A Christmas Tree Called Liberace

My mother, bless her heart….she had this thing for the absolute thickest furriest and shiniest garland she could possibly locate and suffocate a tree with. Honest to goodness I swear she had a thing for Liberace and was living it out each Christmas.

I was sitting here tonight staring at the tree that still sits in the box on the floor. When I get a few hours of spare time I’ll pull it all out and stand looking at the branches wondering what in heavens name goes where. I’m grateful that my husband purchased a smaller version of our typical monstrosity. It’s four feet of promised “fullness” all stuffed into a carton the size of a shoe box, so we’ll see how this goes.
It kind of reminds me of the mattress we purchased a few years back. I believe it was simply called “Mattress in a Box”. If you’ve never witnessed the emergence of a king size mattress from a box the size of a laundry hamper…well….it is truly a mind boggling experience. Just don’t plan on returning it if you don’t like it. It’s NEVER going back in the box it came in.
I’m hoping the tree expands to something as spectacular.
Because God forbid…..
Garland….
I stood tonight in Wal Mart staring at the display of bright decorations and  colors…and reflected back to my early years..to our tree…
My mother, bless her heart….she had this thing for the absolute thickest furriest and shiniest garland she could possibly locate and suffocate a tree with. Honest to goodness I swear she had a thing for Liberace and was living it out each Christmas.
I don’t think she outgrew this until after the kids left home. Sometimes I wonder if there was ever a tree under it all in the first place or if she had simply encircled a lamp and popped gifts underneath.
She’ll read this. And she’ll laugh and move a piece out of my side of the china cabinet. It’s not enough that I complain every single year about her trying to force feed me trifle. Now, I’m onto the Tree Called Liberace.
liberace-yahoomusic
Yet….this is what Christmas is about. Memories that make you roll your eyes or blow egg nog  through your nostrils in laughter. It’s all the traditions you don’t adopt yet you will never forget. It’s all the stuff that the generations to come won’t know of…and it’s our job to tell them the stories.
I know for a fact that my kids one day will tell stories of me dancing about like the fairy godmother with tinsel as my wand….my intention to make the tree appear to sparkle at the branch tips…to be colorful as daintily as possible…yet it always inevitably wound up looking a bit like a llama trapped in a hurricane.
I think I’ll try spray paint this year….
Just on the tips…
The grand-kids will love this….
In love…in light….in old memories and in new…
Tania the tinsel fairy.

Grieving Through The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

“You’re not unique you know”

My first response was fairly vehement let me tell you. Forgive me but my walls went up high as I muttered under my breath

“F*ck you..I’m not unique. I can stand there straight faced while someone goes to a million pieces in front of me and casually hand them a tissue”

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year
With the kids jingle belling
And everyone telling you be of good cheer
It’s the most wonderful time of the year
It’s the hap-happiest season of all
With those holiday greetings and gay happy meetings
When friends come to call
It’s the hap-happiest season of all”

Andy Williams

 

My husband and I walked through the doors of a local grocery store just the other day. He stopped and he pointed out the mini live trees that were standing there and suggested that one of these might be perfect.

I stood there a moment and stared at the little branches before shaking my head and responding…

“We’ll wait til next week. We’ve always waited til after the kids birthdays”

It was a great ploy to pull him away from his inevitable trek through the store with his prized little tree over his shoulder.

I just wasn’t prepared at that moment.

We have two kids in the family with birthdays this month. One is our eldest Megan who celebrates hers tomorrow on December 11th. The other is the youngest son Sam who celebrates his on the 15th.

On December 8th our youngest kissed his ridiculously weepy mum goodbye at the airport to return to live in Edmonton after coming back home for a year. Out of the three of our kids, Sam is the one most like me. A wanderer, a seeker, a “leaver”; he reminded me that I should understand him because we are the same.

The words of my parents rang in my ears..

“Do as I say. Not as I do”

I wanted to tell him he couldn’t go. Pull the mum card out and ground him. He pulled this same stunt on me three years back when he left just a week before Christmas. It’s becoming his holiday theme.

