3: The Gifts of Sickness and SightJan 17, 2023
I guess I’m not one to shy away from putting myself out there and becoming vulnerable. I don’t even know that I’m doing it half the time. I’m just told by many that I am. Honestly, I’ve been in the business of self-discovery for so many years that I don’t feel the need to hold too many things private. Although, I do have a very private and quiet life with a very small circle of personal acquaintances. I mean, as an author, we have to put ourselves out there. But, I have long been fascinated with the mind and human spirit.
I’ve always had a very quiet and introspective life, even as a child. I used to spend countless hours in my bedroom and was enamored by the unspoken and unseen energies that were so common in my world. I had no idea that my experiences were uniquely different than those around me. I grew up as a sensitive, an empath, a seer. It would take me the entirety of my life to be able to understand what some would call gifts. It’s funny when you look back on your childhood how you can discover what was innately you when life gets too big as an adult. I’ve often looked back on my childhood and realized I was just always “unique”. I wasn’t meant to follow the same path as my peers. There were points in my life where this was harder to see than others. By nature we measure ourselves against others as sort of a guiding light and how we assess levels of success and social norms and where we fit into those puzzles. And, with social media we now have instant comparisons at the click of a mouse. I mean, how many times have you looked at someone seemingly successful in their life or career and wished for something similar? Even when we know they are only showcasing their brightest and best moments we fall victim to unhealthy comparisons. The problem with social norms, comparisons, and the like is that we feel inept if we are something other than the cookie-cutter. We’ve been made to believe there is something wrong with us. When, in fact, we are absolutely unique and beautiful because we remained true to self regardless of all the pressures to conform.
As a child, I was taken aside in school and told I wasn’t like the other kids. I was put in what I lovingly refer to as “dumb classes” where I was subject to testing and mind warping. I’m not even sure that my parents were ever even aware of how often I was pulled out of class. It was an absolute embarrassment when “Ms. Goldenthal” knocked on the door to pull me out of my regular classes for some bizarre reason. I would be taken to a special room where I would be observed. Even as a child I knew I was being observed. Today I believe they were studying me to see why I didn’t conform like the other kids. I was an anomaly.
My sister was a sickly child with regular bouts of asthma. At any given moment mom would come flying into my room and toss me in the car because my sister was having an attack. We spent our whole childhoods going to my sisters asthma doctors for tests and shots. I would often sit in observation of the environment wondering what they were doing to her and why. I was surrounded by sick kids growing up. I would often ask if I could take the shot instead of her and the doctors always let me come pick out a sticker of my own too. I spent my childhood alone often. Even though there was always someone around, my sister was the noisy one always requiring some kind of attention. She would also end up in a near death car accident at 15. I’ll never forget the day I had to go to the hospital and I was brought in the room to identify her while my mom was taking care of paperwork. She was so covered in dried blood and her head was swollen and I remember only recognizing her by her fashionably pinned Guess jeans. I remember her screaming as they cut them off of her as they were quite expensive (and rather tight). She would end up with blood clots and air in her brain and spent weeks fighting for her life in ICU. We used to all make trips to the hospital after school and family and friends were visiting not knowing if she was going to make it. It was traumatic for everyone. But, she came out very lucky in the end. No permanent damage.
There was always so much noise in the household with my sister…even on a good day she was playing her stereo on high volume, yelling about something, raiding my closet and ruining my clothes, or making a mess somewhere in the house. I used to find myself taking refuge in my bedroom in my own controlled space. Everything well organized and clean and so quiet. I had an order about things. I had a certain level of respect for my personal environment that was probably rather unique as a child. Orderly and quiet would probably best describe it. But, there was always something else happening in my world that was unique. As a child I had a certain level of respect for the unseen. I often wonder where this respect came from. It was an inner knowing that certain things were to be held sacred. I knew that life was a gift. Yet, there was always chaos all around me. I had a hard time processing loud, unorganized, or unhealthy energy. I had a hard time eating and processing meat and other animal products and would often end up in the hospital when I was forced to. I didn’t have enough knowledge to explain why what was happening was not in balance or unkind for my body, mind, or soul.
