What brought me to tears on the kitchen floor was a decision I have been struggling with ever since I landed in Hawaii. Literally. I had a layover for a few hours in Honolulu before I flew on to Maui, and even there I knew that I was home. Hawaii. Maui is where I am meant to be but the spirit of Hawaii brought me. As the plane came closer, and I could actually see land, my heart just let out a huge sigh of relief, "You are here." What would haunt me throughout my trip, and what gives me so much pain now, is how do I come to live here and how do I get my kids to here? Two huge things. The biggest being my children. See, going through a divorce with a man whom you have had children with, and who is a great father, makes it more difficult than I ever thought possible. I have given my blood, my milk, my sweat, my tears, my love for 24/7 for the past eight years to these little ones. Little ones I have never sought to have come into my life but when they did changed me forever. I had been rotting. There wasn't much left to me. I was empty. But when they came, those first little ripples in my belly, I knew I was alive, and with each birth after I grew stronger in that feeling, that knowledge, that love, that freedom. But with them also came great sacrifice. Sacrifice that left me more exhausted than I have ever known.
The only reason I left Maui was for my children. Mama Maui, the mana (energy) of the 'aina (land), had spoken to me.A story I will share but not here, not now. When I left, as I have mentioned previously, it was a physical and spiritual tearing. It was THE hardest thing I have ever done. But now I have come to the decision in my heart to begin a life where my children are not apart of it every day. No, not abandoning them. No, not leaving them. No, not quitting them. And, no, I will not stop loving them. But I will be trying a life that leaves me seeing them much less than I ever imagined. Much less than I want but right now my NEED to go somewhere and do something my heart is telling me is much greater. THAT is what leaves me in a pile on the kitchen floor. Leaving Maui was the hardest thing I have ever done, but getting on a plane, whenever that is, to go back to Maui and to fly away from my little ones will be the second hardest thing I have ever done. A ripping and tearing will happen. It won't be forever but it's not what I had expected nor planned. And sometimes wrapping my brain around the plans I have made not happening can be quite painful.
I have to save myself. I always thought that I needed a savior of some sort to help me out of sticky situations, or hard times, but the reality of it was that I have always been my own savior. I just didn't recognize it, or when I did, I told myself I wasn't brave enough to follow through, which is the BIGGEST lie. I am enough. I am brave. And by definition of Merriam Webster brave means courageous which means mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. Yep. That about sums it up. I named my last little one Rylie Bay, which is essentially Brave Water. She was the last weight on my scale (Hello, Libra self) that made me choose to live. And I have to choose to live. To do what my heart tells me even when it doesn't make any sense.
I can't explain WHY I need to go, or WHY in that place. But it all just aligns for me in my heart. I guess my grief comes from knowing that my little ones may not be with me through it all, every day. I have no idea how it will all play out. But for now I am in what I call "my darkness cave". It's a cave where I sit and meditate. I can see the light and I have no desire to sit in here forever, but it's black and I can't see much. I have to feel my way in this cave.
When I was in Maui my adventure partner (A.P.) took me on an incredible hike. And when I say hike, I don't mean like a nice dirt trail through the woods. No, I mean like through a field with cows and bulls, through an uphill stream where you hop from rock to rock for quite a distance, and up through waterfalls where you cannot see the holds on which to climb, and a lava tube (think cave) with not much light and then the chance of flash floods, wild boars in the forest... Yeah, that kinda hike. Which sounds scary as hell, which some parts are, but it is the most amazing thing to do. When the hike was done I couldn't stop smiling. Just pure happiness. I was high from such a great adventure. Adventures and the challenges they present are my drug. It's how I get high. I find out what my limits are and sometimes I crash right through them. My adventure partner knew that I needed to do that hike, and as was usual with my adventures with him, and his sister, out in Maui no one told me what to expect. I had to experience for myself without the tainting of their words.
