abuse, a divorce here, a break-up there, loss of a pet, loss of a family member, domestic violence, addictions re-surface….depression sets in. You are running out of coping mechanisms.

All these incidences take a little piece of you…a piece of your soul.

Conventionally we treat these missing pieces by labeling the disease/disorder and taking anti-depressants, using some form of psycho-therapy or counseling, prescribed medication, self-medicating by drinking copious amounts of alcohol, street drugs, cutting….sometimes ending in a last result effort to take away the pain: suicide. Often these treatment plans can go on for years, emptying your bank account, your self-esteem, your belief systems, your mind….and still…no cure.

Conventionally, we are treating the symptom and not the source of the disease or disorder.There are other methods of treatments. Old ways. Traditional ways. Traditional medicine. Traditional healing.

The old ways treated these disorders using prayers, herbal remedies, laying-on of hands, eating certain foods, sweat lodges, plant medicine and soul retrieval. All these methods worked until someone came along and told us they didn’t. That our ways were evil. When we chose to not listen and practiced our traditional medicine anyway, they suppressed our ways by destroying our reputations, our homes, our businesses…. sometimes they took our lives. Those who survived continued to practice underground or fled to other areas where conventionalists had not reached yet. We knew our traditional healing ways worked and we weren’t ready to give them up.

There is a resurfacing of the traditional ways. Traditional ways still work. One traditional healing method has been having an uprising in interest: shamanism.

Shamans are found all over the globe. Some are men. Some are women. Many people have been trained in shamanistic techniques but that doesn’t make them a shaman. Each shaman has their own way of using their tribe’s traditional medicine.

One shamanistic tool is called soul retrieval. Someone trained in this technique journeys to the Other Levels of the World with your animal helpers to find your missing soul pieces, they convince them to come back and then they deliver them back into your possession. Once you have your soul pieces back in your possession, it is your responsibility to come to peace with them, invite them back into your life, help these hurt pieces heal themselves so that they will stay and not leave again in order for your soul to be whole once more. Soul retrieval can be hard work. It is not a passive treatment method. If you’ve been disconnected from yourself for many years, you will have your work cut out for you. You don’t just sit back and let someone else do all the work. Soul retrieval requires acceptance, forgiveness and the openness of self-love.

For those who are tired of the pills, the repeated discussion of “how do you really feel”, tired of feeling like you are shattered….and are ready to be healed and feel whole again…a soul retrieval can be a life saver. Maybe this type of treatment will work for you. When looking for a facilitator for soul retrieval, ask about their training, how long they’ve been practicing shamanistic techniques, interview them to ensure you find someone who is the right fit for you. You must feel safe with this person because, after all, they will be bringing back very delicate pieces of your soul and you want them handled with care.

Grateful

My wings lift me from the ground as their tips brush the dusty road below. Each pump raises me higher. The wind ruffles my feathers as I cut through the air. I ascend until I am above the tree tops. Surfing along, I look down to see what is below. I am cloaked in darkness but my eyes make it appear to be a monochrome landscape… differing shades of grey and black. Silently, I glide along looking for nothing in particular… just observing. The wind sliding over my feathers brings me great joy. Flying brings me great joy! I descend until I am coasting above a field. The tall grass tips tickling my chest. Small eyes look upward in fear as I silently pass by. They relax when they realize that I have let them live another day. As I come to the end of the field, I bank to the right to avoid an oncoming tree and dart upwards until I am above the tree tops again. I pump my wings a few times to gather speed and lift. I fly towards the east looking for the sunrise. The yellow glow is on the horizon’s curve, hovering there waiting for the perfect time to announce the new day. The sun slides upward, rays branching across the sky like open arms welcoming the crisp morning air. I close my eyes and glide along feeling the warmth of today’s sun soaking into my body. I give voice to a screech thanking Mother Earth for her glorious gifts she unselfishly gives each day. I turn and head west so that I can feel the sun on my back. Heading  back to my resting place, I navigate myself through the trees until I find the perfect branch to settle upon. I land, traverse back along the branch until I am closer to the tree body. I rest my shoulders, let my head settle into a comfortable position and close my eyes. I sigh and smile to myself, happy inside from my exhilarating flight. Content, I drift into a dream state as I rest my body for a while.