Comforting Words: 11/2006

Monday, November 20, 2006

Wilderness Journal: Day 29

From the Center

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 12
Day 15
Day 20
Day 21

Something seems to be happening with me and Day 30. It was again my thought to not write a post until that Day and here I am at 4:41 a.m., after sitting at the Center of the Eternal Fire, writing.

It has been eight days since my last post and my time has been spent in deep reflection on ME and what this ME needs and wants.

On Day 22, I entered my psychologist’s office with an agenda. The wailing and recognition on Day 21 that my life and vows to my ex mirrored that of the biblical Ruth, drew me into a place where more than ever before I wanted to see ME.

One telephone ‘conversation’, if you can call it that, with my ex helped to propel me in this direction. Expressing my desire to maintain a friendship with her, something that meant and still means a lot to me, her response was that I must let go of my guilt.

“Guilt?” I asked looking incredulously at the telephone. “I am not feeling guilty. This is not about guilt, don’t you get that?”

None of my effort to bridge the widening gap between us has been about guilt, at least not for me, of that I am sure. Certainly in the early days of this drama, I wondered about my own behaviour over the years and how they contributed to the break down in communication between us. I also confessed in a very long letter to her that my pride prevented me from speaking the whole truth about my discontent with the relationship.

However, to interpret any of this as guilt is totally off the mark.


Self- Awareness: Locating Oneself

“Where are you today?”

Since childhood, my greatest form of entertainment has been reading. While most other children could be found outside playing, I would be ensconced in my room or under a tree reading some fiction or the other.

This has not changed much as I have grown. Books have been one of my greatest sources of not only knowledge but wisdom. Reading opens my mind to new approaches, to a world far greater than the one I inhabit and invites me to think and dream bigger than I might be doing in any given moment.

It is therefore no surprise that as I walk through this Wilderness, books are my constant companion – propelling me even deeper within myself; excavating the deeper ME.

Last Monday (Day 22) as I entered my psychologist’s office, in my hand was one of these companions. Several prior conversations with women (verbal and non-verbal), who Dr. Cherie Carter-Scott (I will speak more about her later) refers to as “Personal Evolution Tutors,” led me to the stance I was about to announce to my therapist.

The basic thought-provoking ideas of these conversations were:

  1. “You teach people how to treat you” – and I was not giving a very good lesson up to that point.
  2. “If you have to fight with people to accept what you are giving as an act of love; they are not worthy.”

As I sat with those thoughts the previous day (Day 21); as I wrote them down repeatedly on sheets of papers and taped them to my wall, pacing back and forth passing them and as I allowed them to sink into my being, I felt the full strength of my Power returning to me.

Dr. Carter-Scott in her book, “If Life is a Game, These are the Rules,” correctly observes that life presents us with lessons – not accidents, not mistakes, not mischief but lessons to be learnt. Further, she states that the lessons will be repeated until we get it and that was the case for me, particularly on Day 22.

It was 4:00 a.m. and I was up and about and by 6:30 a.m. I was checking email. As I opened one of my three (or four) email accounts, I immediately noticed one from a dear friend in Jamaica, Z. She is the woman who has so generously taken on the reward less task of monitoring and liaising with my mother. Her email simply announced to me that my mother was again in the hospital – no reason given.

After several unsuccessful attempts to get Z on the phone, I called my daughter to tell her the news. Then I called my ex as this news might very well have had financial implications for us. The long and short of this episode is that after leaving several detailed voice messages and a message with her landlady – whose number I scourged through the infamous telephone record and found – she did not return any of my calls.

Eventually I got through to Z, who still could not give me anything concrete about my mother only to say that she got news that she is in the hospital and that she, Z, would try to visit either later that day or by the next.

Where did all of this leave me?

By the time I was parking my vehicle to go up to the therapist that afternoon, my desire to get ME back was almost choking my breath off. The impact the news of my mother’s hospitalization had on me, the heart felt tears that it brought to my eyes – tears that I have never cried for her before – made me realize what the lessons that Life was calling me to get.

Lessons to be Learnt

A sidebar here: If you have never read this book by Dr. Carter-Scott, “If Life is a Game, These are the Rules,” and if you feel ready to start understanding how to grow into your humanity – I strongly recommend it.

The words of my Personal Evolution Tutors, the news of my mother’s hospitalization and what I experienced as coldness and sheer indifference from the woman who I journeyed with for 16 years all said to me – it’s time.

As Dr. Carter-Scott outlines, I knew it was time to:

  • Remind myself that my recent experiences are only part of my learning process – not punishment.
  • Be present and pay attention fully to the experiences.
  • Diligently take action that enables my “getting’ the lessons being presented to me.
  • Ask Spirit for answers.
  • Listen with an open heart – to Spirit, to my Tutors, to those who I perceived as ‘mean-spirited’ and most importantly, to Life.
  • Explore all options.
  • See all the judgments that I had made of people, events and/or experiences as a mirror – a reflection of my inner world, my thinking and how I was being in the world and in relation to others.
  • View each crisis (including this new one with my mother) as an opportunity for growth rather than a reason to shrink into bitterness.
  • Trust myself.
  • Believe in myself.
  • Look within myself, to my higher self, for guidance on all my choices.
  • Extend compassion to myself first and to others.
  • Always remember that there are no mistakes, only lessons.
  • Love myself, trust my choices and know that everything is possible and all is well.