My family was not church-going. In fact, my dad grew up in Catholic schools and wanted nothing to do with any of it as an adult and most certainly didn’t want to raise us in that environment. But, mom was resentful dad wasn’t willing to support institutional religion. I was never formally trained as a child to know anything about spirituality. Yet, spirituality came to me. As I grew up I was regularly visited by the spirit of many. I would have very vivid and real dreams where I would be taken to other realms. I would be tested and watched much like I was in school. I would be visited by what I will call star family. I would be taught and tested in another realm while my human body slept. I would oftentimes wake up exhausted.
Knowing that other realms existed and knowing that I was to honor and respect what was being shared with me, I intuitively knew never to speak of these things. I understood at a very young age that my soul was ancient and that others that walked the earth amongst me were asleep. I was never informed that there were others like me. But, I grew up in a kind of imaginary world that was far kinder than the earthly world around me. I preferred to spend time with my galactic family and friends. In fact, it became quite lonesome very early on in life. When you walk in parallel worlds and one is unkind, harmful, full of chaos, and honestly quite angry you opt to spend time in the kinder world. It becomes quite challenging to be physically walking with your body in one world and spiritually living in another. My whole life would be spent living between these two parallels.
As I would go through life I would have moments when beings from my spiritual world would come into my physical world but in 2006 I would be greatly awakened after the death of my beloved dog Tia Maria. She would be the catalyst to my re-remembering. This is where my first book begins. But, now 17 years later I sit daily in my soul-balancing practices in reflection of all I have come trough. It has been an absolute whirlwind! What has occurred in the last 17 years is exhausting! I’ve tried to take the time to write at certain plateaus where chaos became calm and my body, mind, and spirit were balanced enough to entertain another book. But, as I sit here today writing, I feel a calling to place another marker in my journey and write at this plateau. Writing is healing for me. And go into writing to mark my presence in this plane as if one day my spirit will return to find my words of this life journey. Because by nature I am an empath, its probably all far more meaningful to me than me readers. I guess I like to think that my words noted here in this lifetime will somehow make it to my Akashic records and that something about my existence and choice to come here will be useful to someone somehow later. I like t think my imprint mattered in the makeup of this strange cosmos.
As I write later in my blog I will try to get into more of the specifics of some of the journeys over time and where my books leave off. So much has occurred in my life that is the making of my next book. But, as an author, I sit with my experiences and how best to frame them. I never care to write to sell books, but simply to tell my stories. I began writing by saying that I wrote in hopes of changing one life and one life I have changed. In fact, I believe it’s been more than one and for that I am blessed.
I will tell you about the one life I changed - a good enough reason to keep writing. In fact, I pulled up her picture as I write. She came to see me when I visited the mainland from Hawaii. She drove an hour to see me. I knew nothing about her, nor why it was so important she meet me. I would learn she loved Chinese Shar Pei’s and had an English Bulldog much like my own. Her bully was a trained service dog. I would wait at the restaurant only knowing these things. I guess she had followed me since I wrote my first book. I would sit at the restaurant waiting for the little bully to walk in the door so that I would know who she was. It was over that meeting where I would learn of her returned cancer. Outside of the husband she brought with her, I would be one of the first to know that if indeed her cancer had returned she had maxed out her chemo sessions and she knew she would die. To this day I am not real sure why it was me she wanted to meet when her last days were so precious. I wonder often if I fulfilled her desires. Not long after we met she would pass.
Sometimes we set out to do something not knowing how it will impact another and by simply making our presence known we have given another peace. I don’t claim to be anyone special with any particular powers but if I can provide peace for another by simply existing then God is good! Do you ever think that one little thing you do in your life could be the only reason you were created? Perhaps if we did think this way we’d be far more kind to ourselves about the presumed failure we are for not living life on point or with a solid tackling of massive purpose. I mean really, be kinder to yourself!
So, with this, I transition into the next part of my story. Of course we all know that life isn’t fair… especially in love and war, right? Well… there’s lots of love, loss, and misunderstanding in my story, but not really a lot of war. I’m a pretty peaceful person. But, I am oftentimes moved to write when I feel life is threatened in some way. My last two books were written probably really to save my life. I know that sounds drastic, but it’s really quite true. As I was finishing up my 3rd book I became very ill. I had no idea what was wrong with me but something was just not right. The gifts of sickness are enough to write an entire book!
