Life Speaks blog series; Blog post #4
Cristina Ruscica, February 16, 2021
Have you ever found yourself pushing up against things in this life? This may look like wishing something to be different than what it is, or even forcing your way to make something happen. Maybe there were things happening that you did not want to happen so you tried to stop them or change their course. Maybe there were undesirable things triggered for you by someone else, so in order to feel better, balanced and at ease, you pushed up against their actions so not to disturb your own. Or, maybe, you have held onto pain and scars from your past in a way that those things became real for you each time there was a flutter of a memory resembling such. So, to avoid this trigger, you tell someone to change. You tell them to do things different than what they are because then, and only then, do you believe you will find peace. Until then, their actions hold you within a pattern of resentment, anxious anticipation and worry for fear that without having control over their actions, you have lost all control over your own.
As you navigate yourself through understanding these emotions and responses, it becomes evident the ways that those darker places in us are activated so easily and effortlessly by the things lurking around. Sometimes silently in the not so distant space. Other times, they become belligerent and screaming at you with blatant force that you are caught off guard and wanting to run, hide and forget. All of this because of fears and past hurts, you then try to desperately grab onto everyone else in attempt to create order in your life. Relying on them to bring you peace, yet, only to find yourself feeling depleted and helpless the more you tried to do so. If any of this resembles a part of you that is ignited by remembering such things, I invite you to read on.
“This is because you can only see things that are in front of you,
and these things are constructed by your own
creation derived from within.”
I am talking about the times that you tried to control something or someone because of the viewpoint from where you stand. The times that you were witness to seeing someone you love, make choices in their life that according to your own standards were not up to par. You see them stuck within the confines of a small and restricted space. Perhaps enforced by their own self-beliefs, worth and value. Thus, being their circumstances that were created by their own doing. Yet, for some reason, we hold ourselves responsible for changing this for them. Somehow, we seem to think that we know better. Better than what they have set out as being best for themselves. But because of our view, we may know different and feel the need to impose the knowledge from this perspective, onto the place that they are standing within. The thing is, they may not be able to see the same things you do, simply because the angle they are standing at, does not allow for the same view. Just the same as you are not able to see things from their viewpoint either. Each way has its limitations and to expect that the other will understand and be able to see the things that you see will not happen unless either they move, or you do. It doesn’t even matter the number of times you have seen them be hurt and feeling scared. It does not matter that you believe you may very well know different, know better even. This is because you can only see the things that are in front of you, and these things are constructed by your own creation derived from within. We cannot impose this change on another. As we find our way to the light, it becomes natural for us to want those closest to us to join us. We know that the light and dark are not simultaneous. We plead for those we love the dearest to join us where we are. If not, the choice becomes either we step back to the dark, or we let go and hope they find their way.
“I wanted her to change, to make a change,
so that I could feel comfort in knowing that the
things I chose for myself were safe and supported.”
This was the relationship I danced around in with my mother for most of my life. I broke free from the chains that held me to fear way back when. I wanted and expected my mother to do the same. I wanted my mother to cut through her own shackles that held her in this limited space. To free herself because that, in essence, would also be freeing me from the hold that her continued choices had on triggering my memories. I wanted her to change, to make a change, so that I could feel comfort in knowing that the things I chose for myself were safe and supported. I wanted her to show me that she loved herself enough to want something better in her life so that I could follow her strength and feel secure in doing the same. I wanted, so desperately, to know that I could feel open and spacious in her presence. I placed my own restriction on this want of mine. At the cost of my mother having to choose the same things in her life, as I had in mine. In doing so, the space within and all around me, was filled with wishing for different. It was space that held onto resentment for wanting things to change, wanting her to change. My space was consumed with feeling the need to force and imposing upon, and as a result, it did not leave room for unconditional love, joy or faith in anything or anyone.
I understand where this thinking was sourced from in my life. Much the same as many things that erupt as we grow older, it is usually traced back to our early days. The days when our minds were absorbing the world around as we formulated ideas and perceptions. Those were the days that our minds had not yet developed the free will to pick and choose things that made sense, but rather, the things that were impressed upon us. It is only natural for this to occur for no other reason other than exposure to the environment in which we were in. Those were the precious and vulnerable times in our lives in which we were at the mercy of our external environment. During our early years, we simply did not have the words, understanding nor will to be able to decide otherwise.
In my world from early on, my perceptions were based on confusing and hurtful things. From this viewpoint, I formed my own set of interpretations about ways to survive in this lifetime, while preserving any last ounce of security to pull me through to my next steps. This brings me to the purpose of this writing, as I reflect back on the relationship I have held with my mother through all those years. I look back as the ways I remember my mother to have been during the early years of my life. From the place where I stood back then, I was witness to events that I believed to have been hurtful and restrictive of her. My mother’s voice was so full of love, yet she built her own ways of surviving the turbulent environment for which she and my father created within our home. These ways closed her off to expanding and experiencing life in a way that I always thought she should. This is where my imposing mind tried to take control of something that was far beyond my role to do so.
