Standing By You My Children

Today’s morning musing is dedicated to my children – Soren, Demetri, and Kateri.  You are my deepest loves, the power behind the dreams for my life and my heart’s beat.  This writing came upon me so strongly as I listened to this new song by Rachel Platten, “Stand By You”, that I had to pull my truck over on the side of the road 5 times to write down everything singing through me.

I write to record my story of this time of my life so that one day we can all look back on this time and see the stones that were lovingly laid before us to step upon as we’ve sought to find balance on our paths forward.  I write my story for myself and for my kids, as well as for anyone who might find some light in the sharing of my story.  I listen to the world around me and even more deeply to my inner self for the wisdom that wells up almost as if the words are being written directly from my inner self onto the page.  It is a powerful, powerful thing that happens inside of me.

I dedicate this song and this writing to my children who I pray someday can fully experience the depths of my love for them.  For I know on the day they feel the depths of my love and settle into a deep knowing of the amazingness I see in them will be the day they can each stand with such power and strength and light that there is nothing in this world that can shake them.  Until that day, I stand by them in all they choose for their own paths.  I stand with love, light, joy, and hope.

My children, I watch your journeys in awe of each of you.  I am honored to be your mother and be able to journey with you in this life.  The greatest joys of my life come from being mother to such wonderful children.  There is no other gift I will ever receive that can come close to the gifts each of you are to me.

Long have I loved teenagers for all that they are.  Teenagers consistently walk the in between spaces of life that fascinate me to no end.  Teens walks a place between childhood and adulthood, not always an easy place to walk but one of great discovery.   The teen years are filled with play, work, learning, and so much more. Living with you three teenagers, my children, is never a dull moment.  And I rejoice in every new discovery of yourselves you are having.  You are in a rich part of your lives in which you are learning to step into the amazing power of YOU.

Watching you in the now of our lives, walking paths that are often dark and lonely is a humbling thing for me.  I see and hear you each in your own stories creating threads of light and love, speaking your personal truths, and walking paths that are deeply your very own.  I experience you loving me and each other deeply and fiercely.  I see you seeking new adventures.  I witness and encourage you in your honest speakings of what you each need for your own, very personal self care.  I watch you becoming ever more deeply the YOU that is uniquely your own.  I believe that you are finding ways to heal your hearts and walk your paths that are true and right for you.

I stand by you in EVERYTHING your path is! I love you.  You are my joy, my hope, my anchor to this world.  With every breath I breathe, with every new path I explore, with every new discovery of my own unique YOU, I stand by you.  With a love as fierce as a mama lioness and as gentle as a hen gathering her chicks under her wing, I stand by you.

“Even if we’re breaking down, we can find a way to break through. Even if we can’t find heaven, I’ll walk through hell with you. Love you’re not alone, cause I’m gonna stand by you.”

Rabbit holes, caves, and flying in the light

Stitched Panorama

Rabbit holes, caves and flying in the light – these are the things of my current musings I step deeper into myself seeking the wisdom that only I can find.  The power of these places within my mystical exploring has come fiercely to me over this past week.  I have had some amazing shifts in understanding the full meaning about the places in my imagining that are sacred spaces of inspiration.  My body almost hums with joy and awe as I begin this first attempt at writing about what is coming forth. 
My gratitude for the two amazing women, Barbara Alexander and Ayanna Makonnen, who are acting as mentors and coaches for me right now is abundant.  I believe I have drawn these women into my life to act as guides in the vision quest I am beginning to understand more deeply I am walking.  They radically listen to rambling thoughts that are pouring forth from me right now and hear a deeper wisdom my soul is speaking.  What has come forth from my conversations with them this past week is profoundly singing throughout my entire being.  This writing is simply my first step into sharing what is coming forth for me at this time, this moment.  Be forewarned it maybe long as there is very much to begin to speak.
Upon this journey that I am on I have spoken often of the dance I feel myself in between the light and the dark in my life.  Dark and light, grieving and healing, goodbyes and hellos, embracing and letting go, all of these are just some of the seemingly contrasting ideas I explore on a daily basis.  I see it all as one big web or dance to be entered into and embraced. 
I have many, many days right now that I experience deeper breathing and ability to move through life with a sense of openness and possibility.  As I enter more completely into healing myself and exploring new ways of being I often can feel giddy with the opportunities before me.  I can have several days in a row that seem to flow with great ease.  These days are pure gift as they fill me light and a sense of well-being. On these days I feel like I can fly and I love being other people.
Then I experience days that up until a few days I have been describing as crash or collapse days.  These days are darker in nature, often with a lot of tears.  These are days that I feel like I have been shoved back down the rabbit hole.  I often tap out from the world on these days as the feelings of vulnerability and sorrow are too much to take with me into interactions with other folks.  My children are the only ones I want to be around on these days.  And these days are also pure gift to me as I am finding it is in these darker places that my muse most wants to speak.  If I listen to myself and my needs for self-care on these days I see them as deeply positive days, not ones to be avoided. 
My experience of entering into one of these “crash” days about 10 days ago is what led to some deep conversations with my guides this week.  Both women were able to speak insights that has radically shifted how I look at my light and my dark days.  The sense of being in the midst of a transformational shift is profoundly in my awareness at every moment ever since.  Defining what my cave, my rabbit holes, and my light are is leading to some amazing insights about how to play with my world right now. 