Our grocery excursion took place later that day after I peeled myself off the glass watching him move through customs…his cat Juliette attached to his shoulder as they examined the carrier, he turned and half waved at me laughing at my nose pressed on the glass…

And I just wasn’t ready…

I don’t want the stupid tree right now.

But I will soon. I’ll go out and scoop one up and promise to make its sad little branches perk up. I’ll put it high on a table to make it look less Charlie Brown like and to save it from the jaws of our insane new puppy.  Yes I will.

It’s been an incredibly insightful year and a bit for me. A year that began with a loss of a cousin that almost took me down. I was absolutely shocked at how I responded. Sat for hours berating myself for grieving so hard when I knew better.

It’s a year of experiences that have brought me to places in my own heart and soul that I feared to adventure to before.  The same places that you go. My clients, my friends and my family. The places that I have always tried to heal for you, I was now being asked to heal for myself.

It’s changed me in the most extraordinary of ways.

I’ve learned what it feels like to accept that I am worthy of love. And in that I have learned how painful it is to let that go.

And in that I have learned to grieve.  To understand the process that I have tried to walk so many through on their own experiences.

And it’s changed me.

I have learned that forgiveness doesn’t mean allowing but that forgiveness means releasing yourself enough to accept your own beauty.

But most of all. I’ve learned this…

I’ve learned how to be softer, to be gentler, to understand more of what creates the discomforts of those that reach out to me.  I have learned that I can’t fix your pain, but I can commiserate and do my best to bring you through to a place where you feel comfortable if only for a moment.

I have learned that hurt arises from so many places. Not just from physical loss but from loss of career, loss of friendship, loss of warm places to land…

I have learned to listen harder, to understand the reason behind your frustrations and to not try to push you out of it with humor but to allow you to wet your face through your tears.

I have learned to grieve.

I was angry about this. I was not prepared to feel what I thought I had already experienced. I’ve watched a hundred patients die over the years. I had learned to be tough so that you had someone to fall into when your knees buckled.

I was explaining this to a friend recently how annoyed I was that I was feeling things at all. How in heavens name could I do what I do if I felt it so deeply?

That’s like a surgeon developing a sudden fear of blood. What use is that?

I told her how she couldn’t possibly understand how it feels to feel so deeply and to want to wrestle it down and bury it.

Her response rattled the chains that I had used to keep it from breaking free.

“You’re not unique you know”

My first response was fairly vehement let me tell you. Forgive me but my walls went up high as I muttered under my breath

“F*ck you..I’m not unique. I can stand there straight faced while someone goes to a million pieces in front of me and casually hand them a tissue”

I learned how to be unique a long time ago….so bite me. Uh huh.

I’ve had time to dwell on that.

And….

I’m not unique..

I have allowed the sting of loss to finally reach my skin surface.

And now I get it. Like I never got it before.

Now I understand you better than ever before. Now I’ll encourage you to get that tree but I will take your hand and tell you I understand if you don’t.

Now I will not be so cautious in revealing that I understand your discomforts. It started not so long ago now, my sudden wading out into the audience to bring myself closer to you. My sudden need to touch your knees. To get down close and to find your eyes through your tears.

To understand all the years that you pasted a smile and hid what hurt until that moment where I ( with your loved ones help) said the words that broke the dam.

I can now hand you a tissue and honestly say…

I get it.

I don’t want a tree either.

But….

Let’s get one just the same.

OK?

Let’s do this wonderful time of the year together.

But if you can’t…

I understand.

I am looking forward to moving forward. To revealing my real self instead of pulling my shoulders back to brace.  To handing a tissue to you and to taking one out for myself.

This will be incredible.

I am grateful to be not unique.

Have yourselves a Merry little Christmas.

 

In love. In light.

Tania xo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Psychic, A Skeptic and a Unicorn…

“And lets not even get me started on those who have somehow glued a glittery third eye into the middle of their foreheads. Like really people…the drama…good God.We’re not calling forward the mother ship here. We’re engaging in a conversation to provide direction or more importantly engaging a deceased loved one to step forward to provide comfort”

I’ve been perusing some You Tube Videos today, and it’s been eye-opening to say the least.

