You’ll never know…

…until you have actually and fully been there.

Until you have actually walked this road in a way that leaves the soles of your shoes worn out and developing holes, and your feet blistered and bleeding twice as much as your heart pumps through you and until you have not only seen but had no choice but to actively participate in the sights and scenes DAILY, because there literally was no one else, for so long that you feel like you’re in a Stephen King novel, no – you will never know what it’s really like.

How it can wear you so thin that it nearly destroys you, the way water seems to work like acid and melts cheap toilet paper.

How it can tear you down to a level that you, as compassionate and kind a person you are or try to be, think, “the next time someone tells me I should smile more, or I should look on the bright side (which is what? That eventually she’ll die and I won’t have to do this anymore?) I’m going to punch them in the face.”

How you start avoiding people because you’re sick of their hypocritical judgments and comparisons, OR the way they pretend to understand when you know good and well they have no clue so you just stop talking about it and pretend it’s easy and everything is fine…

100%. Until you’ve done it, you’ll never understand completely what it’s like. I shared a lot of our journey. Even then it was only a fraction and what I did share was picked apart by completely irrelevant, inexperienced people. But I will keep sharing this until we have real reform and raise the standard of care for caregivers and their loved ones with dementia. (Thank you, Martina.)

When my mom died, it broke me. It wasn’t the grief that broke me, it was the RELIEF that broke me. Because I had no idea what to do with it. And I felt guilty for feeling it in the first place.

Finally being able to breathe and stop and rest after SO LONG of being a full time care giver going between two homes and three people (wait, four – but I never really thought of myself, lol) and dealing with doctors and being sick myself…?

THAT almost killed me.

I’m not exaggerating or trying to be dramatic or draw attention, which is what people always love to say when you share thoughts like this (which reallllly doesn’t help so just shut up because that kind of thing can drive someone over an edge you will never understand when they’re grieving loss after caregiving).

I just finished writing a whole chapter about this. Maybe I’ll share it via my blog… For now, here’s the thing I want you to know and remember:

If you’re in a situation like this or are grieving after a situation like this, know that you’re not alone. Know that there ARE those who see you and feel you because they’re there, too, or they’ve been there before.

I pray not one of you ever has to go through it (or go through it again).

If you are forced to go through it, I pray you get the resources you need (financially and otherwise) sooner than a month before your loved one dies because the only thing that finally saves the day is hospice.

I pray if you do face this situation, you have less people than more coming at you with what you need to do and how you need to act but NEVER actually doing anything to help you do what they think you should do and regularly acting the same way you’re acting despite not being in your shoes and instead having everything they could ever want or need.

And I pray that if you ever find yourself in those shoes, you give yourself grace and you forgive yourself daily, before the day begins, for the fact that you’re never going to be perfect. You’re not going to get it right and keep your cool and manage your emotions well EVERY DAY. You’re just not. Period. So accept it and be gentle with yourself and just keep doing the best that you can. You’ve got this. You really do. You don’t think you do or feel that you do, BUT YOU DO. 🙏💜🙏

And if you’ve never been there at this level and never have to be? I pray you don’t take that privilege for granted. Because you ARE privileged.

💜💙💜

Balance Requires…

“To be implies not to be. You can only be on the in, in relation to something that is out. The positive cannot exist without the negative.” -Alan Watts, on Balance

My belief? Balance requires a foundation of love – love as a state of being, not as feeling.

If you do not have that? You have nothing because there is only, at the core of our existence, love and fear – if you do not have a foundation of universal love, then fear drives you. The fear of losing something; the fear of being seen as something you are not or, worse yet, as something you are that you do not want to be caught being; the fear of inadequacy; the fear of missing out; the fear of losing control; the fear of not being in control in the first place – thus having to manipulate your life in a way that leaves you constantly on the defense or preparing for the worst scenario.

Consider this. The worst case scenario has already happened. You are dying. You have been since the moment of your birth. You are mortal, and decaying, regardless of how healthy you may believe yourself to be. Your days are limited. All you have to do? BE. Simply, be.

Do good. Be gentle. Be compassionate. Be kind. Do all those things for yourself and for others. Have a beautiful day.

