Memories, Family, and Love

on August 14, 2014

I have recently returned from a very personal, meaningful, bittersweet journey, and though it’s a little late to be talking about the Cancer energy since we are now in full swing with our brave and willful Lion (Leo), this trip did take place during the time of the Sun being in the constellation of Cancer. It was all about memories, nurturing, mothers, family, and love!

How to begin…….my mother passed away six years ago. She was from Rome, Italy, and it was her desire to be returned home to rest. So we managed to gather up the family, which, by the way, is spread all over the place! China, California, Washington, D.C., and Rome! No easy feat to get the timing right for everyone, but we did it! And during the time of family and mother as symbolized by the Moon/Cancer, we all met in Rome to bring her back home and spread her remains in a most beautiful location overlooking the Eternal City.

Having been raised in Rome, it was quite a trip down memory lane to visit many of the places I went to as a child and to be able to share those memories with my husband and daughter. Walking the streets of cobblestone with my brothers and our descendant family, hearing the sounds and seeing the beauty of Italian life re-awakened in me my family heritage, a sense of returning home, a recognition of who I am as a result of my upbringing. In an odd way, it was as if saying a final goodbye, realizing that all that is left is just memories.

Memories……why do they seem to define us so much? Good or bad, they influence how we choose to react to most all situations in our lives and are the foundation for our patterns of behavior. They can bring out love, acceptance, joy, compassion, or bring out the polarities of hate, rejection, fear, anxiety, suffering, anger influencing how we energetically are received or rejected by others. Memories, in essence, are the root cause of our happiness, successes, or pain and suffering. It is through our memories that we learn our life lessons and determine our soul’s evolvement.

And what creates memories? People! Relationships with everyone we encounter serve our life’s purpose. Every single person you meet has a purpose in your life, positively or negatively, even if it’s just for a fleeting moment. Even the so-called bad memories when looked at introspectively serve their purpose, and ideally, we should welcome those with even greater appreciation! Those are the events in our lives that bring us evolvement. As is said, it is ourselves that is reflected in all situations and people. It is difficult to understand or even accept, but if we pull away from the “self” for just a moment, we get a glimpse of what lesson this serves to teach us about ourselves.

And then there are those people who come into our lives who with one word or smile can give us the greatest inspiration, hope, and faith to overcome all obstacles and reach for our highest potential! Energetically, they touch that part of us that needs comfort, compassion, and acceptance. We sometimes place more importance on these experiences because they bring us happy memories. But it is through the acceptance of all memories, good and bad, that we become a whole.

And then there are those memories that are strictly ours. Laying on a beach, feeling the breeze touching your body, hearing the sound of the ocean in rhythm with your own breath, the heat of the Sun vitalizing you. Memories of your authentic self untouched by the external distractions of life, and touched by the feelings of peace, well-being. The silence of your mind enjoying your embodiment, your senses, your pleasures. It is these memories that we recreate when we take time to meditate and connect to our authentic selves of happy, peaceful beings, that which we were born as before life, through memories, took over.

Family……our greatest joy, yet our greatest challenge!! They can be our greatest supporters, yet causes for our insecurities. Most of our memories and experiences are born within the family. We love them so much, yet they can be the source of so much of our pain! And this is why family is so important in our lives. They help us to see, whether in a positive or negative manner, aspects about ourselves that become the tools necessary for getting along in this World. But do we get it? No. Why? Because we are too engrossed with the self, attached to the judgment, criticism, hurt. We don’t look at our family as teachers. We look at them almost as a source of conflict within ourselves refusing to face that which they point out to us. We forget that family loves us. It is not their intention to hurt us.

Yes… some situations, family is exactly that; pain, suffering, deceit, , rejection, unloving! But even there we can learn so much about ourselves. Again, it’s a question of how we choose to react. Do we allow the pain to lead us into a life of depression? Do we allow those memories to rob us of our joy and happiness which we are all entitled to? Do we allow it to affect our own personal relationships? Do we allow it to rob our life? Or do we choose to gain strength, courage, and even compassion. Reminds me of a quote from Paramahansa Yogananda: “Forgiveness is what holds the Universe together. “ It is an eternal virtue. This is the tool necessary to get along in the World without anger, anxiety, stress, and unhappiness. And what better place to learn forgiveness than with the family. We ALL have what we term “dysfunctional families.” We all have scars.

So how do we integrate and accept our good and bad memories, experiences, and relationships into a learning lesson, into an opportunity for self-evolvement? Yep……love and compassion, the nurturing qualities of the Moon/Cancer! But it’s important to dig deep within our outer shell (the Crab) and find love and compassion for ourselves first and foremost. It is there where we can find understanding and forgiveness.

Understanding and forgiveness does not mean we forget experiences or how a person hurt us, but it means that we choose to see through the eyes of love and let go of the attachment to ego. It is allowing our authentic self to shine, rather than our selfish, controlling natures born from our insecurities and need for power. It is not allowing anger and judgement to build within ourselves as a result of another person disturbing our own peace. “He did this to ME.” Do we all do it? Yes. Do I do it? Yes. Do we all judge? Yes. Do I judge? Yes. We are all guilty of being self-absorbed, but the challenge is to not be! This is the purpose of our learning, of our being here on this Earth and having our memories, experiences, and relationships. It is the purpose of our soul’s evolvement, learning to receive from and give to others.  And each person in your life plays a part in this process.

It is when we choose to see through the eyes of love and compassion that we glean what is necessary for our lives through our memories and relationships. This is what I learned on this journey this summer. I came to understand so much about my family, and though I may not have liked some things, I realized it had nothing to do with what any one person’s purpose was in my life or mine in theirs.  And in the process, we created new joyful and loving memories as a family and with new people that we met.

So the energy of Cancer, that of mother, love, family, nurturing was very prominent! During our trip, my sister-in-law, who was with us, lost her mother. My mother and hers knew each other and were friends. And so the energy of mother, childhood, and memories was very strong for all of us. And we honored our mothers in a private prayer over the beautiful ruins of the Roman Forum as the sun was setting in that golden unique color that is Rome!

And so take a moment to remember people in your life. Think back to your memories, pleasant and unpleasant, and see what emotions they awaken in your life. What can you learn from this emotion? What is it telling you about yourself? How can you use love, compassion, and forgiveness to integrate these emotions and allow them to be tools from here on out with the intent of creating new joyful memories? How can you turn pain into joy? And if your memories are all loving and joyful ones, how can you turn that into wisdom to touch the lives of others who may be in pain?

Enjoy this most apropos song by the most tuned-in guys who didn’t even know they were!


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