We’ve got psychics with enough candle smoke drifting on-screen to convince anyone that Aunt Martha just floated through, psychics with poorly stuffed  ravens perched behind them and some with flashing lights that I am certain are intended as a distraction from the fact that they didn’t even bother to brush their hair for the taping. And lets not even get me started on those who have somehow glued a glittery third eye into the middle of their foreheads. Like really people…the drama…good God.  We’re not calling forward the mother ship here. We’re engaging in a conversation to provide direction or more importantly engaging a deceased loved one to step forward to provide comfort. You don’t honestly believe that an ornament glued to your forehead is the way to go do you?  It’s ridiculous and truly it makes me want to book a session simply for the joy of making my own “squeeze the third eye out of the forehead” video. We all love those videos. Come on admit it. Dermachakratology 101.

Further on along on the page, the skeptic videos, which is no surprise at all given the content of what I have just watched previously.  If their oooompahpah and head spinning theatrics did nothing else….they caught the attention of all those whose life work is to denounce those of us attempting to bring some respect to the services we are providing.

I watched one video where three people were pouncing on one medium who looked absolutely uncomfortable with the rapid fire questions. Kudos to her for having the balls to agree to this, but along with those balls a spine must have been grown to withstand the assaults of those seated looking at you like they wish to string you up and set you ablaze for your sins. I found myself becoming very frustrated with her as she stumbled around trying to find an excuse for why she was unwilling to do a reading right there on the set. And I understand where that may come from. Seated with three hard-nosed skeptics all waiting for you to screw up is intimidating to be sure. I get it.

But..get over it. And get over it quickly. Or simply excuse yourself from the space and save some fragment of what dignity they are already stuffing into their pockets.

I’ve driven this home a million times or more. If you don’t TRUST what you are putting out there then put down the crystal ball please. Just let it go. Move aside, go home for a few years, tough it out and grow a spine before you attempt to take on the witch hunters. There is nothing more unsightly than watching you squirm as the fire is set under your backside.

Skeptics are a necessity in my work. Just as in all life, everything requires a balance. I encourage a healthy dose of it in all life choices you make.

If your intention is to invite a conversation with a skeptic you need to know two very important things.

A: Skeptics aren’t overly serious about debunking you at all. Skeptics actually ARE looking for proof, and if your spine is powerful enough you CAN provide that. But instead, your inability to trust your own self enough to make that happen shines through clearly in your fidgeting and your deer in the headlights glaze.Oh and your butt is smoldering.

If THIS is what you claim to do. Do it. Head on. Stop providing them with exactly what they discussed before you arrived, because let me assure you, they swaddled together like school bullies and devised a way to find your weak spots.

B: Grow that spine strong and flexible only on your command and not on the command of those that wish to break you.

If you cannot look a family member or a friend in the face and be truthful about who you are and what you do then you need to take a step back before considering going head to head with the court of disapproval.

You can only grow that spine by recognizing what makes it go weak. Find those insecure spaces and focus on bringing them back into line.

Put yourself in uncomfortable conversations and hold your ground tight. You don’t have to disagree with their opinions but neither do you have to disallow your own. Stand in it and claim it.

One of my favorite things is discovering the one skeptic seated in a room full of people. You will never see me pass them by. I will always make it a point to engage them. My thought process is that they clearly paid for something and are just as eager for confirmation as everyone else who came in with a heart full of believing.

And they might argue me. I don’t care. They may attempt to trip me up but I’m seasoned and much more skilled at catching them in that game for that to happen.

My spine won’t weaken under their eyes.

I cut my vertebrae on people like them. In fact, most of them are hurting more than the rest of the people in the room and simply need that absolute proof to take away some of that pain they have dragged around for decades.

And they rarely to never “take” the message. Not until the room is cleared and they can corner me and quietly tell me that I may have changed their thoughts a tweak. It happens every single time. It’s not a boastful thing on my part either, but a sad truth about some of our most vulnerable seekers who need to feed on the belief that love cannot exist beyond our edges. What an awful way to have to live.

