HE WAS MY DAD …

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“I thank you for your part in my journey…”

As the only daughter of my dad, I cherished him. Today, I miss him and his wisdom. I imagine he did not have an easy childhood and one I cannot ever imagine. Born in 1927, he lived until 1998 when he died of lung cancer. He was 70 years old. His struggles were many.

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Abandonment, alcoholism, and mental illness. Dad grew up during a time that I was unaware of but heard of; that his mom at 16 gave birth to him and then left him on a stoop at the age of four. That is where his issue with abandonment took off. His father’s sisters raised him. He grew up with hand me down clothes and toys from his cousins! He never felt loved. His dad who worked on the docks of New York City was never there for him.

He told me of working nights at American Beverage Soda Company and how they wanted to give him a 25 cents raise once, but he felt he was not smart enough to be a manager. For 25 cents though, dad could get a can of soda and a sandwich he said. He liked beer at an early age was drunk lots of times but happy at those times, it seemed to me. I had no clue these episodes were what today is called ‘dysfunctional.’

“I thank you for being the reason I smile …”

As a child, I only knew what went on in my house and had no idea of what a normal, happy home life I did not have. Fear was part of daily existence when he was drinking, but the memories I choose to cherish are when he was not drinking. There is ugliness in life, but we can eliminate that which does not serve us today. We can pick what we want to remember. I felt loved by him, and that is the greatest of my memories.

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He sang drunk at weddings, and my mom would drag me into the ladies bathroom and hide because she was embarrassed. Alcoholism would be passed down to him from his family. And so the story moves forward. Married young to my mom, they would raise my brother and me to the best of their ability.

I was blessed to have missed the gene of addiction. I feel all through life our connection was about his wisdom and how I decided somehow at a young age to love my dad unconditionally. I felt he was the way he was because of his childhood. Today I know we all have our stories and in sharing them, we may help another. I trust that the Universe waits for our reaction to the experiences during life and how we decide to live our lives. Choosing love or fear is always our free will in all situations.

The mental illness did not arrive until he was forty years old when he heard voices to murder his family. Instead, he slashed his left wrist and neck. Years later, he told me he could not see himself harming me. He would laugh and say if he had murdered all of us, he would have served 25 years in prison and then would have been free. I guess he never felt free in life and that troubled him. He survived his attempt at suicide but was deformed and never worked again.

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I was heartbroken to the depths of my soul, my mom was terrified, and my brother started his addiction process. The journey began with him going in and out of mental institutions like Creedmore State Psychiatric Hospital, and different psychiatric wards. I was there for him with my husband for thirty years after my mom finally divorced him. He nicknamed me ‘mom’ and ‘author,’ and we would laugh about this. He always adored me and wished his mom was more like me. The reason he called me ‘author,’ was because he wanted me to tell his story. He was very interested in human behavior and all the people who were ill that he met throughout his life. He believed that there was a reason for everything that happens.

The lung cancer that killed him had started 58 years before he died. Through it all he loved life. He worshiped Mother Nature and her beauty. He was addicted to her ocean, pools, and parks. He never drove a car and walked everywhere or took mass transit. He was wise, fun and wanted to be loved. It was my job to love him, and I did with my entire heart and soul. This Father’s Day he is gone nineteen years, and I think of him often. Individual songs that he sang when he was drinking pop on in the strangest of places at restaurants, and we say, ‘hi!’ I smile in acknowledgment of his presence.

“Dear Past, thank you for all the life lessons you have taught me …”

“Dear Future, I am ready now …”

His life may have been traumatic, but it never allowed him to feel sorry for himself. He loved music; all kinds, playing cards, whistling, worshiping the sun, walking outside and listening to the radio. Movies and Elvis Presley and other stars of his era were his favorites. These are my memories of a man who I had chosen to be my dad, and I would like to thank him for being the best dad ever.

