STORMS AND CHANGES

stormy seaSo we chose an interesting day to move: February 14th It was one of the windiest, wettest days of the year, Valentines day and a full moon.

We were up early collecting the Luton Van and I was so grateful that Robby has 9 years of trucking around Europe under his belt and despite the force gales winds that blew us across the road at times I felt safe. As it turned out the biggest challenge was off loading everything. The loading went well, we were organised and methodical and everything fitted nicely into the van. We drove down the motorway carefully, on soaked roads, strong winds and views that just kept showing us field and fields of water: a changing landscape that felt unfamiliar and surreal. Britain has become not just a land surrounded by water, but one half drowning in it.

Not having a permanent home yet, everything was going into storage. When we arrived our storage container was small and it was raining heavily with howling winds. Trying to arrange all the boxes and bits of furniture in such a small space required putting some outside for a while. The rain slowed down a bit at first, but then suddenly a huge downpour being blown right into the container meant we had to speed up and just pile everything in. But despite our best efforts many things got very wet and we had to leave it all squeezed in and damp. I could see some of the wood already stained with rain. On the next dry day we will return to check the damage, but it didn’t look good.

It was frustrating and at one point I screamed out into the rain. All these years of making do, not feeling I deserved better, putting my son’s needs first welled up as I felt what I had done to myself, how little I allowed myself. In these momenst there also follows a surrender: that furniture is just stuff and on the face of it, much of what I have represents settling for cheap or “make-do” bits and pieces. The wardrobe I had, fell apart in the rain and then I realised I didn’t even really like it, but it had been second hand, cheap and convenient at the time. It was, like much of what I have not something I loved or represented me.

Also, this was Robby and I’s first real move together. He had moved into my rented house in Somerset when we first got together. This move means we choose a home together and in the future we plan to replace some of things we have lost, with things that we really love. Things that represent a higher view of ourselves, an growing level of self care and love. This is not about selfishness, it is about self-value: about  knowing we deserve a warm, comfortable home that expresses us and our personalities and creativity. It is not about the money spent but the value we put on ourselves whether we spend £1 or £100. So in this we feel the gifts in all that occurs with our move.

The full moon is about letting go of the old so it is totally right we may have lost much of the old here: the physical losses being symbolic of letting go of old false beliefs about ourselves. We are moving out of a comfort zones we created to feel safe, but that were also imprisoning. We are choosing to start afresh, to set down roots, to face fears in the process. The last few weeks have been very challenging, money has been tight, but then sudden unexpected help has popped up and we have enough, which right now feels abundant. We have felt vulnerable, but I also notice we are feeling our desires, and we want to play. Our new place offers the sea, wild moors, forests to explore and all the activities offered there from kayaking to rock climbing, to sailing. Who knows what we do in our playtime, but it feels it is about time. Too many years of not noticing ourselves knocked on the head.

It happening in the middle of a storm actually feels quite right as strong winds literally blow the cobwebs away and heavy rain washes away the old, creating the new. In fact driving down to Devon, on my first small truck ride, battling the winds together with a man I love more and more seemed the most romantic Valentines day ever.

So here we are two minutes from the ocean, scared, unsure, but excited, feeling blessed and guided all in one breath. Sometimes change is good, no matter how stormy it feels at times. Our feeling is this change is really good, really good. At long last we choose differently, believe differently and trust differently and together loving differently.

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MOVING OUT, MOVING ON….

ImageMoving house is always interesting. Moving house on a tiny budget with a minimum income is another experience. We have three more days in our current house, which is being sold by the landlady because she has to financially. It is not a tragedy to leave this house, we were ready to go and the need for her to sell was the gentle kick we needed. This house has served its time, as have many houses for me. Before we even knew each other, Robby and I had both moved many, many times.

Mine started as a child: we moved frequently. I was used to forming friendships and then saying goodbye and never seeing them again. It happened many times. Part of my childhood was spent in an area of the country full of Royal Airforce bases. My class at school was full of kids who had also moved frequently. The difference was I was the only one without a dad who was a pilot or an aircraft engineer. Getting used to it was one thing, liking it another.We didn’t get asked how we felt, we just moved.

This nomadic, unsettled life seemed to infuse my being as I have continued to move around as an adult: restless, seeking, making choices – sometimes good, sometimes bad. It is as though I have never given myself permission to put down roots. Putting down roots is what happens to other people. However, this time, I have been tuning in to myself more: feeling the variety of emotions, moving again has brought me. Having so little money to move with has made both of us feel very vulnerable and triggered fears about feeling safe in the world. We haven’t even found a home yet so we are faced with the unknown and the likelihood of another temporary place. Anxiety about money, accommodation, being judged for not having money, not being able to provide the basics of life for ourselves. It has helped us reflect on the level of self- love, or rather the level of lack of self love we have indicated by not creating enough to have a secure roof over our heads.

