Walls & Doors
A few months ago, during yet another chaotic political uproar, my son, Alex, who typically is the target of my "I don't understand" rants, quietly and patiently asked me "why does your generation continue to argue with walls?"
That sentenced stopped my rant for about 2 seconds and I, in my usual loud, confused and often hysterical way proceeded with the "what would you say to..." - "wouldn't you...?" - and on and on until he once again, this time with a bit of cautionary irritation, replied "I don't argue with walls."
He doesn't argue with walls.
I can't argue with that.
He gets his charming personality and stunningly good looks from me, his patience and wisdom, not so much.
I've learned when Alex talks, I listen, (after a few go around with myself), which brings me to walls and doors.
Once again the smoldering division in this country has been re-ignited by fingers and knees.
Fingers belonging to a habitually mindless tweeting fool taking aim at a protest begun by an American of mixed race NFL player taking a knee during the National Anthem in pursuit of social justice for all.
While Americans were still mourning and worrying about the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and Hurricane Maria, the embers were burning just enough to set aflame another path of destruction that didn't need Mother Nature's assistance to wreak damage of biblical proportions.
No, this firestorm was reignited at the fingertips of an attention-grabbing, rating loving, draft-dodging hypocrite who chose to focus his attention not on those devastated by Mother Natures wrath, but on those who, in peaceful and constitutionally protected protest seeking social and racial justice for all.
Once again, the man with dancing fingers decided to jitterbug on his Android inflammatory remarks against a certain group of Americans rather than recognizing the devastation of our American Territory, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
Apparently kneeling on dry land is more dangerous to this country and its people than floods and hurricanes.
We as a country stood toe to toe, flag to flag, white to black, belief to value, friend to friend, debating whether or not an American's right to peacefully protest racial and social injustices can be done on a football field.
Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and its people don't hold a candle to a group of people on bent knee.
The tweeting of a proud draft dodger have sent this country into a total divide and the NFL became its focal point because once again we have shown that we aren't capable of scratching the surface of an issue deeper than that of a scratch and sniff car deodorizer.
The man with the dancing fingers once again used his childlike skill set to blast off a frenzy of brotherly hate in the heart of brotherly love.
Yes, he decided to use this time of true peril to lead astray many with misguided tweets of patriotism.
He sent his lit matchstick right into the hearts of those who believe in the representation of the flag and anthem in such a way that they forgot what it is they really value.
See if we were to take a moment and really think about what we as a nation and whole value rather than what we believe we would quite possibly have had a different outcome.
We have been led to believe that our flag is our country rather than the symbol of what our land, people, our constitution hold in value.
Our country is valuable because of its people.
Our Founding Fathers realized this and set forth to create a country that represents this in its constitution, not its flag.
Our flag has changed many times over, our constitution has not.
It still remains our constant north star.
I have read and listened to many people on this matter and I have often found myself hearing the words that Alex said to me a few months back.
He is right - there are people who are walls and will never be doors.
They will believe what they believe and no matter what is presented to them.
They value their beliefs more than they value their values.
It pains me to hear the words and read the words that some seem to follow so closely and it pains me more to see the destruction that these words are leaving in their wake.
It pains me to see how many people are walls in a world full of doors.
Walls will tell you that an NFL player is "just a rich, ungrateful, paid entertainer" and therefore have no right to protest on the job.
A door will remind you that athletes work extremely hard to hone their craft.
Talent may be inherent, but without the will, drive, persistence, and determination the desire will never come to fruition with any person in any job with any talent.
A door will also remind you to imagine a life without any form of entertainment, be it sports, Hollywood, toys, books, etc.
Remember Burgermeister Meisterburger?
I don't want to live under his rule.
Walls will tell you that "kneeling is disrespecting our veterans" even though a large majority of veterans will tell you that peaceful protest in any form is absolutely appropriate and entirely what they value.
A door will offer a glimpse into another point of view for consideration which would be kneeling is a form of humility.
We kneel in reverence, we kneel in hope, we kneel in prayer, sickness, to Mother Earth herself while we plant our seeds every spring and hope for harvest every fall.