I’m waiting patiently for the day that a room full of skeptics decide to challenge me on my own truth.  I don’t give a rats ass about your million dollar prize. I only care about what hurt you along the way that makes you want to hurt us. Its so damn simple isn’t it. Keep your money, give it to charity. And come here…give me a hug…you need a hug. Perhaps followed by a swift kick in in the arse by your mother whose been trying to get your attention since 1978.

But in keeping with your expectation for me….

I might even find a purple unicorn horn to affix to my forehead for dramatic effect. “Just hold while I scan the room for life signs with my magic people finder”

 

Keep it real folks. Grow your spine on your truth. They can’t take that from you.

Have you hugged your skeptic today?

In love, in light, in oodles of laughter…..

 

Tania

 

 

 

 

“Perhaps Love”

“And even if you lose yourself and don’t know what to do, the memory of love will see you through”
Perhaps Love : John Denver

I’ve spent this past few days reconnecting to my “people” for want of a better term.
I half hoped for them to be somewhat prepared to give me something incredibly insightful on which I could grow. The first night was not quite what I expected as I was woken to someone shaking my shoulder and expressing ( far too loudly I might add) “Thanks for checking back in!!” In my half conscious state my response was something to the effect of “You didn’t seriously just wake me up for that?” before I rolled away and drifted back to sleep. However, I woke feeling good knowing that at least they were still talking to me given that I hadn’t even attempted to “pencil” them into my schedule this last uhhh…well, that’s beside the point.
So last night as I closed my eyes I thanked them for still being here and asked for something bigger, something better for which to break up my night. If you must waken me provoke me to want to think.
I woke to one simple request. No shoulder shaking, no fanfare, just the words…
“Let’s talk about what love really is”
I sat up and snort laughed a little. Calmly resisted the urge to smother the snoring someone beside me. That’s love right? And then got up to pee. Sitting there in the bathroom at 4 am staring at the toilet paper roll that someone put on upside down…and thought…this is love. Not freaking out because its rolling from bottom and not the top. If you love me you’ll put the paper on the right way.
This was gonna be a walk in the park.
I got this. Pffft.
Climbed back under the sheet and turned over. And heard a giggle. Followed by…
“You think so do ya?”
I rolled my eyes, stretched my legs out and sighed…
“I do this for a living. I know so”
Plus I watched Titanic last night. Jack froze to death for Rose even though they could clearly both fit on whatever that was she was floating on. Hell, they could have fit four people on there arranged properly.  That’s love. It’s stupid love but it’s love. Right?
God I’m funny.
I woke at 7 am. Grabbed the first of my six bowls of coffee and flipped open the laptop. I stared at it for two hours before I found myself wandering google looking for everyone else’s idea of love. By now, on my fourth bowl of caffeine I am agitated and growing frustrated by the second.
“It’s a feeling, it’s a touch, it’s a puppy, a new baby, an awakening, new shoes, a hug, a kind word, an ear that listens, a heart that shares. It’s flowers and chocolates, small unexpected gifts”.  Sigh. Love is exactly what we’ve been taught to believe it is.
As I sat here staring into the eyes of the puppy that just chewed up my phone ( but I love him cause he’s a puppy of course) I was prompted by the voice once again…
“You’ve just proved point one, that we accept what you have been led to believe as love. So now focus on what love is not”
Oh for the love of all things holy. This wasn’t supposed to take up half my day.
“Are you uncomfortable asking yourself what love is not?”
Mic drop.
Hold on. I’ll need another coffee for this part. Is Baileys too much you think? Too early in the day?
“It’s five o’clock somewhere”
Got it.
What love is not:
“Love is not looking for what love looks like”
Well that was simple.
But what does that mean?
We’ve learned that love must come with something palpable. That love must be felt in someway, be proven somehow, in order for that love to exist. How can we ever truly understand love if we spend our lives trying to both discover how we can show it or have it shown to us?
In believing that love must be shown, we take away from the very fundamental fact that we are love. As sweet at is is to receive small tokens, some trinket and as sour the emotion of jealously to determine its depth…I have to ask you…
Why?
Why do we consistently have to prove ourselves or seek out proof of something we should inherently know to be true.
And again…..the simple answer is….
Because we can see.
The problem here is that we were given eyes to see. Its unfortunate.
“Show me you love me”
“I’ll believe it when I see it”
“You don’t see me”
“I don’t see why”
“Roses are red”
“Show me you love me”
“Look at me”
We are inherently visual. What a shame.
Even as we move toward the transition that is known as death we are urged to look for the light.
“You’ll see a bright light”
In the case of near death experience
“I saw a bright light and then felt an overwhelming love”
Uh huh.
False. Completely and irrevocably false.
You cannot find the light until you stand in the dark first.
You do not know love until you don’t see from where it is coming.
There is a space between our lives. A stop over point so to say.  This is the place that I go to find your loved ones. The same place I go to find my “people”.  For me, it is the most incredible place I have ever not seen. It is darker than the dark that occurs when you close your eyes. It is darker than the moment your anesthetic drops you and leaves you to the mercy of that for which you cannot control. It is darker than blindness. It holds no space for imagination, for creativity, for any thought of how it should look. It has no “look” at all.  It is the point of which you have no choice but to release the need to see to believe. It is the point of where you understand that love has nothing to do with proof but only to do with trust.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it”
John 1:15
Yes, I just quoted the bible. Hold me up. I think I’ve had too many Baileys…
The light will come. But it is only in knowing that it exists that it will shine. Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean its not there.
For you, I go in, I collect the love that is there and only then can I move forward to light where they can show me the memories that you need, the gifts that they gave you, the flowers that you miss. Because it’s not enough for me to say “They love you, they simply love you” no….
You need proof. You need the color of the flowers….
It’s ok…. I get this…
I have eyes too…
We’re all human after all.
A message from Spirit:
“I know not your race yet I love you. I know not your scripture yet I love you. I know not your intention for me yet I love you. I know not your worth yet I love you. I know not your intelligence yet I love you. I know not your journey  yet I love you. I know not who you are yet I love you. I know not your judgements nor your prejudice yet I love you. Here together in this place where we can only trust I trust you because you stand in this space with me and trust me also, in that we find no choice. In that we have only love”
It would be an incredible gift should the world go dark for a week. Only there would we know love.
Only there would we know peace.
Until we remember…..until we arrive….
“And even if you lose yourself and don’t know what to do, the memory of love will see you through”
Don’t be afraid of the dark. You know it.
Tania