This lack of self love and self worth, the past feelings of “being undeserving” to have a home, to have a place we love, that expresses us as individuals has been a huge reflection, a sad and fearful place. I have looked around at my things as I have been packing and clearing. Much of it is furniture I bought because it was cheap, not because I found it beautiful. There are only a few splashes of “me” and fewer of Robby. I have most things I need, but it is a story of “making do.” Ironically, last year I fought a battle in court for my son, who has special needs, to get him into a great college. I didn’t want him to go to the local college whose standards for young people with special needs was adequate. Like many parents, I knew my son deserved better than adequate, he deserved the best for himself, the greatest opportunity to learn and grow into an independent adult. But for myself, I have accepted “adequate” without question. Why? Somewhere down the line, of course, that is what I was told as a child. But I am not a child anymore, and regardless of any false beliefs or messages given to me back then, I can make a choice. It is much the same for Robby.

So this time, we choose differently. In allowing ourselves to feel all the fears and truths in this move, it has created a deep desire to change what we have: to create an abundant life and take steps to create a home we will love. It is time to put down roots: to put together a home, brick by brick ( or straw bale by straw bale is our dream). We have chosen a beautiful part of the UK and that is a good start. Devon has things I love: stunning coastline, wild moors, wild, natural rivers, pretty rolling hills and woodland.

We do not how yet, we do not even know where exactly, but we do know it is time to use our will in a loving way for ourselves. Being truthful about all the fears and pain of being in this situation has empowered us to change our perspective on what we can do and given us more focus and determination than ever. We are still pretty scared, but feeling the fear is not the same as letting the fear dictate your every move. Fear it just there existing anyway, but acting despite of it, is what helps it go. Feeling any grief over how we got here too has been important and something new for us to really acknowledge. Feelings just need to be felt, but it doesn’t mean they have to stop you from making changes and choosing to be responsible for yourself. In fact, in my experience the denial is what has held me back. It can feel terrible for while, but the truth really does set you free.

But the best thing is, the truth we have realised is: we deserve this.

 

 

The Abandonment Punch

Image“For far too long we have been seduced into walking a path that did not lead us to ourselves. For far too long we have said yes when we wanted to say no. And for far too long we have said no when we desperately wanted to say yes. . . . When we don’t listen to our intuition, we abandon our souls. And we abandon our souls because we are afraid if we don’t, others will abandon us.”
Terry Tempest Williams, When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice

I was looking at the word abandonment because I have been feeling the emotions in me, what it has meant to me. I like words and I am sometimes interested in where they come from, I break them down. This is what I saw: abandonment; ‘A -Band -On -Me.’ Then it made sense. A band on me… a band, as in a restricting, uncomfortable , sometimes suffocating band on me.

Abandonment: one of the biggest wounds in humanity which plays out and permeates our lives. It runs deep, it runs wide, it takes many forms. It is not just about the day our father left the house and never returned. The chances are he probably “left” emotionally and mentally even before he packed his suitcase.

A child feels every moment of abandonment like a punch to the chest. And currently every child is likely to experience it at some point during their childhood. It happens every time a parent is angry or in fear. For some this is infrequent and is not very damaging especially if that parent is normally very loving and recognises the emotional needs of that child, and allows that child to express its anger or grief about what has occurred. But for many of us, there is chronic abandonment: an emotionally unavailable parent or parents (whether physically present or not). These parents often or completely shut us down every time we try to express our own emotions: they can not handle or do not want to feel their own painful or negative emotions so they can not or will not deal with ours. Even though we are often the perfect reflection of their own unhealed emotions.

This emotional abandonment leaves most children in a void of not knowing: not knowing if they are loved, or who they are. John Bradshaw says it as it is:

“Since the earliest period of our life was preverbal, everything depended on emotional interaction. Without someone to reflect our emotions, we had no way of knowing who we were.”  ( from Healing the Shame within you)

The messages are:  “I can’t love you;” “you are unlovable;” “you are not enough;” “I wish you hadn’t been born;” “it’s your fault I am like this” and so forth. For a young soul, new to the world these messages are felt even before they are spoken in some way. For a young soul, trying to find out who she is it can slow down or even put a halt to that discovery. She just becomes all the false beliefs and messages she is told. She will grow to believe she is worthless, unloved and unlovable and she trusts no-one, mostly with an expectation they may “leave.” This belief affects every decision, every action and every relationship, most importantly and including the one with him/herself. It can lead to a cycle of self punishment that is just normal for him/ her. It is not always obvious to the world around her as so many live in this cycle it is normal and we choose to close our eyes to what is happening in us and around us.

