By Dr. Sandy Sela-Smith
If it is true that our essence is something that exists beyond physical limitations, eternal, or connected to the eternal…spiritual beings having a physical experience…where has the darkness come from that seems to permeate nearly every front of our individual and collective experience? Whether we want to admit it or not, we all possess what I have come to call the Unique God Essence that is the core of who we are, but in far too many cases our true being has gotten overshadowed by a darkness that is also a part of us that may well go back for generations, millennia, or eons, perhaps since the beginning of human consciousness. This darkness is so deeply embedded in us as individuals, in family and social systems, in our cultures, and in our species, a darkness that has been passed on from parent to child for myriad generations and replicated in unconscious patterns that most of us have no idea we possess.
Though there are an unfathomable number of patterns in any one person, my focus here has to do with patterns within family systems that include believing children exist for the benefit of parents by providing purpose, safety and security for them or parents exist for the benefit of the children never fully free to experience their own lives no matter how old those children become, or one partner exists for the benefit of the other. These often unconscious patterns prevent seeing or experiencing the self or the other as someone with worth and value outside the role of fulfilling the other person’s needs or having one’s own needs fulfilled. These patterns are often exhibited in behaviors of ownership and being owned, in overt and subtle manipulation of the other to get what is wanted or needed, and in experiencing a semblance of pseudo-peace only when both people take their assigned place in the relationship of serving or being serviced. Generally, one person overtly gives up self in order to maintain the relationship, but in accepting the sacrifice of the other’s self, both lose connection with that internal, Unique God Essence in themselves and in the other, leaving both feeling empty, lost, and alone. Fear of losing the relationship, or guilt and shame for stepping outside of expectations, keeps the patterns and the darkness intact.
Many of these patterns are incorporated within us, without us even knowing that we have embraced and embodied them. These patterns are expressed by expectations in the form of values, obligations, responsibilities, and traditions we hold regarding our selves and others in relationships. They are passed down from generation to generation, often unquestioned and unchallenged or if they are resisted, the one resisting the patterns is judged for questioning or challenge those expectations …even if what is expected is damaging or destructive. This passing down of patterns found in traditions, values, obligations, and responsibilities can be beneficial if the patterns allow for growth toward individuation and wisdom in the individual as well as cooperation and caring in relationships within the family or social system, but too often, they produce a darkness that robs the individual of self knowledge and of experiencing the fullness of his or her life or they erode true connection for which codependent attachment is substituted.
One of the patterns that can be passed down is the honoring of parents by denying the darkness that might have overshadowed childhood experiences within the family. So often, people choose to remember the good times, the loving experiences, or the family they fantasized as having, and they erase the painful times, especially as a parent is dying or after the parent has passed on. Mothers are remembered as being saints or angels; fathers as remembered wonderful, caring, and supportive heads of the household, and spouses or significant others are idealized as being flawless and nearly perfect, without awareness of damage erasure of the full truth can do within the heart, body, and mind of the one who only chooses to embrace what feels more comforting.
As I write these words, my 96-year-old mother is dying. She has been begging that God take her for years now—especially since my father died in 1996—but she has become more vocal in the last few months about wanting to go home and be with her husband, the man she chooses to see as her perfect and most wonderful lover. The truth was that my parents’ relationship was rocky from the very beginning. My father was a philanderer and ended up having at least one other family while still married to my mom. She supported him financially for most of their lives together, and when he needed money, he had no qualms about stealing it from her, disregarding the fact that his stealing meant there would be no money for food, or not enough to pay the bills.
He left her for a time to live with a woman with whom he had a child but returned later without any discussion regarding the years he was away. Despite returning to my mother’s home, he lived a separate life, spending most of his days and his nights in the basement, coming up only for meals.
In his later years when he was too old to entertain himself with affairs, he and my mother went for walks around the neighborhood after dinner to keep their aging bodies as fit as possible. When he died, now 16 years ago, mamma stopped walking because it made her sad to experience this after-dinner-ritual alone. Not long after his death, she suffered a heart attack, which slowed her down even more. Getting up and down the steps of her house became more difficult, until one day she fell and broke her foot, which required 6 months for her bones to mend, but by the time her foot healed, she had lost most of the strength in her legs. Since then, she has been confined to a bed, unable to walk, and without the movement that walking allowed, the internal flow of her body was badly compromised.
