What The Dead Want Us To Learn From A Pandemic.

“You’re all in this together. Work it out”

What The Dead Want Us To Learn From A Pandemic.

With slightly off color forward by Tania:

Have you ever had one of those “I showed up to the party naked and everyone else was dressed” dreams? If you have then you know the feeling it evokes when you believe that everyone is staring at you in horror. That’s kinda where we are right now in relation to forgetting your mask in the car. At least that’s where I am. I leave home and as I cross the parking lot I have this uneasy sense that I forgot to put my clothes on and a wave of momentary panic ensues before I realize that it’s my face that is showing. At this point in the game it’s likely considered the more offensive nudity, which is somewhat disconcerting actually. With the current focus on inappropriate facial features, I almost want to walk into the mall in my bra and sweatpants and see if anyone even notices what’s actually missing.

Several times over the past few months I have reached out to my Guides, even asked those that belong to my clients if they might wish to chime in on our current state of being. Each time I have attempted to get a response, I have been thwarted with either a shoulder shrug or what might amount in the human world to an eye roll type of response.

To say this was a most frustrating experience is an understatement. In my experience those on the spirit side tend to have an opinion on everything, so this silence was both curious and concerning. Not to mention downright annoying as I was struggling to bring comfort to so many who were finding absolutely none. And then last week, we went into the dreaded “second wave” and my already thin patience snapped.

“We’re tired universe. This is exhausting and I’m fairly certain there is a mutiny mounting over Thanksgiving dinner; you have anything to share to bring about some form of calm to the masses, I would most appreciate it”

What I received in response may not provide the calm that I wished for but perhaps it may offer some perspective during these trying times.

Message From Those On The Spirit Side

“You are in this together; as one whole. Not one is separate from the rest, all are equal in their risks. What other way to unite you than to place you into the same experience? What better way to teach you to consider each other than to be considerate of your own frailty? It is only in your own fears that you can adequately understand the fears of those in your own community. We have watched for some time now. We have heard the discomforts of your hearts and souls with many of the unfortunate and tragic events that occur in your world. You can empathize with the catastrophes yet you cannot truly become a part of them therefore you learn little. You send your thoughts, your donations, your blankets, your love and your monetary assistance and then you continue with life as it goes in your own world. With little understanding of the continued struggles of those still battling the waves, you move forward, buy your usual coffee, read your usual news. This pandemic has created a vaster knowledge of the pains that many face in all times, not only during a viral outbreak. The discomforts of isolation, of loneliness, of loss of health and loss of loved ones. It has taught us that not one human is exempt and that all humans are in the line of fire. Regardless of social standing, of wealth or of poverty. This virus has no chosen few, it adheres to all demographics; all race, all religion, all human kind. This microbe might be the one single thing that helps you to finally see each other and not simply look at each other. Perhaps now you might find some understanding in those that struggle and must ask for help. Without the assistance of your governments you would have been in the same place in a short period of time. Perhaps now you might find some sympathy for those that struggle with mental health concerns or with thoughts of leaving your human world. Because now you have been subjected to having your usual set aside for something new and frightening and uncomfortable. Perhaps now you yourselves are beginning to feel the helplessness that arises when there are no answers or no direction to take. Your world will come through this, as it has come through everything that it has faced. You will come through this and we hope that you come through changed. We hope that you come through kinder, gentler and considerate to the plight of all those humans who have been living this very existence alone. That is… until a germ forced you to join them”

Powerful words…so simple yet so thought provoking. So relatable now that we are all in this same place, battling these same demons. A germ forced us to join all those that have felt dehumanized in their exemption from our good lives. This is a wake up call. I hope you all answer.

We are in this together. There is no other choice. We can heal this together.

In love, kindness, common frailty and in understanding.

Tania ( and friends)

F**ck Off, Namaste & Amen. With Love.

**This blog is intended only to serve as a reminder in these very difficult times. It is intended to be an honest and open expression of the truth and nothing more. I believe we can only get through this together if we understand each other a little better.**

If you are an empath, a counsellor, a social/healthcare worker or anyone involved in the easing of human discomfort you will understand when I say that we are in the most incredibly draining time in our own human history. The sadness is overwhelming, the fear is palpable and the loneliness in reduced social activity is creating need of immense proportions. To all those that engage in the human condition please know that it is OK to hang up your wings and swear when necessary. And drink wine. Whatever you need to get through your own day.

“Are Reverends allowed to say f**ck off?” This question popped up into my inbox this evening from a long time friend, a spiritual colleague and someone for whom I hold much respect. As you may have already surmised she is also an ordained Reverend. She worked long and hard to reach this place where she can be of spiritual service, be an ear when it’s needed and a shoulder to cry on. We are much alike in our respective careers so she understood that she could find confidence in me and that I could easily empathize with her frustrations.

Yes, my friends; Reverends are allowed to say F**ck off. Reverends and all those that walk along the spiritual path are certainly permitted to be human. As often and as loudly as is required to make it through a day.

