Post #4 Recovering Truth.
“Lets meditate and see what rises up.” I am going to leave you here at my altar for 10 minutes. “Write down what comes up. We can talk about that first.”
She hands me her Ipod and queues up Snatam Kaur. (click to listen while you read) I sit on the meditation pillow before her altar, he sweet little dog Pip crawls into my lap and as the music plays, tears stream down my face as I listen deeply to the lyrics and I realize how much I am in need of comfort. I’ve been handling so much grief, my kids, hard life stuff on my own. Stoic and Strong. Forging on through my own losses and keeping a brave face for my children.
I just keeping petting him, taking long deep breaths and letting tension seep out of me. When the song is over I begin to write.
“Pip made me realize how much I needed warm touch.”
“deep breathing =energy.”
I began to doodle my thoughts on paper like I used to when I was in high school. Wondering how much of me is still that high school girl?
“How’s your heart?” she asks finding me tear stained and snuggled up with Pip. “Tell me what came up?”
Speaking my heart out loud is difficult. My feelings don’t flow freely. I closed off that part of me a long time ago, the part that says how she really feels out loud. I remembered how much I really loved myself but felt so awkward. I knew what I wanted but had no idea how to get it or that I was worthy of it. Are those universal feelings of a 17 year old girls heart or mine alone?
“Mmmmmm,” is the only noise she makes. She listens deeply, looking me in the eye, completely still, I talk, she takes it all in. My teenage angst, my teenage heart, my real feelings on display. It’s uncomfortable to be witnessed in this way but I forge on because I am on a mission. Expression is the only path to the other side.
Once I’ve said all I can say we take a few deep acknowledging breaths and decide it was time to move and eat. She’s taken the words of my heart and is digesting them in her own way.
We bundle up, set off down her quiet street to busy downtown Silver Spring. We walk close together, holding on like old girlfriends, asking questions like new acquaintances.
“What do you want to do?” she turns her face to me asking very seriously, her brow furrowing the slightest bit.
My grown up woman heart speaks loud and clear. “I want to speak and write. I want do something BIG. That’s helpful to people. I want whatever I am meant to do to provide financial support and emotional support for a lot of people. I want everyone I love to be with me”
“Mmmmm, That’s really good.” She said, confirming my desires aren’t too much or too big. “I wouldn’t have worked with you if said you just wanted to make a bunch of money.”
I am instantly very serious, “That’s not what this is about.” I said and shook my head. “I like nice things, I want to travel with my family, I want to be provided for but this isn’t just about me, power or money. It’s bigger than that. I know deep down I have a job to do that is much more than just about me. I am here to figure that out. My soul is screaming for it.”
We carry on down the street, with my big dreams hovering around us until we reach the restaurant. We decide to order comfort food, grilled cheese sandwiches with bacon and tomato, french fries with truffle oil and big glasses of ice water with lemon. Little did I know it would be the last comfort food of that sort that I would ever eat.
Pull another scroll and I will tell you another story. I pull another tiny piece of rolled up parchment paper and, read it out loud and tuck it in my pocket. “She doesn’t know geography too well.”
Her eyes glisten, I listen, rapt as she recounts a story of great love, perseverance, strength and the heart of a woman determined to be with the love of her life. A woman carrying her two babies, walking all night and hiding to sleep during the day so she won’t be discovered. Walking for weeks in the vast landscape of Africa, without protection or provision in search of her husband, the man she loves. The man her heart chose.
When she gets to the part of the story where they are reunited tears burn my eyes and hers. “I know,” she says and nods her head slowly.
I would do the same thing, I think to myself. I have that kind of devotion, perseverance and loyalty for love. Exactly the same thing. My love is that strong.
How far would you go to reunite with your greatest love or to uncover your deepest purpose? How big are your dreams. Is your 17 year old girl heart still holding on to them or is your grown up woman going as far as she can go in search of her dream, carrying sweet love in her arms and walking away from everything safe and comfortable to be united with her passionate purposeful heart?
Stick with me, sweet ones. The gifts we hid beneath us will be uncovered and purpose and meaning will shine bright. Your dreams are not too big or too much. They are exactly right.
With all the love in my wild, alive and free heart,
I volunteered to talk about what its like. This and all the videos to come on Recovering the Relatives are for the families. For the silent ones, the ones who are suffering, the ones who feel deeply alone. And its for me, because I have found that the more I talk about it the less power it has over my lives and the lives of my children. Our lives have changed greatly over the last seven months. My experience, wisdom, grace, understanding, acceptance and love have deepened. We are sharing our story because of it. Recovering the Relatives is for you. For all of us. Together we can break the cycle of addiction in our families. I just know it.
Much love my dear people,
We’d planned to get tattoos together to mark a place in the story where great love overcame darkness. Where truth and openness made way for healing. A celebration of wellness, a path of devotion, a new way of being in the world. To honor hard work, not the physical kind but the emotional kind.
“Are you going to do it?” He asked me this morning.
“I don’t have a tattoo that’s calling to me,” I said.
But as we were closing a chapter and saying our goodbyes a mother approached me. Yesterday I’d heard her battle story and seen her fierce love for her son. I’d hugged her at the end of the day and said into her ear, “you’re a love warrior” and hugged her little tighter. She’d been through battles for her child’s life for 10 years and hadn’t given up the fight.
Today, she came up to me with open arms to hug me goodbye. We hugged and thanked each other for being there this weekend. And then she pulled out her phone and showed me a picture of a tattoo. It was the word “warrior” but the i was a semi colon.
She said, “I saw this last night and it made me think of you. Thesemicolon represents a movement dedicated to presenting hope and love to those who are struggling with depression, suicide, addiction, and self-injury. Project Semicolon exists to encourage, love, and inspire.”
The semicolon was chosen because “Just as the punctuation mark is a sign for readers to pause before continuing on with a sentence, people have embraced the symbol as a reminder that their story isn’t over yet—and that they should tell it.”
I took this as a sign and turned my love. (period) tattoo into “love warrior” with the semi colon to honor that the story isn’t over yet and to remind myself that we must keep sharing it.
We are love warr;ors.
Families, mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers fighting for our lives and the lives of our children no matter what.
Today we celebrate a victory.
Family Recovery Advocate
I serve women seeking healing and transformation.
I serve people who have been impacted by addiction recover their lives.