“A Thousand Broken Pieces of Pretty” ©2017

I glared into the lights of the transport ahead of me. Released my shoulders and took a deep breath. I took one last glance up at the bear behind me. Locked eyes and watched as he slowly dropped his under my gaze…

“F*ck you Boo Boo, lets dance”

Photo: Tony Boot

*****Language alert. Not suitable for young audiences*****

 

 

I’ve always found it extraordinarily difficult to completely step out of all the energies and emotional baggage attached to all those experiences I have encountered in  both my professional life and my personal life. Taking little pieces of fabric from each story, I stock a shoe box that quickly overflows and fills the room, leaving me standing in piles of colorful edges and dark frays where the thread has aged. I look about and wonder how do I put all this together to create something incredible?

And then I freak out because I can’t sew and even if I could what pieces do I pull together first?

So. I step out and shut the door and hang my “Do Not Disturb” sign from the knob.

I’ve always been this way. It’s a strange ten year cycle that has repeated for five decades  now.  I think a small part of me holds hope that the more broken pieces of fabric might disintegrate and blow away leaving space to add  more of the new. After all what can I do with the thin and worn. How can that cover and comfort anyone?

My ten year cycle extended to 12 this time. I’m impressed. The last time I opened the door was in 2005 and all I really managed to do then was to sit quietly for two years and match sizes into piles that represented chapters before I shut the door again.  Theoretically of course if you take into account the two years I sat creating the piles….yes…I guess it’s been ten years after all.

Three weeks ago I discovered myself standing on the “Do Not Disturb” sign and glancing upwards saw that the door had opened just a crack.

