I hope you’re well and enjoying the snowstorms amongst the flowers (if you’re in Montana :), or the gift of rain where life finds you.
Listen, listen to the rain drop fall on the leaf. It is the sound of perfect union with God.
(If you missed the last post Part Four: Igniting the Fire of Truth and Hope click here before reading on.)
I left off the winter of 2021, looking for hope and inspiration among the chaos of the last few years, while, unknowingly, the activist within me was born.
But before I move on further into the unfolding of 2021, there is one more piece of 2020 that needs to be shared.
I wasn’t planning on telling this part – at least little i (ego) said I wasn’t going to tell it – but it is a foundational piece of the cocoon I was in for the last two years.
Part of it involves shame. Silence feeds shame so it’s coming out of the closet.
I had been renting out my house at different times over the last 20 years while I traveled for work and pleasure.
More recently, after intuition had guided me to stop coaching in 2019, I had taken advantage of the Airbnb boom and used that platform for income, my cute bungalow in downtown Bozeman being a perfect vacation rental.
In April of 2020, one month after the pandemic started, intuition told me no more renting of my house even though it was still in demand and easily rentable.
“I’m in California camping with mom, why can’t I rent it? I thought.
It made no sense.
When I asked intuition why, the knowing response was, “There needs to be a shift of energy with the house.”
I yelled back, “That doesn’t pay the mortgage!!”
I was beside myself with stress. Bills were due soon.
I tried everything I could think of…how about a long term renter? how about a single renter or couple renters? how about week long renters? how about a renter with no pets?
But I kept getting the same calm and compassionate response…No.
I even qualified for the pandemic relief fund, but guess what intuition said to that? No.
So why not go against my intuition? Because when intuition says No, it often says so with a sharp pain and angst in my chest which won’t go away until I listen to it. It can make life not worth living.
This was one of those times.
“A road a person must walk is not always of their own choosing. It belongs to God.”~Thomas Kempis (13th Century Catholic monk)
How could I support myself?
A gentle response inside said “Mom.”
“NO, NO, NO, NO, I will NOT ask mom for money.” I yelled back.
I had supported myself since I was a sophomore in college. I had bought my house on my own (thanks to the 5% down payment options at that time).
Even through various health challenges when I had lost income I supplemented with credit cards instead of asking mom for financial help.
I was stubbornly independent and I was NOT going to be dependent on my MOM at 50 years old. Hell NOOOOOO.
She had also worked hard for her money as a nurse, saving, being frugal over the years, especially after my dad died of a heart attack in 1996.
Because of her planning, she had enough to comfortably live on, and I didn’t want to take away from that.
But all of that didn’t matter, the answer was the same – mom was to be asked.
So I finally gathered my pride and my shame, gritted my teeth, took a deep breath and told her what I needed…I told her I wasn’t sure how long this would go on, and that I would pay her back some how, some way.
She thought about it overnight, and the next day said yes. It didn’t make sense to her either, but she still said yes.
I took a huge sigh of relief.
While we were in California camped between the 70 foot-with five slide out-RV’s, the strobe light/music blaring/women for trump flag waving off-road vehicles roaring by, the cloud of dust coating my eyelashes, hoping her right house would come on the market soon…my house sat empty in Montana…with mom now supporting me.
“Are you trying to teach me humility God? If so, I don’t want it!” I yelled.
Every four weeks as the first of the month rolled around, I’d gather my pride and my shame once again, waiting till the last moment possible before I’d be late on payments to ask her for another check.
Little i (ego) was going down hard. She didn’t want to give up her independence.
But slowly, slowly, as the months went by, one month at a time, asking for a check became less filled with shame…and mom was becoming more relaxed in writing them.
A cartoon a friend sent me recently sums up this period so well:
Within me, there were seven arms attached the first couple months, six arms the second couple months, five arms the third couple months and so on.
As letting go usually is, it was a gradual and challenging process of ‘dying to become’ (as German poet Johann Goethe said) – to become more of my true self, and ultimately, closer to God.
Even though it was the last thing little i wanted, it was everything my soul wanted.
When mom and I arrived at my home in Montana in September 2020, I thought I’d sell it, so I’d pay her back that way.
