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Love

Your Love Lifted Me Higher

The one-year anniversary is quickly approaching and he’s on my mind more than ever. Pangs of guilt hit me, as 20130508_145559I imagine scenarios in which I could have done things differently forcing a different outcome. I thought I had made peace with Dink’s death, but my attempt to recreate the past means a residue of suffering remains.

I remind myself of the many blessings received by his dramatic departure. He inspired the Freedom from Suffering Group Distance Healings and countless people (including furry friends) have benefited. He didn’t die in vain.

I silently request Dink give me a message, because it’s my loneliness for him that’s causing me to feel a loss. (more…)

My One True Love

“Are you ready?” I tilt my head down to answer, his piercing blue eyes encounter me. What the hell was that?

imageI nod in confusion. Take in a deep breath, close my eyes, and squeeze Wendy’s hand inside mine. The needle punctures and moves through the clamped top of my navel. I exhale a sigh of relief, “That wasn’t so bad.” Fritz threads the ring, pulls the needle out, and inserts the bead in the center of the gold ring. (more…)

Dink: A Love Story

I unpacked the Amazon package and replaced Ceiro’s battery in her dog collar right away. But I dismissed my thought about about replacing Dink’s and putting it on him.

He may still be here if I hadn’t been lazy. I feel like I failed him.

20130824_201743Anyone that had the pleasure of meeting Dink knew what it was like to be truly loved. I only had the pleasure of being The Dinkster’s mom for fifteen months.  Our dear friend, Chad, and his son, Lewis, asked us to adopt him when they moved from Charlotte to Denver due to the Pit Bull Ban. I had seen pictures, but they didn’t do him justice, I was completely surprised by his huge head. He is a Razor’s Edge (more…)

Concerned Parent Program

I played the concerned parent role for many years. That is until I learned to tune into my emotions and my mantra became “nothing is more important than that I feel good” (thank you, Abraham).  I actively committed to change and to doing my best to feel good, the majority of the time. I do not claim to be perfect and by no means do I claim to know everything about parenting. But I have discovered a positive, empowered parenting style that works well for me and seems to be working for my children.

Being a parent is very challenging. We worry about whether we are raising our children appropriately. Are they good people? Are they making good choices? How can I stop them from being hurt or making mistakes? So many questions, sometimes so few answers.

It was natural for me to be a concerned parent; after all it was ingrained in me through my environment. I want to be clear, I am not holding a grudge, nor do I wish I could have changed anything about my life. My family was loving, close and protective, with all my needs provided. With that said, I was raised in an environment where my parents were constantly worried about my well-being, rightfully so, after all, they were too. If parents didn’t show concern for their children, then they simply weren’t good parents!

During high school, I remember my Mom losing many nights’ sleep, awaiting my arrival home.  I never really understood the concept of a curfew, to me, it was far too restraining. It made more sense to simply come home when I was done having fun, when I was ready. Nevertheless, this was not how my Mom felt.  She would not allow herself to fall asleep; instead, she would lie in bed with the TV on, thinking of the 101 ways that I could die that night.

Looking back on those experiences, with today’s wisdom, I now see how strongly my inner-wisdom, soul, spirit (whatever you choose to call it), was pushing me, while confined to rules, to do the things that brought me joy. It’s no wonder I was considered rebellious. I simply didn’t take no for an answer, I wanted to know why.  Why do you want to suppress me? Why do you want to keep me from doing the things I love? Why do you want me to feel bad?

As life would have it, I became a mother early in life. I wondered when the Mother’s Curse was going to kick-in. You know, the curse that your mother places on you to have a child just like you! Staying true to course, when my eldest daughter, Brandilyn, entered middle school, I updated my overly concerned parent program.

