There are "stages of grief". They are supposed to come in a particular order. Mine sure haven't. My sweetheart wasn't surprised to hear that. "You march to the beat of your own drum", he said. He also reminds me how sensitive I am, how deeply I feel and that it's okay. But becoming okay with that, accepting and nurturing that part of myself took awhile. Oh boy, it can be hard.
"It must be hard for you to exist on this plane". You've heard me talk about the intuit who said that to me nearly a decade ago. It always stayed with me. I think of it often. While I now realize I didn't grasp what that fully meant until recently, my soul shouted YES! Someone gets it, someone knows! As I read and learn in my spiritual quest, I learn that it is literally hard for me to exist on this plane. And that's just as real as anything else.
I've had a strange path, leading me to where I am now. Finally learning to live authentically. Deeply and truly authentically.
When my uncle died, the change was instant. I can't stress enough how instant it was. I also can't stress enough how profound the experience was. Seeing life and death with your own eyes, and experiencing in a group, as a family...words fail me.
I felt everything slide right into place. More visceral than I'll be able to describe. It was like the invisible shade I had all around me (and didn't even know it) was snapped up. Quick. It revealed my truth. I felt lighter. It was simple. It was so peaceful. It was love. It was right. It was authentic.
Yet I would only get there through a death.
My "nonsense" cleared.
Over the next few days, the week of the funeral, the change in the way I viewed family and roles in a family happened. A few posts back I talked about my mom. I saw her through the time at Chucks bedside at the hospital in a way I'd never seen. As a child. As a sister. When I saw her speak at the funeral, I saw her as one full of more compassion than you and I will ever understand. I saw her as love and heartbreak. I saw her as the mother, too. I hadn't looked, really looked in quite awhile. That's when my heart literally swelled with how proud I was of her. How in awe I was of what she was capable of. And that was my mother. My mother.
I learn more about my dad all the time. I begin to see beyond into the soul of him. What he's endured in his life, what he gives to those he loves, the inspiration he is to those around him. I don't think he even knows all that he has to teach. I bond with him over ideas and philosophies and books lately in a way I never knew I would. Being able to share quotes, articles, videos and trips to the bookstore with our like minds has been nothing short of incredible.
(I also feel new appreciation for being the product of both of these people. A real life manifestation of the physical and the nonphysical of them. And of them in particular. How interesting! Nothing is by chance.)
I saw my aunts and my uncle get their hearts ripped out. I saw them cry. I saw them comfort each other and be comforted. I saw parents who I'd heard yell at their son more often than not break down with the loss of love and all forgiven. I hear them say goodbye and speak their most private thoughts out loud. Hearts were speaking...and weeping. It was felt, and heard. It's a binding experience and as I've been reading about death and life after lately I realize how lucky it was for Chuck to have gone surrounded by loved ones, in a home of a sibling.
I saw my sweetheart as someone I don't ever want to take for granted and was reminded of how fortunate I am to have the love of someone like that for the last seven years. That's a big deal. I know true unconditional love. I know real love. I know real partnership. I know unwavering devotion. When you have those things, they come easy. There is no persuasion. There is nothing up for discussion. It just exists between a pair. It just is. There is a nonlocal communication between us. The connection truly transcends. And I want to keep that part of my life private for me more often than not. It is my most preciously held aspect of my life. Again, words fail me. So sometimes I say nothing in this forum of blogging / internet.
Everyone was different that day. I observed these roles in a family and started to really understand. Cycles. Of old and young, of parent and child, of life and death.
I was different.
I saw myself no longer boxed in. The old, "If I wasn't an actress, what was I? If I wasn't a performer, what was I? If I wasn't Deena Marie and Deena Marie alone, what was I?" But what was I if I already was those things, yet always searching? Why the current of not being satisfied always running just below the surface?
I was suddenly freed from the lables I'd put on myself. They'd been constraining tighter each year and I didn't know it. I suddenly had permission to be whatever I wanted. It was incredible! I don't know why that's when it truly hit me that I can do whatever it is I wanted, but it was.
I can't explain the free.
I don't have to be a label! I don't have to only do one thing. What will happen if I don't do what is expected, and I really and truly tune into my heart? What if I strip off all the stuff and live simply? Appreciate the riches I have amassed and often overlook? Such as the people in my life.
We live in a world where amassing more in the physical / materialistic plane is the norm. It is expected. It leads to a constant state of me, me, me. Of, "the grass will be greener if I can just get to the other side". But after that side is another side, and another...and another. We seek to be the best, the prettiest, the most loved. We seek this love and admiration for the sake of strangers and wave a hand at the loved ones who matter most! It's insanity!
I couldn't believe the transformation when I realized that if I wanted to shave my head, I could! Because why not? Why do we tell ourselves no, talk ourselves out of things, scare ourselves, only think ahead?