I slowly approached the door and very cautiously peeked in. As my eyes took in the floor to ceiling kaleidoscope of color and ragged edges I became aware of a familiar sound that made me fall back into the wall behind me.

I’d buried my grizzly.

For those that know  me they know what I am speaking of. For those new to my journey, I spent two long years with a bear that was ferocious and ten feet tall when I took him in. In that two year period I managed to tame him and create a cub that I could slap on the head when he got out of control.

The sound that came from under a pile of pieces was not that of the cub I forgot when I shut the door. There was nothing cute and controllable about this sound.

I shook my head and processed quickly what this might mean. Pulled into my resolve and muttered “Not this time you bastard”  I grabbed the doorknob and pulled but in retrospect I don’t recall hearing it click into locked position.

Only one hour later I was driving the 401 westbound when the familiar spin sensation slammed into me. Trying to maintain control in the middle lane, a transport to one side, a string of vehicles to my other.

Knowing what was happening, I reached for the water bottle, twisted the cap and focused on the sensation as the liquid poured down my throat. My breathing, the all too familiar panting, I struggled to not allow the oxygen to flood my brain and further disconnect me from the focus I needed at that moment.

I glanced up to find an opening in the traffic to escape and instead found myself staring into the yellow eyes of my bear. He’d followed me.

My panic had returned.

All that had terrified me the first night in 2005 was looking right through me. Except this time it was different. This time I knew that there was a cub in there, more scared of me than I was of it. I glared into the lights of the transport ahead of me. Released my shoulders and took a deep breath. I took one last glance up at the bear behind me. Locked eyes and watched as he slowly dropped his under my gaze…

“F*ck you Boo Boo, lets dance”

The problem with panic disorder is that you have absolutely no idea when, if or where it might suddenly appear. You can keep piling pieces in the corner but a point arrives where its too much weight for the walls to hold and the door will fall open.  Eventually you have to sink into the fabrics and make a decision to pull them together into something manageable.

I’ve had two fairly significant attacks these past two weeks. Hence my decision to step out of life for a couple of weeks and step into the room that feeds the bear. In that space lined with a thousand words and long chapters. In that space where new beginnings emerge.

In that space where the story of my life is told.

You just read the prologue….

“Shattered Reflections”

“A Thousand Broken Pieces of Pretty”©2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Sex or Chocolate in Heaven

Take your credit card. Sex is pricey. And stock up on cake for when the bill comes rolling in. You’ll be both depressed and exhausted. But wait…chocolate…

“Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”

Marie Antoinette

Although her context was less than compassionate…her words are fairly in keeping with what we were promised when we fell out of the uterus.

“Its gonna suck sometimes kid…but there’s chocolate”

 

I know, I know. I too shivered at the realization that there would be no cake in heaven. Imagine for a moment no chocolate for all of eternity. Gads.

Spending our afterlife minus the comfort food that has sustained us through so many of our discomforts in this physical life. Good God all mighty this is asking an awful lot in exchange for all we’ve endured here!

However, before you go pushing down the doors of the local churches screaming

“Why oh why!?!?!” …

Let me shed some light on what might be considered a tremendous faux pas on the part of the hospitality committee at the pearly gates. Before you all withhold tip out to Angel Boy there…

You see…

We don’t need cake in heaven.

Oh and get ready…..

We don’t need sex either. Oh my God…I KNOW.  Quickly now…run to the nearest XXX store and buy everything you need to experience it ALL before it’s too late!

Take your credit card. Sex is pricey. And stock up on cake for when the bill comes rolling in. You’ll be both depressed and exhausted. But wait…chocolate…

That’ll fix ya.

There’s always that.

Here in this physical lifetime we are asked to endure some of the most difficult experiences we can possibly anticipate. We signed up for this when we chose to dive into the womb after one of those “sexcapades” mentioned above.

Why did we choose that? The easy answer obviously would be for cake.

We need the comforts that we are permitted to make this journey a more manageable one. It is just that simple. Because we as humans struggle with finding comfort within our own souls we are offered the next best thing to blunt off what hurts us.

