Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Seated at the Table of Horrors

In some ways I wish that I had learned this earlier in my career but I was too young, too na├»ve and unschooled in the ways of the world to know that there had to be self-love, self-care and that the compassion I felt for others needed to be directed to myself first. I sat at the table of horrors, mine and theirs but mine was always pushed aside, theirs was always the most important. I didn’t get then that loving myself and honoring myself and reserving some of my energy for myself would have made me a better worker, a more rounded person. I also didn’t understand energy then and how much of other people’s I carried with me because I was just so open and ready to receive any energy that I came in contact with. It was hard for me not to give 100% because I felt so honored, so humbled that I had been trusted with someone’s story, they shared with me the parts of themselves that they thought were ugly and shameful that I wanted to be worthy of that honor. I don’t regret those times for they will always hold a special place in my heart – but I did feel crushed by the horrors, at the end. I sat with clients 100% open, 100% giving and tuned in, they were magical times in a way because questions would come to me to ask that didn’t make sense but I trusted that feeling and I asked. One very vivid memory I have was of one particular client who was quite possibly one of the most beautiful people I have ever seen, not just physically – although he was stunning that way too – but
he carried with him a light, a most beautiful shade of violet and it was the colour of everything sweet, pure and good in the world. I saw this light before he even opened his mouth and this beautiful being was well-dressed, obviously well-educated, soft-spoken and lovely. I heard his story, every word, but as I was explaining our services something made me ask in my most gentlest voice, “do you need food?” He dropped his head to his chin and whispered, “Yes.” And in that moment I wanted to just scoop him up, give him the biggest bear hug and tell him what I saw when I looked at him, that he was a gift. But I didn’t share that with him, I couldn’t because I couldn’t have explained it to even
myself then, nor could I explain the vision I had of what a beautiful life he had ahead of him but what I hope I did was treat him with kindness and dignity, and maybe that’s all that I needed to do. Maybe it was enough. I only hope that my pure heart and good intentions were enough for my clients, that I helped in some way because that's all I ever wanted. I have learned as I’ve grown and matured (yeah, I know, I’m as shocked as anyone that I’ve matured in any way) how to use my gift of “sight,” and when I’m well physically, mentally and emotionally I use that gift for its highest purpose of walking alongside someone in their journey and I am able to be fully and completely present while still maintaining the purity of my own soul. But when I’m not well, when I am depleted on a spiritual, psychic, physical, emotional – soul level then I can’t control my “gift”, I can’t put my shields up to minimize the impact of the horrors. I know that at some point I will return to social work and I often question myself as to whether the timing is right, but when I am authentic to myself I know that I’m not ready. I know I will sit at the table of horrors again and I’ll be ready when the time is right but until then I’m going to give that love and compassion I have inside me to my family, my friends….and most importantly, to myself.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Yellow

It's 2:30 am and I am walking the streets of Inuvik, my destination is clear, it was from the moment I woke up a few minutes earlier and peered out my window and caught a glimpse of the green light dancing just above my roof line.  Ski pants over my pyjama bottoms, a thick woolly sweater and the hat Steve gave me on my head, the flaps covering my ears - they get coldest first - and my camera strapped around my neck.  

It's funny, I had no hesitation walking outside in the middle of the night, because the night has always been my friend.  When I was growing up I'd walk home from art class in the pitch dark, there are no street lights in the country, and I would memorize every star.  It was probably the only time I felt completely safe and completely me.  There was no judgement in the night, just stars gazing fondly down upon me.  It was peace.  And that's why moving here wasn't so strange for me, because those same stars are here - the ones that bore witness to my tears of frustration and listened to my hurt, anger and sadness of my younger years, things I never shared with anyone else.  There were wild animals galore, I could hear wolves howling and had seen bears in the area, but I never feared them.  Just like here, I'm sure there are animals but I don't fear them - people, yes, animals not so much.   

I digress, but it's 3 am, cut me a break.  

