January 3, 2013
Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
My children and my former husband are boarding a plane in Bali at this very moment to return to California. As 2012 dovetails into 2013, I’m here to share with you something that is big for me. A long time dream of mine has come true.
My family is whole once again. Different and whole. We are one.
We were a unit decades ago and then something common happened. We grew in different directions, but instead of acknowledging what was happening and arranging paths that would serve all of us, it was as if a bomb exploded, leaving in its wake, a battlefield of injured and bleeding, with scars and pain that went on for far too long.
I’m here to tell you that, as of this past holiday, the war is over.
A few days before Christmas my 2 adult children, my daughter’s boyfriend, and my former husband arrived from the other side of the planet to the tiny island where I now live in Indonesia. We lived together in a foreign country with crazy drivers, rented motorcycles (oh yes, we were a motorcycle gang of 5 in Ubud, each with their own Honda…Did you see us weaving through cars all in a row?) My son surfed, we snorkeled in Lombok, relaxed in my jungle home, dined at new restaurants each night, attended a concert in Kuta to bring in the New Year where Michael Franti wrapped his arm around my son and danced with him. We ran and rode through the rain, waited out the rain, soaked up the sun when it made brief appearances, swam in the pool, surrendered to nearly daily massages, shot off fireworks over the rice paddies (“Man! You’d never be see anything like this in America!” my son exclaimed as the rockets did flare.) Laughter – lots of it. Accepting. Loving. Appreciating. Listening. Loving. Being.
We are family once again, sama sama in Balinese parlay, setting out into the world on separate paths, only now, with common heart. We’ve got each other’s backs and we respect our individual journeys. It is OK that we no longer meld in one direction as once we did. All faux pas, hurts and trespasses are forgiven and forgotten. Hoʻoponopono – I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.
As expatriates, it comes with the territory that living far from “home” can result in not only physical but emotional distance from our families of origin. Healing at home and more time with our families is something I’m wagering that most of us long for. I know I do.
This concept of Oneness has been a biggie for me since I can remember thinking about these things. I was born into a family in California that believed that the human race is divided into 2 camps – the saved and the unsaved. I never could wrap my child heart around the fact that our neighbors not to mention foreigners – all those “unbelievers” out there, were, well, “bad”. They didn’t seem all that different from us. I sensed something in them that was beautiful and born of love – same as us. Seven years ago, I named my Turkish company – a business to place western tourists in real Muslim neighborhoods – Oneworld. And in retrospect, it seems that my whole life has been about scaling the metaphorical walls that keep us apart. It’s the reason I’ve spent the past decade not only meeting, but living among the Others on 4 continents in 7 countries.
Them as it turns out is Us – in business, politics, love, and life.
I have discovered that every single one of us – White, Black, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Asian, South American, European… rich, poor, powerful, disenfranchised, young, and old…wants one thing more than any other. Love. Unconditional love.
We just go about trying to get it in different ways. If I can remember that every annoying behavior, every hurtful word or action is a cry for unconditional love, I can love each person as they are, including and most especially myself. When I offer unconditional love in the face of “off” behavior, so called perpetrators melt into the love that we, every single one of us, crave. And then they, make that we, no make that me, no longer need to hate, hurt, or separate.
Yep, this holiday was a big one.
I celebrated the coming and arrival of 12/21/12 – the end of that world as we knew it – with my Ubud tribe. All the discomfort, the pushing, the fear, the struggle, the pain, of this past decade, has been childbirth.
And life begins, as all we know, at home. It was essential to my own healing journey, that I set my familial relationships right before I could hope to heal anyone else.
Yesterday my former husband shared with me his experience of his mother and then his wife dying within 2 weeks of each other. Followed a few months later by his own near death – a sign from God he believes, that his life as he knew it then (60+ hour work weeks) was over. Within a year he moved to Mexico to do surgery among the Tarahumara Indians in the Copper Canyon of Mexico. He stops at the drug cartel blockades between Mexico and the USA as he drives supplies back and forth. (Another doctor who tried to outrun a blockade saw his wife shot to death) He flies in small planes to deliver care to those who cannot walk the many miles through the mountains to the tiny hospital. Amazingly, I had a vision many years ago in which I saw him doing exactly this, and I shared it with him then.
My daughter will go back to researching and writing public policy on America’s education system in the hopes of helping the children she so dearly loves. Her boyfriend will return to creating entertainment in Hollywood. And my son will go back to engineering weather satellites that open windows on our world illuminating the fact that we are, after all, Oneworld.
I will keep writing the stories that remind us how much more we are alike than different and I will continue bringing together teachers and students around the world. I’ll pick up again, what I began last summer as a Clarity Breathwork facilitator (my latest jet fuel for re-remembering Oneness).
There is most certainly a bend in the road ahead that’s not on any road map I am currently holding. I don’t need to know where the next turn is. With my family beneath me, love restored, forgiveness complete, I am now ready.