When my therapist asked me how I wanted to proceed in our session – a polite question she normally asks – my response was, “You know, I am done talking about my relationship. I want us to start with me and if it comes up then that’s okay. I am over the crisis and I think it’s time to come into my ME-NESS.” I then proceeded to quote the words of Rollo May, from his book “The Courage to Create,” it was my companion for that day.

“S,” I said, “I want to recover my courage to create. As Dr. May wrote, ‘courage is not the absence of despair; it is rather, the capacity to move ahead in spite of despair.”

Up to that point, Day 22, I was still in deep despair but I also knew that it was time for me to fully take responsibility for the way my life had unfolded to that point and to boldly create a new life for myself.

This important – the difference between guilt and responsibility. I was not and am not feeling guilty as intricately connected to guilt is blame and negative feelings. I am not blaming myself nor am I blaming any one else and am trying to move away from the trap of negativity.

Responsibility on the other hand is when you stop hiding from the full truth, when you take ownership privately and publicly and stop hiding behind other people - especially those who are just are blind as you are.

“Blame is stagnant, responsibility propels you forward and onward to your greater good,” writes Dr. Carter-Scott and that is my direction – forward.

Across the Sands

That resolve – to be courageous and create a new life for myself and to take even greater responsibility than I had up to that point – opened me up so much over the next few days. Here is a synopsis of the major ‘events’ from the afternoon of Day 22 to Day 28:

Day 22 (Monday):

My ex finally responded to my call about my mother almost twelve hours later. I almost did not answer the telephone when I saw her number on the caller display, however, I did. After listening to her tell me that she only got my messages, twelve hours after the fact, I said, “Thanks very much for calling. Goodbye.”

I danced and screamed after hanging up – happy at my ability not to follow my anger at what I perceived as her seeming loss of compassion and capacity for kindness.

Then I made the next major decision for ME. I called the telephone companies, for my cell phone and my land line – and had my numbers immediately changed. My decision to do this was my way of taking care of myself and also accepting my ex’s choice.

I had had enough of sitting by the telephone waiting for her to call me. If she doesn’t know my number then I could not expect her to call.

Secondly, things work both ways – and so as my ex had consistently, adamantly and even unkindly insisted that she does not want to hear from or about me, that she really does not care what happens to me then this works both ways.

No, not that I do not care what happens to her – in fact I do very much care, yet we must be careful what we wish for: if one’s desire is to have a complete communication lock-down then one must expect it to work both ways – I don’t call you, you don’t call me. I went a step further with this communication lock-down and blocked her from sending me emails from all my accounts.

It was time to protect and take care of myself. I had had enough of the insults and attempts to shame me. I had had enough of being misunderstood. I had had enough of the attempts to blame me for everything that went wrong. Enough!

My response to my ex’s request to leave her alone was finally, “Okay and would you please do the same and not have anyone call me with your requests as you recently did? Except for the outstanding business (financial) between us – I leave you alone and you leave me alone.”

Day 23 (Tuesday):

One of the many beautiful things that have happened as a result of this situation – is the growing re-connection between my daughter and me. Regular readers will recall that back in May my daughter decided to move out and the uproar that caused. Our relationship was strained for several months, with her not visiting home until October for Thanksgiving Dinner.

On this day, not only did she invite me over to their place, but she prepared a meal for me, concerned as she was/is about my lack of appetite. She also had a gift for me – a body care package. However, the greatest gift was seeing that they had placed a fairly large photograph of me on the centre table in their living room. My daughter it seems has been trying to walk the lesson of forgiveness much faster than many adults!

Day 24 (Wednesday):

I started stepping back fully into my world – the one that has cared for me so compassionately this past month or so. I journeyed with a lesbian couple preparing to make marriage vows to each other; I called almost all of my Personal Evolution Tutors and friends who have been so caring and nurturing of me through this process to yet again tell them thanks. Later that evening, it was time to give back to a woman who has done the unasked for me – including leaving the warmth of her home at midnight to meet me at the airport a month ago – just because.

Day 25 (Thursday):

Bumped into an old CPE colleague who now lives in Calgary and we agreed to meet for supper. We ended up buying Chinese take-out and spending the evening at my place in conversation and tears. Anyone who has ever done or experienced a partner who is in CPE will understand that crying and getting in touch with one’s feelings is very much a part of that process. We did that and what a time of healing it was!

Day 26 (Friday):

Took one more step back into my world and got some work done that I have neglected for over a month. Also, finally had over an hour long conversation with my friend Z who filled me in on the detail of my mother and this brought me a great amount of comfort. Also, spent some time apartment hunting – trying to find whether there was an immediate option to end one aspect of the financial bondage that I am experiencing. This was unsuccessful but I took it like a big girl.

Day 27 (Saturday):

This day marked exactly a month to the date that I attempted suicide. It was also the day of a Family Constellation Workshop that my friend and I were to attend.

My day started at 1:15 a.m., with me checking in with myself to see what my feelings were. I had to admit that:

  1. I sometimes experience a deep sense of contentment – when I felt like shouting, “Yes!”
  2. I sometimes have a sickening and sinking feeling when I recall the lies, deception and what I experienced as utter betrayal of trust by my ex and her friend, particularly in my house.
  3. I still love and feel loving towards my ex – in spite of everything. You just don’t dispose of 16 years overnight – it just doesn’t happen!
  4. I feel hopeful that I can and will create a new life for myself.
  5. I am affirmed in my humanity, my service, my path, my sense of worth and my capacity to give and receive by my work colleagues, supervisors and in particular the women I serve.
  6. I am truly loved.

