Yesterday, I sat in the Doctor’s office waiting to be seen about a recurring bleach chemical burn I’ve had to endure for the last five months. As I sat waiting to be told that there was nothing they could do and that I would have to be patient until an appointment opened up with the next available volunteer Dermatologist, perhaps in the next few months (oh the joys of poverty), I opened up a book and began reading. I didn’t even know the name of the book, the only thing I knew was that as I was walking around Barnes and Noble with a friend the day before, the book seemed to pull me in through a magnetic trance saying, “Take me home… You MUST take me home.” I took hold of the book and bonded with the powerful energetic rush as my fingers flirted with the pages. I decided to heed the calling from my heart as this book seemed to pick me out. I looked at the title a few times, but it never stuck. The only thing I knew was this book seemed to have a message it desperately wanted to deliver to me and Deepak Chopra was the author.
Anyway, in the beginning of the book, he discusses a time when he was young, when his parents were away and they (he and his brother) learned of their Grandfathers death. He went on to discuss the powerful messages we receive from our bodies and illustrated this point by talking about how his brother broke out in a burn on his skin which continued to peel until his parents came back home. Apparently, being so young, learning about the death of a close relative and not having his parents comfort and protection, left him feeling exposed to the world and as a result, his skin (his protection from outside harm) weakened and began telling the story that he did not have words to express.
I closed the book and looked at the title, “The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire” Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence. The next thought that came forward was, “I don’t believe in coincidences.”
I watched the health professionals walking past the room I waited in and realized I would not get my cure from them. I mean, I knew I had to jump through a regular health assessment in order to get in line for a dermatologist, but in that moment I understood that this rather frustrating and uncomfortable recurring burn is only mine to heal. My eyes welled with spontaneous tears for the part of me I’ve been unconsciously abusing, followed by giggles for the really funny “coincidence” about how this new level of self-understanding revealed itself to me.
I waited for a long time to be seen, so I continued reading. Now in retrospect, I think the only point behind that appointment was to put me in a setting where the message that was trying to find me would become blatantly obvious. Seriously, I think I waited for a good 45 minutes and read the whole time.
I worked through an exercise in the book designed to help one become more aware of the “coincidences” or synchrodestiny at work. It instructed me to think of a time within the last 24 hours that stood out and to give it a name (i.e. finances, love, career) and then to explore back as close as I could get to a year before that and to continue doing this for the last five years.
Here is my list:
March 29 2012: It was the night before my medical appointment. I ate a pasta dish at a friend’s house with her two daughters aged 5 and 7 (for those of you who don’t know: any form of pasta is my ultimate favorite comfort food). We had a great dinner. Then, we all sat and played the longest game of UNO ever, however, we laughed and laughed and then laughed some more. It was wonderful! Seriously, I laughed so hard, for so long while sitting in a very uncomfortable position on the floor, that I pulled a muscle.
End of March/Early April 2011: After choosing to sleep in my car for a year, I made the choice to take my show on the road and accepted an invitation to stay with some people I never met. Back then, I called my journey “A Global Family” which would draw attention to how we all have the power to help one another, that we are never alone and we are all connected in this human family. This was before I realized that what I was trying to draw attention to already exists very powerfully. Whether or not you choose to see it and at what level, is a matter of consciousness. If people are not aware of that fundamental truth of human existence, you cannot force them to wake up… they will learn it on their own time. Though I do believe you have to take a chance in order to make a change and the power of being the change you wish to see in the world can make a huge impact on the masses, I see that I was doing it in a way that was extremely uncomfortable for me and therefore not congruent with my authentic values and ultimately, it triggered a deep feeling of wanting to hide away…. my naturally sunshiny disposition became clouded by a sense of caution and unworthiness… yet I still forced myself out there. I took on a loosing battle that humbled me and gifted me with the lesson of finding many old wounds that needed my awareness, time and love.
Theme: Thinking I was helping others understand the importance of belonging, when really (though I wasn’t clear on this), it was me who was learning my own value and worth in belonging.
End of March/Early April 2010: Left a very large, loving community of about two-hundred people, where I probably could have healed a lot of what I learned the past few years in an easier manner. I decided that I didn’t belong there and if someone expressed love for me and tried to understand me, for the most part (with the exception of one person that I can remember) I cast them away and sabotaged the relationship. I felt increasing restlessness and discomfort anywhere; especially in my home. I felt disconnected through the way I was living and became obsessed with finding my purpose and taking bold action toward making it a reality as quickly as possible (another good recipe for self-sabotage… there is a certain power in allowing).
I began consciously considering the idea my heart had known for a long time and my head had been trying to disown for just as long: I chose to begin planning for extended car camping. Not only this, but most of what I owned, I advertised on craigslist for either free or very little in comparison to what it was worth. Turns out I helped a lot of people and found true joy giving pretty nice things to people who may not have been able to afford them on their own.
One family in particular really stands out to me. After I met the husband, his wife sent me pictures of their baby through e-mail as a gesture of gratitude and told me about how their baby has to sleep with them on couch cushions on the floor as their bed because they didn’t have a crib. My heart wept in empathy and in joy as they just wanted to tell me how my contribution really helped them.
Theme: Reliving the story of not belonging and unconsciously projecting my need to belong onto others by way of helping them (Though I really don’t regret how I helped… I was still in my own process and I didn’t have a desire to make use of the things I gave to them and their sweetness still inspires a smile on my heart).
