Going to Long Island was a good thing to do, and it’s good to be back home. I was able to stay in myself, who I am now. I wasn’t thrown back in time. Partly because I was very conscious about staying in the present. When I passed a familiar place or memories started to creep in, I would check in with myself. I would focus on my hara, the second chakra, and ask myself how I was. Then I would listen. It always came back that I was fine. Because really, I was fine. The feelings and memories were not real. They couldn’t touch me if I didn’t let them. They were ghosts really, so I would acknowledge them, then watch them float away.
But I also planned the trip very differently. I planned it so it worked for me. I haven’t seen my aunt in many years. She just had surgery, which is why my mother was staying with her, and I wanted to see her. Also, I found the idea of my 86 year old mother going to take care of her 82 year old sister admirable.
So the key for me was that I wasn’t going out of obligation, something I’ve done throughout my life. I was going because I wanted to. It’s that sense of obligation and coercion that sends me back to a bad place. I guess before leaving, I was doubting my reasons for going. I wasn’t sure if I was doing it out of guilt, or if I actually wanted to help. Knowing which it was made all the difference.
In the past I would have thought nothing of driving to Long Island and pick my mother up and drive back home all in one day. At least 11 hours of driving. It was madness, but I wanted to do it. It got me out of my life for a little while and had a sense of urgency that made me feel important.
But now I don’t need to leave my life to feel good about myself. I like who I am and what I do. I don’t want to give my life away. When I talked about it and went inside myself, I could see that my decision to go to Long Island wasn’t about obligation or guilt, but something I wanted to do. I wanted to help my mom and aunt out in the way I could. And this I could do.
So not only did it turn out to be a nice visit, but I got to feel my own strength. I used to feel like I had to do everything that the other people in my family did, even if I didn’t really want to. But I’m figuring out how to do things in a way that works for me and, I hope, for them. It’s a long haul, but it seems to be getting a little easier. Maybe some people will never be able to see me any different than the way they always have, even though I’ve changed. But that has nothing to do with who I know myself to be now. And that’s what really matters.
9 thoughts on “Feeling My Strength on Long Island”
It will no longer be Long Island; it’s now New Island!
I am so happy for you, Maria. Having that clarity about your feelings and being able to act for yourself and not from guilt or those other old feelings is truly empowering. You are amazing, and your writing always brings more courage to me, as well. Thank you. Blessings for your aunt – I am sure your visit meant a lot to her and your mother.
For some time I read you blog…girl.. every day you a stronger and stronger.You doing such good job discovering yourself and NOT listening silly “advisers” 🙂
Kind regards from Australia
Maria, we all have ghosts to deal with. I’m glad you were so in-tune and aware of yourself but that doesn’t come without some work with ourselves. Life really is a matter of attitude, I think. Jon’s recent post illustrates that. It’s so easy to slip back into feelings we’ve had in the past and acting upon them. So uplifting when we recognize them and feel we’ve conquered them.
SandyP in Southern Ontario, Canada where the Pan Am Equestrian events are being held as I speak)
You don’t know me in any way, but I followed Jon’s writing and through him, found yours. I have to tell you that I just love this post. I know nothing of your past, but any time someone can say they don’t need to leave their life to feel good, that they like who they are and what they do, it makes my heart happy. Bless you, and thank you for sharing.
Thanks Robyn, I love to hear people say that too. I think it makes the world a better place.
Dear Maria, How I love all your thoughtful, long blog posts. They are a personal diary and we are so privileged to have you share them with us. I always enjoy going back everything you’ve written over the last week or two. Annie
Oh that’s good to hear Annie. Sometimes I think my posts are getting too long. But I can’t seem to help it they just come out that way.