Before leaving for the workshop, I made another step towards my freedom – I completed an application for private medical insurance and put it in the email. I also put in the mail a form to my ex to have myself removed from her work insurance plan – as this has been a source of stress and worry for me; not being sure whether the commitment will be honoured and needing dental work but afraid (and told not to) call her to discuss this. Yes, this is an expense that will greatly stretch me but by taking this step I am taking control of my own health and my life!

I will say more about the Workshop at a later date but will just mention that it was another moment of great healing for me as it allowed me an opportunity to walk in both my parents shoes, to understand the inter-generational pain and suffering that both sides of my family underwent and most importantly, it propelled me further into taking responsibility for my past, my choices and their consequences and for my future.

Ended Day 27 by attending an Harvest Family Dance at my church! This was an hilarious experience. I was doing line and other types of dancing with my minister and the wonderful group of people gathered. I returned home with mixed feelings – thankful for the community and sad that my own family is splintered.

Day 28 (Sunday):

Before leaving for church, I called my daughter to make sure that she got home safely as she worked a late night shift. She assured me that all was well and then proceeded to inquire about my plans for the day. As I finished sharing that, she commented that maybe she should not tell me something. I asked what was it and encouraged her to speak to me.

The story that followed had me shaking, fighting to catch my breath and concerned for my daughter’s emotional health.

Basically, what she told me was that on her way to work her Aunty J (that’s was her name for her) and her new companion boarded the bus - hand in hand. The companion saw my daughter first who confessed to giving her a dirty look. Aunty J was then apparently told of my daughter’s presence on the bus and she, the only other parent this child knew really, sheepishly told my daughter “Hi.”

They exited a few stops later and again the woman who raised this child, who influenced this child’s life for 16 years, could only manage to say, “Bye.”

My daughter continued that as she sat on the bus later that night after work, she could not shake the image of them and feel the betrayal of her love by Aunty J. So she decided to send a text message to her. Whether it was received neither of us knows as she did not receive a response – maybe because of the content. My daughter said she wrote something like this:
“I hope you and (the woman’s name) are having a wonderful time. God knows you deserve each other. Remember what goes around comes around. I thank you for your help raising me but I have no love for you any more, so please do not contact me.”

Yes, I was shaking from the fact of them actually walking around town having vehemently denied what was happening, even to very, very recently, when I ws told she will consider entering a relationship with this companion if that would get rid of me!

Yet, I was happy that my daughter saw them for herself as she thought maybe I was mistaken.

My concern, however, for her emotional health was greater and so I sought support for her by providing her number to someone I trust to counsel and support her on this necessary path of forgiveness. I called her, my daughter, later that day and told her to expect a call from this counsellor.

Final Words

And so, that is my journey these last eight days. I am now entering the last lap – the countdown to Day 40.

This is my intention for this las ten days: I know that the major lesson for me throughout this period is deep forgiveness of myself and others.

As Dr. Carter-Scott writes, my task is to understand that “human growth is a process of experimentation, trial, and error, ultimately leading to wisdom.”

The guide that I will be using for this last phase is a book called, “Radical Forgiveness,” as I seek to:

  1. Be even more compassionate – open my heart even wider.
  2. Forgive – erasing emotional debt and engage in a process of conscious and deliberate release of any residual resentment I may be holding for myself and others.
  3. Solidify my ethics – knowing and embracing completely my internal (moral) codes and aligning my external actions to match them.
  4. Laugh – inviting laughter and amusement into all situations that might otherwise be or have been disastrous.

I pray for your continued support.



Sunday, November 12, 2006

Wilderness Journal: Day 21

From the Center

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 12
Day 15
Day 20

It was my thought that I would not post another entry until probably Day 30 or something…but fate had a different opinion.

For the past couple of nights, I have managed to get around seven hours of sleep, disturbed, but nevertheless more than I have been having. Last night was different, however, going back to the usual 4-5 hours and waking up at 3:00 a.m.

Instead of cursing the stars, I decided to enter the Medicine Wheel and contemplate my dream journal – as it was a dream that woke me up and so I whipped out my Dream Book and a highlighter, prayed and asked for Wisdom. Other than that, there were no special thoughts in my mind.

Acknowledgement of Vulnerability

My reason for doing this - reviewing my dream journal - had a lot to do with a telephone ‘conversation' the evening before. Yes, although I wrote a few hours earlier that I was not making unnecessary telephone calls to my ex – and I believe I was not – a sudden urge, an overwhelming feeling came over me about 5:30p.m., that something other than the obvious was wrong with her.

So I called – as this is what we did for 16 years whenever one of us had a sense that something was off with the other – just to check. All I need to say is that the response to my concern was cold and indifferent. And that’s okay. I would later say to someone that I really do not know how not to be her friend and that is the hardest part of this situation.

This must have followed me into my dream world and thus my waking up so early and troubled. As I reviewed my Dream Journal and some of the interpretations I wrote, as I checked the ones that I did not interpret and as I cross-checked the dreams with my recollection of stories I was told and the telephone log – I realized that all along my spirit was trying to clue me in to what was occurring in my life. I was not paying attention.

There were symbols after symbols, which basically was pointing to upheaval, major change, nervous breakdown, false friends, gossip, need to review past history, etc. Clearly, I was not following my intuition and then it came in dreams. What was spooky was that when I cross- checked the dreams, in particular the one that symbolized false friends and gossip – they coincidence with certain events. One example was the evening we had our 'friend' over for supper and she stayed overnight. The next morning I recorded a dream about serpents.


Self- Awareness: Locating Oneself

“Where are you today?”

