Monday, April 8, 2013

Healing the Past

Yesterday, I decided I really should address some issues from past because the past adversely affects the present. This is going to be difficult, and it involves several people who will be working against me. Before I get too far ahead, let me tell you what I'm doing-
This is the family tree board I made two years ago. I really like it, but the foam boards are curling up. I wanted to add more pictures, but I have a limited amount of space. Years ago, I checked out a book from my library about decorating with textiles. The book showed framed pictures against needlework backgrounds. I thought it was lovely and decided now is a good a time as any to try it.

I started thinking about what pictures I would use and this is where I became filled with sadness. I have been estranged from my mother's side of the family my entire life because she is not on speaking terms with any of her siblings. For years they have done horrid things to each other and I don't even know why. This results in my mother being raging mad and often treating me badly because I have the misfortune to look like the sister she hates the most. It means sometimes people I don't know will ask if I am my mother's daughter then be rude as hell because I'm from the 'bad side' of the family. It means going to family reunions and being asked why I am there. It means I have to be careful which cousin I talk to because I don't know who really wants to have a relationship with me and who is setting me up for a fall.

I am 36 years old and I've had enough. Over the years, I've tried reaching out, I've tried being friends with a select few, and I've tried rejecting the whole bunch. None of it has worked.

I've decided the problems go way back, and maybe I will never know exactly what started it all and probably I don't want to know. I've just got to move passed it and live as best I can. But maybe, as a Witch, I can do something to prevent future generations from living in pain.

I'm starting with my grandmother. I chose this picture because I like it and because my grandmother is long dead. The dead are usually easier to work with because they don't create drama for you on this plane. Time gives us distance, keeps the edges from being too sharp, keeps feelings from being too raw.

I was going to make a solid plastic canvas piece, but I thought that might be a little too thick, and never mind how many stitches that would take. I made a picture frame mat instead. I centered the picture, then carefully trimmed the plastic canvas. The middle piece I cut out will become a Christmas card. My rule for saving plastic canvas is this- if I have an immediate use for a piece, I will save the canvas and make it my next project. If I can't think of a use, I toss it. When I saved every thing, I ended up with lots of scrap too small to use. I'd end up buying new canvas because I had 25 too short pieces. Canvas is cheap. There is no need to hoard.

I decided I wanted a checkerboard pattern for several reasons. First, I like it. Second, it stitches quick. Third, it lends itself well to many variations. My original color choice was black and white, giving me a chess board because some times I feel like I am playing an awful game. While looking for white, I found a nice cream floss. I went with the cream for two reasons 1. It goes well with my washed out photo and 2. My grandmother wasn't pure. I'd like to remember her as a good person, and she was, but I don't think she was completely innocent in this drama. Even if she didn't intend it, she probably still took sides, thought one child was right/wrong, or chided someone for their actions.

I'm working through my family tree one photograph at a time. As I stitch, I'm going to remember good things. When I finish my stitchery, I will hang the photo on the wall, light a candle, and thank the person for being part of my life. Even if that person has treated me badly. They helped to shape me, even if they wished me ill. I vow to release negative energy. I will treat all my family with kindness, but I will not allow anyone to drag me into painful or abusive situations.

Now, I understand this isn't easy. I know I can offer all the love and kindness I have and it won't stop some people from acting like asses. I won't be consumed with guilt. I'm doing what I can, if others want to wallow in misery, that's their problem. I am not telling any of my family what I am doing. Over the years, I have seen my mother tell cousins she intended to reach out and when she did she'd not only be rejected but insulted as well because some of her cousins like to lie. Some people don't want to address issues because they don't want to admit that they've lied, stole, gossiped, or behaved badly. My sole purpose in doing this is to change how I feel. If in releasing this junk someone else benefits, that's great. But I'm not looking to save us all and for that reason I've given myself a cut off date- feeling better or not, I will end this work on December 31, 2013. Even if I've still got pictures I'd like to frame. Even if I feel I've made progress. It is never good to spend too long in the past.

If you want to try something like this, I urge you to take magickal steps to protect yourself. I am burning incense while I stitch. I will probably smudge my house more often than normal. I'm going to carry an amethyst because amethyst helps to dispel toxins. When doing this kind of work, expect to have problems. Illness may occur, along with petty problems and bad luck. Emotions tend to be wild, whether your own or others. Sometimes the very people involved will suddenly and without warning appear with all their drama. This means the magick is working. The trick is learning you have power over yourself. The past sets us on a path. We chose if we stay on it.

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