Coping

GRIEF FORCED ME TO TAKE THE RED PILL IN ORDER TO AWAKEN TO PEACE

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“After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more.”
– Morpheus | The Matrix, 1999

I wouldn’t say I was asleep before the loss.

As a child, I was very in touch with my gifts of intuition and an openness to spiritual realms. But then I lost my mother. My father. Aunts. All of my grandparents.
The losses accumulated and little by little I ignored my gifts; closing myself off from them to be able to function in this world that demands of us every day. I voluntarily entered a cocoon for comfort, to retreat away from deeper knowledge and understanding.

Then I met Derek, my beloved. He reintroduced me to that part of myself that I had hidden away and cut off communication with. I made peace with God and myself as a spiritual being and the gateway to awareness unlocked.

Yet, I was still living comfortably in my cocoon with all of its luxuries.

When he passed, I again saw signs and synchronicity. I could have gone back to ignoring these messages focusing solely on work, paying bills and going through the motions of a “regular” life. But I did not want to forget , not continue to ignore this part of myself that Derek had brought back to my attention as I had done as part of my coping mechanism with the passing of my mother, father and the rest of the family. Instead, I followed the signs which led me into an understanding and awareness I couldn’t possibly imagine.  

Like the character Neo in The Matrix, suddenly the warm, womb-like chamber I had rested in peacefully emptied itself, broke open, and ejected me painfully into the cold and the dark.

Despite my desire to embrace this part of myself, I still tried to crawl back into the cocoon and suture it up with blissful ignorance for a period after Derek’s death. What I hadn’t immediately realized was that the cocoon was destroyed and I could not go back because the butterfly had already emerged. I  couldn’t return into a space that no longer fit it and covered up my beautiful wings.

I was changed forever.

“Do not try and bend the spoon, that’s impossible.  Instead, only try to realize the truth—there is no spoon.  Then you’ll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.”
– A Potential to Neo | The Matrix      

Before the loss, I experienced the physical world through the lens of my mind – what I could see and touch. As things began to “happen to me” that I couldn’t make sense of, I realized I had to shift my understanding to allow the possibility that in death the prevalent identity of the body shifts into a new identity – Consciousness.

Now here is where we can get into verses from the Bible or quantum theory discussions and scientific claims, but this is not the point that I am trying to make.

When I look up into the stars from my apartment, I can feel that there is a world and Universe bigger than myself. There are forces that affect events that take place that we cannot explain. Once, there was a time when we believed it was impossible to go to the moon or travel beyond our own star. “The discovery of these things were possible because we allowed our minds to be flexible and entertain the possibility that there was something greater beyond our imagination.

So could we be flexible in allowing the possibility that we can still connect with our loved ones even though they are not physically present?


Would you like to try?

[Please have a notebook or paper handy and read the exercise through first so you know what to do]

Sit in a comfortable space with the lights dimmed and music/TV/phone off.

Place your feet on the floor so you feel grounded.

Close your eyes and take a deep breath through your nose and out through your mouth.

Imagine yourself walking down a long hall filled with soft white light.

This hallway has many doors, both on the left and right sides.

You walk down this hall feeling relaxed, taking easy steps.

You instinctually stop at the door that you are meant to open.

You open the door and see a beautiful room decorated in soft pink and white hues.

You are completely relaxed.

In this space you can ask your loved one a question. Wait for a couple of moments.

You may receive an answer in the form of a thought, an image or a song.

You may sit in this space for as long as you like. And when you are ready, you may leave the room as you walk back down the hallway and open your eyes.

What did you receive? Write it down.


You can try this short exercise anytime you wish. But it is a good example of what is possible to experience if we allow ourselves to change our thinking for even a brief moment.

Your mind may tell you that what you heard or saw was not real. That your conscious did not connect with another conscious.

And it is OK to doubt but ask yourself in the moment that you were in the presence of your beloved, did you feel unsafe or foolish or did you feel the depth of love or peace with your loved one?

If you felt love and warmth, is it unrealistic to bend your mind like the spoon and allow yourself to experience that re-assuring moment whenever you are feeling depleted?

