Coincidences, Numbers and Pi Day

Little things have been happening lately that seem too random to be coincidental, but at the same time, my skeptical mind questions them. From what I hear, that voice of doubt is just the ego, trying to rationalize and basically darken my beautiful experience of becoming more aware of the interconnectedness of the universe and my existence in it. Here are a few things that have happened:

This one is completely random, and I don’t know what it means, but my friend mentioned Saskatchewan during a conversation, and about 10 or so minutes later, someone on a game show playing on his tv had the answer of Saskatchewan.

A couple of days ago, I was listening to a podcast, and had a thought of my mom. A few minutes later, the podcast speaker mentioned an owl, and my mom loved owls. A minute or so later, I found myself on a road that sounds just like her first name, and I wasn’t on this road on purpose. I had turned onto this road because I drive down a country road to work, and if someone gets behind me, I’ve taken to turning off to a side road and letting them pass. So I went down a side road with the intention of turning around in someone’s driveway, but then deciding to just drive into the neighborhood. Then I look up and I’m on this road that always reminds me of her, which I’ve never even been on before but have often passed.

The aforementioned road I only noticed a few weeks ago when I was thinking of Mom, and then I looked up and saw the road, which reminded me of her. I like to think it’s her, telling me she’s with me. The funny thing is, the name of the road is Ednor, and her first name was Edna, which she hated. Ednor, in my head, is pronounced like Edner, which sounds like something an old Southern lady would say, and it makes me laugh. It’s something Mom and my sisters and I would totally make fun of.

Another bizarre moment came when I went to post my business card and brochure up at a local organic grocery store. The bulletin board is in the café area located above a single table, so if you want to post anything and someone’s sitting there, you have to lean over them. So I go in to do this, and this guy, this young man of about 25, who I used to work with at a different organic grocery store than this one, is sitting there. In this area you don’t run into people you know very often, not unless I was in my own little town. I’d worked with him in a different town, and this was another area, we didn’t live in the same town, and I haven’t seen him in ages. He’s moving to Portland in a few days, he said. I can’t even remember his name, but he looks like a young Leonardo DiCaprio, so every time I’d see him, I’d think of Leonardo DiCaprio, specifically in “Basketball Diaries.” That movie, which I think is based on a memoir, is so dark, and the main character spirals into such an abyss of addiction, but he’s so young and innocent and had so much potential and opportunity that just went down the drain. After giving it a lot of thought as to what my running into him at that spot like that might mean, I surmised that it reflects my own recovery, and how far I’ve come. Often these days I forget to appreciate and honor that because I’m only looking forward. But for me to have lived such an unhealthy lifestyle, from consuming so much alcohol every single night, to be less than a year from graduating with a master’s degree in science for nutrition, that’s a huge accomplishment that I haven’t really given myself credit for. I went from downing a bottle or two of wine every night, often crying myself into oblivion, to now, with eight and a half years of sobriety, posting my business card as an intern nutritionist at the local grocery store. Instead of being grateful for that, I’ve been worrying about how I’ll ever make it in this new career.

But back to the signs. To solidify the message, one of my classmates who I haven’t seen in a long time came into the store and talked to me for a while, and it turns out we’ll be graduating at the same time. I told her I didn’t know if I would walk, and she was surprised. Why wouldn’t I participate in this celebration, this acknowledgement of accomplishment? I hadn’t done it as an undergraduate, because at the time I was more focused on leaving and starting over, but none of it in a healthy way. I had tried to commit suicide a few months before that, and I left for London soon after, presumably to become a new person, and write a memoir, but instead I consumed lots of alcohol and ecstasy and stayed mired in depression for many more years, until I was 33. I went from that to today, where I’m working in an organic grocery store in the supplements department, studying nutrition. How miraculous is that? It seemed so impossible to me at the time. I thought I would never get sober or feel happy. Mom would be so proud. And she was proud. Maybe this is her message to me, to let me know how proud she is.

Lately I’ve been noticing different numbers and their possible significance. For one, I got sober at 33, and that number has so much significance I will just defer to this article. The most significant to me is Kuan Yin, who undergoes 33 transformations to attain salvation. Her image is depicted on one of my favorite Goddess Guidance cards from Doreen Virtue, and I used these cards through a few difficult times in my life, including after Mom died, even though I wasn’t sure if using them was doing anything other than giving me something for me to do during a time that I could not speak or write, and I didn’t want to listen to words. And weirdly, just now I looked off to the distance to collect my thoughts, and there’s now a clock there (I’m at my boyfriend’s house), which showed 9:33.