Stitched Panorama

CAVES are the lair of both dragons and krakens.  They are dark hideaways, a place to store one’s treasures and to hide from the world.  Caves are a place of deep, direct connection to myself and to Source.  Some of my deepest insights and reflections often come from this place, my Cave of Solace.  Here it is that I connect to my sorrow and grieving, as well as the grieving and sorrow of the world.  I MUST write when I am in here; it is the only way that I can release all of the emotion that flows in and through me when I am here.  The cave is a very safe, sacred space for me.  This is a place of healing, solace, and regeneration.  I CHOOSE to go to the cave for deeper connection, understanding and care.  I experience profound gratitude, love, and insight in my cave. It is here that I give myself permission to feel everything. 
DragonFlight elderdragon
FLYING IN THE LIGHT is an experience of great joy, enthusiasm and freedom here.  Often I am so busy moving, soaking in the heat of the sun, and embracing the power of flying energy I don’t slow down enough to write when I am in this place.  I do have great insights into what I want my life to look like when I am flying in the light.  I simply store those in my being to be explored more deeply and written about when I go into my cave.  Here is where I connect and can speak with others.  This is a place of exuberant dancing, trying new things, and immense JOY at being alive.  I truly believe I can sprout dragon wings and fly when I am here.  I laugh, I dance, I play, I believe in all possibility when I am here.  I CAN FLY!
downrabbithole
RABBIT HOLES are the hidden places that I drop into, often sliding as fast as lightning down into a warren of twisted up paths.  The trip down a rabbit hole feels like someone suddenly and without warning has pushed me down a really steep slide greased with oil.  It is almost impossible to do anything on this slide but breathe. I’ve realized this week that my drop down a rabbit hole is always connected to someone else and being entangled in their story, their life, their journey.  I often experience a sense of a disconnect between the spoken and the unspoken that is hidden behind the veil.  In this space I feel like I must be on hallucinogenic drugs, as everything is very, very cuckoo luckoo in this space.  Following one path that seems to be going forward can lead to a multitude of paths going in every direction.  In my experience of sensing other people’s energy and wanting to be connected to them, I can get sucked into things that are better for me to steer clear of.  The very desire I constantly have to connect with others can cause a deep disconnect with myself when I am in this space.  I often experience a lot of resistance in this space and can even stop listening to my inner wise woman voice.  I can feel very out of control here. 
All three of these places are very active and real worlds of my imaginative creating of my universe.  The interplay between these worlds can be a most fascinating journey.  If I don’t notice when I am feeling saturated with information and human interaction and willingly choose to enter my Cave of Solace, I will most likely end up collapsing into a Rabbit Hole.  When I attempt to keep interacting with the world, rather than retreating to a place of quiet and solitude, I can become more quickly entwined in other people’s stuff which can lead to conflict and stepping into that rabbit hole.  I am getting stronger and wiser which means I can often find my Cave of Solace after I have completed my slide down the rabbit hole to the warren of paths below the surface.  I love the thought of learning how to listen so honestly to myself that I choose to enter my cave long before I happen upon a hidden rabbit hole.  Learning how to Fly through the air on dragon wings or under the sea with the speed of a kraken to my lair – my place of treasure and connection – seems like a lot more fun than falling down a hole I’ve been shoved into. 
There is much, much, much more that I will be writing about these places, especially my Cave of Solace.  There are some profound connections I experience as I enter into musing about this cave.  Connections to Russell (the image I shared is from Russell Cave in Alabama), dreams from years ago, and other musings I’ve had over the years are all coming forth into my conscious mind.  Thoughts and ideas and understandings are beginning to join as I continue this visioning journey I walk in this time, this moment.  My gratitude for this journey and my guides along the way is profound and wraps around me with love and joy.  WOW!!!