She had a girlfriend that I was certain would be pregnant by the age of 16 (if she made it that long!), her parents drank way too much, and I was concerned for Brandilyn’s safety when she was with them. There was one Saturday that she had spent with them, calling in the evening to get permission to sleepover. I argued she didn’t have her necessities and she said she could pick them up and asked me to pack them for her. I didn’t hear her come into the house and get her backpack.

For about three hours, I was convinced she was horribly hurt (before cell phones were at pre-teens’ disposal). I felt intense worry, sobbing tears as I experienced her funeral, and a knotted stomach before I discovered the backpack gone from the front door. She was completely safe and having fun with her friend.

It’s incredible the amount of physical and emotional pain we can suffer simply from making up worse case scenarios in our imagination. From something that isn’t even “real.” It’s now easy for me to see the direct correlation from my thoughts (emotions) to my well being, it wasn’t at that time.

Not long after, the Internet was introduced. I researched all the information available for me, as a good parent, that I needed to know for my children’s safety. I even purchased a computer program that recorded the keystrokes of our family PC. This would allow me to read any email or chat room discussion that Brandilyn typed.  (You must understand, this isn’t easy for me to admit as this is the first time that Brandilyn is finding out that I violated her privacy. Yet, if you or someone can learn from my paranoia, then it is worth it.)

Shortly after the program was installed, I generated a report and read an email she had typed to one of her friends. She shared information with her friend that made my heart sink into the pit of my stomach. I was in a dilemma, do I confront her with what she had done or let it go? I went back and forth for a few days and realized, she didn’t do anything that I had not also done at her age. I discovered I wanted her to be free to explore and experiment in life, without the fear of big brother watching her. Knowing she is entitled to her privacy and I trust her to make good decisions, and even if she doesn’t, trust that she will learn and grow from that experience. I removed the program immediately and no longer felt the need to spy on my children.

It was Tabitha, my youngest, that taught me that everyone has his or her own guidance that is far more powerful than any parental guidance or stranger danger talk. When she was 5 years old, we had some repair/service people in our home after a lightning strike. This particular day, it was the high-speed Internet being repaired. The first repairman was having difficulty and called in assistance. The second man arrived, and began interacting with Tabitha, wanting to be playful and engage her.  She cowered behind me, something I was not seeing my generally gregarious daughter do. She whispered, “Mommy, he’s mean”, as she hunched more behind me. I actually tried to reassure her and prove to her that he was not mean!

Here, she was showing me, that the guidance within her was telling her to stay away from him and I was trying to encourage her toward him! Simply because I wasn’t fully aware in that moment, since I was feeling embarrassed by her lack of social graces! REALLY! Wow, thankful to see it so clearly afterwards.  When I realized what she was teaching me, that is when I stopped instilling fear into my children and instead, entrusted them to follow their own guidance. It is incredibly freeing when you are no longer worried about harm coming to your children.

Today, technology and social networking allows parents to have all new capabilities of monitoring their children. You are not always going to like what you discover. It’s up to you how you use that information. I suggest the first step would be to not take it personally. Often, we feel personally attacked or judge ourselves by how well our children behave or what they do or do not accomplish. Be free from the association of others. Secondly, instead of focusing on what they did “wrong”, turn your focus and awareness on what they do “right”. In an attraction-based universe, we experience what we predominantly focus on. Here’s a big news flash, your children are showing you exactly what you expect!

Next, keep your focus primarily on subjects that feel good to you. When you think about something that is not in alignment with your true self, you will feel it. It may be an upset stomach, perhaps a headache, even something as simple as the feeling of anger or disappointment. Those “symptoms” are simply information. Once you have the information, then you can use it to help you to remember something positive or focus on what feels better now. Little by little, the shift begins from moving from a reactive parent to a stable, balanced parent.

I am a different parent now than I was 22 years ago when I first became one. I sleep soundly in my comfortable bed (even when my 17 year old son has yet to return home), knowing that my children are eternally protected. I am grateful to be free from the concerned parent program. I no longer interact with my children from a place of fear. I have found being an empowered parent is far more beneficial and influential for both parent and child.

