Good Morning Gorgeous!!
It's a beautiful crisp fallish day here in Raleigh:) This kind of weather makes my spirit sparkle yall... (as I'm pretty sure pumpkin spice weather makes many a girl sparkle... this is OUR TIME!)
This kind of weather makes me nostalgic and wanna pull out photo albums 'n listen to Jamie Cullum 'n Billie Holiday. Start new paintings and do yard work :) I am ready for fresh fall weather cause this year has been a DOOZY to say the least. It's been absolutely wonderful...and absolutely testing. The storms that have been, and are currently occurring literally and figuratively in all of our lives have caused many of us to assess the very integrity of the structure of our lives. It never ceases to amaze me how what's happening internally in each of us, is always mirrored externally through our relationships, careers, and yes even the weather. Obviously a lot of us have been looking to do some remodeling non?
Just as when the integrity of a structure may be in such a state it's best to do some demolition work, it's the same with our own lives at times. It can feel like we've become homeless, lost, and pretty much made a hard right while everyone else went left. But lemme tell you...every time...EVERYmothafuckinTIME, that I don't trust my gut, and I continue allowing some thing, some person, some job, some statement, some action, that I KNOW better than to allow rather than addressing it upfront, there comes a collapse. An explosion. A hot friggin mess. That is exactly what has happened to many of my friendships since the start of this year. I can't say it hasn't been rough at times, but sometimes ya gotta dig out the splinter rather than lose the foot ya know what I mean?
It really started with my mother a few years ago. If it weren't for her, I wouldn't have realized just how important it is for our mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional health, to love yourself first. No exceptions. Not even for ya Mama!
My entire life I've watched my mother struggle with depression and mental health issues in general. Most of this was hidden from friends and family as she played the nurturer and caregiver for everyone around her. Even as a child I knew she was hiding behind this roll, what exactly, I didn't know. All I knew was that I wanted her to be happy and feel loved, and so to do that, I kept every secret. I went along with every lie, and I showered her with compliments constantly. She has taught me more than any class, or experience in my life.
She taught me that loving someone as they are doesn't mean you have to sit next to them and hold their hand while they drain the life out of you. You might have to do it with a post card 'n a smoke signal. What matters is that you find where you can do it truly from love, and not "I'd really like to punch you in the mouth right now but I'll hug you instead 'n compliment your sweater..." kinda love. ( 'n I know you know what I'm talkin bout...we all been there. #blessthestruggle ) Don't do it yall. For the love. Save yourself the exhaustion. Those of us that swallowed our anger for years just end up with thyroid disease diagnoses 'n swollen tonsils...just don't yall. ANYWAYS I digress...
One evening about 5 years ago, I'd driven to my moms house for a dinner date with my sister and her husband. Upon arriving I started getting extremely nauseous and by the time we got to the restaurant I was salivating. I didn't wanna ruin everyone's dinner by announcing I may toss my grits at any moment, so I slowly chewed 2 bites of food over the next hour and tried to think about NOT being nauseous. I was sick to the point I didn't know if I'd be able to drive back to Wilmington once we got back to her house, but I wanted to get the hell outta there so bad I thought, "Well, I'll just drive fast 'n pull over if I have to." I waited to tell my mom goodbye as she changed into her nightgown, and when she came out into the hallway, I got a calm feeling and heard, "Rebecca are you paying attention?" "uh, yeah?" I thought. Seeing my mom in pajamas has always made me slightly queezy, but I just thought...it always made me slightly queezy I dunno... Once I got about 20 minutes down the road, the nausea began to subside quickly, and then I felt my angels hold me for a minute and I saw the quickest flash of a scene and then peace. It was my mother walking my sister and I into her step father's room in her pajamas, and with that second of a flash, I knew why she'd done it. She wanted to make everyone happy, and she finally had. Her stepfather was happy with her, her mother was happy with her, and her husband was with her. In that moment, I saw something so horrible, from a place of complete non-judgement, and saw it just as a coach studying football plays. I knew in that moment what she'd been holding onto for so many years, and what I'd been helping her hide.
I invited her to come have lunch with me in Wilmington a couple weeks later, and told her I had something I really wanted to talk to her about. As I told her what I saw, she blinked at me emotionally frozen, mechanical, with the look I call, "The Prozac Parakeet." (This is actually not legit medical terminology, but I believe it does give a good mental image. This is the blink you get when you know you talkin some real shit 'n someone is NOT about feelin that real shit) "How could you possibly remember that Rebecca?" Is all she said. No apology. No remorse. All she could think of was the age I was at that time, and how I could possibly recall that image. "My angels knew it was time for me to see it Mom, but it's ok because I know, and I get why you did it. You were finally making everyone happy weren't you." She smiled like a child that finally got noticed on the last day of school, "Yeah...Rebecca I did." I'll never be able to really explain what this interaction felt like, except for peace. I got where she was coming from, out of line or not, I got it, and I could forgive her. I was blessed with that tiny fragment of truth so I could hand the responsibility of accepting herself, forgiving herself, and loving herself, back to her.
Sometimes the truths in people we love, will shake the very foundation we live on, but the truth of ourselves, will rebuild it every time. I promise you this with all my heart. There's a big difference between saying "Namaste" to every Tom Dick 'n Harry in our lives out of a place of "I need to be nice. I need to show love. I'll look like a bitch if I'm aaaactually honest." As opposed to respecting our relationships enough to not paint over the cracks, or put concealer over the dark circles. Fix that shit so you can live with integrity and joy rather than patching holes constantly. Sometimes it works out beautifully 'n your relationship is stronger than ever! 'N sometimes people gon be mad as hail...'n thats ok too! I've been called a bitch more times than I can count on both hands 'n feet...'n probably bobby pins currently embedded in our carpet. :) I've also been told the truth from myself and others at times 'n thought "Shiiiiiiiiit....ughhh... you're right. YOU'RE RIGHT.... Ima work on that."
When we receive loving and wise guidance from our angels, they don't tell us what we want to hear, they tell us what is best and of the highest good. I have not at all mastered the tactful delivery method on honesty...as many people this past year would attest to (myyy bad. my bad.) BUT...say whatcha gotta say yall. Gotta have honesty to have love, 'n we all want a true loving tribe am I right? Take care of yourself, and you give others permission to take care of THEMselves...'n then we all feel a lil better...so we treat eachother a lil better...see where this is goin!? Take care of you. Take care of your tribe ;) WWJTTD
" Trying to take on the responsibilities someone else has to themselves, is like deciding to stay in the pool while they continuously pee in it. I don't see anyone benefiting from this. "
" When your misunderstandings become prayers to one another, you will know peace. "
-Dr. Rebecca Garifo