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Evolving from Fight or Flight

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Most of my life I’ve struggled seeing the beautiful life right in front of me.

Joyful moments.  They never rang true.  Never lasted.   If I waited long enough or just peered around the corner I’d see the bad things coming.  I’d create them if I had to.

I was stuck in the belief pattern that Good things don’t happen to me.  Good people don’t happen to me.  I don’t deserve to be Loved.

As a child I lived in constant fear.  I was always in Fight or Flight mode.  There was no downtime.  Either parent could blow at any given time.  Sometimes separate and sometimes together.  You did everything with one ear open.  Listening for trouble.  Ready to hide when it came, if you were fast enough to get out of the way.   If not, you better be ready to fight.

We are genetically engineered for Fight or Flight.  It’s how we have survived since the beginning of time.  When that DNA is fired up as children we end up carrying it, like a torch,  into our adult life.  Drawing to us the same kinds of relationships that require us to rely on that familiar response system.  There’s some comfort knowing your terrain.

For me, it took a dark knight of the soul to break free from those patterns.  A complete breakdown of everything I knew to be true and a rebuild of my thoughts and beliefs.   I didn’t do this alone.  I got myself a great therapist who helped me unpack a few shipping containers of trauma.

I still have moments where I’m feeling absolute Joy and my brain will start wandering into dark territory.  I’ll see it.  Recognize that it’s Fear.  Breath deeply and let it go with my breath.  Touch my heart.  Give myself permission to be happy.  Really happy.  In every cell of my body.

I bring myself back to the moment I’m in and focus my thoughts on just that.  The Bliss.  I remind myself that I really do deserve to feel all the joy that comes to me.  All the love.  I’ll say the words out loud.  “You deserve this Joy.  You deserve this Love”.  Breath.

Fight or Flight.  I see you.  I just don’t need you anymore.  There’s been an Evolution.

Then comes the gratitude.  The overwhelming gratitude for a beautiful Joy filled life.

 

 

 

The Fear of Loss

No matter what happens around me, or to me, as long as I am alive enough to see the sun and the moon rising I can still grow and love and life is amazing regardless of Loss.


This week I stood, once again, over a hospital bed watching my Mom recover from an over indulgence of Doctor Prescribed Medication and Budweiser.  Her face a puffy caricature of the  beautiful high cheek-boned person I knew.   Once perfect lips, dry and cracked and almost undetectable except for the tongue that keeps darting out as she tries to form what I can only guess are words, a hopelessly failed attempt to convince the doctor she has Food Poisoning.  Her eyes yellowed and blood shot, an obvious cry of help from a Liver that seems almost ready to take a permanent vacation from a body that has become way too much work to maintain.  Nicotine stained fingers tinged with a hint of blue, her lungs are not awake enough to take in air but not dead enough to completely stop.

I just want to go home.

I stand there looking at My Dad, who is studying the lines on the floor as if they are going to give him the secret answer to the Universe and think, “You watch her sober up or die.  Not me.  You are the one lying to the doctors.  You know the Truth.  Why will you not share it?”  He catches me staring and I see Fear.  It has rendered him speechless.  I want to slap him.

So I walk to the nurses station and tell them her real story.  The truth that she has been struggling with prescription drug addiction for 15+ years.

Plenty of Fluids later and she has recovered miraculously from ‘Food Poisoning’.  They are going to walk her and then she will be released.  It’s no longer an emergency.  This time I don’t beg the doctor to send her to rehab.  I’m not angry.  I’m not really anything except tired.

The next day we have our ‘day after’ talk where I tell her she’s going to die and ask if that’s the Legacy she wishes to leave behind.  I remind her that her mother died from a cocktail of alcohol and pills.  She cries.  She tells me she’s sorry and it won’t happen again.

It’s the same as always. The only difference this time is that I have let go of the Fear of losing her.  I have let go of the responsibility to try to make her sober.  I have let go.

I hug her like it might be the last time I ever see her, because it might.  I look into her hungover eyes and will her to understand that she is loved.

I walk away without any Fear of Loss and I walk back to my life where the birds are chirping, bees are buzzing, my dog is farting, my kids are calling and my husband is hammering on something in the kitchen.

No loss, except my own life, will kill me.  There is Freedom in that Truth.

The Man in the Pink Hat

 

The man in the Pink Hat

My New Years resolution isn’t to manifest a career or a box of money on my front porch.  It’s not to lose weight, regardless of the fact that I still need to. I’m not going to join a bookclub or the gym or start eating Vegan.

I’m going to do something I’ve never done before.

I’m going to allow the People that love me,  to Love me.

I’m going to Nurture the friendships that make me feel good about being alive and being ME.

I will build myself a circle of Friends that allows me to express myself without shutting me down or off, encouraging relationships that are light and easy, filled with laughter and good talks.  I believe they  exist, we just have to allow them.

This will be my year of love and listening and long walks with the man in the Pink Hat.

 

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