Another significant number is my sobriety date, and I don’t ever want to have to change it. This morning I googled the number and discovered that it’s the same as the zip code of the city where I took my last drink. It’s a city I hadn’t been to in a long time, and haven’t been back since: Savannah, Georgia. It’s also a city where a new friend of mine is from. She’s sober, doesn’t have a Southern accent (she dropped hers as a young child, I dropped mine in high school), has lived in London before… My sobriety date is the same as pi: 3/14, if you’re American, like me. If you’re English, or military, then it’s 14/3. But I’m American, and I got sober in 2010, so I had 5 years sober on 3.14.15, which are the first five digits of pi.

Last night I had a dream in which I had been drinking all along, and had been lying to everyone about my sobriety. It was so real that when I woke and realized it was a dream, I was so incredibly grateful.

I didn’t plan to get sober at 33, nor did I plan to get sober on Pi Day, but it seems significant that I did. That being said, I don’t think this significance is any more amazing than what your numbers or dates are for you. Everyone has their own journey, and mine is amazing for me just as yours can be amazing for you. This is what I’m learning, and we each need to give ourselves credit for our own journey.

This blog is expiring soon, and I can’t decide if I want to keep it up or not. I’m paranoid about having so much personal information about myself out there, especially as I’m getting closer to a real career for myself. At the same time, I feel like my soul will die if I don’t write. And for some reason, I can’t just write in my own personal journal that no one reads. For some reason, I want to put this out there, even though most of you don’t know me, nor I you.

So if you don’t see another post, or this link doesn’t work next time you come here, that is why. But I will be around. I just don’t know where or how yet, but I will continue to write and speak and learn my truth, and I hope you all will too.

Peace, love, and namaste,

TCH

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Snowflakes, Unicorns and Angels

Lately I’ve been feeling like something is missing but I can’t pinpoint exactly what. It’s not exactly a lack of inspiration, but it’s a need for a stronger connection to my higher power, Spirit, or God, or whatever you want to call this energy source that’s stronger than my human power, or any human power. So every day I’ve been meditating, finally, for the first time, and I hope I can keep it up, especially after the semester starts. It will be my second to last semester in grad school for nutrition, and I’ll be starting clinic, meaning in a few weeks I’ll be working directly with clients on their nutrition needs, and I do not feel at all prepared.

It’s important for me to find meaning in life. Everything has meaning – we just don’t always know what that meaning is. For example, I don’t know what the meaning of me spending four months with a guy who I had zero interest in other than physically, and even then, the attraction was surface-level. Maybe it was just to say looks aren’t everything. And after that I had a brief stint as a “unicorn,” in which I was the third in two different couples’ threesomes, at their request. I just re-read that last sentence and it makes me lol. It is hilarious, so feel free to laugh. I’ve always been experimental, for whatever reason. It would’ve been fun to continue, though perhaps not necessarily emotionally healthy, especially with the one particular couple who I really connected with on more than a physical level. And there are still other experiences I want to try. But it’s not meant to be at this point in time, because soon after my unicorn stint I met my current boyfriend, who is a wonderful man.

This wonderful man I’ll call Mac, short for Matthew McConaughey because he’s a good-looking Southern guy, and he’s actually old enough to be my father. Matthew McConaughey is probably only about five or 10 years older than me, but you get the gist. Anyway, I have so much fun with Mac and we have tons in common, but that extra spark is just… not there. It’s not that there’s no chemistry, because there is. Almost everything lines up perfectly except for that one thing I can’t put my finger on. There are only two things I can think of that really bother me, and one is that he has terrible table manners, and the other is that I am dying to have my own space.