She didn’t need to come to me for permission to use the expletive but it is a natural thing for those on this path to ask if they could have done better. I do it all the time. I seek out a close friend…we all do this. It is a built in system of self awareness. And it’s flawed.

“I snapped someone’s face off this morning, but they kept at me and at me and well…I just lost it. I feel terrible. I could have handled that better right?”

My friend never agrees with that part and is quick to remind me that I handled it exactly how it needed to be handled in the moment that it occurred. And as a psychologist in these current times she had to step back because her own seams were cracking. Lucky for me she hasn’t yet told me to “f**ck off” but if she does I will forgive her for being human first.

Half of the problem is that for most of us that do this work we keep our own private selves private. We don’t share the fact that outside needs pop up in the middle of a disagreement with a spouse. We don’t make it known that we might be grieving our own losses, through death or through disconnection. We don’t make you privy to the fact that at the exact time you sought us out for help, we were dealing with a family member in crisis and absently staring at our phone while scrambling to figure out what to do with them. If we can think straight we may reply with a quick “Sorry not today” or we may simply not respond at all because our brains have turned to mush in that moment. And then inevitably forty other requests arrive and we forget to respond at all. Either way we choose to respond we will be judged; we all know this and accept that it is at risk of our halo falling five inches.

My dear friend the Reverend took steps toward easing others through their pain because she carried the pain of losing a child herself. But she won’t tell you that while she comforts you in your own discomfort. Because she is an empath. We just simply don’t do that. And I for one am wondering what that characteristic is born of? Is it innate or is it groomed in by a world that expects halos to consistently shine without a tarnish? Is it that we were set on a path of being there for those that hurt and with that comes the responsibility to bear it no matter the cost? Or is it because at some point in our own lives we have learned that we never want to cause pain to another soul because we have known that pain ourselves?

I don’t know what the answer is for everyone but I do know that people need to remember that those in the more compassion driven careers are human after all as well. Even when we act like superhero’s, we still had to wrestle in the phone box before jumping into action.

My dear friend was cornered and bullied today because she said no to a request to do something that she wasn’t prepared to give energy to. My friend just put a family member into a nursing home. She was already feeling the sense of failing someone before this bully tried to convince her she failed in her vocation simply because she said no.

“I would have expected more of a Reverend” is self serving and disrespectful to everything this person has put ahead of herself these past ten or more years. And I have no problem with telling bullies such as this to “F**ck off” because despite it all she still feels uncomfortable saying that out loud because someone thinks her halo must shine and not be tarnished by the simple act of being human. So I have just said it for her. Loudly and proudly. And I seek no forgiveness for that either.

Lets try to work harder together. Lets not presume to set the rules for those in certain vocations. Let’s not make it our duty to enforce how they behave. Lets maybe start with not ripping into another human because they can’t wear a mask. We all fail if we continue to behave as if we are the only opinion that matters without consideration of extenuating circumstance.

Lets try not to fail each other through this.

In love of course. Namaste. Amen.

And I will hang up the wings and reserve the occasional “F**ck off” for when the need arises.

Sassy, Smoldering and Social Distanced

So today I set fire to my bangs.  I had been standing in the bathroom staring forlornly at my hair and thinking it was beginning to resemble a horses tail that hadn’t been brushed in a decade and wondering how best to fix this. If I have learned one thing over the years it’s to never put it out there to the universe that something might need to go. I wandered out to the balcony and lit a cigarette with the BBQ lighter. 

Here’s the disclaimer part:

In no way do my musings represent a lack of understanding of the gravity of our current world situation. I continue to daily send my best energy and love to all that are directly and indirectly affected by this nasty virus.  My heart hurts with all those that have lost their lives to this or have a loved one struggling to breath.  What I have learned is that often times our best way forward is to find the human parts to this, the “first world” problems that exist in this for us all and I try to create an atmosphere a little lighter than the one we see each hour over social media.  Humor is the antidote to the fear and the anxiety.  If I can make you laugh for a moment it is a moment not feeding the monster that is holding us hostage.  Virus’s are intuitively based, just as we are.  They naturally gravitate to fear energy because in fear we become less strong . So by laughing in the face of it can change its direction.  So let’s find the lighter side of the dark today.  And lets remember to thank our front line workers please. Our coffee servers, our delivery drivers, our bus drivers, our essential customer service workers, our emergency services, our nurses, our social workers and mental health workers, our doctors and every single damn person that is working hard in our hospitals right now.

 

I don’t know about the rest of you but this introvert is actually slowly losing her mind.  If I am not soon permitted to touch another human being I might just go mad. I mean touch in the non weirdest of ways,  but you have been warned that I may become overly excited like a new puppy and just leap on anyone that happens to pass by once quarantine is lifted. Please refrain from calling security.  They already have me penciled in for line tipping. Kinda like cow tipping without the cow.

So let’s talk about that first.

I want to talk about the red lines that now separate me from the shopper ahead and behind me.  Firstly, I have vertigo in every moment of every day, so trying to keep my size 12 canoes on my side of said red line is becoming a challenge. And quite frankly I am starting to take offence to being loudly admonished by the security who suddenly beams up from God knows where when I tip forward and have to move a big toe to stop from taking a header into the gum display.

