Soulmates

Most of the time when you hear the term Soulmates it is in reference to a romantic relationship.  When I met Mark I thought he was my soulmate.  You see the night we met I was supposed to be on a date with another guy, but I stood him up (it sounds bad but this guy drove a monster truck and picked me up already drunk for our date the weekend before, he kinda needed to be stood up).  I remember almost every detail of the night I met Mark even though my memory is extremely bad.  (I could never write a memoir because I’ve forgotten so many of the very important details of my life. )  It definitely felt like fate brought us together and it didn’t surprise me that we ended up getting married.

What I believe now is that Mark is definitely my soulmate, but so are many other people.  I think that every relationship or encounter with another person that changes the direction of your life in some way is a soul relationship.  I think we choose these people and we choose the challenges and the joys that come along with them.  I believe we plan it all before we arrive here, allowing many different routes and paths that ultimately lead us to where we are meant to be.

I remember a shopping trip I took when Callee was a newborn.  I had a c-section with her and it was followed by complications.  I went 6 weeks without driving and spent 2 weeks with a home nurse coming out and packing my incision with gauze.  It was disgusting.  At that time I felt tired, broken, fat, and like nothing more than a milk machine.  It had been ages since I’d felt even the slightest bit attractive when I walked into Target one day.  Suddenly I noticed this handsome guy who was probably in his 20s totally checking me out.  Our eyes met and we connected on some level.  I was on cloud nine for a little while.  I forgot about all the other stuff and just felt like a woman again.  It was nice.  I never spoke to the guy and couldn’t pick him out of a line up if I had to, but I believe he was a soulmate.

When Bella was 3 her preschool teacher told me about a little friend she had.  I called the friend’s mother and we got together for a playdate.  During the playdate that mother told me all the details of her older child’s experience in speech therapy.  I had been having difficulty understanding Bella’s speech and after the playdate I called all the contacts she had shared with me.  6 months later Bella graduated from speech therapy, speaking clearly and confidently.  I believe that mother was a soulmate!

I believe my best girlfriends are my soulmates.  I believe that the college roommate who got so mad at me that she used to curse at me across crowded bars in college was a soulmate.  I believe my parents, my sisters and my nieces are my soulmates.  I believe all the guys that ever hurt me were soulmates.  I believe all my cyber-friends are soulmates.  I even believe that the “Ryan” who left all of those nasty comments in response to my breastfeeding post was a soulmate.

I could write more about soulmates and I think I will…tomorrow.

Taking the Plunge

In the beginning of September I swam (if you can call it that) at Wakulla Springs for the first time.  It is, of course, spring water which means it is about 70 degrees all the time.  That first visit was on a cooler day where the outside temperature was about 85.  I jumped off the lowest platform and as quickly as I could made my escape from the icy water.  I wanted to jump from the highest platform.  Mostly, I wanted to prove to myself that I could overcome my fear of heights…at least for a little bit.  That day I stood on the top walking to and from the edge for about 20 minutes.  I watched several people overcome their fears and take the plunge, but I did not overcome mine.  I was worried not only about the height, but about the icy water and how deep I’d plunge when I finally jumped.  I left without the satisfaction of accomplishing something that day.  I regretted it and promised I’d do it the next visit.

The next visit happened on Saturday, September 26.  Mark, the girls, and I met my new friend, Jen, and her precious family at the Springs.  As soon as we were settled in, Jen and I made our way to the platform.  I took a leap off the low dock first, just to get adjusted to the water temperature, and Jen took her first jump off the top.  Then she escorted me to the top.  I felt pretty good about going up with Jen.  She happens to be one of the most loving and kind people that I’ve met recently and if anyone could encourage me to do this it was definitely her.  Once up there, I was scared, but desperately wanting to take the leap.  I needed to do this for so many reasons.  I walked back and forth and Jen stood by my side.  Finally she made a comment about how she thought I was a confident, strong woman.  At first I thought really? and then I thought of course and in that moment I got this rush of courage and I counted to three.  I did it, I jumped and Jen jumped with me.  We came up from the deep water letting out yells of joy!  It was incredible.

