Silver linings

It’s been a very painful few weeks but I am very grateful for the silver linings that have emerged as a result of my son’s hospitalisation. Whilst it’s been very far from ideal, my son has been calmer than he has in a while, a combination of the right medication plus 24/7 carers who he responds well to and a room and bathroom of his own (albeit off a busy ward). I am also grateful for all the professionals who have worked so hard to find a better solution for my lovely boy while not dehumanising him for the difficulties he has that led to being in hospital in the first place. He has a new placement in the autumn but it’s still a building site, so we have to wait. In the meantime he has a temporary arrangement in his previous home with the support of 24/7 carers. He should be discharged early next week.

Other relatives sadly chose not to visit, which meant me going every other day to do his washing and bring him food (he was not eating any of the hospital food). I wish others had shown their presence to my son, but I am grateful for the opportunity to really be a mother to him for the first time in many years, probably since my health forced me to give him to his father full time. My visits were positive. We bonded for the first time in a few years. He was pleased to see me and at one point lay his legs across my lap. I can’t put in words how much this all means. It has helped heal my fragile heart from all the pain of parenting, the loss and struggle of bringing him up, the feelings of disconnection that arose from only seeing him once a week and having to get past the obstacles of his dad and grandmother who often made it hard for me to visit. Moreover, it was a relief after the pain of visiting him in the assisted living accommodation where he wanted me to leave as soon as I arrived. Now I know this wasn’t personal but a reaction to his frustration and pain at living in an environment which felt out of control and that he couldn’t cope with.

I am so grateful to God/the Divine for all these silver linings in such an awful situation. I just hope and pray that my son’s discharge goes well and he thrives during the temporary placement and when he goes to the new one in the autumn.

A miracle

My dog had her cardiac ultrasound today. I already knew she was improving. Since Saturday her frailty has been less evident and she has shown more inclination to move around at home and more enthusiasm on her daily walk. Whilst she is still far from as energetic as she was before 4th December, more and more signs of the old Zoey are returning with each passing day.

Prior to this scan, two vets on two separate occasions picked up an arrhythmia. Today, the ultrasound detected no issues with the structure of the heart and an EKG found no evidence of an arrhythmia at all. This doesn’t mean there isn’t an arrhythmia because any scan is but a snapshot of course. Plus she had been exceptionally frail and had a very fast heartrate on moving in the mornings up until last weekend, which meant she had to lay in her dog bed and recover before starting her day. She had lost a lot of muscle power and was exhibiting rapid eye movements while wide awake. There was something going on, perhaps a stroke, but whatever that something was/is, she is now improving every day.

I don’t know if it would have happened anyway or it has to do with the amount of prayers and healing sent her way. It doesn’t matter which. My mind might never know or understand. The main thing is that she is recovering, and it FEELS like a miracle. Before she became ill I had started re-reading Marianne Williamson’s Return to Love, a beautiful interpretation of ‘A Course in Miracles,’ where it states that a miracle is “a shift in perception from fear to love.” I love that. It reminds me that love is the energy of life, and by letting go of fear, which is incredibly hard to do, we open the way for our highest good and the highest good of others to emerge, instead of being blocked against. We have faith in the cycle of life instead of clinging and resisting it. We learn to dance with life and feel the light of our souls rather than the heaviness of pain and fatigue. None of it is easy yet it’s the simplest and most natural experience there is – returning to the love that we are.

It now feels like a miracle that I have more time with my special dog, no matter how long that time ends up being. I have taken care of her in the best ways that I know how. It has not been easy; I have been in tears at the thought of not having her in my life. It would be like losing my right arm. The emptiness at home would be unbearable. Despite all this, I tried not to succumb to fear and to trust that if it was her time, it was her time, and with that understanding and faith I would be okay. Fortunately it was not her time. She is still living her life fully and her little body is regaining strength. Love was sent her way and for that I am grateful. A miracle, for sure.

Birthday blessings and realisations

Last Friday was my birthday which is a day that has historically been a source of sadness, longing and other painful emotions, as well as gratitude for the people who cared and wanted to spend some of the day with me. This year is the first where I have experienced no painful emotions at all, only happiness and gratitude for those many people who thought of me and made it special by sending cards, gifts or, in the case of one good friend, met up with me despite having no money! I am so grateful for them all.

I am also more aware than ever that that day merely marks the incarnation of me in this particular lifetime and I am so much more than that. It doesn’t mean diminishing the importance of my birthday to the part of me who needs it, but remembering it is only one facet of my existence. My soul exists beyond this lifetime: it is part of the Divine and thus has always existed and always will exist. This life, this personality, my experiences in this lifetime, are one colour in a spectrum of many. When I lose sight of this for too long and attach to my personal history as being the totality of who I am, I will suffer. When I embrace my history as part of my soul’s many journeys through many lifetimes, I am free.

This said, my birthday has enabled me to take stock of this lifetime and what wish to experience (within the bounds of what is possible). I’ve decided to join the dating scene again for the first time since before the pandemic and put myself out there, even though it terrifies me. I still fear rejection on an emotional level, despite all I know spiritually. This is because my inner child still longs to belong and be accepted, as much as I am working on accepting myself and belonging to my own sense of being. I have enough self awareness to give myself to a relationship without becoming enmeshed or wanting to back away. At least, that is the hope. I’m an HSP and empath, so relationships have historically been hard, leaving me needing to back away to get some space. Maybe I will find someone who functions on a similar wavelength so we understand each other. That is my birthday message to the Universe: I will experience a healthy, connected, loving relationship where we both understand the wholeness of love that is in our hearts and share it freely. So be it.

Acceptance and gratitude

Gratitude helps me stop and take stock of what’s positive and working in my life on days when it’s hard to see past what is far from ideal or I wish was different in some way.

It’s too easy to fall into lamenting what seems wrong or feeling jealous of what others have that I wish I had.

Being grateful for my lot doesn’t mean pretending my feelings are any different than they are or denying they even exist; the last thing anyone needs is to feel bad for having feelings that simply ARE.

Acceptance is the key. In accepting where I am right now, I let the feelings flow, allowing my heart to open and space for new perspectives and experiences to emerge. This is when gratitude can take shape within us as we realise we’re always guided by the Divine to be the best we can be, even when life is unbearably tough. We’re never alone.

In the words of the serenity prayer:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

So be it.