 

Love ~ Let it Surprise You

On this day of celebrating Love, I find myself reflecting and appreciating two of the biggest loves in my life ~ my adoring husband and my eldest daughter. Being reminded of how truly precious the love that we share with one another is, never to be taken for granted. Knowing that if we are simply open to the possibility, it may not always come in the package or in the way that we expect, but it will come.

I had just celebrated my 29th birthday and had a little cash so I decided to get a new tattoo. Having recently walked away from an abusive marriage with my two young children, I was in the process of reinventing myself. I went to the shop that was close to where I lived and where I had my naval pierced six months earlier. I decided upon a small zodiac symbol and was told that Fritz would do my tattoo. I thought to myself, that’s good, since he’s the artist I wanted, having pierced me before.

We had a wonderful conversation during my tattoo, which took much longer than I expected.  He assumed I was a Cancer, since that was the symbol he was tattooing on my lower back; I corrected him and told him I was an Aquarius. However, I was born in ’69 and it was one of my favorite numbers. This definitely got his attention.

There was a strong mutual attraction, but we both had our reservations. I was a single mom, going through a divorce and he was a tattoo artist. A tattoo artist!!! I had a lot of stereotypes surrounding my opinion of tattoo artists and at the time I was still concerned about what other people thought of me.

I didn’t seem to be taking into account the powerful experience I had the day that he pierced my naval. When he looked up at me to see if I was ready, I immediately felt “something” when I connected to his deep, blue eyes. After we left, I asked my friend if she thought he was cute. She said yes, but was surprised that I would find him attractive since he was bald and not my typical type. I couldn’t explain it, just something I felt. The very next day, my daughter, Brandilyn, and I were stopped at an intersection when I looked over to the right and saw Fritz on his motorcycle. I pointed him out and asked if she thought he was cute, being nine years old, she simply thought I was crazy.

It would take seven months, from being tattooed before we officially started dating. During that cautionary time, I got more tattoos, which are excellent pain therapy by the way. When you are suffering emotionally and mentally, the physical pain is unnoticeable, like it is somehow absorbed. On separate occasions, I brought my daughter and my out-of-town brother in to “meet” him. One night, after being tattooed, I was invited to attend a late night shop dinner with everyone. Afterward, he took me back to my car and our conversation continued for a while in the parking lot, before inviting him to my place. We talked until three in the morning, when he decided it was time to go home. He was a complete gentleman, which was refreshing, and somewhat disappointing, to me.

A few weeks later, my kids and me were moving to a new condo and my phone number was changing. I took this opportunity to inform Fritz of my new number, in case he wanted to reach me. We started dating two weeks later. Both of us had our reasons for being shy of a committed, long-term relationship. He was going to be my conquest, a fun story I would tell my grandchildren someday, about the crazy time Grandma dated a tattoo artist! Neither one of us expected to find “The One” in the other, but to our surprise, that is exactly what happened. We were married a year later.

We became engaged the day after the Columbine High School tragedy. The television coverage was quite extensive and one morning, while getting ready for work, Brandilyn noted the pictures of Harris and Klebold on TV and how average and normal they looked, similar to her abusive stepfather. That people will stare at Fritz and be concerned; yet he is so caring and gentle. That was how she learned that you could never judge a book by its cover.

Fritz became the father that Brandilyn never had, loving and accepting her as his own. Adopting her shortly after we were married for one year (the required time by law), she was 12 at the time. He helped her heal from her challenging childhood, not receiving the fatherly love she deserved. He encouraged her artistic talent, being an artist himself; today they work side-by-side tattooing at Alternative Arts Tattoo. They both have a great sense of humor that compliments one another, allowing them to engage in playful banter. Clients are not surprised when they discover they are father and daughter, but they may be surprised to learn they are not biologically so. I know now that he has always been her father; it just took them 10 years to meet!