The moment I stepped out of my door and walked down the steps the full glory of the northern lights showed themselves to me.  That little brush of green I could see from my window extended and arched over the house across the street and danced and crackled in a broad strip to south over the hospital.  There have been many surprises for me here in the north that have challenged what I thought life in the north would be and this is one of them.  The northern lights move.  They dance and shift across the sky and while I've mostly seen the  green colour but tonight I saw red dancing in amongst the green. I say dance, because that's the only word I can think of to describe what I see....and the energy that I feel when I see them.  And there is a sound they make, that again I have no words to describe but it's there.

I walked to the end of my street and that's when I saw the red in the lights, it was so vivid and it shifted and danced in the green, and how I wished I had a tripod or the ability to capture what I saw.  I felt such frustration that I couldn't capture it on film to show you all - because that's what I wanted, to share with you all this beauty - this magic. It's been a gift to share with people this journey, to share myself after so many years of hiding away but I realized that tonight, it was for me.    These stars, they shone for me, the northern lights, they danced and sang for me.  I am a blessed, beloved child of the Universe and I deserved this moment and this beauty.

I turned left and followed the road to the service road, alongside the utilidor where there were no street lights.  I climbed that hill, my feet crunching in the snow and didn't stop until I was in complete darkness, and I sat down in the snow and I watched the lights and looked at the stars.  

There is a legend that the aurora borealis are spirits and ancestors who come to visit and sitting there I think that is very true because I felt very close to my grandparents there.  

It was a very spiritual moment for me, I don't pray, I'm not religious but I thanked the Universe for bringing me here, for giving me this life, this glorious display and tonight, when I talked to the stars it was only of love, healing and light.  And this song, it keeps playing in my head, and I smile, because I know it's true.

Look at the stars, 

look how they shine for you, 

and everything that you do.

- Coldplay 




Thursday, 17 April 2014

"I don't know what to say."

"But I don't know what to say."

I hear this often when people find out what I do for a living. They are often surprised that I actual choose to work with the dying and those living with a life threatening illness - and that I have chosen this as my career, my passion for close to twenty years. And I totally understand that it's overwhelming for some people to deal with that potential level of emotional response. But. There are people in your community, your family, your workplace, your circle of friends who are living with a life threatening illness. And these are not only the elderly, these are people your age, with kids, bills and everything we all have, but they also have a disease which can be scary beyond words.

So you don't know what to say? Well how about;
"Hi.""Man, those Leafs suck!""How are you?""I'm talking Fido to the dog-park, would it be okay if I took yours along too?""Thought I'd give you a call to see how you're doing.""Hey, I'm going to the store, can I get anything for you?""I made a pie, thought you'd like a piece." (Pie always works for me)"Can I pick the kids up after school for you?""Do you need anything?""I'm here if you ever want to talk, have a cup of tea, trash talk our ex's, have a glass of wine."


Whatever you would say if they were well!!!! If you feel like shit (which some people who dying are - and some don't) and your world's falling apart and you are suffering loss after loss (physical abilities, roles in the family, etc.) you really don't want someone to now treat you with kid gloves like you've lost a few IQ points or capabilities. Kinda condescending and douche-y really - don't do that shit. So speak like you would normally speak. If they're in a hospital bed, grab a chair and SIT yer butt down, now one likes being hovered over. Safe, consensual touch is often welcomed - IF you had that relationship with them before! Like if you were buddies who shared beers and ribald conversations over the backyard fence then grabbing their hand and stroking it would probably be awkward. ASK permission. Don't assume shit. Especially with the elderly, oftentimes when I'm with a client they'll grab my hand and hold onto it, but if I feel I'd like to take their hand or greet them in that way I ask....and so far no one has said no, most gratefully say yes. If you are afraid of hurting them due to the complications of their illness then express it; "Man, I'd love to give you a hug, think that'd be okay? I don't want to hurt you." Don't go in with a script - you're not a robot. Ask open ended questions. If you ask questions that are going to illicit one-word answers it's going to be painful.

