The young lady needed a blanket, a blanket of warmth, security and forgiveness. She needed the kindness and care never shown her and although this world tried to strip her of her ability, she learned how to give these things to herself. She weaved her blanket of compassion and wore it regularly.
Life was good. Joy and laughter, self-love and love for others were abound! Occasionally someone would come along and steal her blanket. They would exchange this blanket for shame, doubt and insecurity … her inner temple walls would begin to fail.
After many times, she learned how to quickly weave a new blanket for herself, to rebuild her inner temple. She would bless this blanket and what it represented. As she weaved, she would love it and fill it with forgiveness and acceptance, love and joy.
And she would see clearly the pain in the others which caused them to steal her blanket.
“I remember before I tried meth, I asked people what it was like. They said “it’s like a burst of energy, a rush that takes your breath, it’s the best feeling ever, I don’t know how to explain it really.’ And they were right, but now if someone were to ever ask me what it’s like, I would tell them..
‘It’s like spending every single penny you ever had, on drugs.
It’s like going days without eating even though you were starving, but you needed dope more.
It’s like having to lie to every family and friend you had ever had.
It’s like waking up hating yourself from the shame and guilt.
It’s like going into withdrawals every 8 hours unless you had more dope to do. (And you usually didn’t)
It’s like never attending any family event because you were too high or too sick.
It’s like everyone eventually stopped inviting you to events. And even talking to you.
It’s like crying yourself to sleep every single night because your children got taken.
It’s like knowing you have one more chance to get better before your child gets adopted and still choosing that bag.
It’s like asking others how your own blood child is doing.
It’s watching everyone around you succeed and yet you’re crumbling.
It’s like everything was on your drug dealers time. If they said five hours. You’ll wait five hours in a car.
It’s like stealing everything worth value for dope. No matter how sentimental it was to you, or someone else.
It’s like losing so much weight you can’t fit into any of your clothes.
It’s like losing everything you’ve ever owned in your entire life.
It’s like nobody believing a word you said, even if it was the truth.
It’s like being a prisoner inside your own head.
It’s like contemplating suicide every single day.
It’s like never being scared to die, because that’s what you wanted.
It’s like trying to shut your brain up for even five minutes. It was worth that little time of peace.
It’s like seeing your family cry for you to stop, only for you to leave and go get high. Because stopping wasn’t an option. It wasn’t possible.
It’s like you’d do absolutely anything for more. And you did.
It’s like everyone hating you no matter where you went, because they knew you were a drug addict.
You’ll miss out on your children and they’ll be grown before you Know it. You’d kill for your child and do any and everything for them yet you won’t be able to get clean for them and we actually turn out to be the ones who hurt them the most.
It’s like overdosing and going to get high right after.
It’s like walking into rehab 100 pounds with the clothes on your back and being scared to death.
It’s like giving your ENTIRE LIFE AWAY.
So if you’re ever curious like I was, please at least know the truth. CURIOSITY KILLED THE CAT, and it WILL KILL YOU TOO”
** Below, Added by me … learned through experience …
Even when you heal, they will still see you as that being who allowed this evil thing steal your mind, your body, and your soul. And they will insist you carry the shame if it, rather than embrace the new you, the new you that you fought long and hard for. The you, that everyone gave up on, except you. And you will have to face the fact they can no longer be in your world. Not because of addiction, because it is gone now. But because they cannot see you as anything other than the one who suffered, and caused suffering. Addiction is a very lonely, hard road. Because once you turn from those who claim to love you, their love becomes tainted, and will rarely be pure again. They will never see the new you, no matter how much time goes by in which you have poured every ounce of effort into a new and improved you. And so, they must be released, along with the shame and self loathing, because they will always expect you to embrace this shame and self loathing, and they will help you by soul punching you with their judgement, never ending judgement.
It is a true blessing when others who have healed, or helped others heal, share their truest compassion for you. When you were certain this life would be finished, walking solo all the rest of your days.
When we begin to support and foster healing and positive change in our life, being steadfast, true, showing Creator we are serious about living this life right (this will take time) … He will send you others who will share experience, compassion and care, which will facilitate continued growth and healing … at which point your own journey will help facilitate healing in others, as well.
I turn off the floor lamp and walk around lighting the evening candles. I tell Alexa to play Soldeggio frequency station and stand in the middle of my living room.
I begin to do stretches and bends, breathing deliberately, intently. My body warms, my tension lifts.
The burning sage has filled the room with its Smokey aroma. I open the door and let it escape. I light some cedar and smudge myself, allowing the room to receive its healing properties as well.
A message arrives. “Look around. This is your life, what do you see?”