XO.

~C.

It’s the end of the world as we know it…

…and I feeeeel fiiiiine…..

Just kidding. But also, it kind of is…and I keep wondering when people are going to wake up and notice that people are waking up and noticing.

No, this is not one of those conspiracy theory driven statements about the virus or about the world. This is just…well, the truth.

Most of the people who will read this blog (based on my “subscriber base”) have spent perhaps years looking below the surface of what others tell them, just like I have. We reason things for ourselves and as a result live a higher quality of life – first and foremost, we see things as they are and there is no stress in acceptance once you have reached that level of existence.

Right now there is a truly great awakening taking place. In the midst of a huge chance for a true change of consciousness, most continue to focus on the virus, the vaccine, and political jokes rather than be a part of the a global pandemic of people who are taking their blinders off. Thankfully, not me and not most of you.

We live in an ever moving, ever growing and ever changing universe, which presents us with duality in everything. It presents us with choices – not so much the idea of free will but a similar idea. This is my belief (in this moment, of my life and in the energetic place we are currently, as a collective being). Once presented with those choices, then we simply choose.

Most people make incredibly unconscious choices not realizing they have one (a choice) or that they’re choosing anything at all. They spend their lives just floating along following “the rules.” But, the true reality is that almost ALL we spend our lives doing is choosing which way we want to go, and we keep on choosing until the end.

Even in the case that life does something that we feel we have no choice in, which it will because we can not be in control of EVERYTHING, most people are under the delusion that they have no control at all (I’ve said it recently, myself), but that’s not true. There IS one thing you can control – your reaction. Even though I struggle with depression, and that is absolutely out of my control at this point – I can chose how to react to bad days, I can choose to allow myself grace and to do nothing if nothing is all I can do. I have built a life and a mindset that allows that. That is still a choice. Most people…they forget that ultimately, no matter what they may not be able to choose for others, they ALWAYS have a choice for how they decide to handle a thing.

Most people live in a unconscious state where they THINK they are choosing, when in fact they are repeating the same old patterns and behaviors over and over and then remain unhappy because they don’t see different results, or are very content because they think they’re doing all the right things when the reality is that there is no “right” at all in the sense of what most people are taught and molded as children to believe we need to be and do to be happy in this world.

I believe our universe is our Source (God, whatever name you call that which is in control) and that this Source – this energy – connects to our consciousness, where new choices are presented to us. My observation is that most people eat dead food, ingest polluted water, follow news media like a cultish religion, crave entertainment from very fast paced experiences and things that afford them instant gratification, and so on. People have completely forgotten about their souls, rarely even try to actually use their minds, and are seemingly existing only in the form of physicality.

These people are so low in energy that they are incapable of sensing universal shifts, which is what we have been in the midst of since BEFORE the pandemic began. The pandemic simply caused a sudden consciousness of many realities and seemingly all of a sudden and all at once a huge group of people realized the truth about the “cog in the machine” role they were created by society and the powers that be, to be.

Shift, however, is a certainty. If you don’t believe in such things, consider this when you consider the fact of the worldwide, literally global impact of the virus. If you take off your governmentally/societally controlled rose colored classes you will realize that we are facing the end of one natural cycle, and looking forward to another, and that this was coming whether covid came with it or never existed at all. Covid only sped up the process and forced a change for most people that led to many realizations about what life could and should be.

The universe and the physical planet we call home also goes through cycles – darkness and light, daily, and seasons that change (however briefly) four times a year – and at the end of a cycle EVERYONE, regardless of their condition, must wake up. They must make the necessary changes and shifts in mindset to accommodate the physical existence they would like to experience during each cycle – whether it’s a day or a season. The same is true of (what I consider) energetic (spiritual) cycles.

Perhaps this is what’s going, as we enter a new cycle of light. The LIGHT is exposing the darkness more and more, and while we move on, most are caught up in this infuriated, fear driven belief that because of the virus, freedoms are being taken away. In some ways, perhaps; but, I believe what they don’t realize is that they have already have given their freedom away. They don’t realize that a country or a government is not where true freedom exists in the first place, and it never has been.

