What a Great Ride it Has Been

             “In youth we learn; in age we understand.” – Marie Ebner-Eschenbach

This morning I opened my eyes and thought of the amazing ride I have been on. I sat up in bed and fell into my morning ritual; I meditated, prayed and contemplated on being sixty-five years old. I’m amazed by this lifetime I have journeyed. My personal ride began with what I labeled as a child of this inner feeling I called, “the blues!” Today I imagine it was just fear as a child that confused me. Being scared, afraid or terrified at a young age was the norm such a long time ago. Still the feelings sit deep within my heart even today. Tears can overflow at the inner conflict for my inner child of yesterday. There was a time I buried her deeply only to discover I could not breathe without her. I realize today that fifteen years ago I embraced her holding on to my eyelids and offered her love. It was time for her to resurface and know her truth. We began a new ride. The memories of my youth are filled with drinking fighting and abusive behavior between my dad and mom. Fear filled our home only because Friday nights dad came home drunk. Mom became embarrassed and totally afraid of him!


“You must learn to make your whole world your school.” -Martin H. Fischer

I know that I am not the only woman to have grown up in a house with an alcoholic/manic-depressant or fearful/critical parent. In fact, I realize as a child I had no understanding of these types of labels. I did not know the ride would take me through abandonment, abuse, fear, pain, tears, death and lies over and over again. Death is a part of life but sudden unexpected deaths are terrifying at any age. My only brother to die by a drunk driver, my oldest nephew to be murdered then my beloved dad to  die of lung cancer. I know that at times there was great laughter and love going up but coming down that roller coaster  could almost make me topple over and crash when the fears arose.

 “Why be anything other than good? Why do anything other than love!” –Johnathan Dahl

 However, here I sit as a whole woman, loved, fulfilled, happy and amazed with gratitude for the experiences of my lifetime. I live a good life! I admit I struggle still today when those I love are unkind, critical or judgmental of one another. It is those times that my inner child comforts me with a memory of me climbing a tree at McCarren Park, swimming at Coney Island or just drinking Mountain Dew and eating pretzels on the stoop. It was the simplicity of yesterday that encourages me to love unconditional. I’m thrilled with the joyous memories of my childhood today because those were the moments that pushed me forward. The fearful dark memories are drifting further and further away from my inner sight.

            “If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree.” – Jim Rohn

I blame no one for the ride I chose to take because at this time in my life I believe I am an amazing  wife, mother and grandmother. How did I get to this time in my life believing that my life is wonderful? It always comes back to the simple parts of the ride I believe. When my dad was dying he looked at me and said, “I had a wonderful life so don’t cry for me because you are gong to die one day too!” That was in 1998 and finally I get it!

At forty years old he attempted suicide and lived the next thirty years in and out of mental institutions supported and loved by me and my husband for anything he needed. Weekly visits were the norm when he was not hospitalized but living in an adult home facility and happy no matter what. A true loved of Mother Nature he taught me to respect her as well. With forgiveness, acceptance, kindness, unconditional love, and not taking anything personal I made these beliefs my tools. Meditation, prayer and writing in my journal are my supplements to the ride. Knowing I am connected and blessed are my gifts today.


  “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to ones courage.” – Anais Nin

There will always be ups and downs because there is so much to learn in the greatest of classes in life called relationships. To love, hate, fear, and anger are the cornerstones of all relationships until we end any form of confrontation, control, and criticism. There came a time on my journey when the abandonment issues of my mom settled deep within to thug at my heart. After repeated abandonment episodes like her moving to Puerto Rico because her son had died and there was no reason for her to stay in New York I would cringe at her words for a very long time. It was my dad who told me she was not a smart woman and to forgive her. Today I know I am the person I am because of her and that I would not have been able to know my gifts and talents if she remained by my side. Could this have been a contract we agreed on prior to birth?

