After our cousin died the entire family was depressed. It was the biggest blow. We didn’t just lose someone we loved. We lost a great father, friend, brother and son. It was a huge loss in the family and we all dealt with our grief in our own way. My way was through writing. I wrote a piece dedicated to him that I read at his burial. In it I described him as the most beautiful butterfly. After that day I only see butterfly’s as a confirmation that I am on the right path. When I visited DR for the first time with the documentary I was walking down the street and these beautiful yellow butterflies were flying in front of me. In Colombia, when I walked out of an office regarding my trip to Cuba a beautiful brown butterfly landed on my chest and just sat there for a while. Butterflies are so significant for me now. I look for them everywhere. He always fly’s with me.
When we lost him I tried to fill my time with so many things. I was so angry with the universe for taking him from us. I was so mad at God and the Goddesses. I didn’t understand why it was his time to leave us. I got back into my practice and returned to my prayers for understanding. I was so angry that he came to me in my dreams that night and told me not to cry that he needed me to be strong for his mother.
The day after he died we went to a 12-step meeting because I wanted to be in a sacred space of sharing. There was a woman crying who shared that her daughter beats her and that she snuck out of the house to attend the meeting. Other people talked about their addictions. I shared our story about LOSS and grief… that was the first time I cried over him.
I cried so much that night. When we left the church you said to me, “Momma, that better be the last time you go to one of those meetings. It made me so depressed.” You didn’t understand that some people feel so alone… that sometimes there is comfort in being around people who understand how you’re feeling. I’m sure the stories seemed horrible. But to me it felt like a safe place where I could be vulnerable… where there would be no judgments.
Happy 33rd Birthday: We can be so judgmental…but the word I offer you today is NONJUDGEMENT. I spent the better part of my life believing the judgments about me. When you judge someone your mind is closed to the potential of who a person truly is. You ignore what can truly be gained from an experience. When you enter all your moments free of judgment about a person or place you enter with clarity and your better able to see things and receive gifts that you might have missed had you remained closed. I was thinking about my childhood – all the criticisms I received they were truly judgments that people put on me that I took as truth. The things said to me were other people's perceptions and expectations of the kind of kid I was or the kind of woman I should be. For my parents it was judgments passed in order to control me and the judgments society placed on me were convinced that I would be a teenage statistic, with 12 kids living on welfare. People judged me based on those notions without even getting to know me. What I love about what I've given you is that I compare you to NO ONE – there is NO ONE like you. YOU ARE SPECIAL. I don't have a judgment about you because I am soooo incredibly open to the person you are becoming and who you are supposed to be. I know that I have often said, "There is a right way and a wrong way to do things.” Girl, just DO YOU! Your way is the right way… so work it out. Ok – so you're a hot mess… I ain’t judging…lol. I am deeply in love with you. So be you girl. I love you when your right and I love you when you're wrong. Try not to judge yourself or hold yourself to someone else's standards and definitely try not to judge others.
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Peace, light and LOVE~