`Dear Security personnel..I do appreciate your being there by the way. Your finding your way into my blog is strictly for the humor portion. Thank you for keeping us safe.` 

Secondly, can someone please help me to understand this six feet apart theory when the lady still shopping  just came up the aisle behind me and now must cross directly in front of me and directly behind the person ahead of me.  I don’t see security diving on her do I?  I suppose this suggests that scientifically speaking moving targets don’t count in the distance criteria. I can hear the virus now.  “I don’t have the energy to chase that one, go for the one that just tipped over the red line. Security just terrified her into hold pose until the bagging area is clear.”

So today I set fire to my bangs.  I had been standing in the bathroom staring forlornly at my hair and thinking it was beginning to resemble a horses tail that hadn’t been brushed in a decade and wondering how best to fix this. If I have learned one thing over the years it’s to never put it out there to the universe that something might need to go. I wandered out to the balcony and lit a cigarette with the BBQ lighter.

Don’t judge and yes I know about the coronavirus and smoking…I have heard it a thousand times now, and let me assure you the threat of smoking is no match for the threat of me not smoking for my beloved husband. Lets focus on keeping him safe too OK? 

It didn’t occur to me that my horses tail wasn’t secured and poof…took care of the bangs pretty darned fast. Smelled awful but on the bright side, I think I might actually be responsible for a new hair craze                                                                                                  ~It’s sassy, it’s smoldering, it’s the new “Singed Fringe”~

You read it here first folks. Coming to a salon near you soon. Or not soon. Maybe June. Maybe October. No one knows for sure.

Now let’s talk about the first world problems of this forced isolation.  I am three weeks late for the eyelash fill.  After the singe fringe affair I ran to the bathroom once again to douse the flames under the bathroom sink. That’s hard by the way. I don’t know who designed this but it’s incredibly difficult to get your head sideways under that tap. We should consider this if my new hair craze takes hold. (Before someone says it..my kitchen sink was full of yesterdays dishes because well, whose gonna visit and who cares?)  As I wrangled my face out of the water stream I stood up and pushed back the remainder of the bangs and noticed the lashes. On the left eye  exists approximately 20 lush and long. On the right exists maybe four thin and barren and it’s a confusing look to be certain.  Only now do I start to panic about burning my bangs off. Thank the good Lord above for sunglasses, because I just cannot imagine the looks should I purchase magnetic ones in this current climate of essentials only.

“OMG there was a women today at Shoppers purchasing eyelashes!! I am sure she’s the same one that line tips, I’ve heard security talk about her. Hmmph.  And I’ve heard that she also goes out for walks in the park and that’s not social distancing!” 

OK so lets talk about that.  If memory serves me correct there was not any mention by our PM here in Canada of enacting martial law just yet.  A child that belongs to me personally was recently taken to task for publicly announcing a stroll through a graveyard for heaven sake.  A graveyard that housed the dead from like three centuries ago so the chances of them getting bus loads of living visitors are certainly slim at best. She allowed her children the opportunity to run in a spot that was free of any danger of being subject to the virus, yet was belittled of her parenting skills and her “choice” to put others in danger.  You’ll forgive me but I doubt the dead have concern about this danger.  How about we stop that sort of silliness and stop it soon.  Giving ourselves and our kids fresh air in these trying times is not irresponsible if we are alert and aware of our surroundings and those that are taking in the air with us.  I have seen parents with small kids moving around the grocery stores and no one says a word about that.  Why? Because it’s essential?  So is fresh air and sunshine.  And running and laughing. And being a kid in times that are difficult for them to understand.  If the time comes that we must be in forced quarantine it will be much harder. So lets stop policing parents who are just trying to give their kids that tiny bit of space allowed in this new world of distance.  OK that was the serious try to be a good neighbor paragraph.  Onward….

Let’s talk about the anxiety of this.  Every day we are subject to new and conflicting information.  Stopped taking your Ibuprofen and now you can’t get out of bed without a forklift?  After four days of being subject to no less than 70 inbox warnings about my muscle and joint choice of drugs I was overjoyed to discover ( because I went looking) that these claims are unfounded. Surprise!! I hope you all realize that I may have noticed my eyelash dilemma sooner had I actually been able to turn my head instead of it being caught in a torticollis  ( google that)  because I had finally been convinced that my Advil would take me out.  It feels good to move my head again, eyelashes or not.

