As many of us experience, sometimes visiting family can be quite shocking to the system-energetically and emotionally. Even if it is just because there is a change in our normal routine, the whole body can be sent out of wack, spiraling downward into a puddle of mush on the floor. That is where I found myself this morning.
With each return after a visit home as an adult, it is taking a shorter amount of time for me to readjust back to ‘normalcy’. We grow and change and sometimes our family likes things the way they are, well, were. I decided to stop trying to make them change, to see things my way. I love them how they are and I recognize offering health or wellness advice creates much anxiety for them. Rather than making it a battle trying to convince them of all I learned during and after cancer, I must just be there and just BE when I visit.
It isn’t easy though. But I have stopped trying to prove anything or force my opinions on them. And no matter how much I’ve grown, or how I behave when I am 3,000 miles away, there is something about being with family, those who knew me as I was, that makes me revert right back to childhood behaviors. The lack of confidence bubbles back up to the surface, the fears and doubts of my adult choices rush back into my head and gut.
Each visit I believe I can avoid returning to my 13 year old self. But by day 3, there she is, shy, frightened, doubtful 13 year old Dar. I cry, yell, and wave my hands around when my perspective is overlooked. I grow impatient and frustrated and short tempered. And then it happens. Mom cries. And reminds me how she only gets to see me twice a year and she never knows when will be the last time because I live so far away and……. I didn’t give her grandchildren. Then the Jewish guilt rolls in like a tsunami!
I spend the evenings repeating in my head that I am the best daughter I can be while I live the life that is best for me. If I lived the life my mom wanted me to (which I actually did try to do!), I would live right around the corner from her in a town that is really for senior citizens, have a kid or 2, and would probably still be a teacher. In other words, I would be miserable living the life she dreams for me (for her). Healthy for absolutely no one. Which is why I cannot do exactly what she wants. Which is why, during each visit, I succumb to Jewish guilt, not being the daughter my mom was for her mom. I accept it now but still feel her disappointment.
I come home to my husband and dogs carrying a boulder on my back. Returning to my life usually takes a long time and literally feels like stepping out of a black hole all discombobulated and living the lives of the childhood Dar and the adult healthier Darlene. Day one or 2 is the big release, about an hour of crying and letting it all out. I pay tribute to the child who continues to reappear, asking for healing and unconditional love. She was always loved, just so overprotected that she was taught and learned to be fearful of everything and anything. I teach her that it’s ok to step out of what everyone else is doing but she does get reprimanded by her mom. I continue to role model for her, regardless of what her family tells her. And I certainly keep making mistakes. But I can tell her that’s ok to do. That’s experiencing life. That’s stepping out so that each time she does, it is less and less scary and more and more exciting. That’s where learning takes place.
Now, my biggest lesson was having cancer. If it had been up to my mom, obviously, it wouldn’t have happened. However, if it hadn’t, I would not have discovered my life’s purpose, my intuitive gifts, my abilities to help others heal and laugh and grow and find their life’s purpose. I can’t imagine not having had that experience 8 years ago, who I would be right now, not having the life or friends I have or the most important knowledge and wisdom that came from what happened. I take that perspective when I start feeling guilty about not being able to do what mom says would make her happy. Sometimes we have to go through uncomfortable circumstances to learn and grow and also be able to relate to the rest of the world.
I am happy for the good, bad, and ugly. I am thankful for going home and having that child resurface so I can heal her and grow stronger as an adult. I love my family and understand each visit will be an opportunity for hopefully all of us to learn and grow. I am lucky for people who love me so much, who want me close by, who want to hold me and never let me go. My mom is a Jewish mother angel who I know is and will always be there for me no matter what, even if I didn’t give her grandchildren ;-).
TIPS FOR VISITING FAMILY:
USE YOUR TIME IN THE BATHROOM AS YOUR QUIET SANCTUARY (ALTHOUGH MY MOM TALKS THROUGH DOORS)
COUNT TO 10. OR 20 IF YOU HAVE TO
LEARN REIKI SO YOU CAN DE-STRESS UNDER ANY SITUATION! http://www.insyncenergy.com/Reiki-Training.html