Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Birds of Paradise


I had a three-hour long conversation with one of my cousins this afternoon, and even though she was supposed to be coaching me, it ended up becoming a deep family unburdening, a sharing of truths that were hidden by appearances while we were growing up, a peeling back the layers of long held hurts and resentments, not toward one another, but poured into each other's arms with no judgment, only a deep and healing recognition of pain felt, misunderstandings harbored, bruises inflicted below the surface, old wounds that could now be aired, understood, forgiven, released.

How freeing it was for both of us to be able to declare this is how it was for me even though I never spoke of it. And to know that these things need no longer ambush us. My cousin told me that she had been a very angry child, growing up in a house of secrets, an intuitive soul told that what she knew to be true was not in fact the case. Imagine her confusion. Still, I marveled that she had felt such anger. All the family saw was her quick laugh, her eyes that danced, which we mistook to mean she was merry, when in fact the was roiling inside. She's done the work on herself, though, and these days, she is a much lighter being, and yes, now the sun bursts from her face, and it is not a lie.


14 comments:

  1. I love this, especially the last sentence. I don't know you or your cousin very well at all, but these words rang so true. I imagined that you could create a character with just that sentence.

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    1. Elizabeth, I just might one day. I am starting to feel the pull of writing again. I think it comes from reading so much amazing writing by many right here. And it comes, too, from having time once more to just...reflect. Much love.

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  2. Oh, the secrets we all hold. Lately I am trying to live that truth. I want to know that others carry pain but shows it in different ways. It is hard for me to accept when people show pain by being unkind.
    I am glad you and your cousin had such a great talk. Cousins are one of the longest relationship we will have in our lives next to siblings.

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    1. Dear Birdie, I consider it the great gift of the family I was born into, a raft of cousins. With so many, there are bound to be soul mates among them, and with those, we have relationships that can take the longest view, and we can be deeply known. xo

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  3. Yes. This is the root of the damage of growing up in a house of lies- that somehow, even a little child knows there is a truth which is not being served.
    It took me until I was fifty-something years old to realize that my growing-up house was a place where there was absolutely no truth. Every lie required another to prop it up. I wish I had your cousin's lightness. I commend her on her work, her reaching for and finding of the light.

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    1. Mary, love, and here's the thing. She is not only creating light in herself, she is actively engaged in creating it for those around her. She says she loves being a life coach instead of a psychotherapist because therapists aren't allowed to work with loved ones whereas she is able to work not just with newly met clients, but with those she has always known and loved. She really something. Hugs, friend.

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  4. How beautiful. It sounds like you are going through major changes on every level, and it sounds exciting and freeing.

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    1. ellen, it's so subtle, the inner shifts, but they are happening. And it's good. Much love.

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  5. Angella, I'm seeing so much...letting go here and opening. I'm happy for you.You are lucky to be able to have this open dialogue with your cousin. There is so much drama and fiasco going on in my family that it sometimes feels like I'm living in one of my mom's novellas only without the sexy clothes.
    love,
    yo

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    1. Darling Yo, this cousin and I had always been collegial, but only in the last year has our connection gone to a much deeper place. She is younger than I am, but so wise in the ways of the spirit, and our journeys here on this planet. It reminds me of that saying: When the student is ready the teacher appears. The really odd and cool thing is, I feel as if I am both student and teacher in this play we are writing together. As for family drama, I don't think you can have families without drama. It's the nature of being alive, probably. I love you, sweet Yolie.

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  6. I love this, not only for being so rich and gorgeous and true, but for reminding me. I have a small truth-teller growing up in my household and I need to listen more to what she knows, what she sees that I don't.

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    1. Vesuvius, this is so wise. Children see more than we can imagine. All we have to do is remember ourselves as children to know this. xo

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  7. Sounds like a valuable conversation. We never know what's going on inside the next person, do we?

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    1. Steve, my mother used to say this often; it was her explanation for why we should always try to be kind. And yes, it was a transforming conversation for sure.

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