My soul yearns for my own home, and it feels like forever before that will happen. Even though I graduate in August, which still seems a long time from now, I won’t be a certified nutritionist in the state of Maryland until after I get 700 more clinic hours, and that could take another year. It’s so expensive to live in this area I have doubts that I’ll be able to get my own place during that time. After I get all of those hours and become certified, my certification will be useless in certain states, where you don’t even need a certification to practice as a nutritionist. Now that I’ve decided it’s unlikely I’ll stay in Maryland due to the high cost of living, all this money I just borrowed for grad school is starting to feel like a waste. And that’s exactly what happened to me after I graduated from my first grad school after which I got a useless master’s degree in creative writing. That being said, I want to move away from negative thinking, and exercise the law of attraction, and manifest more positivity in my life. Maybe I’ll come back to that one day. Maybe it’ll come in handy, and I’ll become the writer that I always wanted to be, that I already am.

My latest thing is opening myself up to the messages that the universe/multiverse or spirit guides have for me. Last night a woman came into the store to return all of her items so that she could buy them back on her membership discount, because she’d forgotten to give her membership card at checkout. The old me would’ve been really annoyed and judged her for not having her shit together, and for the cashier for not remembering to ask for her card, but last night was different. We all forget things, especially me. Is that so bad? What stood out to me was that she noticed that her total came out to $123.41, and she took a picture of it, saying that she saw numbers like that all the time. So we talked about numbers and signs while my co-worker, who probably thought we were nuts, returned her merchandise. The same kinds of things have been happening to me. When I was driving to work, I looked up and saw 1010 on a mailbox. I was born at 10:10am. The other night I awoke at 4:44am, and later that same day when I looked at the time, it was 4:44pm. One could argue that I look at the clock and street signs hundreds of other times and all those times I don’t see repeating or chronological numbers, and that’s true. But I choose to believe they’re signs from angels and I find this a comfort. This morning I was listening to Ashley Wood’s Manifest This podcast and in an interview with Jenna Zoe she mentioned how we are each snowflakes, that we’re each unique, but when you throw us all into a pile of snow we’re not so different, or you can’t tell that we’re so different. Jenna Zoe said that her best friend had just said the same thing to her earlier that day, and maybe a minute or two later, as I was cleaning out my closet I pulled out some jewelry that had belonged to my mom, or had been given to me by either her or my grandma, and right on top was a snowflake broach. Are all these events really just coincidence?

One of the loudest messages I’ve been hearing is just that everyone has their own journey. This is something I knew intellectually, but in my heart and soul I wasn’t accepting it. For example, my dad, who is a dry drunk, was recently abandoned by his bipolar, drug-addicted wife, which at first seemed like the best thing for him. As always, I had a hope that he’d change his life, maybe move to the beach and find God. But nope. The wife has regained her senses and is weaseling her way back into my dad’s life. And maybe that is what’s best for him, for them. It’s not for me to say. It makes me sad to see that’s their journey because they seem so spiritually sick and oblivious. But who am I to judge?

Getting back to the woman who came to me in the store, her name was the same as a famous female musician, which I won’t write here to protect her anonymity. She told me that she had gotten chills a couple of times throughout the conversation, and I ended up telling her my mom had passed two years ago. She almost started crying, and she took my hand and squeezed it, saying my mom is all around me, that she loves me so much. I have another friend like this, who would come into my work from time to time, an older woman who I know from AA. After Mom died she would come into my work and while we were talking she’d say, I have chills! That’s your mom. She’d tell me all the time that my mom was there with me, that angels are all around us. I believed that she believed it, and maybe that’s what gave her chills, and I didn’t not believe my mom wasn’t with me, but at the same time I’ve always been skeptical. Something’s happening, and I don’t know what it is, nor do I know if anyone else knows. But it’s there and we can choose to believe it or not.

I think I’ll go ahead and choose to believe it.

Peace, love, and namaste,

TCH

It Will Be Okay

My sweet and thoughtful boyfriend/life partner bought Wayne Dyer’s memoir, I Can See Clearly Now, which I started reading last night. I’d heard that Dyer had been homeless at some point in his life, which inspired me and gave me hope for my own life. I don’t know if it’s an American thing or a human thing, but many of us like a good underdog story. We like to hear about someone who’d been so down on his luck that he’d been homeless at one point, and was able to not only come out of it but get his PhD and publish dozens of books and inspire thousands or even millions of people.

