I have had much on my mind the last few days after giving myself permission to have it all. The life I want, that will suit me, because it feels right, easy, takes absolutely no effort to imagine, dream, fantasize, taste, delight, sense, smell and find in my memory, much less have happening and becoming aware of in bright flashes during my day. Some of the memories have come out in unexpected collisions with layers of my old patterns of redirecting my desires in lieu of Pleasing Other People. These thin layers that still try to trap and ensnare me, when I am not aware of how what it is I am thinking is causing me to still start to lean in the direction of others, first.
I remember his smile, the small space in his teeth when he grinned. The ability to talk to me, share, and tolerate my attempt at fixing things when I was given the dire warning of the consequences should my father find out. Which many of us are redirected from our dreams and ideas through the misdirected fears of another’s view of how life will be by our misplaced loyalty should we selfishly choose our self-first. Having overheard “the doctor” tell my father he would be dead in a year if he did not give up his drinking because of all the pills he took for his high blood pressure.
I being young, naïve, impressionable, and so trusting that my mom had every body’s best interest at heart and was truly taking care of the family. It never once entered my head I could survive, I would be okay, the Universe would take care of things. So I walked away, slid under the door of denial and loss to hide myself as far away from my true self as was possible. To turn the lock, hide the key, to do any and almost everything I could to be normal, okay, fit in, like the rest of them. Smiling on the outside, while the whole inside was dark, waiting, hoping.
Well almost. There was a hole, a tiny beam of light that kept calling to me. My sophomore year in college I found a place to keep a horse for a few dollars a month. Bought me a skinny 17 hand mare for $150.00, who within 6 months, I had retrained, slicked up, sold, to slowly started trading, training, and coaching myself out of my closet. Into the land of horses, animals and people found in the world I had read about, collected statues, made tiny pieces of equipment, drew pictures and told stories about since I was tiny.
The same world that kept me going, helped me heal, taught me about freedom, independence and assertiveness, the land of breathing, feeling, sensing, and full awareness to the present. These great wonderful beasts, fully alive in the moment, no real past to consider, or future to construct, just being, eating, living enjoying life and the community of the herd.
Helping me to find the strength to be an assertive, caring, a fully present leader in the dance of life I lead. Which allows me to sense, take in and digest the goings on around me, sometimes learning, re-learning, and unlearning patterns of others that may or may not serve me. Just this awareness I have learned from them, is the key I now find firmly in my hand, to be used each time I come to a place of decision when I feel something that feels off for me.
Last night was an eye-opener in meeting with an old acquaintance, watching the show, catching up on our lives. While I sat there inside my head, aware of for the first time ever that when they talk, I listen. I start to talk, not a word I say is heard. The conversation became this game of cat and mouse as I tried to shift the conversation to some neutral, safe, positive, fun thoughts, about both of our interests. Till I started playing distracter, uncomfortable, glancing at my watch, waiting for it to be over, wanting to run, and so glad when we said our goodbyes to go home.
Came home and happen to glance in the mirror to find a very exhausted wreck looking back at me. Aware I have more sleuthing to do for next time, since I now had very visible signs of how avoiding dealing with some situations is not the answer. Realizing to first figure out how I wish things to be in each moment and situation is definitely healthier, smarter, and a new idea to play with.
To then be rewarded with remembering the album he sent me at college, aware of his scent after they came out of the showers after football practice, his hands as he held mine when we sat on the cliff at retreat. The memory of his eyes looking into mine in understanding that things would be okay, and now almost 40 years later, wondering how to talk to him. How to understand this, is it to just be a way for more healing. It is amazing, it is fun, it is comfortable. What now, just these sudden visions of him mowing my lawn, caring groceries into the house, throwing popcorn at me at the movies, suddenly unexpectedly occurring. I dunno but I know I will figure it out…I always do!