For now, I am going part time at work (3 days a week) and 4 days at home with my littles. I am so happy. I will say that I am trying to take it easy on my workdays and not feel like I have to fit everything in, but I can say that I am focusing more and being more deliberate with my time and that is a great thing.
I just finished listening to The Alchemist audiobook and have started in on Deena Kastor’s (Olympic marathoner) audiobook and I am awesomely blown away by both. The Alchemist is a book I have heard about for many years and just kept putting off, but my dad gifted me Audible and 1 credit each month (best gift ever!). In fact, I’ll probably just ask for it every year.
I called my mother the other morning out of the blue. I had the intuition to do it and felt I was in a good place, so I called. I can’t say I felt better or worse afterward, just strange. I read a post the other day that said, “If you are relieved when not in communication with a person, then you never really lost them.” I thought about it and mostly, I feel relieved. I don’t feel the pain of anger that is triggered by old wounds reopening. But, loss, it remains. I don’t think any child who has a parent who is absent or threatens absence for telling your truth would feel differently.
She texted me the other day. She said that she believed me and that my feelings were valid, and she was sorry for pain caused while I was “growing up.” And I sighed. Not only because she sent it through a text instead of saying it to me in person, but because, it didn’t change anything. My sponsor asked me, “if she came to you to apologize would it change anything?” and no, what happened remains. It has shaped me, and I am grateful for it, however, the difference between an apology and an amends is so vast it could fill the Grand Canyon.
That is why amends are really one of the most amazing ways to freedom. An amends is where you sit down with a person (after asking if they are up for it) and ONLY talk about what you did wrong in a situation, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES do you bring up harms done by the other party. You then proceed, to let that party vent or bring up things you may be unaware of as far as harms done. Then you ask humbly, what you can do (if anything) to make it right? This allows them to feel seen, heard, and understood (a basic human need) and allows closure for the hurts to subside and a new relationship to be born. And THEN! You do not repeat the stuff that hurt them thus amending the situation versus just apologizing for bad behavior. It isn’t a perfect system; it will need repairs from time to time. We all make mistakes, but we keep trying and we keep going. Sometimes the best thing to do (in the cases of ex-boyfriends or girlfriends or sometimes family) is to leave them alone entirely as your presence is harmful to one of the parties involved or there are third parties (new girlfriends/boyfriends or children) to think of that do not need to be harmed by your involvement.
A caveat to the amends process is that you have sufficient support to go into the situation in the first place. There is a supposition that you are “spiritually fit” or have outside support such as a sponsor, therapist, partner, or other friend who knows you are going to do this and can be there for you before and after you make the approach. This is not something that should be done alone. I always take my Higher Power into the situation and ask for It to guide my thoughts words and actions before I approach a person about an amends, and then I do self-care afterwards such as a long walk on the beach, a long hot shower, meditation, talking with my sponsor, going for a run, or spending time in nature and lots of prayer. I spend the time before and after deepening my connection to my idea of God and forging a personal relationship with something greater than myself. That way I can get my tiny ego out of the way and do some real work. Without this crucial step, I would be going in on my own power, which is petty, divisive, SUPER DEFENSIVE, addicted to suffering, angry, rageful, dismissive and judgmental of others, weak, a bully, and on and on…
Now, I am going to try to start focusing on the positive here. I do not need to belabor my resentments any longer. I found a way out of my chasm of grief and loss and really want to be here as a source of light. A rope that I can drop down to others to help guide them back into freedom, despite what other people do. I am working on it. I am not fully healed myself, but that doesn’t mean I am useless. We can still help others when we ourselves are not whole. In fact, in helping others, the hole in my heart diminishes. By forming a common bond and swimming ashore together out of the shipwreck of the past, we emerge stronger and better together.
So, for right now, I will focus on gratitude and positive thinking. I will try to fulfill my personal legend (The Alchemist). I am grateful for more time with my kids. My two-year-old is getting so bossy and is so smart, she has started to say hi to people and tell them her name (“My name is Lulabelle!”). My four-year-old has made it her personal mission to make new friends everyday and make me laugh before bed. We are still working on good manners and asking nicely for things. I am so grateful that she still wants me to hold her and kiss her every morning and night. She loves to cook and make muffins with me.
I am grateful for this piece of land that the treatment center is on. Though sandy and hot, it is turning into a beautiful garden oasis. There is something to do everyday and endless projects and joy to seek. My creativity can run wild, and we also get stuff to eat! So cool. There are no words to describe my love for gardening and getting to spend so much time in nature doing what I love. It is a slow, simple life, but it is mine and I love it.
I am grateful for my husband even though I like to imagine he is the source of my pain when I let my mind go unchecked. He works hard to create a healing place for addicts and alcoholics and truly loves them and sacrifices himself so that they will survive. He cares deeply for the earth and has been very passionate and aware lately of our use of plastic and recycling. I am so grateful I married this hippie soul. He is such a good daddy, and our girls love him to bits.
I am grateful for everyone who works at Augustine Recovery. They all are so unique and have hearts or gold and their spiritual and mental fortitude is other worldly. They are blessed spirits walking the earth, healing the sick and showing up ready to do battle with the disease of addiction each day and I am humbled in gratitude by their abilities. This work is not for the faint of heart. To me they are Knights of God and more powerful than they know.
I am grateful for Anthony William aka The Medical Medium, whose books have healed not only my bodily ailments, but my mind and spirit too. I have discovered the true source of illness and am on the road to healing and I am blown away with all that has changed just by changing my diet. By focusing on healing and eating well, my temper and patience have increased along with my zest for life and all it has to offer. I know that what I am eating is affecting my mood, my relationships, and my ability to parent well and how can you give back enough gratitude when you’ve been given a real shot at a happy life? I’ll never be able to repay what his inspiration has given to me, but I will do my little part here. If you have ANY symptoms of illness, his information can and will heal you. There is hope. There is a way out. I went from debilitating sciatica and not being able to walk, to running a 50K with my husband last December. I quit coffee and have never felt so much energy in my life. I work hard on my healing, I slip up from time to time, but I keep going and so much of it is due to his diligence in delivering healing information to everyone.
I am grateful for all my plant-based brothers and sisters out there fighting the good fight whether it is through advocacy, or just at the dinner table with family. I know it isn’t always easy, but we are here to stand up and rise! I am with you! Forever and always, I have your back and I know you have mine. We will do everything we can to save humanity, the planet and of course the animals too. Thank you for all you do, no matter how small.
I am grateful for my Higher Power, who never gave up on me. I am grateful that you gave me the grace to get sober. I am grateful for this big, sensitive heart you gave me even though I sometimes wish you didn’t make it so big. Thank you for making me a mother. Thank you for giving me a voice. Thank you for loving me no matter what and inviting me to follow you to find the soul of the world. Thank you for the plants and animals and for this beautiful time in Earth School. Thank you for making me so stubborn and head strong. Thank you for believing in me when I could not see the path ahead. And a big double thanks for all the runs in the rain, I have never felt so alive.
I am also grateful for all the souls I get to meet on this journey. We are a web of interconnected stories and together, I really think we can do this. I am grateful to all the creators, putting their voices out there. I see you; I hear you; I am you. Keep writing, keep creating, keep growing. I love it all. I can’t wait to meet you and become a part of your Ohana. Okay, until next time…