Falling With Style

I learned when I turned ten that my purpose on this earth was as a utility…a tool for the benefit of others. My mother was often ill and as the oldest and the only daughter in the family, it fell to me to care for my brothers and my father. What I wanted, what dreams I had, what manifest destiny I felt was there for me was irrelevant because dammit, my daddy wanted his eggs. I don’t blame my parents. They were in a no win situation and were making do as best as they could. As they say, “It was what it was.” Both of them are gone now and I wish they could see me now that I am safe and OK. There is another part of me that thinks we would likely have reversed roles of me being the parent and them being the kids and I’m not down for that. I have six children and that is plenty. Regardless, we will never know because they both died far too young before I could find my peace with them. I loved them truly, madly, deeply and I miss them every day.

I carried my impression that I was supposed to become what others needed me to be into both of my marriages and I am sure that is what led to the destruction of my first marriage (twice, we married and divorced twice) and some seriously compromising of my second marriage. I give somehow give off a vibe that I am open to change into whatever my partner needs me to be, then I become resentful that they set goals for me that are either unattainable or do not interest me. I did a lot of apologizing and crying and feeling like a failure, no matter how many successes I had. The end result was that I considered myself to be that failure and so did my partners. It is easy to objectively see the recipe for destruction, but not so easy when you are programmed with thousands of conditioned responses that create the exact dynamic you know is destructive.

Several weeks ago, around July 21, I became extremely ill. Those who know me well know that I am never, ever sick. I have been ill more times this year than in the past ten years jammed together. That got my attention. The one that happened in July was a week long doozie. I developed a kidney infection and a tooth infection at the same time. This was after just having my teeth checked in March. Having toxins up top and down below completely took me under. I felt like I was swimming in poison. I couldn’t think straight. My entire body felt systemically ill. I took D-Mannos and Oil of Oregano orally, rinsed with salt water and hydrogen peroxide, and drank gallons and gallons of water. Taking Motrin and Tylenol for the pain helped, but I could feel myself immersed in chemicals as well as infection.

This marries up to a time in my life when I was making choices I did not want to make. Specific situations indicated that I needed to find mainstream work (and fast), so I applied at a local staffing agency and submitted applications all over the place. Even my husband doesn’t know all of the places where I applied to work. Nothing. Not a call back. Not a lead. Not an interview. It was humbling, to say the least. Here I was a business owner, published author, PhD, and journalist and I couldn’t even get a call back to be a greeter at Walmart. I felt less than worthless.

Around the Blue Moon, Eric and I had a sweat lodge that was way, way over hot. It was so hot that he left the sweat three times, which is unheard of for him. I stayed and sweated out the mess. It was quite transformative for me and took me a long way toward burning off some long-term resentment that I feel was manifesting as toxins in my body.

As I healed myself of my incredible illness, I healed myself of my sickness, I healed myself of those damaging beliefs. It wasn’t that I was worthless, this was simply not my path. I came out of that illness a different person than the one who went into it. The thing is, the person who went into that illness wasn’t me and the person who came out of it was more me than I have ever been.

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I began to make private decisions in my head and quietly put them into effect in my life. Granted, this was only three weeks or so ago, but the effects were profound and immediate. My head cleared and I could think again. I felt plugged in, motivated, and engaged. My shop started making money. Readings began coming in again. My relationship with Eric re-balanced after being weird for a while.

One of these decisions was to change how I eat. In the past, I have made big proclamations and launched into major reform. This time, I stopped all white sugar, most gluten, all highly processed foods, and gave up soft drinks, which was the hardest sacrifice for me. I miss candy. I miss cookies. Now, however, it is on a mental level of “that would really taste good” rather than a physical craving. The cravings went away around 10 days in. I even just went on vacation to Southern California for four days and held strong, despite being surrounded by cookies and ice cream. I eat a lot of salads and protein foods. I eat fresh fruits and vegetables. For the first three weeks, I only ate twice a day. I ate a huge breakfast and then a moderate early supper. Now, I am working an extra, smaller meal into the day because my two nutritional counselors felt I was not eating enough. I just don’t get hungry at all. In the three weeks since I started this, I have lost nine pounds, but as my friend, Chelsea, puts it, “They were the biggest nine pounds I have ever lost.” The weight I lost feels much denser than the usual ten pounds I lose at the beginning of a diet process.

I feel very optimistic about the weight loss because I have seen the end result in my mind and I know it is assured. I always knew it would happen when it was time and not one moment before, no matter how much it was demanded of me. Now, it’s time.

Yesterday, I told Eric I was ceasing all efforts toward finding gainful employment in the mainstream and now I am focused on the shop, my readings, my teaching, and my writing. Those are my passions and everything else will just have to fall in. He was wonderfully supportive, which I appreciate.

I made other decisions in my life, cutting back on some projects that were not paying off to free up more time and energy for those that were. I am not anyone’s tool anymore. Onward and upward.

Meanwhile, I leave you with this earworm:

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