"How are you feeling today?"as opposed to;"You feeling good today?"


Don't assume that the person wants to talk about their illness. Let them lead the conversation. Maybe they want to talk about their dog, the sucky Leafs, how much this never-ending winter has sucked balls.... who knows? Just be open. But be prepared mentally if they do want to talk about it. If they want to tell you how they're in physical pain. If the chemotherapy has made them lose their eyebrows and their hair is falling out. If they are scared of dying alone. If their family is driving them nuts. That they are so damned angry at God, life, the disease, the dirty floor that they can no longer clean themselves. You are there to hold their story. Not fix them, cure them or make them better.... just to be a listening ear, a friend. And for the love of God, please, please, please do not make a shitty comment like "I know how you feel" because you don't. You're not them. Try instead; "That really sucks, I am so sorry you are going through this." IF that is your language, your vernacular and it's appropriate. If you're nervous, tell the person. Risk being vulnerable, because they already are.


Laugh!  Laughter is important, when appropriate, like don't burst out laughing when they tell you they're having a horrible side effect from one of their treatments - but there is a time and a place for humor.


Oftentimes when a person is dying their world becomes really small, maybe because of their diagnosis they are confined to a hospital bed in the family's living room or in a nursing home, long-term care facility or hospital. YOU can help widen their world. Bring the local paper, some home baking, pictures of your grandkids, kids, etc. Tell them about your day - so many times when I meet a client for the first time I end up fielding questions about my own life, which I do when appropriate. If the person you are visiting is elderly ask them about their life! The seniors I have had the pleasure of meeting have led rich, interesting lives - establish a rapport with them, ask about their life, some people who are dying like to reflect on their life - both good times and bad.

The next piece is space. Know that some people are not going to want you hanging around 24/7, can maybe only handle short visits. Also, some of you folks show your love by "doing" and having tasks like watering plants, etc. to show your love. Some people don't want that. They don't want your charity, they want your time and your attention. Respect that.

When someone is dying it is not just them who are suffering, their spouse, children and caregivers are also hurting and stressing and burning out. Check in with the partner of the person who is dying, give them space to talk and share. Ask if there is anything that you can do to help....and when their loved one dies continue that loving care in the months that follow the death.

But we are all human, we are all different, there are no hard, fast rules to this - just this. Respect for the person and where they are at and however they are choosing to deal with this illness. The inherent dignity and life that they have to the very last breath. And most importantly, intention. If you do this with a pure heart and a kind, caring spirit then nothing you do is wrong.

So now you have the tools, you are armed, no more excuses. Go forth my lovelies, spread the love and light. 






Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Using my Mind for Good Instead of Evil.

I have always had a pretty powerful imagination, it has got me through some lonely times.  Even as a kid at recess as I was sitting by myself, with no one to play with I’d sit, my back against the hard brick wall of the school and fantasize and create stories in my head starring yours truly.  Then I used my imagination to escape a reality that was painful and traumatic, to float away to a place where there was no rejection or pain.  

One of the most powerful images that has ever come to me during a time of great pain was the vision of me, standing inside a dark, cold, dungeon-like tower.  The tall brick walls stretched so high to a small window whose light didn’t reach the floor where I stood.   I imagine myself so beautiful, ethereal.  I’m wearing a long white gown and I have a bangin’ body.  I’m thin, healthy, luscious….and for some reason I don’t need glasses.  I am bathed in a white, celestial light that radiates from the core of my being.  I can almost feel the angel’s wings extending from the bones in my shoulder blades.    

In this dark place was my partner.  He is sitting on the cold, damp dirt floor, his knees drawn up to his chest and his neck bowed, with his face buried in his knees, refusing to look up.  Then I kept thinking that he wouldn’t look up.  Wouldn’t look at the light that was me, to see me.  And then I thought…wait a minute!  I wasn’t looking at the light that was me.  And more importantly, I was staying in the prison with him, willingly.  And this was a powerful experience for me, but I was missing a part, an important one.

