Posted by: alegra22 | November 26, 2013

serpent and vine

blog serpentLast night, I sat hugging my knees and crying as Dan listened to me. I felt like my heart was being strangled by some ancient serpent I thought I’d outgrown; the serpent of every rejection I’ve ever felt since I was a small child. The situation that created this is unimportant…I think it is safe to say that all of us have been misunderstood and rejected in our lives. Dan was trying to lead me out of the belief that the only reason I’d be feeling this sort of pain was because I deserved it.

I trust my husband. He has freed me from night terrors by holding me close and praying over me. He has held my hand as three of our children were cut out of my body. He asked me to look him in the eyes as we lost a child. He has seen me through my greatest fears, successes, pains, and deepest exhaustion. The only thing he has ever asked of me is to be his best friend. Falling in love with my husband is the greatest leap of faith I didn’t have the choice to make.The last eight years of having children, changing jobs, completing degrees, successes and rejections, moving homes, mourning children taken too soon, have had us finding one another’s feet in the dark as we collapse in exhaustion. Becoming a mother roused such a great fear in me that I’ve had a difficult time slowing down enough to look my husband in the eyes and let him see what I imagined to be my Great Unworthiness.

It was not until I was given one of the greatest gifts of my life, a trip to California to be with my mother, that I had to take responsibility for that hissing serpent inside of me that whispers: You’re not worthy….

I didn’t counter that hissing voice with the grace I want to claim I did. I pushed my body too far. I ended up in the ER. I ended up with a broken heart from a friend I’d invested in that did not see me for the person or friend I’d tried to be.

I have to believe that most of us can relate to this. I know I’m a slow learner, but I’m a deep learner.

On the other side of last night, I have an image for the hunger of that Great Unworthiness inside of me as the passionflower vine that has been unable to blossom but is reaching out to anything surrounding it so that it can spread. It has attempted to choke out the Merlot calla lilies that have pushed up through the earth, surprising me with their beauty. It has wrapped itself around the citrus trees and artichokes. There is nothing wrong with the passionflower, it just needs to be given something to grow around and have its growth contained and directed. I believe it has the potential to flower and bear fruit. I’m learning that personal relationships are the same.

There is a kindness in being able to move away from something that will strangle your own growth, not because it wants to, but because the two natures can’t exist side by side in the garden without someone surrendering.

But tonight, I’m not the passionflower. I’m the calla lily.
I need protecting and support.

Zaviera overheard most of my conversation with Dan, and came out to tell me, “We are a good family. We don’t need people that say we’re bad, because we’re not.”

We laughed when she said this. We lifted our hands in a high five, but I have to tell you, I was stunned by the determination in her voice.

My daughter knows who her people are and I’m realizing that my greatest role in this life is simply to say to my children, “Yes. I love you. I will always love you.”

And in that love, the best parts of the universe can exhale in peace.



  1. You deserve every bit of the space you occupy. ❤

    • And I love you too.

  2. Never feel guilty about protecting you. Glad you are working your way to an environment you can thrive in. Took me a long time to recognize how necessary that is. Well written/expressed, as always.

    • It has been taking me a long time, too. And I often have to frame things outside of myself/human relationships by looking at nature in order to put it in terms my heart grasps.

  3. Thank you for being you in all your multitudes and myriads.

    • Right back at you xx

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