Holding this information from my dream world in one hand, I proceeded to check myself, check-in with my Spirit as to what I was feeling and what it meant.

Surprisingly, I was not angry. Instead, I found myself praying even more intently for Love to take me over – to fill me up so much that it leaks through every pore of my skin touching everyone I meet and had any contact with.

With this intention, I left for church. It was to be a special service and I, along with several others, was participating in a dramatization of Ruth 1: 1-18. I was nervous about this, ever since I realised that this was a passage that holds so much relevance to me – prior to now – but even more so now.

Nevertheless, I packed my ‘costume’ and left.

Walking the Curve

Just a sidebar here: the woman who I mentioned in yesterday’s post who is in a similar situation as I am, albeit her relationship lasted for six years, turned up at my church this morning. I invited her to sit with me and as she did I noticed the still fresh scars from her – not second – but third suicide attempt. That was my first almost-meltdown.

My nervousness about the dramatization took over quick enough, however, preventing me from completely losing it seeing her scars. The terror that I was feeling about doing this part was that I was to do the role of Ruth – the daughter-in-law who refused to leave her mother-in-law’s side.

As I changed into my costume, I breathed and prayed that the Divine would take me over, allowed whatever I needed to express to come through and to bless me.

She did.

Though we had discussed what we would do, the group of us had not really rehearsed – we were basically all playing it by ear. Most people had memorized their lines – which were quite few – but I had not, as I could hardly stand to read the text sent to me. It was too real.

A man with a big, strong voice was doing the narrating and as he said the part where the woman’s (Naomi's) sons had also died, soon after her husband, I heard myself loudly wailing. My Jamaican friends will understand the kind of wailing I am talking about - where you hold your belly and cry.

Then came the part that I most dreaded – as I did not know what would happen. Would I stiffen? Would I be relaxed and just act? Could I make it through the lines?

Orpah (who the story goes Oprah Winfrey was incorrectly named after her) decided to take her mother-in-law’s advice and return to her people. Ruth however refused to do any such thing. Naomi, the mother-in-law, chastised her saying, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.”

This was truly an out of body experience for me as I can clearly tell you that I saw myself, at first, literally clinging to the arms of the woman playing the part of Naomi. Then all I knew I was on the floor hanging onto her saying – something like this as I had not memorized the lines:
“Don’t ask me to leave you…don’t! Stop telling me to stop following you. Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people and your God my God.”

By this time I am weeping, really, but knew there were more lines to say but could not remember them. So I got myself together, pulled out the bit of paper with the lines from under my shawl and tearfully read the rest:
“May God do thus and more to me as well, if even death parts me from you!”

Naomi reached down and gently guided me up from the floor and we left the hall on our way to Judah.

Final Words

After the service, it felt like everyone came to tell me what a great performance that was. Some said there was not a dry eye in the room. I do not know if that was the case – I was busy in the back lounge drying my own eyes to return to the service.

The truth is - I was not acting. That was the vow we made on our tenth anniversary. That was the vow I made when my partner wanted to come to Canada. That was the vow I renewed, year after year - Just Because.

In her reflection, the minister used a term which sums up what this text and being a part of the dramatization and more specifically doing the part of Ruth meant to me. She referred to it as “walking the curves of your heart.”

I am walking the curves of my heart, each time I think about the past 16 years – the challenges, the ‘triumphs’, the blessings, the moments of forgiveness, the moments of Grace, the moments of intense pain and the moments of pure joy and unconditional love that Juds and I shared.

I am walking the curves of my heart, each time I think about and see evidence of continuing lies, the manipulation of others in order to control and deceive, attempted suicide, legal maneuverings based on falsehood and an inability to forgive due to bitterness and fear.

I am walking the curves of my heart, each time I speak to my daughter and memories of times past come into our conversation and the unasked questions uncomfortably gets alluded to – “Did she love me really or was that a pretense too?”

I am walking the curves of my heart each time I think how the past – childhood lessons – have affected not only me but all the people who are somehow involved in this stage of the drama. Past histories and lessons that are at various stages of healing or not even known as some are too afraid to look in the mirror.

I am walking the curves of my heart each time I think about Juds, speak with her or dream about her and know that all I want to do is to give her back what she taught me – unconditional love – but unable to seemingly due to fear.

I am walking the curves of my heart as I know that that is what Love does and that is all I can do - just love, just because.

I needed to share this and now I will get some rest for the remainder of the journey.



Saturday, November 11, 2006

Wilderness Journal: Day 20

From the Center

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 12
Day 15

My entry in the Wilderness Journal at 6:15 a.m. was:
“This is the midway point of my intentional 40-day Wilderness Journey and I am of two minds whether to write and publish a post today. It is a significant ‘milestone’ in many ways. If I do write a post, it must tell how I am intentionally seeking to attract a joy-filled experience. I no longer want to dwell on the past and all the mistakes that I or [you know who] made. Unless I can write such a post, I will let it slide. Please guide me God.”

This entry was written after I had come to the Center of the Medicine Wheel, having lit four candles and placed one in each direction (North, South, East and West). However, there was new dimension to the Medicine Wheel – I had actually drawn a circle on a poster size paper and divided it into four sections: Physical, Emotional, Mental (Intellectual) and Spiritual dimensions. After praying for guidance and meditating, I wrote my intentions for the next phase of my journey in each section.

Placing myself at the Center of my now expanded Medicine Wheel, I held these two thoughts in my mind:

Today’s Thoughts:

  • “Be careful to not interfere, prevent or block anyone’s process and/or choices. Be an “Allower,” someone who allows life to unfold as it should.”
  • “Divine chaos comes before divine order … a new form is coming forward.”

