Bottom Feeders

We enjoy eating lobster, shrimp and crabs.  In fact, they are a very expensive delicacy.  We sit in nice restaurants and order lobster and king crab legs.  The server brings out our meal.  At first sight, we enjoy a bouquet of sense filling, mind altering sentiments.  As we dig in with anticipation, we slowly dip our crustaceans into the sweet melted butter and enjoy every savory bite.

Have you ever enjoyed the kingly  pork crown roast on New Year’s Day?  It is a sight to behold.  This royal feast consists of 12 pork loin ribs wrapped in a circle with the bone standing upward like a crown.  It is roasted to perfection with tender juices flowing , filled in the middle with a delectable stuffing and browned perfectly on top. A meal that is fit for a king.

As you enter the bakery, you are bequethed with angelic scents of the sweet nectarious foods for the gods.  The taste of blissful, mouth-watering confections carries your soul to a level of euphoria.  Your vision is accelarated to the pinnacle of delight by the bountiful colors of warmth and glory.  You can’t decide which delight to feast on first.  Oh, this must be heaven.

There is food and then there is “nourishment”.    When food brings all your senses into heightened alertness of joy, that nourishment is filling more than your stomach.  It becomes a heavenly love affair to be savored and imprinted in your memory forever.  This experience can bring joyful satisfaction to your life.

I can see this as a blessing and a curse.  There is a fine line here.  As with anything in life, moderation must be exercised.  It is easy to see how we can become consumed by the seduction of these experiences with our food.  It seems that in our human-ness we have a tendency to want too much of a good thing.  The line that I speak of is tetering between pure awareness and joy of the moment and contaminated, destructive addiction.

When we move into the realm of addiction we immediately think of drugs or alcohol and that connotates low-life, bottom feeders.  But, addiction comes in all forms such as food, people, sex,  relationships, cleaning, exercise, working and anything else that we tend to do obsessively to give us the feeling of either being in control or the sense of releasing any form of control and running somewhere to hide.  We find things to make us feel better and then we just can’t get enough.  In my opinion, I think that most of us can fall into the category of being addicted to one thing or another.  That does not make us bottom-feeders.  That makes us human and there are those  who are addicted to drugs and alcohol whose behavior shows us the dark side of not being able to get enough.  Whose behavior shows us that they are not in control of their own actions because they have become slaves to their addiction and nothing will stop them from getting what they want or need.  All addicts, no matter what their addiction, are worthy of love.  They are hard to love when they are completely ensconced in their addiction, whatever it may be.  We may feel a sense of judgement, disgust, resentment and pure hatred for the addict they have become.  Underneath the many addictions that we use to escape from daily living, we are people, hurting people.  Individuals that need something so desperately to make them feel complete.

To quote the song “Not the Doctor” by Alanis Morrisette:  “What are you hungry for?”

 

 

 

Where has Christ-mas Gone?

Christmas time.  I dread it every year.  I feel like a mouse trying to escape a trap.  When I go to the store I hear Christmas music, but I know it’s not for my enjoyment.  It’s to put me in a certain frame of mind.  I feel pressured into consumerism.  I feel like I can’t breathe.  I’ve got to get out of the store.  I need peace and quiet.  I want to run from all of this craziness.  Don’t they see what’s happening?  Don’t they know we are being shepherded into a pen?   I know the true meaning and I will not stand for this.  I will not renounce my belief for anyone.  It is Christ- mas time.  It is time to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  Why aren’t we allowed to use his name if it’s his birthday?  If we can’t use it and rejoice in it, what are we celebrating.    Why are we all so blinded by the sparkling lights and the ringing bells.  Get me out of this trap, this rat race.  Take me to the peaceful place within my soul that knows what is real.  We say Christmas is for the children.  We are the children of God.  Let’s rejoice and celebrate accordingly.

Love is a year round action.  I don’t need ringing bells or holly or Santa to feel true love.  Jesus came to show us the way of true love.  That love lives in each and every one of us.  Let’s change things up and celebrate love. We can celebrate by sharing our time with others, laughing, singing, caring and loving.  These are the gifts that matter most.  I have to step back from allowing the commercialism to consume my heart.  I have to return to my source, my God. I open my heart now to receive love and to give love freely.  Now, I can feel the joy of Christmas.  Thank you Jesus!  Amen.

