Do you ever notice the times in your life when there seems to be and undeniable amount of coincidence or synchronicity in everything you do. The same phrase, word or image keeps popping in to your life, like the universe is tapping you on your shoulder, asking for your attention. This recently has happened with me when heart and love kept showing up in my life. At a time when I had been feeling angry, closed off, and downright cold inside, these noxious emotions were plaguing my physical body with anxiety and asthma, both of which I had been virtually free of for months.
Where in the world has this come from? This was extremely alarming to me, and made me afraid that I was regressing back to my old ways. Instead of giving in to the fear and panic, I decided to dive deeper in to those negative emotions and take a little time to listen to the quiet voice within. I soon realized those disturbing feelings were just old hurts and haunts resurfacing from deep within my heart, coming up for clearance. Sometimes an old thought, memory, place, or person can trigger this to happen. Nonetheless, this is a positive thing, because it means that this is a time of growth and healing through the release of those old toxic emotions, taking up space in your heart. Sometimes, you have to travel back in to the past, no matter how painful that may seem, recognize these emotions, then willingly releasing them in to the selfless and infinite universe. Bon Voyage!
I am going to take you on a personal journey in to my heart, so you can see how I have learned how to love and think with an open heart. Let’s begin by traveling back in time to when I was a little girl…
My mother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in her twenties, yet it was obvious she had mental difficulties prior to this time. As a little girl, the love I felt for my Mother was unconditional, even though she was constantly pushing me away. It didn‘t effect me at the time, because my love for her was pure and unwavering. There were so many days when I’d walk in from school unsure as to what I’d be walking in to. If she was on a high or in the “mania“ stage, she would be elated, happily flying around the apartment, cooking, cleaning, smiling and telling me grandiose stories about how things were going to be different. She’d boast about all of the places we were going to visit, all the gifts she was going to buy me, filling me up with broken promises and false hopes. On the other hand, if she was in a depression, I’d walk in to a dark, smoke filled apartment, all the windows closed, the blinds drawn, beer cans and trash all over the floor. Then I’d rush to her bedroom thinking the worse to find her curled up in the corner of her bed helpless, sobbing, make-up running down her cheeks, teeth un-brushed. It hurt me so much to see her that way, I had this intense need to make her feel better. I’d ask her “Mommy are you o.k.“ she’d look up at me with a vengeful scowl and scream “leave me alone! get out of here!”, I can still feel how those words pierced my heart . Needless to say as a child this took a toll on me, I never knew what to feel, I always felt so lost and confused. As the years went by and the hurtful words and disappointments added up, It wore on my self-confidence, and I began to loathe myself just as I thought my family did. Fearing the hurt, I could no longer take the chance of keeping my heart open. I felt I had no other choice but to close my heart and not care, I lived the life of your typical “juvenile delinquent“ for a while.
As I got a little older I thought I’d try to open up a little, and talk to my Mom about these feelings, thinking she would take some responsibility for the pain she‘d inflicted on me. I was hoping that her apologetic words would cure my broken heart, and she’d magically turn into this picture perfect Mother I had dreamt up in my head. Well, She took no responsibility, and definitely didn’t magically turn in to the mom of my dreams, this pissed me off even more. I got to the point where I was so vexed with her, that everything about her got under my skin, infuriating me and sending me in to a raging tailspin. I “put up” with her for my Grandmother’s sake for years, faking it and saying what she wanted to hear, to placate her so she’d leave me alone. I know this sounds harsh, but this was just how hardened my heart was at the time.
Then I got married and had children of my own, I decided I could no longer expose them to her “manic” ways, and refused to take the chance of her hurting them like she did me. I didn’t talk to my mother for about 2 years. I was very surprised to find out that this was one of the hardest things I have ever done, because as human beings I truly believe we are meant to love openly. I was carrying around years of resentment towards her, it felt so incredibly unnatural and unhealthy to me. During this time, I got sick a lot, I’d get many asthma attacks some of which landed me in the hospital, my heart and lungs literally hurt from the heaviness, and I was drinking way too much to try and mask the pain, I was only hurting myself!
My mother lived with my Grandmother, on and off throughout the years, my Grandmother took care of her. Amongst being bipolar, she was also a hypochondriac, she always had a life threatening illness or disease. She’d say “this sickness is the one that’s going to kill me” her and her “histrionics“. When my Grandmother told me my mother fell seriously ill, passed out and hit her head, I knew there was something different this time. Something inside me told me I needed to talk to her. I was so nervous, and shaking. I got on the phone with her, having no clue what to expect, to my surprise she simply said in a genuine tone, “I am here for you, and I will always be here for you, take all the time you need, I will wait for you because you are my only daughter, and I love you with all my heart”. I couldn‘t speak, her words launched this healing jolt of energy straight at my hardened heart cracking it‘s hardened shell. A liberating stream of tears down my face for what seemed like hours, and caused a chain reaction of peace and healing in both my Mom and Grandma as well.
A couple months after this my Grandmother passed away. I think she was holding on and waiting for that day when she knew my Mom and I would be just fine, then she could go. My Mom had to leave my Grandmother’s apartment, and now lives downtown in a shabby hotel with a community bathroom, just steps from being homeless. The kids and I see her about once a week. I have made a decision to release any expectations I have of her as a mother, and to love her for what she is, to be a good listener, understanding of the fact that she now has no one but me. I can clearly see, feel, and focus on all of the wonderful blessings I have in my life now that my heart is open. It’s a brand new life for me.
I take joy in the fact that when she sees my children they bring her hope in times when she feels most hopeless. I realize that the peace I often longed for was never within her, it was always within me, in the acceptance of her just as she is. I am a human being with a heart, that was intended for loving. When it comes to my Mom, I have decided to think with my heart, and to let my heart do what it does best, and that is spread unconditional love and compassion. I am much happier now, and much lighter now that the shell around my heart has been cracked, and I owe a lot of that to my Mom, for the good times and bad, and all she has brought to my life with the many lessons she has taught me. Thank you Mom.