Step outside of the box, remove the glasses and unlearn the rules that you THINK you have to follow, and you will see. You will see that perhaps you have just been caught off guard and your spirit is trying to show you what you’ve always known. Most people ARE caught off guard by “current existence,” and now find themselves in a place of confusion with an underlying belief that there is no place to run. It’s not a literal “Book of Revelation” moment, but it is very much that in a much deeper way. Dr. Bruce Lipton talks about being in the 6th time of mass extinction, but those who carry the LIGHT will find the WAY out.

This is only my perception – this is what I have come to believe through my own reading, mediations and spiritual practices/connection. I did not become brainwashed by virus- or political-focused propaganda or “jump off the deep end,” as they (the less deep thinking, society driven rule followers) often say about people who express views like this. These have been my beliefs for decades (most of my life). It is really very simple – I haven’t changed, I clearly see it as my living reality now only more so than before; and, I realize that it has been “this” all along.

Someone shared a thought with me the other day and I will leave this blog with it: you are the message, not the messenger. BE your truth as you share it. If people do not understand or they judge it, and many will not understand and will jump to judgment, that’s okay – because neither did you at one point in your life.

Do good. Be gentle. Be compassionate. Be kind. Do all those things for yourself and for others. Have a beautiful day.

XO.

~C.

The Mighty Oak Will Kill You

I mediated this morning on something that I told my child last night when he asked for advice about why someone in his life did what they did and about why it hurt him. I told him that this the person who had hurst him was not yet coursgeous enough to heal himself before he broke someone else, and that it hurt him because he cared about this person.

He depended on this person to not hurt him. He believed in this person. And for a child, that’s really scary and difficult because as a child you’re still learning to process emotions and understand what emotions are. It takes maturity at multiple levels to remain calm and to not hurt a child with you words. I suppose the same is true for adults – especially the way we treat and speak to ourselves.

So, I went on this very deep, very enlightening almost hour long soul journey with my own meditative backing track (coming soon, shameless plug) and it was one of those meditative experiences where you’re doing your meditative thing (eyes closed, body relaxed, going within your deeper, inner being and connecting with it) and it hurts.

It burns. It stings. It aches. Tears roll down your cheeks even though your eyes are closed. You feel every needle the porcupine of life has shot into you. But you keep going and you find yourself at the edge of your inner self and inner peace and you step into it, and you bathe in it’s light. While you’re there, you see things about yourself for what they are.

What did I see within myself? That being strong doesn’t require being fearless – it’s facing the fears that create the strength in the first place. That protecting yourself doesn’t require meanness, it requires patience and love. And, that being guarded and angry doesn’t deflect the things you don’t want to see as much as it blocks your blessings and wastes valuable energy and time.

This is hard. This process is one we are faced with numerous times in our lives. My son was faced with it for the first time last night, and I shared some of my experiences with him and it helped me to remember things that current shadows have been hiding: We learn as we go, but we don’t learn unless we put in the effort to do so.

We all know it takes more strength to be kind and to love anyway than to run. But if I didn’t run from my demented mother who randomly beat me with a cane because of her disease, if I handled that and still did my job as a daughter and in the role I was thrust into as her death doula…and I did it mostly on my own (because I was dealing with absent people and also still blocking spirit and blessings for so long), I can handle just about anything, right?

((Please note, there is a difference between running from yourself because of self-doubt and walking away from toxicity because of self-confidence. There’s always two sides to these memes. There’s always two sides to everything – and often a lot of gray.))

Personally, I am really struggling with a lot of negative and toxic emotions toward my body right now – and with a lot of negative and toxic energy surrounding me. The things my body and I have faced in the past two years have been unforgiving at times, almost suffocating at others. They’ve been so difficult, and continue to be in some moments. But that’s the thing. It’s moments. You learn to rest in the moments that you have to – especially in the moments that you NEED to – but not give up completely.

You learn to be ok with the fact that venting your fears and anger and concerns about things is NOT always “just complaining” and it’s not being ungrateful. It’s COPING. It’s figuring things out. It’s keeping your own balance. Because you can’t thrive in ANY way without balance. You learn that a response of kindness and empathy and gentleness is more powerful than a response of coldness and lack of depth.

