I have been having a lot of conversations about the past and the events and people that shape us. These life events and the people in our past can have a huge and lingering effect on our lives and how we react and respond to the world. I don’t think we should shut the door on the past, but I don’t think we should spend so much time there that we miss the wonder of what is right in front of us now. Yes, these things have shaped us and left scars on our souls in some cases. I am telling you it is nothing you cannot overcome if you choose to. You have already survived it, haven’t you? We are responsible for ourselves and our actions.
Grief, childhood trauma, hell just trauma in general, disappointments and betrayal, all these things can make you feel isolated and so alone in this huge world. No one seems to understand. Or do they? I don’t think there is anyone I know that has not been through some major traumatic event in their life. We isolate ourselves with our pain and our anger. Trapped within a vortex of emotion swirling around us like a tornado it can be difficult to not feel helpless. True we are helpless in the sense that we have no control how others will act or respond but do we want to live the rest of our lives based on how others have acted.
When you decide that what you have been doing is not working and take a good long look at yourself, you will realize how much power you actually have. For example, someone in your life has wronged you in a large way. You now have some choices. There is nothing wrong with getting angry but if you continue to live from that space it will bite your little butt! So you are angry, now forgive. Just forgive. Forgive them and forgive yourself. Sounds simple and it is even though we make it so complicated. I think people have attached all kinds of things to the word forgive. One of the on line dictionaries describes the meaning of the word forgive as “excuse, condone, pardon, forgive meaning to exact neither punishment nor redress. excuse may refer to specific acts especially in social or conventional situations or the person responsible for these.” Another describes it as “to stop blaming or being angry with someone for something that person has done, or not punish them for something they have done.” For myself, forgiving someone is something like this; I acknowledge their action and the pain it has caused me then I simply let it go. I do not seek revenge. I do not hold it over their head. Now I don’t want you to think that this is instantaneous. Sometimes it is, but for larger transgressions it can take a little bit of time. It takes me a while to process or work through some things. Some things are so large that in the process of forgiving the other person I end whatever relationship I had with them. Sometimes in order to let go you have to let go of the person as well.
I was abused by a neighbour as a child. This was a traumatic experience for sure and while I will not go into all of the details of the whole thing I will share a small part of it with you. I was abused then the abuser moved away. What sweet relief that was for me. Our family also moved to a different part of town about a year later. I was walking to school in our new neighbourhood and low and behold there was the man who abused me walking towards me. I was afraid, I was angry and I looked him in the eyes as he walked towards me. I am also stubborn so I was not going to run away or switch to the other side of the street. When I looked at him and he recognized me the look of fear on his face broke something open inside me. I was no longer the victim of his sick mind, I realized that he was the one imprisoned by it. I was free and I forgave him. I never spoke to him that day and I rarely ran into him again. I just knew, even as a child, that it was imperative that I let the anger and the hatred go or my whole life was going to be poisoned by it.
You will find your own strength in the letting go and forgiving. I have to admit that sometimes I have to do this numerous times for the same thing or person. Some things that I think I have worked through pop up again. So I let it go, then I let it go again. The forgiveness can only come when you have let go. The power or hold of the situation in your life only loses its grip when you let it go. There is freedom in that.
Peace and love to all
It is 5 am and the coffee is brewing. My slightly soiled chair is in the garage, so I now sit on a big comfy sofa to write, but my sunny yellow mug is still a part of my life. The only noises are the occasional car driving down the highway and the gentle snoring of a great dane named Georgia who has become my shadow and follows me everywhere in my new home. It is hard to move into someone’s home and find your place. This is not to say that the man I am living with has made this difficult, he has done everything to make me feel at home. My things are mixed in with his things and there are pieces of me and my life in every room. There is a blending that happens and it takes me a little while to settle down and feel comfortable. It is not the place that makes it a home, it is the people and our shared experiences. In my case home is definitely where the heart is and my heart has never been tied to a place or the things in it, my heart is connected to the people.
