On May 1st, I made a promise to myself. It was time to take my life back–walk away from all the drama, negativity and get my life back on track.
When my father passed away on June 3, 2015, my life stopped. I now had a new path I had to take and I just stood there. Every now and then, I would get ready to step forward and then another loss would hit, my foot would go back down and I would stand there once again. Over the course of two years, I lost some of the most important, influential people in my life–my father, my grandparents, my great-uncle and his wife, my college mentor and my fellow 10/21. I also lost friends, neighbors and distant family members but it was that initial group of losses that kept me at a standstill.
I did try to move forward. I started writing articles which brought some great new friends into my life. I discovered a new home-away-from-home, The Perky Nerd, which provided me with a new support system of friends and a creative outlet. We started a foundation in my father’s memory so we could continue his work with veterans. I also joined other veterans’ family organizations. I did what I needed to do to keep busy but it also kept me at a standstill since I wasn’t really facing my new reality–a reality where I had to figure out who I was without these important people who molded me, guided me and offered advice to help me shape my life. They never showed me how to live a life without them and I just wasn’t ready to figure that one out for myself. But a recent, rather emotional, trip to Orlando, Florida forced me to see that it was time to take that first step.
It is finally time to let go and move forward. So far, it has been painful and rough but I am set on staying positive (and finding the funny) so I can make my way out of the darkness. I know it is going to get worse before it gets better but I am finally aware of how strong I am. I know I can do this.
I am finally ready to embrace the change that is about to happen in my life. I admit I am afraid but I now have a large group of guardian angels on my side. One of those angels, my fellow 10/21 Carrie Fisher, who personally gave me advice on my career, life and glitter, has the perfect quote for what I am going through (as well as for others in the same boat): “Stay afraid but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and the confidence will follow.”
On Instagram, there is a feature that has suggestions for people you might want to follow. The other day, a guy from my past popped up in the suggestions. I haven’t seen or spoken to him in years so I clicked on it to see how he was doing and wound up clicking the “follow” button. Crap (actually, I used a different word)!
I knew he would get a notification that I was now following his feed so I couldn’t immediately unfollow, that would be mean, or so I thought. He didn’t have a lot of followers so I decided to just leave it.
But then I started to think that what I viewed as a nostalgic “let’s just see how he is doing” kind of gesture might be taken the wrong way. My thoughts of making peace with this man from my past and the unrealistic hope that we could someday be friends again might not come across when he sees the new follower notification.
I have no idea what he thinks of me or if he is still upset over things that were said and done in the past. For me, I have let go of any negative feelings toward him. I will forever care about him and wish him the best but I now realize that he is in my past and that is where he needs to stay. I am not the same person I was and neither is he.
I don’t want to go back and relive a time where, in reaction to how he treated me, I was ashamed of the things I said and did. I didn’t like the person I turned into when I was dealing with the insecurities of being ignored and treated poorly by a man I thought I loved.
Everyone comes into your life for a reason. This man was a long, hard and often painful lesson. By having him pop-up in my Instagram suggestions, I think the Universe was trying to tell me that he is fine. I don’t have to worry about him anymore. It is OK to leave him in the past where he belongs. I can finally let go.
So I clicked the unfollow button and he returned the favor by making his account private. So there it was. A book I started when I met this man over 19 years ago was finally closed. Time to focus on a new book.
Seven weeks ago, I started taking a level one Peruvian Shamanism course at The Green Man Store in North Hollywood. I have always been fascinated by Native American traditions and knowing that my Great Grandmother went to extremes in order to go to Peru (and possibly died there), Peruvian Shamanism just seemed like the appropriate next step in my spiritual journey.
But something was wrong. I didn’t feel like I was really connecting and I wasn’t sure why. Actually, it felt like my life was continually getting worse over the course of the class. My depression was coming back–it had been over a year since I had been in such a funk. My family on the other side of the country was taking turns in the hospital. My worry nerves were in overload. I try to be a fixer for my loved ones. It was hard facing the fact that there was nothing that I could do to make things better. Even worse, I was faced with learning that someone I cared deeply for didn’t want my help, he just wanted me to go away and let him be alone and depressed. Then this week culminated in a clusterfuck that just pushed me to the very edge. But tonight, I finally understood why.