Shades of Shadow

I have this four legged companion who is now eight months old.  Oh he’s so cute and certainly a lap dog, full of love and kisses.  His name is Shadow and in the deep recesses of his personality, there lies a shadowy darkness.  Oh, yes, underneath that loveable exterior is a rebellious teenage monstrosity.

He challenges me every single day.  In the beginning, the potty training went well and all was right with the world until I realized that he used his urine to make a very loud and clear protest.  That’s how it all began.  Shadow doesn’t like when Daddy comes home from work and goes on the computer, so he stands in the middle of the kitchen and pees, not just in one spot but over a five foot radius.  Shadow doesn’t like when Mommy leaves the living room to go to the bathroom so he decides to chew the remote control.  Did I mention that most of the time I am not allowed to go to the bathroom alone simply because, well, he is my shadow.  He likes to pull the toilet paper off the roll as entertainment while I am desperately trying to take care of business in peace.  I have to use reading glasses and when I decide to get up off the couch, he eats the glasses.  I am now on the third pair of reading glasses.

His protests are becoming quite clear and more and more destructive despite my attempt to give him plenty of exercise, discipline and affection.  It seems that the kitchen counters are not off limits to this guy.  I was in the living room and he wandered into the kitchen.  He came right back out again and I thought everything was okay.  But evidence to the contrary grabbed my attention.  When I went into the kitchen, there were paw prints on top of my counter.  He was just checking things out I guess.  One day, while I was in the shower for all of 5 minutes, I came out and heard a strange crunching noise.  I knew he had gotten into something.   I have  my medications in a daily pill box.  He reached up on the counter and took the pill box.  I was in a horrific panic as I was considering grabbing the phone and calling the vet.  If he ate my medications, I don’t know what would have happened.  But, to my surprise, all my pills were spilled on the floor.  He was more interested in the plastic pill box than the pills.  Thank God.

Yesterday was a new twist to this menace of a dog.  I watched him through the sliding glass door as he went to do his business.  I don’t know if  you can really imagine my horror when I tell you that he was eating his poop.  I totally freaked out.  I ran outside, screaming like a lunatic, “Get out of there, what is wrong with you.”  I honestly couldn’t look at him the same way.  I was so repulsed by his action.  I immediately went online to look up this disgusting behavior to find out that it is quite common among dogs.  I guess that is why they are dogs.  I don’t know, but common or not, I cannot live with this nonsense in my life.

I took some time to calm down and regroup.  This one will take a little longer to get over than all the other troubling things this holy terror has done.  So, here are the new measures I have had to implement.  Every time I am watching television and need to leave the room, I must remove the remote, cell phone, reading glasses and anything else that is on the end table.  I mean, every time.  He has to be in the crate when I shower.  I cannot let him out of my sight for one minute.  He’s not allowed in the kitchen if I am not in there.  I have to watch him every time he goes outside to poop so that I can clean it up immediately, which, I have always done anyway, but now he can’t even have time to smell it.  So disgusting.

I am at my wits end with this puppy.  He’s about 65 pounds and despite his size, he’s still a puppy.  I don’t know if I’m going to make it through this first year with this calamitous animal.  I often feel like a prisoner of this dog.  I hate to admit it, but he requires my attention every single moment of the day.  Many times a day I get so frustrated and I actually say out loud, “Dear God, please help me.”  When I do that, I am seriously praying for help and the truth is that it calms me down and allows me that moment between raging reaction and constructive action.

I love Shadow and I know that this too shall pass.  These days are very trying and I do believe that when I “pray” and ask God for help, he does help me.  This is just a small trial in my world and I know that in the grand scheme of life it’s not important but, this animal is a spiritual soul and it is my duty to give him the best life possible.  The unconditional love and loyalty will make up for these teenage times with my pup.  You can’t get much closer to God than that.  Complete unconditional love and loyalty with pure innocence.  I can only hope that I could exist with those attributes for even a small amount of my time.

