Heading out of Little Rock on my way back to Austin, I stopped at the Big Dam Bridge at sunrise to give my thanks for an amazing NIA Dance-filled week. Sunrise and sunset are absolutely my most favorite times of the day and I love to honor these times xx
Broken Hearts Club
How I lost my lifelong membership to this club….
It occurs somewhere around mid-to-early-January, the drug stores aisles turn to a sea of red hearts, teddy bears and ageless chocolates, buttering us up for the next major holiday, Valentine’s Day. This day that will always undoubtedly prove the currency of my self-worth by the amount of Made-in-China crap purchased for me on this glorious rose-filled day. And oh! I need to make room for all the roses! I have personally always been a huge fan of this mid-winter test of my self-esteem.
*ahem* Noooooooooo, no I have not.
I don’t think I’ve ever had an awesome Valentine’s Day, in fact the only giggle-inducing-memory I have of this day was a first date with a boy in Mill Valley, California and we were at a pizza joynt that was slinging heart-shaped pizzas for the night. When the waiter finally came around to take our order, I began to ask questions and make special requests, à la Meg Ryan from “When Harry Met Sally“. The waiter was not having this on this very busy night and leaned over to be eye-to-eye with me, pointed his finger in my face and said rather sternly, “YOU SAID YOU WERE READY.” I turned beet red and ordered the veggie pizza. I kept my mouth shut… for a little while. The boy and I laughed about that for many months and I still use that line on occasion.
Although I never have been fired in this month — and I have been fired A LOT, February is the month that my divorce became final several years ago (February 15) and the month my mom passed away (February 13, two years ago). These hits to my heart turned out to be the hits that have helped me to grow up, wake up and move towards becoming the person I always hoped to be. It has been awful, lonely and tremendously sad, but in hindsight, the gift of crawling on my hands-and-knees through my emotional thunderstorms and muck has helped to shape me in the most profound and prolific ways.
I haven’t always been strong enough to weather my emotional storms; as a young woman I chose to drown my sorrows in a torrential downpour of booze and pills, and it truly is not easy for me to admit that on not one but two different occasions, I attempted to end my life with pills because the pain was unbearable — or so it felt. I was begging God to take me and found a way to get there, or perhaps I knew it was just enough to be a seriously loud cry for help. Looking back, both of these experiences seem like two very different yet terrifying out-of-body experiences. Even though I survived these attempts to snub out my life prematurely, I recall being terribly embarrassed that I was still here, oh my, I felt bad that I was still here. After the first time, I spent a few months in a hospital and I honestly loved my time there — my eyes were open for the first time in my life and it was incredible. The second time, my dad had me arrested and I spent time in a jail in Phoenix. Not long, but long enough to make a huge impression.
I think back to the Meagan I was and I can literally cry out loud for her, I was so lost and unclear about everything in my life. Heartbreaking, in a word, for me to think about these parts of my past, but also inspires me to never take a moment for granted. I now literally kiss the ground on occasion because I am so grateful to be here and to be given these opportunities to live life at the top of my lungs. I am still here. This is not lost on me at all.
Throughout my entire life, I have always thought there was something wrong with me. I was constantly searching for answers and seeking solutions to help me feel better and to feel right in my head. Even with ten years of sobriety, I struggled to feel at peace with myself, although I practiced and studied a number of healing modalities and therapies that for me, never really made much of a dent to lower the noise and restlessness I had in my head. I was always running, always searching, always asking, always researching for something to make me feel better. Nothing worked.
I eventually gave up and settled on living on the fringes once again, when I moved back to Chicago after the divorce. Meh, I didn’t care anymore, I was going to coast this thing out. I had been hiding out my entire life and now it seems that would be my lot in life…. to hide in the shadows and hopefully not be seen.
Two years ago, my mom became drastically sick. Well, she had been sick for years, but did her best to ignore all of it. But now she needed help, it was much larger than her. Everyone was gone, it was just she and I. My mom didn’t really like me to be around; we never did do well in the same room together, and it was not uncommon to go several months without seeing each other, even though we were neighbors. We spoke often and cared for each other deeply, we just knew our limits, mostly. These avoidance tactics went out the window when she got sick and I essentially walked away from my Chicago life when the call came in.
