Just Being

Well! My SO and I drove to meet”the brothers” for lunch last week.

I can say it was interesting-in many, many ways. There were two of them.  And with one of them, I felt some kind of energetic connection from the get go.  The other one, not so much.  As soon as we sat down, the waitress came to take our drink order and to my surprise my SO ordered some beer that they were advertising on the table.  One of the brothers almost immediately said the neither one of them drank any more.  That they’d both been heavy drinkers from a young age.  Hmmm! Whaddaya know!  I didn’t respond to that. Anyway, we were there for like 3 1/2 hours!  They had put together a thumb drive with a jillion pictures on it-explaining who everyone was-with lots of my birth mother. There was no discomfort on my part or theirs for that matter.They were definitely more interested in filling me in about my “history” than hearing about my upbringing. I suppose that’s to be expected.  Actually, I don’t really know what is to be expected in this kind of situation.

As I think I may have said in my last post, I really wasn’t looking for a family thing.  And to be honest, it really found me. I tell you what!  If I hadn’t been given up for adoption, I would have been raised almost the polar opposite of how I was.

So, what did I take away? Of course, I talked about it the whole 2 hour drive back to Austin.  And I have to say my SO was very patient and open about that.  Anyway, I think one of the biggest things was my lack of feeling or connection while looking at ALL those photos. Even at the ones where I resembled someone.  I realized, that for me, memories are so important!  Before we went, I pulled out a box of old family photos mainly of me- my brother has his-throughout my life .  And just the memories that came up-the settings, the people.  All of that.  So looking at all of those “family” photos of my birth family without any memories to go with them, well, they didn’t really mean much.  There were lots of Christmas pictures-lots of lake pictures, lots of pictures taken in the country-one of a family reunion with a Confederate flag flying high in the background. Of course, if you’ve read any of my blog you know that I was raised in a Jewish family.  We didn’t hunt squirrel-certainly didn’t celebrate Christmas-none of that.  I don’t mean to diminish them-I think they have good memories of growing up.  It’s just stuff that I have never, ever resonated with.  Even while experiencing some of these things with friends growing up.  One of the brothers made, while maybe not an anti-Semitic remark-something that just didn’t sit right with me.  We were talking about prejudice and I was recounting how in the 8th grade the class bully came up to me and pretty much yelled out that I had killed Jesus.  Shit! I didn’t have a clue as to what the hell he was talking about! Anyway, the brother remarked that I didn’t have to worry about it because I wasn’t Jewish.  Was that anti-Semitic?  I’m not exactly sure, but it somehow felt like he meant it’s okay for people to bully others.  I can’t put it into words, but it’s really bothered me.  Like, it’s okay to put children in cages because they’re not mine and I’m not Latin American.  Anyway, I let it pass and didn’t react.  Even though I had told them that while I didn’t practice Judaism, culturally that’s what I identify with.  That’s in me and it’s not going away-nor would I want it to.

Another thing that became apparent while looking through the pictures is that everyone smoked and drank-a lot.  Supposedly the stepfather drank a lot.  My birth mother smoked  til she was 76.  Jeez!  It made me wonder if I’d even still be alive if I’d grown up in that environment.  I mean, I drank and drugged like a maniac living in a family where no one drank.  I mean when my parents had company, they put out a pitcher of tomato juice for God sake!

I don’t know.  I want to be clear here.  These people couldn’t have been more welcoming. I am in no way trying to diminish or demean them.  But at the same time, my feelings that I was raised with the people and the way I was supposed to be raised just got reinforced a hundred fold.  Ok, and now I’ll get a little metaphysical here.  Here goes.  I think that my parents were with an adoption agency.  They probably had ties all over the country.  They specified that they wanted a girl.  So, when I was born, they were contacted.  I have the original papers releasing me to my parents dated 2 days after my birth.  So, it was a last minute thing.. And because of that, my father couldn’t get off work.  So my mother-who had never been on an airplane before flew into Texas from Nebraska and got me.  She came alone.  And-here’s the vision part-as I was thinking on this the other day, I just got this intense vision of this almost visible bond of love that came from her and just surrounded me the first time she held me.  I’m sure that I was pretty fussy the first few weeks- of course I was! I’d been separated from my birth mother. But my mother-the woman who wanted a daughter so much that she would overcome her fears to get me, just enveloped me in a love that never knew any bounds. When I saw this, I just felt so very blessed.  And so extremely thankful that I have experienced the life I have.

