“We all grow tired eventually; it happens to everyone. Even the sun, at the close of the year, is no longer a morning person.” ~ Joyce Rachelle
Sorry, Lovelies, but I need a sleep-in. It’s been a ragged few days of supporting others and running on little sleep. Long experience has taught me that sometimes the most magical restorative gift I can give myself is some extra time in bed. So, no blog of any consequence this morning. I’m too busy taking care of myself.
“If I had a flower for every time I thought of you… I could walk through my garden forever.” ~ Alfred Tennyson
Yesterday was July 4. It’s our niece’s birthday. It was our first dog Charlie’s birthday, Charlie who is now Harry. And it was Kate’s birthday.
Kate was such a dear friend. I met her hanging over the fence at my Auntie Doff’s when I was a kid – both of us in primary school. I was a goody-two-shoes. Kate was a foster child, a tough kid and ‘bad girl’ who secretly had a heart of gold, a wicked sense of humour and a shared love of books. She became my penpal at a time when people used to write letters to stay in touch and we became entwined in each other’s lives, using each other like a ‘Dear Diary’ and witnessing each other’s trials, tribulations and wobbly successes.
She died in 2010 and yesterday, July 4, she would have been 49 years old.
Kate was a crap cook, and a lover of junk food, a killer musician, circus and aerial artist and street performer. She was famous for her cupcake kebabs and Horses Doovers Towers – her only two and best dishes!
It’s been nearly ten years since she passed. Still, sometimes I find myself thinking that I’ll call Kate or send her some stupid Facebook thing I know she’d love. Sometimes the grief I feel and the still-missing-her is ferocious. I never knew it could continue to take my breath away at unexpected moments after all this time.
My friend Carls (none other than THE Carly-Jay Metcalfe) was a mate of Kate’s too and we always remember Kate on her birthday, message each other and make sure to eat cake. Kate would have been all for that. She was a girl who loved life and lived it hard.
The older I get the more my heart is marked by those strange unhealable wounds that are created when a loved one has left this life. I’m glad for those wounds, and for my dinged-up battered heart. I feel these departed loved ones around me still and they live on inside me. I still talk to them. I still think about them. I still hold them close.
And sometimes, just sometimes, I miss them so much I can hardly breathe.
“The only way love can last a lifetime is if it’s unconditional. The truth is this: love is not determined by the one being loved but rather by the one choosing to love.” ~ Stephen Kendrick
I had a laugh with my sister yesterday. ‘Oooh,’ she said, ‘you blogged a recipe!’ We both knew what that meant. It meant that I was in overload and needed to sit in my humanity for a while. (I wrote a whole blog post about it here.)
Why was I in overload? A few days ago I wrote about a 12-year-old boy, Matt, who attempted suicide in the fallout from Israel Folau’s (the boy’s football idol) Instagram post about homosexuals going to Hell. Matt has known since his earliest memories that he was gay, and under immense pressure he nearly succeeded in taking his own life this week because he was worried that God had made a mistake in making him a homosexual and he felt ashamed, worthless and a burden to his family.
I wrote that post about Matt because words can kill just as easily as a coward’s punch. One punch can kill but so can words – too often we forget about mental health. As Jason Masters wrote in a recent article about repetitive and cumulative trauma, ‘We all know the saying ‘The straw that broke the camel’s back’. Cumulative trauma is a real issue within the LGBTIQ community.’ Israel Folau’s post, his stance on homosexuals and the huge public support for Folau was that straw for Matt.
I wrote that post because I wanted to stand with the LGBTQIA community and let them know that I support them. I wanted kids like Matt to know that being gay is normal, nothing to be ashamed of and that they won’t be going to Hell. I also want psychics and people who identify as empaths and intuitives to know that they are normal too. These are not ‘lifestyle choices’. Being gay or non-binary in your sexual orientation, being psychic or an empath or intuitive is the way you are born. It’s normal and natural and I stand for a society that is inclusive and accepting of the diversity that has always been part of our humanity.
In response to that post and its re-posting and sharing on other social media platforms, my inboxes filled up with hate mail – none of it from anyone I know.
Here are a few examples:
You are a tule (sic) of Satan, Wych. If you come to my country you wud be stoned to death and I wud help.
Rot in Hell, witch-bitch gay-lover. If I ever meet you I’ll slit your throat. (I reported that one to the Police.)
Israel Folau spoked with GODS POWER and his love for people wuz trying to save them from SIN and HELLFIRE. You are a stoopid slut and you will burn in HELL. Fags will burn 2 unless they REPENT.
