Travelling – and losing the travel spirit

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

That’s what drew me to Lena 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 Lena 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 Lena 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’.

Lena’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 Lena. 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 Lena, 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 Lena 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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My first card reading

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Earlier in the year when my daughter and I attended the Mind/Body/Spirit festival in Brisbane, I purchased a deck of intuitive-reading cards. I already have an oracle deck, but hadn’t been inspired to read them. My Old Mate and I have been travelling Australia with our caravan for more than 4 months now, but we’ve suspended our trip so that I can prepare a friend for nursing home entry. Besides being physically disabled, she has dementia.

Dementia. What a horrid, horrid affliction. My mother died with dementia only a few years ago. All that goes with it is still raw for me, and I’m struggling to cope day to day with this current situation. Depression had taken hold of me, and it’s only today that I’ve begun to take control of my emotions.

Following a disturbing and sad visit to the hospital this morning, I was inspired to take up my new deck of cards. Despite not having yet cleansed or blessed my cards, I shuffled them and picked a card – it read:

PARADISE

A message from your departed loved ones: ‘We are with you always as we hear your words and watch you tenderly from above. We love you.’

How very appropriate. My interpretation of ‘Paradise’ at this point in time, is ‘the afterlife’, where our true and complete soul is revealed to us after death. What could be a more sublime paradise than a place where we are finally connected to all that is,all that was, and all that will be – the realm between life lost and re-incarnation.

My parents are my only close loved ones who have passed in my adult life. I was with them both in their final time on Earth, and I’ve consulted them often since, when I’ve had questions of importance, when I’ve suffered disconnection, or wished to know them more intimately than I achieved.

I feel close connection to the reality behind the message my cards whispered to me today. I know that my father is guiding me. I’ve sensed it since his death, even though he gave me no guidance through his lifetime. Unfortunately I’ve had no intuition that my mother is with me, but I feel blessed knowing my father is watching over me. I feel nurtured, and I feel that he’s sharing his new-found wisdom with me – wisdom that he didn’t possess in his most recent lifetime.

Now, I’ve been reminded that my father’s spirit is touching my heart always, and I feel resilience that I didn’t have a few days ago. I am blessed.

The card pictures an empty rocking chair, and golden light. Although my father no longer sits in the chair, his spirit and love is in the light everywhere, all the time – I simply need to to recognise the light and be guided. I am reminded to remember. And the card says “We” love you – thus: even though I do not feel Mum near, my father wants me to know that she loves me. She is helping others, elsewhere – I accept that, and I am pleased.

 

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Once-in-a-lifetime friendship

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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.

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One way to help make the world a better place

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There was a time when I thought the human race wasn’t worth anything. Our world in such a state of disconnection and discord – crimes against humanity, violation of our planet home, and local communities obsessed with ‘success’ at the cost of all else. Corporate greed, personal gratification, governmental corruption, ignorance and neglect at a family and neighbourhood level. Ethics of a gutter rat. Too grim to comprehend a future.

My darkest days were upon me. Mental ill-health ruled my life, and I sank into isolation. Wild creatures were my friends, my only friends – backyard birds, lizards and snakes, frogs and bugs. Any and all of Mother Nature’s animals that would allow me into their space. I all but gave up on people.

Although my love and appreciation of nature has not diminished, my hope for humanity has grown many-fold. Violence against humanity and Earth, on a global scale, if anything, has increased: terrorism, inequity, persecution, greed, materialism. BUT my thought processes and outlook have changed. My perspective is more grown up, more universal, more positive, more charitable. My view is holistic and comes from a place of love instead of a place of fear.

Despite the world’s massive and apparently irreparable woes, I can sense an undercurrent of goodness, of change, of connection that transcends nationality and social standing. There is an energy of universal love spreading through humanity, causing a shift in attitude.

The catalyst for this energy is self-love and self-compassion. Not a love that involves the ego, rather, a self-love that must replace self-loathing for any growth on a soul level to occur. We (you and me, the elderly crippled woman, the business man, the retiree, the janitor, the school teacher, the single parent, the barrister, the troubled youth, the  homeless, the refugees), we can help heal the wold ONLY if we can find the courage or develop the capacity to love ourselves and work on healing our OWN pain, our own past hurt and grief.