Acknowledgement of Vulnerability

Today marks thirty-three days since my partner of 16-years announced that she wanted out of the relationship and twenty days since I decided it was time “to intentionally put myself through a process that examines all aspects of who I think I am called to be and who I have been.”

It has been a back and forth journey through the grieving process of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I have experienced and/or participated in every aspect of this process – some with more intensity than others. Where I have stepped over the line – so to speak – I have had the presence of mind and heart to ask for forgiveness.

Where I have felt vindicated that my intuition was correct, I am learning to let go of the need to be victim or to hear an apology from those who would have me think otherwise. The need, to get an apology, has been much easier to get over. The sense of being victimized, betrayed and that my personal space and trust was violated is a much harder deal.

What I do recognize, however, is that this is not a new emotion. Rather it is one that I have learnt since childhood – having being physically (body) and psychologically(mind) abused and mistreated by parent and others alike. This remains, therefore, an area of greatest challenge – the one that my sessions with my psychologist has started to delve into, beginning last week, with an examination of boundaries and what that looks like for me.


Self- Awareness: Locating Oneself

“Where are you today?”

I received this most timely Wisdom in my mailbox yesterday:

Overcoming attachment does not mean becoming cold and indifferent. On the contrary, it means learning to have relaxed control over our mind through understanding the real causes of happiness and fulfillment, and this enables us to enjoy life more and suffer less. -Kathleen McDonald, "How to Meditate"

It would be disingenuous of me to tell anyone or write that my love for my ex has completely died – even since the day I got confirmation about the telephone calls. That would be a lie.

Have I tried to make unnecessary contact with her? No. Do I check the telephone frequently to see if she called or text messaged? Yes. Would it be one of my greatest joys to have a cup of coffee with her one day soon and have a laugh as we once did? Yes.

Am I learning to detach – without the coldness and indifference and in Love and with gratitude? Yes. Two conversations and several books are guiding me to this place.

One telephone conversation was with a member of this community living in the States, N. Among the many words of wisdom that she shared she reminded me of the importance of self-love, something that can be interpreted by the unwise to the way of Spirit as selfishness. Her words went straight to my heart, confirming the rightness of it. Lesson: Self-Love.

The second conversation was with a woman who herself is experiencing a similar separation. I have not spoken with her in a while and was shocked to learn that she too had attempted suicide not once but at least twice. The second attempt came after realizing how nasty a break-up can really get through the legal action taken against her. I wept at the pain and the deception but more so I wept when this woman told me how powerful a lesson in self-awareness she was learning. Lesson: Self-Awareness.

With these two conversations close to my heart, I went to work and a book came into my awareness. It did not hold any concept I had not heard before, especially during my time as a member of the Universal Center of Truth for Better Living in Jamaica. What this book did was remind me of the Law of the Universe that I had been studiously ignoring. What is so funny (or coincidental?) about this is that the book came to me through an Aboriginal Woman, who also showed me how to expand my use of the Medicine Wheel. The title of the book is “The Law of Attraction,” by Esther and Jerry Hicks.

Making Space

Along with the guidance from other books that I have been digesting in every possible waking moment (including The Heart of the Soul: Emotional Awareness, by Gary Zukav) on Day 20, today, and for however long it takes, my mission is to intentionally and consciously exercise the powers that God have blessed me (and all of us) with.

My first step is to recognize how the Law of Attraction has played out in my life and how I might now intentionally direct what I attract. Already I have some clear insights, most significant of which are:

  • “You get what you think about, whether you want it or not”: As I might have mentioned before, we have been discussing some type of separation or time-out on and off for years now. Further, one of my posts in September, Finding Home Anywhere, made mention of the fact that I felt my partner might find what I called “playmates.” Undeniable Truth: I/We have been thinking about separating – whether we actually wanted it or not.

  • “To have positive change in your experience, you must disregard how things are – as well as how others are seeing you – and give more attention to the way you prefer things to be”: The expansion of the Medicine Wheel to incorporate my intentions for my Physical, Emotional, Mental and Spiritual life is my constant reminder of this truism. I am actively changing the way or re-framing how I experience and the thoughts and reactions I have to what has occurred in my life overall but especially in the last month or so. Okay, so she abruptly ended the relationship. Okay, so a third party was somehow involved. Okay, so you are still feeling emotional and physical pain about the no-contact order and the coldness that has replaced the warmth of your friendship. What is the Undeniable Truth: By staying focused and giving only what I truly want to experience, which is Love, all things will work together for good and I will create a wonderful life filled with all the people, experiences and things I desire and deserve.

  • “Allowing is maintaining your own balance, your own joy, no matter what others are doing…as you remain in balance, connected to your own Inner Being…and hold them [others] as your object of attention (Love) they benefit.”: M in Ontario was the first to say this to me explicitly and then she followed up with an email about blessings others as they make their choices and as you pass them on the way. Her words confirmed for me what I was already trying to do but it also pushed me into seriously thinking about and acting on ‘allowing’ my ex her choice. This was hard, as I thought I could see (the sage that I am, ha-ha) all the errors in her choice (or at least the way she was going about it) and knew the sad details about the seeming main influence in her life. As this brick hit me in the head from this book, I knew what must be done. And that is where the Wisdom from Kathleen McDonald helped me out. Undeniable Truth: I can and must allow everyone, especially the ones I love to my core, to make their own choices, to follow their own paths. Doing so does not require me to be cold and indifferent – which are negative emotions and will only attract more negativity into my experience. In fact, the opposite is true – as an Allower, I “feel joy as [I] observe the experience of all.