I’ve turned this into visualization that I do every time that I start looking to everyone else for my light, to engage in this co-dependent behavior that I gravitate to….and I added something to it that has been so enlightening, and it is this.

I imagine the same vision, I see the picture so clear in my mind….but the person sitting in front of me on the floor is not always an ex-partner, but a parent, friend, etc. that I feel has slighted me. 

But there’s someone else in that tower now.

This person is me.  At age 7.  And I’m sad.  And lonely.  And standing in the shadows of the wall, to the left of me, just slightly behind and out of sight.  Crying silently, tears streaking down dirty cheeks. 
Now in the vision I stop looking at the person sitting in front of me and I turn to her, enveloping her in my light and I kneel beside her, take her sweet chubby cheeks in my hands and say softly and gently, “I’ve got you, my girl.  I’m sorry for ignoring you and letting you hurt.  No more.  I love you.  I love who you are.  And I will protect you and nourish you from now on.”

And I scoop her up in my arms, cradle her to my heart and I use those wings to fly high up to that sliver of light and I take my sword (because it’s MY vision, there’s gonna be a sword) and shatter that window, the shards floating to the ground as we fly out to a beautiful sun drenched valley, beside a gurgling brook and I sit there with her playing by the river bank, and Moses is there because wherever there is happy he has to exist.

Finally, I’m using my mind for good instead of evil.


Tuesday, 7 January 2014

The Exoneration of Bill & Gwen

Dear Judge:

If you are reading this, I am dead, most likely hacked into pieces and thrown in the wood chipper because my parents found my Facebook posts.  I figured most likely that I'll be too busy as a ghost hanging out with Johnny Cash and other awesome people but I wanted to come to Bill & Gwen's defense.  See, in their mind it would be justifiable homicide because they don't know.  What they don't understand is that while anger sometimes hides pain that sometimes humor hides love.  And that is what each post about them has been about.  Covert expressions of love to the two people who found me at my darkest hour and helped lead me back to myself.  We don't say "I love you" in my family, we tease and annoy each other because that's our secret language.  But see below examples of my posts, you can see how they may not see the feelings behind my words.  Forgive them dear Judge, because they are good people and I love them.

Wendy


Exhibit A:
My Dad has been watching 4 days of Criminal Minds marathon straight, now maybe I just have a vivid imagination but I'm getting suspicious. I'm just saying that if they find my body all hacked to pieces that it was not an accident! I repeat, NOT an accident!!!

Exhibit B:
Is it wrong that I'm super excited that my parent's are going away overnight Friday to see Bill Engvall at Casino Rama? I feel like I should have a party or something - you know, the kind of party where the toilet gets broken and people defile the furniture. Or. I could watch the Netflix in my underwear. Damn I'm getting old.

Exhibit C:
At Canadian Tire with the parents, thank God the air gun nailers aren't plugged in or loaded or I could see an "incident" occurring in aisle 5 if Gwen got her hands on it. Ah wedded bliss.

Exhibit D:
Oh my God, if I can ever figure out how to put the screenshots from my Mom and I playing Just Dance 4, FloRida Good Feeling on Facebook I would, it's pure comedy god.

Oh, and she'd for sure kill me.  Slowly.  And painfully.

It'd be so worth it.

Exhibit E:
Maybe this is just a man from the country thing or a man from my family thing but they all seem to enjoy peeing outside even if there's a washroom close by - my Dad is the same. My theory is that it's because they're marking their territory or mocking me because I can't pee standing up - well, not without peeing on my leg. But I digress. Tonight my Momma and I were playing Yahtzee and drinking wine and when Dad went to pee I casually suggested that she should push him into the snow bank when he was peeing.  She was wayyyyyyyyyyyy too open to that idea.  Long story short, if my Dad has to go to the hospital for frost bite know that it was wine's fault...not mine or my Mom's and we're sticking to that story.