How many of our young people struggle to find meaning in their life? How many are obsessed with celebrity lives, feeling that is the answer to their own emptiness? How many think alcohol is the only way to feel free, to live without abandon? When really it is just a way we use to not feel the pain of abandonment. For years I used food as my main source of self punishment: sometimes to feel in control of life, of my emotions, by starvation and other times.whilst I binged, as a numbing drug: a pushing down of the pain. I unconsciously suppressed my feelings in  many other forms during the dance of low self-worth.

And sometimes I still do: I yell at the man I love. Inside little me is screaming, in panic, “He is going to leave me, he can’t really love me.” The difference now, thank God, is that I know its there, and I am peeling back the layers of my anger, fear and grief that abandonment brought me. I am easing the “band-on-me.” Denial will not do this, pretending everything is ok will not release this band. We have to be prepared to FEEL it. Not forever, just long enough to release it. Just enough to set us free. Feeling it will not destroy us. If we consciously just give ourselves permission to feel, when we do, when we let it exist and let it out of our soul, then we start to find out who we truly are: then we discover we are much more than we ever knew and certainly much more than what we have been told.

There is so much fear in this world just from this wound. If we want to change this world we need to be willing to feel the truth. Generations of parents are hurting generations of children from not acknowledging the truth of their patterns or their life, by denying their wounded emotions. This cycle has gone on for thousands of years. It is time to try something different: to break the chain. Let us be brave, let us surrender to our emotions with sincerity, without projection and blame. Just purely to know ourselves and to know Love: real love.

LET’S MEET BOB…..

So today I thought I would introduce you to Bob.

Bob is this guy I know. He is such a lovely man, but a bit misunderstood. I have known Bob on and off all my life and to honest sometimes I really didn’t want to hang out with him much because of what other people told me about him. Some said he was cold and distant and impossible to talk to. In fact he was supposed to have this weird system in place where you could only get a message to him via his cronies and front men, who always seem to be wearing black, like a lot of gangsters I guess. Others said it was easier just to talk to his son, who was far less scary ( maybe it was because he used to wear a dress?!) Anyway who knows , but Bob didn’t sound good.

The other comments I heard was that Bob was a really angry person. There were rumours he had even killed people, and ordered others to so the same on his behalF, that he thought women were pretty much second to men and that he really hated gay people (those two things really bugged me, I must say). He seemed to have a lot of power and was often throwing his weight around, making judgements on people, expecting everyone to be perfect. I got so scared I decided to not get involved, put anything to do with him to the back of my mind and didn’t think about him for years and certainly didn’t want to talk to him.

Then a few years ago I started to make friends with some new people and I heard Bob’s name mentioned. To be honest, I got a bit freaked out. Where was he? I was already judgmental enough on myself I really didn’t need some no-it-all telling me how awful I was or trying to boss me around. Some of these friends seemed to think Bob was ok, but I was resistant. What about all the things I had been told? It had made me very nervous and I still struggled to hear his name and speak it. Bit of a Voldemort/ He-who-can-not-be-named moment, but that was how it felt: my fear had got so big.

But the more I hung out with my friends, the more I listened, the more good things I started to hear about Bob. Turned out maybe I had been told a few lies. Seems he really was a good guy. Turns out a lot of those who were his supposed to be his cronies were just saying that to gain for themselves, from pretending to know Bob. Others told me that things had even been written about Bob which were so far from the truth it was shocking. In fact, rather than being a murderer, he encouraged us never to harm another, to only try to love more. He seemed to care a lot for everyone and did in fact have an open door policy if anyone wanted to talk. I was told he was always there, ready to help.

I must admit, it took me time to change my view because bossy Bob, nasty Bob was suddenly the nicest guy out there. So at first I was curious, I listened and watched. Then one day I decided to check Bob out. I thought he might be too busy, but it turns out the open door policy was right and it seemed no  matter how many went to see him, he was always there just for them. Well, my first conversations with him were a bit shaky. I had to admit to him I was pretty scared. When I told him how cross I had felt when I heard what a bigot he was, he laughed and then looked at me in such a way, I felt like I was surrounded in warmth.It was a it weird, but ok. There were times when I still forgot about Bob, but then I would remember and talk to him. He was always welcoming, even when I was in a bad mood and hadn’t seen him for a while.

