Beliefnet
The Bliss Blog

 

“Love is like a friendship caught on fire.  In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.“- Bruce Lee

I have been blessed to have had many loving souls in my life; some have been platonic friends,  some romantic partners for a few years, others have been lovers/friends with benefits/kindred spirits with no expectation that it blossom into long term life partnership, but the love remains. Once upon a time, I was monogamously married for nearly 12 years to a man who had his own wounds to heal that I was at a loss  as to how to kiss and make better. Love and turmoil existed side by side and I didn’t know which would show up on any given day.  We brought out the best and worst in each other and I contemplated my choices to stay or go, but was afraid that I would not be able to raise our son on my own. The road took an unexpected turn when six years into our marriage, he was diagnosed with Hepatitis C. It is a serious liver disease which, if left unsuccessfully treated, is fatal. For another six years, we rode the waves and at times got seasick. It often felt like we were clinging to a life raft with sharks nipping at our toes. I would say to God “You know my heart, you know my prayers.” without specifically voicing what they were, since I felt I didn’t need to. He was in and out of the hospital for years, as the physical and emotional side effects of Interferon and the disease itself, set the tone for our home life. Add to that, attempting to keep our magazine afloat (Visions 1988-1998), losing our home in Homestead, Florida to Hurricane Andrew, relocating back to Pennsylvania, raising our son who came to us with his own challenges which thank God, he has moved through and is living a fulfilling life. This recovering co-dependent caregiver tread water through much of it, just getting by without drowning. When Michael died on December 21, 1998, there was a tremendous sense of relief which I was embarrassed to admit for many years. It was a combination of gratitude that he was no longer suffering and I didn’t need to witness it and that the choice to leave was now out of my hands, since he ‘left’ first. That pivotal moment, when he took his last breath, opened the doors to the life I am living now that is filled with opportunities to do even more work that I love and draw into my life, amazing people who enrich me immeasurably.

For years, I was content to have a foot loose and fancy free life, making choices that primarily impacted me, immersing myself in friendships and my work, which at times, felt like a satisfying lover itself. A few years ago, a psychic told me that my Muse would be my partner. I wondered which way she meant it; that the person who would be my inspiration would also be my relationship partner or that my primary relationship with be with my creative outlets. Up until now, it has been the second and now I welcome the first in addition or as my son used to say when he was a child and was asked what flavor of ice cream he wanted, given the choice between two, would say “I’ll have both of each.”

I have questioned what it is that has kept that One at bay. I have made the ‘lists’, envisioning the kind of person I would like to attract, have, as many have suggested, embodied those same qualities, not expecting someone else to ‘complete me’, cleared out clutter from my life, am certainly not a couch potato sitting at home, but rather, visible and as many would describe me; a social butterfly. I am taking care of myself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I surround myself with beauty and attract what I need in all areas of my life, including perfect parking spots. I would love for attracting the ideal partner to be as easy.

I was meeting with my dear friend and mentor, Yvonne Kaye yesterday and in the midst of all too familiar of late, tears, she asked about my availability to myself. I told her that I was getting better at it, revealing more of who I am to myself and the people in my life. Not fearless, but putting the fear out there so that I am acknowledging my quite real and human vulnerability which I would rarely do in the past since I had equated ‘falling apart’ with being unreliable and needy. After all, if people couldn’t count on me then of what value would I be to them? Would they stick around because I was enough?

Perhaps the reason I haven’t yet attracted an available partner is that I  haven’t been available to BE one. I have had this shiny façade up that I would think would draw someone to me, but rather, it deflected possible partners because it wasn’t real. Maybe even intimidating and overwhelming. I do my best not to be high maintenance but that sometimes can come out looking like people pleasing or being overly accommodating. The illusion of approachability perhaps. I want to be genuine in all of my interactions and these days, am doing more of that and no one is disappearing.

