I Love You/Adoption/The Net Return

It’s been a while since I have posted on this blog, a couple of months at least.  The last 6 months or so have been hard to maneuver at times, but those closest to me are still treading water.  I hope to be swimming by Spring.

The first thing on my mind is to say thank you.  I have been given so much recently, that I hardly know how to express thanks for all of it.  I am learning new things every day, about myself, others around me, and the art of not saving everyone, but allowing myself to be saved sometimes.  I can’t say I have been a perfect person in my life.  I have not.  What fun would that be?  There would be no challenge, no growth, and no reason to be here.  If I were perfect, as well as all those around me, I would guess we would still be part of Source Energy, and not here tooling around.

So, without further adieu, here is what I feel to say:

Thank you to the persons that have harbored me from the storm, fed me when I was hungry, and offered me more kindness than I can state.  You have given me hugs, unconditional acceptance, honesty, and friendship.  It is the latter that I treasure, although you have given me so much more.  You may know who you are, but the world does not, and I will not be able to sit still until they do.  Chris and David Stolpe of Berwick, ME, you are my heroes.

Now let’s talk a little about other things that I have learned mostly from being in the presence of these great people.  One thing that comes to mind is love can last.  On the first night they met, David told a fellow, “See that woman over there?  That is the woman that I am going to marry!”  Just after dating for 3 weeks, David proposed to Chris.  She said yes.  I think the most romantic thing I have ever heard is that David re-proposes yearly on their Anniversary.  He has never missed once.  That is a whole lot of man to live up to for sure!  So, all those who conveniently forget their wedding anniversary, you better hope your spouse is not reading this!

As for Chris, well, she’s Chris….wild and funny with a heart of gold.  Just don’t try to take advantage of those she loves, she carries!  Chris is the Executive Director of http://www.thetableofplenty.org, and don’t be mistaken, Table Of Plenty is not an on-line organization.  Chris oversees the running of 3 separate community meal centers in Southern Maine, and she has dedicated a huge part of her life to doing so.  The most giving part:  she doesn’t receive a paycheck.  Yep, that’s right.  If you think for a moment that she is a rich housewife with nothing else to do with her time, think again.  As Chris says, “It’s only money.”  She has said this numerous times in the past few weeks as she has generously spent it on me.  There is no person turned away from their community dinners, they run 3 nights a week, and are family meals.  People are served beverages, a salad, dinner, dessert and then once full in body and spirit, they are given even more to take home.  They know each other by name and sing happy birthday to their guests.  It’s a family of those who need to be a part of something bigger, build something better, and by right, I hope sleep very well at night.

Another thing I learned is that we truly all are family.  As for Chris’ family, I had the pleasure of meeting them and being part of their Christmas celebration this year.  I am better for having done so!  You see, Chris is adopted.  Over the last 3 days the word “adoption” has come up multiple times. Before we go off on an adoption story….this is no ordinary adoption.  Chris has known her adoptive family most of her life, but it was only 20 years ago that they truly became close,  around the time that Chris’ mother became ill with Alzheimer’s Disease.  They were there for Chris then, and at age 50, she became officially and legally adopted into the family through unanimous decision.  Chris is now 55.  This, I thought was amazing in itself, and then I got to meet them!  We TRULY are all family!

Everyone needs someone.  Chris and I spent a few days together while David was in Iowa visiting his family.  I call David Sir, out of affection, and Sir is coming home tonight after a very long day of flights and riding on a bus….he should be home somewhere between Midnight and 1am due to flight delays.  It was the first time they have ever been apart in 18 years. This was Chris’ present to David this year.  I watched them as the different emotions played out in this dance of marital shift, and it was amazing.  David worrying about Chris, Chris saying she needed a vacation and then becoming sad when he was actually leaving, David’s phone calls, and how Chris would light up when his ring came through, Chris worried when she had not heard from David today, and David just finally wanting to be home with his wife and dogs.  Home is where the heart is, and the heart pulse is definitely in this home.