Final Words

My dear friend Anne sums this up the best. She said to me last evening, “You do not have to give up hope; you just have to live fully in the present moment.”

What wisdom!

And so, twenty days anon and I am living in hope – that all is well and well indeed in my world, life and affairs and in that of my daughter and the woman with whom I journeyed for 16 years.

Yet, I am learning to fully live in the NOW – acknowledging what it is and intentionally creating what I want – Love, Harmony, Cooperation, Sharing and a Reverence for Life – all the ingredients for what Gary Zukav calls: Authentic Power. That has long been what my journey is about - to come into my authentic power - and it continues now even more consciously.

Until next post…



Monday, November 06, 2006

Wilderness Journal: Day 15

From the Center

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 12

I began my day in a somewhat different way this morning, Day 15, as there were some men in the corridor shouting at my door what they wanted the woman in there to do to them.

This raucous started about 2:50 a.m. and needless to say I was feeling very scared. I thought of calling the Police but instead dialed you know who – as if she could help me!

We spoke for a few and then rung off. By now it was time I would normally rise so I made coffee and presented myself at the Center of the Medicine Wheel, the place of the Eternal Fire.

Continuing on my westward quest, to do some more dying, I moved from the Center with the following prayer in my heart – the one I wrote before falling off to sleep the previous night.

Today’s Prayer:

Dear God,

I am going to bed now and my heart is brimming over with love for [you know who].

I pray that you continue to keep and guide her.

I pray for your strength that I may either be released completely from this longing to be with her or that we may be reunited and willingly stand before you as one – healing as we walk the path you have chosen.

Let your unlimited good will be done.


Acknowledgement of Vulnerability

I woke with that thought on my mind and wrote this in my Wilderness Journal for Day #15:

“Prayed before going to bed last night for release from this love, this longing to be reunited with [you know who]. I prayed that You, God, would remove it from my heart if it is not your Will. I woke up this morning feeling just a bit lighter – until the panic of the men in the corridor took control over my rational thoughts.

I guess my prayer should have been for self-control. And so, that is my prayer now – fill me with self-control that I may be only what serve the highest good. In spite of my feelings for [you know who] – teach me how to control my reactions when I am triggered to react so that I may not behave or react in ways that are disempowering of her and me.”

For the past few days, I have been doing a lot of reading on co-dependency in intimate relationships. I was also bracing myself for my session (today) with my psychologists as we were to be doing some work on boundaries. I was becoming keenly consciousness of both issues and how they have played out in our lives and in fact, had a recent communication with you know who, in which I 'confessed' and accepted my role in our co-dependent dance.


Self- Awareness: Locating Oneself

“Where are you today?”

I was nervously excited about the session with the therapist, feeling in my soul that this was going to be a breakthrough moment for me – given all the self-examination I had been engaged in since our last session and the revelations that came to me.

Before leaving the Center, I drew my Osho Zen Card which read:

“Rebirth – Whatever the space you are in … it will evolve into something new if you allow it. It is a time of growth and change.”

Then I checked two of my regular sources for my daily horoscope and numerology. In short, they read:

Horoscope: Things are about to change quickly and dramatically. Get a clearer picture of the ways things are now to better understand how things change. Appreciating the difference is the best way to learn a valuable lesson about how you can grow.

Numerology: Family matters need to be rectified. Loyalty. Give of yourself.

Making Space

I have been in such turmoil this last week – praying and asking for the Divine to give me a clear sign whether the relationship was truly over. Intellectually it seemed like it was, however, my heart was someplace else. In fact, the words emanating from you know whose mouth was sending their own mixed signals.

My request to God for signs was initially answered subtly – by drawing my attention to certain books in my growing library. A few books stood out:

  • Care of the Soul – Thomas Moore

  • Seat of the Soul – Gary Zukav

  • Mind of the Soul – Gary Zukav

  • The Mastery of Love – Don Miguel Ruiz

  • Sacred Contracts – Caroline Myss

As I could not sleep much anyway, I spent most of my waking hours going through these books with a prayer in my heart: “Give me a sign, give me clarity and show me Your Will.”

Consistently all these books pointed to one theme – it was something that Dr. P and M in Ontario in particular have been very bluntly and forthrightly saying to me. I, however, was resistant to the message, wanting it to be different, more in keeping with my desire which was for us both to do our healing/therapeutic work. Feeling that as we both up were up to today (Monday, November 6) were still confessing a deep and abiding love, care and concern for each other, I felt we could possibly start anew - “meet again,” was the phrase I liked.

These spiritual guides – literary and actual – were telling me something different. “Yes, you love each other,” they were saying, “but the journey seems to have come to its natural and spiritual end; you cannot force someone into the Light, on a conscious journey, if that is not their choice or wish!"

Incidentally, my dear friend Anne (and I have permission to use her name) tells me that I kept saying something similar the night of my attempted suicide on the way home from the hospital after my heart was checked.

After my ill-fated phone call to the person who my intuition had been telling me was not a true friend but an invader, the person who I had called asking to support you know who realising that something 'exclusive' was happening between them (yes, I did!) and who I knew could contact the person who had power of attorney over my life; after I felt Shamed by her words, Anne said that on the drive back to my apartment I kept saying “This is my natural end.” Only later she, Anne, had insight as to what the true meaning of that statement was – and it was to that meaning my other spiritual guides have been trying to awaken me.