Exhibit F:
*ring ring*
Mom: Hello?
Me: Hi.  Can you come here?  It's important.
Mom: (walks upstairs): You wing nut, what are you doing?  I was doing the dishes.
Me:  Moses is so comfy I didn't want to disturb him and if you followed me on Facebook or texted we wouldn't have this issue.  Now watch Moses eat popcorn when I feed it to him.

Exhibit G:
This was a really popular song for 2013, a true sign of how shit 2013 was.  I showed it to my Mom and she thinks there is something seriously wrong with foxes in Norway.  And.  She hates me for putting this song in her head.



Exhibit H:
I sat down to a pleasant meal, excited that after a few spoonfuls that I was finally able to keep food down (mostly) of roasted cauliflower and this kitchen sink ground beef, cheese thingy when they started, Bill & Gwen.

Mom: Can you turn off the goddamned television?
Dad: I could, yes.
Mom: Well go and do it, Jesus christ can't stand this noise.
Dad: *grumbling turns it off*...well it's not that much better, you're still talking.
Mom: Jesus what did you do all day today? You didn't even shave.
Me: See Dad, Mom was probably wanting a romantic night in.

Okay, I see what I did there, I gave them an opening I shouldn't have, but too late the words were out. 

Dad: I'll rub my whiskers on your belly (this was directed at my Mom)
Mom: *dirty look*
Dad: Right on your hooters (again, directed at my Mom)
Me: ABORT! ABORT! ABORT! as I ran from the table.




Exhibit I: 
I asked my Mom if she could start making me meals like this, she said "fuck you," but I can tell she's thinking about it.






Exhibit J:
Me: Mom, look, I put another profile on a dating website and look who is on here, Captain Underpants (aka: the jerk I was dating, we don't refer to him by his name).
Mom: Why would he introduce you to his daughter?  He really has problems.
Me: Yes, and thankfully they're not mine anymore.
Mom: What a cunt stain.

How can I not love this woman?

Exhibit K:
Me: God, Mom is such a selfish bitch!
Dad: Why?  (okay, it was more of a grunt but I interpreted as why)
Me: 'Cuz every morning I wear these tights she tells me they look stupid and here I am today wearing them and she's not here to say it.
Dad: You look stupid.
Me: The TIGHTS!
Dad: I'm just covering all my bases.
Me: You're too good to me Dad.




Exhibit L:
Because I was working late tonight I went into work later this morning, my parents left before me to go to Costco in Peterborough.  Being safety conscious daughter I locked the doors and set the alarm when I went thinking that of course they had a set of house keys with them.

Wrong.

My Mom had to climb in through the wood bin, the alarm blaring as she slid down the woodpile to run up the stairs to stop the piercing sound (I've heard it, it's brutal).

I was really, really sorry.  Probably my sincerity wouldn't have been questioned had I not been laughing so hard at the time nor would my Mom have smacked my forehead.

Exhibit M:
Now I get that how my mind works in general is pretty scary and when I drive and have time alone in the car my imagination kinda runs rampant but today I even disturbed myself.  I was thinking about my parent's and how they are so sarcastic to each other and joking all the time and then I thought maybe that's just their sick version of foreplay and that when I leave they engage in some wild monkey lovin'.  I know.  Disturbing.  Clearly my imagination is out of control.  Still, I think I'm not going to sit on any of the furniture ever again and maybe I'll wear rubber boots inside instead of slippers.
#billandgwenmonkeylovin.

Exhibit N:
We were watching TV this morning and there was a commercial for Ice Pilots where the one guy says to the other "your face is going to hurt soon because I'm going to punch it."

I looked at my Mom and "wow, that sounds like something you would say."
She's like "No.  I would only maybe thunk your forehead."
Dad says "You know the forehead is part of your face."
Mom says "well not in your case, it goes so far back on your head."

