Becoming an Essentialist

Today is the full moon in Libra. My mother was a Libra. She taught me love. Ultimately she did teach me balance. Because her life demonstrated to me the opposite extreme of what I developed a love and determination for. The scales are now even.

Her pain, suffering, traumatic life and great loss was so deep that she felt the need to numb herself to it all. After being beaten as a child, running away and then losing her first husband in cyclone Tracey, her first baby daughter in a fire, she then began taking drugs to self medicate. She developed a drug addiction which cut her life so short she was just 51 when she passed away of a heart condition. It was a broken heart. By then she had also lost her twins. Her drug addiction had my brother and sister, thee years older than I, caught up in the drug world that took their lives when they were mid teens.

Even as I typed that, my heart flooded my chest with a feeling of heavy clouds. The sensation felt something like the image of  black ink being ejected from an Octopus deep in the ocean. But I’m here now. I feel my mother deeply and have always dreamed of her often. And the dreams are so real! Even last night I dreamed of her again. What her life taught me, was how little things meant. As I grew up in and out of foster care as she struggled with her heroin addiction, I moved many many times. The last count was 55 and that was when I was 19 or so. I lost count since then. As I moved here there and everywhere, sometimes with Mum and a few times with Dad, I learned something profound.

I discovered the meaninglessness of the physical realm of tangible objects. Things, grew less and less important to me as I kept on moving, leaving behind more and more each time, rarely holding onto much. It’s through such a journey that I found out what was really important. Time and energy. How powerful just a moment can be. How significant a thought can be in creating and energy and rippling out into the world of manifestation.

I’m blessed. I truly am. Because my mother always made it clear to me that she knew she would not live long. She was warned of her health condition and shared this with me out of love. At the time it hurt and many times I told her to stop talking about it. It wasn’t going to happen I would affirm to her. I would ask her to stop talking about her plans and desires around what was to happen when she left…with her body…and her things…and her funeral. I mean…not everyone gets to truly honour their family like that when they go. So many people leave unexpectedly. I know my father did. Even though he too had addiction which ultimately lead to his vulnerability that took him away.

My father was fit and still worked every day. He was a functioning alcoholic with drug dependance. I also feel blessed I was able to write to him 1 month before he passed away saying I loved him and everything else I wanted to say before “that day” …that day that I stated even in the letter, that no one knows when it will come. I said Thank you…for giving me life. It was hard to watch him drink and drug his life away and I told him so. So I stayed distant. I feel blessed though again, that I was able to feel complete before he passed away. Again, not many people get that, and so I am thankful for that.

It’s one of the lessons that I learned growing up.

The only thing that became important to me as I grew up, was being complete and living without regrets. Things don’t matter. We don’t take them with us when we go. All we have is our spirit. Our love and our legacy to leave for others. So that is all I grew to care for. I have been lucky enough to learn, as I moved and moved again, that nothing has meaning other than that which we give it. And even then, can we not simply carry that meaning in our heart.

As I go about my personal space today, space clearing, I come across things that I no longer need or resonate with. And that is one of my greatest gifts. The ability to be clear that freedom lies in letting go completely. In knowing that by freeing yourself from past ideals and outgrown beliefs is one of the most liberating powers. As in doing so, all else is possible. We are more fully able to re-create who we are from the wisdom of NOW.

After all….Now is all we have. That to me, is what being an Essentialist is all about. Presence. Being here…now. With no distractions.

My gift in life…has become clear as time goes on. To have little is to be free. Free of mental pollution and clutter. I strive to keep my space minimal. Why? Because my time is far too valuable to be wasting on the arrangement of meaningless material items. Time is the most valuable asset we have. There is nothing more precious! After losing my parents and siblings, I look to my child as the greatest gift in my life! What a blessing it is that I have family now of my own.

I have literally sat down today and had a deep sense of gratitude for the lessons I have learned. For everything I experienced has taught me the value of the life I live today. The value of being a present mother. Gentle, loving, considerate and attentive. All of what I craved as a little girl as I sat beside my mother’s bed as a seven year old, begging her to stop the drugs…I give freely to my daughter today. This is the beauty of my life. The balance! The love that I have learned through my journey is profound. The extreme, deep and undying love I possess for my child now, is a result of all of the pain and suffering I endured as a child myself. Without it, I would not be the pillar of solidarity I know that I will always be for my girl.

And for that, I am grateful. I would NOT change a thing. Every hurdle, every fall, I would do it again. I would do it all. For who I have become is worth it. The mother I am proud of being and committed to being, is all thanks to that yearning I so desperately had as a child…that self raised flower was the essential ingredient to the person I became. It made me who I am.