Reverence

Fall leaves on Mt. Lemon.

Fall leaves on Mt. Lemon.

I managed 3 weeks without blogging. I’ve read some books, tried not to think too hard and wasted a little time on Facebook. I’ve had deep conversations with friends, hilarious ones with my kids and trick-or-treated like a boss. I even dressed up for Halloween, which I haven’t done since 1998.

There’s definitely something in the air. Loved ones all around me are struggling with life changing circumstances while I’m in a season of stability. I’ve been through much of what they’re going through so it should be easy for me to offer advice but I feel oddly impotent.

I’ve been there but I can’t go there with you. I used to know what to say when someone told me they were feeling suicidal or contemplating divorce or got into big trouble but now I just pray for the Holy Spirit to put the right words in my mouth. I’ve been calling on the Holy Spirit a lot lately because otherwise, I’d be speechless.

Last weekend, we drove to Mt. Lemon, one of my favorite places. It was a perfect day for a Jeep ride and we got to experience the bite of fall. We were given free tickets for the ski lift so with my husband and son on one seat and me and my daughter on another, we ascended the mountain. It made my breath catch and my heart flutter. I was taken aback by the silence. Well…silence is completely the wrong word because I could hear the hum of the lift, the sound of wind blowing through the pines and my 4-year-old chatting incessantly…so yeah, silence doesn’t describe it. Reverence. I was filled with reverence.

There were signs of the last forest fire all around. Giant trees were blackened and scarred on one side but still alive. Others were burnt to the ground but surrounded by tall grasses and wild flowers. At the top of the mountain, the entire back side looked like a moonscape, eerie limbless tree trunks achingly pointing to the sky. But life was everywhere, singing in the branches and sprouting from the earth. It occurs to me that the only advice I have for anyone struggling is to do whatever it takes to hear your heart. Give it the respect it deserves. It takes practice and it takes discipline. You can’t hear a thing if you’re filling your life with useless noise, substances and things. I’m not sure if it’s really helpful if all I’m telling you is to figure it out for yourself but there you go. Figure it out. Figure. It. Out.

 

“Everyone who asks will receive. Everyone who searches will find.”

Matthew 7:8

back side mountain

I’m very sensitive and intuitive and every so often I experience a few hours or a day where I seem to absorb all the emotion and energy around me. I’m melancholy and sometimes even inconsolable but the feelings don’t really belong to me. Skeptics would call it being hormonal or possibly repression but I know exactly what it is. I’m like a Jedi sensing a disturbance in the Force and it feels like the universe is crying out. It’s like everyone I love is having a bad day and I can feel it as though it’s happening to me. Back before I was accepting of this gift, I would beat myself up for being so emotional and I’d try to find ways to make my emotions fit circumstances. I know better now. It’s hyper-connectivity and nothing more. The solution is to sit with the feelings and pay attention to signs and symbols. It’s a fleeting, temporary state and not one to fear.

My sister died two months ago today. She keeps reaching out to me in the most beautiful ways. She’s nudging me to places I wouldn’t otherwise think to go. This blogging break was supposed to be a time for me to think for myself for awhile and instead I’ve been bombarded by spirit guiding me. I guess we get what we need, not necessarily what we want.

I’m going to steal this song that RoS posted awhile back because it’s a song that has come to represent my sister to me. Until next time…

35 Comments on “Reverence

  1. You have a special gift. I enjoyed your post and writing style. Prayers to you and your family at the loss of your sister.

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  2. First, I am sorry to hear of the loss of your sister! Second, I thoroughly enjoyed your post. Reverence, and even in the burned mountainside you experienced reverence. I could picture the mountain scorched by the fire, the animals and wildlife looking for their homes, and yet reverence.

    In that burning, that cycle God created … he is beginning a new work. He took off the covering, and now he’s making it moist and full of good things for new things to grow and begin!

    Awesome post! I look forward to many more!

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  3. First – I can’t express how excited I was when I saw a post from you in my reader today. Joy. Yep…that just about sums it up.

    I loved this post so much and I know exactly what you are expressing here. “I’ve been there but I can’t go there with you.” Learning this has been the best, hard won, lesson of my sobriety and recovery. To be able to feel and understand what someone else is going through but not actually go there with them and own it myself is a truly beautiful thing. It’s still a little uncomfortable for me but, like a new pair of beautiful shoes, once I get it all broke in it will fit perfectly and become part of who I am (yes…I do have shoes like that).

    Thank so much for this…and the picture of your babies – made my day!

    Sherry

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    • Yes, that’s exactly it! What’s funny about so many of these lessons learned in recovery is that once I get it, I really get it and I don’t understand how I didn’t get it before!

      My babies are the cutest ever, but I’m obviously biased. 🙂 Thanks Sherry!

