In the land of duality, one of the most important questions we can ask is, “Could you be loved?” In March of 2019, my mom fell off of a ladder and ended up having a couple of mini strokes. This incident landed her in the hospital, and then in a nursing home for rehabilitation. I took the liberty of bringing her some clothing, activity books, reading material, bathroom necessities and other items to make her stay more comfortable. I found myself going above and beyond to ensure she knew I was there for her.
If you had asked me the previous month if I would be doing this for my mom, I might have punched you square in the nose. My relationship with my mom has always been strained, to put it lightly. Over the years, I allowed much physical, emotional, and mental abuse for the sake of having a mother in my life. My own biological mother passed away three weeks after my birth, leaving my father unable to care for me. They both had Muscular Dystrophy. It was my father’s sister, Martha who adopted me into her family.
When that adoption took place, there was a promise made that I would have the loving parents that I needed to get me through life’s struggles. My mom has failed to deliver on that promise. It has taken forty years for me to realize that she will never fulfill that promise.
After her accident, she seemed to be a completely different person. Someone told me that after a person has a stroke that they sometimes change. If they were a kind person before the stroke, they will turn mean, and vice versa. My mom was still nutty, but she was kind for a change. Before this accident, I had written her out of my life. I was less than thrilled when my sister called and asked me to come to the hospital to witness my mom signing paperwork.
Seeing my mom’s frail body lying in that hospital bed softened my heart and I allowed my walls to come down once more. For eight months, she was able to maintain a kindness toward me that I have never seen before. My hopes were high that I may finally have a mother in my life. One day while driving to her house, a Bob Marley song came on my Pandora shuffle. ‘Could You Be Loved’ Even though my hopes were high that my mom had changed, I still had my doubts.
While the song played, I remembered some of the horrible times I have had during my relationship with my mom. One thing I believe happens when we die is an afterlife review. All the horribly painful things my mom has said and done to me will be relived, and no punishment I could possibly give her will be worse than this experience.
There have been many nights that I lied in bed cringing at the thought of seeing my own worst moments play out before me, feeling the emotions again and learning just how my words and actions affected my loved ones. In my opinion, my mom will have an even tougher time with her review than I will. At least I am making a conscious effort to be kind to everyone. All we can ever do is our best. One day, my mom will pass away and she will relive every cruel word she has ever said, not only to me, but to everyone in her life. I know that these are the roles we agreed to play, but the higher perspective won’t erase the pain felt in that moment.
Standing honestly in front of the mirror and loving the reflection we see before us is one of the most difficult things we can ever do. We forgot to remember we are divine. We forgot how much we are loved, and that love is unconditional. No matter how much my mom has hurt me, my heart cannot find a way to hate her.
In November 2019, the angry and bitter woman I grew up with returned. I won’t go too much in detail, but I have been forced once again to remove her from my life. This time it is permanent. Even though I still love her, I am finally able to recognize that her role is one that teaches me how to create healthy boundaries. My sister, her own biological daughter, has also cut her out of her life. We have accepted the reality that we do not have a mother. Drinking just a small amount of poison will make you sick, and I choose to be well.
The one thing in this world that can obliterate duality is compassion. Having compassion for ourselves is crucial. Imagine the worst thing you have done or could do to someone. Now, imagine living that experience again from their perspective, experiencing each moment and feeling its emotion. The thought is gut-wrenching. This type of pain reaches deep into the core of my existence and tugs at my soul.
Imagine now the very worst human being who has ever existed. This human has brutally raped, pillaged, murdered people. They may have done this to children. Maybe they have committed horrible crimes against humanity such as conflict genocide. Imagine that you are that soul, now reliving every detail of your life from the victim’s perspective. You feel the horrors you have forced upon others as if it were happening now and witness every atrocity. You have harmed so many people. How will you ever find your way back to the place where you can be loved? How will you ever love yourself again?
Let’s remember that love is unconditional and the lives we live are planned out by our souls according to the lessons we have to learn and missions we are to fulfill. We must not be too hard on ourselves. Lying awake at night dreading my after-life review is not something I want to do for the rest of my life. I am on a mission to love myself in this life, and many other souls are here learning the same lesson. I know that I don’t have parents in this life because I must learn how to be a parent to my inner child.
All the things we do in our lives lead us down the path we are meant to be on, whether that path is one where we play a dark role or a lighter one. Let me share with you a vivid dream I had a couple of years ago while I was wrestling with the idea that I was evil. I was sitting two houses down from my mom’s house in Waxahachie, where I grew up. Everyone on the planet was climbing up a ladder to “heaven” and leaving me behind. As I sat there watching everyone leave me, I was the most brokenhearted soul to ever exist. I was the devil; a dragon on the outside. I was Satan himself.
I sat there watching as humanity left me in my solitude and tears fell like rain from my eyes. The pain of being abandoned for all eternity sank into me like a weight I had never felt before. It was as if there were no joy left anywhere in the world. I would never be loved again.
Though I was the devil on the outside, on the inside I was a weeping eight-year-old blonde-haired boy. When I saw this forlorn little boy, I couldn’t believe that no one would show him love. I wanted nothing more than to pick him up, wipe away his tears and remind him that he is perfect just the way he is. I talk of this after-life review with such dread, it really shows how much I fear watching my life back. This is not something I should fear. I know that there will be many things that I have forgotten that will remind me of how perfect I am. Just like the little boy in my dream, I need a reminder of this divinity.
What will it take for me to pick myself up and wipe away that lake of tears? This weeping boy represents the child we have inside all of us. At the end of the day, the question you should ask yourself is, “Could You Be Loved?”
My name is Kerry Eppler and these are my true tales. Relax. Enjoy. Be inspired.