And the symptoms keep changing on us. If that doesn’t send your anxiety skyrocketing I don’t know what will. First it was plugged nose with no running, now its running nose with no plugging. Sore throat, maybe not a sore throat.  Then it was high fever now intermittent fever,  mild headache to your head might blast off migraine style. And a dry cough.  Good God…small wonder we are terrified to walk in a cemetery with 1400 dead people in case they catch it.  This week alone I have diagnosed myself twelve times because I have a drippy allergy nose, a headache from an unnecessary torticollis ( google it)  a sore throat from talking for 8 hours a day ( yes work goes on via phone), a dry cough from the sore throat from talking for 8 hours ( and smoking but we’re not judging) and hot-flashes from menopause.  Everything that is normal is a symptom and it’s scary.  And I get it, trust me I do get it.  We truly are all in this together and it helps to understand that especially now.  The wording from some health networks to “act like you have the virus” while logical is also making us crazy.   But my losing my ever loving mind mid hot flash today only to discover it would pass with the removal of all clothing really wasn’t good for the mental health after all. Or the mental health of the unfortunate people in the parking lot just outside of my open window.   I truly wonder how many women of my age have considered calling or have called the fine nurses of Tele-Health  over a typical hormone surge.

Oh..to catch you all up on the saga of Molly the drama dog, her surgery recovery went well but the 3 am drama howls continued from the couch of which she can now jump onto with no issue but the drama ensued on attempting to get down.  So I fixed that problem by laying the vacuum cleaner on the couch.  She hates it. No 3 am whining.  I may go into pet therapy next. Call me. For anyone wondering who Molly the drama dog is refer to the blog previous to this one.

Wash your hands. Stay off the playground equipment. The dead are dead, they can’t catch it or give it to you so don’t be ridiculous and go for a walk giving wide berth to any other living beings that are taking in the same air.  Try not to take every child you birthed into the grocery store if you can. First of all you aren’t all gonna fit behind the red line. Secondly, they run more risk of this virus from touching and feeling and running than they do on a nice stroll with the dead people.  Logic people. Logic.  No judging here, sometimes you have no other choice, but if a choice exists make it the choice to leave them at home instead of trying to keep little fingers that have picked up every sugary cereal option out of little faces.  Because if you are a parent you know it doesn’t matter how many eyes you think you have in the back of your head, one of them is going to stick a finger up their nose and then brush it on a sibling.

Stay safe, stay calm, keep laughing, sing loudly, wash your hands ( said it again) thank those that are working for us right now, stop beating each other up for being human, and remember that you are human too and subject to the same judgement.

We don’t “got this” unless we “get this” together.

I think I have forgotten how to put makeup on. Or pants. I haven’t seen my bra in two weeks. It’s likely in the pile of laundry marked “Who cares, where am I going that needs clothes anyway?”

Or eyelashes…..

Or bangs…

In love, in light, in isolation.

Tania.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smashing Glass Slippers

“In the shadow of my hurt, forgiveness feels like a decision to reward my enemy”   

~Andy Stanley~

“In the shadow of my hurt, forgiveness feels like a decision to reward my enemy”

~Andy Stanley~

I am not sure I am comfortable with the word enemy in the quote above, but in keeping with the original wording I must allow it to remain.  I really don’t consider anyone to be an enemy.  In any situation where I might happen upon someone with whom I have suffered a disconnect, I can and will behave in a cordial albeit aloof manner, but I would never consider them to be an enemy.  More so a lesson in what to avoid, I suppose.

I am terribly imperfect. This blog represents a vulnerability that is uncommon for me because I am much more comfortable in healing your discomforts than my own. From yours I have an ability to disconnect.  Perhaps this is why I am so good at what I have been led to do. It’s worked for me so far, yet recently it has become evident to me that I have missed a step along the way somewhere, and my ability to go forward and provide the best of myself  was reliant on some soul searching and contemplation.

For those that know me quite well, they know of my inability to comprehend or extend forgiveness. This is in complete opposition to my empathetic nature, a learned human behavior not a true characteristic of who I am.  It is not uncommon to hear me tell people to reserve the act of forgiveness for themselves alone.  To heal their hurts without giving opportunity to those that created them to feel that they are abolished of their wrong doing.  As the quote above states I have always lived by the belief that forgiveness does little more than reward the behavior that created discomfort.

So, in keeping with the fairy tale, I will, more often than not, don the proverbial glass slippers and exit stage left. I rarely to never leave a shoe behind either.  Gone. Little trace exists that we spent time in each other’s journey short of a few crystals you might find that have broken off in my escape.

I am no Cinderella by any stretch. She was much kinder than I when it came to the dealings of those that distressed her. At least she provided them jobs in which to support themselves once her Prince Charming appeared. I don’t even allow that much.  I cut you out entirely, my support in your journey forward is over.

It’s just always been my way.  I will not forgive you but I will forget you. I guess the premise behind that logic (somewhere in my mind) is that you won’t forget me because I leave no opportunity for you to feel that you found closure in my departure.

Well that’s not screwed up at all is it?

Someone recently asked me to consider forgiveness and my first instinct was my natural instinct. Find a big box to put that in. Nail it down firmly and bury it.  Dig out my glass slippers, rush off to my hearth, pack them away and then sit and forgive myself for allowing something or someone to cause me pain.  And it often goes a little like this.

“I forgive myself for allowing myself to be harmed by the actions of another. “I forgive myself for my inability to control the events that led to my discomfort”. I forgive myself for being misguided” “I forgive myself for giving too much of my good energy”  “I forgive myself for the expectations I put on others”

I could go on forever here because I can find a litany of reasons to forgive myself in any and all situations.  I could forgive myself for burning the pasta last week.