I am blessed to have so many cheerleaders on this playing field; my friend Jaz among them. We figured that we have known each other in various and sundry ways since 2006 when the Universe brought us together. He is the one who dubbed me ‘Bliss Mistress’ and dared me to live up to the moniker. In a long distance conversation that spanned the continent (He is in Nevada and I am in Pennsylvania), he told me that I deserve someone who loves me fully and helps me feel adored. As much as my heart was agreeing, my head was still caught up in the past when that didn’t seem to be so.

I read an article in Elephant Journal (for which I also write) this morning about relationships called Stop Compromising Yourself For Love by Blake D. Bauer. I relate so closely to this that I could have written it myself(:  For way too long, I settled for what I thought others were willing to offer rather than I what I truly wanted  since I feared I wouldn’t receive it and then what would it mean about my worthiness to receive? Nothing really, since sometimes NOT getting what I thought I wanted was a blessing in disguise that led me to even better outcomes. Being in the in-between is most challenging for me, between letting go of what didn’t serve to make room for what was for my Highest Good.

Since so many of my friends know that I  desire a wonderful partner, by way of psychic  invitation to this person, I have said that there will be quite the welcome party!

My friend Peggy told me that I need to stop settling for crumbs in my life and painted a juicy scenario by saying that I deserve the whole cake and a wonderful partner who will feed it to me. She went into a little more detail about the ‘how’, but some things I will keep to myself (another recent choice) to savor the image.

I open myself to the One who comes bearing the confections of the heart.

 

www.elephantjournal.com./2013/08/stop-compromisingyourself-for-loveblake-d-bauer/  Stop Compromising Yourself For Love

heartsbunches

 

Breathe in the warmth of this place, allowing yourself to feel a sense of welcome
It is your own love, your own beauty that beckons you inside
How long has it been, since you have crossed this threshold?
The door has always been open, the invitation always extended
Will you accept it now?

Through the windows streams sunlight, casting rainbow designs on the walls
As prism glass reflects the scattered sparkling illumination
The floor beneath your feet is soft
Caressing your skin as you tap your bare toes on its surface
Daring to dance upon it to the lilting music that only you can hear.

The table is set with all manner of lusciousness
Nourishment for body and soul awaits you
Always plenty to savor and share; a bounty spread before you
Every imaginable treat to delight your senses
The sweet aroma that curls around you.

The mirror on the wall reflects your exquisite nature
As you gaze into the eyes of the One who has been with you
Through all eternity, questioning what has kept you from recognizing
Your own ineffable Divinity
Express your adoration for the God(dess) who winks back at you.

Feel the all-embracing comfort of this structure that was created
Brick by brick, log by log, though your daily intention
The experiences and the people you draw into your world
The thoughts that permeate your mind
The wild magic of your infinite imagination.

 

Photo: While I was speaking with my friend Caran Kalish today about missing my Dad who had passed in 2008, I was commenting that although my mother and I had agreed on a butterfly as a symbol to represent her when she died, there really wasn't anything that connected me with him. Just  then this white feather  wafted down.  Guess  that was my  answer. <3

“The miracle comes quietly into the mind that stops an instant and is still.”- T-28.I.11:1  A Course in Miracles

I am a firm believer in miracles and messages from the Beyond. Nothing the least bit cosmic foo- foo about it. I am able to accept them so readily because I have witnessed many. A Course in Miracles defines a miracle as a “shift in perception” and contends that miracles are natural and that when we don’t see them,  something has gone awry. Lately I have been stilling my mind and clearing my vision to see them everywhere. On Monday, I went to Our Lady of Czestochowa which is a Polish Catholic shrine in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. My first venture there was when I was 14 years old and my best friend Barb’s mother took us to the annual Polish Festival. Rides, games and pierogies everywhere!  It felt like the other end of the Earth from my home in Willingboro, New Jersey. Fast forward 4 decades and I find myself living 5 minutes from this haven in the hills.