The last seven weeks were so magical that I wasn’t even aware of the transformation that was happening in my life. I thought I was depressed and detached but I was actually healing. All of my issues were coming to the surface–one right after the other until they were all before me in this dark, massive mountain of denial. Then just two days ago, an Opossum literally forced me to see the light.
The apartment building next to mine has a motion light right by their dumpster. It shines right in my window whenever anyone throws out their trash. I was sitting on my couch when I noticed the light come on but I didn’t hear the sound of the dumpster. Maybe it wasn’t the light after all. Maybe it was someone using a flashlight and shining it outside my apartment. I grabbed my baseball bat and swung open the door–I was not going to allow someone to steal my gnomes again (whole other story). To my surprise, there was no one there but a rather large opossum sitting on the fence, staring at me. There was no hissing or running away. He just looked me in the eye. I greeted him and he appeared to acknowledge me with a nod before he switched directions on the fence and scurried off–heading West (which actually has meaning to me now).
I looked up the meaning of an opossum spirit animal and it talked about needing to come up with a strategy. Opossums are great actors–playing whatever part needed for survival. I finally realized that I have been doing that for a very long time. As I read more and more, I realized this was actually perfect and made complete sense in accordance to my current life status of chaos.
The following day, after the encounter with Mr. Opossum, I went to Hahamongna Watershed Park (where Devil’s Gate Dam is located). I was on my way home from work and I needed to get sticks to make death arrows for my final shamanism class. Once I found the perfect specimens, I decided to walk over to Devil’s Gate Dam, since I was there. On the power lines over what used to be a water filled dam (drought), I saw two crows looking at me. One stayed and the other flew away. I instantly thought, just like the two men in my life–one just left. So I looked up the meanings of the crow totem and for this particular situation, I would say I was being told to focus on my intuition and sight. I also believe the one crow leaving represents the loss of the male “friend; ” a loss that turned into a life-changing moment for me.
It was at this time that I noticed the sun had set and I better get back to my car. The park closes at sunset. I ran back just in time to see the police leave, locking the gates behind them. Yep, I was locked inside “Devil’s Gate Dam.” Just as I was about to lose it, this kind jogger came up to me and said that the officer knew he was jogging and had put the lock on the gate but it wasn’t actually locked. He kindly opened the gates for me so I could escape my imaginary park prison.
For me, that was the cherry on top of my mountain of denial. Little did I know, it was the last bit I needed to finally make my real “death arrow.” A death arrow is a representation of your need to bring death to certain parts of your life or your past to make way for new beginnings. So when I got home, I pulled out my yarn, matching the chakra colors, and took all my frustrations out on the making of my death arrow for our fire ceremony on the last day of class. I took the picture I had of myself and my former friend, wrapping it around the arrow. I used blue and green yarn to secure it as well as marking the love and communication problems that occurred throughout that relationship. It was finally time to let it all go.
I carefully chose each color and the order, wanting to make sure I dealt with everything that had surfaced over the last seven weeks. There it was, my real “death arrow.” I was so proud and beyond ready to let go. Bring on the new beginnings.
For the first time in weeks, I am happy and bubbly. I have high amounts of energy and I feel reconnected with my sight. Tonight, when I threw my death arrow into the fire during our ceremony, I got my fresh start. The heaviness, the depression, the self-doubt–it is all gone. I feel like a new person. I feel like I have a new outlook on life. I suddenly feel the need to dance around to “Disco Inferno.” I also have a clear mind as I begin creating a strategy to fix the other problems in my life. No more denial or “acting.” I know what I want and I am going after it because I’m free. I don’t have the past holding me back any longer. I am a phoenix rising from the ashes and I am ready to soar!
Tonight is the last Full Moon in 2012, also known as the Long Nights Moon. But others also like to refer to tonight’s moon as the Reindeer Moon.
Reindeer are animals that are completely in tune with their environment, adapting their fur and diet for the cold winter weather. So according to Kristen Madden in the Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook, we should use this as an opportunity to reconnect with ourselves and our environment. She suggests going out into nature (or the least undisturbed area close to you) and focus on the natural world. Use all your senses to take in the landscape and reconnect with “All That Is.”
