All holidays can be tough for people who have experienced abuse, neglect, or rejection by their own parents, the people who are supposed to love them the most. Of course our parents are only human, they will make mistakes in raising us, and in navigating the sometimes strange tides of adult child to parent relationship. Neither family relationships, nor life itself, rarely resemble the idyllic world of a Hallmark movie. But there are some parents who commit true evil toward their children. Remembering the rejection of a mother can be particularly painful on the Mother’s Day holiday.
I just quit my day job at the preschool where I have worked for the last year. The situation became very suffocating, and I have better opportunities ahead of me. Here are my feelings.
The Empty Room
I look upon the empty room,
A room exhaling silence
of child voices
The room sees
Eyes pour over lesson plans.
All the educational demands.
A told B and B told C
about the spontaneous ecstasy,
the momentary lessons be
of childhood wonder.
She sat on the corner of the bench, fidgeting nervously as she waited for the bus.
I was a graduate student, studying music. I had left my car at home that afternoon and taken the bus to school for the week’s masterclass.
I had performed from the bottom of my heart. But the masterclass teacher had ripped apart my performance, picking at the length of my eighth notes and the sloppy edges of my articulation. Tiny details, but enough to make or break someone in the cutthroat world of classical music. And he should know. He was renowned in the music world, he had performed big gigs with big orchestras. My dream. Or was it? Now I found myself at the bus stop, warm tears threatening to overflow my eyes onto my cold cheeks in the brisk Michigan autumn.
The Negative Side of Reiki
I often talk about the power of Love and the connection with the universal oneness that a Reiki session can facilitate. Most Reiki practitioners say that Reiki is a pure healing energy and cannot produce any harm.
But some people have experienced negative and even life-threatening side effects from Reiki treatments. Why? The answer is found in the energy and connection of the Reiki practitioner. The biggest disrupter of pure energy is greed. Money. The lust for power, or even the fear of not having enough. Stay far away from any practitioner of Reiki or any form of healing who is all about the money or shows signs of greed.
Is pain something to be avoided at all costs? Or can pain be my friend, my teacher, my companion on the spiritual journey?
Where does pain come from? This is a deep question that neither doctors nor philosophers can adequately answer. If I cut my finger or place my hand on a hot iron, my nerves fire lightning-speed, and my brain tells my muscles to withdraw. This is a natural protective response in our physical bodies to protect us from physical harm. Scientists call it the sympathetic nervous system.
Spring is my favorite season. I enjoy feeling the wind tickling my leaves and the sun warming my branches. I enjoy watching the flowers popping up around my roots, adding their blues, yellows, purples to the newly-green grass, like a bunch of crayons in a child’s world. Spring is innocent and new. Spring is a child.
Summer is nice, too. I especially like the summer evenings, a cool blanket of darkness chasing away the thick heat. I dream of the starry constellations carrying me away to the realm of mystery and spirit, timelessness, peace. I especially like when the owls light on my branches, their deep voices echoing the wisdom of time past and future. I have never experienced the ocean, but I have known whispers from the coastal trees, and I imagine the owls and the whales singing the same haunting songs calling for the harmony and healing on earth.
This is a story that I created for a writing class that I am taking. The teacher challenged us to use a shoe as metaphor, and this is my response. Several years ago, when I was a music student in graduate school, a marathon runner, and a wounded soul just beginning to discover my path of healing, I experienced a brutal ankle injury. Here is my memory of that time.
The shoe sits by my door, new dust of neglect mixing with the old dust of races won and lost. The shoe looks lonely, like a puppy waiting by the door, leash in mouth, looking for her owner to come home for a walk. But the outing will have to wait for a brighter day.
When I heard the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case, I wept. I wept for my country, I wept for my family, I wept for Trayvon’s family, I wept for Trayvon. “No justice. No peace,” mirrored in crystal tears.
I weep for America. The case is a black and white portrayal of the racism still deeply ingrained in American society, a farce of everything that is called justice. The verdict echoes through the hallowed halls of abolition, civil rights, affirmative action, and every other progress we claim to have made in America. The cry for equality returns void, the pound of the gavel snuffing out the life of so many Trayvons now and forward.
Healing is a journey taken deep within. Your body holds the memories of all the pains and injustices felt throughout your life. Pain can be covered up by a pill or bandage, but to get rid of pain completely, you must do the hard work of processing and forgiving traumas.
Sometimes the healer needs healing. This is the case in my own life. Although I do Reiki over others, I need its power for myself as well. Today on the 4th of July, I woke up with a swollen, droopy, teary eye. It is painful, but more annoying than harmful. Still, my eye is trying to tell me something. I placed a cold compress to ease the pain, and I sat down to meditate. I thought back to last year on the 4th of July.