Falling Upwards

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I, I Did It All May 17, 2015

Recently, I’ve been looking for a new job. I more or less gave up my photography business when I agreed to help my mother with her businesses (a medical practice and a residential care facility) a year and half ago. My intention was to go full steam ahead with my business when my son went away to college. I would now have the time to fully commit. Instead, I’ve spent the past 1.5 yrs bringing stability to two businesses for which I have no interest. But, I don’t regret it. I did it for love. I did it for my mother.

“Hope when you take that jump, you don’t fear the fall
Hope when the water rises, you built a wall
Hope when the crowd screams out, they’re screaming your name
Hope if everybody runs, you choose to stay”

Any change is difficult. But, as we all know, change is healthy and necessary for growth. And, even though this wasn’t the change I was expecting, my life has definitely changed. One of the positive things from the past year is that it has given me the time to decide whether investing more time in photography was what I really wanted to do. I’ve never been as passionate about it as most other photographers I know. As one friend put it, “[you] don’t carry your camera everywhere with you.” But, giving up something that I’ve been doing, that I know, is scary. Still… I kept thinking that there was something else out there for me.

My issue this past year has been in trying to figure out what the “something” is. So, last December, I went to see a career counselor. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d written an actual resume, and I truly didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up, … and, oops… here I was middle-aged and, supposedly, grown. What I learned in our meetings surprised me. Very little of my interests had to do with photography and more to do with spirituality, community/volunteering, holistic health/lifestyle, and food. (If you were a FB friend, you wouldn’t be surprised by that last one.) So, I began to look for things in those areas, including possibly going back to school.

“Hope that you fall in love, and it hurts so bad
The only way you can know is give it all you have
And I hope that you don’t suffer but take the pain
Hope when the moment comes, you’ll say…”

I told very few people about my findings, that I was considering going back for an M.A. I told those I knew it would affect — my family members and a few close friends.But, now, here’s where I got a surprise. The folks I thought might be unsupportive (namely some in my family) were completely supportive of the idea, even knowing that I’m financial strapped as it is and going back to school will be an even larger financial burden. But, the bigger surprise was that the one person I thought would be most supportive (because she always has been) got angry at me. Angry. (I repeat that word ‘cuz I’m still baffled by it.)

My Good Friend’s opinion is that I need to take grow up, get a job, any job, and take care of my finances. Now, mind you, I have very few expenses, excellent credit and really want for nothing. I may not have all the “extras,” but I’m grateful for what I have and believe that Source/God/dess (whatever you wanna call It) will provide. And, I’m not silly enough to let myself (or my kid) starve and be homeless because I’m too proud to work at Micky D’s. But, because she has been one of my guides for so long and because I respect her opinion, I began to doubt to myself.

In fact, the doubt grew so strong, it turned into fear; fear that I cannot provide for myself, fear that I won’t be able to get a decent-paying job (her opinion is that I should be an AA because that’s all I can do, even though I’m grossly over-qualified for all AA positions); fear that, as a middle-aged woman, I really have no choices or opportunities left.

Around this same time, my son started to have serious problems his second year in college. His grades started to dip; he can’t shake off feelings of depression; and, he has been ill with one virus or another since the beginning of the year. His words to me (via text) were “idk if classes are the right way to go.” What do you tell your kid when he pretty much says he wants to drop out of school? Ok… now what do you tell your kid, who’s been telling you since sophomore year of high school that he doesn’t like school and how things are taught? I’ve been telling him he needed to “play the game.” But, now he says, “I don’t want to play this game anymore.”

“Hope that you spend your days, but they all add up
And when that sun goes down, hope you raise your cup
Oh, I wish that I could witness all your joy and all your pain
But until my moment comes, I’ll say…”

Then, because my angels and guides speak to me through the internet (maybe), interesting articles began to pop up on my wall and in my feed. One was from a Reddit post by a 40-something man who felt he wasted his life. Another was a compilation of inspiring life lesson quotes by Rumi. (Just click on the links if you want to read them) The author of the Rumi quotes article listed the #2 life lesson as “Your job is to live your life in a way that makes sense to you, not them.” Well, if that didn’t hit me between the eyes!…

What I realized is that is DOESN’T make sense to live in fear, according to somebody’s else’s concept of what should or shouldn’t be and playing society’s game when it’s one you “don’t want to play.”