I have been talking to my older sister more than usual and am enjoying this new relationship we are developing. The picture at the top of the page is of me and my sister Marg taken last June at Peggy’s Cove in Nova Scotia. My sister has one of the best laughs, you know the kind that makes you smile or laugh just hearing it. Well, my sister is in the process of writing a book and I get to be a small part of it which is very exciting. We are having conversations now that were not possible before to some extent because our lives were so different. This is no indication of how we feel about each other, I love my sister dearly and she has been more like a second mother to me for most of my life. We are having conversations about things we would never have discussed 5 years ago. I am excited to get to know my sister on a different level. I have a number of people in my life that I can have conversations with about life and the things that matter and then there are others where the conversation is kept light and just skims the surface of what really matters. This does not make one type of conversation good or bad, I think we need both.
I have been having a difficult time finding my way. I suppose I should give myself a break considering the huge changes that have taken place in my life in the last year and a bit. The new man in my life, his name is Shawn, was a friend of Howard’s that I had met once very briefly before Howard passed away. One of the things that drew me to Shawn was how big his heart is. He has a lot of room in that heart for a lot of people and that included Howard. Now it includes me. Howard’s sculptures have become part of the landscape here and his artwork is also hanging on the walls, sitting on the deck or a shelf. Shawn’s heart is so big that he is able to include the people that I have loved and still love into it. So, while Shawn and I are building a life together we both get to include the people and other important things from our past into it. My heart has a lot of room also. I will tell you more about all of that in a blog piece that I have called The Tale of Two Ravens. I have started working on it but the time is just not right to tell that story.
The only reason I am writing this morning is to try and incorporate my writing into my new and busy life. I have missed sitting in my chair connecting with all of you. The last year has been filled with new experiences, new people and new ways of viewing the world. I think it just takes me a while to be able to process it all and write about it. Sometimes I just don’t have the words to express myself. Someone asked me yesterday to smell a healing spray they had made and give them my opinion. It was the strangest thing, I almost could not describe the smell. It just brought up so many feeling that words almost escaped me. I couldn’t say, oh that smells like roses or some other distinct thing. It smelled fresh and ancient at the same time, it was almost as if she had captured everything the entire world has ever experienced in a bottle. Weird huh? I think she has a gift.
Well, I hope you all have a wonder filled day and don’t forget to make your heart big and greet the world from that place. Live with your heart wide open, it is worth it.
Hug everyone, Peace to all
I have witnessed three beautiful sunrises this week from the east coast of Canada. I am in Halifax, where I was born and spent the first 23 years of my life. The city has changed so much I barely recognize it. I have lived on the west coast for more than 24 years so I have officially spent more time there. I still refer to Halifax as home. For us east coasters our roots run deep. If we meet people anywhere in the world and they are also from the east coast there is an instant bond, a shared understanding of a culture and way of being in the world. I love the accent that rolls off tongues in that sing song drawl and can recognize it wherever I am. The accent will vary depending on whether you are from a big city, or one of the smaller towns which each seem to put their own twist on a way of speaking. For now, I just want to sit and listen to the people speak. I find comfort in those familiar patterns of speech from my childhood.
I woke up at 4:30 am this morning listening to the birds sing the beginning of the day into existence and even they sing a song that is different now. I lay in my borrowed bed comparing them to the bird songs of the west, unable to identify any but the crows. I am hoping to see a blue jay while I am here, they hold a special significance for me and they don’t exist on Vancouver island. We have jays on the island but the Stellar Jays of the west are slightly different. The eastern jays are brighter in colour and slightly smaller, though their screech is very similar. This trip has me comparing many things between the east of my childhood and the west of my adulthood.
