Today is just a little, tiny bit better. The minimal/menial tasks don’t feel as if they are monumental today. At least so far. Getting out of bed, making coffee, letting the dogs out were all done fairly easily. Bizarre how accomplished I feel just doing those routine things. Yesterday was a rough and poignant day. I am deeply grateful for time with my family in various settings and their quiet space making of peace and love for me. The hardest part for me and our kids was waiting for Russell to walk in and join the conversations. The best (if their can be a best) was being allowed, in every place I was yesterday, to cry if I needed to, to sit quietly if I needed to, to laugh over the craziest of things, to simply be.
Every year, usually sometime in December, I set my intentions for myself for the next year.Not really claiming New Year’s resolutions but rather setting the ideas, goals, paths I want to open up my consciousness to hear the wisdom within. I usually pick an animal to explore, a chakra to open up to, a prayer or thought I want to chant daily, and a few ideas to kind of let flow through my entire year. Little did I know when setting my intentions last December how very meaningful they would be for me in this time and in this moment.
The animal I chose, or actually feels a little like it chose me is the Butterfly. Butterfly images and items have been popping up all over the place for months. The image of a butterfly is one that Russell also felt very drawn to as a symbol of transformation and new life. In just the past month we had had a few conversations about the process of becoming butterflies and finding new life in ourselves and in one another.
For a butterfly to come to be there is a time of going inside one’s self (as a caterpillar) that must occur. There is no other way to allow the necessary changes to work their magic. And there is a complete cracking open of our outer, protective shell that MUST happen. If the cracking open isn’t complete the butterfly cannot come out and it will die. If the cracking open is complete, what emerges is beautiful and delicate and able to soar upon the winds of the world.
We/I can only become something new and able to soar if we allow ourselves to go into that dark, solitary space and then, when the time is right, crack open and release ourselves from the shell that protects us from the outside world. I knew this biological process of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. I am now experiencing this as my heart if breaking open to become something new. What that will all be, what butterfly I am becoming I do not know at this time and in this moment. I simply know that I am cracking open and working my way delicately out of my protective shell.
Interestingly the chakra that I chose to reflect upon this year (and I chose this in December) is the throat chakra. “The throat chakra is the energetic center that gives us the power to express ourselves in every level of experience. To honor this gift fully, we are asked to consciously commit to expressing our truth and sing the song of individuality clearly and with integrity. To do so serves our spirit.” I guess I chose well as the muse has awoken inside and is singing out all the songs of my soul – the joyful, the rageful, the powerful, and the sorrowful. The sharing of my story with all of you each day has become so necessary for me. I can’t tell Russell of all the powerful experiences I am having right now. And he would so have loved to share in this part of my journey. So instead my voice rises through my writing to share it with any who want to read/listen. It is one of the ways that I deeply believe I am honoring Russell and honoring US.
One of my intentions/goals for the year is to Let Go and simply trust the process. I have the words let it go written all over journals I’ve created, all over a special intention/let it go box I created 2 months ago, and on lots of “to do lists”. I have been working to realize that no matter how much I try to control a situation, no matter how much I plan, no matter how much I worry over the future, no matter how much I ponder over past ways I have hurt folks – ultimately living in this time and in this moment is the only thing that I can really have much say over. I cannot change everything that is happening to or around me. But I can choose how to respond to it and live through it. Letting go of my high need to control and organize and plan and simply be is not always easy for me. But I find that when I can do that taking my next, often difficult step is a little bit easier.
Another intention for my year, closely tied to the first, is connected to understanding things. I have an almost obsessive drive to understand situations and people. My brain often goes into overdrive trying to puzzle things out so I can understand it better. I do think this is closely linked to my belief that if I understand things enough I can then control the situation and keep everything and everyone safe (which is an even higher obsessive drive in me). The problem with this is there are so many other factors involved in every situation that there is realistically no way I can understand it all. This week has taught me that there will be hundreds of things I will NEVER be able to understand. And I am fairly sure I will go mad if I spend all my time trying to understand why this has all happened. I desperately want answers of how we came to be in the hospital and how it is I now walk my journey without Russell physically at my side. But in my deepest places in my being, I know that I will never know. And this is a hard, hard pill to swallow.
Closely linked to my need to understand, is my need to help others understand why I do what I do. I send out tons of emails to the boarders about most transitions at the farm – both big and small. Part of me believes that if folks just understood why I do what I do, most conflict could be avoided. Sometimes this is true, but often it isn’t. So I’ve been baby stepping into realizing that what is most important is that I understand why I do what I do. Others can agree or not, read my musings or not, participate or not – that is their business. Mine is to do mine and be true to myself and the vision for my own life.
My last two intentions – to love passionately and to Just do It – are intimately linked for me in this moment and in this time. I do not understand,nor never will understand how I stepped into the rabbit hole I did which led to me walking without the man I believed I would spend the rest of my life with. I have no comprehension of going from him being sick with something (but not thinking it was anything major) to where I am now. Trying to figure that out is part of what leaves me shaking, crying, and unable to step forward. So I don’t stay in thoughts often or long if possible.
What I have been radically gifted with this week and the clearest of messages that “Life is too short and we MUST live in the moment.” It truly can change in the tiny blink of an eye. We must tell those we love that we love them NOW. We must do the things we’ve always wanted to do NOW. We must live our lives with passion and purpose NOW. We must trust our instincts and follow the voice of our heart in every moment NOW. Hear me folks and let my story teach you true – there may not be another moment than the one you are living in RIGHT NOW.
Kelvin Ringold, a friend of mine from my years in the Philippines (during high school) once said to me “Lara if you ever realize the full capacity you have to love passionately and release that power you can change the world.” For almost 30 years I have pondered that, come back to, strived to each day love the folks around me and have them know they are loved. I don’t always succeed as I get tired, I get caught up, I get cranky, I live life in the mundane as we all do.
This past week, I allowed myself to crack open completely to Russell, stand fiercely with him during his journey, and 100% be open to the love pouring in upon us and through us. I allowed myself (and am trying to continue to do so) to stand grounded in the rawness of this unfathomable journey and simply keep chanting to myself LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! There was nothing more I could do for Russell, my children, myself, our friends and family, than say I love you. Deeply and completely and openly and rawly I LOVE YOU! The pulsing light of standing in LOVE above all else has been the greatest gift Russell and his journey could have given to me. I am sorrowful that I cannot in this place and time share that with him. But I radically feel his love for me and our children and all he held dear pouring in and through and around me.
I believe that Russell’s final journey on this earth has had far reaching impacts around the world. As you each share your story with me, your own confusion over how this happened, your own sorrow, your love for me, Russell, and our children I feel that love pulse into me and then through me back out into the world. I believe that through our shared sorrow and our shared love for Russell, healing and hope for many is pulsing through the world. I believe that this part of Russell’s journey has rocked many of us to our core and my hope is that when we become steady again, we can do our part to heal the world as Russell wanted to do.
I feel deeply honored and humbled that I have been gifted with this rare and radical experience of feeling such deep, deep LOVE pouring around me. I believe it was his final gift to me so that I wouldn’t feel so desperately alone right now. I believe it is Russell’s way of linking his voice and his passion for the mysterious to me so that I can somehow be an instrument to change the world. Russell most wanted to know that at the end of his life he had made an impact. Well, my love, you have. And I firmly believe that you are part of the LIGHT and LOVE and HOPE surrounding us all. I will continue to honor Russell by simply and profoundly bringing myself back to LOVE and allowing it flow into and through me, in this moment and in this time.
So I encourage us all to say and show – I love you – to all who cross our paths. We need to JUST DO IT already!
With peace and love,