After all, look at nature – what’s more beautiful and pleasant? The colors, the beauty, and the warmth of spring and summer and fall or the harshness and bone chilling cold of winter? Can winter be beautiful? Sure. But is it as pleasant and comfortable and conducive to joy? No – that’s why so many people struggle with seasonal affective disorder.

You very literally see that the people who told you throughout your life that you have to be good with yourself before you can be good with anyone else, and that you won’t have true peace until you do the work to heal yourself, was telling you the truth. You won’t ever find peace of mind and true and lasting joy in your soul until you learn to sit in the darkness and kill it with your own inner light and magic. And you have that. You ARE that. You are magic. You are made of literal “stardust,” for Christ’s sake.

Shine like you’re supposed to. Don’t let your circumstances and your old wounds or should have could have would haves or even the opinions and actions of others put out your light and stop you from sparkling like the diamond you’re supposed to become under pressure. If my mom’s stuff taught me anything, it was the harsh reality of that. Pressure and pain can grow you into a brilliant diamond or petrify you into a bland and plain stone.

Don’t let it be the latter. Don’t let your heart become petrified and your mind become stagnant. You aren’t here to be a rock, or you’d have been created as a rock that just lays there on the ground and does nothing. You’re here to LIVE. Not just survive, LIVE. In order to do that, you have to mind the diamonds – you HAVE TO DO THE WORK.

As I find myself struggling with my body, and with random triggers of mom grief (that’s a whole other blog) I’m not making the same mistakes I’ve made in the past and choosing to hide away or beat myself up (and thus, others). I’m going to continue to grow and one day I’m going to bloom, and y’all are all going to watch me do it. Actions speak louder than words, even as loud as words can be screamed.

I’ve been here before but I’ve learned and grown. After my last episode with my health, with depression and the thoughts that ran through my head, I’m terrified of only one thing: dying knowing I haven’t given all I could give or done the work I needed to do to live well and in peace and thus bring peace and joy to others. But, that work I can only do that for myself, with my own choices and actions. It’s a conscious choice we have to make over and over in our lives.

It was a conscious choice with a lot of conscious effort behind it to fight my body’s BS before, to fight depression, to fight my self doubt, to heal traumas and wrongs inside myself – especially around my mom so that I could care for her when there was no one else to do so. The shadow work had to be done. I took my little soul chainsaw and cleaned out the vines and the poison ivy and the dead trees of my past and my experiences and do you know what I find, over and over again? Baby trees. New growth that needs room to become.

There are stumps and scars in the garden of my soul that still feel tender sometimes but they remind me that I CAN heal and I have many times. The more times you go through this process, the more you learn to listen to spirit and see the signs and open up the natural spiritual gifts that we all have, the more you realize that nothing is ever in your control and that most of the time, when you stand like the oak, you’re standing in your own way.

You realize that when you break, that oak is gonna fall hard and it’s gonna crush anything in its way, and you’re going to be the one who has destroyed all the good you couldn’t see while you were fighting for more more more and fighting to look strong and hide your truth and avoid other people rather than to be your authentic self and to SHOW UP, for yourself AND for those you care about.

Vulnerability bends. Vulnerability can move with the moment – it can handle the pressure without breaking. It gives, it sways with the energy. And when the hurricanes and tornadoes and even the weight of the winter ice come, it can withstand them, because in reality? Softness is stronger than hardness when it comes to humanity and the soul.

It’s a metaphor we’ve been presented with eleventy hundred times in eleventy hundred ways in our lives: The oak is the ego. The willow is the soul. Don’t let your ego break you and those you care for. Don’t let your ego block your blessings and destroy your soul. Your peace and your heart (and the peace and hearts of others) are worth way more than that. Keep it open.

The more you give, the more you receive – even if it doesn’t come from where you are directing it. Life will surprise you. Let it surprise you with gifts, not problems. And remember, you create so much of both in the tiniest actions and choices you make.

Un-expectations. | Deep Love

First of all, this post is not an April Fool’s joke. That’s just how ironic and hilarious my life likes to work out.