Yes, we as a nation kneel when we are seeking answers, kneel when we are seeking help and hold out a hand to those who are rising up.
Walls will tell you that "they have no right to protest during work hours" even though they are walking the picket lines as teachers, nurses, postal workers, union workers, etc. seeking better and safer, more profitable and equal work environments.
Protesting brings about change.
Public protests with larger groups of people bring about change more rapidly than singular protests will.
Remember the lunch counters at Woolworth's when a black man sat there?
The water fountains, women's right to vote, Selma, Alabama, 4o hour work week?
This one hits close to me as well as many in my generation-
my Italian grandmother married an Irish man and his Irish mother refused to come to the wedding.
My Aunt married a Jewish man whose mother refused to come to the wedding and my own father who lived in Adams married a woman from "the wrong side of the tracks", North Adams!
EEKKK! The horror!
Walls will tell you that "athletes are not heroes" and therefore deserve to be paid less than those that they deem heroes.
Does Superman, Mighty Mouse, and Underdog fit into the hero category because these characters were certainly heroes of mine? How much do those characters get paid because I know their values helped mold me.
Does the child who lies in Boston Children's Hospital not see Tom Brady as a hero when he comes to his bedside with a football or a jersey?
Do the people of Houston Texas not view J.J. Watt as a hero for raising over 31 million dollars and still counting for the Houston Relief Fund?
Is Eli Manning not a hero for his undertaking of a 5-year campaign in 2007 to raise $2.5 million for the construction of "The Eli Manning Children's Clinics" at the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children?
Are we not heroes in our children's eyes even though we don't go into burning buildings or saving lives on an operating table?
Are we all not heroes in some form or another?
Walls will always tell you, but they will never listen and that is fine for them, but it isn't a way for a democratic society to function.
We see that over and over being played out in Congress.
It isn't working.
It will never work.
Democracy and change occur when there is an opening of free thought and honest debate.
America was not founded by walls, but by doors.
Doors that were at one point closed but opened ever so slightly when the values of our Founding Fathers overruled their beliefs.
We must as a society, stop falling prey to those who seek to destroy our unity by dividing our United States with misleading words and hateful actions.
I write this blog with deep passion and quiet humility.
My desire is not to incite anger, never to promote ill-will, disrespect, alienate or force my opinions, but to possibly turn on a light aimed directly at the deep values that we as Americans are rooted in.
Rights for all or rights for none.
We can disagree, we can debate and we can stand firm on what we believe to be true for us as individuals, but what we can not ever do is confuse the value of every American and the right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness, in a safe and equal way with our beliefs as to what the symbol of those rights are.
I'm choosing to be a light in all that I do on this earth, and with all lights, sometimes they burn to touch and hurt to sometimes look at but are a necessary form of illumination, and here in America, I have that right.
Faces and Mirrors
I am a very fortunate lady and I have been blessed to live a relatively peaceful and happy adult life.
I say adult life because, like most of us, there are situations that occur in our lives that are life altering and typically occur during our most formative years.
I also have been extremely fortunate with my career.
It is very true, I found the whole psychic medium gig frightening at first and definitely wanted nothing to do with the stigma attached to being a psychic, but thankfully it grew and blossomed over many seasons of working as a massage therapist on many, many clients that eventually became friends, huge support systems and cheerleaders for my ever evolving career in the "Healing and Up-lift-ment Department of the Universe".
It is also true not a minute goes by without me being grateful for the life I have been supported to create and the future that I am encouraged to follow, or reminded of how easily it could have turned out so differently.
During these past 30 years, especially what I refer to as the "What the Hell is this all about?" years of my psychic development, I have been continually pushed to reveal more and more of who I am now, where I was and where I am going.
Being called to duty from the other side has many requirements #1 being to know who you are, completely. Loving who you are unabashedly as well as being willing to allow an evolution of the greatest you to occur organically and without judgement.
You see, being a conduit for the other side isn't always easy and it certainly isn't for the faint at heart.