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  4. I am so sorry to hear about your sister. And I am so very glad for you that you are taking time. So much in the ether we don’t see–and so much most human can’t yet sense–and it sounds like you are a bit ahead of the curve on that one. I have struggled to allow myself to feel, as I’m very intuitive, but block out that which I don’t need to feel or that’s not mine to feel. It’s not easy. Wishing you peace in the balance.

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    • Your right, it’s not easy. I think a lot of people get really messed up when they can’t block what’s not theirs. I’m getting better at it. Thank you and peace to you too!

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  5. Empaths…I remember that Star Trek character as well. I can’t say that I am an empath, but I am fascinated by those who are – like you and Michelle. I imagine it can be draining, and trying to keep other people’s energy and yours separate. It’s a “good” burden to have, I suppose. What a way to learn about others…through picking up their vibes!

    I can’t imagine what it’s like to lose a sibling or even a close family member (yet, of course). I am sure that God is pushing you to where you need to be – whether you like it or not! Just be open to it as you are open to others. I know you are, so follow the light 🙂

    Paul

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    • I didn’t always see it as a good thing because I couldn’t always tell the difference between my feelings and someone else’s. I used it as a reason to withdraw from people at times but now I do see it as a gift. It’s part of the lifelong process of accepting all my light and my dark. Thank you for the encouragement Paul!

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  6. Yes. All of this. Yes.
    Hyper-sensitivity. I thought I was so strange to feel everything around me (one of the reasons I drank I came to see), until I saw The Green Mile. Ever see it? John Coffee…absorbing everyone’s pain?
    I’ve learned we can take it in, breathe it in, but then Karen, we can exhale. Breathe in pain and suffering, transform it within, exhale loving kindness.
    It truly is a gift.
    As are you.
    Reverence is a good word. A very good word. ❤

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    • I was just about to go to bed and I saw this. Yes, I do remember the movie. And now I understand why it feels so much better for me to exhale than inhale. Breathe in, transform, exhale. I’m going to go to sleep with that thought! xxoo

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  7. I’ve yet to lose a sibling so cannot imagine what you’ve lost. However my wife lost her brother when she was 17 and he was 21 and we’d only be a couple for less than a year – I just remember it being like a giant hoover had sucked out most of her for a long time. Over 30 years later there is still a picture of him over the fire. The kids call him Uncle even though they never met him – he is a constant part of our lives still today. I know she hates that she lost him and would love for him to pop round, sit at the kitchen table in the house he never saw us buy and have a good old chat

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    • I guess it’s true when people say our loved one is still alive in our hearts. In some ways, I feel closer to my sister now that she’s gone than I did when she was alive. It’s like she has a freedom to love in a way that she couldn’t when she was here and I swear I can feel it. I bet your wife feels her brother too. Thanks for sharing that story!

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  8. Hugs to you Karen. I am sorry to hear about your sister. My heart goes out to you. This is a lovely lost. Full of great calmness, peace. Though i can relate to how you’re feeling somehow i got calmness as I read it. Interesting. Like you’re ok with it. Does that make sense? Like you’re just in now. And it’s ok. I like it. I like not constantly worrying about my feelings. Sometimes they just are, right? Great post. Thank you. Hugs.

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    • Yes, like that joke about Rorschach tests, sometimes it’s just an ink blot! I’ve always been an over analyzer of feelings and it feels good to let that go. I’m not afraid of feeling anymore. Hugs to you Maggie!

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  9. Hi Karen! I read regularly and I had to comment on thhis post. I have a similar issue ith emotions but it plays out a bit different. Over the years I’ve Known that I feel uncomfortable in certain situations and couldn’t explain why. For instance if I am at a live football or baseball game, and the home team is losing, I get a wave of anger and easy violence that pours over me 0- even though I’m not a bog follower of sports. I giess the reality hit me many ears ago when i was on a flight form Huston to Newark and I felt really unstable, as if i was afraid the plane would crash. But the plane was acting normally, and, at the time, I flew a lot – at eleast once every 2 or 3 weeks and never had a problem. When i got up to use the washroom, i realized that there was a woman seated behind me who was a compltete basket case – she was white and bervous and clutching the seat arms. At that point I could feel the separation between my emotions and hers –up until that time I only knew the emotions were in my head with no idea whose they were. i’ve gotten better at idnetifying where the emotions are coming rom, but the initial awareness still feels as if they are my emotions.