I did think about moving east after Howard left this earth. I spent hours looking through the real estate listings and dreaming about a waterfront home along the Atlantic. My heart is in the west now though, with the people who have come to mean so much to me. I call them my soul family. I fit there amongst the cedars, bald eagles, mild weather and the laid back lifestyle of small town Sooke. I belong there now. Perhaps I had to leave there to know that. I wish I had the ability to be in two places at the same time. I just started laughing cause the word bicoastal ran through my mind. I am bicoastal!
When I arrived at my sisters home and unpacked my suitcase I found a note from the special man in my life. This man was kind enough to wake up at 3:30 am to drive me to the airport, I think he likes me. This small note brought tears to my eyes and melted my heart. His presence in my life has helped me to wake up parts of myself that have been dormant for a very long time. I thank the universe for him every day and appreciate the fact that he has the strength to walk beside me and encourages me to grow, heal, and live my dreams. His note was a little reminder of all that is waiting for me when I return. This was a trip of necessity, I needed to revisit the past and make peace with it to move forward with clarity and purpose. I needed to remember who I am. So, today I am going to visit with some of my cousins. I am looking forward to reconnecting with them and getting to know them again. They too will help me remember who I am.
So while I was away living my life on the west coast the east coast has changed. I guess time stood still in my mind and I expected things to be the same. We change and grow and places change and grow. I am not the same person that left Nova Scotia many years ago. This trip has confirmed one thing for me, while the east will always be part of me I belong among the cedars of the west. I have also learned that you need to know and understand the past to move in a different way into the future. Learn from the past but don’t dwell there or live from there, learn from it . Know who you are. Live your life with no regrets, just live!
Love to all
I am sitting once again in my slightly soiled chair with a coffee beside me in my sunny yellow mug. It is five thirty in the morning and the birds are singing the sun up with cheerful little songs. It has all the makings of a wonderful day even though I have only had about four hours sleep. I had trouble settling down last night. There were a few things weighing on my mind and my heart. I have started making plans and dreaming and low and behold the universe throws a few curve balls at me just to see if I am paying attention and waits to see how I will handle it.
Have you ever had one of those moments where certain events in your life become clear in their meaning. I had one of those moments last night and I have to admit that it scared me a little. Actually my response was “well shit.” It reminded me that certain things are beyond my control. I can say I want this, I don’t want that till the cows come home and the universe in its wisdom will give me what I need. I never expected to fall in love with my life again, I never expected to feel or experience so much joy and peace again. Some of the best moments of my life have happened when I was not expecting it.
So I had a moment of clarity and it scared me. I am not sure scared is the right word. Perhaps it is more being unsure with a tiny bit of fear thrown in. I don’t know where this path will lead but I trust in the universe to guide me along and in the meantime will set the fear aside. No one knows what tomorrow will bring but I have had a few visions of the future and they do not coincide with what I thought I wanted. Perhaps there is a lesson in that. Do not be so tied to what you want and don’t want that you miss the wonderful people and opportunities right in front of you. Be flexible with your how your mind and heart respond to the events and people in your life. Be teachable.
I have ideas about how I would like things to be and have expressed a large number of those ideas on this blog. One thing that I do know for certain is that as long as I let my heart rule over my mind life is as it should be. The minute I start over thinking things and second guessing every decision, fears settles in and my mind gains control. Fear versus love the eternal struggle for control. So the universe is putting people and situations in my path to see if I can actually live what I say. Anyone can say anything, but can they back it up with action. The universe is saying enough talk Donna lets see some action.
So, I have said numerous times that it is all about living with your heart wide open. But what does that really mean to me? It is about others not about me. For one of the first times in my life, I have led a very self-centered life up to this point, the happiness of others comes before my own. I want the people around me to know what it means to be loved for just being them, no strings attached. I want to bring peace and joy with me everywhere I go and spread that around. I want the people in my life to know that they are appreciated and that I truly see them for who they are and that they are more than enough. I thought I knew what love was. The universe has shown me lately that I have only danced around the edges of it in the past. Well shit!
Have a bliss filled day