An hour or so later, I wanted to make the jump again only this time the hubbies were snorkeling and I needed Jen to watch the girls.  I made the trek up to the top all by myself.  For some strange reason I was much more scared this time.  Apparently, Jen’s strong, confident woman remark had more power over me and my courage than I had realized.  I stood up on that dock for about 15 minutes.  One little kid jumped 10 times while I paced to the edge and back.  Finally a girl in her 20’s arrives on the dock and I couldn’t help but notice her tattoo.  It was a poem, probably one she’d written herself.  I stood behind her and read it silently.  Then another girl on the dock was like “What it is?  What are you looking at?”  So I read the tattoo/poem aloud.  The last line read Do whatever it is that scares you the most. And there it was, my sign from the Universe!  I walked to the edge and took the leap a second time.

When I got back over to the kids and Jen, I realized I was shaking.  I’d experienced a real adrenaline rush from doing something exhilarating.  It was a legitimate rush, not like in high school when you were doing something and afraid of getting caught, but a true leap of faith that wasn’t breaking anybody’s rules.    I can’t wait for the next adventure…maybe I’ll take a trip to the beach and try parasailing.  And of course I still have hang-gliding on the list.

Here’s a picture of what I jumped off of…

wakulla

Validation

A few weeks ago, when I was in the midst of the funk, I read a blog post by Truthwalker.  He made mention of how when he is sad porn seems like a good idea, but always leaves him empty.  I commented on the post saying that I could relate, only my “porn” seems to be the internet in general (especially Twitter, Facebook, and this blog).  I think the internet is wonderful.  There are tons of things that I could be doing online that I am not.  I have discovered and connected with a lot of excellent writers who have entertaining and informative blogs.  I could be reading those.  I am interested in using my writing talents to help others.  There are tons of resources online that I could be utilizing.  I could be researching my novel idea.  I could even be searching for conferences and workshops I’d like to attend or classes I might like to take.  I could be learning and expanding.  If that was what I was doing online I could easily excuse the hours I spend in cyber-space, but for the most part it is not.  I’d say that what I do with my time on the internet can only be described as seeking validation.

We all want to be validated.  It’s human nature and for most of us the opportunity for this validation is incorporated into our daily lives.  The majority of adults spend their days with other adults.  They get their “atta boys” and empathy/sympathy from bosses, co-workers, and friends.    I have been a stay-at-home-mom now for 5 years.  In the beginning, I was a member of a big playgroup and was with other moms almost daily.  The group was fun, loving, and supportive.  But ever since school entered the equation and the moms in my life have less time, the daily adult interaction I get mostly just happens when Mark arrives home from work.  I miss the validation.  I miss sharing myself with others (besides my husband who knows all there is to know) and being able to listen.    So I’ve recently found that the internet can provide that for me  in small doses.  The problem is I find myself surfing between email, Facebook, Twitter, and this blog.  I send an email and wait for a response.  I mention someone in a tweet and wait for a re-tweet.  I post an update on my Facebook status and wait for people to “like” it.  And finally I check and re-check my wordpress dashboard looking to see if any of my lovely readers have left me a comment.  If they do, I am validated.  If they don’t, I’m left feeling deflated.

This neediness is something I am ready to let go of.  I’m tired of thinking that my worth is measured by how many people approve of me.  I want my validation to come from some place else, some place deep inside of me.  I want to put my thoughts on paper (or computer screen) and not give a shit if anyone is reading them.  I want to tell my truth and not care if anyone accepts  it.  I want to be convinced from within that I am enough.  That’s a click worth waiting for….

Here’s a wonderful video someone posted in their comment!  It’s about 15 minutes long, but worth the watch.

College Poetry

I continue to search through my old collection looking for previously un-published poetry to share.  I came across this one that was dated 10-4 (probably 1993) and thought it was interesting.  It was very sloppy though, so I’ve done a little editing to clean it up.  I think I was using what I saw in my dorm room as inspiration for this one, so bear with it.