But what about the rest of us average Joes and Janes who never became homeless but also probably won’t get our PhD’s and most likely will not inspire millions of people through beautifully-written books? Are our lives any less significant or meaningful? I don’t think so. When I think of the people who’ve made an impact on my life, even in small ways—sometimes especially in small ways—I can see that I made changes for the better in my life, causing a ripple effect that has flowed out to others. How many times has a stranger’s encouraging smile or a friend’s kind words brightened my day? Even the sadness and shame I’ve experienced, like the last time I talked to Pedro, taught me a lesson in patience. Pedro, who I didn’t know that well, showed by example how to live a more joyous life. He cheered people up. When customers came into the store, he danced along the aisles, made jokes, and did whatever he could to help people find the products they needed. I’m the kind of person who’d think, No, we don’t sell that, and you’re just going to have to get over it. If you want to go to the non-organic grocery store, or buy it on Amazon, then that’s fine with me. But not Pedro. He would spend time with people, show them he really cared. Their wants mattered. And it’s not just Pedro. I have learned more about patience, tolerance, and compassion from my current co-workers than any other company I’ve worked. I could go on, but I want to focus on something else I’ve noticed so far in Dyer’s memoir.

So far I’m only in the beginning of the book, but Dyer knew as a child that he was different, that he had a gift for inspiring others. Even as a 12-year-old he understood that he chose his feelings, and didn’t allow others to manipulate or guilt-trip him. His father was an alcoholic who left his mother, and she couldn’t afford to take care of him and his brothers, so they grew up in various foster homes until she remarried and got her children back–however, the stepfather was abusive and alcoholic. Yet Dyer remained optimistic. It takes a special kind of person to remain optimistic in the face of such adversity, but he shows that it’s possible.

This should inspire me, but it doesn’t. Instead, I keep wondering: What about those of us who didn’t feel optimistic as children, who didn’t know we had any special gifts, who couldn’t wait to grow up so we could be in control of our lives, only to grow up and learn that we are never in control of our lives, that sometimes shit happens, and it doesn’t always make sense? What about those of us who can’t wait to grow up, thinking, I’m getting the hell out of this town and I’m going to make it big. I’m going to do something with my life. What about those of us who have no clue what lesson in life we’re supposed to learn here on earth, in this lifetime, even if the answers are staring us right in the face, and we think, It can’t be that.

Yesterday, on the drive from Maryland to my mother’s house in North Carolina I got upset about something and started crying, and at that moment, a car turned into my lane, with a bumper sticker that read, “It will be okay.”

It sounded like something Mom would say, that she has said before. How many people have a bumper sticker that reads, “It will be okay”? I read the bumper sticker and stopped crying, and I thought, “Mom?”

feather

About five different white feathers at different times floated into my windshield on my way from my house to Mom’s. Did I ever see so many feathers before? Floating onto my windshield?

Mom’s birthday is Monday, and I drove to North Carolina to spend time with my stepfather and sister for the weekend. My sister cleaned the sheets in Mom’s room for me to stay there, as my sister has many times since Mom passed, and as Mom had done when I visited her. Usually I stayed in the guest room, but sometimes Mom would have me stay in her room while she slept in the guest room. It was weird staying in Mom’s room last night. Waking up in the middle of the night while listening to the sound of the wind blowing the leaves outside… it was eerie.

My sister suggested I look through Mom’s things and take mementos I want to keep, as she has found comfort in looking at Mom’s things since Mom passed two months ago. I wasn’t really prepared for it, and didn’t think I’d want to look through her things. Deciding what to keep feels overwhelming. I want several of her things to remember her by, but don’t want a lot of extra stuff. I live in a small room that’s already overcrowded, and plan to live in always small spaces without too many things. Things are just that, and I don’t want to get too attached to them. At the same time, I want a few meaningful items. But I’m afraid I’ll take things that get broken or lost in my many moves, in the groundless, nomadic lifestyle I live.

I keep waiting for signs, hoping for signs, asking for signs:  Tell me you’re there. Offer some guidance. Am I on the right path? What should I do? Is this really it?

It will be okay.

Wayne Dyer had his path, Pedro had his, my mom had hers, and I have mine. You have yours. They’re all different, but none less significant than the other.

It will be okay.

My other sister had a dream a few weeks after Mom died, and in the dream my sister asked her, “Mom, why did you have to leave?” And Mom just smiled and she said, “It will be okay.”

Lucid Dreaming

When I was in my late teens/early 20s, I was very into dreams. I had vivid dreams that I often recorded, and I read a lot about dream interpretation, and at some point—by accident, I think—I had a lucid dream.