“It was only once I found my words, my inner-strength
and a deeper knowing that I had it within myself
all along to conquer any demons, that I then began to feel the need
and the responsibility for making my mother
see things in the same way.”
The need I gained in wanting so fiercely for my mother to free herself, came from the perception I held that she had somehow lost her own voice and ability to stand to reason and set boundaries. This is the voice that expresses wants and desires, the voice that gives command to follow-through, to take self-care and honour individual needs. My mother’s voice was instead filled with words to serve others, even if it meant doing so at the expense of her own security and desires. Because I felt as though my mother did not use her own voice, I felt compelled back then, to use my own to fight her battles. It was only once I found my words, my inner-strength and a deeper knowing that I had it within myself all along to conquer any demons, that I then began to feel the need and the responsibility for making my mother see things in the same way. I felt free and wanted her to as well. One of the more interesting parts of this, is that in all the time I was pushing up against wanting my mother to change to the ways I was seeing things, she was doing the same of me. She was wanting to bring me back to the ways things were back then. Maybe this was her way of trying to create security in her own environment, much like what I was trying to do with her.
“We all have our own journey and accepting the choices and decisions other people make is one of the most significant things we can do
as part of our own healing.”
I eventually found it within me to let go. Letting go of my own needs and some of the beliefs I had that held onto those needs. I realized that I was able to find my own safety and security within this world, on my own. I realized that I was able to find peace regardless of things that were happening around me. I realized that we do not have the capacity to change anyone else, no matter how much we believe they need to. We all have our own journey and accepting the choices and decisions other people make is one of the most significant things we can do as part of our own healing.
I let go of my need to “save” my mom. In doing so, I released myself from the anchor this belief held over me and I have now created this space within for me to flourish and expand. Not just in ways for me, but opening myself so that I can be of service for others. Life spoke to me in a way that validated these things. Just as all life lessons happen in perfect synchronicity, this was no different. As I am reaching this higher level of awareness, there is a new umbrella of understanding that is diminishing my old ways of thinking and believing with something new and invigorating. I see the world different, clearer and ever so willing to show me more of the truths that I have now come to know. Once our awareness is ready to embrace this relationship, communication happens in ways that no other human will be able to do on their own. I have come to rely on this channel of communication between me and it, that provides me with this learning and ultimately fills me with all things I had ever felt I was lacking before – before the veil was lifted and the world seen for the first time with such clarity.
“There is always guidance available for us to use
as our reassurance that we are on the right track
as we move closer to all things within our purpose,
intentions and desires.”
The universe we live in always, without exception, provides us with all things we ever need or desire. Even during the times we feel as though we are up against the grains of life. Life has a way of happening for us, and trusting this process along with all things that are brought to our experience, helps in knowing that we are supported every step of the way. There is always guidance available for us to use as our reassurance that we are on the right track as we move closer to all things within our purpose, intentions and desires. I know this to be truth and it isn’t until we gain an awareness to the ways we dance together in perfect synchronicity, does this become even more evident and validating. For most of us, I feel that this truth may go unnoticed, and it is in those circumstances that some may feel at the mercy of their environment, only to be easily pulled in by the negative forces perceived to be surrounded by. Just as I had been for all those years.
I have been brought closer to knowing the truth of the workings of this universe by repeated experiences that serve to validate the intense power it holds. Once I gained deeper awareness of these workings, did I continue to find evidence to support the magnitude and force for which they function upon. If there is ever a situation that exemplifies the effects of anchored fear and limited beliefs, it is within the story told of my own entrapment of the thoughts and beliefs that embedded my mind for most of my life. I exerted force and exhausted my energy as I held the presumption that I somehow had the ability to make other’s change. This was based on my needs and wanting to feel safe in my environment while at the same time, truly believing that this sense of peace and security would come to me, only once all things around me were exactly as I thought they should be.
I set out on a journey to share my story, to help inspire others to release their own blocks and find their inner-power. As I relate this intention to my life experiences, I know that deep down this was chosen for me because of being able to let go of saving my mother in the ways that I thought that had to look like. Instead, funneling this into work where I may be able to help others who are on a path of healing and ready to find their own strength. This was an intention I purposefully set out, with full knowing that part of my passion is to help others have their own breakthroughs to set them on a path of empowerment and expansion.
“The more we try to do more than what the other person is wanting
to do for themselves, the more we are left feeling depleted,
frustrated and resentful. As are they.”