My eyes rest on every item. Everything on the wall has a memory, an event, a creation moment. Everything has meaning. I notice hearts everywhere, books galore, a totem pole right in my living room … all treasured items.
Father Time, Love, Friends, Protectors, sacred items significant to intension and prayer. Candles lit in honor of the night, gentle glow, ease of mind.
I speak out my prayer, sincere, earnest. I ask to be led to the lesson in this current situation, I desire to learn and am eager to understand.
It seems time is of the essence. Old patterns and habitual scenarios must be eliminated. All that hooks the attention and drags the pure energies downward must be cast aside.
The health and wellness of my own being, in my own relation with Creator, and all that IS, must come first. When this becomes healthy once more, all toxins attached to energy will dissipate.
I see hopes, and dreams … those that have been, and those yet to be. I see joy and peace, I see comfort and ease. I see that which I am grateful for, the wonders of being, and I surround myself with these memories, thought provoking potentials.
Any moment I can DO … and I can choose a different form of doing, such as this writing.
It isn’t just “stuff” although I could live without it. It reminds me of what I find meaning in, what I wish to create more of in this life, it helps me remember the song of my heart.
I envision the Goddess Mother cradling the earth to her stomach, loving it, caressing it. I say, “Thank you Mother”. I think on the missing and murdered indigenous women, indeed, all of the women who have suffered battery and death. I give them my heart.
The whole world is crazy, and it is all in my head.
People suffering “madness”, feeling like they are the only “sane” ones on the planet.
I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn’t been enough money to buy me the rifle that I’d wanted for Christmas.
We did the chores early that night for some reason. I just figured Daddy wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible. After supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Daddy to get down the old Bible.
I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn’t in much of a mood to read Scriptures. But Daddy didn’t get the Bible instead he bundled up again and went outside. I couldn’t figure it out because we had already done all the chores. I didn’t worry about it long though I was too busy wallowing in self-pity.
Soon he came back in. It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard. “Come on, Matt,” he said. “Bundle up good, it’s cold out tonight.” I was really upset then. Not only wasn’t I getting the rifle for Christmas, now he was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see. We’d already done all the chores, and I couldn’t think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this. But I knew he was not very patient at one dragging one’s feet when he’d told them to do something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got my coat. Mommy gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house. Something was up, but I didn’t know what..
Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled. Whatever it was we were going to do wasn’t going to be a short, quick, little job. I could tell. We never hitched up this sled unless we were going to haul a big load. Daddy was already up on the seat, reins in hand. I reluctantly climbed up beside him. The cold was already biting at me. I wasn’t happy. When I was on, Daddy pulled the sled around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed. He got off and I followed.
“I think we’ll put on the high sideboards,” he said. “Here, help me.” The high sideboards! It had been a bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high side boards on.
Then Daddy went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood – the wood I’d spent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and then all Fall sawing into blocks and splitting. What was he doing? Finally I said something. I asked, “what are you doing?” You been by the Widow Jensen’s lately?” he asked. Mrs.Jensen lived about two miles down the road. Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight. Sure, I’d been by, but so what?
Yeah,” I said, “Why?”
“I rode by just today,” he said. “Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They’re out of wood, Matt.” That was all he said and then he turned and went back into the woodshed for another armload of wood. I followed him. We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it. Finally, he called a halt to our loading then we went to the smoke house and he took down a big ham and a side of bacon. He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait. When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand.
“What’s in the little sack?” I asked. Shoes, they’re out of shoes. Little Jakey just had gunny sacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning. I got the children a little candy too. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a little candy.”
We rode the two miles to Mrs.Jensen’s pretty much in silence. I tried to think through what Daddy was doing. We didn’t have much by worldly standards. Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it. We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn’t have any money, so why was he buying them shoes and candy? Really, why was he doing any of this? Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us; it shouldn’t have been our concern.
We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door. We knocked. The door opened a crack and a timid voice said, “Who is it?” “Lucas Miles, Ma’am, and my son, Matt, could we come in for a bit?”
Mrs.Jensen opened the door and let us in. She had a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The children were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly gave off any heat at all. Mrs.Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp.
“We brought you a few things, Ma’am,” Daddy said and set down the sack of flour. I put the meat on the table. Then he handed her the sack that had the shoes in it. She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out one pair at a time. There was a pair for her and one for each of the children – sturdy shoes, the best, shoes that would last. I watched her carefully. She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started running down her cheeks. She looked up at my Daddy like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn’t come out.
“We brought a load of wood too, Ma’am,” he said. Then turned to me and said, “Matt, go bring in enough to last awhile. Let’s get that fire up to size and heat this place up.” I wasn’t the same person when I went back out to bring in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat and as much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes too. In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks with so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn’t speak.