If you’ve never had a lucid dream, it’s not only an extraordinarily vivid dream, but it’s a dream of acute awareness—including the fact that you’re dreaming—and of mind control. Your mind creates whatever you want. You want to fly? You can fly. You want a mirror to appear, and a mirror appears. I learned to have lucid dreams, and it became easy for me. But at the time I had them for fun, because they’re like psychedelic experiences without drugs, and at that time all I wanted was to escape how I felt, which I often did by sleeping, drinking, or taking drugs.

Apparently you can also talk to your spirit guides in your lucid dreams, which I didn’t know until now, and wouldn’t have tried back then because at the time I thought I was alone in the world. But that’s exactly what I want to do now:  talk to my spirit guides, or guardian angels, specifically my mom, and I want to ask her/them what my purpose is in this world and if I’m on the right track, and if they can give me specifics on what I should be doing. Not that I don’t get answers to these questions, but I need confirmation and (hopefully) specifics. I think I’m on the right track, but I want to know for sure.

At the time it became so easy to have lucid dreams that I assumed it would always be easy to just pick it back up again. Over the years I’ve had lucid dreams periodically, and it seems like I would just think about having a lucid dream before bed, and poof! A lucid dream would occur. Usually I chose to fly in my lucid dreams, because it’s so fun to soar across the sky, free. While I still love to fly, I want more to access my spirit guides, which some believe is the true self, or that part of the brain or some collective soul that knows what’s best for me—for us, because we’re all connected.

It’s been so difficult to have a lucid dream that I’ve resorted to trying supplements. First I tried shatavari, which did absolutely nothing, and I don’t want to keep taking it because it has the added benefit of hormonal balance for menopausal women, and I’m not in menopause yet. Last night I tried mugwort, which also did nothing. At first I became nervous that I was hallucinating right after I drank a cup, because I saw a white flash of light on the wall in my peripheral vision, but then nothing else happened, so I decided it must have been my mind playing tricks on me. I really do not want to take drugs or escape my feelings, but I want to confront my feelings and open my heart and soul completely to this experience, which ultimately is a spiritual experience.

Ever since I got sober almost seven years ago I’ve wanted to have a white-lightning/burning-bush spiritual experience. The thing is, not everyone gets that. Most of us get little bits of knowledge and wisdom here and there, which has been the case for me. The closest I’ve gotten to that kind of experience was a month before I quit drinking. I was lying in bed, half drunk, and suddenly I had this strong desire to find God, a rare feeling for me back then. And then suddenly, I felt as if God was there. It was not as comforting as one might think. Instead it was a bit scary, because I kept thinking, if God is here, then God knows what a terrible person I am. But since then I’ve changed my view about how God views us, which is that we are all God’s children, and God thinks of us the way one thinks of one’s child, or the way I thought of my dog, which was that no matter what she did, I always loved her, and still do.

For now I’ll continue to pray, meditate, try to have lucid dreams, and trust that whatever is supposed to happen will happen.

patience

Searching

I had a dream a week ago that I was looking through a photo album of my niece and nephew when they were toddlers and I felt very sad, like I missed them. It was as if I were Mom. Then a few days later I dreamt that I was with my former mother-in-law, but her voice was Mom’s, which made me cry, because it reminded me of Mom. These dreams have nothing to do with what I want to write about today, but I wanted to include them because I like to remember important dreams like this, and wanted to keep them somewhere for future use. The dreams tie in with what I’ve read about a collective soul, and the idea that my mother is always with me, and she’s everywhere at once.

A lot of what I’ve read or heard about spirits seems to be coming true for me now. As I’ve mentioned, I see feathers a lot lately whereas before I did not, though I looked for them often. My boyfriend’s bedside lamp turned on the other night at random without the switch being physically turned. Then we heard what sounded like hammering on the wall, or beating on the upstairs floor (our ceiling) yesterday, yet his roommate was not awake (the door to upstairs was partially open and I had just been upstairs), nor was anyone outdoors doing construction (we opened the outside door to check while it was happening). I’ve always wanted a guardian angel, but she has never made herself known to me, as far as I know, until now. Of course I believe she is Mom, though I’m not sure who my other guardian angels are (possibly her mom and dad). A friend told me that I’m closer to my mom now than I’ve ever been, and that now Mom is in a position to help me more than she ever could’ve when she was alive, because she is everywhere now, and always with me. Still I want answers. Quick and easy answers that will satisfy my never-ending pursuit of my life’s purpose in terms of a career.