But I digress.

I recently pulled out the glass slippers. I haven’t done that in a long time now. Maybe the passage of time caused me to hesitate before I slid them to my feet. Maybe I was too tired of trying to run in them.  Or maybe…..just maybe….

I was tired of putting the blame on myself and soothing myself with a ritual of self forgiveness for my own sincerity of action.

I still strongly believe in the power of self forgiving. Once this blog is public I will forgive myself for not discovering this lesson sooner.  I will forgive myself for perhaps offering up advice to others based solely on what I thought was true for me. Early into this spiritual journey I was reminded several times to not permit my own prejudice to color the souls that I encounter along the way.  And I believe I have allowed that to happen.  Forgive me.

So something today I never thought I would do…..

A plot twist perhaps…

Forgive.

Forgiveness does not mean that you will accept further discomforts. It does not mean that you are a pushover. It does not mean that you announce open season for those to take aim once again. Forgiveness means that you are loving yourself enough now to include boundaries that will not permit discomforts in the future.

Forgiveness is not weakness. Forgiveness is strength.

Forgive. If your forgiveness comes with an apology accept that and forgive because in doing so the responsibility for your pain is shared. As it should be. It is not solely your discomfort to carry and feel you created. Sharing it is much less uncomfortable and far less self injuring.

Forgive. If your forgiveness must come with no apology attached, forgive anyway.  Because no one suffers in this but yourself. Spending decades waiting to hear I am sorry takes the beauty out of life because there is no pain such as the pain of waiting for words that never arrive.  And if it has taken you decades to reach this part, then forgive yourself only for not doing it sooner. You are a beautiful creation and you deserved so much more than that. You deserve so much more going forward from today.

Forgive. Because forgiveness is self love in its most unconditional manner. And there is no one more deserving of that love than yourself.  It does not require that you maintain a connection to those that you have forgiven  but it does require that you understand that until you forgive you do not attach responsibility to anyone else but yourself. And that’s a heavy load to carry alone.

 

So take a moment and repeat this with me if you are so inclined.

I forgive you if you caused me discomfort intentionally, unintentionally, with malice or with lack of consideration.  I forgive you because it is my right to live a life unfettered by the weight of pain. I forgive you because I deserve to live a life that is free of self blame.  I forgive you because I love myself.

And if I have caused you discomfort I ask that you forgive me also. Because you deserve nothing less than I deserve.  We will share our discomforts and love ourselves through it.

You’ll excuse me now……

I have glass slippers to smash

With love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grieving Promise

Grief is hemorrhagic.

It shares no umbrella of the same color or shape. You can’t expect someone to stay dry using yours because it worked for you.

I promise you will grieve.  And there is nothing I can do to prepare you.

I can share literature and lead by my example but there is nothing I can do to help you understand.  Like birth and like death, the journey to your  certain discomfort will only be known by yourself.  There will be nothing to catch you, nothing that can console you and nothing to fill the shatters in your soul.  A deeply painful and personal unraveling of all the words you could have said and all the moments you had the opportunity to say them.  Of all the chances you missed and the chances you took.  You will find discomfort in every choice you created and every choice you allowed.

I promise you will grieve. And there is nothing I can do to prepare you.

What I can prepare you for  is that no one will understand the depth of your pain. They will try to understand, attempt to console, try to catch you when your knees burst and you fall to the depths. But I can promise you they will not know how deeply you will drop because you are falling through your own waters and bringing your own beliefs, thoughts and regrets as your swimming companions.

I promise no one will understand your pain.

Your pain is as individual as your fingertips, your DNA and your thoughts. While many will commiserate and understand the experience of loss, they can never truly seek to understand your ownership to the individuality of your story.

If we are to help one another through grief, we must be aware that not one process is like another.  We cannot seek to know the physical and emotional results of a heart that is punctured; whether once or a thousand times over.  The choice of injurious results lies with each individual story.  Over time hearts will heal, some more quickly; while others will leave nothing more than sinew to toughen the holes and to make them impenetrable to the possibility of further bleeding.  In both there is strength. And in both we have no right in our opinion of the process.

I’ve heard it enough now in my lifetime and my career. The judgements on how the grieving can grieve.

“He’s already moved onward to a new spouse. Her body is barely cold”

We have no right.

“She’s pregnant again, so soon. She hasn’t grieved the child she lost”

We have no right.

“You are angry and not what I knew. I cannot work with what I don’t recognize”

We have no right.

“Get up from the couch. Uncurl your hands from the teddy bear. You have to keep going”

We have no right.

Until the moment that the sharp pins explode  into our own hearts, our own souls and our own understanding of what that looks like…

We have no right.

And even after that moment…

The only right we are afforded…

Is the right to finally understand that we can offer nothing to change the experience.

Nothing that is…

Except to love them through it.  Whether we disagree, we wouldn’t have done it the same way, or we think our way is better.

Their way is the only way.

Love them through it.

