Cafe Hitch-hike


Pushing back

I've been adding cacao to my meditations. It was something given to us on my Dutch retreat. I ordered some raw cacao online, and after my third try this week, I think I have a recipe down. Cacao is quite bitter, but adding some cinnamon, cayenne pepper, vanilla, honey, and either rice or almond milk make it more palatable. It acts as a nervous system stimulant to the heart center, so the idea behind cacao is to stimulate it to get insights and to clear blockages.

Last night, the meditation was like gangbusters. It tends to work quite gently, which it did until its energy said, 'ok, I think it's time to clean up some clutter in there!' Some very intense emotions came up, ones I was aware of but again, had a much better clarity.

It had something to do with a matter that happened this week with my younger siblings and one of their paternal cousins. The youngest sister, Rosepetal, cleaned off her father's headstone and it gave it the brass a bleached look while it dried. Her cousin (I'm glad to say she's not my blood cousin) went nuclear on her, and just spewed a lot of hateful words that upset all of us. Rose shot right back at her (she's always ready for a fight). My sis Beads also had some choice words, and the 3 of us chatted over what the hell went on.

I always wondered how much racism affected their father's family, but Beads and Rose confirmed it with me. Their father actually told them at different times when they were adults that certain relatives didn't like that he fell in with a Latina (and, all of their kids are brunettes and all but one has dark skin).

After hearing what they had to say and considering what I knew about June the cousin, I told my sisters that she sounded like a miserable and unhappy person. I said a lot of people I knew who had her mindset, with their judgments and dislike, were miserable and miserable to be around. When I said that, they stopped talking for a bit. Perhaps the focus was pulled away from June's nasty words, and the verifiable fact that she was a lonely and unhappy person. It wasn't them, it was largely June's own issues.

I also made a little joke, though very true, about June and the people in their dad's family who didn't like them because of their mixed heritage. I said that when I grew up in our river valley, I had an impression that some people didn't like living around Black or Brown people, didn't like them, or didn't want them around at all. Then, I moved to the big city and interacted with different people. Well, people just don't like each other, period. I said the White people barely could stand each other. They didn't like someone's job, the way they looked, the color they painted their damn house, the way they took care of their lawn, the sport teams they rooted for, and the list just went on and on. They picked each other apart just fine without any Black or Brown people around. We laughed a little about that, but I think they got the point.

I once said to Rose when she had a snarl with her older half-sister that she needs to ask her what the deal really is. I know the sister doesn't approve of Rose's lifestyle (neither do I, but I don't bitch at her about it or start arguments that are veiled criticism and potshots), so I said that needs to come out in the open. I said that again regarding June.

I added, "at least when we have our issues, we have a pretty good idea what they're about rather than beating around the bush... Let them be hateful and angry, we have each other instead."

Yes, we do. Our mother's family were hooligans in all respects of the word, but... they were never hateful towards us. They were rough around the edges and had their faults, but we knew they loved us all the same.

My sisters said they both knew that their father's family was angry with him falling for our mother. True, very true, along with other factors of their their relationship. But, my siblings have been united in affirming what went on between their parents was not their fault or their decision, and that his family needed to redirect their anger elsewhere or handle it.

I knew a lot of things about Mom and my stepfather's relationship that my siblings were too young to remember. I told Rose and Beads that Mom loved their father and did anything to make him happy (although I added she tried less harder in the last few years of their relationship), I just wished he tried to do the same. She wouldn't even look at other men for the most part, and neither of them knew those things about our mother. I then told them, "they loved each other, and nothing's going to change that."

My sisters then shot back a couple factual things back to June. The headstone went back to its normal state once it was cleaned. Rose was following how her father cleaned it because they visited the gravesite on multiple occasions and they cleaned it together. June also had no right to block anyone from visiting the gravesite like she claimed. They told June she needed to mind her own business and to go back to her unhappy life. We then regrouped, and although it always feels weird after an argument, my sisters seemed to feel vindicated and also defused.

I mention the cacao and this because... I didn't realize shame was such a big part of what we grew up with. I knew it was there, but I didn't know its depth. I knew there were taboo aspects of their parents' relationship and that we had to live in its very dark shadow, but the energy of the cacao made the awareness more acute. It reminded me of The Supreme's song, Love Child. The lyrics said it best, and describe one way I felt about sex when I was younger (while knowing my family was rampantly fertile, and it was likely passed onto me).

At this point, it's probably time we push back against the shame. My siblings have been more expressive about their relationship with their father since he died 2 1/2 years ago, and they all have very similar perceptions and feelings about it. I've been sending healing thoughts and intentions to my siblings since Uncle Joe died (oh, that hurt them badly), so I think I still need to keep sending them.

Different people have told me their shames for a long time, and I typically said little but listen or quietly send compassion their way so they would feel better, especially about things that were not necessarily their fault or doing. Perhaps the cacao and its energy can help me finally grapple with what I've had but been dealing with in little bits. Yeah, the plant medicine has been really amazing, and helping me cut through things I couldn't really get to before (but I still invoke my contraindication).

Ok, I have things waiting around the house for me to tend to. The dog likes licking the soil in the potted mint plant I am growing (hehehe, something I copied from the Dutch). The oregano is also very healthy... yeah, I have fresh oregano inspired by the simple pasta sauce I made at Copperas's place: fresh Italian oregano, fresh garlic, salt, freshly ground pepper, a splash of dry red wine, and some butter (the minced beef we got was really lean so it was for flavor). Hahahah, that's what I'll call it: Copperas's Simple Sauce! I should be adding cilantro to the potted spices because because I cook with that a lot, too.

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