The Power of Energy

I haven’t written in quite some time for A Righteous Revival – I’ve had plenty to say but various things have stopped me from starting and finishing a post. Tomorrow marks what would be my mother’s 62nd birthday and I’d be lying if I told you I haven’t cried tonight or earlier this week when she talked to me in a dream. I’d be lying if I told you that I am okay.

We live in a world filled with too much small talk and not enough feeling. Somewhere in history, “how are you,” went from being a sincere question that warranted an honest response to small talk that merely expects a one word answer like, “fine” or “okay.” If you actually divulge your true feelings, people become closed off and uncomfortable, wondering how their small talk made a right at the serious corner. We’re not always fine and we’re not always okay and that is okay.

Tonight, as I’m loaded up on antibiotics and over the counter painkillers as well as plenty of red wine, I remember my mother for her sincerity. I remember that every time she asked me how I am she expected a full report and if that’s not what she received, she would know it. We were that connected.

Nope. C’mon, what’s wrong? I can hear it in your voice, Linds,” she’d summon the flood, if you will.

I remember my mother for her candor. If she didn’t like something or if she was passionate about something, not a person in the room was a stranger to how my mama felt because she made it known. Sure, she apologized for it at times, but I think, as women, we grew up in a society that unfortunately taught us to do just that. I think my mother grew up in that society even more so than I did. I’ve since learned as a strong female, I should not ever apologize for strong convictions or even my presence, no matter how untimely it may be in a given situation.

My mother made everything so simple in a crazy world – she was a ray of light when the storm clouds rolled in and when the sun was shining! I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t angry with her for her untimely absence. She’s been visiting me in my dreams excessively over the last couple of weeks. I’m not sure what it means but I am certain it’s a testament to how intensely bonded our spirits are.

This is the 5th birthday of hers that has passed since she died and I still can’t tell you how I’ve managed to continue on without her. After she died, it became evident just how much I relied on my mother, how much I leaned on her for support through good times and bad. Somehow, still unbeknownst to me, I have paved my own way, put one foot in front of the other.

Oddly enough, my mother spent a couple of years leading up to her diagnosis brushing off her symptoms as a mere sinus infection, which I have been suffering from for over a week now. A few months after she died, I was diagnosed with mononucleosis, the same illness a piece of shit, hole in the wall clinic in Shawnee, Kansas, misdiagnosed my mother with when she was actually dying from stage four metastatic lung cancer with multiple tumors. Last week, she came to me in a dream to inform me that the antibiotics I was on were not going to work. Sure enough, I later discovered these antibiotics were part amoxicillin, a drug my body has grown immune to. I can’t say it enough – this is just how connected we are and have always been. Maybe that’s what keeps me going – the power of energy should never be underestimated. Happy birthday, Mama. I love you more.

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Sundown, Moon Rise

I pray sometimes. To whom? To what? I am unsure. I call it the Universe but maybe it is God, maybe it is some sort of higher power. The Universe and Mother Nature are higher powers in my eyes but the point is I pray sometimes. Does it help me? I can’t honestly say that it does. I think it’s something organized religion imposed upon society to make us sleep better at night and feel better about all of the so-called sins we commit on a daily basis. But that’s just me. In no way is this follow up a judgment upon other people’s beliefs.

I still don’t believe in luck – I really never have. Sure, I use the expressions, “I was lucky” or “You’re so lucky,” but I’ve never believed in coincidences and for someone to be lucky implies such happenstance. There are no accidents in this life – I wish I could say there were because God (or the Universe) knows how much I despise that exhausted expression that, “everything happens for a reason.” Alas, it does and whether we know and/or like the reason is an entirely different story.

Interestingly enough, I just returned from a six-day trip to my hometown of Kansas City where religion and praying and God are everywhere – even the local diner! I have complete respect for people’s beliefs except for when said people try and shove their beliefs down my throat. I love living in a country that is built on an idealistic foundation of diversity and acceptance. These ideals aren’t obviously well received or practiced in all corners of this country but the concept is there and well practiced in many places like the place I call home, Los Angeles, and we have to begin somewhere.

I am grateful for parents who never forced me to attend church but left the choice up to me, a mother who expressed her experiences and aversion with organized religion but never made me feel bad for being curious. I’ve attended Catholic mass on Christmas Eve, fell asleep in the fetal position of a pew at a Midwest, mostly white congregation of a Baptist church, pretended to feel the holy spirit at a Methodist worship service, ran out of a predominantly black Baptist church into the cold, winter night due to an anxiety attack, and been told I’m going to Hell unless I ask Jesus into my heart. This all resulted in the formation of my own spiritual beliefs – beliefs that allow me to feel peace in my soul and resonate on a higher level for me than monotonously singing Christian hymns ever did.

After lying next to death, my spirituality wavered. I began to lose a lot of faith in everything including some lifelong convictions and myself. Thankfully, spirituality is also what picked me up after so much loss, what taught me that the loss and the disappointment are worth it most of the time. My mother used to repeatedly iterate, “the price of love is grief,” and that couldn’t be a truer statement. But, I would much rather love and lose than never love at all. I would much rather experience the grief if it means I get to experience the joy, the butterflies, and the connections. And if all I’m left with are great memories, then it’s worth it.

I still want something of substance to last longer than most things in my life have. That is a sentiment I can only describe as human. I am constantly telling myself, “Life is too short. Go for what you want, Linds. Ask for what you want. Take initiative.” Lives are so full of regrets and while this may be unavoidable, having a life full of chances taken and an abundance of loss is a life well lived and precisely the true story I intend to tell even in my death.

A Righteous Revival

I once laid in bed with death, right next to it – our skins touching, my body’s warmth against its eerie absent-like coolness and my weary head upon its betraying shoulder. I managed to whisper a few nonsensical words to its deaf ears and shed a few tears in its unwelcome and untimely presence. I once vowed my life – the one I’m living right now – for better or for worse, in sickness and in health to another living, breathing human being in the attendance of other living, breathing human beings. I once allowed death to fool me into longing for its bittersweet company but I’m still living that life. I no longer vow it to anyone – not another human being, not even death – only my self.

I just want something to last longer than I, I thought to myself as I stepped into the…

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