When Sorry Seems To Be

“What do I gotta do to make you love me, what do I gotta do to be heard?”

***This is a difficult topic. Trigger Alert***

“What do I gotta do to make you love me, what do I gotta do to be heard?”

Elton John

This blog has been nearly a month in the making. Will I bring to it the understanding and the compassion for those that need it so much?  I don’t know, but I can only hope.

I’ve had a fairly emotionally charged few months. My client base has begun to swing to something I hadn’t quite expected in my world. The #METOO movement have found their way to me. Was I prepared for that? Not at all.  But as I sit here tonight I have to wonder at the universe and how it seems to bring us to where we  need to go. Where I needed to go. To share the words that I need to share.

They always show up so stoic. Facial expressions so perfectly stone.  I keep the tissue boxes on both sides of the chair so that they have something to find when both arms inevitably reach out in a panicked need to find something with which to stifle the embarrassment of the tears that they’ve grown so adept at hiding. But not with me. Not in my world. In my world someone from the spirit side just said “I’m so sorry” and the facade of granite slips to be replaced by the most painful tears I have ever encountered. It’s hard. It’s hard to watch this and even harder to feel this with them.

And then..like a script that has been long learned they inevitably respond with “No, no, tell them it’s fine, I understand. They don’t need to be sorry” as they dry the last tear and return to the granite expression that we started with. “I am strong. So many had it worse than me. I am unbreakable. I am OK. Don’t worry about me”  Well, you’ll forgive me beautiful souls, because I do worry about you. I worry that you feel unworthy. I worry that you feel of little value beyond that of the gratification of those that would take advantage of you. I worry that you’ll never cry like you just did for me. I worry that you can’t get your head around the words…

“I am so sorry”

And I worry that you won’t accept them because you can’t imagine the pain of breaking. So many years of wanting to hear the words, only to find yourselves unable to handle the aftermath of a heart shattering into a million pieces because you’ve learned to believe yourself unworthy of the apology at all.

And I worry that because you see yourself this way, that you will continue to perpetuate this cycle of allowing. Allowing others to take advantage in all other avenues of your life. In your work, in your relationships, in your hopes and in your dreams you hold for yourself.

And most of all, I worry that you say you understand. Because you shouldn’t have ever learned to have to understand this at all.

I simply want to wrap you into my own arms and tell you that I am sorry. From my heart, not the hearts of those that caused you such hurt. I want to say I am so sorry from  the understanding of someone that understands you.

And I do.

I understand. I understand how you hate the words. I understand how you can’t trust them. Not now, and maybe never. And I understand how very wrong that is. You deserve to know that you did nothing to create that. You deserve to say how unfair it is that you don’t know how to accept them. That you are scared to accept them. And you deserve to know that it’s OK to feel this way.

You deserve to know that you deserve to fall apart.

And…

You deserved to hear these words before you met me.

And I am sorry that I have to be the one to interpret them to you when it’s too late to hear them any other way.

To those that are broken and piling bricks to hold it all together. I see you. You are the gentlest and most compassionate humans. You have learned in your discomforts to never want to create that for someone else.  And in understanding that this is the only way to love.

I am just sorry you had to learn it the worst of ways.

For anyone that chooses to victim shame you owe a mountain of apologies also. The words “I don’t believe you” are devastating and cruel and you should be ashamed.

For anyone that has placed someone in the position of cringing at the words “I am so sorry” you have much soul searching to do to find appropriate words to fix what you so badly broke.”I am so sorry” won’t cut it because they don’t know how to believe in that.

And do it soon. Because it’s your job. Not mine.

How dare you make them wait.

Do it now. Change your words.

Because sorry seems to be the hardest one to hear…

Sending love and light to all that need it today.

Tania

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fine Feathers

“Have you humans ever stopped for a moment to consider how angels are made?”

“Well no, but now you have me concerned that death is impending and I am starting to feel itchy. Can you allow me time to at least pull off the road before you take me because I really don’t think it’s cool to take the trucker along with us”

“Pluck em out. Leave the holes. Fill them with light. And shine Angel. Shine”

~the universe~

It’s 8 am on Thanksgiving Day here in Canada. I stumbled from bed at 6:30 am to ensure that our bird was prepped in time for a family get together later today. Last years was a fiasco when, after seven hours, I discovered that the bird had cooked to no more than a sickening shade of serous pink; this no thanks to an oven that I hadn’t recognized as broken. It was a flurry of panic as I dragged it to my daughters home and somehow managed to heat the BBQ to hell temperatures and cooked it in two hours flat. Today I am taking no chances, and have obsessively wandered in no less than four times this past hour to ensure that my oven is indeed hot enough to handle 20 pounds of bird.  So far so good. I’ll put my daughter on alert just in case.