Gwen - 1, Balding Billy - 0

Exhibit O:
My Mom, she slays me...she'll hear me use a word and then she'll incorporate it into her every day life. For example I used the word dildo once and now she calls my Dad a dildo when she's pissed off at him (among other things).  I told her about a movie that had the line "cunt stain" and then she called her co-worker a cunt smear.

Today's phrase: "reach around."

Can't wait to see what Gwen does with this one.


Exhibit P:
Dad: Gwen, will you get my glasses for me?
Mom: What?  Do you want me to bend over so I can lick your ass too?
Dad: Sure.
Me: *vomiting profusely in my mouth*  This is a sick environment for me to be recovering in.

Exhibit Q:
So for any of you who ever wonder how I became so fucked up - well my parents and I were looking through a book that had the whole history of the McGill name (my Mom's maiden name) in our area and besides pissing ourselves laughing at some of the names like Ervil, Epizeibah, Lovey and I shit you not, there was even a Worvel.  Anyway, this one description of this dude Henry McGill said "Henry continued his fondness for horses throughout his years."  I, of course made an off-colour joke about old Henry LOVING the horses and my parents both laughed their faces off.  Yes, my parents think jokes about people having inappropriate relations with horses are funny.  So there.  I came by my messed-up inappropriateness honestly, thanks Gwen & Bill!

Exhibit R:
Me: So Dad, what are you getting Mom for Christmas?
Dad: I'm getting her power steering in the Gator as our shared Christmas gift (for those who do not know what a Gator is, it's like an ATV thingie).
Me: Dude.  Seriously.  You've been married for 40 years and you think that's an appropriate Christmas gift?  How have you ever gotten laid?!??!  What about a trip for your beautiful bride?
Dad: Down the stairs?
Me: You're hopeless.

Exhibit S: 
Dad: It's like Chiefy (my Mom's Dad) always says, you've never lived until you've kissed a man with a moustache.
Me: Just how close were you and Grampa?
Dad: *gives me a dirty look*
Me: What?  I'm not judging.






Exhibit T:
Dad: I have a sore neck.
Mom: Take your head out of your ass and it won't hurt so much.







Exhibit U:
Mom: My feet are freezing.
Dad: Oh you're weird, it's not that cold.
Mom: Want me to put my feet on your belly so you can feel how cold they are?

Dear Lord, I hope this isn't part of their foreplay.

Exhibit V:
My parent's are building a shed together.  It's comedy gold.  But I'm steering clear because Dad is pissing Mom off and she has access to power tools.  Because when the cops come I'll want to believe my Mom's claim that Dad fell on the drill and it became lodged in his orifice accidentally.

Exhibit W:
Things my Dad says I don't understand #1: "I don't care if they're gay, but why do they have to have a parade?  My tax dollars pay for that!  You don't see us straights having a parade.
Me: Well Dad, you go forth and have a parade, no one's stopping you - just dear God please don't wear buttless chaps.

Exhibit X:
Discovered as I stumbled to the bathroom in the wee hours of the morning that my Dad sleeps with his door open, and only in his underwear.  Does anyone know how to remove forks from your eyes because I still need to rinse with bleach and those suckers are pretty deep.

In other news, I've decided lesbianism is a viable option.

Exhibit Y:
I called my Mom in to watch my cousin's video on Facebook when she got home from work. It was so cute.  We laughed and the she pointed to my tights and said, "God they're stupid."

I love that woman.

Exhibit Z:
I think my Mom is on the Freedom 60 Plan, but she's confused as to what it means.  See she's not trying to sock away a ton of cash to go on cruises, etc......no, no...she's annoying coworkers, supervisors and well customers to see if she can get fired by her 60th birthday on the 13th.  It's hard to believe at this point in her life that I have to tell her it's inappropriate to goose coworkers.



Sunday, 5 January 2014

Do it for Her.



Do it for Her.

