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May 18, 2019

Wake-Up Call

*Contains adult language.  Also, you can’t un-see these pictures.*

Journal Entry #18

When I committed to this process of writing and sharing my journey publicly, I promised that I would be honest, raw and uncensored. My husband jokes that I say “shit” a lot in my blogs.  I wonder what he will think after he reads this one?  The whole point of me writing is to help me heal, to make the emotional connections to the physical reality.  To learn.  To grow. To write through the inner workings of my mind to make sense of what is happening.  How can I do that if I am censoring everything to make it socially acceptable? I would imagine that I am feeling similar to when an artist first hangs their work in a gallery for the world to see.

Completely vulnerable.

There will be those that love it and those that hate it. Those that get it and those who won’t. And that is okay.  I am not writing for others.  I am writing for me.  Much like the artist, conveying their inner world through their brush strokes, my thoughts and words are doing the same.

Some may call it courage or bravery, but what I feel is empowered. I am in a space where it doesn’t matter what other people think of me, or what I am going through.  I don’t have to wear a mask or pretend to be something or someone I am not.  I don’t have to sensor what I think or feel to make it more palatable for other people.  I have no control over how others will respond to my words or thoughts…I have control over MY responses and reactions.  So, why do I guess, and then pretend, to be something or someone that I THINK others need me to be?

I can’t be the only one who does this, can I?

Why do we wear masks?  Why do we cover up and hide the authenticity of who we are, in order to be who we think others need us to be?  I mean, how is it okay that we are all walking around inauthentically, hiding the essence of who we really are from the world? Expecting others to show up honorably when we aren’t doing it ourselves?  What a hypocrisy!  What a betrayal!  We came to earth for a reason, with a purpose, and if we are cloaked in the need to fit in and be like everyone else, how the hell are we ever going to do what we came here to do?  How will we ever precipitate change?  How will we make a difference?  You’ve probably heard it said “you were born to shine” – well, we can’t shine if we keep wearing the masks!

This is my wake-up call. 

It’s time to take off the fucking mask.  It isn’t courage, it isn’t confidence, it’s just time.  Time to embrace the fact that it is so much easier to just be me, to be responsible for how I show up and in doing so create the space for others to do the same. It is time to feel empowered. Does that make me vulnerable to criticism and compliments?

Absolutely.

But, I am still in control when/if that happens.  I get to choose my responses and what I attach to and give meaning to.  Vulnerability is not a weakness.  Vulnerability is empowering.

It is time to wake up.

Every day, for the last 4+ months, I wake up as if it is Christmas morning, expecting to find the gift of healing when I unwrap the bandages from the ulcers on my skin.  Every morning, I experience disappointment when there is no change and/or more flesh missing.

This morning was different.  I can’t tell you exactly what is different.  The wounds don’t look different.  They don’t feel different.  But I am…different…somehow.  I can’t put my finger on it exactly.

I just KNOW it is different.

On December 28, 2001, my dad died.  I was twenty-two.  We had been estranged for about 18 years, but after he was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer and given 6 months to live, he decided to sort through his regrets and life-lessons and make amends.  We were blessed to have 18 months together, to create memories, build our relationship and experience life together. Together, we had some beautiful moments and we had some painful moments too.  But the whole process of being his primary care giver those last months was a gift. In fact, it was a million little gifts inside a big gift.

When he made the difficult decision between the quality of life and the quantity of life, I shut down my business and moved to New Jersey to nurse him to and through his transition.  There wasn’t any question as to if I should do that, I just KNEW that there was nowhere else I should be but with him.  He lived a full life,  and in those last months he did all the things he wanted to do; Bike Week in Sturgis, rode his Harley with my brother up the New England Coast, we all went deep sea fishing, we went to Atlantic City and he went hunting with dogs in the mid-west.  He lived big and full and on his terms. Not everyone was happy with the choices he was making on how he was spending his last days on earth.  I can hear him saying “Fuck ‘em, if they can’t take a joke.”  He said it a lot, and mostly when he was vulnerable with his mask off.  I’m not sure I really understood what he meant until just now.

I wonder if the joke was him taking off his mask?

Sometimes, I have this feeling come over me, like I am taller. Like I can see the world and my life from a higher perspective and I literally feel taller. Where I feel like I am being stretched upward and there is a wave of clarity that comes over me.  In those fleeting moments, I KNOW my dad is with me.

I just know.

He was 6’3” when he was alive.  I am a full foot shorter than he was.  But in those moments when I “feel” him, I see the world as if I am 6’3”.  It doesn’t make any logical sense, because it is a feeling.  A knowing. I just know it is him.  When I am “taller”, I feel stronger, more free to live big and bold, and yet vulnerable enough to take off the mask – it’s like I lean in to those qualities I most admired about him.

Sometimes, I just know things to be true.  Deep down in my place of knowing.  Where every fiber of me responds to those signals of intuition. Where there is no doubt.  Where the internal experience is so real, that nothing external can tell me otherwise. Sometimes when that intuition comes,  I ignore it, stuff it down, hide from it and usually live to regret it. It is in those times that I’m wearing the mask.  But when the mask is off…

I just know.

This morning I woke up, KNOWING.  It is day 16 of taking the Miltefosine.  The doctors told me that it would be 3-4 weeks before we SEE the medication working. Today, I KNOW it is.  Just as I KNOW that my dad is gone from this physical world, but he is still with me in Spirit.  Just because we can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t real.

It is time to wake up.  It is time to take off the mask. It’s time to lean into that place of knowing and trust my intuition.  The Miltefosine is working. I KNOW it.

 

Xo Juli

4 thoughts on “Wake-Up Call”

  1. I am so glad I finally found you on this site! I am going to swear too! Jesus Jules those pics are nasty, but I know you know that better than anyone❤️ I will wait for you to come back to work as long as it takes, you are the best there RMT there is. I will be on my backside with my eyes closed for many years to come sharing stories with your u. I think of you often and walk by your house almost daily, You are in my prayers.

    With much love and light❤️????❤️

    Brenda

  2. Good Morning Sunshine. It is a better day❤️ You are more the brave and courageous and honest and open and tall. I would. It thought you could be more strong, but here you are, showing us all, your grace and determination, and growing through this difficult time. ❤️ Thank you beautiful

  3. Prayers for you everyday sweet girl. Thanks for sharing your amazing thoughts. That was beautiful!
    Someday this will all be behind you but the strength you learn from this will remain.

  4. Just read this one Juli.. And how this one warms my heart.. I love your thoughts and words of your father. I know for sure he is there with you. I will tell you a couple stories sometime… You certainly know him well by your words. Miss him very much. And only wish it could have been much more for you and Stryker.

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