I’m 46 years old. Yes, my time in the workforce is now limited, but that just means I’m not going to settle for any old job. I’m going to get one that has meaning for me; one in which I can contribute and learn. Or, I’ll get a part-time job and go back to school to learn more stuff. I haven’t decided yet! And, I’ve got at least 40 more years of life to have more adventures and experiences.

As for my son, he’s at the beginning of his life. He, as a young adult, is at his peak, invincible. Why must he go through school the “proper” way? Why not take the time now to explore while he has the energy and is young enough to fail again and again with few consequences? So, as his mom, I’m encouraging him to take a “leave of absence” from school to get his health back on track, figure out what he wants to do and maybe go an adventure of his own.

I’m sure some people read the last two paragraphs and cringed. I know my Good Friend would. But, here’s something else I learned in the past year and a half…. your good friends may love you, but they don’t know what’s best for you. Only you know what’s best for you. I learned to listen to Myself, to trust my inner voice. And, in doing so, I also learned to hear what my son was really saying.

I think, though, that the hardest part in all this was the part I didn’t expect I had to do, which was to let go of my Friend. She was the last in a group of “friends” I recently let go because of their negativity. Don’t get me wrong… I”m not a fountain of positive words and actions all the time myself. But, I started listening to my body when it was telling me that certain people made me feel bad, about myself, about my situation. Being around them made me feel tired, sad, uninspired, and that was not the energy I wanted around myself. I plan to live a fearless life, in the Now, full of possibility,…  that is the sort of energy with which I choose to surround myself…. so that, someday, I can say..

“I, I did it all
I, I did it all
I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places, the things that I did
With every broken bone, I swear I lived

With every broken bone, I swear I lived.
With every broken bone, I swear I…

I, I did it all
I, I did it all
I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places, the things that I did
With every broken bone, I swear I lived.”

 

To Everything there is a Season April 5, 2014

… and a time to every purpose, under Heaven.

Today, I went for a walk. And, there was a very specific purpose for that walk. I walked to a place that is sacred to me, a place where I have, in the past, been able to reflect and find peace during times in my life when I was in inner turmoil. This time was no different. But instead of just sitting there to think and, perhaps, to journal, I needed to bury something; to physically, symbolically cut ties with a certain person who has appeared on this blog numerous times.

Without going into too much detail, I created a little ceremony for myself in order to sever a connection with “Milo” (whom I’ve written of in the past). I took heart-shaped pieces of paper and, on each one, wrote our names and the names of those I feel he and I have been in shared past lives. I tore each piece in two so that the two names would no longer be connected then burned the pile of torn paper while giving thanks to God/dess for the lessons, the love and the connection we have shared and praying for more beneficial relationships in the future that will also lead me to more lessons, love and connection. It was the ashes of the paper I needed to bury to complete my “ceremony.”

As I walked over the footbridge that crossed the lake on my hike in order to get to my sacred place, I remembered the last time I’d walked that path with Milo in mind. At the time, the lake was full, teeming with fish. And, as I looked over it, I saw the ripples in the water and composed a poem:

Karma

What effect has my one pebble
when compared to the ripples made by the wind?

Is God’s hand not greater than mine,
large enough to diminish my careless toss?

waves abound,
made by the stirrings of many

So why does my hand hesitate
to cast my stone far and wide?

Why not make my fleeting mark
upon the vastness of this little lake?

(Frances Marie Reilly – 5.21.10)

Four years later, and I finally felt the change I needed within me. And, as I walked, a heron flew towards me, then stopped at a rock and seemed to point, with its beak, the direction of my path. (Why do I mention this? Google “animal spirits meaning heron”.)

At my special spot, I sat on a rock, closed my eyes and felt the wind, listened to the birds and creek while I prayed for completion, for closure and openness. I gave gratitude for the love, the patience of the Universe (as I felt I’ve lived through this cycle and have had to learn these lessons repeatedly, over eons), and the God-given strength I knew to exist within me. I meditated, listened and felt the energy of the Earth, of the Sky and the Wind, then drank Water to cleanse. Nobody’s ritual but my own, I knew, in my core, this was all necessary. Lastly, I dug a hole near some daisy-like flowers (so fitting, because I have always associated that flower with Milo), and as I filled it, again gave gratitude and put into it the intention of closure, change and growth.

As I walked back from whence I came, I reflected on the lightness I felt in my core. I realized that I was doing something I LOVE. I love to hike. This was a significant realization for me because it was the very thing I have been agonizing over for at least two years. In trying to decide on a career path, the question of “what do you love to do?” often arises, and, to my dismay, I have thought “I don’t really love to do anything.” I have been in a dark place of sadness thinking that I truly felt I had no passions in my life and that, somehow, that made me a lesser person. And, because of this, I would never “make my fleeting mark upon the vastness of this little lake.” But, here I was… just having completed a symbolic act, and at that moment, the sense of lack, of lowered self-worth lifted in some strange way. All because I realized that I love love love walking in nature.

