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There are so many stories that we tell ourselves that are part of the fabric of our lives. I distinctly remember the day that I met my birth mother in person for the first time. She was with her mother, my grandmother. I had not met either and had only phone conversations with my birth mother, when we decided to meet in person. I made the choice to meet her alone. It was a nerve wracking, yet exciting moment in my life, but there’s a quick few seconds of conversation that has always been stored in my memory when I think back on our first meeting. When explaining her decision to relinquish her parental rights, she said to me, “You know, I was so young, and no one knew that I was pregnant.” Quickly her mother chimed in and said, “Oh my girl, the whole town knew that you were pregnant!” Oh, if you all could have seen her face crumble in that moment. I felt her pain. The emotions that crossed her face are still in my memory. She was in her forties at this time, and she reverted back to the 16 year old her in an instant. This moment in time has always elicited in me a pause when thought of… what have we told ourselves or convinced ourselves about our stories, our lives, that we believe are true, when in fact… they are only OUR truth. No one else’s. There have been so many times when I have brought through a loved one in Spirit, who tells a particular story of their life, only to hear from the sitter something akin to, “Wow, I had that story so wrong! Everything that you are saying is making sense now. It was my belief, my story, not theirs.” I ask you this today as we have just celebrated Easter, which by the way, began as a Pagan Ritual of Spring Equinox and was ultimately hijacked by Catholicism as the best time on the calendar to celebrate the rebirth of Christ. (Pause)… How did you feel about that statement? Good, see my point? There are so many shades of beliefs when it comes to our religious beliefs. Regardless of your domination of faith, when you speak your beliefs, there’s bound to be someone who will disagree. I can go back in time in my mind to the feelings that going to a Catholic church bring up for me. The smell of burning wax, the gregorian chant of the Monk’s in residence, the feeling of being in a place of oneness with all beings when the priest bestowed the benediction at the end of mass. This was the young impressionable Nicole and a piece of the fabric of her religious life that can elicit a memory of innocence but does not resonate any longer… until I step into St. Joseph’s Abbey, it’s the memory of an innocent childhood revisited. My Story. So you see, my point is, there are stories that we tell ourselves that sit well with us or bring us to our knees, ultimately bringing us back to a moment, these are OUR stories, our truth. Did that story or event or memory really happen the way that we think/feel that it happened? Or is it just simply a feeling, your own misshapen memory of what you want that moment or story to feel like for yourself because it serves you better that way? It’s the same in our family life. Give this experiment a try… The next time you go for a family outing or you’re sitting with friends having a conversation, find a way, so that when the time is over, you can ask each one of them separately about their experience. You will be amazed to find out that while you were all in the same place, at the same time, having what you think is the same experience, you have all had different experiences and thoughts about your time together. You will realize that you have created your own story, that when told back in 10 years time to one another will sound so different when explained in detail. Back to the Spirit world… As you know if you read my last post, someone very close to me transitioned via suicide. While this has shook me to the core and broke my heart, I quickly came to realize that my feelings about his death were just that… my own personal feelings. I realized in a moment of sorrow how much he craved the ending of his life when I look back on conversations that we had together. I didn’t see it then. As I mourn him and give his eulogy tomorrow, I will remember the boy that I loved, but I will also remember his want of ending his life. I will remember that he made this choice willingly and not allow my story about my feelings for him interfere with his story. The story that he chose to create. It’s his story. This does not negate my love for him. Actually, I feel that it strengthens it. I am honoring him, by honoring his choice, by honoring the story that he created for himself. His story is not mine. It does not belong to me. I know that he is in a place of unconditional love and peace of heart and mind, and that is my story, that I chose to create when I think of him. I am hoping that this message finds you well and that you welcome an introspective way of outwardly thinking and how your thoughts not only impact yourself and your own story but they also impact others and theirs. XO Nicole
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