Extraordinary healing happens when we no longer get burned by the fire that once enflamed us.
Every one of us will have at least one person in our biological family that becomes our greatest teacher through some form of deep friction. That’s where our toughest teachers are planted, and purposely so, for our spiritual growth. The fascinating part is that if we end up learning in the most positive way for ourselves from that teacher, the teacher can also become our student as a result of the interaction. Choosing to learn and change is an option of free will, of course. All this is a gift, painful as it may be. The time I knew would come had arrived, signaled by the onset of one telephone call. My father had cancer. I’d known half my life that my beloved Dad would transition before Mom, just like I knew when I was 8 years old that my maternal grandmother would be the first in the family to cross over. Dad had never been ill aside from the occasional seasonal cold. Then when he was three years short of rounding the bend to 90, cancer began claiming his body. But this isn’t going to be about Dad’s overcoming cancer. He didn’t. Mom wouldn’t acknowledge that then because she couldn’t. After all, she and Dad had been married over 60 years, and she had always been able to control everything. This story is about the journey of coming home full circle to complete a healing that began as a child and could only be triggered by my father’s departing journey. I suddenly saw the greater picture of how everything was connected — one thing happens that sparks another to open the door for opportunity — realizing that if that first situation hadn’t occurred, those future opportunities would not have appeared! A spiritual rippling effect of karmic potential was in action. See what I’m saying? What we do with these synchronistic possibilities are wholly up to us depending upon our availability to positively engage at a higher point of conscious awareness. I was about to discover how spiritually strong I was in my identity and emotionally detached I could be with my mother, because she was going to need me for the first time. I would witness the results of my own healing, growth and forgiveness by being present to meet her need, based on her willingness to be vulnerable enough to reach out in her loss of my father and her loss of control. Growing up around my mother was extremely difficult. She appeared as a great shadow of mystery to me as a child. She was tall to begin with for a woman of her generation, around 5’8”, a beautiful woman, wide sky blue eyes, fair complexion and dark chestnut hair. Educated and intelligent, simple tailored elegance in her attire; she loved books, and loved to read. I was blessed to have access to classical literature, poetry, art, and history. We always had a small library. But I never knew Mom — we never bonded like a mother and daughter should. I did however, clearly feel and experience her anger and need to control others. Some inner agitation was usually cooking below the surface on a low flame that might flare up, exaggerated in its sharp intensity. Her anger was expressed in a glaring, usually quiet, and detached fashion, void from engaging in intimate discourse, so no one ever knew why everyday human irritations would rile her so. She wasted no extra time, as her method was to be quick to bite and it was simply over. No discussion. It was as if she wanted nothing to interfere with her personal world. She frequently talked in soft whispers to the invisible receiver of her secrets. Someone I couldn’t see. The clock on the wall, the air in front of her, or the chair she sat in, were privy to her words. Yet sometimes, she seemed to whisper in a gentler, more melancholy tone. As an intuitive empath, I deeply felt her feelings, even when she didn’t appear to others like anything was amiss. She carried it safe inside her, and as a result, would fend off anyone who tried to break through. She was aware that I knew and could feel her, and that consequently distanced me further from her. It wasn’t until I was a grown woman in my mid 30’s when I began to comprehend that Mom was afraid of me at the same time I was afraid of her. My fear was being consumed by her emotions. Her fear was that someone might reach inside her. I came to also understand that fear lurked behind all anger — the anger that’s used as a front to hide fear. I grew in courage to confront her when I became ill with Lyme disease and declared some personal boundaries that Mother could no longer cross, and consequently had no contact with her for years until I heard her voice on the other end of the phone connection, reporting Dad’s cancer. Those years of my journey in healing and spiritual growth were about to be tested on the woman who coolly crossed everyone’s boundaries, but had barricades of her own. I was being offered a gift to practice a deeper compassion and emotional detachment because my journey taught me that we cannot change anyone — only ourselves. I could trust that I would take good care of myself within those boundaries she could never again cross. And I would not need her to be anyone but herself. I could symbolically hold her in my arms with words of kindness and touch the beautiful face I was once frightened of, because circumstances sparked her to reach out, and I was finally practiced and armed with the knowledge in how to move her energy away from me with detachment, instead of absorbing its heat to my bones. Carolyn Myss, one of our great modern day spiritual teachers, well expressed the ingredient of returning home when she said, “The act of forgiveness is the act of returning to present time. And that’s why when one has become a forgiving person, and has managed to let go of the past, what they’ve really done is shifted their relationship with time.” We can truly return home and do what needs to be done to help the family and ourselves when the universe presents us with the situation that sparks the opportunity for a greater healing that was synchronistic in its presentation in time. Did my mother become the student as a result of my growth and example? Now that story hasn’t fully revealed itself, but the opportunities are richly before her! What I do know for certain is that she was present in my life to be one of my greatest agitators in teaching me how to empower myself and stand strongly in my identity without fear, to be courageously and creatively independent and free because she really wasn’t. She helped prepare me for who I am today. I am grateful. I can say that I’m always living my future now. When we contemplate the meaning and purpose of our lives, we can look at life in spiritual terms and no longer define our world as chaotic or ourselves as pure victims of circumstance. There is purpose in everything. Its potential is always present right beyond our level of awareness, waiting for our acknowledgement and choices to create something wonderful. Look for those spiritual gifts of opportunity as they are presented. It’s usually karma in action! Affirmation for this month — Forgiveness By removing myself from conflict and no longer engaging in it, helps clear the conflict and pain. By pardoning myself and others today, all wounds become cleansed and healed. I now reclaim my peace. Live in beauty and be well – Triza Schultz
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Cultivating Certainty: During Significant Transformational Times by Triza Schultz