Almost to my car, I stopped to watch a hummingbird, which seemed to stop to watch me. Google “hummingbird spirit animal,” and you’ll find “The hummingbird spirit animal symbolizes the enjoyment of life and lightness of being.” I also love that “this fascinating bird is capable of the most amazing feats despite its small size…” because I’m 4’10”!!

Can you feel my joy through this post?! In one short walk, I managed to let go a Love that no longer served me (a very difficult thing to do indeed), to reclaim that part of my heart so that, with a whole heart, I am open to new Love, to new experiences and lessons. I remembered my powerful Self – that through intention and ceremony (and maybe a bit of magic), I reclaimed, or just recognized, my inner strength and felt my Light and knew Passion.

It is so hard, in one blog post, to really convey everything I took away from my hike. The symbolism of the two animal totems – the heron and the hummingbird – are even more significant if I could tell you my whole story, my life in the present and the truly difficult, but necessary, situation I deal with daily. But, really, we all have those challenges in our lives. We all have the times we can’t figure out who we are, where we need to be, what we need to do. We all have things we need to let go, whether it’s stuff or, with more difficulty, people. And all these things wear us down, day after day, and its challenging to keep the darkness at bay (some times, we don’t even know it’s there) and remain positive through it all.

But, look at what I remembered. We are, each of us, so very strong inside. We were born that way, born with the strength to accept and live through the challenges and lesson Life gives us, and made even stronger by meeting those challenges which, with lessons learned, increase the Light within.

This time that is upon us now is a good time, a good season. I, for one, am looking forward to the new challenges ahead and finding my passions and my strength, my light. For, it is my time, my season, as it is … yours.

A time to build up,a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late

 

Things Left Undone January 3, 2014

I was just reading my last post on “commitment” and, being as it’s the beginning of the new year, the traditional time of the year to make new commitments, I have to take pause – review, rethink.

It’s been over a year since I posted last. I’d written “if we want something bad enough, we make it happen, right? Even if our goals aren’t accomplished the first time around, we keep trying, push past the failure, until we get what we want, or something that is better.” And, I still believe that to be true. But, sometimes, life throws us a curveball, and we have to adapt our swing, change our goals or, at least, the timeline.

“When your life is over and you’re reaching the end,
River of Jordan is around the bend,
Will you be counting all the trophies you won?
Or will you look back on the things left undone?

I was determined, last year, to put my photography business on the road to success. The plan was to implement all my marketing ideas and really start booking shoots and making money in the business. What actually happened the latter half of the year was the complete opposite. First, I lost my largest “client.” The organization decided that they were perfectly happy having me photograph their events for free and, now that we had come to the point where I should be properly compensated for my efforts (even after the many thousands of dollars they’d saved with me as their photographer for the past two years), they happily let me go to “hire” another photographer. I took that event as a positive thing as I had become quite unhappy with our relationship.

….

I started this post last night when I’d written everything above. I was going to go on about how so many things happened to make me re-think my commitment to having a successful photography business, including losing the client, the death of my grandmother (for whose funeral arrangements I was responsible), going to the Philippines (for grandma’s funeral) and getting caught in Super Typhoon Haiyen (Yolanda), and leaving my home in San Diego for extended periods of time in order to help my mother with her businesses (I would drop everything, except anything for my son, to help my mother). How can I possibly continue as a photographer when it seems life is pointing me elsewhere?

I couldn’t quite complete the post because I was so torn as to where it was going. I mean… I make commitments all the time and, when they’re made to others, I will always follow through. But, the promises I make to myself, whether they be in business or personal life, somehow get put on the back burner.

I looked around my home and saw the many, many projects left undone — paintings partially completed and barely begun, books half read (like a mountain of them), even food in the fridge I’d meant to turn into some yummy dish but ended up throwing out because I’d never gotten around to cooking, and it spoiled.

I was in this frame of mind when I’d titled this blog post and found this video with the words that described how I felt last night — the fear of letting another year go with so much left undone.

“Do you regret, Love, all the things left undone?
Do you regret?

Then, this morning, I watched this Ted talk:

It is given by Diana Nyad, a woman who this past year, at the age of 64, completed an epic journey, swimming from Cuba to the U.S.; a journey she began in her 20s.