I was having a conversation with my daughter, Emily about the situation with my mother, Emily’s nonna. My mother’s health has not been well. As she is now aging, her health has declined even more. This conversation with Emily consisted of the ways that we can be there for her nonna during this time that she is not well. This lead us into talking about how we are only able to help others, as far as they are wanting to help themselves. The more we try to do more than what the other person envisions for themselves, the more we are left feeling depleted, frustrated and resentful. As are they. Emily and I talked about how the best thing we can do for my mother is hold loving space for her and preserve our own image of her being well, happy and thriving, rather than becoming enmeshed into her resistance to wanting to make changes that could help her feel healthier. In other words, if we were to become part of her conversation that focused on all the things not well, then we are not only adding to her own illness, but also depleting our health and energy source as we consume our thoughts with that. In essence, this is designing a healthy and loving emotional detachment that allows each of us to feel freedom within the space of our current mindset without the pressure of being pulled into someone else’s energy. I love my mother dearly and I see all of her beauty and love inside of her. This is the image I hold onto regardless of any circumstances that may be projected within the physical environment.
“I now shifted my focus and found my own inner strength
so that I can pave a way for others to do the same.”
This conversation with Emily then lead into talking about the passion I have found in helping others feel empowered and in finding their own inner-potential. I explained to Emily that I now realize that I was not able to help my mom in the way that I thought I needed or wanted to and that I always felt as though she was resistant to wanting to make changes in the ways that I believed she “should” have. However, as part of heightened awareness and understanding I have gained, I now see that my mother is on her own journey as well. As part of her journey, this has entailed her experiencing things in her life, in exactly the way they occurred that were in accordance with her own personal growth and purpose. I shared with Emily that in letting go of the ideas about how I was to show up as the caretaker for my mother, there was this new space that opened itself within me. This space has created a feeling of freedom that enabled me to feel more loving, especially towards my mother. I am now present and able to share myself with others in a way that I know I can help. Perhaps help in a way that I always desired being able to do for my mom. I now shifted my focus and found my own inner strength so that I can pave a way for others to do the same. While at the same time, release myself and my mom from the tight grip I held onto, that did not provide me, nor her the breathing space to step into all we are truly meant to be.
This is where the workings of the universe revealed its power and lovingly provided synchronicity for clarity. Within a few moments of this conversation with Emily, I then received a message from someone who participates in my online fitness classes, as well as been present for all my talks and book workshops. Within this spontaneous message she sent me, she expressed sincere and heartfelt gratitude for feeling inspired in making changes in her life. She shared how she feels stronger physically and mentally and that she is now able to take on doing more physical activity, while using her own mental strength in doing so. She realized that her self-talk was getting in the way of her being able to achieve more for herself. She thanked me for helping her see this within herself.
The following day, I then received a very random gift in the mail from another woman who has walked into my life since starting this journey. She gifted me not only with beautiful and meaningful items, but also her writing to me, in sincere words from her heart. She expressed gratitude to me for feeling inspiration and for being a positive influence in her life.
These gestures were powerful and the timing of receiving them was perfect and in alignment with the revelations being expressed during my conversation with my daughter that day. This had been an emotional conversation as I was reflecting on my relationship with my mother, and having these messages sent at this precise time, was with no doubt, a response from the higher power validating my purpose. These women provided me a profound message as they were used by this universe to deliver my lessons.
“It was in this new way of being by letting go of my resentments
and need for control, that I opened a portal
for the most authentic expression of who I am.”
These random acts of kindness and words spoken were all reflections of the things I had longed to hear from my mother. In all the years I spent exerting myself in a way that left me feeling depleted and frustrated as I was trying to force an outcome from my mother, I longed to hear her tell me that she was ready, found her inner-strength and was willing to take action towards empowering herself to better health and openness to be present with me in the ways I always wanted her to be. Yet, in these words spoken through these messages from these women, it filled me with complete certainty in the ways this universe works. It was in this new way of being by letting go of my resentments and need for control, that I opened a portal for the most authentic expression of who I am. In doing this, I am also allowing others to feel safe in doing the same. This is where the soul connections are made. I know without a doubt that these gifts were given from the universe to reflect back to me, the service and purpose I have set out to do. Perhaps these were words from my mother, spoken in another form.
“Our space is always filled to the brim with something.
This is where we get to choose what those somethings are.”
There are always signs, and ways that life speaks to us bringing us to deeper awareness forever leading us closer to our purpose and most heartfelt and unique intentions we set forth towards fulfilling. There is never a moment in time that we are left without. Our space is always filled to the brim with something. This is where we get to choose what those somethings are.
