Do you often or ever ask yourself, Why am I here on earth?
What is my function on Earth?
I have lived for 49 and a half years now on planet Earth. I love the beauty of it.
I live in one of the most beautiful places that I’ve seen on Earth. I live in West Cork, as often as I can. Mainly, the work I do takes me away from here, but I love to return to the freedom of space that is West Cork, it is food for my soul to see God’s beauty.
I grew up in a suburb of Cork City, it would have been a working class area, however, I never did like labels, so I didn’t take that label on board. I believe no matter who you are from beggar to president, we are all equal.
I enjoyed play as a child and the games I played on the road I grew up on. I loved dogs and still do. I found some of the teachers I had in primary school quite difficult, some were nasty to me, while others were so loving and kind, they were the one’s who made a positive difference to me, in my life. My home life was hard too, I experienced physical beatings, emotional and sexual abuse. I experienced annihilation and the fear of that I still remember. No child needs to experience any of these abuses. In later life, I learned when I am in pain, do no harm. I did at times harm my children by shouting at them!
When I was eight, my mother went out to work, I found this experience very very difficult. I was broken hearted. I say this because it profoundly affected me. As did the death of our dog Skippy. Actually, when I was six, a group of dogs were fighting near my Mum’s friends’ house, my siblings and I called this woman Dow Dow, her name was Mrs Dowling! Anyway to get back to the dogs, I really didn’t like that the dogs were fighting, so I got into the middle of them to stop them and one of them jumped up and bit my nose!! I was so shocked that a dog had bitten me, as I loved them so much. It took me until I was in my thirties to love dogs again! The dog I have now, as a pub, also bit my nose!!
When I was about fourteen I feel I had a breakdown, though, I think I am the only one who knew it and possibly our GP, at the time. I was sick a lot when I was a child. My outward response to the abuse was to become vocal, I needed to let out what was building up in me like the pressure inside a volcano before it erupted! I didn’t have the language to express what was really going on inside for me, I wasn’t in a place then to speak my truth about how much I was internally suffering.
Sometime around the age of 16, I think, I was walking over to mass one morning and at the time, I hated my father. Anyway, this voice came into my head and said, “As long as you hate him, you will destroy your self”. I knew instantly this was true. From that moment on, I began to pray for my Dad and I asked God to help me forgive him. In time, this indeed did work. I can honestly say that I love my Dad unconditionally. I mightn’t always agree or get on with him, but I do love him. I love my Mum and my children unconditionally too. Forgiveness is one of my best achievements in life, as is unconditional love.
You see neither of my parents started off married life with the intention of fu*king up. I didn’t intend to fu*k up either, but I did. However, because I forgave my parents fu*k-ups, I was later in life able to forgive me my fu*k-ups!
I learned a very valuable lesson then, one I have used many times in my life since. In my life experience, it is vital to my mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health to forgive. I say it this way, to forgive is a selfish act, for when I forgive those who have hurt me, it is shit, I don’t have to carry. Plus, forgiving enabled me to forgive myself later on in my life, when I needed to forgive myself for any wrong doings I did.
In the main, I was a good kid. In 6th class in primary school I had this teacher, a nun, called Sr. Ailbe whom I loved dearly and even though she is dead since 1998, I still love this woman. She taught me this, “Be you to others kind and true and always onto others do, as you’d have others do to you”, I’ve lived by that in my life. Plus, I think the 10 commandments are 10 good moral rules to live by. Not that I’ve kept all of them, I haven’t, but I strive too in the main. I also learned and to this day believe, what I do to another, I do to me. I look at life simply, there is a food chain, right? Then there is also a human chain, where we are all connected, because we come from the same one source. So, if I hurt or love another, I do the same to self. Think about it with your heart.
Another big event in my life was when my Mum fostered children, the first baby John, I adored. Then we had Paul, who was beautiful and Paddy and Christopher who weren’t well. When John went back to his parents we were all devastated, as we had him for nearly a year. I hope they are all happy in their lives now.