When I discovered what an amazing ride I have experienced because of the choices and changes I made, I filled with a deep sense of gratitude. At this age I know when I sit and color with gel pens for an hour or so my inner child is happy. If I choose to take a walk, read a good book or practice some yoga poses I have reconnected with the simplicity of life that fills me with joy. When I share my wisdom with others through counseling, workshops, blogging and talking I am being of service. The wisdom we all possess rests deep within and needs to be connected to so that peace can be part of the ride. The time will come when everyone gets the chance to get off their amazing roller coaster ride and live a loving, peaceful existence. Know it is possible as I do! When you exit you will breathe a feeling of contentment and smile as you remark, “what a great ride it has been!”

Meditate! Pray! Journal!

http://www.LindaAmato.com

LA BELIEVES …

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It has come to my attention that many do not believe as I do. I wonder if this is the inner workings of my soul that I have embraced to believe as I believe. My age is of no concern today because in the depths of my heart I always followed the desire to love and be loved. I imagined as a young girl that there was a vastness to life and learned early to be in love with the surroundings of Mother Nature on a daily basis. The warmth of the sun on my face, the freedom to walk around the block, to swim in the ocean, climb a tree or just look up at the stars and moon in the night. What do I believe that is so different from another stumps me.

I believe …

IAM a being of love and light. That I have a right, passion and purpose to be here. I trust that there is a process to life and that there is a Divine Intelligence that travels my path with me. I have the power to know that my thoughts words and action create my life. The emotions that flow from my heart fills me with compassion and love for others. As a mother and grandmother I know I must be of service to those in my family, my inner circle, as well as those outside my circle because we are all one. I have noticed that there is an inner wisdom that can be heard, seen and felt when I meditate daily. I know IAM an eternal being with a soul and that this body is just a vehicle for me to be like God and co-create my life with God! This wisdom that rests within is my right to discover and adhere to. I have lived many lifetimes and the lessons learned are part of my existence today. It is my right as a being with free will that I can travel through meditation, journey through the written word and learn as much as I desire to connect me with All That Is! I imagine that this is strange to others but comforting to me. I know that love is the key to life as well as forgiveness of myself and others. I embrace my life today as a life filled with wonder and amazing vibes of love because I believe that I live as a spiritual being in a place I call heaven on earth.

I cannot believe any other way and in doing that which inspires me to share with others I have studied simply to be able to empower those who desire love, light and healing in their lives.

Are your beliefs so different from mine? Take time to think what you believe is true for you.

The following is excerpted from Making Believers: Connect to the Light within…

SPACE

We all need a daily moment to find our space

To support one silently waiting is God’s grace

An accomplished moment of emptiness in ones mind

Shall renew ones ability with the desire to be kind

As one begins to dwell in time that is ones own

One can fulfill their destiny if they believe in the unknown

Meditate. Pray. Journal.

www.LindaAmato.com

LA BELIEVES … Happy Mother’s Day …

My Grand babies...

Franco, Jameson, Hunter James & Hudson

As we approach the yearly celebration of all Mothers this Sunday, I am amazed at the passing of time and the beauty of becoming a grandmother. I have travelled a journey filled with discovery of who I personally came here to be. I was a little girl once and I adored my mother but even at a young age I was aware of her favoritism for my brother and her fear of me. How did I at 8 years of age know this? Today I know, we are spiritual beings with an instinct that we deny maybe because we are in denial of our power or scared ourselves to imagine the truth we carry in our heart about our mother because a mother’s greatest part in life is to love her children unconditionally.

I imagine today as I reflect on yesterday’s lessons I learned from my mom that she learned all she knew from her mother and was not aware that she could make changes or think for herself. She was raised in a family of nine and has confided in me that her mom favored her brothers! An Aha … moment for me! My mom twenty-two years ago was the grandmother to 7 grandchildren when she decided to return to live in Puerto Rico where she was born. It was then when I began to travel yearly on her birthday to be with her.

I, today have four exciting, amazing, spirited, beautiful and loving grand babies. She has never met any of them! As I have written in prior blogs about her, she suffers from dementia for some time now. I have sent her albums of pictures but I have to imagine and believe she has some kind of recollection at least of me in these pictures. Dementia is a sad and hurtful part of my life because I chalk it up to once again feeling abandoned by her. I forgive her for yesterday! I forgive her for today! I love her, she is my mom!