Having a basic understanding of what a session on “Boundaries” would entail, particularly one that included ‘body work/therapy’; more so, having witnessed how the absence of a sense of boundaries was playing out between you know who and her 'exclusive friend' and knowing how it played out in our life together, I made space in my heart for God to be God and give me a sign, the kick in the butt through the therapist - that would release me.


I will not go into the details of the therapy, suffice to say that it was a breakthrough moment – one that had me calling you know who after and for possibly the hundredth time) apologizing for my role in our co-dependent dance and any harm I might have caused. She thanked me, assumedly for my honesty and willingness to say I am sorry, then told me she loved me too.

But that was not the halleluiah moment; it would come later.

I checked the mail box on my return home and found one bill – still not the halleluiah moment – and it was our cell phone bill.

I was immediately struck by the fact that we had gone way over our minutes – which was unusual for us - and so would have to pay a significant amount over our normal bill. Thinking that this increase in usage might very well have to do in part with our new living arrangements, I consulted with you know who to find out whether we should change the rate plan. She agreed that that might be the best option.

Being the ever efficient one – always on top of things – I placed the call and the wonderful customer service representative instructed me how to get a detailed bill on line so that she and I could have an intelligent discussion and I could make a more informed decision once I could see how the minutes were used. I thanked her and rung off, leaving the detailed bill open, as I had to go to a work-related appointment.

When I returned and while walking the dog, Spirit kept saying to me, “Go back to that bill.”

Arguing and protesting with It, I thought it best I did not as in the past (recent and otherwise) I have been accused of paranoia and insane jealousy. Now trying to intentionally deepen my work to sort out the issues that seem to be haunting me - manifesting as this paranoia that you know who accused me of, I said to Spirit, “No, I am not doing that as should I see anything that suggest anything and I say anything you can be sure that it will be said that I am paranoid and I am tired of being told that as it is beginning to feel like the truth. My intuition is off or completely wrong it seems. Furthermore, I want to change and so I must learn to trust.”

Have you ever found yourself moving towards something as if you are a robot? Well that is exactly what happened. Whether you want to believe it or not, I found myself sitting in front of the computer going through this detailed bill. I came to when I heard myself screaming, “No!”

What did I see? Proof-positive that I was not being and am not a paranoid and jealous woman who wrongly accused you know who and our dear 'friend'. Proof-positive that my eyes were not foooling me and my mind was not playing tricks on me when I asked about the behaviours in our house. Proof-positive that my intuition was spot on.

The phone bill, over a period of three months (August to October) showed late night, early morning, mid-day and evening calls, ranging from three to sixty minutes!

Worse yet, there were calls made to my partner in Edmonton while our dear 'friend' was supposedly vacationing with her own partner on the Eastern side of Canada - calls lasting for ten to twenty minutes and from different locations along the coast!

There were calls just before her visits to my house, where she smiled and cooked with and for me! There were calls made as she left my house having accepted my invitation to come over! There were calls while I was at meetings, there were calls as my partner was on her way, leaving or at work!

There were calls on the day the plane was taking off for the vacation, there were calls made as the plane returned her to Edmonton! There were incoming calls minutes after I left the house for work, there were calls while she was on her way to work! This record is full of calls - very long, not too long, medium and short - calls, calls, calls!

Final Words

I have been many things – some of which I have shared in this Blog and some that will come to light in the years to come. One of the many things that I have come to ‘be’ however is to always seek the Truth and tell it – no matter how much it hurts. I learnt that lesson the hard way and never forgot it.

For weeks, actually since July, I have been doing just that. As I sought truth - in myself and from others, even up to a few days before getting this telephone record - I was still being told that I am delusional for saying that something about this 'friendship' is not right. An email was circulated to suggest how crazy I am and to damage my reputation.

So many lies told and so many people hurt and hurting!

Realising this evening (November 6) that I was not simply being paranoid, that my intuition was spot on and that there was not only flirtations but more going on in what was to have been a sacred space for my family was the halleluiah moment, the sign, the release papers I had been asking the Divine to give me.

After ‘confronting’ you know who with this undeniable truth, still willing to forgive for the sake of truth – she of course tried to downplay the true nature of the 'relationship' (go figure). With a gentle and friendly reminder to her that what is born in darkness and deceit cannot be prosperous, I finally released myself from this dark situation.

I called, literally or in prayer, all of my spiritual teachers and guides and thanked them.

Now, I can go to bed and I will sleep peacefully - as I have not slept in almost a month. My sleep will be as a babe's, with the gentle innocence and trust in God that the porcupine that I saw on Day 1 symbolizes.

All is well and well indeed. Thank you God!



Friday, November 03, 2006

Wilderness Journal: Day 12

Still in the Center

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4

I am still standing fully in the Center of the Medicine Wheel, the place of the Eternal Fire, to begin my day.

So much has happened since Day 4!

It is now Day 12 and although I can sense the East calling me – the place of success and triumph – I am making the conscious decision to move to the West for a few more days.

I have done a lot of soul-searching and self-examination, have gone to some very deep and dark places, changed my mind about some decisions as they were not made from a place of love but anger, asked for forgiveness of many and have, most importantly, forgiven myself.

There is still some ‘dying’ left to be done, still some issues to be resolved and I am not stopping until I come to a place where I can bury in love all that no longer serves the highest good.

I can feel it in my bones that the East is my next direction, but if true success and triumph is to be mine, I must finish clearing the clutter as I know it. Part of doing that is – and has always been – to tell the truth, to myself and to others, no matter how tough or difficult.

