The path through the bright, open field narrowed; leading me toward a stand of dense woods. Down that path, a cabin... door open, I could see its friendly fireplace. Of course, I had no choice but follow. Maybe around that warm hearth would be fellowship and ANSWERS!...
A constant forward movement into change.
It can be negative— disease... memory loss..
Or positive— a musical progression within a concerto... or increased success in a skill that comes with much practice..
The main take away from progression... “It” just keeps going forward; unless we stop trying... then you have regression ( which is still backward progression!).
I think it’s great to self evaluate... frequently.
I am always looking to see if I have positive progression happening in my life... when not, I just don’t feel right! In fact, for me, even the act of recognizing I need to rest, is progression. I was always a person who needed to keep moving in a stressful, non-productive frenzy... I even held an amount of contempt for those who did’nt do the same... life has taught me differently.
I now love to hold back a little, evaluate, and move forward with certainty ( well, as much certainty as I can!). Quality, and quantity count... but more is not always best!
My family has recently embarked on a genealogical journey... what a weird experience!
Through this journey, I have found myself saddened, intrigued, shocked, and at times frustrated... life!
I am definitely chasing ghosts, with ghostly clues...
The challenge has been, not in chasing ghosts... but in contacting actual living people, who I should, but do not know at all!
And that is where progression, for me, has made itself most clear!
For some strange reason, my entire extended family is incredibly estranged... to the point there are brothers and sisters who barely even know each other... at all.
When I question these elders about this... they all just politely smile, or laugh, and explain how that was “so long ago”...( in some cases... 50+ years of not seeing each other!).
All of these individuals appear so kind, with loving families of their own ( most are now in their 70’s-80’s). We, their children, some who have never even heard of each other ... don’t have a clue what the estrangement was even about to begin with.
Lately, I’ve had a huge bee in my bonnet to reconnect all of these loose strings! I can’t even explain why really, it’s just this visceral urge... maybe to give my own children roots; maybe because I have zero tolerance for silliness... or injustice... or words left unsaid...
Anyway... what I have found is... The people who originally cut off family (elder siblings), seem to feel so justified in their anger... a perpetual punishment for what I’m sure was genuinely a hurtful event, but has dulled down over the years to the point that the original offense is barely recognizable... so much wasted energy and potential! (Still, it’s never too late!) So it goes with the beast of offense.
The shunned persons (children of those original sibs), have for the most part, moved forward; oblivious of the hatred that has been unknowingly glared towards them... you can’t know what you don’t know.
They moved forward, and live beautiful, productive lives... without ever realizing they have been excommunicated... which is grace in and of itself!
Time progresses... land ( that seems to be the main conflict) progresses... lineage progresses... life progresses...
I promised in my intro, to face things that scare me, and document that process.
Rejection used to scare me! It sometimes still does; however, this genealogy experience is teaching me... all the rejection I have always housed in my spirit... is 75% learned by word of mouth... and doesn’t exist for me personally, at least for the reasons I thought!
To be freed from rejection, is to be freed indeed!
I’ve faced complete strangers (very distant, extended family) these past few days, with some pretty bold, and weighty questions... and been very pleasantly surprised by the responses I’ve received!
I am not rejected! Rejection happened... years ago... to someone else... and I accepted it as my own!
To quote a friend “What a heavy revvy”!
Hatred, and grief have their own progression... steady, forward, destructive momentum...
Unless you put your foot out... or down... and trip it up, or stomp it out!
Because openness, forgiveness, humbleness, and kindness... dare I say... LOVE also has its own progressive momentum! Like a tidal wave!
We all desire belonging and identity... I believe, we already have it... even if we are somehow, unknowingly deposed to an island in our life, like I have ironically found myself. A dear friend has recently helped me with this visual. I however, I thrive on that island; have found friendly natives, and built a new, beautiful civilization. A tribe where mutual love and respect are our creed.
This week, I took that somewhat uncertain path into the woods, found the cabin, and the hearth... there was no one there... just some old letters, and pictures.
But what I found: I already know how to tend my own hearth... and in fact, it cheerily waits for me in my own sunlit home, outside of these darker woods; surrounded by my own people. My family is whole, and complete. We are alive, and present! We hold love in our own physical hands, in the here and now. We care for, support, nurture, and protect each other! We commune, and readily give open, complete access to each other!
I turn, and leave this foreign hearth, released from the burden of mysterious pasts, abandonment, rejection... “what if’s”.
I walk, skip, then run into the light, open field of my present! These ancient’s burdens are not mine to bear. The dimness and uncertainty of my past may remain safely, and cozily there by that cheerful yet lonely fire...
I re-enter the open field; down my familiar, well travelled, welcoming path...
I am home.
And I have found all the answers I seek!
Healing continues. Growth and learning continues.
I am nowhere near finished...