In the midst of my “rethinking and reviewing” and just going back and forth in my head as to my photography business and all the other half-completed, unfulfilled promises and commitments to myself, I watch this video and some of her words just jump out and touch me:

“Isn’t life about the journey and not the destination?”

Yet, Ms. Nyad does also say, “Of course I want to make it across. It is the goal.” We all want to keep our commitments. We all want to reach our goals. And, as much as I’ve always believed in her first statement and have always considered my journey the reason for my life, I also want that feeling of satisfaction, of completion. I want to end my life (when the time comes) to know that I’ve done and created. 

So, I start today, the third day of January, with more hope that I have enough time to complete my many paintings, to read my many books and to be successful (in my definition of “success”) as a photographer. It took Ms. Nyad forty years to reach her goal. I am only just 45 now myself. There is so much more time, and I’m walking my path on my epic journey at my own pace. I have the time to fail a hundred times over before I can succeed. And, more importantly, I can be forgiving and compassionate with myself, to allow myself that time.

I think, though, that more than Ms. Nyad’s words of commitment, promise and hope to “never, ever give up” are her very wise words that:

“Every day of our lives is epic.”

 

I Won’t Give Up on Us March 15, 2012

“… even if the skies get rough..”  — Jason Mraz

In the last year or more, the theme of things ending has been re-occurring…  the end of relationships, the end of the world, the of end times…

I know a group of people who are preparing for the apocalypse (or, at least that’s what it seems like they’re doing); making sure they have stockpiles of food, know how to defend themselves when anarchy hits, have everything they need in the event society breaks down. I guess this is an extreme form of emergency preparedness. I find it, though practical, to be a bit sad.

I must be the kind of person who has unconditional HOPE … “to expect with confidence,” as defined by Merriem-Webster. I expect that society will progress to become more civilized, not less. And, I am confident that, despite the many setbacks (and crazy proposals the Republican party currently seems to espouse — yes, I went there.. to the political) our society continually seems to undergo, we will.. as a community, as a nation, as a civilization.. grow.

“I don’t wanna be someone who walks away so easily
I’m here to stay and make the difference that I can make…”

I know a man who should be Lightworker. (Well, I guess we are all lightworkers according to Lightworkers.org .)  He believes, like the group mentioned above, that there is Darkness on the horizon; that our society is in a spiritual war, and the dark is winning, at the moment. I agree with him … I agree there has been a spiritual, energy war happening, but I believe that the Light is winning. I can feel it in my bones, in my dreams and in my very Being.

But, I might just be the kind of person who has unconditional FAITH … in God/Goddess, the Universe, whatever you wanna call it, that all is happening as it should and all will be right in this world. Merriem-Webster’s definition is: “something that is believed especially with strong conviction;  belief and trust in and loyalty to God.” It also considers the word “trust” synonymous with “hope,” with the additional qualifer of “dependence on something future.” Yes… I completely depend on the future turning out wonderfully. I insist upon it. I completely believe and trust everything, everyone will become amazing.  I am looking forward to it. And, I will do my part to ensure that it happens by spreading my joy, my light, as much as I can to all around me.

“Our differences they do a lot to teach us how to use
The tools and gifts we got yeah, we got a lot at stake…”

This same man I just mentioned also happen to be my Twin Soul (aka, twin flame, something a bit more than just a soulmate). Because of many misunderstandings, he and I cannot be friends at this time. It makes me sad, but it is where we both need to be at this time. And, the very concept of having a Twin says that he and I are learning, growing, progressing in the same direction, together (even while we’re physically apart). That, alone, is exciting. But since we have this awkwardness, and strange energy, between us, a few of  my friends have suggested I give up on him, forget him.

But, I know I am absolutely the kind of person who can LOVE unconditionally … no strings, no expectations, no desire for benefit…  just… Love.

“unconditional: not conditional or limited (M-W.com)”  There is no limit to what I feel for this man, as there is no limit for my love for my son, my family and my friends. I will be there for him, for them, when they need me. There is also no limit on how much I will keep my Hope and Trust that our world and humanity will rise to what it is meant to become — the very best. I will not, cannot, stop loving and showing love no matter how dark and scary and depressing things seem, with either my Twin or the world or what have you. Because..  as I have learned.. this is simply who I am.