It was when I was engaged and living in Hawaii when I first started to not feel well. It was wonderful living in Hawaii but it was the regular lack of understanding from my partner that I often wondered was at the heart of my not feeling well. He was supportive in public, but not so much in person. It was a very narcissistic experience and one that I really didn’t have words for back then. In fact, I really didn’t know people were so two-sided. I had no former experience with anything quite like this. I had a hard time wrapping my brain around why someone would behave this way and especially with someone they claimed to be the "love of their life". It played on my emotions so much that in fact it really just quite frankly exhausted me. I just no longer had the energy for it. It wasn’t kind and authentic and it never was very soulful and me being an empath made it just that much harder on me. In public I was amazing to all we encountered but in private I was less than desirable. In public he loved everything about me and made sure everyone knew everything I had achieved, and in fact some things got over exaggerated to the point of being uncomfortable. I won’t get into the detail of this but it was the rocking back and forth where I believe it just became too much on my body, mind, and spirit. The energy was unstable. It would have been my last opportunity to have a child and it just wasn't right. For the sake of time and privacy I won't go into all the details. When you are going through it you think perhaps you’ve made it up, but after years of analysis now I know that I didn’t. It would take me a few years to recognize (and find research to support) that I had indeed suffered PTSD as a result.
Sickness first became a gift to teach me that my environment was toxic. It was when my body retaliated where I quickly became aware of the lacking support in relationships where I would have expected it. Sickness is funny because when someone is busy running in life and suddenly they have to stop and be present you find out how quickly you are alone. Until you’ve been in this dynamic you don’t realize how love gets tested. When you are not well and no one is there for you, you by default, form a richer and deeper relationship with your creator. Honestly, it quickly becomes the only thing that is true. And the dichotomy in the whole thing is that you are sick talking to the creator about being well. If God is almighty and you are not thriving you begin to wonder if it is by design. I certainly believe that most of the time we are unwell it is because we are in wrong relation with life or self. You’ve perhaps heard the quote that you will not get well in the environment that made you sick. When you become unwell it takes a Herculean strength to pull yourself out of your environment. As if it wasn’t hard enough when you felt well, right?
The greatest gift sickness has given me is compassion. Until you have played many roles in life it’s not easy to relate. When your body fails you, your family and friends don’t help you, and its hard to keep up with financial burdens, taking care of your family, keeping up with household responsibilities, etc. you haven’t understood fully how to live in another person’s shoes. We become compassionate through life experiences that give us the breath and depth of circumstances. When you’re strong and healthy and going about life you never think of the gifts of health. It’s only when either you are about to loose something or you’ve lost it where you understand the gifts you’ve been inherently given with life. It’s that saying… I wanted a new pair of shoes til I met a man with no feet… right? Oh thank God for my feet! We don’t go through life giving thanks for what seems to be the obvious.
When I got sick a few years ago and was really struggling and I watched people leave my life and act differently toward me I was beside myself in physical and emotional pain. I learned that “in sickness or health” was just words and that I was not loved beyond my well-being. As time progressed and I learned to understand my health challenges I would also learn to understand with compassion those that didn’t. It was a change that was scary for those around me. I was also looking for the person to come along and hold my hand and tell me they loved me regardless of what I was working through. When you have a weakness and you know what that is you choose partnership differently. You choose all relationships differently. You begin to seek those that choose you and not your well-being. You also become aware that you are not looking to bring weaker people into your life… some might say that like attracts like here. But, you are bringing people into your life that have grit and stamina. These people understand hardship. Honestly, I believe these are the souls with true compassion and understand deep levels of passion and pain.
When you’ve come through something that’s broader, richer, deeper, and more painful than the life you have been living you learn how quickly life is fleeting and how special each moment is. You learn how to taste the richness of life. You learn that tomorrows are not guaranteed. You learn how special each soul is that passes through your life no matter how briefly. You know to capitalize on each moment. When tomorrows aren’t guaranteed you absorb the richness of every fiber of every moment. Food tastes better, accomplishment, no matter if it’s just getting out of bed, is a meaningful celebration of life, a dull drab gray day is welcomed as a calming gift rather than a moment in time you will just get through until the sun shines.
The gift of life is more meaningful the other side of physical, emotional, and even spiritual challenge. And if it doesn’t change you to flirt with death and you don’t want to live life more fully then I do believe you’ve missed the gifts. May you go forth acknowledging the privilege of life…have compassion for the choices made around you. I no longer feel anger toward those that have left me behind when I needed them the most. They simply weren’t capable of the job. And, when they walk away and off the wings of love into something new they likely will not realize that it was this love that gave them the strength to walk…until it is no longer and just a little too late… and off we grow…