I will always remember my Nanny unwrapping a Dairy Milk to shove into my whiny little face.

“Chocolate fixes everything Fanlight”

And she was right bless her soul. All of my earthly discomfort would evaporate as the creamy sweetness would wrap itself around my tongue.

Not for long of course. Many, many Dairy Milks were consumed in the making of a Happy Medium.

In the keeping of spiritual I am leaving out the XXX store visits. 😉

The physical world requires compensation prizes. It’s just that simple.

And Heaven does not.

Think to one of the best meals you have ever tasted. Or the most unbelievably intimate experience you have ever felt. We’ve all said it.

“OMG this tastes like heaven”

“OMG I think I died and went to heaven”

“OMG this is better than sex!”

These moments I mention above are few and far between. We are not intended to know this feeling everyday because we need to prepare to feel it for eternity.

We are simply allowed tastings to sustain us through all the awful times when it doesn’t taste quite so palatable.

Do yourselves a favor. Don’t always turn down the cake. It was our birthright to take some small consolations for agreeing to live.

Life is hard. We love, we lose. We love, we grieve. We dream, we shatter. We want, we don’t get. We ask, we don’t receive. We go through every day accepting what is not acceptable and being asked to forgive what is unforgivable. We are told we are not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough. We are shaken and stirred, broken and rebuilt,

Damn right we deserve chocolate.

Eat yours and know you have earned every bite.

And when its time for you to leave this world.

It’s gonna feel like chocolate after sex.

Forever and Ever

Yum.

 

Be gentle on yourselves.

Tania

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#Me Too. #You Too. #Us Too.

“All of my years of denouncing sexual predatory behavior, all the times where I firmly announced “Not to my kids!” imploded over chicken mcnuggets and fries in a local restaurant. Flames raged up into my chest while I fought to control them and maintain gentle compassionate contact with the big eyes that stared back at me”

And yes…

Me Too

 

People will often ask me how it is that I can so easily slip into a place of understanding with the struggles that they may bring my way. The only answer for that is because I have, for the most part, shared in those same discomforts at some point along my years. There are many for which I cannot assign my own experience but for this particular one I can commiserate well. The details are unimportant, my story settled in my own soul, there is no need nor desire to share beyond the obligatory hashtag to prove my authority on the words to follow.

I truly don’t know what’s worse. The fact that there are hundreds of thousands who stepped forward to claim “Me Too” or the fact that I was completely unfazed at the numbers. I was not shocked. And there is no more painful a truth than that.

Which makes me a part of the problem.

And…if you WERE shocked….

That makes you a part of the problem as well…

You’ll forgive me my bluntness.  We have a lot to fix.

As I continued to peruse the many posts I became aware of a few men on my wall who had stepped forward to apologize for the behavior of many others. My heart tore as I read their words, their  discomfort in belonging to the masculine species was clearly evident as they tried desperately to voice their thoughts in a manner that would show their intended support, while choosing a vernacular that could not be misconstrued in any way.

I stopped dead and reflected.

On my own experiences and in how it created for me two very different parenting styles.

To my daughter I instilled a high demand for self respect and for her to be strong and well voiced should she ever find herself in a position of which she would need it.

To my sons I uttered…

“You ever once behave like a caveman to any woman and this woman will bring you to your knees. Count on that”

Without once giving consideration to the fact that perhaps these boys may simply grow to be good men without my veiled threat if they did not.

This was wrong. And it was only in seeing the words yesterday that it hit me.

I shared my discomfort with someone near and dear to me today. She understood it from the same value with which I was expressing it. And we both agreed that there are those for whom no responsibility falls, nor those for whom will accept such even when it is laid out in full color.

Several months back, a young member of our family shared some things that buckled my legs and left me looking for a wall to stop the fall.

All of my years of denouncing sexual predatory behavior, all the times where I firmly announced “Not to my kids!” imploded over chicken mcnuggets and fries in a local restaurant. Flames raged up into my chest while I fought to control them and maintain gentle compassionate contact with the big eyes that stared back at me.

