Striking Gold

Awareness is a bitch. (aka: ignorance is bliss). I didn’t know I wanted someone to fight for me until I learned that someone hadn’t. But now, I feel him in ways I didn’t know was possible. I feel him fighting for me in a way that feels like he is making sure that I don’t regret this life he half gave me. It’s like he knows he screwed up and wants to make it up to me. I’m not sure he can, but I’m also not sure he can’t. The jury is still out on that one.

He shows up and I can’t make him go away. He is especially there in yoga. He always feels as if he is just sitting there next to me. There has always been an open spot next to me. People and their mats are all around me, and that spot has remained open. Every. Time. He’s not doing the yoga, but just sitting there, reminding me that sometimes just sitting next to someone is all that person needs. I imagine that is why I haven’t suited up in those super tight yoga pants lately. I want to feel him there, but I don’t want to feel the grief.  It’s like I’m still learning how to be able to do what my therapist is constantly telling me to do – to hold both. She keeps telling me that I have to be willing to do this.  I have to be willing to hold the loving presence and the grief. There is no other option. That, my friends, is no easy task.

I am not speaking of some past love.  I am speaking of a birth father who I barely knew and who passed on before I could know him. I am just learning about him. He shows up in pieces and in phrases. He shows up in yoga, and in songs too.

I wrote an entry about an old favorite hymn titled “Farther Along” a-while ago (here). It has nothing to do with this post other than the fact that it also has everything to do with this one. I feel him when I hear this song and lately it is when I hear the line in Josh Garrell’s version that includes this “There’s so much more to life than we’ve been told. It’s full of beauty that will unfold, and shine like you’ve struck gold my wayward son” (or daughter…).

The last time I wrote about this song it was about my being a pissed-off mother. This time it is about myself as a grieving daughter who, for most of her life, thought she hadn’t struck any gold at all (my bank account being hard evidence of this fact). I now realize I have and I keep striking gold. But it’s not the kind of gold that can be found at the end of a beautiful rainbow, but the kind that is only found at the end of heartache, grief and pain. It’s only found by holding onto both the grief and the loving presence. I can’t strike gold without the work, and I can’t feel the loving presence if I don’t also feel the grief. I will continue to be wayward and never shine if I don’t.  It’s not like finding gold has ever been described as easy work.

When I hear this line in the song, it’s like my father is sitting there next to me urging me to show up and not to give up because there is so much more to this life than we’ve been told. It is truly full of beauty that will unfold.

Here’s to striking gold and living the beauty that is sure to unfold. And here’s a link to the song I can’t stop listening to: Farther Along

May you too be able to find a way to strike gold. It’s there, I promise.

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