A while back, I kinda poured my shame heart out.
It told my story, with courage.
I trusted myself to deal with whatever came of it.
And what came of it was an outpouring of compassion and love and I felt connected. I felt accepted. Everything contrary to what I believed growing up would happen if I spoke about my experience, my true feelings of what if felt like to grow up with a mother who was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder or Manic Depression as it was once known.
I was reminded today that all our experience matters and when we have the courage to tell our story with all our heart, we are healed and we have the potential to help the healing journey of others.
So, here is a wee reflection of a time a couple of years ago that was a little tough.
Speak kindly to yourself. Big love. Jen. xx
“My mum is in hospital again.
A great deal of my life I could have written that sentence. In the last 20 years, more times than any of us would like. My mum doesn’t have cancer, she doesn’t have MS or some rare genetic disorder, my mum has Bipolar Disorder.
The learning I have received via this disorder is enough to fill a book and so I will one day put them there. For now though, I am led to reflect on the stories I made up about being the one to save my mum. The story of “if I don’t do something, mum will get worse, or hurt someone, or hurt herself, or die or embarrass me”.
For many, many, many years I tried to hide there was anything ‘wrong’ with my mum. I was so ashamed, so embarrassed, so angry, so….victim. I spent most of my life feeling like this was happening to ME. If only she had fucking cancer. People would get that. They wouldn’t know what to say, but they would be okay to be with me. It would be okay for me to talk about it. Wouldn’t it?? Maybe that isn’t true either….
I was bitter and frustrated that she ‘didn’t get to the bottom if the REAL issue’, believing if she did she would be healed and then I would no longer be affected. Her upbringing certainly had it’s challenges and most likely impacted greatly on her condition. I would ask her to get counselling, just as you would get dietetic advice if you had diabetes. At the time she said she would, but never did. I held so tightly to the belief that if you did it my way, you would be ok.
How often do we get twisted in to the experience of others? How often do we desperately want to change them, so that they become the version of them that WE want. When I was younger (and if I am brutally honest, still do), I wanted a ‘normal’ mother. A mother who didn’t turn up to my school interviews with blue nail polish painted on her eye lids (it’s okay to laugh at this, it is pretty funny). A mother who didn’t climb ladders into the man hole of our house, carrying a bowl of milt to feed the vampire kittens. A mother who wasn’t found naked in bushland after she had abandoned her car and took off to I am not sure where…
I spent so much time with doctors, case workers, mental health practitioners, my mum and still, she is in hospital. Still she has Bipolar Disorder. I spent so much time in her business I neglected mine. The truth is, turns out it was VERY convenient. I didn’t want to face any of my own stuff. The stuff I had to own. The stuff that lit me up. The stuff that connected me deeply to me. THAT stuff scared me!
Many of us use our parents, children, friends to get distracted from ourselves. We find our worth out of martyring ourselves as the ‘one who will fix them’. Its bullshit my friends and frankly, it is none of our business.
This will make many squirm. It will hit ego talk like “well if I don’t, who will?” Well, who made it your job in the first place? Isn’t our job to be kind to ourselves, so we may be kind to others. Isn’t it our job to be accepting of ourselves so that we may be accepting of others? Isn’t it our job to be compassionate with ourselves so that we may be compassionate with others?
We must stop fighting and struggling with what is. It is a life experience. As much as we wish so desperately that it wasn’t this way, guess what…it is! This is what letting go is about. It is trusting that the journey is perfect as it is. Do we turn our back and stick our fingers up and say “you are on your own?” No, of course not. Instead we say, “I accept you as you are, illness and all and will love you regardless of how messy it gets”. We don’t try to fix them, to change them…because that isn’t our job.
Lets get the heck out of the business of others, and trust that the divine experience is that…a divine experience”!