I've been thinking a lot lately about forgiveness, sometimes when I sit with clients what they say triggers me, makes me think about some of my issues, sore spots, wounds. Last week I had the discussion with a client about forgiveness and they said "I forgive myself for this, but I don't forgive myself for that." But. That's not forgiveness to me. Forgiveness is utter and complete and I called the client on this, but driving home it felt real hypocritical that I encouraged them to have this life of acceptance, forgiveness and abundance in their life when it hasn't been what I've always wished for myself.

I've struggled with forgiveness and it's partner's in crime shame and self-bullying for most of my life. I have been so hyper critical of myself for all of my crimes, both real and imagined, for forever. It has been a never ending vicious cycle of blame, shame and repeat - repeat the actions that make me feel like shit about myself, the thoughts in a continuous cycle of hate.

Well I'm not doing that anymore.

I believe that we are given seeds of truth throughout our lives, some that grow and blossom quickly into knowledge that we can access immediately and others that take time to germinate and grow (okay, suck it I failed biology - be impressed I know the word germinate!). When I saw a therapist in college she did this exercise with me, she gave me a pillow and told me to hold it and imagine that it was me at age 5. I have a vivid imagination so this was quite easy. Then she told me to say all the horrible things to this 5-year-old self I was visualizing. I couldn't do it. I couldn't say those things to her, because in my mind it wasn't her who committed the crime that made her hurt - it was me. And thinking about it now, I didn't know I was capable of time travel, of going back in time and fucking the innocent, naive, clueless me of the past. Then she said, talk to that little girl, tell her what you want her to know. And I stumbled past the tears, stopping several times as the pain that came so deep from within my soul took my breath away and told her how I was so sorry that she had went through the horribleness and how I wished I could protect her and save her and that I loved her.

It was a life changing experience. And I got the lesson. Well, partly. The part I didn't hear was that this self-forgiveness thing, it's a daily practice, hourly if need be.

My new habit for self-forgiveness in 2014 is to take ownership for my actions, ask for and give myself forgiveness.....and on the days that I can't grant permission to the adult me starring back in the mirror I will look to these pictures and I will do it for her. Because she deserves a beautiful life and so do I.


Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Love you to Life.

Maybe this used to be true, before but in the early hours of this morning, in the newness of 2014 I changed the negative thinking, started a new pattern.  I thought about the roles we look for other people to fill in our lives, parent, mother, friend and I realized that I had the ability within me to fill all those roles.  And yes, I need friends to fill me with love and acceptance but they can only be echoes of the love I give myself.  And I suck at meditation, but this is how I did it.................

I kissed the palm of my hand, brought it to my forehead and pressed it there, and whispered to myself: "In this moment, in this place and until I lay my head back on the pillow tomorrow night I promise to take care of you.  I promise to protect you from ugly words and thoughts by bringing to light the beauty that is you and exposing the lies that have damaged you in the past.  I will provide you with discipline, structure and a gentle ass kicking when you need it to help create this beautiful life we have designed in our head.  I will remind you daily that you need to nourish your body with good food and exercise and I will listen patiently as you work through your excuses and then remind you why we did this and nag your ass till you do it.  :)  I will be the voice of reason when your body is weary and you're overwhelmed and you can't figure out if you're hungry, horny or lonely.
I will give you space to be creative, to indulge in fantasy, wonder and magic.  This I promise you."

I brought my hand to my lips again, kissed it gently and held it to my throat and whispered: "In this moment, in this place and until I lay my head back on the pillow tomorrow night I promise to take care of you.  I will help you to find the words as you walk alongside clients in their journey and the wisdom to know when your silence is what is required.  I will clear that knot of self-doubt and fear that stifles your ability to speak your truth.  This I promise you."

For the last time I kissed my hand and placed it on my heart and whispered: "In this moment, in this place and until I lay my head back on the pillow tomorrow night I promise to take care of you.  I will love you to death.

No.

I will love you to life.

This I promise you."