Him

One year ago a man walked through the door of a coffee shop, brushing the unremitting, though gentle Spring snow from his head – I knew then that something was different, how fitting Mother Nature made a point that the day stand out. 

We had agreed to meet at the long-time urging of a friend (how blessed I am for the persistence!) – she unknowing altered my Life, acquainting me with what (who) would be the most precious gift of all my years.  Just days earlier he accepted a job in another state and would be moving only two weeks later – we’d apparently grown up in the same, relatively small town – how terribly ill-timed it seemed, at yet how fortuitous…

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Six months prior, I’d ended a third abusive relationship with a very ill human being – Narcissistic Personality Disorder and alcoholism at the core of the troubles, though scarcely the whole of them.  I had suffered trauma before, not recognizing my propensity towards codependency, but this was the most severe, triggering layers upon layers of anguish…and adding several more.  I wasn’t launched into a nightmare of eating disorders, as I was ten years prior from the abuse of a then, also alcoholic, boyfriend…but the PTSD came raging back (with a capital C before it, sadly.)

I was rendered nonfunctional, incapable of leaving my apartment, save to go to my (outrageously supportive!) parents’ house to weep, seemingly ad infinitum.  I slept on their living room couch for weeks, afraid and unable to be alone. Trauma therapy (EMDR), talk therapy, medication, podcasts, hypnosis, meditation, chakra balancing, Cranial Sacral work, Brainspotting, somatic release, blog scouring….I did ALL of it.  I did everything I possibly could to regain some vestige of strength and stability, but there was one bit of edification the EMDR would provide that would change everything…  

As I worked through painful, teary sessions, the fog began to lift from my eyes.  Though my loved ones insisted this wasn’t a pattern, I knew I had some part to play, and was desperate to discover the nature of it, no matter what the mirror reflected back.  Over time I began to see a woman with a devoted heart, a boundless spirit, an interminable will, who painted herself with appalling falsities and misplaced intolerance.  I realized that not only had I woven…and believed!…countless lies about myself…but I had actually never thought I deserved better.  The moment I accepted that I DID, my World was turned upside-down (for, rest assured, the better.)

I made a point to make a vision board – one into which I poured countless hours, both physically and emotionally.  Had I not infused each part with my spirit, I am not certain I would have come out to this path – the explicit nature of my intentions, and the reality which I breathed into each one, made (I believe) all the difference – it is in this way we practice “Magic.”  I read all the written words aloud as 2014 melted away, with a voice as strong as I could muster.  At 12:01, my heart beat more clearly and resolutely than it had in a long time –  whatever the shift that occurred was one I felt within, and without.

The next two months had their share of distress and lachryma…points at which I needed to work within moments (a day at a time, hour to hour, still feeling insurmountable.)  But on the 1st of March, the Stars connivance collided in a rush of Springtime snow, and a smile I was certain I’d known before…  Yes, and coffee too!

What they say about true love...about immediate knowing…it IS true.  It was as if a prior Life rekindled and flashed a thousand embraces in my mind.

The soul knows before the rest of us, often…  It knows despite the urging of the mind, or heart.  I’d learned over time to over-justify, to make excuses for others, to drown out my “gut feeling” in effort to make another person happy, or to keep the peace…but it always knew rightly.  Upon reflection I could enumerate at length how infinitely more acute my gut actually is than any fiction my brain could devise, or reason my heart urge I pursue.

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Every so often, all this time later, I feel as if I need to blink my eyes open…pinch myself…in effort to affirm I am indeed in conscious waking. His companionship is so much a gift that I’d not change a moment of my past – no matter which part – as I believe it gave me what I needed not only to find him, but to appreciate all that he is, as well as to appreciate myself.

I always believed that there is a reason in everything – for me personally, the notion has proved a beacon in the Night when the World seemed unusually cruel.  I believed that I could learn, and gain something positive, from my suffering…not least of which was some illumination, or enlightenment.  I do not believe we must suffer needlessly, only that whatever I have known within my own Life has given me strength and clearer vision.  So too have I recognized that my heart is capable of loving to oblivion, not only others, but for once in my Life, also myself.