A few of the things that help

avalonfog

What can I do? What can I do? What can I do?  This question rattles around us as those supporting us in this grieving time try to figure out how best to be present and help us in whatever way the can. It is a reasonably simple question and yet the answers are not easily pulled out of me.  The questioning can actually leave me feeling like a deer in the headlights.  Blinded by the sudden question and absolutely frozen in place with no answers coming into my brain; then I am dashing away to somewhere, anywhere else because I don’t know how to answer the question.

I wish I could easily answer the question when folks ask me what they can do for me/us.  It’s not that I don’t have lots of things that we just can’t stay on top of that would be great to have others do for us.  The list is really never ending of the tasks that we just can’t quite keep up with each week.  The thought of having dishes and laundry and basic cleaning always caught up is lovely. But honestly it feels weird having folks come into the house.  The house has become such a cave space for us that we are cautious to invite others into it. And in many ways the kids and I are really okay with the chaotic clutter of our house.   At least we are until we have no spoons or cups left or can’t find any socks. And then we just do a mass cleaning that keeps us set for another week or so.

So while the physical tasks of our lives are not really something we need/want help with (though are deeply grateful for when we get it), the ongoing emotional and mental support remains a critical thing that people can do.  Imagine that for every time you think of and miss Russell, we have probably thought of him a good 10-20 times.  It definitely doesn’t minimize your missing of him, it’s just that ours is magnified and an almost constant presence.  In some ways I am finding my days getting harder as the full reality settles deeply into me.  I have lots of flashback moments to the first day Russell was in the hospital, trying to wrap my brain around how we got from those first steps into the hospital to this time, this moment without him.  I have daily things that pop up in which I have to speak out loud to myself that no I can’t tell Russell that when he gets home as he won’t be coming home.  It makes for a very disassociated brain at times.

Here are some of the things that personally help me each and every time they happen.  I think these are true for the kids too, though I try to speak and write of my experiences, my observations, my insights and not try to speak their story for them.  I can, with confidence, say these would probably help them too.  And probably help others you know who are grieving a loss in their lives.

*When you think of Russell text or email me the story that entered into your head.  I LOVE hearing the 100s of ways that Russell is still impacting the world.

*When you think of me or the kids, text or call or email saying just that.  I love the quick notes I get from folks stating simply “Thinking of you.”  It’s very easy to feel alone right now and I actually find myself seeking to be reclusive much of the time.  Knowing others are thinking of me and receiving quick messages saying that do much to brighten my day.

*Hugs just because are a wonderful thing for me.  Usually for my kids too.  Not everyone likes hugs but we do.

*Be as understanding as you can that it remains a great challenge most days to talk on the phone, follow through with things, seek to do something with others, have conversations that flow with ease, and many more seemingly easy tasks.  I still find making a phone call to anyone, even folks I love to talk with, one of the hardest tasks.  It’s just hard to push those numbers and reach out.  Don’t exactly know why, I just know it is.

*Know that when we do get together my silence doesn’t usually mean I don’t want to be there or that I’m not having a good time. It is easier to listen to people than to talk right now.  I do love sitting in a group of family or friends and simply listening to other people’s stories.

*Please don’t feel like you can’t talk with me about your life and the realness of all you are experiencing.  I still very much want to be there for other people and find great pleasure in knowing I am still needed.  I feel pretty useless many days and so those days that I am able to help someone else always makes me feel better.

*Don’t give up on me or us.  This journey we are on is a long one.  As with anyone who is walking a path of grieving and letting go, the way is windy and the way forward isn’t always clear.  Having people serve as beacons of light and hope and love along the way makes the walking of the path a little less scary.

Know that I am grateful for all of the ways that I daily am supported by the web of people surrounding us.  All these things I write of are things that I am receiving.  Thank you all and keep it up!  It helps more than I can ever express to keep me moving in the light.

Peace to you all.