Actually, it is only for those willing to be completely eviscerated, splayed and left naked in the brutality of our own vulnerability, facing every fear, every memory, every hateful word ever spoken to us or by us and every deed good or bad beating us down like a hurricane of of biblical proportions only to eventually find balance on Mother Earths lovingly dry soil under the desert sun while desperately seeking shade and water.
I haven't even mentioned the waterfalls of Niagara pouring through our eyes, releasing all that we've encountered during our initiation or the epic fires in the rain forest that eventually force us to break the seed and begin forming the idea of what expression we will be and when that expression finally emerges, just when we feel we may have control, another wave pulls us into the depths of our souls so that we can once again re-move, re-new and re-form.
"That would be dramatic."
"I thought you would appreciate that."
Working for the Universe has its perks, but the initiation period is fucking brutal.
"And a necessary period of transformation in which the vessel becomes spacious and whole for our use. It is not our intention to cause pain, merely clear you from it so that you may be of value to those who seek to cleanse."
So here I am, years later, a spacious vessel all cleared out, open for business, ready to help and here it comes....the mirror of my childhood standing in front of me, desperately searching for a steady hand to grab, in the form of a client.
"She is tormented today by yesterday."
Her spirit crushed, her heart torn to shreds, faith shattered, lost in grief searching for peace.
The exit ramp on the highway towards Peace of Heart, in which I was able to narrowly turn onto 20 plus years ago and continue to drive daily, she has yet to find and I am being asked to give her a map.
More so, to be her guiding light on that map so maybe she to will be able to find the "Peace of Heart Highway", just right of "Highway to Despair".
Her story began at 9 years old when her mother died leaving behind 3 young girls to be raised by an ill father, a loving family with very little money, even less time, but generous hearts and souls.
At that moment her identity was lost.
Her balance and sense of trust ripped away from her at an age when loosing her favorite Barbie should have been her only trauma.
Her life, her hopes and her dreams forever altered by a death that she couldn't really understand yet knew would devastate her.
Siblings crying, but not understanding at that moment the magnitude of loss they were about to face and the years in which this loss would take from them.
An age when learning to master a bike without training wheels and crossing the road without having to hold your mother's hand was the biggest obstacle she faced and never, not ever could she imagine going to sleep without a nighttime prayer and kiss from her mother.
Never could a 9-year-old imagine such a devastating turn of events.
Neither could a 7- year old.
Growing up a Motherless daughter is in-explainable unless you have been through it and even then, in-explainable.
There is a hole so deep that NO THING, NO ONE, will ever fill.
It destroys your faith, your identity, your security, your entire childhood and many times, your adult hood.
It destroys families and futures.
It eats you alive until it doesn't, and only when you are old enough to understand slightly and make that journey of allowing the pain of it all to re-enter, re-new and re-form you so that you can process it as an adult, can you even begin to be just ok with it, and being just ok is a good thing.
"A motherless daughter is forever an orphan." she spits out through tears as I nod in simple understanding, for I know this intimately.
"A motherless daughter is forever an orphan" rattles me.
I know this to be true, yet I no longer choose this truth to be my definition of life.
As I sit across from her, listening carefully to her words, I beg my ego to be removed so that only Spirit speaks, but even in this altered state I know I am once again being reminded of my own despair.
She speaks of how she will never be able to follow in her mother's footsteps, never had her mother's hand to hold after her first heart break, never had her mother to hold the tissues at her wedding, never would see her mother's her eyes shimmer with loving tears at the birth of her children, never have a mother to offer advice for the million obstacles life loves to toss at her and never, not ever watch her age gracefully and teach her how to as well.
She is a true orphan in every sense of the world.
She speaks of how the world has betrayed her.
Spirit has left her.
Orphans left on earth, Angels risen in Heaven.
As I sit and look at the mirror of my life in the face of my client, I want to comfort her by saying "Yes, we are orphans, and yes, this sucks, yes, this may be our title, but it does not have to be a cross in which we carry and crucify ourselves upon."
I want to tell her that she doesn't have to live in the crater that was created in her being when her mother died.
I want to tell her that she can recognize what she lost yet still remain in awe of all that she still has.