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LOVE IS ALL THERE IS…

His love of me allowed me to feel cherished and special even though he was scorned by many as a mentally ill person in our society. There is sadness in how his battle in life was to encourage me to be the woman I am today and what a sacrifice he chose for me. I am his proud daughter because of him. I am who I am today because of him.

As a society, we need to accept everyone’s story and embrace one another with kindness and love. It is not difficult to be there for another who you have manifested as a being in your life for a reason. We are born to learn from one another as well as teach one another during our life experiences. Was it easy at times, no! But! He was my dad!

“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is “Thank You,” it will be enough …”

Happy Father’s Day to the many fathers with their issues, addictions and unbalanced behaviors. Please know that, you are loved!

Pray! Meditate! Journal!
www.LindaAmato.com

THE SHADOWS OF LIFE

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As we travel close to the holiday season I have been reflecting on the changes in my personal life this past year. In the past I tended to fear change but today I welcome it as part of my growth process. Fear is the main function of belief that is claimed by most of us daily. We fear lots of things that either were handed down to us from our parents or society, as well as, many adults in our lives.

When I take time to journal, meditate and pray daily I am blessed with a tender connection to spirit. Intuition flows and insight is received. Sometimes with clarity, guidance and support. These actions of mine taken daily free me from my past. Yet, life seems so fearful for many because they do not take the time to search within themself for answers. That we all have a shadow side means we either nourish the dark side through fear or hold on tight to the light side of our essence by embracing ourselves with love. The greatest nourishment to our shadow side is of course fear!

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt…” – William Shakespeare

What do we fear most … death, drugs, divorce, abuse, abandonment, lack, feeling unworthy, low self-esteem but mostly that we are not lovable and therefore do not deserve to be loved. My belief  about life has changed drastically these past years especially when it comes to what we believe about death. The wonder of life is that no one truly knows what happens once we are pronounced dead. My thought is that we are eternal beings and our body is just a vehicle for our soul that crosses over the veil from this life. We cannot see, touch or be with a loved one that transitions over but we can hold them tightly within our hearts and still communicate with them.

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Can it be that drugs, divorce, abuse, abandonment, lack, feeling unworthy, low self-esteem and that we are not lovable are the lessons we chose to experience this lifetime. We are beings of light and love so we come to planet earth to grow our souls and balance our karma from past lives. There is nothing to fear when you believe that there is a reason for everything. How many can say that they believe and know that there are no accidents. Of course, it is so hard to grasp that we chose our parents, our life experience  and everyone we know to learn who we are.

What is our truth? How can we balance our karma? Forgiveness is the key to balance. Acceptance is the door that opens when we no longer are judgmental or critical of another. Maybe it is time now to ‘flip’ our own thought process when it comes to how we believe, speak and act. I imagine the ability to ‘flip’ comes from the depths of compassion we show another because we see their fear so clearly. Can we not as a society make the decision to offer love in place of fear to one who is full of fear? The terrors of life are what separates each us from our unity as spiritual beings having a human experience.

“Be grateful for yourself… be thankful…” – William Saroyan

For those who feel they were abandoned by a parent, spouse, child or friend and have low self-esteem, feel unworthy and unlovable what are the opposites of these but to love who we are as we are, to know we are worthy, lovable and that we asked to experience abandonment to grow, balance and live our truth. Let it all go. Leave it up to God. Release what no longer serves you. Think out of the box. Find that which creates freedom of thought today! Ask yourself why do you take everything so personal? There is a human need to punish each other only because the punisher feels that something is being done to him or her because of fear.

In reflection of my own life I was raised by two extremely different parents: a fearful judgmental mom and an alcoholic, manic-depressant dad! To me I thought my dad was the wisest man I ever met and I was capable of loving him unconditionally for 30 years while  he lived in and out of mental institutions. Still, I saw no fault in him. I imagine today that was because he was the greatest teacher for this life-experience and I chose him. That my dad sacrificed his life as an alcoholic and manic-depressant for me fills me with a deep understanding of the plans we choose in life to know who we are.