At church yesterday the minister talked about joy, and started the talk with this video:

The minister asked the congregation what our impressions of the video were, what Yosemite Bear was expressing, and the answers were joy, wonder, amazement, awe. He asked us what stood out to us, and one man said he was embarrassed for the guy, an answer that surprised me, and made me feel sorry for that guy, and another woman said she felt love for him for being so free. I myself felt similar except that after a minute or so, I felt that it was mildly uncomfortable to watch in front of a group of people, because I wanted to get to the point and hear what the minister had to say about it. That is my problem: always in a hurry, and I suppose in that way I related to the guy who was embarrassed for Yosemite Bear. But Yosemite Bear isn’t in a hurry. He enjoys the moment, revels in the beauty of it. What really stands out to me is his question:  What does it mean?

Indeed, what does it mean? It’s what I call a God moment, a moment in which one of the wonders of the world reveals itself to us, a miracle of beauty, created by the sun’s rays as they shine on rain drops.

My whole life I’ve been searching for meaning. It reminds me of a moment when I was in high school, and I’d gotten a book on the enneagram personality types, and how Mom instantly recognized that I was a 4, and how surprised I was at that recognition. At some point, maybe then, either she said, or I thought, that she knew me better than anyone else. It was a revelation because I felt so misunderstood. My senior year of high school I’d considered moving to Las Vegas, not because I knew anything about what a depraved land of artifice that would be, but because it seemed exotic and mysterious and adventure-filled, and my boyfriend, who lived there, had tried to convince me it would be a good idea. My mom asked me why I thought it would be a good idea to move there, and I was crying at the time, and responded, “Because I love him?” I hadn’t meant the words to come out like a question, but no bigger truth could have come from me than those words in that way at the time. I’ll never forget the words Mom said to me then. She looked at me and said, “Listen to me. There is no one, I mean no one, who loves you more than I do.”

One might wonder why, knowing how strong a mother’s love for her child is, as Mom often reminded us, that I would not have a child myself. Mom often said that there’s no bond stronger than a mother’s love for her child. She often told my sisters and me that she didn’t know what she’d do without us. “If it weren’t for you girls…” When we were growing up after her divorce from my dad and when she was married to her second husband she really struggled sometimes. She was an emotional person, and my stepfather, like a lot of men that age and time, and possibly like a lot of men today, wasn’t helpful around the house. “It’s the backlash of the women’s movement,” she’d say. She was a supporter of women’s rights, being a strong, outspoken woman herself, but dismayed that now we had to do both the domestic work and go to work too.

Maybe that’s why I never had children, because I couldn’t see how working full-time, raising kids, and taking care of the house was feasible. Or maybe it just wasn’t God’s plan for me. If, God forbid, something happened to my boyfriend, I’d probably go ahead and try to have a child, because now I can see that I have missed out on that kind of love… A few years ago I went to a psychic who told me I’d have two kids, a boy and a girl, and a few days ago I was thinking what a crock that was, but then realized that my boyfriend has a boy and a girl, and that I’m likely to become a stepmother to them. I know it’s not the same as being a mom, but I’d be grateful to be their stepmother.

After watching the rainbow video, I wanted to know more about Yosemite Bear, so I found this video:

Yosemite Bear’s life seems to me a blessing. He has a beautiful piece of land in a gorgeous space, and he spends each day close to nature. He may not have a big house, but he has just what he needs. That is how I want to live. The problem is, I don’t know how. I am sure that more will be revealed to me as time passes. In the meantime I will keep searching.

Spirits, Mediums, and the End of the World… You Know, the Usual Stuff!

My sister suggested that when one is skeptical, it releases negative energy that the mind or soul becomes impermeable to signs one gets from deceased loved ones. She also said that the pendulum could swing too far the other way, that some see signs in everything, when not everything is necessarily a sign. So I’ll keep an open mind and heart and I plan to see a medium in November with my hairdresser who’s seen her several times already. I also picked up a book by James Van Praagh, a medium.