Love them through what they need to do in order to survive.

Surviving might be angry, risk taking or silence. Surviving might be running forward to something new. Surviving may be terror in allowing anything or anyone to come close again. Surviving might be bottled or prescribed. Surviving may be tolerable only in introversion or in dancing through the streets.  Surviving may be in dying and breathing concurrently.

Love them through it anyway.

Grief is hemorrhagic.

It shares no umbrella of the same color or shape. You can’t expect someone to stay dry using yours because it worked for you.

Love them through it.

Let them bleed.

Only they can stop the flow because only they know where the punctures exist.

Love them through it.

Love you through it.

 

Be kinder. Be more compassionate. Don’t push. Don’t force.  Be gentle. Be tolerable because understanding will be obscure.

Just love them through it.

 

Loving you through it

Tania

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Strong Soul: If Anyone Can Handle This It’s You

“I couldn’t find my words this past several months because I was out of words you expected me to say. I was out of what might feel comfortable. Comfortable for you to hear and more importantly comfortable for me to say…”

I have been struggling for months now to find my words because I thought I’d shared all that I could share to help with the process of loss. Last night I found them again. Life is all about timing. Painful yes. But a much needed lesson in allowing others to hurt authentically.

We made my best friend cry last night. Her dead sister and I. Unashamedly. Unabashedly. Uncontrollably.

It was the most painful thing I have ever experienced, and that’s saying a lot from someone whose job it is to bring you to tears.  As I watched her little face crumble into her chest I shoved my tongue hard into the roof of my mouth to distract from the heat of my own tears that were threatening to pour over my cheeks. I found myself looking upward and to the left to avoid being pulled into her discomfort. I was working and as such that demands a different part of me that cannot be taken off balance.

In one fell swoop her deceased sister had moved the conversation from laughter to profound discomfort. I was completely unprepared although I should know this energy well enough by now to have been ready for just about anything.  Over this past year since her death she has provoked me to issue ridiculous and often off color comments via text to her older sibling.

“Tell her she forgot to shave her belly button” among other things that should likely never be shared publicly.  My friend wouldn’t care what I shared here but that’s really not the purpose of my thoughts today.

I had no idea that she was in such profound pain.  She is so forthcoming about her journey through loss in her own blogs that I missed it somehow?  Maybe because we are too close to recognize it? Maybe because she is a lot like myself, she counsels the grief of others? Maybe because I hold her up as my example of how to be strong.

That’s it.

I hold all five feet of her as my idea of strength.  In fact, if I am honest about this, I can well recall the moment that her text arrived to me on the morning of her sisters tragic death. “She’s gone. My sister is gone” and the first thought that swept over me was….

“You got this girl. You got this. If anyone can handle this, its you”

I never told her that but I think she knew that’s what I was expecting.

So she did. She handled it. She swept through what had to happen in the days to follow. She got up, she brushed her teeth, she put on her eyeliner and she took charge. Exactly what I expected is exactly what she did.  I never saw her break. Not even as she stood in front of the colorful flowers and the urn at the funeral home and recited her own version of her sisters life and how she might expect others to handle her death.  And my friend handled it the way she thought her sister might expect.

She handled it the way I might expect. The way her mom might expect. The way her friends might expect. Her clients might expect.

She simply handled it.

And then last night as her sisters words about sex on the dining room table faded off into the inevitable giggles, she turned that table and took me to the truth. The room suddenly emptied of those that were physically present as I watched this little sister pull her broken older sister into her arms and rock her like a child.

And that’s not what I was expecting.  And I don’t think that’s what my five foot Wonder Woman was expecting either as her eyes darted quickly and then somehow slid down her face like wet paint and splashed into her broken heart.

In fact just this morning she recounted to me that it had all caught her off guard. Not that I needed that confirmation because it was written all over her brown eyes as she struggled to hide the fact that she knew…that I knew….

That she had been handling it because she was expected to handle it.

I knew the look.

Intimately.

And I will expect that many of you do too.

It caught me off guard too. A scene swelling in my mind of my caped crusader curled up into a ball that made her no bigger than the pillows on her couch.  With her sister in her awful polyester navy pants and bright red blouse wrapped tightly around her trying to console her pain. Not what I thought I would see. Not what my friend thought I would see either.

But something I needed to see. And something she needed to share with someone other than the little bear that was made of her sisters clothing. The little bear that was hidden under her chest as she curled up like her throw pillow.

I couldn’t find my words this past several months because I was out of words you expected me to say.  I was out of what might feel comfortable. Comfortable for you to hear and more importantly comfortable for me to say.

I’d like to thank Kerri. The little sister that died because she couldn’t hit a possum. Because her heart was too big to cause pain. Because she talked about bleaching her backside. And sex on the kitchen table.

And because she showed me what real strength looks like. It looks like a throw pillow wet with tears wrapped around a small bear. A wee Wonder Woman that breaks apart in the early hours and then unravels herself to her full five feet as the sun comes up. Brushes her teeth. Puts on her eyeliner.  And handles it the way she’s expected to.