BELIEFS CREATE REALITY
From the time I was a young child, I recall my mother quoting the Shakespearean poem The Seven Stages of Life, focusing on the seventh stage of life:
Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
She lost all of her teeth some time ago, and then her hearing began to fade; she became blind in one eye from shingles…and recently, she began having difficulty with the other eye…and then food lost its savor as she lost interest in eating. She has gone through several rounds of stopping eating, and then something in her would reach out to try again to eat so she would not fully embrace that final act on the stage of life, moving into mere oblivion without everything. Once more, she has begun the last cycle of letting go of everything, with the possible exception of ice cream…just a very little bit. She is living Shakespeare’s description of old age in that 7th stage.
As her life is coming to a close, my mother is 100% dependent on my youngest sister who moved in with our mom 12 years ago to be her caretaker. My sister believed my mother would not be able to function on her own after a second heart attack in 2000. My little sister gave up her life and dedicated it to our mother. My mom did the same thing in the 1980s for her mother, when Mamma opened her home to my grandmother, who had shrunk from a sturdy 5’ 7” woman to a tiny wheelchair-bound invalid unable to walk or lift her arms to feed herself, and eventually she was unable to take care of any of her bodily functions. In some uncanny way, grandmother and mother were reading the same life-scripts on a very similar stage.
ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE
It was only yesterday that I discovered my younger sister was, herself, was close to death from her 24-7 sacrifice, which had taken its toll just a few months ago, and resulted in a near stroke brought on by blood pressure off the charts…227 over 120. A visiting sister saw the symptoms when my little sister experienced blindness and an inability to speak. My older sister demanded our caretaking sister go to the doctor, who after the examination, told my little sister that had she postponed medical intervention even a few hours, she would likely have been dead by the end of the day. Self-sacrifice was certainly one of the patterns embedded in our family.
Working all night as a nurse and coming home to take care of her mother, my mother went through a similar experience taking care of grandma 30 years before. And in both cases, my sister and my mother put their mothers in a nursing home in order to survive. In my grandma’s case, she died there, and in my mother’s, my sister brought her home after the blood pressure dropped to a more reasonable level. But mother and sister managed to find some internal reserve and survive what might have killed someone less strong.
While writing these words, I recall that my mother’s younger sister also died without use of her legs; they had to be amputated as a life-saving procedure, which even in the short-run did not work. Ah…the patterns that cycle through the generations. It is as if parent and child read from the same life-script and follow the lines in living—or sacrificing—their lives. It was not a surprise to realize that the beginning of Shakespeare’s poem about the stages of life, a poem my mother quoted so many times, were the words that I used in the acknowledgments of my second book in The Meaning of Three trilogy:
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players,
They have their exits and entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts
…with the actors ending their time on the stage in oblivion, without teeth, without eyes, without taste, without everything.
A couple of days ago, when I was at my mother’s bedside, my mother announced that she was ready to go now, and asked my sister to go with her. When my sister explained that she could not accompany her because she still had things to do, my mother, who was holding my hand at the time, squeezed it tightly and asked me to go with her. I dismissed her request as coming from an old, old woman who really didn’t know what she was asking.
I supposed, depending on the perspective taken, a person could see this as a sweet request for company in this most difficult transition or as a sinister and narcissistic request made by a person completely unconcerned about the needs of her children in asking them to die with her so she would not have to take that journey alone. I found myself struggling somewhere between the two perspectives.
Over the years, I have been aware of a pattern I have exhibited nearly my whole life…a pattern of not being able to let go very easily. And the pattern revealed itself in a not so subtle metaphor. Just before my trip to Seattle to see my mother, for what I thought would be the last time, I had been on a trip to Western Colorado in my RV. In both leaving and returning, I became aware of my reluctance to unplug my RV from the electrical source, enough to cause me to delay departure going both ways. I immediately saw the electrical cord as a metaphor for the umbilical cord. I knew I needed to unplug from my mother, and I kept finding resistance, especially considering her condition.
After her first heart attack in the late 1990s, when we all thought she was dying, I sat beside her in the hospital singing to her and sending her healing energy. She left the hospital five days later with no apparent damage to a heart that had been declared about 2/3 damaged when she entered. I returned home and had a heart attack two days later. Against medical advise, I flew to Brazil to attend a shamanic conference and experienced a most profound healing from a Peruvian shaman who moved through the crowd and stood in front of me. Speaking to me in his tribal language, he placed his hand over my heart, bowed his head and left. My heart had been healed and shows no evidence of a heart attack. I suspect that I had taken on the energy of my mother’s heart damage as a sacrifice, believing I could carry it for her and heal it in me without her having to struggle with survival or death.