I started secondary school by going on the hop! Skipping school! I’d spend the morning in school with my left hand straight down and I’d hold it motionless, so it became black and blue and swollen. Then I’d go to the principle or our class teacher and say I was hit by a hurley while playing camogie during the morning break. Then a class pal and I would pretend to go to the hospital, but we’d end up in a pool hall in town or we’d go back to my house, as there would be no one there! I didn’t like school. I loved art and I had a great art teacher, called Michael Mortell, who was so kind to me. He passed away a number of years ago and I was sad when I heard the news. I also loved drama and I was involved in a number of school plays. I wasn’t academic, in fact, one teacher called me retarded! Actually this same teacher told our class one day to reach for the stars and while we may not get to the stars, we may reach the moon! I thought and still do think that this was good advice. On my academic abilities, for years I felt I had a good brain and in fairness some of my teachers said as much, but because of my life experience, my school work suffered and I didn’t have any confidence in my academic abilities for years and years. Eventually I went to college three times and I now have a very high 2/1 teaching degree! After my initial two years in Maynooth College, I realised that I was quite a good student. I studied the humanities for 5 years in total and I love human behaviour the most. My biggest achievement in school was organising a 50 hour disco marathon with my friend Fiona, we did it over a weekend and all of the senior classes took part in it, well those who were allowed by their parents, the year was 1979. We raised £600.00 at the time and Cork businesses sponsored our food for the weekend. It was during the organising of the disco marathon that I came in contact with a Cork pirate radio station and worked with them on a part-time basis for a year for nothing! No, no pay! Then due to my own lack of academic confidence and fear of the leaving cert, I left school 6months before my leaving cert exams! I did return to school at 21 and sat the leaving cert exam! Later on I worked voluntarily in hospital radio for 5 years. I loved being a radio presenter.
I started working and ended up having lots of different jobs! I suppose I need to say that while I dated guys, I was in fact, terrified of them, especially if they tried to be intimate with me! If they “dropped the hand”, which was the then expression for trying to feel your boobs, I broke up with them. In the main, I met decent guys. One guy, I met, I could have done without meeting. He was a French chef and he physically hit me twice one night, needless to say, I didn’t go back out with him thereafter! I met him about 10 years ago and he hadn’t aged well! I looked fabulous that night and I held my head high and enjoyed my own private gloat at his expense! Silly, I know, but I still smile at my own enjoyment of that night!
I met my future husband a few months after my 21st and I fell madly in love with him. We married when I was 23 and he was 26. We had two daughters together. We stayed married just shy of our 10th wedding anniversary. We separated in September 1994. All I knew at the time, was that I was pissing against the wind and I was the one getting wet! I also felt as though I was sinking in quick sand, which was a horrible place to be for me. It wasn’t until the 26th of February 1999 that he told me he is gay. It took me more than 8 years to get over grieving him and our marriage. Too long a time really. However, what was very important about him in my life is this, I felt sexually safe with him, yes when we met. In hindsight that was very important for me. I didn’t obviously know he was gay when I married him, but sexually he never threatened me. Ok, I later learned why. However, he allowed me to find my own sexual confidence. Neither of us realised it way back then but I will always be grateful to him for that and yes, I still love him and always will. Even though, in truth, it did become a very difficult relationship for both of us. Conflict became a major part of our relationship. This in turn affected our daughters, this I regret! But that was where I was then. I was miserable and found the break-up and aftermath horrific! I had not ever wanted to be a single parent and here I was, a single parent! Here’s a bit of irony for you, I was the only member of my sibling who wasn’t pregnant getting married and I am the only one now divorced. I smile at this now, it’s me taking the pee out of myself!!
