71. When Were You Last In Love?

BLOG 71: (present reflections tied to July 2000 journal entries about my healing and novel-writing journey)—“When’s the last time you were in love?” an Argentinean man asked me at a party I attended about three months ago after returning from his country. “Yesterday,” I said, half in jest.

Far from satisfied with my response, this man who, shortly afterwards, would become my new love, asked again.

“You mean, when was the last time I was in a relationship?” I inquired.

“No,” he said. “I really mean . . . when were you last in love?”

I never answered him that night, and when I think about it now, it was for two reasons. First of all, I wasn’t ready to divulge my life’s love story to a complete stranger. More importantly, though, there was a kernel of truth in my answer. Had I not been in love with friends, with this sacred journey of life of the past years, especially since publishing my novel, and sharing my passion with others?

Hadn’t I also experienced this place of “in-loveness” on and off throughout my life, and especially as I really began healing from my hip pain at the New England farmhouse during the summer of 2000?

Back then, I had worked so hard to let go of immense pain, so many unconscious layers of emotional and spiritual weight, that, when I was able to surrender to spirit, to an essence that connected me to the larger life around me, something amazing occurred. I fell in love—in love with life’s aliveness inside and out.   

418c1d9322c7fba52aff69e81ee6e681“I feel last night was the beginning of surrendering to a feminine energy within me that had no fear,” I wrote in my journal in July of 2000. “I began letting the universe take it from here.”

In surrendering, in letting go of knowing where I was going or where I had been, and finally  trusting a force within me and greater than me, I was able to fall in love. “I felt a smile and wholeness within all of me, like being in love,” I wrote back then. “I felt a real grounded, solid fullness that replenished itself.”

That feeling of in-loveness followed me for days. I could feel the earth moving up my legs, sensed how she fed me, and helped me center and expand far beyond the limited places I had lived. During those days, I found myself looking up at the sky a lot, at the billowing clouds, breathing an immense love deep into my heart. The flame within me also reached out, fed the world around me, as I received the holy of life.

During one of those mornings, I heeded a call to go to the ocean. There, I lay in the sun and sand, listening to the waters expand their waves toward me. “It felt so sensual. Everything filled my heart, my solar plexus, with love,” I wrote in my journal. “And when I went into the ocean, it was ama2b6d6e6a01abe2aaf6d4f1f233de3ac6.jpgzing. I was in love with the water as I swam freely, floating and watching the big sky. The people on the beach were also so magical, especially the older couples watching the children from their chairs. Everything connected me to a feeling of love, of light, of fullness and fluidity with life.”

As I look back at this time in 2000, when I had worked so hard to feel life again, to be in love as I had once been as a child (as we all are at some point), I can say that that time may have been my first adult encounter, at age 31, with really being in love. Sure, I had experienced in-loveness before that, but this was at a much deeper level.

As I reflect on the past, I think, maybe then, three months ago, when I met my Argentinean man, it was honest for me to have answered “yesterday” about when I had last been in love. And maybe it’s also accurate to say that, if asked the same question again, I would give the same answer today.

After all, after more than three months of being in relationship, I can honestly say that the love and in-loveness I’ve felt has only grown. And what I’ve learned from that summer many moons ago, and from my most recent relationship, is this: love will ONLY grow if we can let go of layers of fear, of false selves we have become, and surrender to spirit, to life offering her gifts in magnificent ways.

My Novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, is about awakening this love within. It’s available on Amazon at Amazon Page  or at www.michelleadam.net. It can be ordered at a local bookstore as well. Also, watch a brief video on “duende”, “the spirit of the earth”: YouTube Video

 

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57. Eternal Life Carved into Love

BLOG 57: November, 1999—The tiny white bird that had appeared as an angel had definitely been an omen. Peace and healing had flown into my life on its blue-tipped wings after two-plus years of healing from physical pain at my parent’s house in New Jersey. It was time for me to learn about the medicine of spirit that would become my life’s path.

In November, 1999, I was in New York City, taking a workshop with a Peruvian medicine man, Oscar Miro-Quesada. Everything in this world was available for me to be in relationship with, he had said, and it is through relationship that I can access spirit and the teacher and healer I am to become. My ability to love would be directly connected to, and completed affected by, my ability to follow my path as a teacher in this world, he clarified.

Oscar insights were new for the 30-year-old I was then—the one who, during my time in the U.S., had been raised in a material culture. We could give to plants and that plant’s spirit could give back to us in return, he had said. All I needed was to recognize that my love and light affected everything I touched, and in turn it affected me. What we love always gives back, he added, because the act of loving in itself opens us to receive, and in receiving we can trust and allow spirit to move within us.

48ab1c5a9c96f84bf8229947db55b60bInside the hustle and bustle of New York City, Oscar Miro-Quesada shared a message that I have since learned well. Spirit moves through love, he had said, and love is light that reflects off everything it touches. Start with what draws you toward its beauty, he added, and then build gardens from there.

Oscar’s message of years ago was timeless. I especially felt the truth of his words yesterday, on Earth Day, as I awoke with a deep sense of love inside my friends’ home (I was cat-sitting for them). Every corner of their home is filled with furniture, artwork, and relics that they have brought here, to New Mexico, from practically every continent on this earth.