I will never forget the words my mom said to me, even though I brushed them aside at first. Sitting on the edge of her hospital bed, gripping the railings in an attempt to ease her excruciating pain, she turned back slightly to look at me and said, “I was wrong about you, Meag. I’m really sorry I was not nicer to you. I wish I was nicer to you. (lonnnnnnnng pause) I’m sorry Meag.”
Once I recovered from the funeral and whatnot, I awoke to discover that my mom’s words literally words melted a steel cage that had always lived around my heart and my life has since changed in every way possible since her deathbed apology. Well, actually I thought I was having a heart attack and ran to see my doctor, who told me I was trapped in a panic attack. Teh doctor prescribed xanax — noooooooooooo I wanted nothing to do with pills and rejected them. I went to see a naturopathic doctor and set myself off on a very green path that included lots of kale and magnesium to help my cortisol levels. I slept. I wrote. I walked. I did yoga. I cried. I left Chicago for good. I moved into my mom’s empty condo. I woke up.
I feel like a completely different person than I was a two years ago and I am extremely grateful for this completely unexpected gift my mom gave me. It was her love, her broken heart, her choice to unburden her heart, that has forever lightened my heart and turned my life around in the most profound way. I no longer believe there is something wrong with me. I have stopped searching for answers and I literally stopped harassing myself.
I am nice to me. I am nice to others. I like being nice. I can’t believe how good it feels to be nice.
I have met many women whose mothers have also passed away, who never had an opportunity to make peace with their mom before she left this earth. My heart goes out to these women for the pain I see in their eyes, but then again, I see the pain in many women’s eyes when it comes to their mother’s, alive or not. One universal truth, I have come to discover, is that our always-complicated and deeply profound relationship with our mothers affects every single area of our lives. I am not denying that men aren’t affected by their mothers as well, but I have not walked in their shoes, only my own, and I tend to gravitate towards women who wear their mother on their heart sleeves.
I am very proud to be Jule Francis McGovern Foster and Loren Pries Foster’s daughter, may they both rest in peace. I am no longer in the Broken Hearts Club because of the strength and love I learned from these two hearty souls — and it was no walk in the park with either of them. I now meet the challenges of my life with a full heart and eager curiosity. I take care of my heart, I value it and wow it’s a bit amazing what my happy heart says to me! The noise has been reduced, and I finally hear the wisdom within, wow wow wow wow wow.
I’ve been able to make amends for the mistakes I made in my marriage and I wasn’t sure if I would every have this opportunity. Reed is a huge part of my life once again and what an amazing gift this has been to make peace with him, Texas and Mexico. I no longer have hate in my heart, wow wow wow what a trip.
There is still so much to learn and experience and I am super-excited for this thing called my life.
I am tremendously grateful for all the heartache I have survived in my life, and I can’t believe it’s been two years since my mom flew away. I miss her so xx
To Be Me Agan
The more I read and attempt to understand near death experiences, the more I accept how profoundly I have been changed by my mom’s passing; and it was not a near death experience for me, but a near-to-three-deaths-experience. Those weeks spent with my mom have affected me in such a way that at times I have no words for it, so I sometimes chose to withdraw and fall into my study and fascination of “everything-as-energy”. I am inspired by everything I am learning; my perspective on life has evolved and I am super hungry to learn more. Even though it may appear as though I’m sitting there doing nothing, there is an enormous wave of activity going on in my head, and it is true I have never adored silence as much as I do now.
Ahhhhh sweet, golden silent silence I need you so I can read the world around me…
“The dots have been connected and there is no going back.” –Anita Moorjani in “Dying To Be Me.”
