My He(ART)-Full Life



Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 year in review

 Dear 2015...you were a roller coaster of a year for me!!!! Looking back on this year, I can't help but gasp and marvel at the ups and downs, the twists and turns and all the unexpected joys and sorrows that you contained. Through it all, though, I received so many gifts of growth, transformations, letting go, discoveries and so much more! Boy...but were you ever difficult!! The entire year, I only wrote 4-5 blog posts...I simply had to extend myself some grace and let some things go. *Note to self* It's totally okay to do that sometimes!
The year began with Tim having not one, but 2 major surgeries. It was an extremely difficult time for our little family. We tried to keep things as normal and routine for Tara as we could but she simply couldn't understand why daddy was sick. Lots of talks with her, answering her questions, listening, listening, listening...hugs and comforting and validating and loving. And Tim, while he has the fortitude of a warrior...struggled through his surgeries as well. There were ups and down and all the usual emotions that accompany loss of health. As for me...my mantra became self care, self care, self care. And that was the only way I was able to hold everything together.
 Tara turned 6 in January and wow!!! did she ever grow up!! Almost overnight...it seemed that she became a big girl. She wanted to pick out her own clothes, redecorate her room and make more decisions. And she grew like a weed to boot! She bloomed and blossomed and changed daily...I had trouble keeping up. So very proud of my girl...and just when I think I can't possibly love her one ounce more...I surprise myself!

As for me...2015 brought me my own healing.I began therapy last year to finally confront and deal with my abusive and dysfunctional childhood...the layers and layers of denial, lies, abuse...on and on and on; it never seemed to end.The more I uncovered...the more there was to uncover and just when I thought...there can't possibly be any more crap for me unearth....there was!!!
Earlier this year, I wrote this on my FB page: 
"Been writing pages and pages and pages lately...working through huge webs and layers of lies + deceit that I had been taught to believe in my childhood. Not only generational and cultural lies/false beliefs...but also "Family of Origin" lies. Examining my many survival programs I had to adopt...that have served me well as a child but are counter-productive now. It has been staggering + cathartic + draining...and I have only just begun! But learning to validate mySELF, my experiences and my truth...taking responsibility + ownership for my healing process. And every tiny little step leads me to another...slightly larger expansion + letting go." 
And what it's really about is this right here...Dismantling False Belief Systems. When you grow up in a very toxic, abusive and dysfunctional "family" of origin (as I did) then you learn to accept the unacceptable. As a child, you have no frame of reference, defense or perspective; you simply accept the situations because, quite frankly, you have no other choice. Well...tied in to all the dysfunction are false beliefs that all build up on one another...a huge web of lies that form our belief systems. At first...it was overwhelming to untangle all these false beliefs...like a million balls of yarn that were all knotted up into one big mess that I had to sort through. But I kept at it and kept at it slowly and steadily and this is what I discovered: all these lies were built into one another...like a house of cards and once I began to dismantle a few of the huge ones...the rest fell away.I also learned that recovery is not an event, it's a (lifelong) process. I learned to trust mySELF, stand firm in truth, stop seeking external approval and most of all...I began a journey of self care.

 Self care: what exactly is that?? I think we each have to define what caring for the self means in a very personal and fluid way. For me...it was really and truly listening to mySELF. Paying attention to my needs...believing I even had the right to have needs to begin with!! And then...asking for what I needed, trusting that I would receive it, and knowing that I could meet my own needs. It included keeping up with medical appointments, exercising and healthy eating, resting, relaxing, playing, reading poetry out loud, investing in myself and people who love me, starting a meditation practice, mindfulness, setting boundaries. It meant letting go of false hopes, removing toxic people from my life and allowing people (myself included) to be who they are. Wow!!! It goes on and on and on in the most transformative and surprising ways! 

And once Tara turned 6, she became more and more of a daddy's girl each day. Their relationship started changing and growing in entirely new directions that was so heartwarming for me to see. 2015 definitely brought these two closer in ways I never could have imagined. Imagine Tim playing dollhouse with Tara...making "tea" in her kitchen and ...dress-up!! All of a sudden they were two peas in a pod! Makes me happy to no end.



You are a sea of light. Open your eyes. See yourself. ~ Nayyirah Waheed

"in our own ways
we all break.
it is okay
to hold your heart outside your body
for days,
months,
years,
at a time.
-heal." - Nayyirah Waheed 
And 2015...you brought me to this moment right here where I truly feel that the Universe rose up to meet me exactly where I was in time and space. A large part of recovery work is grueling. Mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally draining; it's difficult! But I kept at it....even when I didn't want to, even when I felt I couldn't take one more step, even when it seemed impossible. I had made a commitment and promise to myself and I was going to keep it...through all the tears, frustrations, sufferings and acceptance of hard truths. For most of the year...it seemed that I was slogging away at healing and there was no progress, no change, no steps in any particular direction; it appeared thankless and futile. But then....all of a sudden...in November when we were in Mexico...I feel as I was given grace. I feel as if huge weights of toxic shame that was placed on me when I was a child....lifted. For the very first time in my life...I felt myself opening up to life in ways I never thought possible! I felt gifted, transformed and set free. Layers began peeling off and I deeply feel as if I turned a corner somehow. I felt more at peace than I ever have in my entire life...grateful.

And in December...Tim had another major surgery! Things went well but we still went through all the highs and lows of surgery and stress. Tim has the most optimistic attitude of anyone I know...seriously...he even surprised the doctors and nurses! And while we had our rough spots for sure...we grew closer together as friends and as a couple. We began depending on each other in different ways and 2015 brought us the unexpected gift of our love and intimacy deepening in entirely new ways. And I couldn't be more proud of him for the way he's come out on the other end this year. Step by step...we leaned on each other and made it to the other side of through. Thankful for it all.


And 2015...you brought changes to my art...more playing, more experimenting, more trusting, letting go and whimsy. More stories and truthtelling and intuition...more layers and colors...more mystery. Less perfectionism, less in my mind and more in my heart. I can't wait to see what unfolds!
So...goodbye 2015...you were wildly life changing for me. You broke me down and put me back together again in new configurations I have yet to discover. You gave me answers to deeply held questions I have had my entire life and opened me up to new ways of being. I am thankful and grateful beyond belief. You showed me that gifts don't always come to us in neat little packages...sometimes they come storming in and tear our lives apart and grind us down to dust and then wow!!!! Like a phoenix rising from the ashes.
xxx

2 comments:

mej said...

Hi there, I love your work. It's so fresh and inspirational. Love reading your blog too! Mary J

Cheryl turtlemoon said...

Oh wow what a year for you both! I hope Tim is well on the road to recovery and that things are improving for you both X I really love your work X