Open space in my heart
Posted on: October 5, 2015 • 0 Comments
I dreamed of my step-sons and my role as their wondermom last night. Today was filled with healing the open space in my heart. Blended families have their challenges, yet it was my family for a long time. Of course, I just so happened to be hiking in Yosemite today. Surrounding myself with nature is where I tend to get the most clarity.
Yosemite is spectacular! Everything is just so huge that the pictures can’t portray the magnitude of this place. The cliffs jet up so high that at certain spots I have to tilt my head straight up to see it all. Just like a kid watching a movie in the front row of the theater. This is the first park that I have noticed many camping families. This park is set up perfectly for the active families. Bike trails that are paved, wonderful camping areas, and shower areas that reminded me of the set on the TV show Mash. Many of the previous parks have not been very populated and the hikes I take tend to have no one else on the trail. Of course, today was not like that. I was certain to be surrounded by families all day! With all of the people around, at least I didn’t need my bear spray.
The 4 boys (my step-sons) came into my life when their ages ranged from 4 to 9. Their love and enthusiasm for life was infectious. I felt right at home with them very early on in our relationship. I was able to be my true 7 year old self at all times! Mackenzie was 8 at the time, yet with a larger family, creativity and joy multiplied exponentially. Story time, hide and seek, craft activities and adventures took a turn toward a team sport and fabulous. The boys weren’t afraid to express love, their desires for hugs, and their excitement. Navigating life with 5 kids did have it’s challenges, yet what I experienced the most at that time was love, acceptance, and delightful reminders to love right now. Those young boys evolved into 4 young men.
Those 4 teen boys transformed my life. Initially, they did not share their feelings, want hugs as often and certainly did not express joy with the same enthusiasm. They taught me about forgiveness and how to quietly love with all of their available hearts. Prior to my moving out of our family home, the remaining 2 boys that lived at home spent more time with me than they had in years. They gravitated towards just being near me and sharing their time. They were less afraid of sharing their feelings and giving hugs. I was in a very sad place then, as I knew this time together was impermanent and would come to an end. No matter how much I tried to hide my pain, they understood that the family as we knew it was broken. During that time we rejuvenated our relationship in a completely different way. This time with the remaining 2 boys held my heart and soul together as the rest of the world fell apart.
Being an ex-step mom means that I am here for them, yet have no leverage to gain their time or attention. So, I get none in the way I once did. They are boys. They are teens. They have their own lives. They are healing themselves, and they know I am here whenever they decide to see me. In real time that means I haven’t seen them in many moons. My door is open and so is my heart. With my role as a stepmom complete, there is an open space in my heart. It’s an open space not a hole.
Previously, I would have filled that space as quickly as possible. It is so uncomfortable to have that open and vacant space which was once occupied with 4 amazing young men. Actually, the whole damn thing is uncomfortable. I miss them, yet even more than that I miss the exchange of love in real time. The love that I shared with them, while I was in their lives, is in our hearts forever! Nothing can take that away. I simply keep my heart open to see what life will bring.
Open space. Yosemite is filled with open spaces, beautiful trees, amazing mountains and trails. If a tree falls or burns, the park rangers don’t replace that tree. The process is to allow nature to take its course and let new growth organically occur. In the meantime the landscape may look bare. I strive to do the same in my life; leave space in the landscape of my heart open in order to allow new growth to occur authentically in spite of the immediate discomfort. I will forever love the boys! I trust that is mutual, yet they too have open space in their heart for new growth. I continue to send love and light out into the world for their highest selves. I have no way of knowing how it will touch their lives; yet I just trust the process and send it anyway.