Once again, I am finding another pearl of wisdom in my daily life.  Simple, daily life issues always have some form of a gift for us to take away.  As I struggle with this young creature of God, I am reminded that the gifts in my life are plentiful.  Shadow is a gift that will enrich my life and bring me so much joy.  I am truly thankful for him.

 

 

Shine Brighter

The other day I was out and about running errands and I had this experience where I felt like I was standing outside myself, observing my surroundings and the people moving about.  It was kind of weird and pretty cool at the same time.  Throughout my self-awareness journey, I have heard countless teachers mention that you have to be the observer of your own life.  When in that state, you are not operating in the egoic mind.  Does that mean that I have achieved something on that day?

Although it was an interesting experience, it only lasted for a short moment and I continued on with my day.  But, the experience itself stayed with me and I stayed conscious of the fact that it did happen.  I ask myself, ” What could the meaning of that moment be?”  I am finding that more and more people are becoming awakened to the spirit of the universe.  In my mind, I consider that to be the Holy Spirit.  As I have mentioned before, I’ve read so many books, taken classes and watched videos about self awareness.  Ever since I started Blogging, I’ve noticed that  I am encountering more and more like-minded souls out there.  This demonstrates the fact that the world is awakening from an abysmal slumber where people operated on a level of puppetry.  We have been wandering around aimlessly and willingly accepting interpretations of what life’s purpose should be from generations upon generations of pain and suffering.  The sins of the father seem to pass down and through lifetimes of willing recipients.  There are cycles of conditioning that move through us and so we share that dysfunction with our children and grandchildren and so on.

On this day, in the year 2018, things are changing.  Cycles are being broken and new thought patterns are being wired into the physical brain because somewhere along the line of generations, someone had a form of insight that maybe things were not what they were being conveyed as.  Someone decided to question certain attributes of their religion or their culture or their family.  All it takes is one person to change the dynamics of any situation imaginable.  Just one different thought pattern, just one simple question at a time, just one tiny difference can jolt us out of our dormancy and bring us into a light that we’ve never experienced before.

I believe that I may have experienced that light.   My awareness in that moment expanded to a different level.  I had a glimpse of clarity and it changed the dynamic of my thought process.  I can only imagine what would happen if this experience I had,  moved from one moment to several and so forth.

Imagine the result of  my tiny, little moment of consciousness being magnified by millions of people.  It only takes a spark to get a fire going.  We are on a path of awakening and I can feel the acceleration of awareness around me.

I am on this journey along with so many others.  We are all at different levels of consciousness.  As we journey together, the light is beginning to shine brighter and brighter and I believe that it is becoming impossible to ignore such a bright light.

 

 

Contrast

I read many self help books and I watch a ton of videos about meditation and such.  I try to surround myself with positivity.  It all sounds so Zen, doesn’t it?  Granted, I work hard at soul-searching and self growth, but I’m as human as the next person.  I like laughing at stupid jokes, drinking a glass of wine until I’m silly and acting like a kid.  Being spiritual doesn’t mean being a stick in the mud and it doesn’t mean being a perfect being at all times either.

While I was raising my kids, I was very strict.  Everything was black and white.  I was so rigid and the kids knew their place and they followed suit.  I look back now and wonder , who in the world was that person calling the shots?  I don’t recognize her.   I don’t think I could live with her anymore.  With that being said, I find little shades of that person peek through me at times.  Yes, those stubborn, black and white thoughts are ingrained in me and they rear their ugly heads from time to time.  Thankfully I am able to recognize her when she comes calling.  But, honestly, there are times when she stays around a little longer than I would like to admit.  I get stuck on technicalities such as being in a bad mood because they didn’t put the dishes in the dishwasher, they didn’t replace the empty roll of toilet paper, they left the mess for me to pick up.  Such trivial things to waste my energy on and I know better, yet I still do it.  The big test for me right now is this 8 month old puppy of mine.  I find myself losing patience and reacting in negative ways that only frustrate me and the dog.