But now, now I know him better, I talk to him most days and as often as I can. He is such a wonderful person. He has this wonderful father energy about him, but a perfect one, even better than Dick Van Dyke: so funny and patient. I am getting to like him more and more.  I also found out sometimes Bob likes to be called Melissa. Its quirky, but I don’t mind. He (or she) is so generous, so encouraging, so kind, so accepting it really doesn’t matter. In fact, you just don’t care because when you are with him you just know he is really interested in you, he really seems to care. He is not the angry, judgmental person I was told he was for all those years. Far from it, he is the most loving and non-judgmental person ever.

All this just goes to show you should never judge another person by what others say, but try to get to know them yourself. Give them a chance and you never know what amazing things can happen to you or what wonderful gains you will receive.

And I know Bob would like to meet you, so don’t be nervous, just pop round, he loves visitors. Good ole Bob… I just love him. ImageArtwork by Murphy Art

 

 

 

True Tears Come

ImageIt always amazes me how deep our grief goes. For many of us we don’t even know how much grief, how much sadness we hold inside us. We live, we breath, we move through life, but we age, we have times of depression, of struggle, of illness, of feeling something isn’t quite ok, but we often can’t  name it. We are often encouraged to let the past go, to live in the now, plan for the future but our bodies, our minds, and actions tell us if this is working..or not.

But its not so much us holding onto the past, it is just that the past holds onto us when we haven’t admitted the truth of it. It’s not so much about the stories even: there are so many sad stories, so much loss in many peoples lives. It IS about locking up all that grief, all those fears; it is about how much we are encouraged to “not cry” as children; how we are taught to control ourselves; to convince others and then ourselves we feel better, we feel ok.

The truth is, for  many of us, we can believe we “got over it”, but we haven’t. How do we know? Because all through the rest of our lives that unhealed, unfelt pain impacts us. We play out the hurt in our daily lives and our relationship with ourselves and with others. My father left when I was about 4 years old. I met him a couple of times as an adult and each time it didn’t work out. He just couldn’t do it. Now you could say, come on you hardly knew him, let it go, forgive and forget. I thought I had many times, but the truth is I never cried when he left, even though I remember him walking down the pathway to his car, I never cried. I remember feeling scared, but I never cried. Over the years, I thought about him, sometimes longed for him, dreamed he loved me – somewhere out there. And when that failed, I imagined my dad to be like Dick Van Dyck in Chitty Chitty Bang; a little self absorbed, but ultimately loving his children beyond anything else.

I was never someone’s “special girl” and I thought I had eventually accepted it. The truth was I had just numbed myself to the pain of losing him, of feeling and being unloved by my parent, of never feeling good enough to be loved. The truth is I have played out my deep fear of abandonment in every relationship: trusting no-one really, waiting for them to discover I just wasn’t lovable. I tried to be in control, end things before they did. My lack of self love took me into relationships I never should have had. LIke many women I mistook someone desiring me as love or completely convinced myself I was better on my own. And I was in complete denial of my anger towards my father for walking out that day and never coming back.

Robby will tell you as he has had to live with me trying to play this one out again. The difference is this time we are both trying to heal this type of grief completely from our soul. We have been praying for and slowly seeing the truth. Robby has been there whilst I finally admitted how angry I have been at men. I have been there as he also discovered how the pain from his own upbringing started to shift. Our fears have been jumping up one after the other. We never knew we had so many.

In the past I have tried many ways to heal: therapy, healing, workshops, positive thinking, EFT, yoga, affirmations etc. They helped, but nothing like what I have discovered in the last two years. These days I just pray, from my heart with a desire, a feeling. ask for God’s love to help me.This is how it works: you pray and the Law of Attraction brings you something to trigger the grief. (It can take more than a few goes if your pretty locked down) .

Tonight, for me, it was something as simple as a movie: The Last Song. A movie about a daughter and her estranged father. Over the course of the summer they heal their relationship and it was as I watching them, and feeling his real love for her, it really hit me that I had no memory of any father – daughter moments. That my father just couldn’t do it, that he didn’t love me for who I was, in fact didn’t love me at all as far as I could tell. The tears came and came, and then I realised it was not a personal reflection on me as a person. Gosh I was a child. It wasn’t me, he just couldn’t go there. I cried for not having a father, but I really cried for all the times I had felt small and unlovable and it had stopped me following my dreams. And I had many dreams and wanted many adventures. But my inner pain and the feelings of inadequacy it created, stopped me. Letting out that pain, crying tears of real grief are what reveals these truths. When we hit the real grief, the causal pain and release it we feel lighter and brighter. It is truly a weight off your heart.

It is correct that Truth can set you free, but real Truth also needs Love, unconditional Love, God’s Love. Truth is the key and Love is the hand that turns it.