I thought today was a good day to talk feathers. Or rather, to talk about “fine” feathers. These ones are significantly different than the course ones that were taken from Tom the unfortunate turkey recently. I’m sorry Tom. Maybe vegan in the next go round. I’ll try harder.

I got to thinking about feathers yesterday while on a long solo drive. Well, no, that’s not so much the truth. What I was thinking about was the ridiculous hold up on a highway full of construction cones, reduced lanes and the fact that my coffee wasn’t nearly as hot as it should be.  My chosen background music kept leaping tracks so I would be half flight into my incredible styling  rendition of a love song when it would lurch to something obnoxious and screechy. I finally acquiesced, rolled my eyes heavenward and muttered out ” Fine. I give up” and turned off the offending noise.  I leaned into my wheel to stretch my shoulders and heard a voice from the back seat.

“Let’s talk about it”

I’ll admit I hadn’t expected company yesterday and almost went off the road. My apologies to the transport driver to my right who saw the whites of my eyes. He sure did look frightened for a moment.

“Talk about what? My obnoxious vocals?”

“No, although it was mildly entertaining sitting here listening, that’s not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about your fine feathers.”

I glanced down at my hands for a brief moment wondering if someone had roofied my coffee.

“My WHAT?”

“Have you humans ever stopped for a moment to consider how angels are made?”

“Well no, but now you have me concerned that death is impending and I am starting to feel itchy. Can you allow me time to at least pull off the road before you take me because I really don’t think it’s cool to take the trucker along with us”

“You’re funny today”

“Thanks. It’s been a hell of a week. Humor is my survival instinct”

“How you doing Tania?”

“Oh, I’m great. There’s a body absent voice sitting in my car and my coffee is cold. Just a perfectly normal day. Otherwise I am fine thanks”

“Good to hear. And that’s exactly what I want to talk about today”

The last hour of my drive was about to get interesting.

FINE Feathers

Do you know that heaven is full of fine feathers?   To the pained soul these feathers represent a soft place to land when the human journey becomes too difficult to bear. And for the most part this is the truth. The angels that you  reach to in times of discomfort most certainly do offer for you a gentle support for the moments that your legs start to buckle.  But are they fluffy and pristine in shade as your illustrators may present?  Are they all holy and all knowing?

No they are not. And today I want to set you straight on the makings of an Angel. Today  I want you to understand why you find such comfort in their presence.

“I’m fine”

The catch phrase of the hurting. The words of the pained. The ramblings of compassion.

You’re not fine in truth. Let’s be honest about it. You have struggled with so many discomforts that you have become accustomed to them and accepted them as a part of the journey.  The gentlest and most pained souls knows these words all to well. And they use them often. It’s far easier to shrug off any and all discomforts under the veil of “I am fine” than to create discomfort to anyone listening. It’s much easier to bind them to your physical self and create an energetic wall that few, if any will ever break down.

If you have ever heard the words “You are so strong” uttered then you might just be on your way to becoming a genuine true blue Angel.

So here it is.

Angels are created from pain. They are not what you expect to discover on your arrival into your version of heaven. Angels are put together slowly, like tedious needlework each bearing a unique pattern.

And if I am honest we’d like less to join us. Or, I should say, we’d love to have you, but could you stop building your own version of wings first. We’ll gladly give you some on arrival.

Whoa. Well you weren’t expecting that were you!

Well let’s get right to the facts.

Feathering is incredibly uncomfortable and not something that we require you to do. No one asked you to martyr yourself into a set of heavy wings! But it would seem that the tools are right there down on earth with you. Every item you need to sprout your own shoulder adornments are within a fingers reach.

Emotional abuse. Physical abuse. Sexual abuse. Self abuse. Wars. Politics. Physical Illness. Spiritual Illness. Mental Illness.  Judgements. Lack. Greed. Identity. Bullying. Hate. Fear. Loneliness. Shame. Resentment. Anger. Self denial. Addiction.

With every small discomfort a small feather grows. Maybe an inch. Maybe a foot. Maybe no more than a millimeter. Regardless of the size of the attachment it creates pain. It’s easy to recognize it if you are paying attention. For every time you say “I’m fine” when in truth you are struggling, you will become aware of a discomfort that you cannot put your finger to.

