This Mother’s Day exposed deep truths in my life. Maybe I’ve been shallow all these years. Sometimes I feel ignorant. Sometimes I look around and see these patterns being acted out and I ask myself if anyone is really aware, feeling deeply and seeing what I’m seeing.
So I ventured back to my childhood home where my mother still resides, nearly six decades after she became a mother. I took her to a Sunday morning church service where a passionate lesson was preached, songs were sung a cappella, the communion, prayer and order of service ritual has not changed since I was a kid.
The preacher spoke masterfully in a classic radio voice. Relatable to my upbringing, he plucked versus from the old King James Version of the Bible and scattered the Devine across a mostly practical audience of 30 or so attendees that did include one new mother and her infant child, who excused themself at one point to escape the classic old cry room where she privately nursed the child to sleep during the service.
The lessons used to scatter my emotional and mental faculties. I have my own way of dealing with the Devine that doesn’t easily lend itself to following other trains of navigating ancient texts cast against the backdrop of life today. It’s taken years to organize the chaos that I feel, sense and that my mind has labored to translate into a language that doesn’t, quite frankly, always seem to have the fitting expression.
I can recall precisely the moment when I realized these people have a history without me. Prior to that moment I felt like I’d alway been. Although I’d never packaged my past into lives or stories, I felt at peace with my everlasting presence. It seemed pure and quiet. Confident. Knowing. Yes, it felt like that as a young child.
But I have a porous nature, this “meat suit” I landed in. I have a sensitive nature that seems to honor a fellow man whether they are worthy or not (by most standards held in the world, the West in particular today). My empathetic way opens me up to the vibe of the environment. That’s what becomes engaging to me and piques my curiosity. I walk down dark alleys for enrichment, surprise, to see what the Universe has in store next. Sometimes I initiate still, but I’ve learned much of that comes from conforming with old ways that are slowly falling away as we’re seeing deeper and deeper into our folly of capitalism, control, and falsehoods to which we’ve fallen prey to believing and investing our attention.
So this preacher raises the point that we cannot crawl back into the womb. That it is impossible to be re-born. I was actually disgusted by the physicality of the process he described. It seemed offensive, especially with my mother seated next to me and a man suggesting I would try to crawl back into her to be born again. I salute the preacher man for lifting the words from the page and making it so real. I would have never gone there on my own.
Twenty-five years ago I was experimenting with high frequency colors during psychotherapy. During a deep red session with the leading expert in this field at the time, I dropped into memories of my birth. I could taste the fluids, feel the slippery flesh on my shoulders as it seemed I was moving through the tunnel from my mother into the world.
Although I had always held an understanding of rebirth and even past lives, I never took either literally as many do. I believe we experience a wide range of energies, sensations and frequencies across a spectrum far beyond our awareness. Those to which are within our range, we notice and try to assimilate into some kind of order. Society and conditioning, our environment, can do that for us – in fact accepting those associations or conforming, may make things seemingly simpler for those who find and enjoy that way. For some reason or another some of us don’t feel supported by the norms of the conforming, the joiners.
So the strangest thing happened during the hours that followed this sermon, Sunday, Mother’s Day. My mother began falling apart. Later that day we found ourselves in the Urgent Care. A few hours later in her physician’s office. Both of these “institutions” asked some questions, took some samples and ran some quick tests, prescribed medications and later, when her condition worsened and I called her physician for advice, I am certain I was dealing with a fake. The front line office of this physician was shielding him. Suddenly they were claiming I wasn’t on the HIPPA forms and they couldn’t even talk to me for privacy issues. So I had my failing mother mumble to them. Their advice was to double up on the pain meds. Long story short – she nearly died the week that followed from poorly prescribed and un-necessary medications.
During this ordeal, nearly at the end of it, there was a moment when somehow I was moved to do something new. The measurements the doctors were taking were showing one thing, but her report of what she was feeling was totally painting a different picture. That picture that my mother painted looked aligned with her physical appearance. She’d barely eaten anything all week. She hadn’t slept but an hour or so several nights. She said she felt like she was dying.
Somehow bouncing between taking a pill for this or pill for that, she had lost touch with herself. One pill that made the pain go away made her have nausea. Then the medication to resolve the nausea caused her to loose her appetite. Not eating eventually led to weakness. At some point fear crept in and the anxiety rose to a level of alarm. She couldn’t sleep. The circumstance became a ping-pong match of reacting to uncomfortable symptoms. And I felt like I was in a mentally driven video game that lost touch with the nature, my nature and hers.
Suddenly it hit me. I interrupted a pattern that I’d been observing for a week between these “professionals” and my mother. The phrase seemed to come from a place outside me and I’m a little ashamed and guilty to say I’ve never stated this to my mother before. But she had always been so commanding and to many she came off as manipulative and bossy. She always acted as if she knew what she wanted and stated it with such vigor that it cause most to respond to her demands.
I asked her “Wait a minute. Back up. Mom, what is it that you really want here?”
There was a long pause. The “professionals” who had been rushing to form smart conclusions were at a loss and the shock shifted at least temporarily to them. There was actually a moment of “not knowing” in the room full of people who had trained and been brain washed into “thinking” they “knew” the answers to everything. Not to demean the “professionals” because to many practical conditions, they certainly do have good answers. But the problem with circumstance more times that we may admit is a matter of culling down the thousands of possibilities in a moment into one or two that are tangible. A broken bone may be the simplest to reach consensus.
But a broken woman?
I’ve spent a lifetime trying to figure out this woman and my environment. This “figuring out” is far from simple and to think a pill could do it, well that’s just ludicrous. The rage this woman, my mother must feel for the libations placed on her since birth into a society that kept her from reaching her full potential as a human being, from enjoying the natural course of life in the “meat suit” in which she landed … well, I’m proud to have survived birth and raising from this woman to have been here that day to pose this question back to her.
I actually don’t believe anyone had ever asked her that question before. Especially in such a dire state.
And for the purpose of this article, her answer doesn’t even matter. She (and even I) was transformed by it. At a deep level I really wanted to know. She finally was too weak to hold the rage, the resentment and blame, those shallow stories we all live out in our polarities. The truth of my concern, the love and sincerity knifed through the duty that brought me there for Mother’s Day initially to uncover the Divinity in that moment.
I believe I may have touched my mom for the first time in that moment and been released from all the messed up conditioning that women of her era were asked to bear. If you follow my train of thought here, since we all come from women and are so powerfully impacted by an environment they inhabit in our formative years, we are – both men and women – exposed to the horrors of bad wiring between our senses and associations in life. That’s our humanity.
Art for the sake of art. The motiveless act. Stumbling into the Divine.
Maybe life would be easier if we could actually crawl back in an do it over. Maybe it would be easier if we could solve everything literally. If life could be a Pollyanna nursery rhyme and we could all be the hero or heroine. If we could all be the star. Those story lines are cast out to the masses to deny and bury their humanity, the true potential to connect with each other. Ultimately to deny access to ourselves, our own uniqueness and the Divinity we are here to enjoy and share.
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