I walked last night in the wild wintry air. I had earlier that day walked with my pup to the park and met a girl who was in the park without a dog but was there to take in the energy and greetings of the dogs there. “I remember when I didn't have a dog and I did that,” I told the girl. In our exchange she told me that she did have a dog but that she was staying at a recovery house for alcohol addiction. She wasn't even allowed to have a plant, let alone the company of her dog. I found something cloying about her energy as she kept talking and talking to me and I gracefully as possible extricated myself from the conversation and she continued on her way as did I.
In that cool air, I walked to a local cafe and took in a moment of self-care in the form of vegetable soup. As I returned home with a full belly I saw these three women (the three fates) standing in the sidewalk taking swigs from a bottle that looked like Crown Royal. As I got closer I could see the girl who had just taken a swig was the same girl from the park. She looked at me with a look of shame and weakness and I looked at her as if to say “What are you doing? You are better than this. You know better than this.”
At the same time I was struggling with the idea of driving 7 hours to go see a man who had been dishonest with me. It had been a pattern that I had subconsciously allowed to repeat in my life over and over again to instigate healing. This was the pinnacle moment where I was making a decision to set myself up again in the position where I would be allowing someone to interact with me in a way that didn't feel good, to allow someone to be close to me in a way where I actually felt pretty bad about it, like I was cheating on myself. In a way I felt this girl was cheating on herself with the bottle of alcohol, allowing herself to be drawn into to something that wasn't good for her, that she was trying to heal from but was not committing to that healing. I knew she was a reflection of me and my situation with that man. Her alcohol abuse was mirroring my pattern of emotional abuse. I think of myself as a strong person in many ways and that that would never happen to me but it had been happening to me.
After the girl left the group of three, two ladies were left and they were both First Nations women. I saw one of the woman’s face and she looked like she had been badly beaten at one point in her life; it looked like her eye may be missing or that part of her face structurally damaged. It was hard to see in the darkness of the night but I saw it. I saw the other lady try to kiss her but she stood there, standing straight and still but almost frozen, wanting to pull away but not doing it, not speaking for herself, just kind of allowing but not allowing in this frozen way. That’s what I have been doing, too. I have been allowing through just standing there, not asserting myself, not really engaging but sometimes no action is action, too. I saw the mess that alcohol had created in the moment, and the drama that was being played out. It was all so desperate, confused, in the shadows.
A few minutes later I took my dog out for his evening walk and we were again enjoying the snowy coolness of the evening. My phone rang and it was the man I was maybe going to drive many hours to go visit the next day. I picked up the phone and we were chatting as I walked. I wasn't expecting to hear from him but there he was. Suddenly those same two women appeared and as they walked by one of them said “This is women’s empowerment?” And I could see oh so clearly that this was a direct mirror for me courtesy of the Universe of what was happening in my Life at this time. I could see the Universe was saying to me via these women “Really? This is how you are going to treat yourself as someone who is working on their personal Empowerment and teaching others to step into their Power?” The addiction to things, people, substances that hurt us, numb us, allowing abuse to be present in our lives, not taking a stand for ourselves, for what we truly want and need.
The Universe gave me a choice. It set everything up for me quite perfectly- a car, a perfect place to stay on my travels, time off- everything was set. Except for one thing: my dog. My dog became sick and I had spent the previous evening with him at the Emergency Animal Hospital. His body was shaking and he wasn't well. Even though he was on the rebound to health I had to look at the situation and say “hang on, this little guy needs me now. He’s better but just barely and I can not throw him into the hands of a caretaker and say ‘You’ll be fine. See you in a few days,’ and shirk my responsibility to make sure he really returns to 100% health. I would have been doing that to myself if I had gone on that long drive to see the man who didn't really nourish me the way that I need to be nourished. I would have been saying to myself ‘You’ll be fine. I know you don't really want to do this drive and aren't even sure about whether you even want to do this trip, but if you do you'll get some temporary love (a swig from the bottle) and see what happens.” Well, I don't want to ‘see what happens’ because I know what will happen. I don't trust this guy and even though he has his own great qualities, it is probably not a good choice for me. Yes sure, I’ll get some external attention but at what cost? Well, the cost is huge actually- very expensive, very taxing, depleting in many ways.
As I ended my walk I saw this young girl, probably about 7 years old sitting in the window of her home, with sparkly Christmas decorations around her and immersed in what she was working on, a christmas wish list or some homework perhaps. I could see myself in her, my younger self. And I stood there and looked at her for a moment and put myself at her age and what she would think is good and right and what she would do for herself. Would she go visit that guy? I don't think so. Would I have her go visit that guy? Absolutely not. So why would I ever do that to myself? So I didn’t.
I woke up the next morning and knew in my Heart and my Self that I needed to stay home and care for my little Angel dog. I knew that I needed to stay home and Be Here for myself. And as I took my morning walk with my dog, who was feeling even better, I felt in my Heart and in my Whole Soul that I had done the right thing. I had put the bottle down. I had said Yes to me, to my Power, to my own true deep Self, to my own True needs, wishes and wants, which is really to take care, nurture and Love that little girl who is becoming a Goddess. I feel like I created a Space, an upgrade, a Healing, a Love and a Rightness or perhaps a Right Action within me. Dear One, choose You. All is Well.
Psychotherapy, Spiritual Direction, Yoga, Buddhism, the Path of the Heart, and Surfing... Find my musings here...