As those still here living, seeking the truth and being aware as to where our loved ones go when they pass will not make the journey without them easier, but it does provide a gateway that when we need them the most we can connect to their healing love.

IN LOVE & LIGHT 
VAL

Image © Captblack76

The Messenger

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I experience each holiday differently. Some years I’ve been able to immerse myself into group festivities of merrymaking and some years I retreat into comforting activities Derek and I used to share such as making crafts or going on long drives and enjoying the beauty of the season.

I am in a retreat year.

But the one constant is that Derek always finds a way to let me know on Christmas Day that he is thinking of me.

This year he sent his message by way of my cousin. Kin2C

Christmas Eve, I was running errands and saw the license plate “Kin2C.”

Knowing that license plates are always a portal of communication for me, I sent a last minute invite to my two cousins and brother to come over for pizza and to make holiday cookies.

We do not spend time together so it was nice playing video games, making batches of cookies and enjoying each other’s company.

At the end of the night, my cousins gave me a bag of goodies which included a cute wallet, slippers and a shirt. I smiled at the beautiful gift and feel asleep.

It wasn’t until Christmas morning I realized what the tag of the shirt said. 20171227_103942

Our loved ones are constantly around us letting us know that they love us and are never far away. In this instance Derek used synchronicity/”happy coincidence” of the license plate and an unknowing messenger (my cousin) to send me a reminder that love never dies.

As I receive these moment of comfort, I wish you too peace and comfort in the signs that you receive during the holiday season and through the new year.

IN LOVE & LIGHT
VAL

Gift-wrapped image by @ Alena Kratovich

 

 

 

 

 

The Chaos of Grief

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In grief, we create distractions — working harder, drinking, writing, drugs, traveling, volunteering, gambling. Whether or not they serve the highest good for us, the distractions wrap us up like a warm blanket, creating a white noise around our screaming hearts.

I have several distractions shared between work, classes, my meditation and Reiki practice, writing my book, Sunday drives, volunteering and meeting up with numerous friends. For the last two years, just about every day/night has been filled with an activity. But there have been moments, when a pocket of free time finds its way to me.

And that is when I feel the “chaos.”

The physics meaning of “chaos” is “behavior so unpredictable as to appear random owing to great sensitivity to small changes in conditions.” But the chaos of grief is that it was the result of a MASSIVE change in our lives. And the “unpredictable behavior” is a response to quelling the pain so that we do not fully lose ourselves. For myself I quell the noise by going to the casino.

When Derek was alive, we used to go to the casino only when my hand “itched” or when Derek had a dream of our number 123. And just as sure as we were of our intuition, we would head to AC to Empire and win a handsome amount. We would then treat ourselves to a celebratory dinner or brunch (if we stayed up all night) and would tuck the rest away for safe-keeping. Sometimes we would go to AC just to walk the boardwalk just enjoying the lights, music and energy of the place.

After he passed, when I hand would itch I would go to the casino and hear Derek direct me to the slots — I would play and stop just when telepathically he would say that the machines were done. While I was winning money, being at the casino felt empty  and yet I also felt anchored to a memory that had implanted memories of me and Derek deeply into myself. For me, the money did not matter as long as I was able to pretend for a moment that Derek was alive and with me. And so my “chaos” became driving to Empire Casino regardless of if my hand itched or not. Sometimes I would just sit and not play listening to the ringing of the Slot machines around me watching people win and lose. And sometimes I would play and lose big. Last night was one of those nights.  But as I drove the solitary road back over the Tappan Zee bridge, I heard my voice tell me that I was trading one pain for another.

I woke up with those words still ringing in my ears along with the song “Breathe Me” by Sia.

Just as portrayed in the video below, grief pulls all the “sides” of us out that are hurting and depressed — the child, the playful joker, the mother, the friend, or the lover. And in those moments when we feel like we’re falling we find support in outlets that do not serve our highest good. However, it is also important to embrace and celebrate those moments because in them we find our greatest strength. And we also realize that the work that we do for ourselves is not just for us but for all others who feel like falling.

So in the realization of being aware of my “crutch” I do not judge myself but lovingly know that every day is a new day to listen to our inner experience and reassure myself that whatever I have experienced in “that past moment” will not become my “NOW moment.” There will be many times when I will fall but I am now aware that each one makes me wiser and more graceful in navigating my choices. There are no mistakes in life as each event brings us into an opportunity to unconditionally love and accept ourselves and others.