 It’s good to be a Perky!  I have met some very interesting people these last days, those that I have met, have freely welcomed me in their homes, fed me on Christmas Eve and Christmas, given me presents, hugged me and just accepted me without question.  On Christmas Day, a friend of Chris’, named Tom, invited Chris to accompany him to Christmas Dinner over at York Hospital where they serve their community.  The dinner was free and had all the trimmings, beverage, squash, potatoes, gravy, turkey, ham, and assorted pies for dessert.  When Chris first mentioned going, I felt that Tom may need her to be there since he lost his wife Betsy last year.  I was very surprised listening to Tom at the table say all the things I needed to hear him say.  I do not know why I am ever surprised at this anymore.  He spoke very highly of Chris, but also told me that he worried about her and was happy that she could come and join him.  Stating that she worked far too hard and could see when she had just come to the bottom of her well, and thought she needed to stop and smell the roses a little more often.  He said that she was one of the people that you could just see the light around them, it was like a flickering candle her light was all around her.

For some reason, I was not feeling especially well the last few days and while at dinner I kept putting my bottle of water to my head and could barely eat because my stomach was upset.  However, I was obviously there for the conversation and the jokes that Tom was cracking!  He is a funny fellow!  Here sat a man that despite losing the love of his life the previous year, was on a mission to brighten others’ lives.  He began telling us stories about traveling with his wife and adventures they had with another couple that they were good friends with.  He talked about a tradition that he and his wife began to do sometime ago which entailed taking older greeting cards and making them into new cards to send to people who didn’t have family to send them such things.  Cards for every occasion, Birthdays, Christmas, Get well, or just general have a wonderful day!  “To brighten up people’s spirits.”, he said  He told us how he had gone into a thrift shop looking for old cards to buy, and when he told the employee what he was doing with the cards, he ended up taking home several boxes full of cards totaling around 800 cards for free.  Tom is 72 years old, a widower,  who believes in keeping fit by walking 3 miles a day, and calls himself “A Perky!”  He wants to know why so many people want to be in a bad mood and just complain about what they don’t have when you can just as easily be happy about what you do have.

I asked him if he was born in Maine, and he said no.  His mother went into labor on the train that was taking them to his father (while he was being deployed into the service).  They had to get off the train, as she was not going to make it all the way to CT (if I remember correctly, that was their destination).  I asked him about the military life, and he reported that they moved 32 times during his childhood.  There was not any military housing in those times….WWI and WWII….butter and milk, food in general was scarce.  He told me how his grandfather had taken the shutters down off the house,   “To break them up for wood to burn, to keep them warm in one room together.”  Tom cleaned his plate completely at dinner and I was ashamed that I had left so much on my plate to waste.  He is a man who can appreciate a good dinner.

Humble is the heart of a boy becoming a man.  I also met a family that had fallen on hard times (who hasn’t?) and were randomly “adopted” by a man who had some money to spend, and wanted to make a brighter Christmas for someone.  I never met the man, but I helped Chris take the goods out of her very large truck (which was full) and deliver them over to the family’s home.  They have a son who is planning on going into the service next year to help support his family, he is 17.  I saw him briefly,  he was apologizing that his uniform smelled from his job (fast food).  Chris laughed and said he smelled like the best french fries. Later, Chris told me about his grateful response when he received a gift that was bought specifically for him.  I thought, this boy cannot go into the military, he needs to go to college and have a good life for himself.  I am not against the military, I was just floored by how much this 17 year old was sacrificing for his family.  I see so many teens feeling entitled to well, just about everything…… Let this young man’s light shine!

I love you.  Adoption.  The Net Return.  I will attempt to address each of these notions to my best ability, as they have been on my mind.