“And in the end, you’re still my friend at least we did intend
For us to work we didn’t break, we didn’t burn
We had to learn how to bend without the world caving in
I had to learn what I’ve got, and what I’m not
And who I am

I won’t give up on us (no I’m not giving up)
God knows I’m tough, he knows (I am tough, I am loved)
We’ve got a lot to learn (we’re alive, we are loved)
God knows we’re worth it (and we’re worth it)

I won’t give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I’m giving you all my love
I’m still looking up”

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hey soul sister… May 21, 2010

You see, I can be myself now finally
in fact there’s nothing I can’t be
I want the world to see you’ll be with me…

… Hey Soul Sister
I don’t wanna miss a single thing you do
tonight
— “Hey Soul Sister”, Train

A few weeks ago, I started getting to know a man I’d met last Fall. We’d only said “hi” in passing at the martial arts studio my kid attends. But, God only knows how or why, we’d started texting; about the studio stuff at first, then more esoteric stuff. I guess it happened when I put myself out there and texted something to the effect of “I’ve known you before.”

About a week before that text, I was talking to another martial artist at the studio. He was telling me that he and his partner are soul mates, and in his beliefs (Judaism), God splits a soul in two, puts each half into two persons who are destined to meet in this life and complete each other. A neat and tidy understanding of soul mates. From my end, I was not surprised when my text friend answered that he knew, as much as any man could know anything, that we have known each other before.

My understanding of soul mates is not typical. First, I don’t believe that you can have just one — because, frankly, I believe Love to be boundless since God is boundless. And, my understanding of soul mates is atypical in that I believe those connections are created over Time, through several lifetimes. (Mind you, I wasn’t raised to believe in past lives, but only a dozen years ago learned the truth of them.) I have a high school friend who is one of my soul mates. She and I went to a psychic fair 12 years ago and decided to talk to a past-life psychic on a lark (neither of us believed in past lives). The psychic told us details of one life we shared together, when she and I were mates/lovers. Other people in our current life were also there. My friend and I looked at each other, both a little freaked, and knew, just knew, that what this woman was saying was true. My friend and I are soul mates. And, somehow, we knew that instinctively from the moment we started hanging out. We have a strange connection, perhaps some would call a deep friendship, so that no matter how many years have passed, it’s as if we’ve never been apart when we do re-connect. And, we are very attuned to each others feelings when we are together. Makes things between us… easy, synchronistic, effortless. It was through our past lives together that we developed this friendship.

I’ve come to learn, over the past couple of weeks, that when you refer to someone as your “soul mate,” there is a romantic, intimate connotation. This saddens me because I’ve been referring to my new friend as a soul mate though I know that, in past lives, we were not romantically connected — just playmates. I think I’ve caused a bit of ruckus in telling other friends about him, though I’ve made clear that I’m not interested in a romantic involvement with him at this time. Besides, he currently has a girlfriend, and having recently been on the “innocent party” end of an affair, I cannot bring myself to play the role of “other woman” — not now, not ever.

It also saddens me that society’s understanding of Love is so limited. I have been, for two weeks, trying to figure out a way that I can be friends with this man without that friendship hurting anyone. Here’s the thing with my soul friend (I’m dropping the “mate” because of those stupid connotations) — we seem to have a connection that defies explanation, logic. With intent, we are able to pass energy to each other. Draw from whatever belief system you prescribe to — that energy.. it’s Love. In the presence of this man, my spirit calms, I am aware of everything around me, I am present, and when I feel his energy, I feel bliss. There is nothing romantic or sexual going on. There is just joy. In the words of a spiritual person, I am in God’s Love. How can that be a bad thing?

It became a bad thing when one of my closest friends sobbed in my ear last night, as I was telling her of my feeling for this man, that I am having an emotional affair and how could I do that? She divorced her husband of 20 yrs because he loved another woman though he never had a physical relationship with her. And, she reminded me that I was more hurt by my Ex falling in love with another and not-so-much that he had sex with her.

But, this morning, I can’t help but think that those hurts had more to do with the agreements between the parties. My agreement with my Ex was one of monogamy; an agreement he broke without my knowledge. And, for me, the pain wasn’t so much that he could fall in love with someone else — after all, Love is boundless –but that he kept the truth from me; kept it all a secret. I’d like to think that I would’ve been understanding if he’d come to me and let me know of his growing feelings for this other woman. Then, we could’ve changed our agreement. It was the pain of all the lies (those of you who’ve read this blog know that more lies came to light eventually) and his inability to be completely truthful that led to our break-up.