We call it the emergence of fine feathers.

And we’d be happiest if you might stop giving them nourishment to grow. Because in all truthfulness we are getting mighty tired of pulling them out when you get here. It hurts us more than it hurts you.

Ask yourself how many times a day someone inquires into how you are. And reflect back on how many times a day you respond with “I’m fine”

And the discomfort of a new tuft occurs.

Angels are the humans who empathized but didn’t speak up. Angels are the humans who determined that by remaining silent of their own pain, they could best assist with the pain they recognized in others. Angels allow. They swallow the bitterness, they push the resentment aside and they help you. And it’s incredibly beautiful to be the person that wishes to take on the discomfort of thousands or one. But it serves you no good in the long run as the weight of your wings drag you down in the physical sense before ultimately pulling you upward. And only  here will you find respite from the feathers you have been carrying.

Your sacrifices will not go unrewarded. This much is true. As you ascend into love your wings grow lighter, the heaviness dissipates and you are free. But you are called upon to remind those on similar journeys to speak up. To speak out. To be vocal and reflective of struggles that they are enduring. You become the angels that stand by when called upon from a dark room through sobs. It’s a difficult job because most do not understand the reason they are there. We are not here to simply comfort but to commiserate the same pains..the same feathers..and to ask you to learn from us. To let you know as we wrap our feathers close, that we share your hurt and are hopeful that you find a new way to heal it.

You are slowly beginning to understand what we have been trying to do. One by one, you are stepping ahead to announce that you are not OK. You are stepping out of the darkness of your own rooms and being honest about what you are. Who you are. Why you are.  Speak out not for revenge of abuses but the healing of abuses. Speak out not for the celebrity of your voice, but for the voices that haven’t found their stage yet. Speak out to change the world not to challenge those who resist the change. Speak out to find the acceptance that you are not alone. Speak out to find your value in a world that often tells you you have none.

And then…come to us in your darkened room!. And tell us what you’ve done. So that we can celebrate with you. And pull from your backs the weight of a feather.

Angelic feathers are things of great beauty. They emanate light and provide a soft place to land when the human journey becomes too much to bear. But our hope is to create the light without the need to carry the weight in your world.

Yes, you are incredible. Yes, you open your wings wide to give comfort to those in pain. And yes, you swing them in tight to yourself to not burden others with your own. Feathers are both a gift and a curse. So lets just pull them away.

Earth Angels. Drop your weight. Pull the feathers one by one to reveal the holes that you have filled.

Light shines best through the broken. Not through the blanketed.

Shine your light. Let others find it. And change the world.

You’ll get your feathers one day. But instead of wedging them into the pain, we will drop them down to dance softly over the light that your holes have created.

Love one another.

And shine Earth Angel. Shine.

***No truckers were harmed in the “making of an angel”*** phewf.

🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Life As A Psychic Wallflower

I’ve stood in front of no less than 5000 people in this last ten years. I am still shocked to be truthful, given that I couldn’t even pee in a public bathroom until I was 40 and only then because well..three kids..impatient bladder..there was no other option but to make peace with it.

For anyone that has seen me in a live show environment it may come as a surprise to discover that I am incredibly uncomfortable there. I am not entirely sure what I am doing up there; in fact, I am not even sure how I get there in the first place.  I simply know that someone sweeps onto the stage like she was born to it, but I seriously don’t know who that person is. The only thing that makes sense to me is that I have a spirit guide that dives in and takes over before I have the opportunity to sage them into stupidity and run off to my corner to hide. I suddenly find myself staring into the top of a microphone and off we go. I have no explanation short of divine intervention.

It tends to throw some people when they meet me in an environment  that is new to me and doesn’t come with a microphone attached.  That’s pretty much any place where people gather and it’s ten times worse when it’s people I don’t know. There can be one stranger standing in a gymnasium and I will make every effort to stealthily move along the wall like Spider man trying to avoid being noticed. If I could throw string I’d simply swing over but in the real world…I’ll just glue myself to the nearest wall and avoid all eye contact believing that I am blending in and you will not notice me. Kinda like a praying mantis. You see me, you don’t see me. Except that it works for the odd green insect. Not so much for me. I’m too big and well..I’m not green and sitting on a fruit tree.

I am the most introverted and unintentional extrovert I have ever known.

