Resetting My Inner Mother and Father

In my previous post I was focused on Mother and today I feel a focus towards Father, realizing now that they are the male/female aspects within me trying to reconcile.  It’s less about what my biological mother and father did or didn’t do in my life, and more about how I feel about those concepts within me.

I can’t change other people.  I can’t change who my parents were or are.  They have their own lives and journeys, their own hearts and passions, as well as their own pain and lessons to learn that have absolutely nothing to do with me.

Plus, while I’m blaming or focused on them for what I’m feeling inside (whether consciously or not), it only serves to leave me feeling powerless, you know?  It then sets up unrealistic expectations in me to come up with the right words to explain to them how they affected me and then some sort of fantasy “oh my god, I had no idea, I’m so sorry!” revelation on their part and then you know, the fanfare reconciliation and we all live happily ever after.

Except that’s not likely to ever happen.  So then what do I do with these feelings I have inside of me?  What do I do with the imbalance and upset that, at least on the surface, seems to stem from my interactions while growing up with them?

It’s occurred to me that how I personally see my parents, plays a big part in how I see and treat the male/female in me.  The male side barking orders, being demanding, scaring the living daylights out of me.  But also being the side of me that is disciplined, hard working, and really strong when facing challenges in life.

My female side sacrifices herself and her feelings to the demanding male side of me.  “Stop crying.  Get over it.  Move on.”  So she gets left feeling neglected and unloved by the male side of me.  But male side of me is just trying to make sure we survive and in that there’s no room or time for tears or anything girly.  But without my female side, there is no softness, love, or joy in my life.  Just relentless responsibility and nothing to look forward to or making life worth all the grief.

Are these echoes of my parents?  To some degree, I think yes.  But I am starting to suspect that it’s more to do with how I experienced them and what makes up me as an individual, than it does about how they actually were.  At least in how it relates and matters to my own personal healing.  There were legitimate, not okay things that took place in my childhood.  I’m not excusing that, but right now healing is more important to me than blaming.  It’s long since happened and it’s just time to move on, you know?

As mentioned in my previous post, when I was younger, I had a type of surrogate mother that I found within me and called upon to help me deal with my mom being emotionally absent.  I don’t know what to call her really.  Is she my higher self?  The Great Mother?  An angel?  I’m not sure, but what she showed me is another way of being a woman.  A way to break the family cycle.  A way to change my fate.

And if I can do it with the mother figure in me, then why not the father figure in me?  Why not balance that shit out?

So I’ve been trying it out, and it’s like pure magic.  I’m so ready to let go of the past and move on, that it feels like liquid gold to me.  Yes, I can overwrite the genetic male/female that I was programmed with and start over, start fresh.  Wipe the slate clean and try again.

I feel the father figure in me letting me know that I can rest, I can relax now.  He’s going to take good care of me from now on.  I don’t have to try so hard anymore.  I can let go of all of the burden and heartache I’ve been carrying through life, because he’s here now.  I can stop working myself into a frenzy and burning myself out, thinking I have to do it all.

He feels bigger than me, stronger than me.  I trust him.  He’s not human, he’s something more than that and so it makes it easier for me to feel trust in that part of myself again.

But I don’t just feel him alone, I feel my mother figure with him too.  In union.  Both warm and glowing and shining solidarity and security down on me.  Spreading and sinking into me that everything is going to be okay.  It’s really okay.

It’s a little disorienting, shifting perspective like this.  It’s also a great relief to find that I don’t have to wait for others to be okay before I can find a way to be okay in myself.  I like that.  It makes me feel more open and empowered.  Like I got this.

Kitties in Sunshine Mar 2017
A rare sighting of my girl kitty (Vixen- the one acting like she’s at the beach sunbathing) and boy kitty (Gir- pretending to not love this) cuddling together.

I Remember Her

“I remember her . . . I remember her . . . I remember her so well . . . “ the lyrics from a recent Ingrid Michaelson playing sweetly, solemnly in my mind.  A song of her mother.  Thoughts of my own mother being painful, I switched the meaning to something I could accept so that I could keep listening to and enjoying the comfort the song brought me.  Softly swimming around a deep sorrow in me that wants to be okay again.

Surrendering to the siren song of the chorus, letting it carry me past my pain, I did start to remember something.  The young girl in me surfacing, singing the song for me, bringing with it the vivid fluid moving story of her feelings through me like a movie projector.  Her way of sharing her heart stories with me.

