Travelling – and losing the travel spirit

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Lola’s unsettled and troublesome again. Nurses are barely coping with her demands and verbal tirades. The nurse on duty handed her mobile phone to Lola after asking me if I could oblige by calming her down. I distracted Lola with talk of birds and trees, rivers and oceans, bandicoots and numbats.

That’s what drew me to Lola in the first place, ten or so years ago. Finally I’d found a friend who understood and shared my passion for nature. People in general considered me a tad weird, but with Lola it was different. Nature touched her soul and warmed her to the core, just as it did me. We enjoyed the bushland together, admiring the details that most people inadvertently stepped on, unnoticed. At the time I felt blessed.

But it wasn’t long before her controlling, manipulating, judgmental manner shone through. It was too late. She had me in her clutches and she knew I was too ‘nice’ to abandon the physically disabled elderly and lonely woman who loved and depended on me.

She was totally unaware how her toxic energy sabotaged all her potential friendships and every event or project she undertook in her life. I mean, I don’t get how an intelligent adult could possibly not have any idea of the reality of the world around them or how they affect it. But that’s the way she was.

Of course Lola had good traits. She was generous with her time, and donated as much money as she could afford to worthwhile causes on a regular and continual basis. She did volunteer work and helped people whenever the opportunity arose. I admired her determination to be as independent as possible through her daily struggles to conduct a normal as possible life despite her physical disabilities. She was an exceptional human being in many ways.

But after every visit I paid to her on the other side of the country, I came home extremely stressed and depressed, and without exaggeration, teetered on the edge of self harm more than once. I tried to disengage myself from her, but she wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer, wouldn’t listen to any explanation. To be successful in exiting her life completely, I would have had to change my phone number, move house, and my husband and I would have both have had to change jobs, leave our home town and god knows what other measures that hadn’t occurred to me. She was addicted to me. She didn’t know the difference between ‘need’ and ‘love’.

Lola’s old-age has taken over her body, moving in on her mind, and she is now confined to hospital awaiting aged care placement. It’s a sad situation. Dementia is a cruel affliction and her immobility makes matters worse. Not surprisingly, she has no family or firm friends, except me. And me is all she wants, every day. I’m at my wits end as to how to manage her demands. In private, I get angry and tearful. And torn between guilt and self-preservation.

We travelled with the caravan all day today to reach Lola. The scenery was lovely with green paddocks and greener than green grain crops, flooded creeks, expanses of swollen waterways with ducks and waterbirds taking advantage of recent downpours, eucalypt woodland, flowering heath and historic towns. But I was preoccupied arguing with the voice in my head and coping with my knotted chest. My Old Mate and I have lost the urge to continue our once-in-a-lifetime holiday, and after I’ve done all I can for Lola, we’ll start heading across the country towards home, a few months earlier than planned.

Our choices are our own responsibility, I know. So I have no one to blame but myself. I’m aware of that. I’ve got a lot still to learn about self-compassion, but the lessons I’ve been given during my association with Lola have been valuable. I hope the rain has let up by morning so I can go for a long walk on the beach before I tackle what’s waiting for me. Nature nurtures me, and I’m grateful for the blessings of sunshine and rain, earth and wind to sustain me, to give me strength and resolve.

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Once-in-a-lifetime friendship

Early morning light paddock dam reflections

To find one person in a lifetime who genuinely understands you deep to your core, totally accepts you for the unique individual you are, and loves you unconditionally, well, you’ve really hit the jackpot. A blessing and gift beyond imagination.

People come and go throughout our lives, even family, and that’s the way it’s meant to be. We don’t meet people accidentally or by ‘coincidence’. Every person in our life is placed on our path for a reason, be it to learn from or to teach, to love us or hurt us, to open our mind or our eyes, to encourage us to question or to discover. And more. We draw these souls to us with the energy we emit and the quality of humanity we exemplify.

I believe our souls choose our family and birth circumstances before reincarnation so that we are placed in a situation and family that will best teach us the soul lessons we need to learn. The worse our birth/family situation is, the better opportunity we have to reap the rewards from the lessons we will be presented with. Nothing comes from an easy ride.

Sometimes we feel the need to leave family members behind, just as we do with friends or lovers, because that relationship has deteriorated beyond repair, and we realise it’s time to let go and move on. Don’t resist this need. It is meant to be. The real tragedy lies, not in the breaking of the union, but in not being open and accepting of the lessons offered by these people who are now also ready to move on.

I have a precious relationship with my daughter. We have a soul connection that is stunning in its strength. It has not always been like this, but as each of us came out the other side of trauma and grew from the challenges that our souls took on individually, we discovered who we were. And we discovered each other.

We’re both aware of this special bond that goes far beyond family ties, and we both nurture our relationship. Our connection transcends all, and we are truly each other’s saviour in times of need. I am so grateful that the Universe has gifted me with this friendship.

Sometimes I also yearn for a friend who is on that same frequency but more my own age. I haven’t found her. I may never find her. But I am living my life in a manner whereby I am open to our energy drawing us together. Meanwhile, I feel blessed beyond words.

It is my hope that every person can make a soul connection as profoundly rich as I have. But be aware that it won’t happen unless you are prepared to go outside of your comfort zone, be open to new knowledge and experiences, and be willing to nurture this relationship like the precious connection of soul energy it is.

Ritual circle paddock early morning light sunrise

 

My circle of emotional support

Depression Blog

Some women have a few circles of emotional support: a small inner cluster of nearest and dearest, coupled with a network of close friends always there to love them the way they need to be loved. They’re dependable and familiar. I’m guessing that yet other women have an even wider outer circle of friends to fall back on when the need arises.

My circle of confidantes consists only of my  husband and our daughter. It’s enough, but it’s not enough. I still struggle.

I’m on the other side of the country at the  moment, giving an ailing friend some much needed TLC, but I don’t manage well all the time. When I fall in a heap away from the familiarity of my comfort zone, who do I turn to. Phone calls home to my loved-ones only go so far towards helping me on the road to recovery.

I’m sitting at a rustic wooden table in a quiet corner of a restaurant looking into a glass of wine, and nibbling on cheese and crackers. Alone. It’s less than ideal – drinking alone while gripped by stress. But ‘alone’ can be healing. Writing is also healing for me. Getting my thoughts out of my head starts the process of purging. Analysis. Recovery.

There’s a selection of taste sensations on my plate: quince jelly, delectable soft cheese, crunchy bread, and dried fruits that don’t have names. Delicious. Comfort food. The music’s soothing, yet uplifting. A few tears escape.

Self-compassion. I do what I must to avoid depression taking over. My best is all I can do, and some days my best is not as good as it might be on another day. I’m living authentically. This is my self-administered pep talk. Short and simple. This is ME, and I can not make apologies for the ME that I am.

Dessert. And a brisk walk home in the cool night air. No moonlight tonight. I manage a sort of a smile as a Magpie chortles, unseen.

…..And then…..at first light, Mary (a friend of a friend who I now regard as my friend) rang to check up on me – she predicted my dilemma. Hugs, coffee in the outdoors, much talking, and I’m now ready for the day. Bless Mary, she is a treasure, and I wish we didn’t live thousands of kilometres apart. The sun is pushing through the clouds, and the Magpies are still chortling.

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