Stay Awake

I am always amazed at how different life feels when I am awake and conscious. 

 

I remember the day pretty well. I was three years old, sitting in front of the TV watching Grizzly Adams, pretty much unaware of the circumstances.  My father picked me up sobbing as he said goodbye. I cried too but did not understand why. I can see him standing in the door watching us drive away. Oh how he must have broken. He knew, but I did not that my life would never be the same as it had been growing up under his roof—whole. 

This is a chapter of one of my beautiful disasters.

Now, my oldest son lives right down the street from where I moved that day. I have always had a somewhat negative view of that townhouse—probably because it was the place where I eventually started to go to sleep unconsciously. Julian and Grace moved 2 weeks ago into their very first apartment. How exciting this is for them!

As I drove into the complex, I felt like something came full circle the moment I passed that townhouse and pulled into his driveway. A place that once meant sorrow now brings me joy. A gap in space that once meant an end now signifies a beginning. I am so thankful God is in the waiting game and wants to patch things up. Of all the places they could have moved, they moved to the very site of my 3-year-old beautiful disaster development.

Bigger picture still: Julian’s dad and I divorced when he was 3. That was the moment of my full blown sleeping pinnacle. The moment where my unconscious pain took over, and I changed his life forever. I did to my son exactly what my mother did to me. Something I swore I would never do.

Although I am awake now, it doesn’t change all the suffering. I want my son to know how very sorry I am for all he suffered with the divorce. Your dad and I truly believed if we just loved you enough you would be okay.  You’re on your own journey to awaken and I will be forever here for you. Suffering eventually will bring you to conscious truth. You brought me back to the apartment complex and I honor your allowing me to see the truth and bury the lie.

It’s time we all bury the lies and see the truth. You can’t live in the past or future and see the truth. The only truth is the present moment.

It is very hard to stay awake after a certain age. Past 5, you start burying yourself and go to sleep. It’s easier that way as you have not acquired the skill of mastering pain. Your tiny self figures out a way not to hurt and that works for a while—often a long while—but eventually you need more to stay asleep. Drugs, alcohol, food, sex. I chose alcohol. It wasn’t on purpose at first. I didn’t realize drinking would mute the thoughts in my head, and the pain in my heart. At 12, I attended a Greek wedding where wine flowed freely. One sip lead to many and culminated in my vomiting all over my new mauve carpeting.

That became my pattern. Drink till I threw up. Cry. Pass out. Pretty standard. This blog is not about what you use to bury your pain. It could be anything! Even loving your children to the point that you’re asleep to your own destiny. We all have something that keeps us asleep for as long as it takes for us not to feel pain.

I used alcohol for a long time.  I don’t anymore—at least not to stay unconscious.

When you’re little and in pain, you don’t have the skills to navigate through it alone. It’s time to stop beating yourself up for the shit you have done. You did what you had to do to survive at the time.

A lot of us blame the people who were supposed to protect us. But they couldn’t because they were asleep themselves, trapped in a delusion and completely unaware.

It’s a cycle.  Sleeping through life to avoid pain, then bringing kids into the world. Because you’re asleep, you raise kids to use the same skill set to sleep through their own life. No wonder so many people are addicts. We have so many things available to numb our pain and keep us asleep.

Are you an addict if you can’t get through the day without chocolate or Pepsi? Yes. You can dress your addiction up in pretty clothes, call it whatever you want, but if you are honest with yourself, whether a person or a substance controls you, you’re an addict. Sure you might not be in jail or getting revived by Narcan like some heroin addcts, but guess what: You are no further ahead. A heroin addict might have a better chance actually to awaken due to physical and legal ramifications.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to sleep anymore. In fact, I am on a witch hunt for truth. I will let my trapped soul out no matter what the cost. Learning to stay present and conscious is painful, but it is the only true way out of “pain.”  Remember the saying, “the only way out it through?”  It’s true. 

God will use whatever it takes to wake you up. Most western culture is taught to conquer suffering. We don’t like the suffering so we push it away, numb it, mask it. I get it. I still do it. The moment something feels uncomfortable I try to kill it.  Some eastern cultures teach you to embrace the suffering and live in the now. Suffering is sticky, but next time something gets you, don’t run from it or numb it, stay in it. Let it have its way with you. Cry, get mad, scream, do whatever you want, just FEEL IT. Stop pushing it away. It will just keep coming back and haunting you until it teaches you what you came to learn. Wake to the lessons suffering has for you. Every time I have suffered I have grown and so will you.

Rebirth like an Eagle

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXTrWPvP0iQ

 

I recommend you watch the link above before you read this post.