The intricate, indigenous crafting of life into form surrounded me with a sense of origin and love as I looked out toward the Sandia Mountains. It prompted me to think of my recently-deceased father, of his apartment in Argentina filled with antiques from Spain. I had cried so deeply when I had been with him there, feeling the depth of his love for the walls, the furniture, and life of his apartment that he would soon 1d1bc48863c13eb2ef0764a32fb4fd65leave behind. I sensed then that even the furniture and walls would miss him.

Memories of my father’s apartment soon
transported my mind back to my childhood in Spain, where the antiques of my father’s apartments had come from. It was in Spain that the land, her people, and her buildings had been intricately carved into eternity. It was there that I had felt an ancient love tied to origins. People back then, in the late-seventies, had yet to be the consumers that Americans had become; they had yet to see life as an end, as a place to get to. Life remained a relationship crafted with sacred reciprocity and love as Oscar had spoken about.

As I looked out toward the mountains from this place filled with ancient origins, I felt my love for Spain, my father, my ancestors, and their connection to the earth. My father’s apartment still carries his spirit and love so strongly that it’s as if he had never left. It breathes the breath of my ancestors and that place of origin that only comes alive when we love deeply the people, the land, and that in our homes that we have deemed inanimate in this world. This loving relationship to all that has taken form remains as an echo on this earth far beyond our death. It holds eternal life carved out by our love.

My Novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, takes place in Spain, a country and people with an ancient history still alive today. Check it out on Amazon: Amazon Page  or at www.michelleadam.net. Also, watch a brief video on “duende”, “the spirit of the earth”: YouTube Video

52. Answer to a Prayer before Saying Goodbye

BLOG 52:  June, 1999—Have you ever written a letter to your father, or someone, with no intention of sharing it? I did, many moons ago, on Father’s Day, as I lived in my parent’s house in New Jersey, healing from physical and emotional pain.  

“It’s strange celebrating Father’s Day with this silence between us,” I wrote. “Your silence, your temper, your not being there when you were really needed in these past few years has made me sad about this family and our relationship. All I’ve ever wanted is for us to learn how to show care and love to each other—to feel that we don’t have to compete against each other, but rather let family be a place where we all feel wanted … I know that you are scared to be vulnerable to show that you have needs and care, but I hope that, as we age, we can make less room for judgment, and more room for enjoying the time we have. I hope there can be years in which you and I, and all of us, can take a few chances and express ourselves as friends.”

This letter to my father never made it into his hands, but my wishes did come true before my father’s recent departure from this world. It was about five years ago that I had called him up, broken-hearted about the relationship I was in at the time, and how I had
learned to be in relationship. I asked him to help me break these old patterns of intimacy (or lack of intimacy) I had learned growing up. It was a bold move on my part, but I was so broken, unable to sleep, that I took a friend’s advice and reached out to my father, toward the origin of my pain.

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“Maybe you can help me,” I had said to him in tears. Without needing to explain too much, my father surprisingly told me he understood, and that the way he and I related had been passed down from his grandfather to his mother to him and then to me (and my siblings).  His next words were life-changing. My father said he regretted, to that day, not having had quality time with his mother before she died (later, I learned that they had had harsh words with each other during his last visit with her in Argentina). In his own subtle way, he let me know that he didn’t want this to happen with us.

The following spring, as my relationship with my then-boyfriend finally came to an end—and upon my request—my father and I shared a month together in his apartment in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he visited a lot since retiring from Corporate America. That was about three years ago, and it became the first time I had quality one-on-one time with my father. We slowly opened our hearts to each other to create a relationship we had never had. It wasn’t easy, but during that time, I discovered my father—big-hearted, alive, and celebrating life with dinners and gatherings with childhood friends and family who were tremendously dear to him.

As our time together came to an end, after two days of my father driving me through the streets of his favorite city in the world, sharing his love, we sat across from each other over a meal. In an unprecedented manner, he told me how special I was and how much his friends had loved me as he did.

IMG_1683The following year, my father insisted we return to Buenos Aires together. I shared songs and poems with him and friends, letting my father know how precious this time was. He reflected back to me how I had finally come into my own after years of searching. That summer was when he also told me he had chronic leukemia (in addition to his Parkinsons and crippling pain)—a disease that would require undergoing months of chemotherapy in the U.S., followed by more treatments and surgery for melanoma, which he later had. Our visit together was one of his last to Argentina before his death.

This past month, when my family and I gathered to be with my ailing father, caring for him for multiple weeks around his hospital bed in my parent’s living room in Virginia, it seemed my letter and his wishes had been answered. The father my sisters and I had known growing up had become less afraid to share his heart, to reach out and finally have a loving relationship with us. Because of his desire to have a fuller relationship with his children than he had experienced or expressed with his mother, he was able to leave this world knowing that he had done something beautiful. On February 23, at 2:03, as my cousin, Domenica, and I held his hands, he left knowing that we had given each other a gift that had become an answer to my letter and our mutual prayer.

*My novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, is a story of coming healing and coming home. Check it out on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Child-Duende-Journey-Michelle-Adam/dp/099724710X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1474233011&sr=8-1&keywords=child+of+duende  or at www.michelleadam.net