the edges of myself

words, words, words

I’ve been hit with some massive realizations of late, not the least of which is this:  you attract the love that you believe you deserve.  Now, this may not seem like any great realization for you, but for me– it’s big.  It isn’t until just recently that I’ve been anywhere near ready for the kind of love that I am finally conceptualizing and expanding into.  Up until a little over a year ago I was resigned to a failing marriage– and I can give all sorts of different reasons why I was sitting in that massive pit of resignation– but possibly the biggest reason was because I believed it was what I deserved– or perhaps more accurately I couldn’t conceive of deserving any better.

After all, isn’t the love of my kids enough?  I mean, my partner doesn’t have to be everything.  That’s what we have friends for, right?  NO.  absolutely and emphatically capital N capital O.  NO.  I deserve big love.  I deserve the kind of love that inspires poems; the kind of love that makes cartoon forest animals giggle.  I deserve transformational, head over heels love.  And I think I’m finally ready for it.

At the end of March my kids and I took a road trip to the bay area for Spring break.  We spent most of our time there staying with a very dear friend and her family.  I had no idea what a massive trip of transformational goodness awaited me as I began driving south from Portland.  We left late Friday afternoon and stayed at La Quinta in Ashland, swam in the indoor pool at 10 pm when we arrived, and began driving again bright and early Saturday morning.

As we made the drive through California I had so many memories and feelings flooding through my entire being.  I’m not even sure there was anything tangible within the soup of emotions for me to hold onto– but I do remember being surprised by it– caught off guard.  I guess I felt like I had already processed all that I needed to around my ex-husband.  Not so.

San Francisco was where we grew up, cut our teeth, became adults.  We owned our first home there, had two babies, we built a life.  In San Francisco there were traces of a relationship that was yet unbroken.  There were times spent there that were pure and full of love.  Of course, San Francisco was also the sight of some massive betrayals.  I won’t say that I had some overwhelming sentimentality all of a sudden about our relationship–but I will say that it probably softened me a bit towards the whole thing.  It also brought home more than anything else how perfect it was that the relationship was finally over.  End of chapter.  Door closed.

I realized as we drove into Oakland after our six hours on the freeway that this was the first time I’d been back since the crumbling of the marriage exactly a year before.  And it was very strange.  Our new family dynamic was not the one I was accustomed to within the vibration of that place.  I was able, as we drove through familiar places full of memories, to acknowledge them and set them free.  I hadn’t really realized I’d been holding them captive–but somehow I had.

It was on this trip to the bay area that I began to tap into this immense feeling of freedom; that “I’ve got my entire life ahead of me and I’m on top of the world” feeling.  It felt incredible.  It was also on this trip that I had my second instance of past life clarity.  The beginning of my orphan lifetime came tumbling back to me in fits and spurts.  I clearly remembered who my parents were then, and realized that the energetic ties between us in this lifetime were holding me back.  I realized I needed to energetically separate myself from those two souls and spontaneously had a  ceremony for myself in Tilden park in Berkley where I did just that.  It felt so incredible to make this massive leap on my own, without the help of any other.  After doing so I proceeded to stand up in a state of absolute bliss, feeling empowered and ready to take on the world, and I walked away from the rock  I was sitting on leaving my purse sitting next to it.  “Not so fast,” said the universe.  It’s never quite as simple as we think it is.

I didn’t give it a second thought until 45 minutes later when we got to the restaurant where our overly hungry crew was beyond ready to eat lunch.   The time that ensued next was so perfectly representative of the orphan lifetime abandonment, it was just silly.  I made my way back to Tilden on my own, I believe relatively calmly (though hungrily) and to the little farm where I had left the purse.  I calmly (though quickly) made my way up to the rock I had been sitting on and discovered my purse was not next to the rock where I had left it.

At this point I felt just a twinge of panic making its way through all of the cells of my body, radiating from a central point in my gut.  I forced it down and began to walk at a more quickened pace around the farm looking for someone, anyone, who might work there.  No dice.  After circumnavigating the entire farm twice and realizing that there was in fact truly no staff person present, I could no longer isolate the panic to my gut.  It spread everywhere and I began to cry.  I don’t know what I looked like to the few people who were on the farm–I guess like a slightly hysterical woman–but no one felt the need to inquire as to the nature of my disturbance.  After checking and re-checking and looking in places that I knew it could not possibly be– I resigned myself to the fact that my purse was gone.  Period.

Now wait a second, you might say, isn’t it possible that someone found it and turned it in and that it was in fact sitting somewhere waiting for me to claim it?  No.  Not in my world as it existed then.  You have to remember, up until just a short while before, resignation had been my middle name– and these patterns can sometimes take a while to change.

So, I made my way back to my car.  Somehow, my phone had managed to be free of my purse when I lost it.  That’s such an unlikely scenario as they are so often a unit–but again, it was simply perfectly as it was meant to be.  So, I had a line of communication with the outside world.  I began driving, again minor hysteria was present.  I made my way out of the parking lot of the little farm and back onto the winding roads of Tilden Park.  I felt this massive shattering all around me–the crumbling of the relationship with my mother in that lifetime.  I don’t know how long it took me to realize that I had absolutely no idea where I was–but eventually it hit me that the switchbacks I was navigating were completely unfamiliar to me.  I had never seen them before.