So, last night, out of perhaps undue influence of my friend’s tears, I sent my soul friend some text messages that … were mostly not my own words. I had forgotten, in the cloud of tears, my Truth, my understanding of Love and friendship and told him we could not be friends. I could not separate the emotions and the limited understanding of those around me from what I know, in my heart, to be truth — that …

We are all capable of incredible, boundless, limitless Love. That we are all soul friends to each other. That we are all connected through this Universal Energy some would call God. And, in these connections, there is bliss, compassion, awareness … all those things that our religious leaders, mystics and saints preach, pray for and hope for.

But, it is up to each Individual to accept this concept. And, it’s up to each and every one of us to strive for it, fight for it, desire it … as an outcome for our civilization.

If, because of my hasty words my Soul Friend, I never connect with you again in this lifetime, then please know that I am grateful for the lessons you taught me these few weeks; for the knowledge that I can live in bliss because the joy is inside me, and you showed it to me. Thank you. And, to You and all my other Soul Friends — I send you Love.

 

blue skies…smiling at meeee…. December 30, 2009

..nothing but blue skies
do I see….

When I started this blog, it was all about emotion — raw emotion — and an outlet for it. I’ve since done a ton of reading, had many appointments with three different psychologists (gotta shop around for the one who fits) and taken up, among other things, meditation.

What I have learned with all this is that emotion does not serve a person well. It clouds your judgement so that you cannot make decisions well. And,… it’s usually so cloudy that you can’t see the blue skies behind all the bad internal weather, and there always are blue skies.

I read a quote recently that said something like “A breakup is the Universe’s way of telling you that you deserve better.” And, yeah, I’m sure it goes both ways. ‘Cuz even if I convinced myself that my Ex was perfect for me in so many ways, and I for him, there was still something there that was not quite right — not for either of us. Otherwise, things wouldn’t have gone done the way they did. So, once you go through all the darkness and pain, all the rain of teardrops, the thunderstorms of emotions.. what’s left? I think if you’ve ever been through a thunderstorm, you know.

As my clouds clear away, the skies are looking pretty bright and clear. Clarity has come to me by way of a new perception, a different way of living and looking… and … being.

There are no more woulda, shoulda, couldas. And, no more regrets of what the future might have been. Instead, I’m learning to live in the present, be grateful and joyful of my life as it is Now. And, I’m learning to take personal responsibility for my current situation, knowing that I am where I am in my life because of choices I have made in the past — none of it wrong. It just… IS.

I’d told myself that, in this blog, I’d include the resources I’ve come by that have helped me in this process. One of the things I’ve been learning about is (Zen) Buddhism. Here’s a great website that explains it: http://www.zenguide.com

 

I am Woman, hear me roar December 6, 2009

Last night, I went to a good acquaintance’s house (I think she and I need to hang out more to be considered friends). Four of us women: two of us recently split, two happily married for over 16 years.

The divorcee and I are good friends. She has really been there for me since the beginning of the end of my relationship. She herself asked for a divorce from her spouse over a year ago, when she finally decided that she could no longer live a life that clashed with her principles. Her husband had been having emotional affairs the entire 20 years of their marriage. It was supposedly “ok” because they had never been taken to the physical level.

The other two women were spouse-less for the evening. One told us of how she and her husband got to know each other as pen-pals before he went to Hungary to meet, then propose to, her. A true love story. The other woman made mention, during certain points of the conversation, of how she was now digging herself out of her self-constructed hole. She had lost her home in San Diego’s Witch Creek fire two years ago, and we sat there in her freshly constructed, newly decorated replacement dream home. She had needed the quiet time of self-imposed reclusiveness to … well, recover, I suppose.

It was an evening taken out of a movie — a “girls’ night in” evening in which the characters got insights into each others’ lives and caught glimpses of each others’ true selves. And, as I watched our scene and listened to the stories, a feeling of immense gratitude came over me. Here I sat with three amazingly strong women. Each incredibly courageous in her own way: in rebuilding a life for her and her family, in pursuing a new life in a new land, in leaving a life that was emotionally destructive.

I briefly wondered how it was that these women came into my life, at this time, when I needed to remember the equally strong and courageous woman I have been in the past. But, I know in my heart, God/the Universe/Source…whatever you wanna call the Almighty Being that connects us…has reason for everything. People come and go in our lives to teach us and support us. And, we are in their lives as teachers, too, whether or not we know it.

And,… I feel grateful.

As a side note on resources and the concept of people in our lives for a reason, you can google “soul contracts.” Also, a book I recommend in a previous post is Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential by Caroline Myss.