I’ve stood in front of no less than 5000 people in this last ten years. I am still shocked to be truthful, given that I couldn’t even pee in a public bathroom until I was 40 and only then because well..three kids..impatient bladder..there was no other option but to make peace with it. To this day I will still lean over to scan for feet in the stalls to each side, and then carefully hold my breath while attempting to stream like a gentle brook babbling over pebbles. This is, however, becoming increasingly difficult to do and has taken on the sound of something similar to white water rafting as I move into my mid fifties. So now I have taken to making little tutt tutt noises with my mouth to deter you from the fact that I am emptying my bladder in the stall next door.  It’s quite a life let me tell you.  Peeing incognito to not draw attention and then dancing all over a stage with your grandmother five minutes later. I still struggle with understanding it.

Try to stop me and engage me in a conversation in any situation outside of my spirit stage and I will likely stare at you like a deer caught in the headlights. “Oh lord..you need me to talk right? Oh boy..how do I do that? What do I say? Why are you talking to me at all, I am not interesting and I just know I am going to trip over my own tongue. Please just back away slowly, you’re freaking me out a little”

But wait…hand me a microphone and push me on the stage and it’s all bets off. I open my mouth and something happens that even I don’t see coming. Words tumble from my face like confetti sprays on a bride and I suddenly become witty and wise all at once.  It’s messed up, because I am not witty nor wise in any other environment. Unless I am at home. There I am both witty and wise ( and smart and absolutely adorable)  although my spouse may call it something else entirely.

I cringe..I absolutely curl up from my toes when someone in a room full of strangers says “This is my friend the medium” Oh good God no. I think that often times people assume I am trying to hide that fact as a form of being standoffish, when in truth, it’s a protective thing to avoid having to speak to you at all. You scare me because you expect something profound to drop from my mouth, and the profoundest I can do is ask you for directions to the bathroom to pee quietly.

I realized how clearly I introvert when a comment was passed at the outset of my recent travel with my work cohorts.  An additional artist that I don’t know well was coming along on this tour and as I settled into my space in the passenger seat, Sarah remarked “And now this is where Tania will just sit quietly and not say a word”.  I was a bit taken aback until I realized that she wasn’t at all wrong in that assumption. I did exactly that for probably 2/3 of that entire ten days. On our long drive home she turned to me and asked me where I was as I stared out the side window.  I replied lazily, “I’m nowhere really, neither here nor there” She stared at me for a moment before we both agreed that I am a bit of a weirdo.

Why am I sharing this with you? Well, for a couple of reasons.  One being that I don’t really wish to be a social introvert but I am and there is simply no way of getting around that. It seems to be imprinted into my DNA somehow and no matter how hard I try to rewire, it’s here to stay.  The last thing I would ever want anyone thinking is that I am aloof when in truth I am just ridiculously shy and lacking in communication skills because humans for the most part intimidate me. Dead people clearly not so much right?

Which brings me to the main reason I am sharing today.

People will often ask me how I know what I know about details of lives that I have no connection to. How I know about the orange cat that you have at home, or the fact that you absolutely love blueberries. How I know that you sleep in your spouses old socks, or that your collie just died last week. How I know that you have a tattoo over your heart when you have a shirt on that allows for no physical reason for me to know at all…

How do I know?

Because I trust completely.

Because I know myself well enough to understand that without trust I sincerely have no voice.

I have somehow developed a collaboration of trust between myself and a world that many can’t reach. I don’t know how I did it, and that’s absolute. I simply know that somehow I did or that perhaps somehow they did. What I do know with certainty is that I don’t communicate well on my own; I never have, and I doubt I ever will. But someone speaks when I grab the microphone and I know without a doubt it is not me. Crowds scare the bejesus out of me so let me assure you that whatever is happening has little to do with me personally. What I do accept with complete faith is that when I step up to that microphone that I am given an opportunity to use a gift that I have no clue how I got. I have an opportunity to actually hear my own voice. For someone such as myself,  that is the greatest gift in the world. And your loved ones give that to me. Every single time I lift the mic. And what an incredible pleasure it is to accept that.  I am grateful.

How can I not trust something as beautiful as that?

 

Please don’t follow me into the bathroom deal?

In love….

Tania.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grief And Blueberry Scones

“Grief is an emotional, spiritual and psychological journey to healing”

Elizabeth Kubler Ross

 

I sat on the edge of the unmade bed waiting for the cup of tepid coffee to spurt from the small brewer in my hotel room.  As the gurgling stopped, I heard the familiar ding indicating an inbox message had just arrived. I stood up, wrestled with the plastic packaging that held my creamer pack and poured it in. I was stirring the oily substance into the dark brew as I ran my thumb over my notification to find her message.