While writing about my mother, I recalled an incident many years ago when my husband’s grandmother was near death in a nursing home, I became her caretaker for her last days. My mother and father-in-law had decided to wait and see what was going to happen instead of returning to Seattle to be with her in her dying. I had spent the last couple of days singing to her and letting her know it was safe to go to the light. If she was only waiting for her daughter to come before letting go, she needn’t wait. But then, my in-laws changed their mind and decided to come home. Grandma had become very cold, her vital signs were quite weak, and I was concerned that she might not last until her daughter and son-in-law made it. Bad weather and plane delays made it worse. When my brother-in-law relieved me late in the night, I drove home, but felt very concerned about grandma’s ability to survive the night. Feeling guilty that I had first communicated it was okay for her to let go, and then, after she began the process of letting go to tell her daughter was coming, I felt I needed to fix things. Knowing she was too weak to come to me energetically, I gave my spirit body permission to travel to the nursing home to be with her. I felt myself slip in beside her and told her she could use my heart and lungs during the night to stay alive until her children came. I fell into a very deep sleep and when I woke the next morning, I felt exceedingly weary and heavy; I could barely get out of bed. I still don’t know how I did it, but I drove the 20 some miles to the nursing home. As soon as I walked into her room, I felt my energy return.
The attending nurse came into the room to check grandma’s vital signs, but thought something was wrong with her blood pressure instrument. She checked again and to her dismay, a woman who was so weak and near death the night before had a 120 over 80 blood pressure reading. She pulled back the covers to check the old woman’s legs and was amazed to find they were warm, not icy cold as they had been less than 12 hours before.
Bad weather and plane delays extended the time for my in-laws’ arrival. In the meantime, I had an appointment with a therapist I had been seeing, but when I left grandma’s side, I became weak and very cold again. My therapist understood what I had done and told me I had to take back my heart and lungs. I drove back to the nursing home, planning on telling grandma I had to take back what I had lent to her, but I found out my in-laws had been delayed again and would not arrive until the evening. So, I postponed telling grandma what I had to do. I waited until they came, but seeing her in what looked like a comatose state, my mother-in-law broke down in tears and had to leave. The family decided to go out to dinner and return in the morning. My father-in-law stepped back in the room for a moment and asked me if she would be there in the morning…I shook my head, “no” and his eyes filled with tears. He left.
After everyone left, I told the old woman that I could no longer lend her my heart and lungs and explained that all she needed to do was to look into the light and go into it whenever she was ready. She opened her eyes and looked at me with what seemed like a combination of fear and anger; she closed her eyes again and took her last breath. There was a recognizable musty odor that penetrated that final exhale as if it contained air that had been in the bottom of her lungs for centuries.
I made all the calls to family members and got into my car to drive home. But when I turned on the keys, my body became so very cold, and my breath smelled like grandma’s final breath. I opened the window despite the frigid night, breathed in as deeply as I could to fill my lungs with fresh air, and drove home.
Totally exhausted from the last couple of days and nights, I crawled into my bed to let everything go when my body began to move on its own. My left arm rose up and slipped under my chin, and my body twisted in an unnatural position: the same position grandma’s body had been in when she died.
I shook my whole body to get rid of the spontaneous positioning, but when I surrendered to the need to go to sleep, my body returned to that position again…and then a third time. At that time in my life, I knew very little about spiritual realms, but I did have a sense that somehow grandma had come into me and was either trying to overtake me to live in my body, or take me with her so she would not have to cross over alone.
I told her she had to go to the light. I explained that I lent her my heart and lungs but it was a lending, not a giving, and that I had taken possession of them for myself. After several demands, I experienced my body as becoming only energy. I reached into my chest and found what felt like an energy membrane attached to my heart and lungs. I grabbed a hold of the membrane as if it were a piece of skin I was pulling from a sunburned part of my body. I pulled it and lifted it out of me. The membrane turned into a white smoke cloud that hovered above me. I told grandma that I could only go with her part way, but then she would have to go the rest of the way on her own. She seemed to be satisfied…and I had no idea how I even knew what to say or that I could do what I told her I’d do.