The way I do. The way you do. The way all that feel so deeply do. Every single day.

And now I am left wondering why something so incredibly beautiful and courageous is something we don’t talk about.

Because it opens our own discomforts? Our own what’s “not expected” of us?

Perhaps.

Lets change that.  Because my intention going forward is a whole lot of….

“Well I didn’t expect that”

Of course not. Because you are doing what’s expected. In grieving, in losses, in love.

Stop it.

Show me. Show others. Show them the truth. Because they might be hiding their own.

Show us what we don’t expect you to do.  And then we can heal together.

Sending love to those that are curled up and crying before you stand up and do what’s expected.  I got ya. xo

 

Tania

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Sorry Seems To Be

“What do I gotta do to make you love me, what do I gotta do to be heard?”

***This is a difficult topic. Trigger Alert***

“What do I gotta do to make you love me, what do I gotta do to be heard?”

Elton John

This blog has been nearly a month in the making. Will I bring to it the understanding and the compassion for those that need it so much?  I don’t know, but I can only hope.

I’ve had a fairly emotionally charged few months. My client base has begun to swing to something I hadn’t quite expected in my world. The #METOO movement have found their way to me. Was I prepared for that? Not at all.  But as I sit here tonight I have to wonder at the universe and how it seems to bring us to where we  need to go. Where I needed to go. To share the words that I need to share.

They always show up so stoic. Facial expressions so perfectly stone.  I keep the tissue boxes on both sides of the chair so that they have something to find when both arms inevitably reach out in a panicked need to find something with which to stifle the embarrassment of the tears that they’ve grown so adept at hiding. But not with me. Not in my world. In my world someone from the spirit side just said “I’m so sorry” and the facade of granite slips to be replaced by the most painful tears I have ever encountered. It’s hard. It’s hard to watch this and even harder to feel this with them.

And then..like a script that has been long learned they inevitably respond with “No, no, tell them it’s fine, I understand. They don’t need to be sorry” as they dry the last tear and return to the granite expression that we started with. “I am strong. So many had it worse than me. I am unbreakable. I am OK. Don’t worry about me”  Well, you’ll forgive me beautiful souls, because I do worry about you. I worry that you feel unworthy. I worry that you feel of little value beyond that of the gratification of those that would take advantage of you. I worry that you’ll never cry like you just did for me. I worry that you can’t get your head around the words…

“I am so sorry”

And I worry that you won’t accept them because you can’t imagine the pain of breaking. So many years of wanting to hear the words, only to find yourselves unable to handle the aftermath of a heart shattering into a million pieces because you’ve learned to believe yourself unworthy of the apology at all.

And I worry that because you see yourself this way, that you will continue to perpetuate this cycle of allowing. Allowing others to take advantage in all other avenues of your life. In your work, in your relationships, in your hopes and in your dreams you hold for yourself.

And most of all, I worry that you say you understand. Because you shouldn’t have ever learned to have to understand this at all.

I simply want to wrap you into my own arms and tell you that I am sorry. From my heart, not the hearts of those that caused you such hurt. I want to say I am so sorry from  the understanding of someone that understands you.

And I do.

I understand. I understand how you hate the words. I understand how you can’t trust them. Not now, and maybe never. And I understand how very wrong that is. You deserve to know that you did nothing to create that. You deserve to say how unfair it is that you don’t know how to accept them. That you are scared to accept them. And you deserve to know that it’s OK to feel this way.

You deserve to know that you deserve to fall apart.

And…

You deserved to hear these words before you met me.

And I am sorry that I have to be the one to interpret them to you when it’s too late to hear them any other way.

To those that are broken and piling bricks to hold it all together. I see you. You are the gentlest and most compassionate humans. You have learned in your discomforts to never want to create that for someone else.  And in understanding that this is the only way to love.

I am just sorry you had to learn it the worst of ways.

For anyone that chooses to victim shame you owe a mountain of apologies also. The words “I don’t believe you” are devastating and cruel and you should be ashamed.

For anyone that has placed someone in the position of cringing at the words “I am so sorry” you have much soul searching to do to find appropriate words to fix what you so badly broke.”I am so sorry” won’t cut it because they don’t know how to believe in that.

And do it soon. Because it’s your job. Not mine.

How dare you make them wait.

Do it now. Change your words.

Because sorry seems to be the hardest one to hear…

Sending love and light to all that need it today.

Tania

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Life As A Psychic Wallflower

I’ve stood in front of no less than 5000 people in this last ten years. I am still shocked to be truthful, given that I couldn’t even pee in a public bathroom until I was 40 and only then because well..three kids..impatient bladder..there was no other option but to make peace with it.

For anyone that has seen me in a live show environment it may come as a surprise to discover that I am incredibly uncomfortable there. I am not entirely sure what I am doing up there; in fact, I am not even sure how I get there in the first place.  I simply know that someone sweeps onto the stage like she was born to it, but I seriously don’t know who that person is. The only thing that makes sense to me is that I have a spirit guide that dives in and takes over before I have the opportunity to sage them into stupidity and run off to my corner to hide. I suddenly find myself staring into the top of a microphone and off we go. I have no explanation short of divine intervention.