As I smothered the flames, the ashes drifted downward curling around my feet. I glanced to the floor  and wondered how I might return this refuse to the soul it had broken free of.  Knowing that I could not, I looked back to the eyes that trusted me and realized…

I felt helpless.

And that infuriated me further.

I reached across to the little fingers that held out a fry in my direction. I smiled  and took it, popped it between parched lips…and whispered…

“I believe you”

These words were shared with this child by all the people that count most. And for that I am grateful.

Because where the judicial process to follow failed in the most disgraceful of ways, we did not.

And that’s what will be remembered.

My initial helplessness was well founded in the responses of those that should have treated this as the truth and chose not to.  Case closed. Eyes closed.

We, as a society, as humans, as souls….

We are all to blame.

We are to blame because this has been occurring since humans first set foot on this planet we call home. Have we grown so accustomed to this behavior that we consider it normal human process? Is this the answer?

Is this why offenders receive less jail time than other crimes of much less significance? Because it just is? Because it has always been?

Because it took place in every generation before ours. Before yours. Before our grandchildren’s. Like some grotesque right of passage that no one speaks of?

To women. And to men.

It happens to us all.

We are all guilty for allowing it to continue.

The families that don’t believe. The families that don’t want to upset the dynamics. The families that are fearful of what people would think.

The guy next door. The girl next door. The coworker. The employer. The friend. The spouse. The police. The judge. All those who have seen the truth or heard that truth, who turn around and decide that it’s not their business or that it’s not worthy of a place in the courtroom.

I want to share with you something that was stated by a court official one day not so long ago. It was overheard by a family member. My family member.

“What was so pressing about this that you had to bring it before me the day before the holidays”

Just to be clear. This official was a woman.

So our assertion for the most part that men are to blame for this….

Well that falls flat for me and I’ll forgive you if you disagree…

Because like a lot of women…and men…and neighbors…and friends…and coworkers..I could go on forever…

She simply stated the obvious.

What makes this so special?

It’s been happening since we froze out the last dinosaur.

It’s old news. Get over it.

But in new news….

Lets fill our prisons with pot smokers, with shoplifters, with the one that stole a tank of gas…

And let’s leave the most abhorrent out among society to inflict decades of discomfort that often finds no resolve because no one wants to talk about something that no one does anything to stop.

Because no one believes it still happens.

It begins with us.

It begins with allowing ourselves to take some responsibility for not stopping it sooner. It begins with recognizing that there was something we could have said. Something we could have shared. Something we could have stopped.

But because we did not we cannot believe it when it hits the light of day.

Because to do so means we are also at fault.

One of the lessons we are here to learn in this human journey is the lesson of Personal Responsibility.

And quite frankly. We’re doing a shitty job.

And if we don’t pull it together and work to protect one another we’ll be seeing a new wave of “Me Too” in our next generations.

And what scares me most about this…

It won’t shock me.

I stand firmly with every person that shares this pain. Many are still waiting to hear “I am sorry”

And most will not.

Because, we have taught the offenders that they have nothing to be sorry for. We allow the judicial system to issue a wrist slap, to place them into protective custody and to live next door among us.

We drive the justice system in this world. They are not GODS. They are you. They are me. They are us. And they issue sentence on what we as a whole accept.

Think on that.

Animal abusers are dealt with more harshly.

Think on that too.

“It happened to me so it could happen to you. We don’t talk about it. We just live with it. You’ll forget one day. I forgot”

Lets stop forgetting.

And lets start believing.

And let’s start the stop.

Lets also place responsibility on all those who did nothing to deter it. Let’s stop making it all about the offender and start focusing on those that abet him/her.

When we do nothing. When we question the authenticity. When we allow for leniency.

We become accessories to the crime. We have taken the side of the offender.

Is that what we want to be for our children?

Postscript:

The child I refer to in this blog is not a girl.

And one day he may find himself struggling to find words to apologize for the behaviors of his gender.

But who apologizes to him?

“I Believe You”

We can change.

 

In love, in light and in hopes for a better tomorrow.

 

Tania