My energy body lifted up from my physical body on the bed and grandma, and I began to move out…to somewhere. And then I stopped, I told her that was as far as I could go. I told her she would be all right…she moved on and as she did, I saw her become younger and younger. The morning came, and I awoke feeling like I had been through a warzone…but I could breath my own breath. It was a long time before I told anybody what had happened that night.
TAKING ON WHAT IS NOT OURS
All of this from the past was in my mind when I lay down in my bed a few nights ago after having spent two days with my mother. In the middle of the night, I woke with excruciating hunger pangs. The pain was so intense, I clutched my belly and immediately saw an image of my mother who was literally starving to death 1400 miles away from me. Somehow, after all I had learned since the mid 1980s and more so after my mother’s heart attack in 2000, about not giving away my energy or taking on other people’s ailments, I seemed to be doing it again. And when I woke the next morning, it struck me that for the past few months I have been feeling weak and was unable to force myself to do physical exercise. I had planned to use my RV to travel and teach, but I could not find the energy to do what should have been fairly easy.
On waking the morning after I returned to Colorado from Seattle, I was in good spirits, looking forward to moving on in my life, when I was engulfed in a dark depression. Soon thereafter, my dear friend, David, called to check on me because I had not been in communication with him for some time, I told him about my trip to Seattle and the metaphor I had discovered about the umbilical cord, but he provided another interpretation. He asked me to consider that it was not me who was afraid to unplug from my mother for fear I could not survive, but rather, I was afraid to let her unplug from me because of my fear that she could not survive without the attachment. She did not want to release the attachment because I represented what she thought was her life source, although that was not the truth. I spent my whole life feeling responsible for keeping her alive. And it was time I released that responsibility.
When I returned to my mountain carriage house, my intention was to write a letter, not to send to my mother, but to express my choice to release the attachment to her. Events of the previous week, my being so very tired, my inability to exercise or even get out of bed, and my depression had shown me that energetically, I was still attached to her, albeit at a very long distance. Many lifetimes of Shamanic learning that had been a part of my knowing despite the fact that I wasn’t consciously aware of what I knew during most of my years, rekindled in this lifetime when I was going through releasing many unhealthy attachments back in the 1980s.
When I was just a little child and my precious dog, Pal, was dying of distemper, I wanted to go out to the enclosed porch room and put my hands on him. I knew I could make him better if I could touch him…but my mother wouldn’t let me. From her perspective, she was protecting me from his terrible disease, but from mine, she was preventing me from bringing him back to life. My heart broke when a group of men came with a rifle and shot my Pal, and carried him away. My dear Pal had been my protector, but I was too little to challenge my mother and protect him. I suspect I have carried that pain with me my whole life. The pain of his death caused me to believe I was responsible for him dying because I was not insistent enough or strong enough to challenge my mother’s blocking me from connecting with Pal and making him well again.
Like many other people in this world, I had been carrying the long-held family pattern of self-sacrifice based on fear and guilt, and I knew I had to release it. Not long after David’s call, a dear friend offered to do a therapeutic “Life Line” process with me to help me access the unconscious links that had formed in my growing up years, which were negatively impacting my life now. Lifeline helps bring the unconscious patterns into conscious awareness for healing.
As we began our work together, I saw an image of my RV and my reluctance to disconnect it from the power source and then I saw my 96-year-old mother in her bed, nearly asleep, eyes closed, mouth open, breathing slow breaths, and I felt constriction in my throat, a pain I had not felt before filled my left eye; my right shoulder and hips hurt as did my left foot and the right side of my head. There seemed to be a connection, not just with recent mishaps in my own life, but also with places in my mother’s body I knew where I knew she was hurting.
Because I would not choose to feel all this pain in my conscious thoughts, my friend reminded me that the feelings of tightness and pain were reactive unconscious feelings expressed in my body. She asked me if I could form an intention of what I would like to experience instead of the pain; the words that came spontaneously to me were that I would experience the joy of being free and I would feel open, connected, and expanded.
But instead of my intention, I was feeling sadness, especially as felt in the tightness in my throat, and though I couldn’t feel it, I was aware that anger was present in the tightness, though I wasn’t sure of its source.
