Lessons from mom

While my son and I helped dad pack things up, after my dad was mentally and emotionally able to sell the property and mobile home in south Florida where we’d first landed after relocating in 1985 from West Virginia, I found several things that answered some questions I’d had for many years.

Diary pages

Along with several diary pages that mom had written in the 1960s and 1970s, I found an unsigned letter to her that made me question which is more important taking advice from family or from friends.

The statement in the letter that got me was, “I’m disappointed in you that you feel that your friends understand you better than your family (and me).”

Old typed letter
Old typed letter

Who wrote it?

I have an idea of who the letter is from, but I am not sure. It was typed, single spaced on one sheet of paper.

As of this moment, it doesn’t matter to me who wrote the letter.

I will say that it ended on what I would consider to be a positive note, though still preachy.

“Don’t continually think about what is in your past. Let’s live for the future.”

Now, as for me, “I’ve had my share of sad kicks in my face, but I have come through” (to quote from one of my favorite Queen songs, We Are The Champions).

I haven’t cried much in the last year since mom passed, mostly because I still communicate with her in subtle ways, and I am keenly aware of her continuation in my life by occurring synchronicities.

Yet, today, I cried.

I had meditated and upon coming out of meditation, I was filled with emotion. I cried and spoke the following aloud:

Family reflect who we were; friends reflect who we are. 

Family reflect who we once were, or who we were in the past. But, our friends reflect who we are now, who we’ve become, and how much we’ve grown (or not). That’s why we sometimes tend to love our friends more than our family. Yet, some of us (like me), who are very blessed, have family we are also friends with and who we want to spend eternity with. Time limits us, but thankfully (Thank you, God), that eternity is not limited.

Here’s something that’s true for most of us. We’re stuck in a box, or bottle. Even if its clear.

The box or bottle I’m referring to? The fences (rules) of religion—even when religion supposedly isn’t involved.

From a dream

Dream: Mom was reminding me about all the notations she had made in her Bible about “No gossip”, and “not to gossip.”

And that’s because all learning must be Experiential learning—coming from direct experience, which is also why Jesus said let thy speech be yay or nay. He knew that we can never really know the truth of another.

Someone may try to warn you of another. But we all experience each other differently because who we are in any given moment, elicits something different from the person. Many times we’ve experienced this. It’s the situation when one divorced person marries another and they get along gloriously. The “bad” partner may get along with another just fine.

Each of us experience life differently. We just can never fully know someone. People lie. People pretend.

I think most of us want to put our best self forward—but, for most this involves wearing a kind of mask. Call it the mask of pretense. It’s the face of kindness, compassion, peace, or love, while inside ourselves we feel anger, resentment, sadness, jealousy, or regret.

Best lesson

Be a loyal friend and keep people’s confidences. Mama taught me by example and reminded me often to be the best friend I could to my friends.

Now, I find I have a splendid variety of the most trusting loyal friends—all unique in their beliefs, but who each hold a strong core of integrity.

❤️🦋🌀☀️🌱

Thank you.

I miss you mama. Thank you. Thank you for teaching me everything I needed to know (when you could barely talk anymore), by looking in my eyes and placing your hand on the side of my face. And for always living in utter GRATITUDE the last years of your life (though your surroundings were not as you once would have wanted). You came to a place of not knowing or of acceptance, it doesn’t matter which, because you were grateful. You became Grace.

I only cry because I never got to tell you how much I got that lesson, how deeply I learned that last lesson from you. I continue forward, with understanding.

Nothing really matters, or everything matters. Each of us get to choose. Who do you love?

We Are All Connected. OM

Many blessings to you in ALL ways.

UPDATE: I found the rest of the letter, and it was NOT from whom I had thought! And the rest of it brought the earlier statements into balance with love and grace, so I have learned another lesson. I continue to feel Gratitude. Tears! 😭

UPDATE 7-Jun-2019: As I was washing the Lifetime brand (which really do last a lifetime) of pots and pans (that dad gave me years ago), it hit me why mom always LOVED to clean house–it put her in a meditative state! Ah! Yes, my aha moment today. And it brought tears to my eyes. OM

After that, I was looking through pictures of a book I’d bought my granddaughter last year (yes, I save things like that), and it highlighted my new found awareness:

CREDIT: Buddha Doodles, by Molly Hahn
CREDIT: Buddha Doodles, by Molly Hahn

 

A bit about me:

Check out this original song, Didn’t I Tell You. My husband wrote this song and it was performed and recorded in a Nashville, TN studio. You can download it (it’s Track 6) from this link: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/chevyfordb2

An Amazon bestselling author of two co-authored books: “Transform Your Life Book 2 Inspirational Stories and Expert Advice” and “Energy of Receiving”, available on Amazon.

Plus, the brand new book that’s been in the making for 13 years, Take It Upon Yourself to Live a Wholly Vibrant Life, is now available for online sale and distribution (PDF format).

Buy it here.

Be the best version of who you want to be.

Information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prescribe.

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The Reconnected Friendship Quilt — A Christmas Story

There once was a friend (me) who let down another friend. At the time, I doubt that I had much of an idea how much I had upset the apple cart of the friendship, but thankfully, a few weeks ago, it was brought to my attention, and I was given a beautiful opportunity to genuinely apologize and heal a past hurt. And I hope, and believe it was, a beautiful healing experience for us both.