When we are able to accept our past ‘stories’ for the necessary and beneficial lessons that they have truly been, we are then able to heal and move forward. As this process begins, we begin to change, we become aware of who we are and why we’ve been where we’ve been, and why we’re here. And then we can not help but live from a place of love that inspires others and triggers a ripple effect of soul growth far and wide.

One seemingly insignificant individual who doesn’t have a spare dollar to give to those less fortunate than  him/herself, can help heal the world simply by living authentically and unashamedly from a place of love. And it is my unwavering belief that this is the REAL giving.

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Age has nothing to do with happiness

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I’m 60, But what does that really mean? For me, it means that my children have flown the coup, it means that I have a new generation of children to love in my grand-children, it means I have fewer financial commitments and my everyday time constraints are relatively unimportant. And it also  means that I’ve had six decades for inner growth to instil awareness.

My life is not perfect and my health is not ideal. But I’m happy. Happiness does not come from perfect or ideal ANYTHING. Happiness is an energetic state of being, manifested from a feeling of love and gratitude. Happiness is a CHOICE. You can get out of bed in the morning and choose to be happy, or you can choose to be miserable.

I’m not sad or distressed in any way that my life is  now in it’s third and final trimester. No way. There is no point saying in hindsight that I’d have done things differently, because we are always where we should be to learn what our soul needs to learn. If I didn’t learn those lessons there, I’d have had to learn them somewhere equally unappealing. I’m happier more often and for longer periods and far deeper than I’ve ever been because my spiritual path has taken me inwards to discover the person I am. That person has developed the confidence and ability to love unconditionally.

Love is everything. I embrace the imperfections of my self and my life and the world at large as a giant chalk-board with messages and plans, questions and answers, dilemmas and challenges to be addressed with love and gratitude. Love will show me the way. LOVE is the ONLY way.

At 60, with silver hair and an ample waist, my passion for life is like that of a child, just considerably slower. I try new things, taste new foods, take on new challenges, love new people, go to new places, and think new thoughts. Age doesn’t matter. Love and kindness matters, and more than ever, I am aware of the power of love and kindness to heal my self, other people, and the world. I didn’t know this when I was a child, or a teenager, or even a middle-aged woman.

We all grow and change on a soul level at different rates. We all have our own path, and because my path has taken me places I didn’t want to go, and handed me pain I didn’t think I’d survive, I have grown and changed in leaps and bounds.

I am happy because I choose to be happy. It is my hope that you too, can choose to be happy.

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My circle of emotional support

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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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In pursuit of harmony

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AS I delve within to acknowledge and address the past painful issues that have not yet been dissolved, I will work towards harmony. Implementing self-compassion, reaching out to my higher self to care well for my body, mind and spirit – aiming for harmony between body, mind and spirit.

When I have developed a state of harmony within, harmony will naturally be created around me and in my world – this pure energy of love will then flow out into the Universe, helping to heal others – and this, in turn, helps our planet to heal. As others, too, work on their own pain dissolving past stories, they too will contribute to the healing of t he world. A ripple effect. It will take time, and effort, but I feel positive that the human race can change.

Unfortunately, reality is that many souls are not yet ready to work on healing their ‘stories’, and therefore will not reach a place of harmony in their current lifetime. These people can be difficult to be around because they see themselves as victims of circumstances, and victims of their parents’ treatment. They take little responsibility for the outcomes of their own choices, their own happiness. They see happiness as an outside issue, when genuine happiness cannot come from anywhere but within. They see their current problems or character traits or conceived unfairness of the world as a given, not something that they can control or change. Tragic, not only for these individuals, but for their loved-ones and the world at large. But we are all travelling our own paths and working on different aspects of our lives, and those not working at a soul level will be focused on physical issues, and that is just where they are meant to be. We are all in the right place at the right time.

At 60 years of age, I am a late bloomer, but I am changing, creating a life I love. Creating a ME I love. This takes dedicated inner work. This journey of continual inner reflection and learning is the most exciting and rewarding undertaking of my life. For all those working on their SELF, I applaud you, for you are not only healing yourself, but you are helping to heal the world.

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