What strikes me is how all the accounts of near-death experiences and communication with the deceased are similar. How can everyone be wrong?

angel-featherAlso, how uncanny is it that I’ve seen so many feathers since Mom’s passing, yet never saw feathers before? How is it that I heard so many owls in the days after her passing, but rarely before or since, in spite of the fact that I’ve gone outside early morning and late at night? How is it that I’ve seen so many butterflies, yet rarely saw butterflies before? Maybe they were there and I wasn’t paying attention, and if so, that’s why it’s important to pay attention.

The minister at my new church prays to keep our hearts and eyes open, and the lines in one of the songs was, “You were there but I could not hear you,” or something along those lines, about how God is all around us, all the time, but we are not always aware. I like to think Mom’s spirit is too, and Van Praagh writes in his book Healing Grief, to think of and talk to our deceased loved ones because they are here and they hear our thoughts, feelings, and words.

One of my friends, a woman about Mom’s age, suggested that so many people she knows have started dying since last year, and I noted the same thing, and she wondered aloud if they were perhaps leaving for a reason, before some major disaster happens. I have to wonder that too. Maybe this foreboding sense of an impending apocalypse is just cultural, or maybe there’s more to it. I suppose whatever the case, it doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things, though it’s interesting to ponder. When your mom just died, it really does feel like the end of the world.

And it is the end, in a sense. It’s the end of one stage of life and the beginning of another. Right now I feel like I’m in the middle of a forest with no clear-cut path. I have faith that it will become clear to me as time passes, with my mother’s spirit to guide me.

I don’t know why, but this is the song that popped into my head just now. It kind of reminds me of my mom, though my dad’s the one who played Simon and Garfunkel’s music so much when my sisters and I were growing up.

Finding Meaning

Today I went hiking in the country about an hour north of my house when I came across a butterfly with crumpled wings. I’d hoped that maybe she’d just emerged from her cocoon and that her wings would straighten, but when I did research online later I learned that most likely she’d fallen or somehow damaged her wings when leaving her cocoon. Butterflies can still live with broken wings, but she’s vulnerable. Had I known I might have been able to rescue her but I’d have needed a cage or jar to put her in, then I’d have had to take her home and feed her. Maybe when I get more settled I can live in a place more suitable for such emergencies. Might not be a bad idea to carry a jar in my car for such situations.

angels-skyI also stumbled across a fuzzy white feather on the path, which I will take to be a sign that I was visited by an angel. Mom? Maybe it was just a bird that had been there, but I’m looking for meaning in a senseless world, and I’ll take it wherever I find it. I got up at 4am and sat outside staring at the stars in the sky when a small cloud drifted by, followed by dozens more, and I imagined them to be angels soaring in the sky. It seems that others get visited by angels or ghosts, others receive messages or find meaning in random happenings, and it’s all so meaningful to them. Maybe it’s all in the perspective. Maybe I need to open my mind more. People said, “Oh you’ll feel her presence.” I don’t feel her presence. I feel her absence.

A few days before she had her stroke I told her about the Louise Hay book I was reading on how Hay believes a person can prevent or reverse disease by keeping a positive outlook, and Mom basically called bullshit on it. What foreshadowing. No amount of positive thinking would have stopped her from having a massive hemorrhagic stroke nor could it change the outcome. When God, the Universe, or whatever you want to call it—I call it God—when God decides your time has come, then your time has come.

When someone on Facebook writes, “My thoughts are with you,” I want to scream at them that maybe they could pray for a change. That being said, I can’t say I prayed this morning when I woke up (though now that I’m thinking of it, will do now), nor could I have said I prayed for people seven years ago, and would’ve felt phony telling people I’d pray for them knowing I didn’t pray. I also felt that I wasn’t sure if the other person was religious or spiritual, and would not want to offend them somehow by telling them I’d pray for them. Now I’ve decided that if people feel offended that’s their problem; I’m not going to apologize for praying. I pray for guidance, not because I believe it’s a ticket into heaven.

When people sit around watching television all the time, I want to scream. The sound of the TV makes me want to pound my fists on the wall and cry. It makes me want to run far into the woods and never come back. The only thing worse than the sound of TV is the sound of football on TV. It just makes me feel depressed. I don’t want to live my life staring at a TV screen.

One of my favorite lines in this song by The Postal Service is this:  “I want life in every word, to the extent that it’s absurd.” I want meaning in my life.

 

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