Saturday, July 27, 2013
Freedom, Control and Relationships
I've got a lavender cheesecake in the oven. Yes, a lavender cheesecake. I got the recipe at:
...in case you'd like to make your own lavender cheesecake.
I've got visitors coming on Sunday and Monday and I wanted to make something special. I'm cooking other things as well, but...lavender cheesecake. I've never heard of such a thing. I've also never made a cheesecake, so I've got my fingers crossed that it turns out. I don't know if mine will look as gorgeous as the one in the photo, but no matter what it looks like, it should taste amazing.
I'm finally settled enough in my new apartment that I'm cooking. Cooking is a very nurturing and grounding thing to do. It's such a zen activity, all the chopping and stirring and measuring and combining. I find it settles me and connects me into a deeper part of myself. It takes patience, and it's so rewarding. You get something that's filled with love and so nourishing for your efforts. I haven't really cooked since my early twenties until I retired from script supervising last year. And, I'm so enjoying cooking again.
I'm loving my new apartment. It's got a kind of tree house feel to it. I'm up high, so I look out over the roofs below me and there are lots of trees. The only connection I have to another unit is the one below me, so it feels very private as well. I can see four tall palm trees out my office window, which is so Southern California. I grew up in San Diego and I didn't realize, until recently, how engrained this place is within me. Even though it's been about 35 years since I lived here, there are places here that are part of me and always will be. There are images and sounds and aromas that are part of this place that trigger deep memories from long ago.
Some of what's come up since I've moved here is joyful and happy, but some of what's come up is painful and sad. The joyful, happy memories nurture me and help me to realize that I can create joyful, happy experiences now. The painful, sad memories are grist for the spiritual mill. I look at why they are so painful and sad, and learn from them as I can now, but couldn't when they were happening. I recapture parts of myself. I forgive myself and generate compassion for the part of me that was wounded. I nurture myself back into wholeness as I integrate the lessons that I've only been able to learn now...better late than never. But, the damage that was done, and the length of the effect it had, is staggering. Coming to terms with the past, and integrating the lessons inherent in it, is an ongoing process.
I feel the veil of the past lifting, though. I have moments of deep joy. Not an exuberant, external joy, but a deep, quiet joy that surprises me. This joy is peaceful and fulfilling. It's not attached to anything, it arises from within for no particular reason.
Most of what's come up for me is in regard to relationships. I'm realizing that I've had an overlay of control connected to a need to be free that was misinterpreted and that played itself out in my relationships. I projected a lack of freedom onto my relationships, when in reality I am now and have always been free. I made a decision that the only way I could be in relationship and be free was to be in control, and so I chose partners with whom I could maintain control. But, this made those relationships very unsatisfying and unsustainable. Because I now realize that my freedom is a constant, and that no one and no relationship can take it from me, I look forward to creating new mutually loving relationships as who I am now.
This healing would not have taken place had I not decided to move back to San Diego. It took coming back here to trigger the old wounds so they could be healed and transformed. I didn't know this until I'd made the decision to move. But, such is the way Life works. The inspiration to do something is always for a reason, but we often don't know the reason until we commit to the doing. The commitment to the doing comes from faith, faith in Life and faith in oneself. The value it holds starts to reveal itself in the living of the choice.
It's time to check my lavender cheesecake and see how it's transformed itself from what it was when it went into the oven to what it is now. And, such it is with each of us. We put ourselves into the fire of transformation by coming into awareness of those things that limit us, taking responsibility for them, forgiving them, and loving ourselves forward and applying what we've learned. Life gives us unlimited chances to expand and grow. And, as my lavender cheesecake will come out of the oven in a whole and delicious state, we come out of the fire of transformation able to live a more whole and delicious life. My life is very yummy right now and I'm beyond grateful for the awareness that allows me to appreciate it. I'm so grateful, always grateful.