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There was a time I felt abandoned by  my mom over and over again but today I know I was able to grow to the person I am today because of her. My heart and soul thanks her daily for all that I have learned because I chose her as my mom. My mom is 85 years old and in the full stages of dementia for years now. She does not know me or any of her family members. I thank her for commitment to herself and to what she needed to do for me so that I was able to grow to the woman I am today! I imagine how easy life could be for many if they opened their hearts to those they love daily and embrace them unconditionally with gratitude for triggering them, and being the best teacher for them. I find it eye-opening that life is definitely not like we have all been taught or led to believe.

“When I first open my eyes upon the morning meadows and look out upon the beautiful world, I thank God I am alive…” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Lets imagine that the shadows, darkness, fears and anger are what we chose to learn from. Instead of trying to figure out what is wrong with us, let’s be grateful for the roles we have played in our movie of life as well as those we chose to support us in our movie.

PRAY. MEDITATE. JOURNAL.

www.LindaAmato.com

LA BELIEVES IN LOVE

 

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My days are filled with a thought that there is a reason for everything. Growing up as a child of an alcoholic father and a detached fearful mother,  I have simply did as I have been told for most of my life. Silence was a means of my survival. Today I have discovered a connection to the Spirit world that embraces my silence as a grown woman. I do wonder how I survived in a world that filled me with delight at a young age, as well as, fear.

Why else would I escape into the books of my youth but to dream. How did I never quarrel with my parents or brother, only because I knew there was no need to. There seems to be so much chaos in life today that I am happy I grew up when I did. Alcohol and Fear made me who I am today. I embrace my life that I have lived with lessons learned and peace in my heart. My path has taken me on one amazing journey that I could never have imagined myself. But here I am living a life that is filled with believable alternatives that come from the universe and fills me with belief in a world that I know is truly great. I am safe and all is well.

I have learned of perception recently and how others perceive even me. I find it intriguing and interesting. There are so many emotions I can claim as my own from anger to disgust but why would I today. I have a question that I pull up from the depths of my soul in situations. Simply, “what would God do?” A small but powerful question that places me in the right frame of mind. God would do nothing but love is the answer. I pray to Him to help me to love as He does. To guide me on this journey that is left, free of the ego/personality that no longer serves me.

I would like to add that my love of the written word led me to be an avid reader but the most benefit I ever received was in writing the written word through the act of taking pen to paper for my entire life. Whether it was a journal, story or poetry I wrote. Even this  blog releases the doubts in my mind that struggle to fill me with fear or worry but which I have no use for in my world today. I came across some poetry from my past and would like to share the following poem that I wrote in the year 1993. I believe it is appropriate at this time in my life once again.

The Change

The pattern of life has been set before our time was ever a question

Can we somehow believe to make a difference with a suggestion

Adults we become, the change we will make.

In the end, all we will feel, is the pain of heartache.

Around and around, year after year, we create an existence.

Only to always believe the world as we know it, needs some assistance.

Kindness and love, can be a special part of this family.

Unfortunately, there is no time to listen to the cries we hear steadily.

There is always tomorrow, but it simply will leave.

Then its too late, the change has not come, so we begin to grieve…

Meditate. Pray. Journal.

www.LindaAmato.com

LA BELIEVES …

My Inner Child

I wonder if at any given time during a persons life experience can the issues of their parents despair resurface?

Can abandonment be heredity?

Can anger be a seed planted to grow from generation to generation?

Aren’t we all One destined to experience a consciousness as One?

Does it not matter the love and support in ones life?

Why do most of us choose the fear and disappointment to cling to?

Why do we choose fear and not Love in most situations?

Why if fear which stems from the Ego and Love from God – do we gravitate towards fear?

What is this attachment we have to fear?

Do we gift our children on their journeys with our fears, unhealed wounds and personal negative beliefs for them to discover their truth?