I feel like the rebirth of the eagle is not just an act of nature but an obviously life happening of which we could all live by. I am 43.  I am going to be truthful something really did change when I turned 40. Kind of similar to the eagle. My body,hair,skin,mind and thoughts, they all changed.  You look into the mirror one day, notice a few wrinkles, cellulite and a whole lot of sagging. In my personal mirror, I see bags and dark circles. They are unwanted friends. None the less they are present. I tend to wish a lot about my past especially in this area. I wish I was 20 again but to be honest only for my youth and collagen not my mind or wisdom. I started spinning again the first week of January. It’s been amazing. It has helped me not slip into depression in the winter, shed a few pounds. The most important aspect of Black Box spinning gym is the instructors.  The philosophy they hold and the impact they make. It’s not just spinning….. its spiritual. I mean practically every time I spin, I shed a tear. I know this sounds strange but while training on a bike or really any sport that you are pushing yourself, you have some choices to make. Understand that either choice is the right one. You can set back chill or you can fight sweat,cry, push and spin. I feel as while I climb the hills, I am climbing life’s problems. You know the times when you are climbing (fighting) for your family and you want to quit and pull off a few gears because it burns? I don’t know why but climbing to me is such a challenge it reminds me of fighting for my oldest son. Through many many obstacles in his life. I hope he knows that even though he is out of the house, I may be silent and not say much these days but I am battling the enemy in prayer. On those hills, I am kicking the enemy’s butt. I won’t let him win!!!!!!! Chris Russo is a spin instructor at Black Box and though she is an instructor. Although I don’t know her well, I can tell you she is much much more that a spin instructor. She is packed full of wisdom. Full of god and the holy spirit shines through her. I can see it. She talks while she teaches, which in itself is a feat. I can barely count little alone talk. So, props to Chris she is amazing. One Monday she shared the story of the eagle. The eagle at the age 40 has to decide if it wants to die or live another 30 years. The eagle must fly to a mountain top and fight through the pain of banging his beak off, wait for a new one to sprout. Next he must pull out his talons and grow new ones. Finally, he must pluck out feathers that are thick and heavy. Are you for real? I am pretty sure 99 percent of all Americans would die at 40 years old. Would you pluck off all your skin or pound your nose till it was a bloody stump?  How about pulling your nails off?  Pure torture. Straight up served on a ugly platter. My first response was no but as I started to really think about it I realized although we don’t have the extreme physical rebirth the eagle does, we do hold the same choice in our spirit and mind. I could give you personal examples of cancer, divorce, heavy metal poisoned child, alcohol abuse, anxiety, depression, eating disorder, Adhd diagnosis, death, emotional and physical abuse and that is just my family. Tragedy is everywhere. It does not discriminate. It does not have boundaries and it will eat anyone alive what thinks they are exempt. One of my dearest friends lost a child after a battle of cancer. She did not pass on because of cancer. She past on from a systemic yeast infection that the doctors missed. Her Mother tried tell them,  of which no one would listen to her. Side note here if your a medical professional and a mother tells you something is wrong with her child YOU NEED TO LISTEN.  Please allow me pause here and give my deepest sympathies to my dear friend and her precious family. I am pretty sure losing a child is the worst most devastating thing a mother can live through.  I have only known her for 3  years but maybe 8 years go my husband came home from work one day. He told me the story of this little girl and her family.  Trevor  said” Melissa we have to pray for her.” So, we prayed.  I can remember crying for my friend. How she must have been hurting. I did not know her then but I sure do now. This was a bond that linked our hearts long before I ever laid eyes on her. I will never forget when I realized she was the mama and baby I prayed for. We actually both cried in the middle of a Packard Music hall. It blows me away that god brought us together not exactly sure why but someday we both will. She had a choice she could have been swallowed up by grief but she did not. This woman is the purest example of the eagle in my opinion. Although, the pain was and is horrendous she flew to the mountain top and pounded off her beak of depression. Tore out her talons of fear and plucked out every feather of anxiety. To date, she talks and beams with light. I mean true light. She honors her daughter by talking about her and keeping her memory alive with stories of baby girl.  The life she lived and the love she gave to everyone. Kind of like her mama really. I never even meet this precious child but I am telling you I feel like I know her. Sometimes I even think I feel her when her mama talks of her and shares her heart and memory. I am honored to be a part of her story. I don’t know if she knows it or not she inspires so many with her fight to press on in life. Not forgetting what happened but remembering the love they shared and the lives baby girl touched. My friend was pregnant and didn’t know it before baby girl passed on. God gave them a gift in that new baby. I believe they are one. That baby girl is living thru her sister. He gave that family a dose of joy and hope knowing that the years to come would be arduous and painful. Having a little joy in the midst of the storm is all we can ask for in times of pain. I love you heather. I admire your strength. Your heart. Your will to never give up!!! You are a 44 year old soaring eagle that is the glue in holding your family together.