I saw this and it led to thoughts. Since I have nothing better to do besides lay here right now, and read and write, I thought, “let me share my thoughts…”

“Deep Love

You cannot touch the depths of another until you have touched the depths of your own soul.

If you love yourself for your achievements, your current assets, the way you do things and handle the world—and despise yourself for failure in the same—it follows that your relationship with another will also be transient and superficial.

To achieve deep and lasting love of another person, you need to first experience the depth within yourself—an inner core that doesn’t change with time or events.

If it is the true essence, it is an essence shared by the other person as well, and deep love becomes unavoidable.

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman”

The thoughts this led to on this unexpected day?

I may not have time for material things anymore. And I’m ok with that. All I’ve ever wanted was to love and be loved – not necessarily romantically or in any specific way…just respected. And right now, unrelated to this shared post, really, I’m in love with my doctor in a professional way because he is being forthright, knows not to hide his concerns from me, and is concerned to the point that he doesn’t want me admitted because of my immune system so he’s given me tools and explained all the precautions so that I can be at home.

Instead of scaring me or belittling my intelligence or undermining my own concerns, he makes me proud to be intelligent and aware and doesn’t answer my questions with phrases like, “you just let me worry about that,” or, “we don’t need to get into definitions or science.” He WANTS me to be at the same level as him because if it comes down to a person’s life, why wouldn’t they? His job is to care for me and to do everything in his power to help me to recover. He doesn’t take me for granted as just another patient. He knows my body after all these years but he also knows I know my body better than anyone does and he respects that.

He asks me more questions than I ask him, and we work TOGETHER – it’s not like other doctors people tell me about that they’ve dealt with. It’s not like, “I’m the doctor, do what I say.” It’s more like, “you’re my patient, let’s discuss options and treatments and risks and concerns and fears and how we can combat possible and current difficulties.” He makes want to fight, he makes me better. Even just his voice on the Emergency On Call line this morning took me from panic to immediate calm. “Be at the office at 8, we’re going to handle this in the office before we do in the hospital.” He fights for me. Because of that, I feel strong enough to fight for myself.

And, we laugh. A LOT. Darkly. 😬🤣 He understands me (and enjoys my personality) that way.

THAT is the kind of relationship you pray for with your doctor. He loves his patients deeply – because healing and helping them is his passion, and purpose – not just his “job.” I may be very sick and dealing with some possible very high risks, but I am also so very blessed. 😭🙏🙏🙏

What will you choose?

Hey there… I’m about to catch up on my #spreadmusicnothate posts, but first some morning thoughts:

No altar, no belief, no holy book…have ever been able to reconcile the rich and the poor, the exploiter and the exploited. And if Jesus himself had to take the whip and chase them from his temple, it is indeed because that is the only language they hear.” -Thomas Sankara

No – it’s not ALL rich people, and I’ll gladly point that out. Look at Dolly. Look at Keanu. Look at Paul Walker (before he died in that crash). Many “rich” people care and give to and for the higher good. It’s not even specifically normal people who are richer than me and many of us financially. But this spoke to me on levels of Jeff Beezos. Both “Walt” families (Walt Disney’s and Sam Walton’s). I could go on… That top 1%…

Kindness is so important – giving, helping, encouraging. Not just money, but also words and comfort. Don’t underestimate that.

Jesus did, in fact, flip tables and run people out of his temple with whips, see John – chapter 2. He – as a pure soul in a human form – lost his temper more than once. But he did it in situations that required it. How do you think he would enjoy “church” now?

The point is this: frustration and speaking/acting out for injustice is OK. It’s ok to not feel or be happy all the time. ALL of our emotions serve a purpose.

If Jesus can acceptably lose his temper, use his anger for change and defense of the abused, then it’s ok for you to get angry and fed up, too. To call out injustice and to stand on the side of the less fortunate or unfortunate.

Don’t think that Love itself (as Christ is generally defined) wasn’t sometimes reprimanding and influential of change in ways that don’t seem kind to the one getting “in trouble.”