You have condemned yourself, your family and and their families to eternal Hell. Their only hope is to be Born Again under merciful Christ. There is no hope for you and I pity and abhor you. You disgust me.
‘get on your knees in front of GOD you witch bitch and suck my dick. how dare you disrespect da man IZZY and GODS WORD. You and all the dick suckers can go to HELL. REPENT SINNERs!’
That last one actually made me laugh. It reminded me of schoolboys making taunts at girls from the safety of the back seat of the bus.
Curious, I checked that man’s Facebook page. He supports the Silver Ferns Netball Team and the New Zealand Rugby Team. He likes fishing and The Voice on TV. There are photos of his little girls jumping on a trampoline, his wife and his mum serving up a big Christmas lunch to a huge group of people at their Church, his young son playing Auskick football with a bunch of other tiny little boys in huge jerseys. He looks like a decent, kind family man. A man I’d be happy to have as a next-door-neighbour. A kind Christian family man who wants me to suck his dick and go to Hell.
Days later I’m still receiving messages just like those.
The volume of hate mail shows me how many people feel like this. It’s not an isolated thing. It makes me sad. Sad that these men (they are all men!) are so angry, so righteous, so full of venom and hate, so duplicitous that they can live a normal happy life with their family and then shoot off a quick bile-filled message to me, a person they’ve never met. Would they say those things to me in front of their children, their wives, their mothers, their Ministers or congregations? Would they say them in public, or in front of my husband? Probably not.
I’ve included all of them in my daily prayers and meditations. I just want to surround them with Love until that’s what they feel, until Love replaces all the hate and judgement and insecurity and fear and anger and pain inside them.
Dear Haters, I don’t hate you back. I love you. I forgive you. I wish only good for you and your families. May you know peace and love for all your days.
“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” ~ Desmond Tutu
Can you do me a favour?
Be kind to yourself today. Be kind to those you meet. Smile. Give encouragement, or a compliment. Even if your own road is hard, or your heart is breaking, or you have nothing left in the tank.
The Universe acts in response to and amplifies energy. So every act of kindness anchors love and goodness and helps counteract those other energies – the ones that would tear us apart and break us down to rubble.
Be kind to yourself and everyone you meet. Life’s road is sometimes hard and you don’t know what positive ripples will flow out from you in life-changing ways just by living from your heart-space.
Thank you, and much love, Nicole xx
PS – I’m grateful for the outpouring of love and support for Matt and his family, and for the kindness and care you’ve shown me after yesterday’s post. Matt is off life support, but still in ICU. He’s stable and he and his family are being well looked after. As expected I ended up with an inbox full of hate-mail so your love was a beautiful counter-balance to that. I needed that sunshine on such a hard day. Thank you <3
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
~ Lao Tzu
“We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness—and call it love—true love.”
~ Robert Fulghum
Hello Lovelies! Welcome to Week Three of our six week Kindness Challenge.
To participate in today’s challenge all you need to do is select and perform one of the following kindness activities. The beneficiaries of our acts of kindness for Week Three are our Loved Ones.
Loved ones are those souls who are closest to us. It could be our partner, our children, our parents, our pet, a best friend, a brother or a sister. It’s the family we were born into, or the family we make for ourselves.
Sometimes we get so busy, or time slips by, and we take our loved ones for granted, or fail to show them just how much they mean to us. This week lets us address some of that imbalance.
Naturally, if you choose to do this activity more than once, or to work on one each day that’s absolutely fine. In fact, it’s marvelous. 🙂
Okay, Kindness Ambassadors, let’s go!
Make a phone call or a skype call to a family member who lives too far away for you to visit easily. Let them know you’re thinking of them, and send them all your love.
Send a card to a dear friend. One they can find in their letterbox. Just because!
Visit an elderly loved one. Spend time talking together. Everyone appreciates a visit.
Do someone else’s chores for them.
Make your loved one a cold drink, or their favourite hot one, and take it to them for them to enjoy. Maybe include a tasty treat too. 🙂
Image from risewall.com
Knit, sew or craft something as a surprise present for someone you love!
Leave a loving and encouraging note in a loved one’s lunchbox or diary.
Wrap your loved one in a big hug, and whisper in their ear how much you love them.
Make a favourite food from your childhood (or their childhood) to share with a loved one.
Offer a back rub, foot rub or manicure.