Is it required that we heal first so they be healed?

What is God’s plan really for everyone?

I fell asleep the other night thinking of my mom. I miss her. I read a long time ago that you are never to go longer than two weeks from seeing your mom. I haven’t seen my mom in 2 years and 3 months. I have spoken to her on the telephone but she has no clue who IAM. Her choices in life have affected mine ever since I can remember. Sadly, there is nothing I can do now that she has dementia. Still I miss her. I miss a woman I never got to know!

It seems that the children of today are reminding me of my childhood at this time. While driving the other day, I imagined I saw her – my inner child jumping for joy and happy. However, I remember a time in the past when she hung on for dear life to survive the despair she suffered from. Today though she is healed from yesterday by the simple act of my acceptance of those I journey this life experience with. Throw in my belief that love is key and anything is possible.

The woman IAM today carries a sadness for the children of today. Many suffer from addictions to drug, alcohol and money. All suffer from the need to be acknowledged for who they are and all that they do. They lack the ability to just be themselves. They are not aware of their power, passion or purpose in life. We as a society are responsible for their belief in needing more, expecting more and at times demanding their right to have more which has wounded them to the depths of their soul. We as a society have forgotten that the best in life is the simplest. A sunrise, sunset, a walk, a hug, laughter or even just a kind word. To be giving without wanting anything in return.

Raised by parents that had very little schooling I have to write today that I had a good childhood. Especially, because back then I was not aware of the labels of society that characterize us into groups today. (My thoughts were that my daddy is acting funny, mommy says he is drunk and mommy and brother are afraid of him, so I have to take care of him.) Something so small separated our family in half. Divided we became – my father and me, my mom and brother. I found through my entire life I could talk to my dad about anything but not my mom. Why? I was told by my dad at ten years of age that my mom was afraid of me. (My ego puffed up that day!) Today it makes sense, as she feared him eventually she came to fear me. No one took the time to ask me if I was afraid though. I had to be afraid at one time because I was a small child. But in my heart I know I was a child who did as she was told period. It was how it was. Children listened to their parents. Catholic school also put the fear of God into me. I felt abandoned by my mom my entire life but did not know the word was abandonment more like I was unloved or unwanted. I had this inner ache that made me feel ‘blue’ at an early age.

I believe today that the hardest obstacles on everyones path is releasing the past no matter how terrible it was and moving away from the fears and pain. To accept and forgive whatever happened no matter what because it has happened and cannot be changed. To now be responsible for ourselves by forgiving what has filled us with despair yesterday. To know we are not to blame because another projected onto us their fears. We CAN choose everyday who we want to be, how we want to be and whether we want to be happy. Everyday is a new day, a beginning, a day away from yesterday that will manifest into tomorrow.

I know that IAM blessed today. I have changed from yesterday but still I travel a path IAM not sure of. IAM searching for what? I ask myself, when will this feeling end? I go back and forth in my mind…should I, could I,would I? What do I want? Who do I want to be? 

I believe IAM returning to a part of me from another life. At this age IAM traveling to discover the depths of my soul. At one time I thought I had arrived but this path is long and filled with lessons so I must simply take one day at a time. I surrender.

Pray, Meditate, Journal…

 Me and Mom…

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www.LindaAmato.com

LA BELIEVES …

Death ...

A destiny or is it fate that we all create in some way by our thoughts, words and actions when our soul will exit our body?

Does DNA play a role?

Do we come into this world programmed with an illness that will manifest and end our time here?

Is exiting this life experience part of a  bigger plan to teach those we love and those who love us a lesson?

Do we in somehow make a sacred contract to die in a mass murder, terrorist attack, suicide or act of weather; tsunami, earthquake, hurricane  or tornado?

Is not life eternal and the truth is that we are reincarnated anyway to begin again?

Kabbalah teaches us that we come back to make a correction because somehow we did mess up in our last life and exited before we made the correction?