I am blessed to have a companion who not only cherishes and respects me, but one who sincerely values who I am, and all I have known.  One of my greatest fears was that I would, yet again, be abandoned, threatened, cast aside as a stranger by the person I poured my soul into…  But when I met the Love of my Life, the fear began to subside…  

Not only do I feel loved, I know I am loved… He makes the effort always to let me know that I am neither alone, nor that I ever need be. He communicates with me honestly, and tells me with the utmost sincerity that “everything will be okay” when the pain creeps back in.  When you are in abusive relationships, you spend more time in “flight or fright” mode to the point you begin to think it is “normal.”  The desperate need for some reassurance, constancy or support is never fulfilled but somehow we push on…   

There are so many people who suffer at the hands of those incapable of loving us in return, but we needn’t remain there.  We do have a choice, and it is okay to reach out for the help we need to regain our strength and self-confidence.  

Codependency is common to Empaths, but we do not HAVE to be bound to the fate of fixing, helping, and losing ourselves…and our Lives.  It is possible to break the cycle, to learn to love ourselves, to learn to set boundaries…

True love exists, make no mistake.  It can paint the World with vibrancy you’d never believe existed, and extinguish all the shadows of your past.  The first step is loving yourself, above all, and believing that you deserve the best.  Once you believe it utterly, your World will change, blooming like am infinite blossom in the morning sun.

A Good Laugh!

I’m going away for a few days to see my best friend (who really is more like my sister!), and my beautiful F1 Chausie, Kemisi who lives on her farm,  Avalo Cat Sanctuary.  ❤

It’s been a tough week, and I have a TON on my plate…so it’s a much-needed getaway.  And the thing about Avalo is that it is, without question, the ONE place I have EVER gone that gives me a total, all-encompassing sense of peace.  

When I’m there, my spirit, my heart, my soul…can just BE.  It was that way from the first time I stepped foot on that soil, and it’s never changed.  

Part of it is being with people I call family.  Part is being surrounded by Nature, in the company of over 100 animals. And part of it is because of the way we laugh.

Utter nonsense and tomfoolery will have our sides in stitches!  I get a solid abdominal workout on a regular basis down there from the sheer laughter alone! Whether the result of cat puffing and hopping sideways (you know how threatening the movement of a household, inanimate object can be!)…or I “levitated off my horse” to avoid wearing a spider (AND it’s web) as a chest plate…there is always something to be snickering about.

Kemisi, not to ally sure what's taking place, and flattening her ears - not MEANT to be cute of funny, but she's too precious not to smile at!

Kemisi, not to ally sure what’s taking place, and flattening her ears – not MEANT to be cute of funny, but she’s too precious not to smile at!

And that’s the point.  There is NOTHING better than a good, hearty laugh.  I maintain that we all take time to giggle, or guffaw, as much as possible!

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I was speaking to my Cranial Sacral teacher today – also a best friend, and my mentor in many ways.  We’ve worked together doing Alexander Technique, Cranial Sacral, and Somatic work for probably over a decade now – he’s phenomenally gifted, remarkably attuned, and incredibly down to earth.  

In our discussion today I said…“I sometimes forget just how much of a whirlwind my Life has been over the last 20 years!  I’ve been in a constant ‘crisis mode’ of varying degrees and I’m not sure I have had a chance to catch my breath…or make sense of it…until NOW!”  

We spoke at length about the challenges and growth of the last many years, some of which were incredibly painful and impactful…and along the way, we laughed.  Not just kind of, sort of…but really LAUGHED.

Certainly not AT the experiences I’ve had – because those don’t deserve to be diminished, nor (ever) brushed under the allegorical carpet.

But we laughed just because.

We laughed in honor of recovery, accomplishments, new horizons…

We laughed when doing exercises – some of which I recalled tough memories and purposefully sqwunched up my face, and bared my “claws” in response to them.  Directed at the poor skeleton on the Human Body poster on the wall, no less.  “He can take it!” Vincent said as I giggled and sqwunched again.

And as we laughed, my heart lightened even more.

It’s been a long and arduous journey in many ways – with the kind of injuries that aren’t visible, especially when you are always the smiling, happy, or “tough” one.

But laughter has never, ever failed me…and it never will.  

I (much to their chagrin) sometimes video my father and my hunnie with my phone.  I KNOW they don’t like it…but as I always say, “when I’m sad, or having a really rough day…I pull them up, and watch…and LAUGH…and everything is better.”

And I mean it.

Everything is ALWAYS better when you laugh.

Even just a little.

One giggle won’t part the seas…but it WILL part the clouds.  And once that happens?  The sun sees the opening. ❤

Laugh on.

XX ❤ X