Don’t think love doesn’t need to get “tough” on you sometimes or that generally always kind people are fluffy bunnies who never turn into lions. How many of you are parents? 😉

That said, don’t down the “fluffy bunnies” – it is my belief that some of us are here for that purpose specifically. Someone has to try to help keep the balance between fear and love, and that’s what everything really boils down to. Love isn’t necessarily unafraid – sometimes it takes big courage and strength to choose love. Fear is afraid of everything. That’s what fear is, in and of itself and by it’s definition.

I once wrote a whole post about how EVERYTHING is either love or fear, the difference between love and fear. If I can dig that up I’ll reshare it and/or add a link here.

There is a fine balance in all things. Whenever possible? Choose love – even if your love sometimes has to hold its own. It’s not always rainbows and unicorn droppings, but it’s always worth it.

I learned…

You have the power to overcome conditioning –
especially conditioning you’ve done to yourself…
Patterns.
Obstacles.
Regrets.
Even fears.
It takes bravery, but it rests within you.
Be compassionate toward yourself,
Believe and see – you have the ability to heal the wounds that bring your anger,
that slice you open,
that feel like ghosts who just won’t follow the light and leave you be…
Forgiveness of self,
understanding is yours…
Now take the reigns and seek the changes,
do not doubt,
do not fear.
Know that you can change these patterns –
thoughts,
wants,
expectations of self…
You can do so much,
you can pray so much,
you can love so much –
others and yourself.
But
life will always happen
on life’s terms.
There is no other way.
Understand that no matter what you have chosen
or what you choose,
what you know,
or think you know,
what you wish for,
or what you loathe,
life will rise and fall,
come and go.
There is true peace to be found,
and felt…
but only within yourself,
and only when you let go and allow it…
only when you give yourself the opportunity
and the gift you need…
Only you know what that is.
It’s the only way.
~C.

Excerpts from counseling chats, #1

The last few years culminated into feeling like a dream for the last several months – I have literally survived, I realize now, by living in a whole non-reality, on autopilot, and there are very few everyday experiences and mundane daily tasks that I do now without being in an almost confused state. Like, “what is this?” or, “how did I ever do that…I don’t remember…”

I am beginning to realize that I actually exist – and can exist – as a being separate from continuous worry and fear about/for my mother, and I have completely forgotten how to be that person. I still wake up some mornings, if I’m not already at my moms, with this programmed state of, “I have to go check on my mother,” being the first literal and conscious thought in my head. Even if I stay there, which I haven’t been able to peacefully do yet, I find myself in the mindset that I have to get up every few hours to check and feel guilty when I wake up and think I forgot to set alarms to wake up.

Everyone says, “it’s got to be such a relief, though, since she died…” It is, in some ways. But in others, it is the same, just different, level of stress to readjust to “normal,” which is difficult now anyway because WHAT IS NORMAL in a world of COVID? I focus myself on cleaning and doing what needs to be done before anything else (music, photography, etc.) when the things I used to do I was only able to do mindlessly, really – just as a distraction from insanity.

I don’t know if this will make sense to anyone who reads. It has to sound like the ravings of a lunatic mind – but as I’m remembering my intelligent, creative, indulgent, passionate, and subconscious mind I find myself feeling everything from confusion to guilt to elating freedom to even complete blankness and emptiness.

It’s not the grief. Well, it’s partially that but only about 3/4. I don’t know, in this moment, WHAT the word or feeling or experience is. I remember going to through it to some extent after Dorie died and I had been such an integral part of taking care of her, but it wasn’t the same as this, nor was the care.

24/7 worry and anxiety about someone for years, and then 24/7 for months – even to the point of every single daily task they needed to do and then to the point of helping them through every moment of their death…it’s a completely different experience to readjust to existing without that task attached to your back when it was there for so long.

So yeah, you’d think it’d be lighter, more peaceful existence…but it’s actually more like a feeling of chaos. I hope like hell it doesn’t last long. I have too much to do – and, too much I want to do. I assume it will last through and a bit beyond probate because that limits me on the speed at which I can chose to move forward and move on… If it were up to me, I’d snap my fingers and life and the “me” I was “pre-Alzheimer’s parent” would click right back into place.

We don’t get into any state of being in the blink of an eye and we become the next version of ourselves even less quickly, I suppose. That’s been my past experience. So trudge along and get it done, I guess… ((Yawn.))

🤷‍♀️