Is life such a mystery or an enormous plan to teach us all to be loving, kind and respectful to one another no matter what?

Will we have no regrets if we are loving, kind and respectful to all?

Are we born gifted and preprogrammed to share our inner wisdom and passion when we discover it with all?

Why is it so difficult to discover who we are and why we are here?

Are we not here to be of service?

Can this fear of death which creates within us a fear to live as loving spiritual beings be because we create a belief that we are in control of our lives?

Can it be that in doing so, we live life by taking everything that happens to others that we love personal?

Although we are all one, are we not here on a unique individual journey walking our path to discover our truth, to expand and hear the voice of our soul?

Can this path be as simple as to love ourselves so that we can love another unconditionally? 

Is it true that we pick our parents to either learn from them or to teach them something, yet some of us become disappointed in them, abandoned by them, hateful of them, abused by them and spend our lives trying to make some kind of sense out of our relationship with them?

Why is life completely difficult for many because a loved one has died in whatever manner was their destiny/fate while another knows there is no death but that life, the soul is eternal?

Why? Why? Why? These questions fill my mind about an aspect of life called death, when the truth is it affects every living species on our planet. We cry, we become depressed, we grieve for days, months, years or even our entire lifetime because a grandparent, husband, wife, mother, father, brother, sister, child or friend has died! 

Could there not be a better word to describe when the body is no longer but the soul continues to exist?

Is it the word death itself that creates this belief in someone simply ending and being no more that terrifies us?

Personally, my grandparents, brother, nephew, father and some friends have exited life. I grieved the hardest when my brother suddenly died by a drunk driver twenty-five years ago. It was sudden and painful but the doors of my soul flew open and within me my inner wisdom manifested a way of thinking in my mind that IAM not responsible for who dies or lives. I questioned even back then God;  “why did he not make the choice to stay, why did he die leaving a wife and three young children while breaking my mom’s heart wide open?”

There had to be a plan, a time allotted, either through that which we co-create with God, whether it be illness, murder or even when another takes their life willingly. There had to be an inner knowing which I imagine today is the essence of who we are that we ignore and end up following a path towards our own end. Babies get ill and die suddenly, children are abused and children are murdered by others and sometimes by their own parents, did they have that sacred contract and volunteer for these lives to teach the living a lesson?

Through the years I have learned that we manifest and co-create our lives with God by the given act of free will that we all possess. Being loving, kind and joyful is all we need to be and yet we create lives that we fear, and we hate because of our belief in guilt, shame, grief, lies, illusion and attachment. Life gets filled up with fear, nonsense, suffering and pain because someone we loved has exited their body by their choice, could this be, I wonder, the plan for us to learn to not take things personally? I believe we are more powerful then we can imagine and that power is our own word and emotional belief that we project outward. There must be a reason for everything and I believe this is the mystery of life and our existence here on planet Earth. We have made life the vehicle for our suffering only because things are not happening as we feel they must but if we let go and let God our lives will be empty of pain and suffering.

I honestly don’t believe there is anyone living who has not experienced the death of a loved one. But think about that grief you hold on to in your heart daily as your personal life preserver. Somehow we have attached ourselves to death by this process we call grieving. We must grieve we are all told and we all know how to deeply grieve our losses. What if we decided to celebrate the time we shared with our loved  ones, remember their smile, laugh, how they hugged us and delighted in life no matter how old they were when they died? I would like you to imagine that maybe just maybe you can be hurting the one you love because you do not let them rest in peace when all along it was their plan to exit when they did because of their own thoughts, words and actions. Is not the teachings in life to love and let go those we love to discover their reason for being no matter what we may desire to control. Do we not all have the ability and gift to fly on our own no matter how old we are, living or dead?

Can it simply be karma?

Please feel free to answer these questions and share your own beliefs on this subject that touches us all.

Pray, Meditate, Journal.

 

www.LindaAmato.com