Let’s start with I love you.  Sometimes I notice so much fear in others around saying these words.  I have learned to say I love you, freely and openly to those I love.  It’s as simple as that.  I don’t think that there is ever a time when loving someone is not appropriate.  I’m not speaking romantically per se, but there is nothing wrong with that either.  I tell my friends I love them.  I tell my children I love them.  I tell perfect strangers that I love them, as they don’t feel like perfect strangers to me.  I also believe that we all deserve to be loved.  I can’t say I love every individual person exactly the same.  I cannot say that the person I met yesterday holds the same feeling for me as my children, but I can love them.  What is it that scares people so much about these words?  Why is is taboo to tell someone you love them?  I feel it’s only a form of respect for those that are important to you.  I just love you, that’s all.  It doesn’t mean any more than that.  I hope you understand that when I am saying it, I am sincere, and that I feel lucky enough just to have the capacity to love.

Adoption.  Well, I mentioned in my blog the unusual story of adoption….I usually realize I should pay attention to things when they are repeating themselves over and over in conversation, and other circumstances around me.  The word adoption has been floating around for days!  The statement that we truly all are family is just the plain and simple truth.  We are ONE, we are community, and my experience in the last few weeks has been phenomenal in showing me that community not only exists, it is essential to our existence.  So, adopt someone….bring them into the fold, nourish them, love them and don’t let anyone stop you.  There is nothing better than the satisfaction of loving because you can, without expectation and just because.  There’s that love thing again!

Last, but not least, is The Net Return.  Some set out to create something, build something, offer something, but only if the net return is worth their time and effort.  I know this usually applies to business, in which making a profit is a needed thing to keep the business going.  However, sometimes, this is the only way a person can seem to look at most things, if not everything in their lives.  The truth of the matter is, not worrying about the net return is the smartest thing you can do.  When you want to invest in something, truly want to see that something grow, you just go all in.  What you get in return is defined by what you want to see happen.  If you are going in with a full heart and not putting so much expectation into a situation….it will just turn into the experience that it is meant to be.  It’s as simple as that.  Sometimes life requires a blind leap of faith.  A little voice inside says jump……and you should!

Having said all that, I am truly grateful for all those who trust and put their faith in me.  I put my faith in you as well, that you are needed, loved, and worthy.  So, the next time I say I love you, you can say it back if you want, but you don’t have to.  The point is that I’m all in and I’m very happy to be so.


Curiously enough, I was watching an interview video with Dustin Hoffman this morning regarding his role in “Tootsie”. I know this is floating around the media right now because of the emotion displayed in the video (it was originally posted in 2012).

Why are we so interested in the emotional response of others? Whether it be joy, fear, pain, anger, or sadness….when any person shows emotion we are drawn to that. Any video can go viral, if you just display enough of one of these emotions.

Hey, watch this kid go totally nuts on ecstasy! Hey, look at this woman fall down the stairs! Look, this man is crying!!!!

Here is what I think we feel:

We watch the kid on ecstasy and feel the following: fear (holy crap! what is going to happen to him), elation (wow! I wish I could feel like that..just once!) shame (what a douche! when really that was us last weekend)

We watch the woman fall down the stairs: fear (omg…is she dead?) elation (I am so glad that wasn’t me!) shame (I shouldn’t be laughing at this…others getting hurt is not funny)

We watch the man who is crying: fear (what the hell is wrong with this guy!) elation (thank god I don’t cry in public!) shame (I don’t cry in public, but I cry at home….I’m an ass!)

I see a trend. The reason why we are so fascinated with emotion in others, or emotion itself is because we have polluted the water (so to speak). We have for the longest time been told that emotions are bad, they are private…you don’t bring them to work, you don’t display them for others to see, you hide them from the people who are even closest to you. We get our emotional fix by watching others who display their emotions….books, movies…tv shows…youtube videos….

We watch people we admire have emotional break-downs and then throw trash at their heads. We applaud when they go to rehab or get psychiatric help, and at the same time they are never quite as good as they were before. Not as shiny, pretty, bold, strong. These are the illusions that we set up not only for ourselves, but ten fold for everyone else.

What Dustin Hoffman “confesses” (that is the word used by the media) is that he realized by playing the role of “Tootsie”, that he had been judging women by their outer appearance and that had cost him the friendship, companionship or even love of some women he would really have liked to spend time with.