It tends to throw some people when they meet me in an environment  that is new to me and doesn’t come with a microphone attached.  That’s pretty much any place where people gather and it’s ten times worse when it’s people I don’t know. There can be one stranger standing in a gymnasium and I will make every effort to stealthily move along the wall like Spider man trying to avoid being noticed. If I could throw string I’d simply swing over but in the real world…I’ll just glue myself to the nearest wall and avoid all eye contact believing that I am blending in and you will not notice me. Kinda like a praying mantis. You see me, you don’t see me. Except that it works for the odd green insect. Not so much for me. I’m too big and well..I’m not green and sitting on a fruit tree.

I am the most introverted and unintentional extrovert I have ever known.

I’ve stood in front of no less than 5000 people in this last ten years. I am still shocked to be truthful, given that I couldn’t even pee in a public bathroom until I was 40 and only then because well..three kids..impatient bladder..there was no other option but to make peace with it. To this day I will still lean over to scan for feet in the stalls to each side, and then carefully hold my breath while attempting to stream like a gentle brook babbling over pebbles. This is, however, becoming increasingly difficult to do and has taken on the sound of something similar to white water rafting as I move into my mid fifties. So now I have taken to making little tutt tutt noises with my mouth to deter you from the fact that I am emptying my bladder in the stall next door.  It’s quite a life let me tell you.  Peeing incognito to not draw attention and then dancing all over a stage with your grandmother five minutes later. I still struggle with understanding it.

Try to stop me and engage me in a conversation in any situation outside of my spirit stage and I will likely stare at you like a deer caught in the headlights. “Oh lord..you need me to talk right? Oh boy..how do I do that? What do I say? Why are you talking to me at all, I am not interesting and I just know I am going to trip over my own tongue. Please just back away slowly, you’re freaking me out a little”

But wait…hand me a microphone and push me on the stage and it’s all bets off. I open my mouth and something happens that even I don’t see coming. Words tumble from my face like confetti sprays on a bride and I suddenly become witty and wise all at once.  It’s messed up, because I am not witty nor wise in any other environment. Unless I am at home. There I am both witty and wise ( and smart and absolutely adorable)  although my spouse may call it something else entirely.

I cringe..I absolutely curl up from my toes when someone in a room full of strangers says “This is my friend the medium” Oh good God no. I think that often times people assume I am trying to hide that fact as a form of being standoffish, when in truth, it’s a protective thing to avoid having to speak to you at all. You scare me because you expect something profound to drop from my mouth, and the profoundest I can do is ask you for directions to the bathroom to pee quietly.

I realized how clearly I introvert when a comment was passed at the outset of my recent travel with my work cohorts.  An additional artist that I don’t know well was coming along on this tour and as I settled into my space in the passenger seat, Sarah remarked “And now this is where Tania will just sit quietly and not say a word”.  I was a bit taken aback until I realized that she wasn’t at all wrong in that assumption. I did exactly that for probably 2/3 of that entire ten days. On our long drive home she turned to me and asked me where I was as I stared out the side window.  I replied lazily, “I’m nowhere really, neither here nor there” She stared at me for a moment before we both agreed that I am a bit of a weirdo.

Why am I sharing this with you? Well, for a couple of reasons.  One being that I don’t really wish to be a social introvert but I am and there is simply no way of getting around that. It seems to be imprinted into my DNA somehow and no matter how hard I try to rewire, it’s here to stay.  The last thing I would ever want anyone thinking is that I am aloof when in truth I am just ridiculously shy and lacking in communication skills because humans for the most part intimidate me. Dead people clearly not so much right?

Which brings me to the main reason I am sharing today.

People will often ask me how I know what I know about details of lives that I have no connection to. How I know about the orange cat that you have at home, or the fact that you absolutely love blueberries. How I know that you sleep in your spouses old socks, or that your collie just died last week. How I know that you have a tattoo over your heart when you have a shirt on that allows for no physical reason for me to know at all…

How do I know?

Because I trust completely.

Because I know myself well enough to understand that without trust I sincerely have no voice.

I have somehow developed a collaboration of trust between myself and a world that many can’t reach. I don’t know how I did it, and that’s absolute. I simply know that somehow I did or that perhaps somehow they did. What I do know with certainty is that I don’t communicate well on my own; I never have, and I doubt I ever will. But someone speaks when I grab the microphone and I know without a doubt it is not me. Crowds scare the bejesus out of me so let me assure you that whatever is happening has little to do with me personally. What I do accept with complete faith is that when I step up to that microphone that I am given an opportunity to use a gift that I have no clue how I got. I have an opportunity to actually hear my own voice. For someone such as myself,  that is the greatest gift in the world. And your loved ones give that to me. Every single time I lift the mic. And what an incredible pleasure it is to accept that.  I am grateful.

How can I not trust something as beautiful as that?

 

Please don’t follow me into the bathroom deal?

In love….

Tania.