My clarity has come in a tidal wave. There have been moments this month where I want to throw my head back and laugh and shout to who ever is around me that I feel liked I'm unlocking the secrets to the universe!
I understand now that I am not my art, and my art is not me. I can detach from what I create. I can be immune to both compliment and criticism. One can't exist without the other, but both can damage in their way. In putting art out this way, it is a purely joyful experience.
Syncronicity is the invisible, magic thread of the universe. Today I came across a quote in the new People magazine of all places by one of my favorite inspirations, Shirley MacLaine. I know it was meant for me to see today.
"Acting is my avocation. My questions, my search, that is my vocation."
You'll see it, going back in my blog posts over the years. I would word it in ways like, "I hate the though I won't live to see secrets of the universe!" And "Science is where it's at! Pay attention in your math and science classes!" My search was just starting to brew. To say I was scratching the surface was an understatement. As it turns out, my search wanted me more than I knew. "What you seek is seeking you"? Hmmm....
If you would have explained this new sense of awareness, this clarity to me a year ago, even a month ago, I would't have understood. Everything in it's time. I truly believe that. I came across a new artist I've been really inspired by last week at the Art Festival, Lynden Saint Victor. "We don't know what it is we don't know," was a quote in a story behind one of his paintings.
Other times I am so sad over this death I really feel like a day won't go by that I won't cry. Then I worry for a minute that these kind of tears can't be normal. But who is to say what is normal or what can possibly be expected?
I am being much kinder to myself, truly surrendering. Experiencing each wave of emotion as it comes. I have not lived in the moment more than I have this last month. It happened so naturally. I truly believe it is our natural state to feel present and to feel joy. We are the ones who bring stress on ourselves, and the ones who can remove it and live beyond the surface.
I am learning about death as a miracle, as the other side of birth. We can't have one without the other. Opposites are all around us but yet they are so similar! Embracing that and being aware has been the greatest thing. It's a huge comfort to me because I've always been sensitive to the juxtaposition in me and in life. To know it has to be that way and that it's closely related is a sigh of relief and a huge hug.
I see the cycles and the circles. I see now how I want to be as a daughter, a niece, a cousin, a wife. I also for the first time truly see how I want to be a mother. I didn't understand that before. When I was living only in the materialistic, ego driven consciousness. I couldn't do it. I didn't want to do it. I could't make sense of what it would mean for me to assume that role. How would it change the identity I'd built? How would it change my role to my own mother? How would it affect my career? How would it affect me physically?
Having a step up into my higher consciousness and learning to dwell lightly in the body, I now crave it. I know I not only want to do it, but that I can do it (and I think I have some pretty great thoughts to pass on). I have a perfect partner for me in which to have such a profound experience with. And now I see for the first time what it means to me, to manifest a new life with the one I love and who loves me. The one I get to walk this earth with. I desire participating and contributing to the cycles of life and death. And I respect the time in which they have both come and will come, to me. I am not only ready, but longing to step outside myself. To step out and to give and share in every way.
Opposites. Always opposites. Happy and sad. Taken for granted and appreciated. Compliments and criticism. Daughter and mother. Life and death.
We need one to understand the other.
I'm starting to get it.
Tweet me: @DeenaMarie
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The Descent of Sophia Painting and story below by Lynden Saint Victor
"This painting is a mirror of the ancient Jewish myth of the soul journey known as The Descent of Sophia (the Goddess of Wisdom).
As the story goes, Sophia is a perfect spiritual being at bliss in the cosmos representing the soul. But she does not recognize the beauty of her true nature so she descends to the earthly plane to experience all of life’s trials, both bitter and sweet. During her journey she travels to the depths of despair as a prostitute only to be reminded of the joy she once knew. With her newly acquired experiences she ascends back to the cosmos only this time fully aware of the bliss of her true nature. Jesus story of the Prodigal Son is a mirror of this as well. It is Sophia who has now gained the wisdom of self awareness and is the messenger of that to all of us experiencing the earthly side of life on our journey back to the realization of our true nature.
In the painting Sophia is wearing aviator headgear signifying the journey upon which she has embarked. She is dressed on the top half in a golden blouse bedecked with jewels signifying the bliss of her life in the cosmos, however, her lower half is in the symbolic attire of the prostitute signifying her lower journey on the earthly plane. She has descended down on the balloon bringing down the embodiment of conscious awareness to a humanity still in it’s early stages of evolution operating within a sphere of instinctually programmed survival mechanisms signified by the little robot. As she presents the balloon to the little robot he is united with his conscious awareness and suddenly his caged instincts are released as signified by all the blackbirds flying out of his birdcage mid-section. All that remains are two love birds gathered together within the cage in the shape of a heart."