Comforting Words: Too Late: It is Finished

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Too Late: It is Finished

Sitting at the dining table looking out one of the large windows of our four bedroom country home writing this post, the words of Ecclesiastes (3: 1-8) come to me:

"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace."

Today is October 18, 2009 and it is my time bloom.

Many years ago, soon after being introduced to the New Thought Movement, I came across an article that suggested that our lives evolve in 7-year cycles. Throughout each period we are developing in ways unique to that time in our growth. If this is true, I am currently in the second year of the 7th level of my 'training' on becoming a human being.

I tend to believe this theory is valid especially as I re-evaluate my life on this particular day. Even more so as I contemplate the time I spent with my daughter celebrating her 22nd birthday. Putting everything together – cell memory, life in 7-year cycles and parallel lives – more and more I believe that there are no accidents in life, everything happens for a reason, and that the Universe is really our biggest classroom.

Often something occurs in our experience and we tend to view it as an isolated incident and we miss the point of the lesson. That was almost the case with me when I received that first 'shout-out' email from that woman. Her words quickly distracted me from the essence of the experience and soon I was bogged down with the drama of her storming the doors of my life.

Writing clarifies – at least it does for me and having this blog is a way to put my thoughts down, as well as to share my journey. It is my honest belief that if I help one with my story – my job on Earth is done.

Another reason why writing is cathartic for me is that, as in this case, it really helps me to focus on what could possibly be gained, for example, by allowing this woman to enter my personal space.

When I write these articles (I know this might sound weird but here goes) they flow from me. I am not in control. Each peck made on the keyboard of my laptop comes from deep inside me. Spirit chooses the words. My heart determines the style that will be used to share the story. That first article "Too Late" was centered on one woman yet my heart had two in its lenses as the words poured out.

Parallels – that was the lesson.

Reading the feedback from friends – it was clear that many were on the same page but an equal amount of my readers where drawn into the drama – like I was a few years ago.

Nothing is an accident – was the other lesson.

This woman did not re-emerge and forcibly so simply because she wanted a piece of me. No. It was much bigger than that. My body was also evoking memories of a devastating emotional trauma, forcing me to acknowledge the residues from my past and finish it.

A few days before driving up to Edmonton I received another email from the woman. She was responding to the one I finally wrote to her. In my message I had written:

"You are right, life is too short and so I will not waste it on situations that obviously will bring me more heartache."

I had waited almost a week to write that message. Much prayer, thought, and more prayer went ahead of it. I second and third-guessed myself as to what was right. Looking at others and the relationships they have managed to develop with people from their pasts the thought that this might work – reconciling – was tempting.

Then before I could put my thoughts into words to her, she wrote me to say:

"I tell you what. You can always carry the bag of anger with you for the rest of your life for it seems as if you make up your mind to do so. I will not beg you anymore to communicate with me. I have done my part."

The laughter came from my toes as I read her words. "Yes you have done enough," I said to her picture. "I could not agree more."

What she had finally done with this last bit of passive-aggression – because that was what it was when you read the full message – was to close the door. Over the few weeks that this exchange of messages was happening something else was going on inside of me. Years of pain, shame, feelings of abandonment and self-pity was rising in my psyche and threatening to take up more space in my heart. Her wanting to tell me things that she thought would get me to better understand why I never heard from her until now was dragging me into the shadow of embarrassment.

Embarrassment about the circumstances of my birth, my mother, borderline poverty, the dark alleys that life had taken me down and my cry for help on October 18 (and again in December, 2006) when I attempted suicide.

Contemplating what to do – let her in, listen to what she has to say or shut it down – I turned to my spiritual resources, which these days are largely on the Internet. It was from one on line sermon that these words came to me:

"Pray a Benediction on your yesterday!"

And so I knelt and read this passage from the Bible:

"When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost." John 19:30

I am finished with the shame and the blame.

I am finished with asking why and instead simply say why not?

I have fought a good fight – with the demons of my past – and I am finished.

I love you – my dear aunt and my dear friend and I always will love you both – but I am finished.

Yes, it was my long deceased father's sister who had been emailing me. I have not seen or heard from neither her – nor any other member of his side of the family in over 30 years. Last Christmas after been hooked up with them through Facebook, she wrote to me once. The rest of the story you know.

Her later emails though opened up other wounds over which scabs had hardened but the underbellies were still somewhat raw. If for nothing else, I am extremely grateful to my aunt for her timing and her unintentional poking at those wounds.

What the past few weeks have helped me to do is heal at much deeper levels than I might have without my aunt's prodding. As I responded to her, it became clear to me that she (and by extension my father's family) was not the only wound that a salve was being poured on. It was a parallel to other still oozing sores.

You do not love someone or yearn for a sense of belonging for many years and then turn the switch off overnight. I get that now – after 30+ years of wishing, praying and hoping that my father's family would reach out to me. I get that now after 3 years of being rudely awakened in the middle of the night by memories.

I also get that I am finished now.

I love you my aunt. I love you my friend. But I cannot stay where I was for 30+ years waiting to feel as if I belonged. I have moved on. Driving away from Edmonton yesterday I knew it was over – I knew that this was a new season. I was no longer scared of the ghosts from 30 years ago or 3 years ago.

As we sat in the restaurant celebrating my daughter's 22nd birthday and the fellows on the two red pianos played and sung Happy Birthday to her, it felt like they were singing it for me too.

In the company of my woman-friend who saved my life back in October 2006, her husband and mine, Abigail beamed as she and I sat holding hands.     Her pride, joy and sense of belonging were almost overwhelming.

This is my life now. This is my family. For me, blood is not thicker than water – love is and that is what I am experiencing now. The love of friends who never left my side; the love of my daughter whose eyes no longer hold fear that all is not well with her Mummy (she does call me that still), and love of a man who calls me Queen and Beautiful even when I have not showered – and means it.

It is finished.

Thank you God!




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