That song — the one by Don Henley from the Eagles? Yeah. It’s tripping through my consciousness over and over like a broken record.
If I haven’t turned you off already by using the “F” word (forgiveness) keep on keepin’ on with me here. I know it’s a long one, but hey — you love me. Right? Right? Aw c’mon . . . you can fire me after you read.
I had to pull two twelve hour shifts back to back last week because I took Wednesday off. In the corporate world you’re typically given shyte loads of time to use at your discretion, but I’m saving what little time I have left for a much needed break some time soon. As in, several days off at once.
* * *
Stay with me here, I need to lay the ground work for this thought process. Most of my life, I’ve been able to move forward and simply ignore the unfortunate circumstances of my childhood and young adult years. I gave the run down of my brutal history once when I was in therapy and the doctor put down his pen — looked at me with a dazed expression and said, “You just rattled all that off like the Pledge of Allegiance. I hate to sound cliche, but how do really FEEL about all that?”
I think I shrugged and said, “It is what it is” or some such thing.
I used to pride myself on being able to move on from it. “It” being my brutal history. And it is brutal. Some of you are aware of just HOW brutal, and for those of you unawares, that’s okay. The details are heinous, sad and quite stomach churning in some cases. We’ll leave it at that.
Here’s the clincher — and we’ll narrow this discussion down right at this moment: I ignored my history. I stuffed it way waaaay deep inside and never ever examined it because it frightened me. Deeply frightened me. Y’all scare the sh*t outta me, yanno?
The things people are capable of doing are . . . *shakes head*
So I put my Polly Anna dress on and sang “Climb Every Mountain” while deep down despising the whole world. I would involve myself in other peoples problems because then I could ignore my own while hopefully finding the cure to what ailed me; perhaps by osmosis or the sheer act of assisting a friend I’d be healed.
And gawd, I’ve been angry. Not just fist shaking mad because the guy in front of me cut me off, but a seething, simmering . . . deeply embittering MAD. The kind that grows cancerous. Literally. That oily, scum at the bottom of the septic tank anger.
And I’ve ignored it. I’ve ignored all the hooplah of my existence and dove into magick, into Goddess worship, into God worship, into self worship, into worship of others, into a myriad of journeys that ultimately left me feeling . . . ah . . . unfulfilled and . . .
* * *
Oh kay. There’s the first part of my screed.
Here comes the second.
The last several months have been miserable. I’ve been miserable.
What attracted me to Bill The DoucheBag all those years ago was his anger. Isn’t that sick? (Don’t answer that, it’s rhetorical, kay?)
I would watch him rant and rave about the world, and I’d admire his sickness. I’m not kidding. I fell in love with that man because he was the only person I’d ever met who was angrier than me and not in a mental institution.
That man can carry a grudge the way some people carry a baby. Wow. That was remarkable. I literally admired his ability to seethe so much that it would generate an almost visible vapor out of his pores.
He OOOZED hatred.
He hates Black people. He hates Mexicans. He hates God. He hates you. He hates everyone. He hates himself.
That actually turned me on. I’m not kidding.
Now he hates me, but that’s besides the point.
* * *
So there I was all this last week having an existential crisis like never before. I didn’t consider suicide as an option, and that occurred to me Friday night. For the first time in the middle of my “oh woe is me” I didn’t think about killing myself to end the horrid, pit of the pit despair. Probably because I have some time off coming, and I’m really looking forward to it.
I was drinking Rock Stars, like, five of them a day — Thursday and Friday — and I was on the phone with a client from Colorado Friday night, around ten my time. I was exhausted, ready to climb into MY truck (regardless of whether or not the courts award it to me it will always be MY truck) and go home.
I’ll spare you the details from point aye to point be of the conversation, but it was 11:45 when I hung up.
And something inside of me had changed. Just like that.
* * *
My client had lost her husband when she was 28. She’d only been married for a year, when a horrific car accident took both her parents and her husband from her. She was spared, but she was alive and conscious in the vehicle, suspended in a ravine for hours, as she watched from her trapped position – - her parents and her husband die.
This was only a portion of her life story.
She is 45 now, and she has two children, and another loving man in her life. Oddly enough, she married her college sweetheart whom she’d met again after the death of her first husband.
But I digress . . . she was writing a suicide apology letter to her family about eleven years ago when her daughter was about eight months old. She said she closed her eyes, with the pen in her right hand, lowered her head to her left hand and a picture developed out of the darkness in her mind.