A new wave of panic overtook me.  I found a place to stop and turn around– I reached for my lifeline, my phone, my link to the world outside of this vast wilderness that was beginning to feel consuming.  No service.  Lost in the wild of Tilden Park.  Now, of course the extreme sense of panic and fear that was consuming me were deeply metaphysically rooted and had very little to do with the actuality of my physical situation, which was clearly not dire.  But, that was not how I was perceiving it.  I was lost, in the forest, stripped of my identity with no means of communication with the outside world.  It was then that I felt the overwhelming need to speak to my dear friend with whom I was staying.  Although my rational mind understood clearly that there was no cell phone reception, my panic refused to acknowledge that.  I dialed and re-dialed her number over and over and over again.

I reversed course and headed back to the scene of the crime, the little farm.  From there, I tried to rationally make my way out of the forest again.  I took deep breaths, I assured myself everything was okay, I slowly and methodically maneuvered my way through the park.  Success.  I identified my misstep.  I turned left instead of right.  I made my way along the switchbacks that I knew I had traversed before in a comfortable, more familiar way.  I found my way out.

As soon as I was back in civilization my call went through.  Her voice felt like a lifeline to me.  My overwhelming need to talk to her in the midst of my personal crisis was completely validated.  Her presence over the phone line anchored me back into this plane of existence.  I made my way back through Berkley and to the restaurant where she waited outside with her youngest child and my two.  They all piled back into my car and we started the journey back to her house.  I was still a bit of a wreck, but a collected wreck, caught up in the details of how to function without my identity.  I began to think of the ways in which someone might be able to find me given the information in my wallet.  I prayed that I had one of my business cards in it.  She assured me that we would figure it out.

As we pulled up to her house I got out and went around and opened the trunk, I don’t remember how, but somehow I hit my head–not a terrible hit, but clearly the last straw.  I lost it completely.  I crumbled to the ground, a weeping puddle.  Nobody knew quite what to make of me.  Then my phone rang, an unfamiliar Oakland number.  Bingo.  Tilden park management.

I listened as the man’s kind voice on the other side of the line explained that someone had turned in my purse and that he had found my business card in my wallet with my cell phone number.  Thank you universe.  He carefully explained how to get to the part of the park where he was located, of course a completely new area for me.  My kids and I piled back into the car with the promise of ice cream after the purse retrieval.  It seemed only fair.  I headed back yet again into the wild, this time with an entirely new perspective, my feet firmly back on the ground and my trusty co-pilots cheering me on from the back seat.

It wasn’t until a few days later, as the kids and I drove down South for a few days in Carmel that it hit me what my friend’s role within the context of that orphan lifetime was.  When I did the ceremony in Tilden, her soul was also a part of it, although I didn’t have clarity about why.  As I drove South along 280, amongst the beauty of the California hills, the clarity of our relationship in that lifetime rolled over me like a wave.  She was the one who took me in when I was orphaned.  She became my family when the rest of the world had abandoned me.  Tears of gratitude began streaming down my face.  I texted her immediately:  “You were the one who took me in when I was an orphan.  Just came to me clear as day.  Thank you.”  She texted back “Goosebumps and love, Totally resonates.”  Yes it does.

That was just one of the adventures that my trip to California had for me–but probably the most important, as it held so many valuable lessons.  It was necessary for me to descend into the darkness of the forest without my identity.  Necessary to navigate that territory on my own and come out on the other side with the clear knowing that there is no such thing as alone.

There are those souls who we are connected with whose value we can’t possibly find words for.  That’s who this friend is for me.  Just within the context of this lifetime she has been beside me at the times when no one else has.  Her loyalty and devotion are unparalleled.  She has always been my champion and my ally and has been someone from whom I have never had to hide even the tiniest piece of me.  It is because of her that I find myself in this uncharted territory– exposing my roots, laying bare the me that has always feared the light.  It is because of her love, unconditional and oftentimes unrecognized, that I am able to finally see all that I deserve.

She and I processed a lot for each other and with each other in that short week.  And I drove back North knowing with absolute certainty that the love of my life is ahead of me–and I’m finally ready for it, for him.  I’m ready for the poems.  I’m ready for the giggling forest animals.  I’m ready to lay myself bare in a way that has never before been possible.  There is nowhere left for me to hide.  I don’t want to hide anymore.  My big, bad, woo woo self is fully out of the closet and it feels amazing to let her breathe.

10 thoughts on “all that i deserve

  1. i hope your inner cartoon giggles until tears of joy and release begin to form 🙂 beautifully written

    1. mandycregan says:

      thank you for reading 😉

  2. Lia says:

    Love this. I too have been lost in Tilden Park when I went to clear my soul so I completely get this. And yes you TOTALLY deserve the big fantastic love that is awaiting you. Hugs

    1. mandycregan says:

      Thank you Lia! Tilden is a crazy, beautiful spot of wilderness just on the edge of civilization. i love it.

  3. steph says:

    love you dearly

    1. mandycregan says:

      back atcha, angel. xo

  4. eastonc says:

    Once again, Mandy…once again.

    1. mandycregan says:

      Thank you, Christa!

  5. alene bikle says:

    Oh, Mandy, you express such wisdom. Truly all who know you and will know you benefit from your insights.

    1. mandycregan says:

      Thank you Alene! I appreciate your words and that you take the time to read mine.

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