There’s a difference now, though.  I am able to at least recognize the creature from within.  I’m not always able to put her away immediately but recognizing her is a result of the time spent in soul-searching and self-growth.  Meditation calms me down and brings me to a peaceful place to springboard off of into my day.  It helps me to realize that I am not that creature from within and that changes the chain of events that follow the crazy hysteria.  All of the spiritual work, self-help, positivity training that I do will not make me a perfect person.  Perfection is unrealistic anyway.  It’s not attainable, it’s a fallacy that we tell ourselves.  I don’t try to be perfect.  I try to be better. I want to be a better version of myself.

I think sometimes we put expectations on people that we call gurus and spiritual teachers.  These people are human just like me.  They are not perfect and don’t claim to be.  (most of them anyway).  They’ve learned a way to find the better version of themselves and are sharing what they have found.  Isn’t that what we call purpose?

I’m never going to be happy, excited, loving all the time.  It’s actually not natural to be.  I’m going to be sad, depressed, angry, lonely at times too.  All of these emotions are what balance us out as humans.  These feelings are meant to be felt and acknowledged and allowed to pass through us.  It’s the contrast of life that makes us appreciate everything.  One thing that I’ve learned is that it’s okay to visit all these emotions for a time but I just don’t want to take up residence in any one place for too long.  I’ll end up missing out on true living, growth and love.  But, it’s possible to visit all these emotions while being in a state of deep love within.  When we live in true love, that is, joy, peace, calm, compassion, empathy, we are able to live our daily lives with an innate knowing that we are perfect as we were created to be.  Perfect, not in the sense of actions or reactions but perfect in the sense that deep within our core resides God.  You can’t get more perfect than that.

 

The Natural

My soul, so tired of trudging through the daily routine is feeling empty.  The drudgery of facing each day with the same old happenings and no fire in the furnace leaves me hollow.  Where can I find a spark?  How do I feel the spirit of inspiration?

Today, I stepped into a world of enchantment.  I was shocked and overwhelmed at what greeted me at the door.  As I entered, I smelled a familiar scent that awakened my other senses.  It immediately engaged my mind, asking it to notice and rejoice in the offerings of such a joyful world.  The cement that held my eyes tightly closed to the mystical had suddenly been loosened.  There, before me, lay intense pigmentations  of trees and leaves.  The fountain of outpouring tears of happiness cascaded throughout the landscape, giving the sense of hearing a bountiful, flowing treat.  As I ventured through this forest of extraordinary beauty, I breathed in a spirit that filled my lungs with life-giving tranquility.  It has  been said that the breath brings us serenity.  I inhaled the miraculous spirit that I seemed to have lost.

My body has been an empty furnace searching for it’s spark.  My soul has ached to feel the spirit within.  Today I stepped out, into the world and onto the path that I have walked before.  I sauntered into a church that I have always known but somehow kept myself away from.  Today, I entered the church of nature and I felt life breathed back into my body as if I was being risen from the dead.  First came the tiny spark and within moments I felt the flame of spirit within me.  At that moment I felt weightless and alive, filled with peace and inspiration.  In one tiny moment, it all came back to me.

The truth is that my God has never left me.  His spirit is in me.  I took life for granted and lost sight of my inner light and with one step into the natural world , my awakened self was restored.  All that I long for exists here within.

Never Say Never

I believe that in life if you don’t get the lesson the first time, you get to do it over and over again until you get it right.  I never realized how true that was until it really hit me in the face.

I have evolved ,over the years, into a completely different person.  I am but a shadow of my former self and that is very good news.  Not that I was a bad person, but I was a very hurt and broken person.  My daily decisions were all based in fear, anger and low self-esteem.  I was broken by the sudden loss of my father when I was 17.  It was sudden, completely unexpected, especially for a man of 48 years old.  He had been out of work for a solid year and finally got a new job.  He was a truck driver.  On his very first day of work, he was excited to be able to get financially stable once again.  On that very day, he never came home again.  He died of a heart attack while unloading that truck.