I began to remember my surrogate mother.  I could find her inside me.  Whenever I was alone, lost, frightened, confused I would turn inward and call to her with my feelings and heart and there she would be.  I never had a name for her, only knowing her by the distinct signature of feelings I felt whenever she was nearby.  She supplied me with what my human mom was unable to.

Until the day came that it was time for me to grow up and become my own woman.  When I began to lose the connection to her, I became more aware of my biological mom.  It was time to learn about the human part of me.  Over the years I watched as my mom struggled to understand life.

Emotionally distant.  Her inner dialogues, arguments drowning out anyone outside of her.  Lost in herself while simultaneously neglecting herself.  Always focused on everyone outside of her while never really seeing anyone else but herself.  Not realizing that while she blamed everyone outside of her, that she was really fighting different aspects of herself.  There is no room in her for anyone else to exist.  She is isolated and alone in a world of her own making.

It took me decades before I understood that I didn’t really exist to her.  That she saw and took everything I did as being how she would have saw and done that same thing.  Anything outside of her personal world went out of her spectrum of sight and became invisible or distorted and twisted until it came back into view for her . . . never looking as it was originally meant.  Making it impossible for me to reach or help her.

It was a big blow to me to when I finally realized that I wasn’t going to be able to help her.  That my choices had boiled down to either keeping her in my life and suffer, or let go and see if I couldn’t find my own happiness.  The danger being that if I didn’t start helping myself, that I would become her.

So I went my own way.  She didn’t and still doesn’t understand.  I spent years trying to explain it, but over and over she only saw a distorted version of what I said.  In her world, for someone to go away means that they don’t love you, and maybe never did.  She doesn’t understand my world where someone going away has nothing to do with whether they love someone or not.

“I remember her . . . “ I initially felt this song and remembered my surrogate unseen mother.  Once again bringing me the comfort that she once did when I was a young girl.  She’s still there after all this time.  Coming full circle.  Coming back home after so much drama and adventure in the human world.  Understanding myself and the world in ways I was unable to comprehend as a child.

When I am with her, my heart becomes big enough to be able to face the pain I feel in relation to my human mother.  Pain I wouldn’t be able to handle otherwise.

Just how much I love her.  How angry I am at her for not loving herself enough to be able to be there for me how I needed her to.  No, not anger.  It’s much deeper than that.  Deep wide-mouth sobbing heartbreak.  How much I needed her to be bigger and stronger than me.  How much I had needed her to be the adult in the relationship.  That I’m forced to go through life without her.  On the surface it looks like it’s me who isn’t giving her a choice about our relationship, but in reality it is her that gave me no real choice.  Forcing me to choose between her or myself.

I mean, what kind of choice is that?  Basically saying that one of us has to die.

I feel hurt because she chose death and left me alone in life.  I’ve been trying to make it different, but I can’t.  Omg.  I keep trying to save people.  I’m still trying to make it right instead of accepting the reality that I have no control over what other people decide to do.  Jesus.  I’m trying to convince people, who have already decided to die, of how great life is because of how much it hurts that they want to die and go away from me.  Living in a constant threat of being left alone in the world.

But, I have to let them choose what they want.  They have free will.  I wish they could hear me through their pain and feel how much I love them and how much it hurts me to see them like that.  Not for a guilt trip, but so that they are aware at some level that what they do does affect others.  They may not think they matter, but they do matter to me.  That’s how I know they are wrong.  They think nobody loves them, but I love them and I’m not a nobody.  I am someone and my feelings matter too.

I need to sit with this some more and more deeply integrate it.  I have to let them choose, even if it hurts me.  I have to give myself space to mourn that pain in me, so that I am able to come to peace with it.  Which will lighten my burden, giving me the strength to move on and live my own life.  Instead of being tied up in my grief for them and sitting motionless in life myself.

The Fulfillment Card

Every so often, especially when I’m having a hard time hearing myself or understanding my circumstances, I will pull a card or two from one of my guidance/message decks.  I’ve found that it helps me get out of my own way and gain a new perspective on whatever is bothering me.  It helps me get out of my rut thinking.

One particular rut I’ve been stuck in is what I want to write about, and so I thought maybe I would pull a card and write about that.  The card I drew for this purpose is entitled, “Fulfillment”.  Hmm.  That sounds promising.  Let’s dig in.

[Looking for the card in the book to read the meaning.]

Ah, ok.  So it’s considered a nourishment card.  I’ve been getting a lot of cards from this category lately, so that in itself is a message.  I’m in need of nourishment.  Noted.  The PRESENT CHALLENGE that this card represents is:

Finding lasting nourishment from your involvement with others and your living environment.