Others feel that the “reindeer moon” requires going beyond a connection with your environment and should be an opportunity to reconnect with those around you. In Native American traditions, a reindeer on a totem pole represents the enhancement of communication, social skills and family ties. With the holidays, we are presented the opportunity to spend time with family and friends, many whom we only see once a year. Now is the time to play catch-up or maybe to even reach out to those who have drifted out of our lives. It is never too late to reconnect with someone you care for.
And with the new year fast approaching, this is also a great opportunity to let go of the old so that the new can enter our lives. I personally tried this last night. For the first time, I decided to light a fire in my living room fireplace. I had found a box of old letters and books from my past, a past I have had trouble leaving behind. So I figured it was time to burn my past, the whole ashes to ashes bit.
Deborah Blake offers another past-cleansing ritual. In Llewellyn’s Witches Datebook, she writes:
Dim the room lights, pour some water into a bowl, and place a white candle behind it to reflect onto the water. Take some deep grounding breaths, light the candle and visualize the things you are letting go of. Gently swish your hands in the water to release them. Then visualize what you wish to bring into your life and say the spell …
I wash my hands of what once wasTo make room for the futureClearing off the past becauseThe present I would nurtureThe old is out, the new is inShining bright before meI open wide and so beginEndless possibility
On Twitter, I follow several zodiac feeds, specifically those for Libras. The other day, there was a tweet stating that a Libra will only tell you they love you if they really do and they don’t take love lightly. For Libras, the “L” word has to have meaning or they won’t use it. As a Libra myself, I can say this is completely true.
Here in Hollywood, so many toss around the “L” word like a disposable commodity. Industry people will tell you they love you while stabbing a knife in your back. It makes it really hard to trust the sincerity when someone uses the “L” word around here. So I can completely understand why someone from my past, a native Angeleno, never believed me when I told him I loved him.
In my 33 years, I have only ever told two men that I loved them. The first didn’t return the gesture and the second didn’t believe me, telling me “that’s impossible.” If the second really truly knew me, he would know that such a feeling is difficult for me to express and that due to my own trust & relationship issues, I would never lie about this particular emotion. And after an incident that occurred today, I still feel this way about this man and I probably always will.
Lately, the Universe has been sending constant reminders of this man. This week, it was like a fireworks attack and today was the finale.
Whether this man and I have a romantic future is of no real concern to me. I would be happy just to be his friend again. But we had a falling out last fall and he won’t respond to any of my inquiries or attempts to repair our friendship. Not knowing whether or not he is OK is like pure torture for me. I am one of those people who loves hard and would do anything for the ones I love. I don’t handle disconnection well.
And I really don’t deal well with the gut feeling that someone I love is suffering. When someone tells you that they want to go off to be alone and depressed then you don’t hear from them for months, your worry alarms go into overload. You do everything you can to reach out, let them know you are there. You practically turn into a stalker but it doesn’t matter. You have this need to help them, protect them, take care of them because you love them. It doesn’t matter if that love is romantic or friendly. You love them and you want to be there for them. They will test you and push you away but unless I am told to “go away” in a clear manner, I am not about to abandon anyone I care about.
Now this particular person has trust and relationship issues that far surpass mine, making him quite a challenge to reach. I have seen his good side as well as the bad and I am still here. But I made a mistake last fall. I let my trust issues come into play and I pushed him away. I picked a fight over something stupid because I was afraid. And he did what I asked, he disappeared. When I realized I made a mistake, it was too late to fix what I broke . . . what we both broke.
But today, a scare snapped me back into reality and I realized that I want him back in my life, even if it is just as friends. But I don’t know what to do. I promised him that I wouldn’t write about him but I am breaking that promise for a good cause. I am hoping he will read this someday and realize that our friendship has turned into a whiteboard. We can keep clearing it off as long as we want to, leaving the past exactly where it belongs, in the past. We don’t have to even look at the future. We can live one second, one minute, one day at a time. All that matters is the here and now. I promise I won’t bring up our past ever again as long as we can try to be friends now.
At the very least, he could just find a way to tell me that he is out there and that he is OK, that he is surviving. When you love someone, you want them to be happy, even if that means you can’t be in each other’s lives anymore. But for me, a Libra with tons of issues, before I can let someone go, I have to know they will be OK and that they don’t need me anymore.