As I continue the process of clearing the clutter, this poem by Patricia Lynn Reilly gave me the inspiration that I needed for Day 12 and the next few days:

Today’s Inspirational Words:

Imagine a Woman

Imagine a woman who believes it is right and good she is woman. A woman who honors her experience and tells her stories. Who refuses to carry the sins of others within her body and life.

Imagine a woman who believes she is good. A woman who trusts and respects herself. Who listens to her needs and desires and meets them with tenderness and grace.

Imagine a woman who has acknowledged the past’s influences on the present. A woman who has walked through her past. Who has healed into the present.

Imagine a woman who authors her own life. A woman who exerts, initiates, and moves on her own behalf. Who refuse to surrender except to her truest self and to her wisest voice.

Imagine a woman who names her own gods. A woman who imagines the divine in her image and likeness. Who designs her own spirituality and allows it to inform her daily life.

Imagine a woman in love with her own body. A woman who believes her body is enough, just as it is. Who celebrates her body and its rhythms and cycles as an exquisite resource.

Imagine a woman who honors the face of the Goddess in her changing face. A woman who celebrates the accumulation of her years and her wisdom. Who refuses to use precious energy disguising the changes to her body and life.

Imagine a woman who values the women in her life. A woman who sits in circles of women. Who is reminded of the truth about herself when she forgets.

Imagine yourself as this woman.

Acknowledgement of Vulnerability

I read this poem about 10:00 this morning (Day 12) having been up since 3:00 a.m., which has become my new wake-up time (I have very long days now!).

Since my last post, as I mentioned earlier, much has happened and little has happened. The situation remains the same – my relationship is over. Done, finished, completed. No ifs, buts or maybe so.

What ‘much’ has happened? I have changed in many ways. I have spent much of this time in solitude, except for a couple meetings with my ex, one with my daughter and venturing out to a meeting at church that nothing would prevent me from attending.

The decision to be by myself, in solitude, was made as I knew it would give me the clarity, yes I am using that word, that I needed. From the first time I read it, I fell in love with these words by Henry David Thoreau:

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

In this solitude, the discoveries were many, dark, deep and yes, oh so painful. Yet, I had such a sense of liberation once I was able to look at myself in the proverbial mirror, name what was finally coming to the fore, write them down – look at them in black and white – and accept them as truth.

Am I still feeling vulnerable? Certainly. Knowing the truth about oneself and realizing the fact that Life was trying to give you a message, not yesterday, not last year but seven years ago can be crazy-making in itself. You think – how could I have been so stupid, blind, ignorant? As my dear friend M in Ontario said to me last night on the telephone, “Don’t beat yourself up, Claudette. We all do it. Be grateful for the lesson, make sure you study it and you don’t have to repeat it again.”


Self- Awareness: Locating Oneself

“Where are you today?”

That is where I am today – mulling the lessons that Life finally had to hit me over the head with a brick for me to listen to Her.

It still hurts like hell but there is a quiet sweetness rising in me – one that says, “I got it! What’s next?”

What I am also realizing is that despite the pain, I am still so open to Love – in fact, I need to remain open to Her and experience Her however she presents Herself, even if that means letting go.

Making Space

Returning to my apartment after spending a few hours running errands and meeting with my Faculty Advisor to get back some semblance of order in my life, I entered the physical process of making space – clearing the clutter.

Gone are much of the ‘stuff’ that was too painful for me to be with at this time. What remains can be locked away in storage until the day comes when I can go through them appreciative of their significance but without the pain.

As I was doing that, I came across the “Imagine a Woman” poem among my many files. I allowed the words to filter through my system and as I re-read each line, these were some of the thoughts/insights I had from some. I will allow them to serve as balm to my soul over the next few days:

“Imagine a woman… who honors her experience and tells her stories”: That is what I am doing, have been doing and will continue to do.

Who refuses to carry the sins of others within her body and life: I am working on that…some of the scars are deep and still hidden and some are newly inflicted but I refuse to be victim!

Imagine a woman who has acknowledged the past’s influences on the present. A woman who has walked through her past: This is the work that I consciously started seven years ago and that I am even more intent on deepening it now.

Who has healed into the present: I am healing…healing.

Imagine a woman who authors her own life. A woman who exerts, initiates, and moves on her own behalf. Who refuse to surrender except to her truest self and to her wisest voice: This is the opportunity that this experience has gifted me and I intend to grab it with both hands – through the grace of the Divine.

Imagine a woman who names her own gods. A woman who imagines the divine in her image and likeness. Who designs her own spirituality and allows it to inform her daily life: All that needs to be said here is AMEN.

Imagine a woman in love with her own body. A woman who believes her body is enough, just as it is. Who celebrates her body and its rhythms and cycles as an exquisite resource: This is one of the significant challenges that I am working on – having received so many messages in the past and in recent times that my body is either to be used or is not enough (too fat).

Imagine a woman who values the women in her life. A woman who sits in circles of women. Who is reminded of the truth about herself when she forget: One thing I know for sure, I would not be here today writing this post had it not been for the circle of women who God sent to embrace me! Their love and support was both tender and truthful. I thank them, bless them and pray that I may one day pass on the blessings they gave to me.

Final Words

And so, I am imagining again!

The journey never ends and yes M I am wearing the rubber band on my hand to remind me to stay in this moment, to not look back, to not look too far off into what cannot be known. My left wrist is sore for the number of times I have had to sting myself to keep in the Now – as that is all we have and it is what it is.