[Reading the first two paragraphs in the book and contemplating.]

Ok, it’s saying that I’m living and working in ways that are failing to nourish me.  That I may be so focused and worried about my relationships (check), future (check), or self worth (check) to such a degree that I’m no longer drawing love and fulfillment from my environment.  To prevent myself from crashing and burning from this behavior, I need to get more in touch with my environment through the use of all of my senses.

Wow.  Guilty as charged.  On top of over-thinking about those things, having moved to a foreign country, everything about my environment is new.  And while that’s exciting when you’re on vacation for a couple of weeks, after a couple of months of relentless unfamiliarity, it becomes a source of exhaustion.  So yeah, I can see why I’ve disconnected to some degree from my environment.  This is some pretty sound advice and definitely what I needed to know.

Further in the message it mentions how it can affect a person’s life when the rational mind has become too dominant.  It can lead to feelings of being alone, misunderstood, unloved, and even to addictive behaviors.  The solution to addiction is through involvement in life.  Through experiencing and participating in life without needing to change it.  When you can do that, then you are able to accept the genuine nourishment that life has to offer.

The book said it so much more eloquently than that, but I think I at least captured the essence of what it was trying to say.

But think about that, ‘when the rational mind has become too dominant’.  How easy is it to let that happen without even intending to?  You get caught up in taking care of this, or that.  Or you get caught up in your own thoughts and worries about any number of things.  Without even knowing it you’ve trailed off into the realm of rational mind and stopped paying attention to bodily sensations or even losing touch with what you’re doing it all for.

For me it leads to what my authentic self values which leads to self integrity.  I have to be in touch with what it is that I truly value and whether I’m making decisions that support those values or takes away from them.  The tricky part is that in order for it to work, I can’t try to fool myself.  I can’t just say I value something and then pretend to be valuing or appreciating it when that’s not really what I’m doing.

Here’s a weird example.  Let’s say I value my cats (which I do).  So I make sure they have plenty of food and water, a litter box, a place to sharpen their claws, toys, and take them to the vets regularly for checkups, etc.

Now.  Let’s also say that I’m super busy with life in general and I just don’t have time for their shenanigans such as when they walk all over my keyboard, or their requests for sitting on my lap, or just attention from me in general.  You know, because I’m busy thinking, planning, doing, etc.  I always mean to set some time aside to show them some love, but darnit if there isn’t always something else that needs to be taken care of.

So I may be saying I value them and I may even believe that I’m showing my appreciation for them by what I do for them, but if I’m not actually connecting to them or taking time out to give them my full and undivided attention on a regular basis . . . then I’m not actually valuing them and they will feel that and respond accordingly by being more obnoxious and less obedient.  They get upset and then somewhere in me I’m also upset and feeling neglected because I’m like, ‘Hey! I LOVE kitty cuddle time, why aren’t you letting me have that?’

It’s a lose/lose situation.  And yet, here I am doing it.  That’s what this card is pointing to (not the cat situation specifically) in my life.  It’s like, hey dummy, in the mayhem of everything, you kind of lost touch with what is actually important to you and are totally focused on things that are taking you further away from where you really want to be.

And it’s true, so that’s fair.

Moving forward I need to be more aware that I’m doing this and start paying better attention.  I need to get out of my head and more into my body and life.  I need to hold myself more responsible for living a life that is more aligned to what I really value and being less wasteful.

That is all, thanks for stopping by!

branch berries

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who Do You Look Up To?

Having recently moved to The Netherlands from the US, I have been watching the political shit show from the sidelines.  Horrified.  Watching helpless as my country slides sideways.  Bringing into question within me, the state of the whole world.

I find myself looking around, wondering where our true elders are.  Our true leaders.  Where are the real adults?  It feels to me like we’re in the hands of children who have gotten out of control and think they don’t have anyone to answer to.  But they do.

Eventually.

But in the meantime . . .

Come to think of it, I can’t remember anymore, the last time I had someone I looked up to and admired.  I wonder what kind of person that would be for me.

It would have to be someone with integrity.  Someone who has gone through some shit in their time and chose to grow from it, having gained hard won wisdom in the process.  Someone who has grown beyond needing validation from others because they have long since won the war within and are at peace with who they are.

Someone who doesn’t require anything from others, because they have already provided themselves with what they need.  Enabling them to see objectively what is actually needed to bring a situation back into balance, and lessening the chances of being persuaded by the lure of money and power.  Because being in true balance is more rewarding than what either of those things can provide.