As we began to work with the feelings, I was surprised that I was taken back to my child self, perhaps 12 or 13 one evening when my mother was asleep on the couch. I was softly singing to her and very gently rubbing her weary forehead to help her find peace before she had to get up and go to work as a night nurse, very similar to what I was doing a few days ago with my mother at 96 to help her find peace before it was her time to exit this life. My child-self was fully open, with my face so very close to hers as I was sending love to my sleeping mamma, when in a jolting micro-second, she awakened with the most frightening look exploding out of her eyes. Her jaws were clenched and her terrifying expression looked as if it could kill me for some cause I did not know. The growling words that had exploded in my face, coming from my raging mother were, “I want to die.” I reeled backward and leapt up from her side and fell against the large bay window that stretched across the living room. She sounded like a vicious animal rather than a mother and her words embedded into my face as I pressed myself against the window, sobbing in painful tears. As my friend and I worked with this energy, I realized not only was I afraid that my mother was going to die, but that if she did, I would either die with her or be left with my father, and that would cause me, like her, to want to die.
The belief that my young child self had taken on in that event was that I could never be free…I was trapped in a hopelessness, a depression that was overwhelming, something from which I was not strong enough to overcome. So many times in my life, I felt that same feeling of being trapped in a situation from which there was no way out. When my friend asked me to find the image that represented that belief, I flashed on what I called the “worst of the worst”, a most excruciatingly painful incident I wrote about in the second book of The Meaning of Three: Behind the Mask. My whole life, I was terrified of accessing the anger of what had happened to me as a child for fear it would turn me into the killing anger expressed by my parents at multiple times in my life; so I held the fear and the anger inside me, which had become embodied and were eating away at me, causing generalized and, at times, incapacitating body pain.
The overpowering and disabling words coming from my mother connected to another scene from my childhood, an event that caused me to believe there was no way out when my father buried me in a box, and I went into a desperate struggle for my life. The words that became attached to that image were, “You are going to die” as if one part of me was telling another part of me to prepare for death, while another part was filled with deep sadness in a pleading response, “No, please no…it is too early.” Even from my early childhood, I knew I had a mission to accomplish, and in life-threatening situations, I was filled with sadness and fear that I might die before I had completed that mission.
I heard another voice judging me because I was not strong enough to overcome the box, which filled me with the feeling of failure and shame, and then self-judgment, when another part of me proclaimed me to be a weak nothing for not being able to find my way out.
This scene led to another, when I was 4-years-old being accused of lying when I told my mother that my daddy had hurt me down there when she asked me what had happened to me. I felt huge shame for what had happened and anger that she chose to believe my father instead of me. I felt a growing energy of defiance in my solar plexus that silently proclaimed, “Wait ‘til I get bigger.” That thought was followed by the awareness that when I got big enough, they could never have any power over me again. My broken child-self felt empowered by the thought that I could grow big enough to stop them from ever hurting me again, but my adult self was aware that the empowerment was not connected to my true self, to my Sandy God-Essence.
After going through a sequence of embracing the parts of me that had disconnected from my true essence in these childhood incidents, I accepted that who I really am is the personification of joy in being free, feeling open, connected, and expanded.
My friend took me into other arenas that had connected to my core limiting belief about who I am in this world to release the limitations and open more fully into the authentic being that I am. In connecting to my passion for life, I found that I regretted that I had not been able to feel passion for my former husband and that in not opening more truthfully to him, I had lied to him. The lie was in the form of my sacrificing myself for him in so many ways, living his dream, doing what he wanted instead of having a voice of my own and serving him to make up for my untruthfulness. If I had been able to be passionate and authentic in my connection with him, we both could have chosen what we wanted, whether that was to become more deeply connected and intimate instead of being superficially attached as we had done, or we could have chosen to lovingly separate because our life paths had grown apart and neither of us wished to sacrifice our path for the other’s.
My childhood had caused me to block the flow of life and I continued to live as if my life were blocked in my marriage. The flow of life includes the ability to recognize the metaphor that in the Fall, leaves drop from the trees and that is a part of the circle of life. I spent much of my life trying to prevent the letting go of the leaves and feeling the sadness that the result of their disconnection from the tree would be death to the leaves. Without knowing I had done so, I blamed myself for metaphoric deaths of people and things to which I had attached or had allowed to attach to me and sometimes for the real deaths, which included the death of my marriage, and the deaths of people and beloved pets. In the process of the self-blame, I resisted the flow of life. In the self-blame, I did not recognize that I believed I had the power to control what happened to other people, when the truth is that I did not
When my friend did an inquiry regarding the age I was when I was first filled with regret, blame, lying, and resisting the flow of life, what came forward was myself at age 12. Something happened that caused spiritual imbalance, where my mind, heart, and will were broken, and I disconnected from believing I had any power in my life.