I also touched on something in my last post that I would like to raise again.  I was wondering if all of this would have happened if I’d still been drinking.  Of course I’ll never know that-although I can certainly picture how I would have handled it if I was still knocking back the vino.  But I had said something about it maybe taking this long in my sobriety-almost 3 1/2years for some kind of energy to flow.  For some channels to open.  Yes, in these 3 1/2 years, things have been so much better.  Just not having hangovers or the mental anguish-all of that.  But while that was happening, I think some kind of clearing was going on.  Something that had been shut a very long time ago opened.  And so for anyone reading this, this is what I have to say to you.  Forget about all of my family stuff.  What I want you to know is that the longer you go without drinking, the more open the channels become-the current becomes stronger.  It goes from being a barely there dim light at the end of a very long tunnel to a strong free flowing energetic current that is YOU! The other day, a friend of mine wanted to know what I was doing.  She said I just seemed so powerful and so grounded.

“Just Being”, I said.

With Love

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Snake Oil and the Shadow

And so now, it seems like the Shadow is out in full force.  I still can’t believe that people would elect a person that not only is involved in something like 70 lawsuits but has validated all kinds of hatred, prejudice and divisiveness.  I can’t believe that there is a “drain the swamp” movement when the people supporting it don’t realize that the quicksand in the swamp is the person that they voted for.  In the past day and a half I have struggled with shock, horror, fear, anger (which always comes from fear) and just dis-belief that this has really come into being.  Not only do I feel extremely let down by my fellow countrymen and women, I feel so incredibly saddened that there are so many that are so unbelievably gullible or just plain selfish in the sense that they can’t see or care how this might effect the rest of the world.  I can’t help being reminded of an old movie about when the Snake Oil salesman comes to town.  He’s up on stage spewing his sales pitch to a crowd of awe struck, gullible, wanting to believe in a miracle cure-all crowd of people.

To be honest, it sickens me.  This morning a FaceBook friend posted how her-in this liberal city of Austin, Texas, her legal, Latino son-in-law was walking down the street and someone yelled from their car, “you’re going to be deported”! It’s started and not only here. Or, has it? Has it just started or has it just surfaced?  I guess that’s kind of the crux of it all for me.

And so, amidst all of my heartache and fears and disenchantment I realize that I have to find a way to deal with this. I have to ask myself if, in any way I have contributed to this present situation.  How might I have contributed to it-even unconsciously.

There’s the theory of “collective consciousness”.   I know that outwardly, there is absolutely no way I can support the mindset of the people that voted in this elected President.  But what about inwardly?  Did my fear help to create the reality?  Has my anger connected with the anger of others? Which brings me back to the Shadow. (sorry it took a while to get here)

What I’m realizing is that aside from being politcally active, one of the most important and powerful ways to confront and to deal with all of this is to come at things from Love.  With Love. To continue to work on my shadow-to continue to bring things to the surface and shed some light on them.  To continue to try and not only like myself, but to love myself.  I realize that  giving up alcohol was a huge step towards this-even though at the time I wasn’t seeing it from that perspective.  But, when a person is constantly struggling with an alcohol problem, beating themselves up over it, constantly and consistently trying to suffocate and extinguish their “light”- always running from their Shadow side, not only are we not truly living, we are not experiencing the best life possible.  And we certainly are not loving ourselves. I believe the only way to really come from love has to start with loving ourselves. While I don’t direct self-hatred at myself for drinking anymore, I do it in hundreds, if not thousands, of other ways every day. That needs to stop.  I want to heal myself.  I want to contribute to the healing of the planet-not only here in the United States.  I remind myself constantly that so many have it so much worse-but again, my fear is that we-Americans-will soon be in the same circumstances. I have also been reminded that not everyone shares my mindset! Well, imagine that! So many angry, unhappy people who have felt disregarded and discarded. Wanting a change.  Willing to believe almost anything in hopes that they will be benifitted. That their lives will improve. Unable or unwilling to see a much bigger picture. Standing in line to buy Snake Oil. Possibly paying for it with blood.

And so, I will continue to work on myself.  Continue to pray. To meditate.  To pray for all who are suffering in the world.  To pray for the people I love and most importantly, to pray for those that I don’t.  This is the hardest-but the most important. To pray and send love to those who would spew hatred. And yes, to pray for and send light to the President elect.  If I can find a way to quit adding an explicative after that one, I will feel that I have made a tiny bit of progress.

Here’s a link for an article on Collective Consciousness.  Some of the article may seem “a bit out there”, but it’s interesting. The Greater Picture – Collective Consciousness  You can also find many other thoughts on the subject by Freud, Jung and many others.

With Love