In the summer of 1999, I took a career break from work and moved to West Cork from Co. Kildare where we lived. I had been working in Dublin. A lot of my years in Kildare were happy and it was there I achieved the setting up of a social housing project and did PR for a water group that was set up as a result of drinking water being contaminated by sewage! I felt these were personal achievements and helped me to be more confident within myself. By the time I moved to West Cork, my ex-husband and I had been separated for almost 5 years, in that time I didn’t date anyone! I felt too vulnerable. The following September I met and dated a guy who was also separated for a number of months. We split up and days later his wife phoned me!! They in fact weren’t separated! She was a lovely lady and I did feel quite bad. I had a boundary that married men were a no go area for me! This is still true for me today.
On Christmas eve of 1999, I met a guy in a local pub and played a few games of pool with him, he beat the socks off me! My children knew him as they frequented this harbour village with their Dad quite a bit. I am not a pub person, so I rarely went to pubs. The following February I met this guy again and within a week or two we were dating. I had assumed he was the same age as me, he was in fact, ten and ¾ years younger than me. I mentally found this challenging as I had always said I’d never date a younger man! I learned thereafter, that any never I had put into my life, I ate! Never say never is a good thing to live by! Do you know what I loved so much about this guy, was that even when we argued, I could look at him and say, My God, he is gorgeous. He was fun and funny and strong physically. He has such a big heart. I loved his arms, they were so strong. I also had for the first time in my life, “normal” sexual relations, he was the best lover I’ve ever had. He and I stayed together on and off for 7 and ½ years. He helped me to build my home during our time together. Some locals still think he built it for nothing, however, that is not true. He like all the other trades men who helped to build my home were paid the price they requested. It took me a long time, years in fact, to figure out why we broke up. I need space, my own space and he wasn’t in a place to trust me in that space. Also, I needed him to become more mature and while he did that in spades, it didn’t occur in the areas I needed it to be in. I will always love him too. I’ve learned that love is an energy and the energy of love does not die. Love is our greatest gift to self and to others, this I have learned too. It was one of the easier lessons I’ve had in life.
In 2004 my first daughter flew the nest after a holiday we had in Italy. I was so grief stricken I couldn’t communicate it to anyone, although I think my younger man, did recognise it, but at that time, neither of us was in a good place! And I know that my younger daughter cushioned her older sibling leaving home for me.
When my younger daughter left home in 2008, for a few months, I was thrilled with the freedom. Then reality hit me and then in November that year I hit the menopause. Luckily though, I had started college and while that did help, I found the first two years of not being a Mum quite difficult. My role as a mother was a great gift to me in life.
About nine months after I broke up with my younger man, I started dating again for about a month. Then a few weeks later, I started dating another man. For the bones of two years, I dated both men on and off! Since the break-up of my marriage I have been unable to go out with a man without breaking up with them at intervals!! Both these men have lovely hearts and in truth, I don’t know how they stuck my behaviour!! But they did and over six months ago, I finished with them both. To clarify here, when it was off with one, I went out with the other! Although, I do see one of them on a regular basis, my need is not to date again. I seem incapable of having a long term constant relationship. I’ve learned that my behaviour is about me. Though, in truth, I still don’t see the wisdom of my behaviour. I wish I did. I’m sure the men in my life would want this too. I was told that my behaviour in relationships is about my lack of commitment to self! Maybe?!?
I have been very lucky to have met the men I did meet. All are beautiful with their own unique gifts. I am blessed with my daughters, my parents, siblings, family and friends. I’ve learned that I learn more about me by being in relationship! Mostly though, I am blessed as at a very young age, I started developing my spiritual relationship with God. In all the trials and tribulations that I have met in my life, God has been the one constant. His strength and guidance to me is what has held me and helped me. I know I haven’t gotten everything right in my life, I do think though what is more important is that I in the main honour peoples dignity, I’m no saint, sometimes, I haven’t honoured people, however, I think I’ve always managed to go back to a person, if I feel I have offended them, to apologise. It’s the people I’ve hurt and don’t know I have, is challenging!
