Updated: Jun 11
The Wine: Rise N Shine (Standing Stone Espresso & Mango Wine)
The Winery: ReKlaimed Vines Winery & Vineyard (Hundington, PA)
The W(H)ine: Reclamation Roadtrip (CA-AZ-NM-TX-OK-TN-KY-OH-IN-IL-WI-MN-SD-WY-UT-NV-CA)
Ever desired a Do-Over? A second (or third, or…) chance? Another crack at it (what/whomever “it” is)?
We ALL have them, no matter how evolved, healed, or spiritual. It IS the price of being human. It is also the proof of personal growth, perspective shift, and progressing maturity. Feeling regret means awakening to another way of doing life, a better way.
Anyone claiming no regrets is suspect in my book. I am in good company.
In her recently released #1 New York Times Bestseller, Atlas of the Heart, researcher and fellow social worker Brene Brown articulates, “To live without regret is to believe we have nothing to learn, no amends to make, and no opportunity to be braver with our lives.”
Here’s to you Brave Ones.
What we do once feelings of regret appear is where the magic (potentially) happens.
As do justified reactions driven by trauma-bonded biology, by no fault of our own.
We can wallow, numb, escape, attack, accept, acknowledge, reflect, resist, counter, correct, and a host of other options across the spectrum of human response. (My favorites – what are yours?)
When I was wee, my sense of self wholly depended on an oft-eruptive external environment that rendered me codependent, hypervigilant, and anxiously attached to anyone offering attention. The smallest movements left me breathless, as I held on to the only action over which I had control: the amount of oxygen inhaled/exhaled at any given moment.
(Maybe if I didn’t breathe long enough, the pain would go away.)
Flight. Fight. Freeze. Fawn. These four f-words describe my childhood existence, and many, many embarrassing decades since.
“Then when you know better, do better.” So, the gracious words of poet Maya Angelou.
I feel little shame now that I know better.
But shame was ALL I knew for many, many years, showing up in a plethora of perversions, including fear, inauthenticity, neediness, faking-it-until-I-supposedly-made-it, perfectionism, religious piety, parentifying my children, personifying my parents…
The picture isn’t exactly pretty…yet, oh, so Colorful. Expansive. Intricate. Deep.
At our core, no matter the layers of lived experience fraught with failures, frustrations, and frailty, we belong to the Universe.
Created in holy image, crafted for great destiny, and cultivated (even in our soured shame) for brilliant existence.
The journey that brings us to regret and to knowing better IS THE TRIP.
We trip up, so we can keep traveling. We train wreck, so we can find the track again. We lose because in so losing, we appreciate the gain.
(There is no healing without sickness. No triumph without tragedy. No reclamation without regret.)
Trauma. Drama. That was me, Momma.
I left my Ohio home five years ago…Hurt (physically by a spiteful ex), Hindered (professionally by a delayed education), and Hankering (profoundly by a deep inward longing) for a Life beyond the one (seemingly) handed me by others.
So, I took matters into my own hands. (DUH!)
I sold everything I owned except for Pearl (my Jeep), and most of my books and shoes (a girl’s gotta live, right?), and moved to California. My only plan was to escape the small town, the sordid beginnings, the suffocating past, and soak up sunshine as I explored new possibilities.
Changing my environment would inevitably change my history and thus, my future, right?
Yet, wherever you go, there you are. While I was indeed free externally from the purportedly toxic people in my life, I remained slave to unhealed trauma, maladjusted mindsets, and beleaguered biology.
Within three weeks, engrained patterns put me right back into the relationship quagmire that tripped me up all along.
Only the names changed.
Perniciously, over the next few years, I surrendered whatever minimal empowerment arose within me on that glorious 2017 cross-country road trip, and found myself reliving my past, only with different faces, places, and spaces.
Then. Came. Clarity. (Read: HEARTBREAK)
I took space from all the faces and places. And I just sat with myself.
I hired a trauma therapist. Then a life coach. I slept. A lot. (Alone.)
And began an entirely other trip: The Journey of Reclamation.
This one did NOT start with a cross-country move or any external shifts. This road led me to the roots of my soul, to parts of me long ignored, parts playing roles of protector, firefighter, manager, and exiler. The versions of Little Lisa longing for attention, love, and validation.
When one trauma-informed therapeutic modality concluded, I moved into another. And another.
Along this journey, I met Gypsy Gurl. She’s a wanderer. Such the curious one. She makes acquaintances easily, garners public attention quickly, and finds herself “at home” basically anywhere she lands.
Yet, she’s often lonely, insecure, and believes she has no true friend in the world, so fiercely self-reliant to her detriment. Asking for help is a mortal sin. Gypsy Gurl prefers running, hiding, and dying to admitting weakness and a need for others.
I adore her.
Gypsy Gurl was the part of me leading the charge as we bailed all-things Ohio and drove west. Gypsy Gurl was the part of me blaming the ex for the fight that broke my face. Gypsy Gurl was the part of me running away from home, yet desperately craving 50-year-old Lisa to not abandon her, to protect her from assailants, and to offer her perpetual safe haven.
Gypsy Gurl didn’t need someone to keep her together. She needed a safe place to fall apart.
I adore her.
And I have come to adore (and name) all the parts of me I’ve met on the healing journey.
Who knew that loving oneself (all of yourself) includes embracing internal “troublemakers” (“demons” is far too harsh a name for these wonderful wounded parts).
What parts of you await your attention? What stories beckon reclamation on new terms? What roads will you travel now that you KNOW better?
Wanna roadtrip with me? Pearl and I depart LA Sunday, June 19th and will be blogging our adventures as we cross country home to Ohio via new territory, visiting old friends, attending a wedding, a meditation retreat, a grandbaby, a host of progeny, and who knows what else the Universe has prepared for us.
#reclamationroadtrip Follow on Facebook & Instagram @whineonthevine @lisamaaca
“The biggest mystery in life is what happens next…” - Kim Cattrell, actress