In the past month or so, I have felt adrift on a sea of emotions of all sorts with tears creating the waves. They were a long time coming following the death of my parents; Dad in 2008 and Mom in 2010.  In the service of taking care of business, I had stashed my grief away in a trunk with humungous padlocks, that was airtight and tossed to the bottom of the ocean.  I put on a brave front, saying that I knew they were still with me in Spirit, they weren’t in pain anymore and they were with each other. All meant to keep me functioning. Where was the little girl who missed her Mommy and Daddy?  She was well cared for in many ways by the 52 year old woman I had grown into the day I became an adult orphan and yet, she needed to be able to cry out her grief. That I allowed for in bit and pieces, at odd moments, but not with the wailing, sobbing release that I needed and that has become nearly a daily ritual in the last few weeks. Almost anything could start the waterworks and that’s a good thing.

Steering the Jeep up the long and winding driveway that led to the towering cathedral where visitors from around the world go to worship, I felt a hush fall over my racing mind. I wasn’t raised Catholic, mind you, but like Mother Mary, am a nice Jewish girl. I figured she would understand my call for guidance on many areas of my life that felt like they were in upheaval. My friend Caran and I walked toward the grotto next to a chapel and candle room where we saw hundreds of rosaries, scapulars, other religious objects, as well as flowers offered in tribute to the Black Madonna.

ourladyofczestochowa

Stashed in the crevices of the rock walls are prayers and petitions of the visitors. Writing and then adding ours, we sat on a bench observing the people coming and going. I was talking about my parents and Caran held me as I cried once again. I told her that my mother often showed up in the symbolism of a butterfly, but I had no such messenger from my father. At that moment, a white feather drifted down and landed at my feet. There was no bird in sight. Clearly, it was meant for me to find and perhaps my dad was dropping in to remind me that he was there. It reminded me of my friend Barry Goldstein’s song called There’s An Angel Watching Y0u.

“There’s one white feather from the sky

An angel’s watching you

There’s one white feather from above

There’s an angel watching you.”

http://youtu.be/qkG7XE-uBSk There’s An Angel Watching

caterpillarintobutterfly

Like most people, I am fascinated with the lovely creatures whose translucent wings lightly flutter as they are carried on a breeze. I watch, mesmerized as they drift to and fro, seemingly without direction. There are times when I feel the same way, and yet, like all beings on the planet, there is a purpose and intention for its existence. Butterflies symbolize transformation from one form to another, growing and changing. Just how thorough this change is, fascinates me. We have seen the caterpillar; all squiggly and perhaps fuzzy as it crawls on leaves or on our hand if we reach out for it to climb aboard. Perhaps we have witnessed a chrysalis hanging from a tree. I did two weeks ago. We have noticed the winged version that has emerged from the temporary nesting structure. What we don’t see is the gestation that takes place. I have seen it described as the caterpillar digesting itself, leaving in its wake, a mushy soup.

Butterflies have a special meaning for me, since when my mother was on hospice, I asked what she thought would happen when she passed, and she told me that she would come back as a butterfly. They have been a constant reminder that love is ever-present.

It has been easy for me to see myself as the finished product, with colorful wings keeping me aloft. I actually have wings in my car, since I am a clown who wears them as part of my costume.  What has been more challenging is accepting that for right now, I am in that stage where I am immersed in emotion soup. Back in April, I attended a weekend retreat called The Woman Within that opened the gates for feelings to flow through. Just scratching the surface. In the past month or so, more melting of the walls I had erected around my heart, has been occurring and with it, a torrent of tears. As a therapist who guides others through their losses and the pain that sometimes comes with being human, I distanced myself from my own emotions so that I could serve them.

Lately, I have been recognizing all of the losses that turned me to mush on the inside that I have tried desperately to cover over with vividly hued costumes, blissful statements, glorious descriptions of my amazing, magical life so that people wouldn’t be able to see the tears and fears behind the façade. Both exist within me; I would just prefer to acknowledge the first. The calling is for me to see the beauty in both the joys and challenges, the caterpillar soup, as well as the magnificent creature that emerges.

www.womanwithin.org