March 2009: I created a community bake sale to raise money for those less fortunate with the intention of letting others know that in financial hardship, they are never alone and no matter who you are or what your past may be that you are WORTHY of love and help. We raised approximately $700.00 in under three hours on a cold and dreary day and one-hundred percent of the proceeds went to a local charity who “coincidently” had a soon to be single mom who needed every penny of what was raised.
Theme: Helping others belong.
March 2008: If my memory is serving me correctly, (admittedly, this is a hard year for me to remember), I think my divorce papers were finalized.
Theme: Finalizing that I do not have a place to belong to.
March 30, 2007: I arrived from my first solo road trip from Austin, Texas to Bend, Oregon. I had just separated from my ex-husband after a terribly heartbreaking good-bye and a long, drawn-out and devastating collapse. For the first time in my adult life, I was truly alone. I had been such an unpleasant, selfish and untrusting person who was victimized by life, that by my own doing, I had not one single person who was emotionally safe to lean on. I did not receive my first hug for about a week and didn’t get a second one until about a month later. I believe it was a good year or more before I heard the words, “I love you” directed my way and just this past year I have finally become comfortable telling people in my life that I love them (without the overwhelming wave of nausea rooted in a feeling of unworthiness).
Theme: Realized that I had nowhere to belong.
I continue to live a life where I am extremely exposed.
I do find peace knowing that the story of not belonging is no longer my reality and I am elated to know that my friends and acquaintances believe in me, love me, care about me and even want to make sure a roof stays over my head. What’s even cooler is no one offers out of duty, they honestly just like me and believe in me. Some of these people have seen me at what I consider my worst, and it’s still okay. To be honest with you, I think this is probably a reflection of my growth. I generally like me, I believe in me and I know I deserve love.
Something is still missing though.
As I called a friend to tell her about reading this book and looking toward more holistic ways to cure my skin condition and laughing about the irony of how I had missed the bus home from that appointment by like three feet and had another hour or so to kill, she made a suggestion: “What about coming home inside of yourself?” I can see why she would think that. However, I disagree in this instance. Though I am big on continuing the journey home to myself, that is what this whole adventure the past few years has been about. Each and every step of the way I have taken a step in coming home to me. I have embraced the fact that no matter what happens, no matter where I am, who is loving me or not loving me, no matter what I choose to give away or what I loose, no matter what I gain, no matter where I live or who I am associating with, NO MATTER WHAT, I am home. I am my home.
However, when shifting away from the spiritual lens when looking at my life for a moment, I see another pattern, especially since coming back to Oregon. When I pass by the last home I lived in before I left a few years ago, my heart aches and this deep and painful yearning stirs from the depths of my being. I often say I don’t have regrets because every action leads to our next step and helps us (and others) to learn and grow. However, I have come to see that I do ask myself repeatedly why I left that life. I think I regret it too. I spent a long time after my divorce doing a lot of inner work, striving to understand, heal and overcome. When I left, I had such a great life. I lived in a bright, cheerful and incredibly inviting home. I had plants everywhere, which thrived and expanded and turned my cozy little piece of the world into a heavenly jungle. I had lanterns inside and outside, colorful curtains and a few antiques that I adored. My home was an eclectic collection of things I carefully selected and things friends gave to me, which created this truly welcoming space. In fact, we had a very open court yard and I often kept my windows open and I had neighbors regularly say that they liked looking at my space because it was so pleasing to the eyes. When I decided to leave, I had people ask if they could come in before I tore everything down so they could see my sanctuary. I was always a homebody and finally had my home, a place where I felt safe and loved being in. I can still remember how it smelled and believe it or not, my jaw starts to ache when I allow that nostalgia to fill my senses.
Why did I ever leave?
I wanted others to know they belong and took a leap of faith to help a non-profit get it’s start in LA. However, when getting down there, I realized immediately that it was not something that resonated with me at all. I was not a good fit for what these people were trying to do…. and then I began a whole new cycle of not belonging.
Anyway, I digressed. Sorry about that.
I have come to see that it is very important to have a place behind closed doors in order to re-charge my batteries. It is vital to have a place to put down roots.
I don’t live like that anymore. I am exposed in all ways, at all times. I am tired. I just want to go home.
Even more than a job, at this point, what I want more than anything is to go home. I want to go to an actual place on the map and sit on my couch, read a book and fall asleep in the safe embrace of a super soft blanket. I want to actually go through my clothes and hang them in a closet, knowing I won’t have to pack anything up for at least a few years. Don’t get me wrong, ideally I want to travel the whole world and I want to do this soon. However, I want to go home when my trip is over. I want to go home before my trip begins, so that I can regenerate all of the things I have exhausted and left vulnerable and weak after an extended over-exposure to the many ups and downs of life, leaving no part of my self a safe haven to pull away.
As I write this, my ears and face are on fire from that burn. My eyes are tearing up and I truly feel the way I have weakened my own defenses to ward off things that are not good for me. Now, my skin is telling the story that I’ve been unable and unwilling to own.
I want to go home.
I have learned that I am lovable. I have learned that I do belong. I know I am worthy. I don’t want this lesson anymore. I have no desire or inkling to relate to that story in any way, shape or form.
I am ready to begin writing a new chapter and I want it to begin at my safe, stable and cozy place on the map. I want to go home.