Now, for the story…

A few months ago, I saw a picture on Facebook of a wall hanging quilt that a distanced, long-time friend of mine had created. The colors and energetic patterns within each hand-sewn square really pulled me in. And though we had not talked in years, except for a few minutes at her niece’s Celebration of Life memorial service (over a year ago), well, this quilt resonated so much with me that I jumped to ask her about it! And perhaps boldly of me, I asked if she might craft a King size quilt like it for me!

Patties wall hanging quilt.jpg

I loved it! The colors, pattern, and workmanship was outstanding! To my joy, she agreed to make a King size quilt for my husband and I, but not like the one I had seen, because of the size. The quilt I had commented on was much smaller (only a wall hanging).

However, that was a good thing because it meant we would get to chat a number of times about colors, design, and so forth. I took some measurements of our bed, and asked my husband too, about colors, design, and so forth.

We did all of our chats via Facebook. This might not sound like an important aspect of the story, but trust me, it is.

I wanted a King size version of mostly brown, blue, and green–in a Native American kind of design. It didn’t have to be traditional. In fact, I would have been happy with anything–as long as Pattie made it.

Our Christmas Star.JPG

I told Pattie that I’d cherish the quilt for years to come. What she didn’t know was that in the last ten years or so, I’ve learned that mostly only the things people have given to me, or that were personally made for me, hold any kind of special emotional attachment. Other things are nice, pretty, useful, etc. but if they all went away, the only ones I’d miss, are the few that were given to me by family that didn’t give often, or were from my home state or town, or were handmade. And living in an RV for the last seven years, I’ve had to be quite discerning over size, weight, and quantity of items I chose to keep and hold dear.

All the while Pattie and I chatted about the quilt on Facebook, I didn’t know that our friendship was kind of mending too! There was healing occurring. And that’s always a good thing.

Also, at the time I commissioned this work, I had not considered how I’d get it, whether she would ship it, or I’d pick it up, etc. I certainly hadn’t given any thought to having the opportunity to meet in person, with some time to visit and enjoy a beautiful lunch!

Closeup.JPG

So, when Pattie was done with the quilt, I asked her if we could meet halfway, instead of her shipping it. That way, she could get to know my husband too, and we could have a nice lunch, somewhere midway from where we live (since we live about three hours from each other). She agreed. We talked about where we would meet. Finalizing on our plans, we set a date and time.

When the day arrived, we texted to make sure we were each on our way. I was super excited to be able to hang out with Pattie, catch up, and of course, receive our quilt.

We met at an eastern European bistro restaurant that we love. We shared some different and unique foods, and had plenty of time to relieve some of our past, share how my husband and I met, and so forth. And then came the question I had not expected.

I had not remembered or probably fully ever realized or known why we had quit talking. Thankfully, Pattie refreshed my memory, so that I had the opportunity to apologize. We held hands and tears flowed. Cleansing. Forgiveness. Allowing. I am so glad we had this time. Not just to relieve past hurts, but to understand. To process the pain that had been caused, and to allow the hurt to shift (even if only a little bit), so that over the coming days and weeks, we could “let it go.”

I know that for many of us, taking the time to be heard, to ask what’s wrong, or tell another what’s wrong, ask for forgiveness, or forgive, can be the hardest thing to do. But God, it’s so worth it!

And chatting via Facebook or text doesn’t communicate all of our emotions, plus, as we all know it doesn’t allow us to exchange vibrational energy.

I’m not perfect. I’ve made my share of mistakes in my life and I own each one, taking full responsibility.

But yesterday is gone. And today is all we have. I’m not just saying this in a philosophical way, but in a real time, honest-to-goodness, way. The person I am today is different than I used to be. I feel more deeply. I love more generously. And when I need to, I discern and draw better boundaries. But mostly, I am more open to receive.

So, this Christmas, I wanted to take this moment to tell those who have been in my life how very special they are to me. You are loved. You are cherished. You make up the tapestry of my life, because you’ve been in so many of my experiences. We may live far apart. Or we may not talk often. But you make me who I am.

You are worthy. You are loved.

Our unique experiences are each a thread within a tapestry, or quilt, of one’s life. And We Are All Connected.

Quilt with sock monkey.JPG

Note the sock monkey on the bed! He was handmade for me when I was born by a dear family friend–and he has went everywhere with me, every move, of which there have been many.

A few folks who have seen this quilt have commented of Pattie’s exquisite precision sewing and design work. So much so, that one gentlemen has already put in an order for a similar quilt.Binding and thickness.JPG

I should also add that this quilt is oh so very comfortable to sleep under! It’s not too thick like a comforter, so in Florida we can use it all year.

I only quilt with words. My husband quilts with music. But my friend Pattie quilts with fabric & thread and turns memories and forgiveness into tangible ‘heart-work’ that can (and in our case, will) last for generations.

Handmade tag.JPG

May you be blessed for 2017 and always, in All ways.

–If you would like Pattie to make a quilt for you, comment below and include a way for her to reach you. Or email me.