My heart swelled within me and a joy that I’d never known before filled my soul. I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had made so much difference. I could see we were literally saving the lives of these people.
I soon had the fire blazing and everyone’s spirits soared. The kids started giggling when Daddy handed them each a piece of candy and Mrs.Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn’t crossed her face for a long time. She finally turned to us. “God bless you,” she said. “I know the Lord has sent you. The children and I have been praying that he would send one of his angels to spare us.”
In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again. I’d never thought of my Daddy in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it I could see that it was probably true. I was sure that a better man than Daddy had never walked the earth. I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Mommy and me, and many others. The list seemed endless as I thought on it.
Daddy insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left. I was amazed when they all fit and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get. Then I guessed that if he was on an errand for the Lord that the Lord would make sure he got the right sizes.
Tears were running down Widow Jensen’s face again when we stood up to leave. My Daddy took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug. They clung to him and didn’t want us to go. I could see that they missed their Daddy and I was glad that I still had mine.
At the door he turned to Widow Jensen and said, “The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow. The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals. We’ll be by to get you about eleven. It’ll be nice to have some little ones around again. Matt, here, hasn’t been little for quite a spell.” I was the youngest. My two brothers and two sisters had all married and had moved away.
Mrs.Jensen nodded and said, “Thank you, Brother Miles. I don’t have to say, May the Lord bless you, I know for certain that He will.”
Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn’t even notice the cold. When we had gone a ways, Daddy turned to me and said, “Matt, I want you to know something. Your Mother and me have been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn’t have quite enough.
Then yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square. Your Mom and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that, but on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunny sacks and I knew what I had to do. Son, I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand.”
I understood, and my eyes became wet with tears again. I understood very well, and I was so glad Daddy had done it. Now the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities. He had given me a lot more. He had given me the look on Mrs. Jensen’s face and the radiant smiles of her three children. For the rest of my life, Whenever I saw any of the Jensens, or split a block of wood, I remembered, and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside of my Daddy that night. He had given me much more than a rifle that night, he had given me the best Christmas of my life..
Tonight I broke out the ol’ cast iron skillet, plopped in a few scoops of left over beans and rice, smashed ‘em up and added cheese, and wahlah, bean burritos like we used to eat years ago when I lived in the wilderness.
Memories are great. I really loved those burritos back then, even if I did have to shred two and a half pounds of cheese for them. (Back then, ALL cheese was in blocks, none of this pre-shredded stuff).
After supper I sit and read from the book, “How to Love” by Thich Nhat Hanh. This particular passage strikes me, for I am nearly completely immersed in the stage of, your suffering is mine also, and I see it everywhere I go.
And so I practice. I practice understanding my own, relating it to what I see, working to heal past traumas and triggers, so that someday, in combination with the work others are doing also, this suffering in the world might be eased, if not lifted.
The Four Elements of Love
LovingKindness ~ The first element of true love is loving kindness. The essence of loving kindness is being able to offer happiness. You can be the sunshine for another person. You can’t offer happiness until you have it for yourself. So build a home inside by accepting yourself and learning to love and heal yourself. Learn how to practice mindfulness in such a way that you can create moments of happiness and joy for your own nourishment. Then you have something to offer the other person.
Compassion ~ The second element of true love is compassion. Compassion is the capacity to understand the suffering in ones self and in the other person. If you understand your own suffering, you can help him to understand his suffering. Understanding suffering brings compassion and relief. You can transform your suffering and help transform the suffering of the other person with the practice of mindfulness and looking deeply.
Joy ~ The third element of true love is the capacity to offer joy. When you know how to generate joy, it nourishes you, and nourishes the other person. Your presence is an offering, like fresh air, or spring flowers, or the bright blue sky.
Equanimity ~ The fourth element of true love is equanimity. We can also call it inclusiveness or non-discrimination. In a deep relationship there is no longer a boundary between you and the other person. You are her and she is you. Your suffering is her suffering. Your understanding of your own suffering helps your loved one to suffer less. Suffering and happiness are no longer individual matters. What happens to your loved one happens to you. What happens to you happens to your loved one.
“Love is something that you can leave behind you when you die. It’s that powerful.”
— John (Fire) Lame Deer, ROSEBUD LAKOTA
The Old Ones say, love is all anyone needs. Love doesn’t go away nor can love be divided. Once you commit an act of love, you’ll find it continues. Love is like setting up dominos one behind the other. Once you hit the first domino, it will touch the second one which will touch the third one and so on. Every love act or love thought has an affect on each person as well as touching the whole world. If you live a life filled with love, the results will affect your friends, relatives, and other people, even after you go to the other side. So… Love.
My Creator, let me love. Let me put into action the love dominos.