Soul Hug

I’m feeling pretty worried and sad as I sit in the hospital coffee shop. My father is down for a lung biopsy as the PET scan had indicated that his esophageal cancer had spread to his lung and bones. I know I am about to lose my last living parent. As a nurse I know the loss would involve pain and suffering.

I am unsure if my hands can hold up my head. They are on either side of my face, covering my eyes as the despair has nearly taken my breath away. Our family had just lost our mother , who died after suffering from Pick’s Disease. Now my father. I remembered that there was a small garden court area at the side of the hospital. I decide perhaps if i sat out there a while my head could clear and I would gather some strength and perhaps some insight as to how to go on.

As I get to the garden a beautiful lady is sitting on a tree bench. I wanted to be alone, but I don’t really feel disappointed. I feel somehow drawn to her.  Then she looks at me, and her smile is so soft, and warm. Her eyes are looking at me with so much compassion I feel my throat constrict and tears well in my eyes.

“Hi, my name is Semesia. Will you sit with me a few moments?” Semesia offered as she gently placed her palm on the bench next to her. “Hi, thank you, I will, but I don’t know if I will be very good company.” I say in return as I sit down beside her. As I sat, I felt an odd energy. Not a tingle really, but some ‘awareness’ that I can’t really describe. It was ethereal.

“I know. Your father is upstairs having more tests. I have been allowed to see you and to encourage you. I know that you have never felt so troubled. You are right, your father will pass. But he will be active until his last couple of days and then he  will be in a coma. You are going to be able to help him. He will feel great love and comfort as you do.

However, the toll on your life will be transforming. I am also to tell you that it will all get worse. Your husband will seek friendship elsewhere. A year after your father passes, you will be divorced from your husband.”

Somehow her words do not knock me off my bench. On some level I think I knew this. I was changing. I was challenging who I had been told to be and discovering who I really was. My husband of 30 years did not like that. It was unsettling to him.

“You have wondered if you are on the right path. Your path to question and seek other ‘truths’ and learn of other cultures. You are doing exactly what you should. While you will experience a couple of years that will be the most challenging in your life, great reward is coming. The freedom you will feel will terrify you at first, but then you will experience its marvels. You will find peace.

Then, I am happy to tell you, that you will have a story book wedding in a castle in Washington State.”

I had never been to Washington. As I was growing into myself, my husband made me feel very bad about myself. I knew helping my father was right, and was determined to continue. I feared the loss of my husband. I was fifty. Who would love me. I had grown up with my husband. How would I ever meet anyone. How would anyone love me, I continued to struggle in my soul.

“I know your struggle. That is why I was allowed to come. My time here is short. Remember, your greatest challenge is in front of you. You will manage it and it will build your strength and your resolve to continue in your quest to become who you really are. And you will do so. It will be your greatest reward. Then your marriage to a wonderful caring man will take you on many fun adventures. From the Castle wedding to voyages, to open conversations and laughter throughout your day. You will no longer have to ‘make fun happen’. It will occur naturally all around you. He will hug your soul.”

She placed her hand on top of mine. And she looked at me-right into my soul. I started to cry. Semesia knew me better than I knew myself. I raised my hands to wipe my eyes and when I opened them, she was gone. I was left with a strange mixture of sorrow and hope.

“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”  Thich Nhat Hanh

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/good-tidings/

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Patience with Imperfection

“Have patience with all things, but, first of all with yourself”  Saint Francis de Sales

Patience is a funny concept. Margaret Thatcher is quoted as saying “I’m extraordinarily patient provided I get my own way in the end.”  Is that patience or persistence? I tend to think of that as persistent. Not giving up on what you want.

I think patience is different. As Saint Francis de Sales indicated; patience includes being patient with yourself. The first time I really thought about this concept was when I went through my divorce. I was at the end of my forties. I was facing being fifty. I had been married for 31 years. I had not dated anyone else for 33 years. In many ways I was terrified. I wondered ‘what if I make mistakes?’