Say sorry for that thing you did. Mean it. If you can’t say it to their face then write it in a letter. Let there be space again for healing and love.
Forgive a loved one for that thing they did. Let them know they are forgiven.
Acknowledge the struggle of a loved one. Sometimes the best kind of support is actually not being invisible to the ones we love.
Recognise and praise the efforts of a loved one who is making changes in their life.
Pass on a book/movie/music that you’ve enjoyed.
Read a bedtime story to your child, or anyone else you love who might enjoy one!
“It is the custom of every good mother after her children are asleep to rummage in their minds and put things straight for next morning, repacking into their proper places the many articles that have wandered during the day. If you could keep awake (but of course you can’t) you would see your own mother doing this, and you would find it very interesting to watch her. It is quite like tidying up drawers. You would see her on her knees, I expect, lingering humorously over some of your contents, wondering where on earth you had picked this thing up, making discoveries sweet and not so sweet, pressing this to her cheek as if it were as nice as a kitten, and hurriedly stowing that out of sight. When you wake in the morning, the naughtinesses and evil passions with which you went to bed have been folded up small and placed at the bottom of your mind; and on the top, beautifully aired, are spread out prettier thoughts, ready for you to put on.”
~ J.M. Barrie
Remember, I was telling you about the lady who came and sat on my sister’s bed when we were little? Back when I was four, and Simone was two and a half?
I felt quite afraid those nights when my sister was sick. Her skin and hair was sticky with sweat. She was so hot, and she tossed and turned and whimpered in her sleep.
Each night after the world was asleep the beautiful lady surrounded by the silver-blue light would come to our room. Each night she would comfort my sister, sing to her, and talk to her in her low, sweet voice. She spoke the funny language that I found out much, much later was French.
At the end of one of these visits, when I sensed she was about to leave, I asked her why she was visiting.
“I am her Mummy,” she said to me somehow. “Her Mummy from another time. When a mother loves her child, the love lasts forever.”
At the darkest times of my life I have recounted that conversation. After my grandmothers passed away, Marga in 2011 and then Nana late last year, I finally understood what that meant – to have someone watching over you. I felt it in my heart.
As my sister and I research our family tree, and connect into previous generations and our more ancient lines, I feel the weight of this love more and more.
For all of you – those who already feel loved, and those who feel lost or alone – let me reassure you. There is family stretching far back, whose lives are braided through with yours over and over again.
Some call it family, some call it ancestors, some call it soul group. It really doesn’t matter by what name we know it. All that matters is this – the magic in this world is love. It’s the energy that follows us, sustains us, and lifts us up. It’s all around us, even when we can’t see it. Even if we choose to believe it’s not there.
I’m looking forward to sharing more of that magic with you…
I drove from my farm to Brisbane very early this morning, leaving before dawn. To be honest, I was feeling a little flat. It’s something I know you can all relate to. Sometimes life just weighs you down a little.
As much as I love my work, I felt sad to be leaving my husband and animals for a week, and the energy of my land, and the love and support they all give me.
I am in the middle of a stoush with my insurance company for a property badly damaged in the floods over a year ago. Still nothing has been resolved, nothing repaired, nothing agreed to. This week I really need to take the fight to the next level. It’s exhausting and relentless.
My heart is bothering me, as much as I am hoping for it to settle down. The heat of the past week or so has seen me gasping like a fish and unable to do farm work or even gardening. The tightness in my chest is back. I have had to rest, to take things easy, to sit or lie down when I would prefer to be active and involved. This week I had to watch as neighbours lent a hand to do the cattle work I would normally do. I’m grateful for their kindness and their help, but I’m aching for my life to get back to normal.
So I am driving to Brisbane, feeling a little blue, with the work week stretched ahead of me. Suddenly the cabin of my ute fills with the scent of full-blown roses. A great feeling of peace comes over me. I feel a warm unseen hand on my own as it rests on the steering wheel. It feels as if a golden river of light infuses me.
“Courage, my dear.”
Those simple words, spoken as if by someone right beside me.
I know it is my Great-Aunt, who passed many years ago. She is always recognised by the scent of roses. She looks out for the women in my family. Today she looked out for me.
I am buoyed by this wonderful energy, love and connection. I am reminded of my own strength, and the strength of my family line.
And I am shown, once again, that love and connection are eternal – stretching well beyond our own lifetimes. I’ll get through this. These trivialities of life are nothing in the end.
Sometimes comfort and support come from the most unexpected places. ♥