All that we need is there for us and it is up to us to release any beliefs that hold us to the external parts of our world, so that we can fill our space with trust and faith that life is always working for us. With this faith, we can then let go and allow others to do the same. It always seems to be that in letting go of one thing, we are then able to take hold of something else. By letting go of my need to control my mother’s choices she makes for her own life, I then feel the freedom of ease and peace in the choices I make for mine. This fills me with gratitude and deepest love for my beautiful mother. Although our life may not have been considered easy or peaceful, all things that happened were exactly as they needed to be. My mother has shown me the most valuable lessons, given to me through our turbulent times. It is within this gratitude and understanding that love is able to flow between my mother and I, allowing the creation of peace within that I can now share in a way to help others. This is expansion at its best.
“The pillars of Breathe Wide Open captures the
integral steps needed to take so that we can let go and let in
self-love, inner-peace and ultimately our potential to
create harmonious relationships that we all
deserve to experience.”
Along my own personal journey of releasing the harboured resentments that had a lifetime of accumulation, there were very profound and integral steps that opened themselves up to me along my pathway that allowed me to truly let go. To let go in this sense involves the release of the negative energies that we tend to carry with us because of past hurts and betrayals, as well as the release of feeling the need to control things that are not up to us to do so. Within both these circumstances, our lives begin to feel heavy and burdensome as we continue to carry with us the weight from our negative past experiences. Unless truly released, we continue to bring this “baggage” with us wherever we go. This is where we may feel stuck in our circumstances, or we repeat unhealthy relationships. We find ourselves become trapped in the belief that as long as we can change the circumstance, then things will be better. The truth of the matter is that it is up to us to make the change from the inside. Otherwise, we are automatically set to seek out experiences that match where our mind is at. We may find ourselves wondering why things don’t ever work out for us, or why everyone else seems to have it easy. We become caught on this treadmill of repeated experiences and it isn’t until we look inward, are these circumstances ever going to change.
I have cited a more detailed account of the unfolding of such events in Breathe Wide Open: Exhale the Past and Fearlessly Recalibrate Your Life. I have taken my work from my book and broke it down to the three main essential pillars of releasing and rewriting our stories. This belongs to anyone who has felt stunted in their tracks by their own past circumstances. We can usually recognize it is time to take an honest look at our own limitations once we hit that repeated pattern of behaviour that creates the same results for us over and over again. Most commonly, this shows up in our personal relationships. As we all strive for healthy and harmonious unions with another, holding onto past resentments often times act as barriers to achieving this. My own personal journey of repeated broken intimate relationships created the blueprint in not only identifying these blocks that I had held onto, but also the pathway that opened for me once this was recognized and released in the way it needed to be. The pillars of Breathe Wide Open captures the integral steps needed to take so that we can let go and let in self-love, inner-peace and ultimately our potential to create harmonious relationships that we all deserve to experience.
The first of the three pillars is to identify your want and your why. In order to see that change has to happen in your life, there has to be something else that you want to happen instead of the things that have been happening. Seeing this from the emotional standpoint, it is the same theory behind wanting something different within relationships, whether the one with yourself or others. Something has to not be working in your life, so that you can then be clear on the things you would rather have. Identifying what that want is, will then lead you to understanding your why you want it. This is the beauty of contrast and understanding your why you want that something different, then becomes your north star towards achieving it. Keeping in mind, however, that to truly connect with your want and why, entails digging deeper than the ways you may have already done so. There is a process behind this that requires attention and readiness for wanting this inner connection. This is the key behind uncovering your true desires for change, in order to connect in a deep and emotional way. It is then this emotional desire that provides you with motivation, commitment, persistence and willingness to do what it takes to work towards making a change. In absence of recognizing this want and why, it can leave you feeling disoriented and unfocused resulting in you making less effort towards change.
The second step in the pillars of releasing is uncovering acceptance and practicing forgiveness. Acceptance and forgiveness in this sense may be very different than the ways you have understood these terms in their traditional sense. There is a deep inner place we all have access to that contains understanding in knowing that anything that has ever happened in our lives, could not have happened in any other way than the ways they did. Further to this, there is no ability that any human on earth has that enables us to change any one thing that has ever happened in the past. Knowing this leaves us with two options. Either we loath in wishing and hoping, which fill us with further voids within; or we take control of our own well-being by learning the true sense of what it means to accept and forgive. Essentially, this entails releasing ourselves from the chains that our past have had on us. We adapt to a different perspective as we use hindsight to show us the puzzle pieces that were necessary in order to create the larger, more meaningful and purposeful picture that we are all creating during our life on this planet.
The third of the three steps in the pillars of releasing involves re-writing. Now that we understand and have established our why we want those things, we then did the work in changing our perspective that has lead to our acceptance and forgiveness, we are now ready to re-write. We do this by taking all of this new knowledge and insight attained by the first two steps and creating a new script for ourselves. This is not to be mistaken for forgetting and letting others off the hook. It is is about re-writing our story in a way that we understand the growth made, the lessons learned and even stretching ourselves to feeling gratitude. All of these things are empowering for us as we then stand within this new space that allows us to truly let go and let in.