I knew what she saw, because I’d seen it too when I attempted to commit suicide when my baby girl was just about the same age.
We both had the same realization that if we did this to ourselves, we would be setting up our girls for disaster.
So we both pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps — and sought help.
Here’s the difference between she and I.
She REALLY sought help.
I just pretended to seek help because I wasn’t ready to forgive.
I thought I was moving on and becoming healthy — oh kay? No really — I mean it.
As our discussion developed (and I’m praying that I don’t get fired because I moved all our corporate protocols aside and we talked like old friends . . . I think we are anyway . . . but . . . ) she started saying things that I needed to hear.
I’d been praying all week long on my way to work — and on my way home. Crying into my steering wheel, screaming at God, screaming at Goddess, crucifying Jesus all over again and shaking my fist at the Universe.
She said, “Listen, there are only two emotions in the world, Love & fear. Everything else is secondary. Even something as big as hate isn’t as big as fear or Love. Do you understand?”
My client is from Brazil, by the way, and she had the most beautiful accent I’d ever heard. Her voice resonated with me and when I told her as much at the beginning of our conversation she said the same thing about me.
Me? My voice?
She said, “I feel like I’ve heard your voice in my head so many times . . .”
I was feelin’ it too. With regards to her.
We talked on and on. And on. (A little like this post, but are ya with me so far?)
I had no business using company time to fix what ails me, but I couldn’t stop our conversation. She was saying things like: You have to have ‘crazy faith’ these days to get through. You have to believe that we are creating heaven and hell right now — what will you keep creating?
She was saying, “Where is your gratitude? Where is your acceptance? Where is your power? Where is your forgiveness?”
- – ENTER IN THE SOUND OF A NEEDLE PULLING ACROSS A RECORD – -
SCREEEEEE —— TCH.
Dude, did you just say the “f” word?
Ah no. Uh uh. You did NOT just say that to me?!
She said, “Can you forgive yourself? Can you forgive yourself the audacity of surviving with all of your love intact? With all of your hope intact? Can you? Can you forgive that you’ve allowed yourself to live this long and bred so much fear inside yourself that fear is the glue that keeps you alive and not Love even though you believe it’s possible that you ARE Love? It’s that weird paradox with people like us. We heal everyone but ourselves. It’s why we question God. Trust me.”
I wrote it down.
It’s why I question God.
It’s why I am the Irreverent Reverend, you know?
She said, “take ownership of your power. And begin the final act of true faith, Forgiveness.”
* * *
I had to get off the phone, and we exchanged email. Her words have been ricocheting — right along with that Don Henley song, and while I don’t recall a single dream from last night I do recall dreaming Friday Night about a new house that was given to me, one that I’d admired for years. It’s essentially my “dream house” (pun intended) but here’s the thing, it has a tree that grows in the middle of it. As I stood on the ground floor of my new home and looked up into the roof, I realized that there was a whole new floor to this house where the top of the tree was. A huge wooden support had been built around that part of the tree — all the branches were slick with dark sap from that point down. But up? Up was healthy and green. I just knew it. And I was thrilled that the tree was healthy up “there”.
And that’s where I wanted to be. And that’s where I am going. To the top of the tree. At the top of tree I know there are branches that are healthy and reach to the sun. It’s where the green leaves are.
In my dream I met someone who I share this house with and he opened a door — I realized that I was actually in the “garage” area of the house and behind him I saw a kitchen bright with gleaming counters, windows filled with sunshine and he looked confused, “What ARE you doing?” he exclaimed, “get out of there . . . ”
I looked at a stain on the concrete floor of the garage and I knew that’s where my truck had been and in my dream I shrugged, “oh well, it was leaking oil anyway . . . ”
I followed the light from the open door and wandered into my house.
In the upper rooms of the house I was looking down into the parking area in front of my house and I saw several parking spaces that were mine, and I wasn’t worried anymore. I knew that I’d be able to get to work, get to the market and while I couldn’t see that there were cars there, I was certain that I had a way.
There was this feeling about something – - something I’d forgotten – - and I said, Out Loud, “Oh yeah, forgiveness. Oh Kay. I forgive.”
And then cars began appearing in the empty spaces and my fear went away.
* * *
It’s about Forgiveness.
It’s what I’m working on. Really, truly . . . working on. I think I get it now . . .
We’ll see, eh?