He is emotional in the interview…very much so, even though you can see he is trying very hard to hold back the flood gates. It is beautiful to watch.

Why do I think Dustin Hoffman crying on a video is beautiful?

My dad never cried when I was young….he was born 1941, grew up in the 50-60s, when men did not show their emotions. I saw him cry a total of two times before I was 40. He is 72 this September and he cries freely with me on the phone, although I can feel him trying to hold back the floodgates. What opened him to feel, was the passing on of his wife.  So many years, but that is what it took.

In my marriage to my ex-husband, if I should cry about something, he would be quick to tell me to stop and not to cry in front of my children…it would upset them. I don’t show a lot of my feelings: pain, fear, etc….I don’t even try to hide them, it has become automatic….they turn into anger if I even try to talk about them though.  I am learning to process first and speak later.

Sometimes feeling our emotions can be overwhelming. Frightening. What will people think? Will they be afraid of me? Will they think I am weak? What happens if I cry at work? Will I get fired?

One of the things we are definitely feeling now is emotional, we are here to have a human experience and humans have emotions. The problem has been that we have forgotten that, and have built impossible rules around emotions: Never show anger = I will eventually have explosive anger.  Never cry at work or in front of your children, your parents, your girlfriend…whomever = I never express my feelings because I am too afraid to do so. This causes us to keep our emotions locked away where they fester and become distorted, and can ultimately cause illness.

We then classify this as mental illness.

What is mental illness? Mental illness is what we refer to when a person has an illness that involves emotions and chemicals that the brain controls. The brain is an organ…the most important organ in our body. Without proper brain function all of our systems are in jeopardy. Our brain is the machine, the battery that sparks and ignites our synapses, and allows us to use energy to send messages to the rest of our body….mostly without concentration or even “thinking” about it. It allows us to be alive. When someone is viewed as “brain-dead” they are considered dead. They are kept alive by machines, because their “machine” is no longer working. The body remains alive, but there is no activity in the most important organ of the body.

The brain is like a sponge….it is constantly learning new things…it learns about emotions and emotional discord…it learns depression and it remembers. Once thought processes (pathways) are created through experience, we can relive them….the brain has it on file. Once the brain learns to be depressed it will more likely reoccur. It remembers.

What we need to change is how we experience our emotions. Hiding our emotions, squashing them, pretending they are not there…causes the emotion to morph and become something that we only have shame for in this society. Mental illness is a physical illness with physical and mental symptoms that can ultimately result in death. The stigma around emotion and mental illness only makes this worse.

We can reteach ourselves. The brain remembers. It remembers happiness and sadness, elation and fear, depression and stability. We are the creators. Emotions are so important to us, to who we are as humans. Feel your emotions….you will discover when you feel them and face them, and deal with them….it is so much easier to be human. The emotions pass….they don’t stay locked up waiting to become the tornado that crushes your life. They go….and you are safe and whole, and the brain remembers.

Only Human…

Have you ever seen the show Being Human?  It’s not the best show, but for some reason I like it.  I’m a bit of a Sci-fi nerd.  I love the idea of something other than human, mostly because I feel so weak as one.  Being human sometimes feels abnormal.  I sometimes wonder what other species could be out there in the Universes.  When I grew up in the 70’s we were taught that there was 1 Universe.  Just one, ours.  Science told us so, and so we believed it so.  Forty-two years later Science tells us there are 100 billion Universes….with the possibility of other life up in the trillions!!  

Trillions. Yes, trillions….I said trillions!!  That is A LOT!

I used to say things such as:  “Honestly, how ridiculous are we to believe that we are the only planet, the only existing planet that holds life?”  I also said:  “If we really believe that we are the only “ONES”, and that we are the highest of intelligent life form, then we have failed miserably.”  Wow!!  I told you this girl had dark!