There were two events that weaved together for my 12-year-old self. The first was when my father announced that we were relocating to Seattle and would not be returning to Alaska. My heart was broken because I had promised my dogs that I would return to them at the end of the summer and take them home. I made that promise as I left them howling in the dog kennel that was to be their home for the two or so months we were to be gone. I blamed myself because I believed I had lied to them and I was overwhelmed with regret that I could not find the way to fulfill my promise. I could not allow myself to think of them spending the rest of their lives in the kennel and certainly would not allow myself to think that they might be put down if we did not return for them as I had promised. Something inside me felt as if a part of me had died because I was not strong enough or powerful enough to fulfill my promise.
Not very long after that heart-breaking experience, my mother attempted suicide two times: once by locking herself in the bathroom and slitting her wrists and the second time by taking an overdose of sleeping pills. For years following those shocking experiences, I recall feeling a deep need to rush home after school to make sure my mother had not killed herself during the day while I was at school.
Because we never talked about these experiences, I have no idea how my siblings responded to what happened when we were children. And until I got the news a few days ago that my mother was dying, I had not accessed these deeper feelings that had played themselves out in unconscious patterns, which had ruled a significant portion of my life…obviously, without knowing this was happening.
Over the years, when I have traveled, I have mapped out my route, usually finding the most direct and fastest way to get where I was going. I don’t think I have ever taken a trip that did not have a destination and arrival time in mind before I left. Not until now did I realize that this was connected to my 12-year-old self who had to hurry home without taking time to enjoy the roses along the way or take a longer route…or even a different route…to see what a new path might allow me to experience. My internal response was to stop or resist the flow of life in so many arenas of my life even if, from the outside, onlookers might believe I have lived my life so openly and in the flow.
Another awareness that grew from this experience is that I have lived far too much of my life feeling disconnected from my Sandy-God-Essence and disconnected from other people. My resistance to remove the energetic umbilical cord for fear my mother would die if I did, made me feel trapped. Although I remained attached to her, I resisted true connection…something that felt dangerous and life threatening. The unconscious fear I carried was that if I allowed myself to connect with another, I would lose myself in self-sacrifice. And, self-sacrifice was not only a belief that was formed from living in my family, but also a belief that has been in my family for a number of generations that I know about, and probably many more that I do not know about.
My life’s path has taught me that self-sacrifice based on fear is destructive because it produces attachment, not connection, and attachment requires giving up connection to the true self within and the true self of the other. A life lived without embodiment of the true self is a life filled with pain and tension as parts of the self struggle for some form of attachment while other parts fight against any form of attachment or connection. With this struggle came an inner war between desperately wanting to live and desperately wanting to die to end the pain of the struggle.
The feeling of hopelessness and the experience of self-judgment for not being strong enough or wise enough to figure out how to stop something that feels overwhelming plagued my life far too often. In this state, I was so caught up in the problems of my life that I was unable to see that there were ways out…if I could release fear and let myself think outside the box. It is fear that traps us in the boxes of our lives.
All of my adult life, I have struggled with weight issues, sometimes starving myself and other times eating too much to soothe the inner wars related to living and dying, to wanting freedom and fearing freedom, to wishing for openness and fearing the danger of being open, to wanting to feel connected and fearing being trapped and wanting to feel expanded in my whole body/mind/spirit, becoming my Unique Sandy God Essence in the world, and fearing allowing myself to experience the joy of being free to be me in this world. The fear has been that if I open to the vulnerability of being me, someone bigger and stronger will attack me with a profound destructive viciousness that will destroy me, a viciousness that will project onto me the other’s wish for death, a wish I believed I would take on and live as if it were my own. So a child part of me believed that if I could just keep getting bigger, no one would ever be able to take me over and destroy me.