My married life was wrapped up in a very conservative church. While the church taught that we were all sinners saved by grace, it behaved as though everyone had to be perfect. My husband was on staff at those churches. We were trained to be very perfect. When you are on the staff of these churches you live in a fish bowl. Everyone sees what you do and they all have an opinion. You may have heard the saying; three baptists-four opinions. You wear yourself out trying to please so many people. In fact, I often lost sight as to what I really thought or believed as I was so busy trying to pass the constant inspection. I had witnessed how the church responded to people who ‘made mistakes’–they were criticized, judged, and condemned.

I remember wondering why the church had the expectation that people would be perfect. They of course won’t say that. They will readily say, oh no, people are not perfect, they are sinners. Only God is perfect. You would think that with that mindset, the church membership would not be shocked every time someone ‘sinned’. They would expect it. Love them, help them and comfort them. That was not what I witnessed. So, people were afraid to make a mistake. In practice we all walked around trying to be perfect.

Then one day I told myself that I would make mistakes. Not that I might, but that I would. I was human. I was not God. I am not all knowing, all seeing and all present. I would make decisions the best that I could, but that I would make some mistakes along the way. I told myself that it was okay. It was okay to make a mistake. I was human.

I cannot tell you the relief that I experienced that day. The pressure to be perfect was lifted. I might mention that by the time I gave myself this freedom, I was out of the fishbowl. The divorce was final. The church rejected me-divorce you know. They count that as an unexpected sin. You drop right off the perfect pedestal.

Now I was able to think, and consider who I was, what I wanted, and how I wanted to live. I knew it would take time. I didn’t expect myself to heal over night. I knew it might take time to discover truths about myself.

Patience is defined as “an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay”. So I remind myself not to be annoyed or restless as I take time to become who I am. Or to recognize who that is. We are rehabbing an old house. We constantly make decisions what to keep, what to discard, and what to alter. Life is like that. And it all takes time. If I am inpatient, I will miss the pleasure of the journey.

 

 

 

 

Religion Recovery

I want to thank my readers and the wordpress.com for providing a means to process thoughts. I have published a book with some of the blog selections.

“Religion Recovery” by Faye Hager

“Illumination dispels darkness. The cave is really a tunnel. The journey begins.”

“Did Hell freeze over?!” The Christians could not believe that the beloved Bible teacher and devoted servant of God would leave the church. Rumors ran rampant. People had their own explanation. The light had been turned on. The room didn’t look right. She had to discover how to get out of the room and what she might need to take with her.

It can be bought now as a eBook at Amazon.com for your Kindle or IPad

Next week it will be available in book form from Amazon.com

Should you purchase it, I hope you will be assisted in your own journey to recovery and encouragement.

 

The Dance

“The moment in between what you once were, and who you are now becoming, is where the dance of life really takes place” Barbara de Angelis

I have two regrets in my life.

1. If I ever made anyone feel bad for how they believed (there is a risk that could have occurred having come from such a conservative fundamental religious background)

2. that I didn’t dance sooner. (that same religious group believed it was wrong to dance–unfortunately I followed their teaching for many years)

When I let myself dance, I found that it was almost like meditation for me. I have three sisters who were very supportive to me while I was going through the separation and divorce from my husband of 31 years. They had always danced and encouraged me to go with them. I had no idea how much fun it was to dance!

When I moved with the music, all I had in  my mind was the flow of the music and the response of my body. All other stressors went away. Dance was exercise, de-stressing and fun! why or why did I wait so long to experience that?

There are many quotes about dance. Here is another,

“When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.” Wayne Dyer

And that is my philosophy. Life is the dance, it moves with rhythm, changes in timing, crescendos and refrains, occasionally it is cacophonic…. but it is always moving. I am trying to learn to listen to the music around me and in me. I love what Barbara says, “and who you are now becoming”. Everyday we are becoming someone. We change. We grow. We react and we proceed. We move, we might as well dance!