I am blessed with four grand babies under the age of four and I am filled with a need, a desire, a depth so deep within me to know these babies as I know my own children. As a mother of four brilliant young adults and four brilliant grand babies I am grateful for all that I learned from my mother but I am thankful that I knew to make some adjustments to what she believed and to grow into a mother who loves unconditionally each one of them as they are … with no favoritism.

I watch my daughter with her son and fill with this inner essence of knowing that I did a good job. I am astonished that my daughter is celebrating her first mother’s day and I am proud that she has grown into the women, daughter, wife and mother she is. Her love runs deep and I tell her to imagine that I love her more than she loves her Franco only because I know her longer. Although he has stolen our hearts in 10 1/2 short months I know there is so much down this path that he will gift us with on his own journey. I will be there for every moment, I promise! These years of being a mother and now a grandmother are the best part of my life experience which I treasure.

On the other side of the coin I have a daughter-in-law who is the mother to the other two boys and one girl. Blessed again to know such a woman as she, am I! The oldest Hunter, being four, stole just a piece of my heart until I gave a piece to Hudson when he arrived, as well as, a piece for Franco and then Jameson. My heart expands for these grand babies in a way that I could never have thought possible. I call them all my babies because I am aware of the generational blessing that has brought us all together as a FAMILY. There will be so many more babies for me to love in the future that I am jumping for joy already.

Motherhood is that which can fill one’s children with love or fear. May those who are reading this as daughter or son, mother or grandmother or even if you are a mother-in-law or daughter-in-law, know the power you possess and know your mother did or is still doing the best she knows how. We must forgive that which no longer serves any of us. Respect for your mother no matter what is key to your own happiness. Let go and Let God!

LA Believes

I received a word this past week that allowed me to look at my life differently! It was just a whisper, gently heard from within but the word “PAUSE” stopped me dead in my tracks. I had to agree as I smiled, “yes, my life is on pause…” Simple and clear it was time for me to reflect, renew, and remember. I had always just moved forward in life asking no questions just going with the flow. I remembered that I never wanted for anything yet I received everything I could ever want or imagine.

As I write this Sunday, I sit in the window seat of our cabin in Upstate, NY watching the snow fall ever so gently on the mountains and treetops that surround me. It is silent in the cabin I have named, “The Palace,” as I breathe in all that I am witness to. I believe I have a connection here, on this land to Mother Earth which started as a child. As I reflect on yesterday I see that little girl I was, learning about the beauty of Mother Earth from her dad, who was an avid walker. I remember we walked everywhere our feet could take us because my dad did not own a car, otherwise we took buses and trains.

We walked through the streets of our neighborhood, the streets of Manhattan – even the Bowery and it was at a young age I learned of the homeless and forgotten men and women of our world. I was amazed and a little afraid at the men and women who approached us, but my dad told me to hold his hand. I would be okay, these people might have been doctors, lawyers, nurses and they just lost their way but they would not harm us.

The greatest of these memories is the times we went to Coney Island and a neighborhood park in Greenpoint, New York which I believed was called McCarron Park. It was there that my brother and I had our own trees that we had chosen and which we climbed and hugged when we visited. I would try and run so fast once we entered the park to try and beat my brother to our trees.

I no longer walk as much as I have in the past, I no longer climb trees, but I do still hug them! This land that we own 155 acres renews me and I believe my appreciation, my love and joy in Mother Earth stems from my dad.

This past week I journeyed to the life I have lived to reflect on who I am today. I learned that I need to renew myself, to pause and just remember how great my life is and has been. This I believe in my heart but I know it stems from deep within my soul.

I also remembered this week that as a little girl, a teen, a young woman, wife and then mother I did want to be a writer for I have always been an avid reader. I wanted to tell stories that in some way would and could put a smile on another’s face, maybe let them reflect, renew and remember.