The person would be in touch with their feelings and heart.  But having mastered them, being strong enough to still do what was right and needed to be done, even if it was hard and painful.  Forgiving, understanding and yet stern, disciplined.  A Compassionate Authority.

Someone filled with such contentment and inner joy, that it spills out into the world around them effortlessly.  And yet, still beautifully human, flawed, and someone we can all relate to.

In short, someone who really does have it all figured out and isn’t just pretending to.  Someone to remind us what we’re capable of and to once again inspire us to put in the needed hard work to become the best version of ourselves (and need I say, for the betterment of all).

How amazing would that be?  How amazing would it feel to be reminded of what we’re capable of as individuals?  To wake us from our fear inflicted confusion and depression?  To remember our own power inside and what we’re capable of?  To once again be brave enough to dream of a better world, where the individuals can make a difference, no matter how bleak the world looks?

Could that person be you?  Could it be someone you know?  Maybe someone who could use even the littlest bit of support and encouragement?  I think that person is out there somewhere, right now.  Maybe going through the very shit that will wisen them in their later years.  Maybe fighting to not give up in themselves and strengthening their heart for the tough battles ahead.

I hope that whoever it is, that they find the courage to keep getting back up no matter how much life shoves them down.  I hope that they find the strength to keep reconnecting to their heart no matter how much it hurts.  I hope they work as hard as necessary to heal themselves and to recover their voice.  And most of all, I hope that when they do reclaim their voice, that they roar with all of their heart for the rest of us to hear.  So we can remember ourselves once again.

So Nice To Meet Moo.

I recently quit my career of 20 years as an analyst, got rid of everything I owned (with the exception of 6 small shipping boxes, 2 large suitcases, and 2 pissed off cats), left behind my friends & family and moved across a whole ocean to another country where I don’t yet know the language or what the hell my purpose is here.
Why did I do it?

Both for myself and my relationship. After four years of an intense (read: hard work) long distance relationship, I finally took the plunge and came to live with him to start our new life together. But now what? I already have a grown son and we’re not looking to start a family. I’ve survived 20 years in the break-neck speed of ‘eatbreathesleep work’ of the corporate American lifestyle that I’m not anxious to get back into despite how well it paid. So what is on the horizon of my new life?

The thing is, I’ve been nothing but meticulously responsible for the entirety of my life. Including my childhood. Always doing what I know I should, with my ability to postpone reward or pleasure in the name of responsibility being second to none. I’m severe on myself in that sense. I’m not much of a risk taker in the cool person kind of way. I am a rule follower extremist maximast. My solid reputation in the business world was founded on this mentality.

However, life has been gracious to me by having tragedy strike regularly enough in my life as to remind me just how short life really is and that it wasn’t meant to be all work and no play. That you can’t sacrifice your whole life hoping to do everything perfect and right in the effort to stave off tragedy, because life doesn’t actually work like that. Tragedy will occur no matter how hard you work. And when it does, if you haven’t done anything good or fun or worthwhile in life to refill your reservoirs, then it will make it that much harder to handle and rebound when it does inevitably strike.

And so I’ve decided to try and live my life differently before it’s too late for me and I grow into a bitter old woman who worked hard her whole life but has nothing to show for it. I decided to take a risk. Risk being a form of play. I let everything I know, go. I moved to a country that is a little less interested in deadlines and bottom lines and a little more interested in enjoying life. And riding bikes.

I took a chance on my relationship. Hoping we don’t want to strangle each other before the year is out (I’ve become more realistic in relationships vs. the love struck type), or even if we do, that we have the good sense and patience with each other to work it out. And I have no set plan or understanding yet of what I am going to do with the rest of my life. I’ve waded into unknown territory. A bit like trying to wade into ice cold water inch by inch. That part isn’t fun and as the water reaches certain heights, you shriek and run a foot or two back to the shore. But eventually you adjust to the water and get the pleasure of swimming and splashing around like an ecstatic fish.

I am ready to learn about and understand the more fun and lighter side of life. To unleash my curiosity. To share all the little treasures I learn or find as well as anything that brings me joy as I begin the journey into my new life with earnest. That’s what The Holy Heffer is about. Inconsistency. Nonsense. Randomness. ‘I did not know that!’ enlightment thrown in for good measure.

Oh who am I kidding, that’s a wish list. That’s not me yet, but it is the direction I am pointing myself. If along the way I can help others laugh and relax at my follies, then so much the better. I have to start flexing my ‘make new friends’ muscles anyways, so why not start right here with you?

I would like to extend a warm welcome to you from The Holy Heffer, I hope you enjoy your stay however long or short it may be!

Moo!