As we were walking back my A.P. asked me what my favorite part was and when I really thought about it, it was the parts that scared the shit out of me. The parts that pushed me. Two parts in particular. One was climbing up to this little waterfall. It was part of the hike, like, our path, so you either climbed it or you turned around and went back the way you came. And it wasn't the height or size of it that scared me. In fact, it was quite small, but the way it was situated made the holds invisible behind it and the rocks surrounding it were soaked and slippery. If you weren't aware of what you were doing you could take a nasty fall and get seriously hurt. He went first. When it was my turn I freaked out. I was scared. I told myself, literally out loud, "I can't do this." And guess what? I couldn't. In telling myself I couldn't I had stopped all possibility that I just might get up that damn thing. My A.P. reassured me I could and when he saw me frozen he climbed back down. After about five times of me half-heartedly trying and just being paralyzed in my fear, my A.P. said something to me. "You can do this. You will be mad at yourself if you don't." And he was right. I WAS already mad at myself for not being able to do it and then freaking out about it. I was doing one of those shake all over, cry with no tears, gulping for air kinda freak outs. I didn't say anything for a few moments. I just let the waterfall hit me in the face and then I turned to him and told him exactly why I was afraid. I was afraid because I couldn't feel or see the holds. He thought about this and then told me very matter-o'-factly, "Give me your shoes." And if you know me, you know I do everything barefoot. I have to feel what's under me to understand it. And being that I couldn't see the holds because they were behind the water and I couldn't feel them because of my shoes, well, my A.P.'s shoes to be honest, I felt lost. Incapable. I didn't even hesitate. I took them off and asked him to show me the holds again. This time I told myself, "You WILL do this." And guess what? I did. My feet and hands found the holds and as I pulled myself up and over the top I realized it had actually been quite easy. I had stopped myself with my fear. If I had not let my fear paralyze me I might have been able to be creative enough to either feel in a different way or to have thought to take my shoes off myself.
The second part that pushed me to my limits was the lava tube. If you don't know what a lava tube is let me explain via definition from wikipedia. Lava tubes are natural conduits through which lava travels beneath the surface of a lava flow, expelled by a volcano during an eruption. They can actively drain lava from a source, which this one was not, or can be extinct, meaning the lava flow has ceased and the rock has cooled and left a long, cave-like channel, which is what this lave tube was. It essentially looks like a cave. And this cave had hardly any light, mostly because the sun was nearly set, and also because it was a big ass tube that went high and low and the light just couldn't make its way in. To say I was scared doesn't even begin to cover it. I didn't let my A.P. out of my sight and the times we had to swim through water I even held on to his clothing so as not to lose him, though he was forever patient in waiting. Just going far enough ahead for me to catch up and when I didn't, stopping to come back for me. The best part though was when we got to another sticky part of me having to climb with holds that were beyond anything I had ever done, he had been the rock climbing artist not me, and he looked at me and said, "We need to move." I trust him and when he said something like that I knew that I needed to push my fear aside and move. Little did I know it was because there could be a flash flood that comes through at any time and also that once the sun sets, well, you're blind in there, but he kept all that to himself and just simply told me to get a move on. So, I moved. I was shaking and extremely aware of everything I felt. My senses were so heightened that is was almost like sensory overload. And the whole time I was doing it I thought, "I am so scared and this is totally awesome." And it WAS totally awesome. We made it to the end of the lave tube and I climbed out into the light. Perfectly happy and I realized how brave and strong I actually was. I had been that way before I started but now it was a knowledge that was so much more than had been before I had begun that crazy-ass hike. It was a beautiful thing. Something my heart absolutely needed but to tell myself that's what I needed, well, good luck with that. I would have laughed and said, "Um, no thanks." My adventure partner had been wise in choosing to take me on that particular adventure hike, and he was also wise for keeping his mouth shut and letting me experience it for myself. To feel my way through all of it.
And that's where I am right now. In a cave, or lave tube, scared shitless trying to FEEL my way out of this life I have been living to the one that I know I NEED to live. I am happy while I do it but I have also never felt more, and some of it is painful and very frightening. So, I am in my darkness cave making my way to the light and the way out, experiencing all that is coming at me, not having a fucking clue how it will turn out.