I just finished this book and I *love* her message and look forward to exploring more of it; specifically about how life comes down to self love. Not selfish love but self love — huge difference. But alas, this is much easier said than done for me; I have been reading self-help books my entire life and have strived to feel better about myself, i.e. change and improve myself so that I would feel good enough to be accepted by those around me and by the world in general eeeee-gads, much like the author. I’ve read wonderful books over the years, attended fabulous workshops, joined many, many groups, traveled near and far to look for that golden ticket, but at the end of the day, the week, the month, the year, nothing changed. I was still me. Still restless. Still discontent. I walked away from trying to improve myself, whatever, it didn’t work for me.
This has been a lifetime of mistakes and achievements and setbacks and adventure and only now, after my mom’s apology before her death, have I felt that steel cage melt away from around my heart and my life is forever elevated. Only now am I beginning to ease up on the harsh words and condemnation I’ve always had for myself. You could say perhaps I don’t care anymore, but I’ve never cared more in my life. My focus has changed tremendously over the past year, so I guess it only made sense that the Universe stripped me of everything in order to accommodate this radical change in perception. Well done Universe, well done.
Have you ever experienced a HUGE RELIEF? For me it’s when I eased off and stopped punishing myself for everything that would be impossible for me to be anyways. It’s when I gave myself permission to stop following all the self-imposed rules that have dictated my guilt-ridden life. It is a huuuuuuuuuuuge weight off my back and at times I have no idea who I am anymore. I’m okay with this. It’s not perfect by any means and I still have days when I get down on myself, but it’s a million miles away from what it used to be. If only my mom could have been free of this brutal punishment…. but that was not her life.
I also love the author’s message about food, as I have been afraid of eating unhealthy food for DECADES. Oh I’ve eaten it in the past, only to then punish myself in a variety of ways. Her fresh outlook on eating impressed me so much that this week I ate fried chicken from a chicken shack in Austin and I didn’t pass out! Oh it was gross for sure, but I enjoyed it with GUSTO. I had a coke too, YUM!
I am almost 50 years old. It takes what it takes…. and now I have my entire world ahead of me.
When I awake each morning and climb my way out of the morning’s dream, I get a mellow rush of excitement for the day ahead, no matter what lies ahead. I see things twirling around in my head, like magic 8’s dancing above me. I have a faery chandelier over my bed and I watch it twinkle for a few minutes as I leave my dream state and return to the State of Texas. I am pleased. I think of someone I love. I stretch and pet my dog and yawn and check my phone. I love waking up…
…then I head outside to do some energetic sun salutations in the driveway. Henry has begun to join me out there and I work with his energy and get it moving up & out. He appears to be full of vigor once again! He has been struggling ever since he returned from Mexico a few months ago and has had a multitude of vet appointments. He is looking happy again…
I sometimes forget I have been attuned in reiki. I sometimes forget I studied Gabrielle Roth’s dance for years and taught it in Mexico. I sometimes forget that I have psychic talents that love to be nurtured. I sometimes forget I was a graphic designer or that I love to write and that I can draw and paint fairly well. I sometimes forget that even though I spent years damaging my body with booze, smokes and poppin’ pills, my body is an amazing piece of wonder and it can heal itself. I sometimes forget I have power to change my life and live the life I’ve often dreamed of. I have started to remember that life can be wonderful and full of magic, even at this age when so many of us are overly-familiar with the dullness that can crush our waking days.
I read the news, I am not in some airy-faery cloud, but the best thing I can do for the world is to be the best Meagan I can be.
I have returned to dance and will be getting certified to teach NIA technique dance later this month. I am learning to read tarot cards because they help me make sense of practically every aspect of life and I love it! I have been reading oracle cards for a while now and they are becoming richer to me. I read Shakespeare and recently found this little book of gems. I love love letters. I have a little job that is good for now while I continue to pursue the many things I love in life and by doing this, I have a spring in my step when I bounce out of bed in the morning, even though I have so far to go. I’ve also had it about up to HERE with the State of TEXAS yet I am grateful beyond belief for all of the gifts and experiences it has provided me.
Oh To Be MeAgan… I loved reading this book and I really do love the journey, not just the destination… :)))