My world changed and I went into a tailspin of deep depression.  My life choices were made out of fear of being alone; out of fear of losing another; out of fear of not having someone to take care of me.  I got married at the age of 18.  I was so naive, just a child actually.  I was scratching my way through the muck of life with no direction.  I had two sons from that marriage that ended in divorce after nine years.  I was low-spirited for that period of my life.  My children didn’t know that.  They just needed me to be a Mom and I gave it my best with what I had to work with.  At that point in time, I had not evolved into anything but a sorrowful, depressed young woman and unfortunately that is what I gave to my boys.  I remarried and had a daughter with my second husband.  I felt that  was my chance to start over and use previous experiences to grow and to raise my children.  It was all so fresh and new.  But, I still carried the sadness and fear and depression with me.  Since that was what I had, that is what I once again given to my children.  Don’t get me wrong, I was the best mother that I could be.  My children were well cared for and loved but I wasn’t able to give them the best version of me because I hadn’t met her yet.

I raised my kids and felt that I was mothering them pretty well.  The struggles of raising kids never ends.  You’re always trying to teach them lessons and show them the way.  I made so many mistakes along the way.  I was rigid and expected them to grow with the rules that I grew up with.  I was unrelenting in my high expectations of children that were so young.  I look back now and wonder to myself, “What was I thinking?”.   I was so involved in the “rules” that I couldn’t see that I wasn’t allowing for the fact that they were children and so they should be able to act like children.

I have always been a searcher, meaning that I was a soul-searcher.  As I grew, I learned more and more to allow my spirituality to help me raise my children.  But, that took a long time and my kids were getting older and turning into teenagers and young adults.  I have to say that my children are 5 years apart.  I was one person when I had my first child at the age of 20 and a completely different person when I had my second child at the age of 25 and then again changed when I had my third child at the age of 30.  I was evolving at a slow rate.  I was finding that problems were getting bigger with my kids and I was not equipped to handle them.  I was still allowing fear, sadness and anger to guide my life.  Looking back now and seeing the mistakes I made just makes me cringe with sadness.

Now at the age of 57, it all seems so clear as does most things when looking in the rearview mirror.

My second marriage ended in divorce after 15 years.  I moved on to a new relationship and at that point, my daughter was 14.  The boys were adults then and I had grandchildren.  Still, at that point, I was not seeing the true needs of my daughter.  Again, she was well cared for but I was overlooking the most important things.  I was missing what her feelings were and what she was going through.  I was on a new journey and she was along for the ride.

While all this was going on, I eventually had a nervous breakdown and was forced into therapy.  I thought it was the worst day of my life but it turned out to be the best day.  I gave in and sought therapy and healed through hard work, blood, sweat and tears.  I finally healed from the loss of my father.  His death was 33 years before this.  So much healing took place with that year of therapy.  I learned how to communicate with my daughter and I learned how to stand up for myself and look at the world with more loving eyes as the sadness began to roll away. I allowed myself to be accountable for all the mistakes I made while raising my children.  I spoke with each one individually and acknowledge my mistakes and asked them to share with me the things that I had done that hurt them so much.  I apologized to each of them.  I learned so much about myself at that point in my life.

My evolution at that point was monumental but I had another surprise in store for me that I didn’t see coming.  My boyfriend has a daughter that is 8 years younger than my daughter.  All this time she lived with her mother until her mother’s circumstances changed and his daughter came to live with us at the young age of 14.  Wow, I thought I could handle taking care of a 14 year old.  I had done it 3 times and now had grandchildren; a lot of experience under my belt.  Once again, my eyes were opened.  This child was different, I was different.  The “rules” that I had raised my children with weren’t working.  I suddenly became that same old rigid mother type again.  What was I thinking?

I guess I didn’t get the full lesson after raising three children and grandchildren so, I got to do it again.  My step-daughter and I went on a journey together.  We learned together what worked and what didn’t work.  I learned to not be so rigid and to acknowledge when I was being unreasonable and apologize.  She began to respond positively and we grew a bond with each other.  Today, as she is now 19 years old, we live in a very peaceful environment.  We work together to achieve peace in the house.  We have compromised with each other about our daily habits and life is good.

I remember saying very adamantly, “I’m never going to raise anyone else’s kids.”  I so forcefully put that out into the universe and the universe heard me and responded with another chance to get the lesson.

Never say never!