You pick: blessings or bullsh@#$

Blessings

FEBRUARY 27

How to find the blessings amidst the bullshit.

Aloha, Wild Heart,

My father called me a few days ago while I was at lunch with a friend here in Taipei…

I’d been texting him to find out where my grandmother had grown up in Taiwan, as I want to take my daughter there before we eventually move back to California.

Given the magic of how my grandmother kept showing up in my life after she passed away – and how her ongoing presence remarkably shifted once my daughter was born – I thought there might be a connection between them and wanted to see what would happen if I brought us all together…

Three generations of strong Asian women.

Gathering together in a place I didn’t ever think I’d live.

With a daughter I didn’t know I’d have.

In a life that’s unfolding in ways I didn’t imagine it would.

“How are you doing?” my father asked over the phone. It was nighttime for him, midday for me.

I had the sense that my mother had likely filled him in on what transpired recently that caused me to realize that it was absolutely time to immediately move out from the home I had still been sharing with my eventual ex-husband, trying to keep the last remaining stitches of our family unit together.

“I’m okay,” I said. “I’m moved out now into a new place.”

“Wilder ne?” he asked in Mandarin. ‘How’s Wilder?’

Hai hao,” I responded. “She’s pretty good. We keep making it seem exciting that she now has two homes instead of one.”

After a few more minutes of conversation, my 74-year-old father asked:

“Do you want me to fly out there to talk to your husband?”

I laughed.

He was being serious.

In all of my life, I have had to act like the adult for my parents.

I helped raise my three younger siblings with everything from changing diapers to packing lunches to paying for their SAT prep classes.

I’ve mediated between my parents’ marriage at times when things were devastatingly breaking between them.

I listened as my father sat in the hallway of our home, defeated and crying, at the mounting debt and the mistakes he had made.

I put my mother to bed after she had half a bottle of whiskey, this woman who we’d always known was completely incapable of handling alcohol, slurring her words on she was heartbroken that my father kept choosing another woman over her.

Sometimes, because you love your parents, you want to believe in the best even when your soul knows that you’re going through the worst. Yet, during my last trip to the Philippines when I stayed with my closest friend in junior high, she said to me, “Oh yeah. You had a fucked up childhood.” In a way, that external validation helped set me free.

Now, my father was catapulting that emotional freedom to a new level…

Even though I’ve felt I’d never been able to truly rely upon my parents emotionally, physically, financially, here I am at 40 years old with my father was stepping up to defend his daughter without question.

While I knew that there wouldn’t be anything my father could say or do that would magically “make it all better” in this challenging time of my life, his simple willingness to do anything at all was an incredibly affirming act of my worthiness.

So, in the midst of my divorce, I’ve been gifted two monumental healing moments I never thought would occur…

The first was my mother coming to support me in Taiwan.

To tell me that despite her four decades of marriage to my father and how many times the four of us children asked them to separate, she didn’t want to because she wanted to break the curse of a marriage two-times-over, which her mother went through and her mother’s mother. But, when I told her in the in’s and out’s of what I’d experienced, she said clearly and without a doubt: “You should get a divorce.”

And the second, an exchange with my father.

This traditionally-raised Chinese man who had to learn how to experience his own emotions over the distance he was taught – asking me several times over the phone: “Do you want me to come out there? Do you want me to talk to him?”

Could I have known that it would be through this divorce and the way it’s unfolding that I would re-establish a relationship with my parents?

No.

Could I have even anticipated that it’s through this journey in this specific way that’s led to old wounds that still needed healing salve are now being lovingly stitched together into a beautiful scar and a new story?

Nope.

Could I have known how much more I’d fall in love with my family and friends, because of the ways in which they’re showing up with such meaningful kindnesses, like when we’re on Facetime with my daughter and I mention how we’re now living in a new house, and they share in the excitement and the benefits with my daughter, so that she can feel good about this transition?

Naw.

Spirit shows up not only when everything is going right in your life…

Spirit shows up when you can experience the grace amidst every moment, even when things fall apart.

Where are YOUR blessings in the bullshit?

Let’s rock this life,
Judy


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