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Tuesday, February 12, 2013
The Healing Candle 3: Honeysuckle-Lilac
Father loved lilacs. He spoke fondly about them, and their fragrance, at his home in New England growing up. His memories had a dream-like quality to them, a yearning, a calling, that made you wish you could have been there too to see what he was remembering from his youth.
There was blueberry-picking by the bucket in the wild. There was fishing all day behind the house. There was getting-together with family and neighbors for work like a barn-building just for the sake of helping somebody out. It was idyllic. The first time I visited his birthplace, I got that 'vibe' too, one of nature and life all together. I was so very glad I had the chance to go visit our family 'with the ice scrapers and snow'. They were kind people, easy to smile and laugh, who loved me just for being his kid.
Sometimes abuse makes us alter our memories.
My cousins who had physical abuse in the home talk about 'how grateful they were for their perfect childhood.'
As I grew older, I learned, through mom., that the family on Dad's side was not what it seemed. 'It happens to lots of girls', grandpa said about molest and incest, 'we just learned not to talk about it. It is nothing new.'
There was a death from a kid playing with a live gun at a family gathering, who said, 'Bang! Bang!' at one of my father's uncles, and killed him before Thanksgiving dinner. His wife, my great-aunt, was always dour and hyper vigilant ever since.
I know more, but I can't say, because there are people who would be sad if I let anyone know exactly what was going on in this family. Let us leave it that alcohol and pedophilia and gambling and poverty were no strangers to them.
This lavender candle represents 'taking the best and leaving the rest' when it comes to my father's side of my heritage. He was a good man, a hard worker, who loved me. But through his past and his lack of insight, his child-raising technique was a little 'off', a little 'skewed' by his upbringing. 'Children should be seen and not heard' is a classic example. What is that?!
As the candle finishes, I keep the SkyBar and the maple syrup, and the love--the unconditional love and laugher. And I let go of the unhealthy patterns that as a child I was exposed to and 'soaked up' unconsciously because of Dad.
There was a while there where he wanted me to call him 'Father', and not anything else. He also taught me to say, 'Observe' instead of 'look!' or 'watch this!'. He was that controlling. I always had my 'filter' on before anything came out of my mouth when I was with him.
He taught me many skills: to play catch, to throw a football, basketball, riding a bike...he did the best he could with what he had. I never had to buy my own clothes or have a paper route like he did at my age.
And I let it go.
The bird here is a good example of my dad's side of the family. This is a female Eclectus parrot. Very skittish, very observant, very shy. They take a long time to warm up to you when you are their owner. Everyone else just stresses them out. A beautiful bird, you will notice that the color is green. It's mate, the male, has phenomenal red and purple plumage! Most people purchase 'him' instead of 'her', and mistakingly think that they are two different kinds of parrot. But that is the way of the Eclectus: mysterious and complex in more ways than one might think.
If you have a memory that has been passed down through the family, something idyllic and perfect, think twice. There might be a back story behind it that is far from perfection. The more you understand the truth, the better prepared you are for what lies ahead. Find the freedom to move forward by knowing what is what. Then and only then you have the power to let it go and have it affect you never again.
Tribal beliefs are powerful. But only if you 'buy in' to them. You don't have to. Not at all.