“She’s gone. My sister is gone”

Knowing my dear friend as well as I do, and her predisposition to long winded narratives, these simple six words were indicative of the shock, the confusion, the pain and the tears that she was typing through.  Not knowing in those moments where to turn to share such news, she had come to me, knowing that I would understand what she was trying to convey.  I sat stunned for a brief moment, I barely recall what I responded with as the waves of her agony washed over me.

She is the grief counselor. I am the medium. And for those brief moments to follow, our shared understanding of death fell to the wayside as neither of us could find the words to make this disappear.  This wasn’t a typical death. Her sister was younger, living life, raising a child, vivacious…and a few hours before this one….she was alive. Or perhaps it was a typical death for those that we respectively counsel, but in that space of time, we were without vocabulary and hopeless together.  I didn’t have to utter a syllable, and she didn’t expect one. A thousand miles apart we sat together in the silence and found some odd comfort there.

I closed my eyes against my tears, calmed the punch into my stomach and sent her my angels.

This news shook me to my very core. I couldn’t understand why I was feeling this so deeply. I didn’t know her sister well, I had met her only twice.  I only knew of their ridiculous adventures, their shared love of anything inappropriate and their bond that I envied from afar.  My struggle with finding the right things to say grew stronger as I bombarded her with flippant and humorous anecdotes to move her through the process of the first days of her loss. Her pain was far too familiar, our friendship too close. Thankfully, her sister being the powerful woman she was, was able to assist me with her words often falling from my fingertips and spilling onto the page in front of me. Some were not the most comforting of words and my instinct was to backspace them away. But true to myself I left them there hanging and was brightened by the laughter on the other end. My friend needed these words so I left them for her.

A few weeks ago now, the process of the expected duties of the bereaved came to a crashing halt. It happens. After the whirlwind of must do is over, the silence of not knowing what to do will descend.  She took to sharing her thoughts in her not knowing.

” What my sister has taught me about grief is that you cannot hide from it. As an educated psychotherapist, I have read about this and counseled others but now I am living it. You can stay as busy as possible and you can take care of everyone, but it will come looking for you. Those times when something hilarious just happened and you go to text her, it will find you. In those times when you see a family photo after she’s gone and instantly notice her absence, it will find you. Those times when you think about the trips you had planned to take, it will find you.”

You cannot hide from it.

I saw my friend yesterday. We sat on her couch and she shared over lemon blueberry scones with warm butter and coffee. Well, coffee for me. Steeped tea with an ungodly amount of sugar for her.  “Coffee will kill ya”  Yes, well so will sugar in copious amounts. Ding ding.

But I digress.

She curled her legs up beneath her, picked away at her scone and spoke of her anger surrounding certain elements of such a profound loss. Her resentment in finding that some didn’t recognize how to allow for healing.  As I sat listening, I began to recognize the tone of her voice, the pinch of her lips and  the sadness in her eyes. As I sat watching her I saw myself and heard all of the words I have never expressed.

It’s been nearly two years since I also lost someone very dear to me. I have lost many people but not one of them provided me a better lesson in out running grief such as this one did. Maybe it was his age, his unassuming manner, his expectation of nothing, his gratefulness for the small things.  Maybe it was simply that we grew up together. Or maybe it is my own anger over a life not fully lived. I really have no answer for it.  All I do know is that every now and then…swells of grief wash over me while I scramble to find a beach bucket to scoop them away, because I just don’t have time for this today…

You cannot hide from it

I know because I’ve been trying.

There is no hiding from this. You can’t comfort it away in comforting others. You can’t busy it away in heavy schedules and must do lists. You can’t write it away, dance it away or dream it away.  It is a part of your world and you must allow yourself to honor that part by giving space to it when it demands. You can’t pencil in the time you spend with it. It simply is there and it rarely announces its arrival.

Grief showed up yesterday and I allowed it in. To share blueberry lemon scones with warm butter. To share familiar words and familiar feelings with a friend.

And grief will show up again next week, next month or next year.

And I will sit with it over hot coffee and blueberry scones…

And share with it what it will teach me.

And then share it with you.

My friend’s blog is below if you wish to read the rest of her words.  I would do so, because she is incredibly gifted at helping us understand. She opened my eyes yesterday without even intending to do so. That’s a gift. 🙂

“What My Sister Has Taught Me About Grief”

In love..in light..in giggles and copious amounts of silliness..

Tania