I want to tell her she can hate with every ounce of her being that she is an orphan, but love just as equally her living family, friends, and acquaintances, that nurture her soul today.
I want her to understand that she has so much yet to accomplish, to offer, to see and be and do.
I want her to know
She can learn to feel love again.
She can learn to accept people into our hearts and our souls without fear that they will leave her.
She can thrive even though her roots have scars.
She does not need the crutches of addictions to hold her up when she falls, comforts her when she feels hopeless and put her to sleep when she is tired.
I want to say that she is stable because she is her mother's daughter.
She is her mother's daughter and death does not take that from her!
I want to hug her so tight that she feels the love pouring into her from her mother, who stands beside her every moment of every day, offering her mothering in different ways.
I want to help her find another route, another highway, another car, anything to pull her from the madness of sorrow that consumes her, but I know that I can't.
I can relay messages and offer thoughts from her mother on the other side.
I can ask and receive answers and I can tell her what she wants to know, but I can't stitch that wound.
I can tell her what her mother tells me, but she must allow those words to penetrate the walls built of fear, anger, sorrow, trauma, loss.
I can tell her so much, but she has to decided to live a dream and not a nightmare that began with death but is being continued through her own thoughts.
I tell her to find the courage to open herself up to a life that is rich and full, loving, kind and nourishing even though a part of her altered.
I want to tell her that her story is my story too and that there are more of us than she can imagine and we are filling ourselves with hope because that is why our mothers gave us life.
But I don't. I hold her hand, I love her soul, I speak with Spirit, but I know my story isn't hers and my job today is to lead her to the highway and pray she takes it.
Like so many of of who have lost mothers, we know that the only way to heal is to accept what might have been will be found in another life. and that this life, the life we are here to explore, to learn from, to love in, to grow and thrive in, "To be an expression of an ever loving God" is never going to be completely whole, but chipped, cracked, shredded at times and always carefully held by hands that are unseen and loved by a heart we no longer see beating yet feel beating instead.
It took me years to heal enough to not hate this world and the world hanging out beyond the veil.
Years to love my children fully and completely without fear that I would leave them orphans or they would leave me childless, and years to forgive myself for not understanding then what I understand now.
"That to love only for a moment without fear is the ultimate expression of euphoria."
Faith, love, and life don't come easily for a motherless daughter, but it does come if we allow the pain to wash over us again and observe it as an adult.
If we don't lock it up and use it to shield us from life, but rather as a sword of courage from the ashes of a torched childhood.
We orphans, we know that we are different.
We are molded in a different type of cast.
Maybe we are a bit broken.
We don't trust well, we don't love completely, we are shattered and glued with bandages and putty, we are incomplete and there are deep wells that lie within us that every now and then we go back to and when we come back we remember we are warriors and we are ok
Just ok and that is good.
Today, I was lucky enough to spend time at home with my son. I sat in meditation early on and opened the box of pictures that I was able to hold onto after my mother died.
These are all I have left of her, of us, that is physical and I keep them sheltered, hidden from the world which may take her away from me, even though I know nothing can.
I took out the last picture taken of her and the last picture of me with her.
I am able to cry openly about my pain and when I said quietly staring at the picture of me as a child holding my doll on that last Christmas Eve,
"this was the very last time I was truly happy"
my son, Alex, just as quietly said,
"that isn't true, mom, you are truly happy now."
"I love that boy"
"So do I, Mom, so do I."
I hope that my client finds peace and understanding after our meeting.
I hope she feels love, joy, happiness, and safety knowing that she isn't alone and I hope that when Spirit walks with her and when her mother whispers words of love she will finally be able to hear them.
I hope that everyone who lost a mother, a child, a lover, a friend will stop to hear the whispers, feel the love and choose in that moment to love them back.
I never share my photos, but today I do. I love you Mom and I know you love me back.
That Old Black Dog
I imagine there is not one person that can say this was a long, easy going summer.
I certainly can not.
I can tell you that the energies were extremely chaotic with so many planets in retrograde and a solar eclipse smack dab in the middle of a one year, we've been dealing with a huge ball of energetic energies whizzing around us all summer long.
