Listen to the heart!

“The Heart loves service, humility, hard work, dedication, self-approval and self-trust, listening to Divine Guidance from The Uni-verse which Whispers to us, taking action even though we don’t feel like it, getting up and trying again, not blaming but taking responsibility for the outcome of our lives, empathy, and having the willingness to dig in and get our hands dirty instead of leaving our dreams up to someone else.” Mastin Kipp: The Daily Love Blog

Pine cones

For three days I was hoping to write something less dark, more joyful than what has preceded on these pages. Yet my dance with shadow, my ego is the dance partner who seems to lead. Selfishness is the word or action that poked me this morning. My reaction to Mom’s disease, Alzheimer’s is distressing, and abusive to both of us. I realized the resentment I have about the situation taking up my time, my peace of mind, for I don’t know how or I certainly forget when I am forced to try to explain something a half a dozen times.

My heart may love service but not services that is forced, not service that has no seemingly end. There are moments when I feel boxed in trapped in our prison of “service”.  When I am angry and resentment takes voice I blame others, family, social services, mostly family for not showing up, not really being involved in this life/death situation with their own Mother! It is not about them, or is it? It is about my ego, my selfishness… plus being totally unprepared for any of this.

I don’t feel like doing any of it, I want out, I want to run away. What we need is help, social contact for both of us, people willing to spend time at activities with Mom. Social interaction with support group as well as friends.

Long Shadows

As I continue to write I keep hearing a voice say, you can’t publish this, not this crap again, not all this “pain” this darkness. I am writing what is. I am writing my emotional reactive experience.  Mastin Kipp in the blog this morning also writes this, ” Basically, our dreams need us to get over ourselves. Our dreams need us to take responsibility for them. Our dreams need us to SHOW UP even when we don’t feel like it. They are fragile and need tender Loving care. Dreams take time and are often tests of Faith. Let’s meet the test!”

Dreams may not be the correct word here yet the path to my dreams is to journey through this process, finding the joy, finding the magic.  That magic is in my photography, that magic is that walking with my camera I am much more conscious of my surroundings, much more aware of the magnificent beauty in a drying frozen leaf/plant, the way the soil pushes up at times, the bright blue sky against the bare tree tops, that birds still sing and flit from place to place. The scurrying squirrels leaping and chasing each other in search of a meal. The universe is alive, the universe offers each creature the gifts to live each day.

winter pods

That there is a balance to life even when the balance seems to be way off.  “Dreams take time and are often tests of Faith. Let’s meet the test!”  One of the principle of the artist’s way Morning pages is to “Show up at the page, (show up for life) Use the page to rest, to dream, to try.”  That certainly is a powerful way to be present for life, being awake, aware of all actions, good, bad or indifferent. Show up! Showing up is sometimes the hardest part.

I didn’t write yesterday because I didn’t want to feel, I distracted myself, i was too emotional, feeling shame or guilt for my angry, my madness. These are all part who I am. I could not even respond to the comments made my friends on the last blog until this morning because I was too moved by the compassion and support that was radiating there. I am most grateful for each and everyone for  your words. I bow in humbleness. I feel unworthy.

in the wind



{ This blog was written early this morning, I still doubted whether I should publish it. I listened to my heart}

19 thoughts on “Listen to the heart!”

  1. I’m with Laurie. You need to listen to your heart and not pretend that what you are doing is easy, okay, fun, loving, or joyful at any level. It is demanding, demeaning, frustrating, tiring, boring, and will make you crazy. If it were anything else, all those other people would be showing up. They are cowards. I might have to go write about the presence of cowards and not showing up. You are showing up for the hard stuff, the ugly stuff, the stuff that the Eskimos stick people on ice floes for and send them out to the frozen wastes to die. The only thing I can give you right now is to say let go of any expectations that your mom is going to keep or maintain anything you tell her. Just let it go now — breathe it away. And any time you get a chance to take a break alone for you, take it. Heap all sorts of guilt on those people who aren’t showing up and make those social services work for you. This is a time when I really wish we still lived in tribes because you need your tribe around you now.

  2. We all have moments like this…when a mother walks into the kitchen she just cleaned and it is a newly unearthed disaster waiting to be cleaned. When a teacher who loves teaching finds himself lost in a pile of unmarked papers. When a dog lover is forced bylaw to pick up the hundredth pile of dog poop…you get the picture.

    Just because you feel overwhelmed, or like you want to live a different existence with your mother does not make you a bad son. It makes you human. Over the past three years my mother has experienced bouts of depression so severe that she has almost died from self starvation. The only remedy that gives her some reprieve from darkness is Electroshock therapy. I can relate to wanting things to be different.

    With love and compassion from my heart to yours, Joy

    1. Great to see your return to the pages Joy! I have seen your blog show up a couple of times, I just have not had time to read and or respond!
      Why do love and compassion feel like control and manipulation?

      1. I am stumped…why does love and compassion feel like control and manipulation? This is an excellent question, which I do not seem to have an answer to. It’s a thinker! Much love, Joy

  3. Anyone dealing with the problems you’re faced with, need a full bucket of anger, just to be tipped out and used when needed . You have it Jeff and you magically turn that anger into the beauty and joy of photography . We all write when we are ready . We are all grateful you were ready this morning . Much love to you .
    Cherry x

    1. Yes, Lou I know our journeys are similar in manner at the moment. Dealing with dis-ease and our responses to it. I am grateful for your response here. Hope to see you soon!

  4. Jeff, oh Jeff, I always love your raw honesty, dark or light or shades in between. May I share a practice that has been helpful to me lately? When despair or anger or compulsion or judgment or impatience strikes, I have been simply (sometimes) sitting with the feeling and making a welcoming nest for it. Allowing that feeling to be. Not pushing it away. Asking it gently what it wants. What is beneath the response that is surfacing? Continually asking questions–“What is REALLY wanted? What do I really need?” Have been learning lots and my feelings have felt much more listened to, like every feeling is welcome, can exist. I want to keep this up in 2014 and beyond. Love to you!

    1. Kathy of course you can share a practice that has been helpful!
      Thank you. It is a practice that I have consciously sought to bring forth “being with, or sitting with” whatever is coming up at that moment. Part of the reason to begin to blog again was just that.

      Love, Jeff

  5. Dear, dear Jeff, bless your heart. I can only imagine how difficult this must be. But I SO appreciate your honest sharing.

    We’ve been away since Christmas. We had guests from the US and then did some traveling around our new country. Didn’t always have internet. I’m trying now to get back into the swing of things.

    Happy New Year. And hang in there, my friend!

    Hugs from Ecuador,

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