I honestly have to tell you that some days are darker than others and that I am struggling with that right now.  Struggling with my personal identity and my purpose.  I remain true to my purpose, but feel weak.  I remain guided, but I feel alone.  I remain an instrument of Source, of god, of whatever beautiful energy I have committed myself to.  I still believe.  I have complete faith in Source, and what they see for me.  It is only myself that stands in the way of total surrender.  The total surrender will come and soon.  To be 100% honest, it is only my own fear that is holding me in a state of unknowing.  I KNOW this.  As a human I feel weak.  In energy connected to life, responding to the sacred, accepting this in my heart has made me much stronger.  Yet, I feel weak.

I have strength….not of body, but of will, and I have allowed all that will transpire to transpire, and I feel weak.

I have great friends who call me and have wonderful conversations with me, and light up my entire world….I feel so much better in their presence.  I know what they tell me is true.  I know I can trust their words, just as I know when I cannot trust another.  I know a significant shift and change is happening, and when it is finished that nothing will be the same again.  I am waiting to embrace this change and all changes that come with it for me, and every other person.

Not everyone knows that sometimes the person that gives encouragement, light, and love to others is just as human as they are.  We are only human.  We are allowed to see what we see, hear what we hear, speak what we speak because of a commitment we made to aid and uplift ourselves and others.  This is how I see it.  I always ask for all involved to be uplifted.  The homework that I am giving myself this weekend is to discover why I feel responsible for everything.  Why do I not heed my own truth and take care of myself first as others do?  I encourage my clients to do EXACTLY this.  It is so important.

The “work” we do is not about saving others…it is about giving a hand up, and helping to empower them to be exactly who it is they want to be.  I am no savior!  I am no guru!  I encourage each person to use their innate gifts and free themselves.

Here is the catch.  You do not just do this once.  There is no magic wand.  You must take responsibility for your own personal journey.  Take responsibility for your own life, yourself.

I take responsibility for my own personal journey, I accept that Almighty Source has my best interest. That if I should call, Archangel Michael will walk with me.  I know, I know.. that I will always be taken care of.  I want for nothing.  I trust completely that all that transpires is for the greatest good of all involved, and I appreciate that there are reasons for everything.  I know that all that I have felt through this journey is true and that all that I feel now is also true.  I have been told to take care of myself, to rest, to eat right, to do what it is I need to for myself.  I have ignored that and kept old habits of chasing my tail trying to control the outcome of situations when I know that it is moot.

Being human is okay.  If you really want, you could put on some blue tights and a cape….why not?!  I won’t tell!

Being human can be difficult at times, but that is why we have each other.  We have our network, our friends, our loves, and our families.  We have so much and so many.  We are here for each other.  I like people, I love people….I cherish the connections I have with loving and kind friends.  My strength comes from humility and reverence for life and these experiences.  I am weak at times, and that is okay.  I am weak of body, even sometimes of mind, but I have strength in heart, in spirit, in energy.  I have strength when I need it and when I cannot have strength then someone else is strong for me.  I am lucky to have that in my life now.  I am beginning to feel comfortable with letting others take over for awhile.  To trust and know that others will be there when I cannot fully be there.  Because I have weakness….weakness of anger and doubt and fear….it comes, it goes, it comes, it goes.  It’s not an eruption like PTSD…I have acknowledged that and it has stayed quiet.  Its just a fear of losing control over something, or of not having control over how things change.  Yet, I trust.  I trust enough to be totally honest about my weaknesses, my challenges, my pain.  My peace!  I can achieve this peace….its just doing it.  Owning what it is you need and acquiring it.  Breathing.  Living. Feeling. Experiencing. Being. It takes a lifetime of practice and guts.  To stand up to yourself for yourself. To acknowledge you are the only one responsible for all that you touch.

Heavy, I know.  However, it doesn’t have to be.  It is only our own selves that cause the suffering we feel.  The loneliness and loss.  The isolation, the inability to connect out of fear. It’s only our fear, our illusions about ourselves and our lives that keep us here.  The house of mirrors.  Let’s get outta here!  Become aware, become awake, shake off the illusions of fear and defeat.  Stand up, rise up, get up!!!  Let’s get outta here!!!  Are you with me?