But as time made clear, selling it wasn’t why we were in my home.
It turned out that her supporting me financially had a much bigger, more important part to play that I’d see later.
When I arrived home, I thought, “I can DO things now instead of just camp!”
So I tried DOING, but each time I did, intuition would give a gentle No.
In meditation I’d hear the words “simple” and “spacious.”
I could sweep the floor but not clean the bathroom in the same day.
I could meditate, pray, do yoga, read spiritual texts, be in nature, cook and bake, a tiny bit of cleaning and a tiny bit of yard work. That was about it.
No projects, no planning, no zoom anything, no responsibilities for anyone besides me and mom, no volunteering, and no working.
Every week little i would demand “I want to DO something with my life!”, the octopus arm grabbing on for control, and then letting go again, getting the same answer over and over and over again – “simple and spacious.”
To appease little i I called myself a Professional Recreationist. I felt better having a title while letting go. Little i is so funny sometimes.
There were two pieces happening during this time that were intertwined – the softening of my ego and the opening of my heart to mom.
It turns out that by allowing her to financially support me, I was, for the first time, since I left for college, allowing her love in.
In my stubborn independence I had pushed her away. I had pushed many people away throughout my life because of it.
When I was young I use to say to myself “No one is going to tell ME what to do”….to it becoming over the years and especially now, “The ONE is telling me precisely what to do.”
I came to realize that the money she offered me each month was an exchange of energy between us.
It was an exchange of love.
And as we had (and have) the gift of time together, I was getting to know her more as a person, instead of as just my mom.
I’d sometimes feel like I was wasting my days being called to meditate so much, but modern day mystic Carolyn Myss reminded me, and life was showing me,
“You meditate or pray, not to avoid your life or your loved ones, but to face them, to be better with them, to do better for them. There is no place left to go but directly into the embrace of God.”
As I was becoming closer to mom, I was becoming closer to God, and as I was becoming closer to God, I was becoming closer to mom.
I was seeing her vulnerability, her care, her humor, and her humanness, instead of the childhood fantasy of a perfect parent (whatever that means).
“Honor your mother and father and, if possible, allow yourself to love them. And especially love them for what they are: fragile, flawed, impermanent human beings who will some day no longer be with you.” ~Jean Yves Leloup (from the Gospel of Mary Magdalene)
I didn’t have the opportunity to really know my dad, but the opportunity to really know my mom was presented to me as a child is presented a treasure chest, and God had handed me the key.
When I asked the daily question in prayer that I learned from Caroline Myss, “Thank You for this, this day that shall never come again. How may I serve you today O Lord?”…
the answer was, and continues to be, the same, “Be kind and loving to your Mom. Have joy in the being.”
While I was opening up more and more to mom, I was letting go more and more of the “doing” part of myself and my life.
I was slowing down, then fighting it, slowing down, then fighting it, until gradually there was no more fighting to be done.
Faith had filled it’s place.
What I couldn’t see then was that I was Entering the Castle…for awhile. The drawbridge was being pulled up by the slowing down and the non-doing.
It was a calling between my soul and God that I could not alter, to discover what lay inside, and mom was giving me the gift of time and space to do so.
What was discovered would be revealed much later in 2021, but for now I had to learn to trust.
One other piece of this time that I found a gift to my heart was witnessing shifts in mom.
Being someone of science, she tended to stay away from things of a spiritual nature.
But to my surprise and joy, she began reading the spiritual books on my bookshelf, watched spiritual documentaries with me, and even took up meditation for awhile, following Davidji on Insight Timer (she loved his velvety voice).
I was learning more deeply about the mystery of it all…
Mom loves to cross-country ski, that being one of the many gifts of our ongoing time together.
I leave you today with my favorite video of her skiing, taken last month (and I love what she says while she’s skiing too :).
It’s a tribute to her vitality, her joy, her sense of adventure, and most of all, her love of life…and that she’s still rockin it at 82!
More to come dear friend, from my heart to yours.
Wishing you peace and joy.
To read the next post The Sacred Cloth of Ukraine click here or to go straight to Part Six: Simply Listen click here.
Categories: Gratitude, Inner Wisdom & Intuition, Money Conciousness