Surrender

The Full Moon in Pisces messed me up while still recovering from the Solar Eclipse. The doom and gloom on the “news” had me feeling like my people couldn’t catch a break. I craved the waters that had knocked me down several times over, swallowing me whole. I was scared because I couldn’t control the tide. I had to literally go with the flow of the ocean and give up the illusions that I had of what my time on that beach would look like. Wishing I could go through it all over again because I missed that feeling of being rocked by the waves as I sought comfort. But here I am, trying to not be so hard on myself for not living up to my own expectations - and never minding the ones that I have been impressed upon me. 

Through a lot of tears and laughter, and crying some more, I was able to have a mirror presented to me that I desperately needed to hear. The mirrors that make you fall silent, which is scary when you’re supposed to ‘always have words’ or ‘always speak your mind.’” Or so I’ve been told. This mirror said that I had to get a grip on the stories that have been laid out for me and simultaneously shed the stories that have stuck with me. A combination of stories and narratives from my childhood and my family, mixed with the chosen family, the immediate lesson was that I had to let go of the stories that I’ve told myself about needing to protect my family, or process and grieve ideas, people and things that I never had control over. 

As the storms torment the Caribbean and the Southeastern United States, for the first time in a while, all parts of my lineage have directly impacted. In conversations with my father, we touched base about our people in South Florida and the house in St. Kitts. Looking at my mother and my grandmother, I thought about that red clay in Alabama and how it would probably look like rust when the rains hit. After seeing the devastation in Barbuda, I was reminded of what my mirror told me, “Veronica you’re very privileged, and at the end of the day you always have somewhere to go no matter what.”

The chosen family member was right. Being a child of divorced parents means that I not only have one place to rest my head, but two. Both outside of New York City. Both where the neighbors are hawks, gophers, deers and ladybugs. Both spaces that I feel safe and surrounded by people that I have known me my whole life and love me unconditionally. And it was at this precise moment I realized that I struggle with mirrors in my chosen family that love me unconditionally. Woops. 

Partially because I hold them to an unfair standard of my parents’ love for me, partially because I low key don’t think I deserve it. And by low key I mean my story as a survivor of sexual trauma (that I’ve only claimed in the past 3 three years, and only publicly shared last summer) often reverts me back to my eleven year old self who felt like she had no control - and unconditional love requires that I relinquish control of how people I love deeply interact with me. Low key meaning that I’m still trying to understand that sometimes I can’t always have those loves in a tangible-I-can-touch-it-if-not-I-can-text-that-person-way. 

I processed in real time in front of someone that loves me all of the stories and burdens that were never mine to carry. The weight I feel my parents carrying with their respective responsibilities, and me feeling like somehow I can help them because that’s one of my main love languages. The narratives of my inner child that creep out when adult me fears losing control over her path. Somehow remembering and forgetting that not all messages need to be delivered, nor do they need to be received from outside sources - but especially every part of us. Insert the Serenity prayer here. 

Now as I sit in my room, I’m able to exhale the sigh that I’ve had built up for some time. To let loose sounds and have them bounce back across four walls and a door that have always calmed me. Maybe it’s because my wall is still blue. Maybe it’s because I know my grandmother is still across those walls, laughing deep from her core at someone on the phone. Maybe it’s because my mom is feeding the cats, cracking jokes that I wouldn’t be allergic to them as much if I came home more often. 

I sit and think about the premonitions that came before this surrender. Before I had to call my mom and say that I needed to come home a day sooner because I felt anxious in Brooklyn. I think of the scream that I let out in talking to a mirror who reminded me to find my voice when I lost control in the first place - back in the Spring when I didn’t have a job anymore. I told them how I was struggling with the ideas that I had of myself versus where I was now, and they basically said “lovely, what are you gonna do about it?” They went on to remind me that I had to make a choice because I had the power to do so, which would come up again underneath cloudy skies in Union Square.  

As I envision my white flag waving, I see it waving back at me. Reminding me that I have to do more work to be gentle with myself and to watch out for the stories I tell myself that I can set me up for heartbreak later. That can have me lash out as opposed to checking myself. That have me thinking I need to set boundaries in one space when I actually need to set them elsewhere. 

In order to make way for all that I envision for myself, I have to walk away entirely from any doubts that I have planted. I have to honor and trust my intuition above outside or foreign expressions, but humble myself to know that I can’t possibly know everything. That I will always have teachers and gurus in my life, and that I should seek them out when I deem it necessary. 

Somewhere between knowing that there are forces beyond our human existence that are really tired of us killing Mother Earth at the corner of climate change is real, the torments in the water and the air had me thinking of the ways I'd been tormenting myself in my own mind. Thinking about how many situations I could have handled better in the past week, running my body ragged after I had just gotten over a cold. I also think about the calm I felt when my grandmother told me that she had that gut feeling too. That she has always had a sixth sense, and firmly believes that she’s been here before (and then casually drops that when she was born people saw a halo around her head). 

In this moment, the storms subsided in my mind. I was able to be fully present in the place that I’ve called home for over twenty years.  

Just because I don’t know what to future holds for me does not suddenly mean I no longer know myself. In fact, it’s given me a lot more time to look at the parts of myself that still linger in the shadows. That knocks me flat on my ass in one-foul swoop, like a rasteira baixo - a low, sweeping kick from capoeira. But while I’m down there, I’ll stand under my initial thoughts and reach another level of understanding. One that fully loves and accepts the shadows. One that fully loves and accepts the light.

Right now the download says to go back to the drawing board and to be okay with that. It also says to focus on myself - my needs, my visions, and my security so that I can be in better service to others. And to get over the fact that I have no idea how long that will take. Watch your head, heart and soul.

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“I'm talkin' fear, fear that it's wickedness or weakness
Fear, whatever it is, both is distinctive
Fear, what happens on Earth stays on Earth
And I can't take these feelings with me
So hopefully they disperse”
FEAR, Kendrick Lamar
 

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