The blades curve

The door is a trap

Bars to hide the wind

The triangles move

side to side

Frogs slipping and hopping through

the pond

The curving of the tin

folds into a never ending pathway

A circle of red interrupted at

moments of the grey

we feel

Flashing all around the conscience

extravagant places in time

Where we’ve been, what we feel

The fears, the love, loneliness, peace

Peace that never fills our heart

The lids slip

Emotion never felt

wasn’t enough

Unconscious to all sorts of

Reality

Blind

Shadowed by fear that never finds a way to

Slip away from those who never see past this reality

Fearing Death

It seems that the subject of death has been brought to my attention a lot over the last six months or more.  Two of my high school classmates passed away and even more celebrities have left us.  Just this week I was reading a blog post from @whyisdaddycrying about his wife going out of town to visit her cousin who is at the end of his battle with cancer.  We exchanged a couple of tweets about it and he replied to me that when this cousin finally goes he will be at peace and no longer suffering.  I decided to write this blog post after that exchange.

See, you might call it morbid, but I think that death may just be life’s greatest reward.  I believe our bodies are just vessels that carry us through this earthly experience.  I believe our souls are eternal and they live on, taking another shape or form and getting swooped back into the energy that is God.  Our life here is our spiritual education and although we may love it and have no comprehension of anything beyond it, it is filled with limitations.  Death shatters those limitations.

My father-in-law passed away about 5 years ago.  It happened while he was driving home.  He pulled off the road and he was gone.  He’d just been happily hanging out with his friends showing off the Christmas gift Mark had sent him.  The next day he and my mother-in-law were supposed to sign the contract to start building their dream house.  It was sudden, unexpected, and heart-breaking.  One person used his death as the confirmation for their atheism.  What kind of God would take a good man like that, so unexpectedly and while he was still so young. Even then, before I was certain of my beliefs, I knew it was a gift.  He never had to experience serious illness, depend on others to care for him, or even give up his beloved junk food.   As far as we know he was happy and vivacious right up to the last minute.  The only suffering that came from his death was from those who have missed him so dearly.

One of my very favorite lines from that Alanis song I posted the other day is…How about not equating death with stopping. I’ve come to realize and accept this as my truth.  When we die, we do not stop.  Our souls live on.  How they live on?  I’m not sure.  I don’t plan to find out anytime soon, but I am also no longer afraid of the idea.  I love my life experience, even the times when it hurts.  I would not choose to ever leave before my lessons are complete.  But I’m quite certain the exit will be just as joyous as the journey.

When Bad Things Happen to Good People

I am writing this blog post at the request of a friend who was in a terrible car accident and is having a difficult recovery.  I can’t say that I have had much experience with tragedy.  If you remember my blog post “Lucky,” I have been very blessed.  But I know people who have been dealt some harsh blows and when I’m reading spiritual books, I pay close attention when this issue is discussed.

Basically, I believe we are all here to learn through experience and each experience shifts our consciousness a bit and moves us ever closer to who we are meant to be.  I think there are two big reasons bad things happen to good people.  One of those reasons is Karma and Karmic agreements.  I believe we have soul mates and that together with them and God we map out our lives before we ever arrive in them.  We make agreements to play roles and provide lessons for one another.  One of these days I will talk more about my thoughts on this, but now for the second big reason.  CHANGE!

I think each of us has a path and a destiny.  Our souls help us find our paths.  Our strong emotions and reactions direct us where we should and should not go.  The night I met Mark I saw him across a crowded room and knew immediately I HAD TO meet him.  Ten minutes later, we were dancing…Two years later, we were married.  Sometimes though we ignore those directives.  The ideas seem silly or scary and we push them out of our heads.  But it is impossible (I think) to quiet your soul.  If you ignore what you are being “called” to do, your body will begin to react.  You may feel stressed, depressed, or begin having health problems.  I think a lot of accidents and illnesses happen as a result of your soul’s scream for change and need to get you back on track.  I think it’s safe to assume that there is nothing like coming face to face with death or debilitation to make you truly question your life’s purpose.  And once you start to ask the questions, your soul will provide the answers.  God will provide the answers.

Our biggest problem is that we live in this world of good and bad.  Our soul tells us to quit our job and the voice of our hard-working father rings in our ears.  Work is good, quitting is bad.  Our soul whispers to us to move across the country, but our loving mother’s voice sounds off.  Being close to family is good, moving away from them is bad.  We listen to others instead of our selves.  We trust what we have been taught, instead of what we have always known about ourselves.

The truth is that the most horrible thing that has just happened to the most wonderful person is probably their life’s greatest blessing.  But it will take time to get through it and to look back and see what was learned from it.