    This gift can be a pain in the derrierre but it can also be a very powerful positive. In sales, it is easy to read the custimer and chase down their wnats to get a match – because you can feel their response. it makes it easier for me to undersatnd others’ reactions as i know the emtions they are feeling. I’ve used it to great advantage when doing negoiations to come up with a solution that is acceptable at all. In B-school we dd a lot real world interactions and role playing and i could make them come out as i pleased. We did one where two students sat together and one had a script for the hiring manager and the other as a potential new hire and we ada to negotiate a deal that was acceptable to both. the rating scale was very extensive and comlplex. I told my “new hire” that i would attempt to come to an equitable agreement when we started. After two hours of negotations, we came to an agreement and went to turn in our results. Just as we were handing in our score sheets, we compared values and we each had exactly tge same- 1150 out of a possible 2700 points – precisely what I said I was aiming for.

    Anyway, that is a great gift Karen once you have gotten by the possible negatives – the potential positives are much., much greater.

    Great Post. Thank You.

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    • That’s really fascinating and makes perfect sense. I’ve been in sales in one form or another my entire adulthood even though I really hate sales. I think I gravitated toward it and have been good at it because I naturally feel like I can consult with someone and guide them to a good decision.

      I’ve often had a “knowing” about things that were going on even though I had no proof or reason to believe it was true. I’m just beginning to understand it all and I’m definitely going to do more research. Thank you for sharing your experiences!

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      • it definitely bears more research Karen, although I would make a few suggestions. The readers you have here are here because they have a similar world view as you and hence are likely to be more understanding. What you and I have talked of, is far outside the mainstream and I would think you would get punked if you brought it up in the general public. Contact with like minded folks is always good for the soul and helps to understand the gift. My own opoinion is that when i pay attention and examine life, I can learn a lot just from my own actions. “An unexamined life is life is a life not worth living.”

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  10. Such a beautiful and moving post. Thank you. Love and light to you and loved ones, near and far. Hugs.

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  11. Empaths.
    Full of empathy and compassion.
    So lovely.
    It’s interesting that in the people around me there is a “waking up”, a grounding, a return to source happening and I am being carried along on the vibrations of that. that is the good thing about being an empath….
    lovely post, reverence….beautiful word and thought

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  12. I’ve been thinking about you and your sister a lot lately and I was so glad to find your post today–I clicked on immediately. While I was still on a work call!
    I read with a completely open heart (like I always do with you) and burst into tears when I read this:

    “It’s like everyone I love is having a bad day and I can feel it as though it’s happening to me. Back before I was accepting of this gift, I would beat myself up for being so emotional and I’d try to find ways to make my emotions fit circumstances.”

    On the way home from a meeting today, I had an argument with my brain. I’ve been feeling sapped and sad and blue and I have no tangible reason. I was in the midst of beating myself up blasting my blessings when I realized that it’s my friends around me who are struggling. When they hurt, I hurt and my emotions are not my own. I didn’t even know that most people can separate themselves from others…I never have been able to. Heck! I even get lamblasted on work teleconferences–many of them have more than 50 people at a time and I’m wrecked by the end.
    So, thank you. Thank you for sharing this and helping me remember that empathy is a gift and that there are healthy and unhealthy ways to manage it. I like your idea of being “gone” for awhile and may take a little WP vacation myself.
    And, back to your sister. I love that she is nudging you and taking you places. What a joy to be sharing this time with her.
    Thank you, again dear Karen. I may have just enough energy to finish this last teleconference of the day! xo

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    • I’m so glad you get the empathy thing! There are a lot of people like us and there’s probably a real name for it. I wasted a lot of energy trying to be different but now I see it as being deeply connected to my source and it’s just the way I’m built. Teleconferences like that would wreck me too. I’m glad this reached you at the right moment!

      Little breaks are good but I just couldn’t stay away. Did you ever get my email about the stinky pumpkin in my son’s room? It made me think about the mystery smell in your kitchen!

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      • I just found it! Here’s the weird part…I went over to e-mail you and there was your note waiting!!!
        I didn’t realize that I was signed out of g-mail. I went to find you and there you were.
        BTW…there is a name for people like us. Empaths 🙂

        Ewwww….rotten pumpkins!

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        • As I’m reading this exchange of comments all I’m thinking is of an old Star Trek episode that featured a civilization of empaths, and then I read this. I seriously thought that word was made up by Star Trek!!!

          As I read this, I am filled with awe at the both of you… what you are describing really does sound like a gift, like people with clairvoyance or an aptitude for music. Great stuff!

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          • Yes! I remember that on Star Trek! It’s really fascinating to me and comforting to know that there are other people with deep sensitivity to the energy that connects us. All of us have it in one way or another. Thanks Josie!

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          • Oh dear Josie,
            You popped into my mind yesterday when I shared how I burst into tears. You and I have both talked about how we aren’t “criers.” I’m calling BS on myself. In my 47th year of life, I have definitely become a crier!!
            I’m saving your posts in my e-mail inbox…gonna savor and read when I have a moment. xo

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  13. Just love feeling your words fill my heart, Karen.

    Blessings to you, here. And blessings to her, Beyond.

    With heart, health and healing,
    Dani

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