 

Sia – Breathe me from PK on Vimeo.

Lyrics: “Breathe Me” – Sia

Help, I have done it again
I have been here many times before
Hurt myself again today
And the worst part is there’s no one else to blame
Be my friend
Hold me, wrap me up
Unfold me
I am small and needy
Warm me up
And breathe me

Ouch I have lost myself again
Lost myself and I am nowhere to be found,
Yeah I think that I might break
I’ve lost myself again and I feel unsafe

Be my friend
Hold me, wrap me up
Unfold me
I am small and needy
Warm me up
And breathe me

Be my friend
Hold me, wrap me up
Unfold me
I am small and needy
Warm me up
And breathe me

What I’m Listening To: Stateless ~ “Bloodstream”

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I’ve been finding that I usually let my soul indicate to me when it has a desire to write — therefore I have not been online in a couple of weeks. However upon returning home after a beautiful day with

To view Stateless – Bloodstream Official Music Video click the image above.

friends, it felt like the right time to come on and write. I turned on the Sia Station on Pandora to play in the background while I started forming my thoughts. Now, since my last few postings, I’ve been transitioning solely between Zero 7 and Goyte as they have been soothing to the mind. While I let the chill out tracks play not necessarily paying deep attention to them, I found my thoughts drifting out of my writing and into the soulful melody of Stateless’ track – Bloodstream.

Presumably, the song is about loving someone deeply even when they hurt you. However like poetry, I think it is best to let your emotions convey its own definition and meaning. The soul and emotion behind the words and instruments, lulled me into a memory of the first time I saw Derek on our first date. I told him, with such a knowing that I’ve never experienced before, that he was the man who I would marry. A statement that should have scared most other men away was received with an expression of long knowing and relief for he replied that he felt the same as soon as he looked in my eyes. Since the night we’ve met, I think we’ve always been “inhaling” each other. The pain of physically losing someone I deeply love, sometimes feels like little razor cuts into my heart. However as I transition into this new relationship with him, I can feel him around me, sometimes so strongly that it feels like he is “floating” within me. This song reminded me of the searching, longing and finding love so deep that it permeates into your “bloodstream”.

Whatever meaning you find (or not) it’s a great song with honesty and soul.

Stateless – Bloodstream Lyrics 

Wake up
Look me in the eyes again
I need to feel your hand upon my face

Words can relay nice
They can cut you open
And then the silence surrounds you and haunts you

I think I might’ve inhaled you
I could feel you behind my eyes
You’ve gotten into my bloodstream
I could feel you floating in me

Words can relay nice
They can cut you open
And then the silence surrounds you and haunts you

I think I might’ve inhaled you
I could feel you behind my eyes
You’ve gotten into my bloodstream
I could feel you floating in me

The spaces in between
Two minds and all the places they have been
The spaces in between
I tried to put my finger on it
I tried to put my finger on it
I think I might’ve inhaled you

I could feel you behind my eyes
You’ve gotten into my bloodstream
I could feel you floating in me

I think I might’ve inhaled you
I could feel you behind my eyes
You’ve gotten into my bloodstream
I could feel you floating in me

What I’m Listening To: Bronte ~ Goyte

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Bronte – Goyte
Artwork and Film By Ari and Jason for Goyte

The first time I heard this song, it was while I was waiting for the NY Waterway ferry, I cried. From Wiki and other online sources, Goyte created this song for a family friend to help their child cope with the death of their dog. I think this song helps us all learn how to cope…thank you. To watch this beautifully-crafted music video, click on the image to the left.

Bronte Lyrics by Goyte

Now your bowl is empty
And your feet are cold
And your body cannot stop rocking
I know it hurts to let go
Since the day we found you
You have been a friend
And your voice still echoes
In the hallways of this house
But now it’s the end
We will be with you
When you’re leaving
We will be with you
When you go
We will be with you
And hold you till you’re quiet
It hurts to let you go
We will be with you
(No)
We will be with you
(Oh)
We will be with you
(Oh, no)
You will stay with us