Climate, political, personal, you name it, it has been chaotic at worst, confusing at best, and no in between.
Most of the time we felt as though we were standing on fault lines just waiting to quake under us and take us down.
Deaths were numerous and extremely tragic.
Depression and euphoria weaved within us almost by the hour and money, well, money is ruling the world and it isn't ruling it well.
Yet, with all that has happened, we still are waking to glorious sunrises and taking pause to become one with the magnificent sunsets, reminding us that natural beauty, peace, calm, and joy are always surrounding us.
When we stop for a moment and consider the beauty in all that is chaotic, somehow peace begins to appear.
I am guilty of letting the chaos immerse me over the summer. I have been ignoring my soul self and feeding into my ego self. I have been acquiring more than inquiring and I have been owning, digesting really, the chaos of the world, the pain of those around me and the sorrows of those I can't possibly help.
I have once again allowed the world's events to consume me rather than let the world's events nourish me and in doing so, I have forgotten to observe, allow, flow, rest, live.
Until as is usual, my guides and "team Jen" decided to send in a life tube.
I know when I am "getting a talking to" when I can't sleep at night.
I toss and turn until I finally ask "WHAT?!"
Then, of course, I get nothing until I simmer myself down and be more polite, which seems pretty impossible at 3:30 in the morning after lying there since 1 a.m worrying about events I can't possibly change and wondering how to fix events that haven't even happened yet.
My ego likes to do that to me...it creates a situation that hasn't occurred and like a dog looking for its tail there I go, running in circles.
Until of course I fall asleep around 5 and wake up around 6.
Today I decided enough of this. I'm tired, I'm cranky and I'm not in any mood.
"Do you hear me?! I am now exhausted and pissed off. I'm getting coffee and guess what, I am choosing to NOT meditate!" "I need coffee."
Instead of meditating I decided to park my ass on the chair in the living room and drink coffee.
As I sat in my room my eyes started unintentionally focusing on the picture hanging above the love seat in my living room.
Tim purchased this picture for me years ago when we were struggling with our marriage, our finances, our kids leaving home and our business draining us mentally.
At that time, we were going through a "dark night of the soul", hanging onto a thread hoping the waging waters below us wouldn't drown us. All that we believed to be true proved false and the life we had so steadily built crashed like a matchstick house.
Thankfully the waters turned calm, but we were profoundly changed.
We are not "Tim and Jen" anymore, we are "Tim" and "Jen." and it is better.
That being said, through all of the chaos, this picture and it's sister, held a great space in my heart as a time of darkness and eventual illumination.
As I focused my eyes on the picture, my mind's eye turned its gaze on the dragonfly, who floats just a bit away from the black dog's nose.
I am reminded of my hard learned lessons of always facing whatever message we hear and see. Dragonflies are our little heads up that messages are coming our way, keep your eyes focused and you will see and hear the messages and it is your free will to take what you have learned and use it in your life.
I also notice the wooden canoe and the realization that it is without a paddle.
No need for steering, for the messages will always show us the way if we just keep our nose on the prize.
No need to worry about the wavy waters, they will always bring us to our soul's next destination, never away.
Water has a way of doing that. It flows and ebbs while cleansing the underlying debris by bringing it from the deepest, darkest depths to the shimmering light of the day. Much like when your soul cleans through your tears.
"I know. I'm sorry I cranked out."
The waves will carry us only so far away before they almost immediately, (though it seems like a lifetime), bring us back to shore.
Most of the time the shore is unrecognizable but is dry, warm and safe until the next wave carries us to another destination.
Black Dog doesn't worry.
Black Dog doesn't think.
Black Dog doesn't panic.
Black Dog doesn't turn away or back down.
Black Dog doesn't have a paddle, doesn't have a map, doesn't have a life preserver or an anchor, but he has focus and a guide.
Black Dog has it figured out.
I'm going to work diligently from here on out to heed the lesson I've been taught by Black Dog.
Lord knows I have the guides.
I just have to stop chasing that tail.