Updated: Aug 11, 2021
As with most things from spirit, it’s best not to look for them. It will show up when it’s meant to.
I haven’t posted in a while. I have been kicking around ideas of what to write about in my head for a bit, but because I have been a little bit dark of late, I didn’t want to spread my negativity. Then I thought, eff that, keep it real. Real is what connects people and connection is what I am all about. Why so dark you ask? My Dad died on Halloween in 2001, so that was a trigger. My mom’s birthday is November 2nd, so that was trigger number 2. I went back to work after 8 weeks off recovering from my shoulder surgery which has served as trigger number 3. Add to that, my mom died on December 5, 2018 which makes next weekend her second death-a-versary. Trigger number 4. Mix all that with some Covid anxiety and holiday angst and we have ourselves one very dark blogger/medium.
In honor of keeping it real, I am here to share some insight from my own experiences of late. As I have reported in the past, I am both skeptical and a little slow to take a hint. Therefore, a running theme in my life at the moment has been pain avoidance, both physical and emotional. I am currently ten and a half weeks out from rotator cuff surgery and with my return to work, I have taken my two times a day at home physical therapy routine down to one time most days. And it’s funny, when I did that, it started to hurt less. Head-in-the-sand me says, “Cool! I am healing. Pain is subsiding. I am good to go.” Then I arrive at physical therapy Wednesday evening and when my PT guy stretches my arm, he says (in great contrast), “Whoa, your shoulder is way too tight. I am not trying to scare you, but this is bad. You can get a frozen shoulder if you aren’t careful.” He proceeds to push and pull in a way that prompts me to mention our safe word. I am half kidding but half serious at that point. He says, “You will be fine. A little pain isn’t going to break your shoulder.” So, I released it a little more, took a deep breath and let him do his thing. He ordered me to increase my at home routine to three times a day. “I need to see you next week,” he said with great concern in his eyes. I refuse to allow myself to develop a frozen shoulder, so I am back to aggressively stretching and doing my thing at home. The first day was terrible. Each day since then, while still painful, has gotten a little bit easier and I can move a little more freely.
I am smart, but I really don’t like pain. I tend to assume pain is the enemy and I avoid that shit like the plague.
Which leads me to the emotional part of the story. This fall I began to serve as a mentor to a new class of mediums to help my teacher out and also because I love working with spirit. This serves as a development circle for me and also helps me learn more through teaching. Turns out I know much more than I thought I did.
As I have written before, if you wish to develop your intuition one of the best ways to do that is through daily meditation. Some of the students have found that difficult to accomplish, so as a tool to help with that, my teacher has them working on an exercise which helps them to focus and kick starts things. Essentially that is to sit quietly, close your eyes, take several deep breaths and settle in. Then, ask spirit for an image, picture, person or thing that will serve as a message for you. It’s really a great exercise and if you don’t have time to meditate, or just want to add an element to your day for intuitive guidance, this is a good one to try. I have been doing this most days and find it super interesting.
Yesterday, I sat for my daily image and I saw a shape that was shifting at first but ultimately ended up being the lips and tongue long associated with the Rolling Stones. Ok, cool I thought. I will keep an eye out for that. The day before I saw a crown and then proceeded to see three different crowns during the day which were all associated with family things I was involved with. Rolling Stones it is then.
As with most things from spirit, it’s best not to look for them. It will show up when it’s meant to. So, I didn’t look, I didn’t hear any Stones songs, I didn’t see the logo anywhere. It occurred to me last night when I went to bed that I hadn’t had my validation. “It will come when it’s time,” I thought. I did have a dream where a woman was wearing a concert t-shirt with the Stones logo on it, but I really didn’t think that counted. I noticed it but didn’t make much of it.
This morning I sat down to do my dream journal and I wrote the song of the day down. This is the song that plays most often in my head while I am asleep or at the very least, is the one I wake up with. No, it was not the Rolling Stones although that would’ve been cool, and I most certainly would’ve questioned that. It was a song called “Forever” by Mumford and Sons. The album “Delta” that this song was on came out right before my mom died and as I had purchased concert tickets for the coming Delta tour, I was sent the CD in the mail as a thank you. (I love Mumford and Sons very much, that is Danny Wegman level customer service.) I played it every single day as I drove back and forth to the hospital and then to Hospice and it was imprinted in my brain. I played it constantly after she died too, and it didn’t help that Marcus Mumford had written a song called “Beloved” based on his experience sitting with his grandmother as she was dying. “Beloved” was the ultimate song to wreck me for at least a year even if I was trying to avoid feelings and pain, which as you know, I do not care for either.
“Forever” is another song from that album that reminds me greatly of my mom’s illness. It makes me feel guilt and discomfort. I don’t spend a lot of time on that part. I just notice it and leave it. (Again, for those in the cheap seats, to me pain = bad.)
There is a line in the song when Marcus says, “So love with your eyes.” That is the part that brings the guilt and pain.
This is word for word what I wrote in my journal this morning:
“That song reminds me of when Pat died. And the guilt, oh the heavy guilt. I couldn’t handle it when she got to the point where she was wobbly. It was hard for me to watch. I would leave the room. I tried to hold on to her, physically. To steady her head with my hands. Do a little reiki to help her. Because I felt helpless.
So, what does Forever have to do with that? I left Florida on a Tuesday I think. I was so glad to leave because I was weak. And tired. And it had been 12 days. We didn’t know she had cancer then. I would never have left. But when I left, she said as best she could, “Thank you for advocating for me when I couldn’t do it for myself.” And she wanted me to leave too. She knew how tired I was. My Dad used to say she had “moo cow brown eyes”. And she did. I could see the love in her eyes that morning as I left. So when Marcus sings “love with your eyes”, that is what I think of. My newly disabled mother who was next to helpless, who hated relying on people, now fully reliant, unable to properly communicate, who was happy to see me leave because she knew I needed to rest, she loved me with her eyes. When she really couldn’t do much else.”
I had been listening to music because that is what I do in the morning. And just as I stopped writing with my eyes full of tears, in the U2 song “Bad” from their performance at Live Aid way back in 1985, Bono ad libs in to “Ruby Tuesday” and “Sympathy for the Devil”. That song is 12 minutes long mind you and he also ad libs other songs but those are the two he riffs at that moment. If you know me at all, you will know that U2 is my absolute favorite band and that Bono feels like family to me. I have seen them so many times live that I have lost track. I love them. So, yes, spirit delivers when it is time.
My heart felt like it was covered in hot thorns at that moment, releasing some of the guilt and ugliness I had been carrying around for over two years. Of course, I wanted to leave. It is impossibly hard to watch your mother deteriorate before your eyes, especially without warning. As it turns out, going home provided me the rest and clarity I needed to refocus and help her get a proper diagnosis which was part of the process to ultimately get her home to be with her family before she died.
And that folks, is how it works. Pain is hard, but when it surfaces, whether physically or emotionally, let it come. Let it bubble up, and unfreeze things, release the angst or ickiness, so you can be lighter and move more freely. This is not optional. Pain will come back again and again until you address it or choose to live with it forever, so you may as well find a way to sit with it. It will make you tired, or angry or dark for a bit, but then eventually, it leaves. And everything just feels a little easier to manage, allowing you to focus on the good stuff and the love part of life, instead of the pain parts. After all, only love is real.
What if pain is actually a gift, inviting us to dig deeper and unearth what weighs us down? Ask yourself where it hurts the next time you feel pain – or the next time you choose NOT to feel the pain. See where that takes you. And most importantly, if you need help, ask for it. I can help you with that if you so desire.
I invite you to be kind to yourself, and offer yourself the most compassion. xoxo