I have made many mistakes, I think the arguing with the girls Dad and the younger man, wasn’t helpful and has hurt the people I most love in this world. When my ex-husband and I did separate I said to myself, once the girls are ok, I’ll be ok. In hind sight, had I said, once I am ok, they girls will be ok, it would have been wiser. Reflection brings wisdom! Being responsible and accountable to and for my actions and behaviours are what brings me to maturity. I am not as mature as I’d like to be! Maybe one day, I’ll get there.
Over the last number of months I have renewed my interest in politics and the Irish Government, given the mistakes I feel they are making with their inhumane budget and bail out of banks. I truly believe what they’ve done to the Irish people is sinful and criminal. I can allow myself to become hot under the collar about it. However, I also know from my own life experience that our politicians, bankers and property developers are in a dark place and are coming from a place of immaturity. All of us has our own unique personal history and if we don’t reflect on our behaviour, then we stay stuck in a fearful child like place, albeit unconsciously! Realising we are stuck in an unconscious place is the first step towards becoming conscious or awakened. This process can take a long time to go through and safety is the one quality that is absolutely required so that any internal movement towards becoming consciousness can occur. This is why, forgiveness, love, kindness and compassion are needed so much now, in our world.
I have agreed to run in the next election with a new democratic party, should they get registered?!?
I have known for a few days now that I needed to write a new blog, I wait though until the time is right for me to do so, I kind of sense when the time is good to write. Before Christmas I ordered a book I was interested in reading. The night before last I started it and last night I read another few pages and then fell asleep. Around 2:44 a.m. I woke as I heard my youngest daughter calling Mum. When I opened my eyes I heard myself say 89. I had this ridiculous idea that she asked me how much the photos cost! My daughters live two to two and a half hours drive from me and none of them were here! The book is called “The Distant Shore” by Colm Keane. Basically it is about near death experiences. I text both of them in my sleepy haze and my eldest daughter replied that she was ok. My youngest daughter didn’t, so I phoned her twice, before she answered that she was alright. It was while phoning her I remembered the 89, she was born in 1989 and it was her voice I’d heard. I was a wee bit anxious phoning her and was naturally very pleased when I heard she was ok. So I read another few pages of the book and then turned off the light and went back to sleep. Again, I was woken up by my younger daughter calling Mum again! I was upset to be woken again as I was very tired, the time now was 4:45 a.m.! So I read some more in the hope I would doze off again! I read this passage where a daughter was experiencing her father’s death process while he was dying in hospital. Anyway she left his hospital bed around lunch time and when she started the car her radio came on. She heard an RTE news presenter take on somebody about bank accounts and corruption and the interviewee was fighting back. She states, “All I remember thinking was, None of this really matters. I felt, How small our everyday stuff is, It’s so small in comparison to death, which is the biggest moment in your life. This is the one timeless moment into which everything collapses. Compared to it, everything else is really nothing. I thought, There’s no need to get worked up over everyday stuff. It becomes so unimportant in the end”. I looked at the page number it was page 89! She goes on in page 91 to say this and I’ll quote it as I feel it is very important. “Finally, I got the sense of how important it is how you’ve acted and behaved in your life..........................................I’ve got to improve myself. I should be better than I am. That’s a thing I have tried to work on. You’ve really got to be as good as you can be so that you can face yourself. It’s how you live day to day, and the choices you make, are what matter”.
Seemingly, those folk who have had near death experiences say that you judge yourself when you meet God, who is neither male or female, but a loving, forgiving warm bright energy and interestingly to me, religion does not matter.
Now, to my final point in this blog. Forgiving others is really about learning to forgive yourself. Loving others is really about loving yourself. Whatever you do in kindness, love and compassion to others, you do to yourself. That is how you will judge yourself when you’re / my time comes to meet God. If you and I, haven’t learned to forgive and love others, how can you and I hope, in death to forgive and love self? It is that simple I believe. I believe that is what our human function is on earth to forgive and love, that is what I am here to do. I think I have done well. My death time will tell!
God I feel makes life simple, it is we humans who complicate it, so keep life simple. And don’t sweat the small stuff.
With love to you all,