Category Archives: The Ongoing Story

One mom talking it out.

Continue in Love

I’m sharing this blog post from Don at “The Life Project” because I think you will connect with it. Don talks about our call love and be hospitable to others – yet addresses the need to protect ourselves as well. Sometimes, we have to open our doors and sometimes it’s okay to close them. I think we all know this struggle. Take a look by clicking on this link:  Continue in Love.

Love Wins!

Love WinsWishing you all a very blessed Easter.

I know it doesn’t feel blessed to many of you. Five years ago today, at this time (7:15AM), I was in a police station learning that my boys had been using heroin at a party.  It’s amazing to me that Easter is the anniversary of this journey for me. No wonder I’ve been tense these past few days.

But now – I’m off to church. Know you are all in my prayers. Know that Love Wins – if not in this life, then in the Great Beyond. Easter is our reminder that there’s more to life than what we can see. And that death holds no power over the beautiful spirit of life in all of us. LOVE has already won. Amen.

 

Peace and Now

You are nowYou’ve heard of “peace and quiet.”  I suggest we change the phrase to “peace and now.”  Now is quiet – maybe not outside of us, but internally…spiritually.  At the core of who we truly are, now is silent and cannot be altered.

Sounds too easy?  It is and it’s not.  I’m reading Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now,” and I’m in a  section toward the back of the book titled, “Give Up the Relationship with Yourself.”  What? Isn’t our recovery about RECOVERING our own relationship with ourselves. It’s the same thing. Just roll with it for a minute and I’ll do my best to explain.

It’s this idea: “If you develop a sense of identity based on your [victimhood, loss, recovering-parenthood, etc.] you have escaped one trap only to fall into another.”  (That’s a direct quote from the book except for the parens).  This is because any identity other than your pure essence (some might say “God”) is frought with some earthly or ego-centered frailty at one point or another.

Here’s the peace in NOW:  Right now I am this breathing body filled with the spirit of life.  If, tomorrow, I experience a trauma and my mind/body experiences intense pain of some sort or another, at any given moment I am still this breathing body filled with the spirit of life.  What I’m trying to get to is this question (which we’ve discussed before in a different context): How do you identify yourself?  I’m thinking that the answer to this question begins any person’s true recovery.

I’m really just thinking through this “out loud” here on this screen.  But I’m experiencing access to an always-accessible quiet of “Peace and Now” lately. And this time it’s not just because my boys are in full recovery – because one of them had a relapse recently.  He had a relapse and I started to re-identify with my “parent-of-addict-filled-with-fear-and-worry” self again. But I was reading this book, and I find I’m changing a bit in my ability to … as A Course in Miracles says … “See things differently.”

Please know I’m not lecturing or making light of where you are, what you’ve been through, or what you’re feeling.  I’m just sharing an idea that might help others as it’s helping me today. Right now. God bless you.

Video

Questions for God

This is my first humble attempt at creating a youtube video with a bit of spiritual teaching and an original song. Surely we’ve all had questions for God. Please view gently – I’m just testing this out.

Missing Someone

ImageLast week I was feeling so happy and filled with gratitude that my boys had birthdays and are doing well. How is it that a week later, I’m feeling despondent?  I’m filled with grief. Stress. Worry.  I don’t expect it to last. But at this moment, as I’m writing, I’m deep in it.  I miss my boys so much. In a way, I still feel like I’ve lost them.

They are at the age when it’s right for young men to move on from their parents and make their own lives. That’s not quite how it happened though, is it?  They didn’t graduate high school and go to college and get a job out of town. I want to go back two years and erase it all and re-write the script and replay it the way it was supposed to be.

I feel selfish even writing this. There are parents out there who’s children are on the street or in hospitals or  who have died. My boys are in recovery and they send me birthday cards, give me a call now and then.

I miss them. I miss them so much. And I miss being able to hug my daughter who is right here in this house with me but stopped letting me hug her after the whole addiction mess played out. So the boys are now 20 and 22, and my daughter went to prom last night and will graduate high school in a couple of months and won’t let me hug her. And here I am.

I guess I can be sad and grieving and grateful and blessed all at the same time. That’s it then. That’s what I am right now – all of those things. Figuring out how to be “One Mom Talking” all on my own.  But, oh yes, you all are here. Thanks for that. Thanks for listening. God bless you.

The Mourning Shall Rejoice

So my last post was a mournful one. Self-pity. Whaddya gonna do?

This post is rejoiceful!  My son, Dan, now 21 years old, completed his 1.5 year program in Recovery Court!  Yesterday they had a court hearing for all the Recovery Court people. And when it was Dan’s turn, lo and behold, he was greeted by: his current judge, his original judge, his parole officer, his counselor, his NarAnon sponsor, the people who worked in the jail when he was there, even the prosecuting attorney.  Even the judge’s clerk … and it was her day off.  They all came to congratulate Dan on a job well done and to give testimony, on the record, of what an inspiration it has been to watch him grow and heal.

I wish I could have been there. But his dad was there, which is good. I’m tearing up just writing it.

In this case, for my boy, “The System” worked.  The system I often railed against came through, partly because the program is a good one – a real example of the “it takes a village” philosophy.  So I hope that program continues to be supported.  But the program only works because of the people who run it.  They did their jobs with heart, and they — plus the hand of God — saved my son’s life.  And he has touched theirs as well.

I’ll write an official letter to someone there to express this, but I want to say it here: Thanks to all public officials who are in their positions for the right reasons, doing the best they can for everyday citizens.  Whatever I end up owing the IRS…it’s nothing compared to the gratitude I owe to all the people who walked beside my son at a time when I had to walk away.

God bless us all.

The Value of Grieving

This is a tough picture, huh?

 

I chose it because, to me, this is a picture of grieving.  All the others I found were so … quiet. Calm. Thoughtful. A single teardrop falling from dark eyelashes. Two hands entwined in shared loss.  A solitary person sitting on a mountain or beside a gravestone.

Sure, these all count. They are all responses to grief. But this picture — I think this picture is the real, raw, taking-back-my-freedom kind of grieving that we, in our feel-good culture have ignored for far too long.  I believe our obsession with looking young and looking beautiful … our obsession with owning more and more and more … and our efforts to legislate ourselves into a safe little box – well, I believe they all stem from our inability to truly grieve loss.

We have lost the value of grieving. We are trying to live without it. Pretending we don’t need it. Or that the loss that triggers this grief can be controlled.  The Bible talks about people wailing and tearing at their clothes in grief.  That’s this picture.

I think perhaps our struggle with forgiveness is also connected to our incomprehension of grief.   Sometimes hanging onto an injustice is actually all we know how to do — or it’s easier, maybe, than accepting the loss of something we thought we deserved.

I have allowed myself to grieve like this picture over the loss of my family, the loss of my dreams for how my children would grow up and what they would do, my helplessness to change the tragedies that have befallen us.  And those times of grieving have been both painful and healing.  All that energy would still be stored somewhere inside me if I didn’t let it out.  All that energy would be stored inside me if I feared looking like this woman … letting happen on the outside what lied within.

No. Hiding and avoiding grief is not the answer. Letting it out is the answer.Because then it has no hold on us. Grief is a process and the outward act of grieving is the release of the energy of grief.

The result is a new peace, healing, and rest. Maybe I’m a little crazy. But maybe a little crazy grieving can go a long way.  God bless!