The Experience of Hoping…..

ImageJust a little while ago,  I cleaned up the living room and managed to make a path from here to there. And then I decided to turn off the TV… Thankfully,  this process prepared me to clear my mind. I now hear the rain, my son’s cough and the humming of the fridge; thank goodness, I can finally listen, at midnight, to what is important;

And so, I finally picked up a little blue book called, “Gone from my sight.”

For the past two weeks, I have been sitting by my mother’s side; I have been traveling to her radiation appointments to give her support. I frequently feel full of  feelings and empty of emotion; the emptiness wipes me out.

While sitting with my mother, I  remember happy moments of my childhood and equally, I  recall the pain that accompanied me during the best and the worst of times. In this moment in 2013, tears cascade into a reservoir of ache; I intentionally stop to breathe; I inhale and exhale and think upon my life, before it was too complicated. Honestly, I have never had the best relationship with my mother, but I have been thinking about our shared experiences that were more positive than negative. And so, I’ve asked myself, what if?

What if, I just focused on the happy memories for one day; what if I just made a conscientious effort to completely fill a room with positive energy; what if I left my disappointment and ache in the past? Instead, I  need to focus on what I can completely bring to each day, especially tomorrow and the next day.

Tomorrow, I will dwell in happy memories from my childhood, this is my current roster of experiences that I choose to celebrate and acknowledge, in honor of bringing positive energy into my mother’s room:

1) As a young child, I had ear-aches; I would be in a lot of pain; during hospital visits, my mother brought me great comfort; I sometimes felt closest to her, when I was sick, whether it was an ear-ache in first grade or phenomena in 4th grade–I felt loved.

2) During elementary school, I would go  clothes/supplies shopping with my mom; it was an annual tradition; I went shopping with my mom without my three brothers tagging along. I can still remember sitting at the Woolworth’s counter in Heath, drinking milkshakes with my mom. I felt so special during these trips….I always wished that the start of school came twice a year….

3) One day, we were walking home from Meijer and I did something silly and fell. My mom, brothers and I, had a really good laugh. For some reason,  I remember that moment so vividly; too often, it seemed as if we knew  only how to hurt each other with words, but when we laughed together as a family, it was if we really loved each other and all the pain was an emotional mirage.

4) My mom is an artist; I watched her make art  when I was just a little girl; she inspires my art-making today; I’m truly thankful for this gift, which she helped me to develop in my own life, again and again. I am a creative soul and I have my mother to thank for teaching me how to draw and express my inner-being.

5) My mom loves my son, her grandson; to see her with him, is to see someone completely untouched by heartache and cancer. She smiles with so much love, it is a miracle to share this moment (and hopefully more) with her.

I wish I had more to write; I know there are more…I promise. Maybe I will add more examples to this list, as I remember special memories……..Right now, I’m finally feeling rather tired and need to get some sleep!

Take care,

Kim

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Hanging in there….

hang-in-there Internalizing the following pep talk…..

I will hang in there…

I will hang in there…

I will hang in there…

I will hang in there…

(Okay, now I can go to sleep)

FYI: (Re)Centering in Progress!!!

(http://www.unitync.net/Labyrinth.html)

Meditating and journaling are tools that I have practice since I was in 4th grade; I have learned to thrive and evolve as a former foster youth/leader/ professional because I invested time in taking care of my core, the center of my being.  Journaling is a tool to self-reflect, record thoughts, evaluate options, share lessons and develop ideas; my journals are a record of my footsteps, illustrating hopes, dreams and aspirations (and I can’t forget, shortcomings).  Meditation is a coping tool to assist with life’s stressful experiences. Whether it is deliberately breathing, purposely being still or praying earnestly, meditation has helped me face situations with an open mind and a calm spirit. My experiences in life have culminated into a series of lessons which remind me to dive deep into the unknown, discover my passion and develop my purpose, while holding steadfast to my values and beliefs; but even so, I have failed and (re)imagined life more than a few dozen times! Recently, I (Re)discovered my need to journal (on blue lines, not online): I know my progress as a writer/mother/leader is challenged/improved/strengthened, only when I make time to breath and (re)center my being.