If I held onto the wish to see my mother in only her sweet, angelic self, I would have continued to carry the pain and the lies that living in the genetic darkness of my family caused me to incorporate in my unconscious mind and in my life. Allowing myself to see both the light and the darkness held within my mother can become a most beautiful gift I give to myself and to anyone who chooses to learn from my experience. And, it is the only meaningful gift I can give to her at this stage of her life, a gift of authentic acceptance and love for who she is and who she is becoming on her path to break free of all the attachment to the unconscious patterns of darkness with origins that may go back to the beginning of time.
Now that these patterns have come into my conscious awareness, I can claim my right to choose how I want to live my life, instead of experiencing my life from the pain of darkness. I release my mother, my angel mother who has a terrified side of her that wants to die and take me with her. I no longer need to protect her from her path, nor do I need to walk her path. I accept the deepest truth that I am free to live my life joyfully, open to what my life offers, connected to myself, to those who cross my path and to the universe…and I am free to expand and fill all of who I am in body, mind, and spirit for as long as I choose to be here.
In this moment of writing, I release not only my mother, but also my grandmother who gave up walking on their life paths and all the women in my family for generations back who believed they were trapped and either lived their lives trapped until it killed them or escaped and carried the guilt and shame for following their own paths. I release the belief in self-sacrifice as a way to somehow make up for whatever caused me to believe I deserved judgment. I embrace walking on my path and allowing it to flow in joy, openness, connection, and expansion into full consciousness.
My sweet dogs from my childhood, I let go of holding myself responsible for not coming to get you. I am not responsible for what I did not create. Wherever you are in this universe, you are loved and we are always connected without judgment.
I release the need to try to make something work that is not working and to take the responsibility to ease the pain of speaking the truth by not acknowledging what is real for me. I release my former husband to live his life as fully as he chooses without blaming myself for my choice for freedom or his choices or his experience. I honor his ability to make those choices for himself and let go of the attachments and the judgments I have held against myself for choosing to live with the joy of being free, open, connected, and expanded.
For so many years, I believed that if I released my attachment to him, I would die. I believed I was not strong enough or powerful enough to make it on my own. I was afraid I could not get outside the box, and if I did, I would be devoured by what was out there. I believed that being confined and limited in my being was the only way I could be safe. I release the untruths and embrace the truth that in my expanded awareness of who I truly am and in my connection to my Unique God Essence that is eternally connected to Universal God Essence, I am forever safe and capable of creating what I choose to experience in the flow of this life and in all life experiences that will follow when this one is complete.
I let go of seeing a leaf falling from the tree as final…and I choose to notice that as the leaf releases and decomposes, it becomes part of the earth and part of a magnificent cycle of life that affirms flow and continuation. Shakespeare, Mamma, and all those who have believed that the end of life means slipping into oblivion without teeth, without eyes, without taste, without anything, I release your belief in loss and I embrace my connected self who can live life fully with teeth to speak my truth, with eyes that can see the truth, with the ability to savor the wonders of life and with fullness of all that life offers…and I can let go when it is my time to allow the body that held me to transform and become a part of the circle of life as my spirit, my Unique-God-Essence flows into Oneness and experience whatever opens next on my soul’s path.
Perhaps, the darkness that exists in all of us originated with a belief that the creation of the experience of our unique being state meant separation, which in turn, was given many different meanings. For some separation meant innate wickedness must have caused us to be rejected; for others separation might have meant that we have been left alone, never to reconnect and we have to struggle to survive. For still others it might have created a longing to return to what once was…and the causes and potential answers to the dilemma of separation have been passed down from generation to generation ever since. I release the darkness and the fear I inherited from the genetics of my family system and from my human species that believed in separation and being lost and alone. I embrace the truth that I am connected to all that is…and that I am both unique and One with all…and both are true.
And Mamma, with love for all the wonder of who you are in all your multiple-faceted ways, I let go of attachment and release the energetic umbilical cord that I continued to attach to you for fear that if I released it, you would die. I release the responsibility to keep you alive and return that responsibility back to you where it always belonged, anyway. You are so much stronger than either of us believed you to be, and I am so much stronger than I thought I was. You can choose to remain for a few hours or a few more days, or many more years. Your decision to stay does not mean that I will have to hurry home to be sure you are still alive and your decision to leave does not mean that I caused it to happen by not hurrying home. I release you to experience what you need as I embrace the joy of being free and savor the wonder of feeling open, connected, and expanded. This is my nature!
September 27, 2012