During November, I plan to be aware of my life-path, though sometimes, I am very unclear of a specific trail to follow, I know the destination is either within or beyond my reach, but uncertainty doesn’t stop me from trying to find my way; I truly believe that my progress is not defined by how swiftly I arrive, but that I simply practice self-awareness to arrive more succinctly, rather than only focusing on how to reach the destination successfully. Life-lessons are discovered without having all the details planned out. I am becoming (re)centered…daily, weekly, monthly, yearly…..to experience what it means to be transformed by the (re)newing of my mind—It begins with being fully present, practicing patience and living  peacefully; all of these ultimately culminate in productivity to (re)store the path of perseverance, no matter the prevalence of pain persuading  every fiber of my being to just give up–but I refuse to give the past power and intentionally step forward into the circle of connectedness with the universe and God. I do know what I want-to live kindheartedly without reservation and/or fear.

At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.
Lao Tzu

When you become centered, suddenly there is great freedom because you know you are not the mind and you are not the body.
Osho

Free

So, I had this moment (yesterday), where I told my mom I loved her….and she said that I shouldn’t love her, because she caused me so much ache….

I cried. I truly wept. It was if a hole was finally patched up–I can only explain what happened in a poem-

Free

To forgive
is to give
Myself permission
to step back, waaaay back
22 years—

I was pulled out of school early in 8th grade (during 8th period class)
My mom and step-father picked me up-
We rode in the car for 6 miles,
An awkward silence permeated my senses-
fear invaded my gut,
The weight placed upon my shoulders, doubled-

We finally arrived at the house and exited the car-
Ironically, I tiptoed next to each of the Christmas stockings
And walked up a hundred stairs (or just 22)
and entered my bedroom.
At first glance, I saw–
my bed-sheets were gone,
I quickly checked all my hiding places–
Clothes neatly folded in drawers
Closet organized (all of the hangers faced the same way)
Even the book shelves were neatly displayed–
What in the hell, did she find?
I walked down the stairs,
through the dining room
and sat on a stool in the kitchen–
She unfolded a piece of notebook paper
Time scathingly obliterated my outer-shell,
she accusingly read my secrets
(my abuser stood by her side or she stood by his side)
I felt his gaze piercing my existence;
His threats pressed nails into my spine-
Tears finally escaped through ducts
previously cemented by terror-

And my mother set me free,
While the floor completely fell away
She called me a “bitch”
And recklessly let me go—
And I never returned.

She told me that she wouldn’t leave him
(I want to believe that her mind
was violently petrified by his control).

In other words,
She abandoned me and I was placed into foster care.
As they say, The rest is history. (scratch that)

Until now-
I’m opening my heart.

To forgive
is to give
Myself permission
To step forward
Fully accessing
The present moment—
To hold her hand–
Not because I am completely healed
(Because I still have scars).
Not because she contributed to the cycle of abuse
(Because I am a survivor).
Not because I am a Christian
(Because I am filled with hope and a purpose).
Not because she’s dying
(Because she’s still alive and can hear my words, when it matters).
Not because she has brain cancer
(Because she’s my mother).

To forgive is to give
Myself permission
To love her—

And finally set her free.

Without Explanation

I close my eyes

And exhale-

Squinting through shadows

Focusing on a bright light

A source of relevation

Increasing the capacity to be

Fully present

In this moment

Even though life is

Fully chaotic

Unclear

Full of knots and cannot-

Squeezing

Fists full of ache

Twisting

Enveloping

Questioning

What is and what is not

Nothing changes quickly enough

An uncomfortable space is born

And expands into undecided

Peripheries

Continually battling-

In a knock out fight

Brutally revealing

Resistance

The pull of gravity

Unravels years of turmoil

Increasingly

Full and empty-

Leveraging the pain

Teetering between

The past and present

Memories

Inexplicably divided

Revealing

A breaking point

Or merely a pinnacle

of strength

Only to be reinforced,

By letting go–

Gaping wounds

Exposed in the light of day

Carve ornate inscriptions-

Within caverns

Leaving behind indentations-

Messages designed to communicate

An evolution of becoming authentic

Vulnerable just enough,

to listen–

Formally addressed

By truth-

Resonating deeply

Rising against

and

Breaking through

Misunderstandings

Unveiled by

Faith-

I don’t know about everyone else

But I press my ear to heaven

And it happens,

Just like that

In a blink

Before it’s too late

A heart realigns itself again

How sweet the sound-

A handwritten note

Suddenly makes me

More aware

Unequivocally declaring,

I am

In need

of a heart

Filled with peace–

I retreat and

Fall to my knees,

Promising not to go back,

the way in which I came–

Learning  to become

all over again.