Discover more from Thrive
Soaring Isn't Always Easy
When the Divine tells you to do something you think would NEVER happen, and it does, it may be wise to follow Their lead ...
This may sound weird, cheesy… Hallmark Channel level of cheesy, but here goes.
My relationship with my brother has been rough for a long time and really rough this past year. We hadn’t talked in a while because of a boundary I set (well-deserved boundary, I believe).
Tuesday night, Dan and I watched a show called “The Morning Show.” It is on AppleTV+ and features Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. We are almost caught up after burning through the first two seasons.
The last episode we watched had a plot line similar to the dynamic between my brother and I. Reese Witherspoon’s character has a drug-addicted brother who can’t seem to stay on the wagon of sobriety and suffers from frequent relapses. I will not say that is what my brother deals with or not, but it is similar, and the dynamic in our family is the same.
In that episode, she and her brother had a HUGE falling out, and she handed him an envelope of cash and dropped him off at a rehab center that he didn’t stay at and disappeared. When she dropped him off, she said she was done. The last time I ever gave my brother money was over ten years ago, and I dropped him off somewhere (not a rehab) and drove off crying. I was done. While the situation unfolded on the screen, it was all I could do not to burst into tears.
Well, on the show, they depict when COVID breaks out shortly after their blow-up, and she doesn’t know where her brother is. She is terrified for him. She desperately starts searching homeless camps and pushes her pride aside to tweet out that she is trying to find him. Reese’s character is a morning show anchor with many followers, and someone saw him at a local hospital. She ran to the hospital that was overflowing with COVID patients, broke all the protocols, and ran into the back of the ER and found her brother. He had COVID, had been homeless for weeks, and he looked horrible. They both embrace and break down in tears.
And I shed a tear surprised at how moved I was by the scene. I had no idea what was going on with my brother as well and panic rose up in my heart.
At that moment, I swear to the Divine that an inner voice said, if you hear from your brother, you need to respond and help. I didn’t react well to the thought but took note. Do you know what happened the next day? Yep, he called, and I stunned and amazed, answered the phone because I still have his number in my phone.
He told me he was planning a surprise visit from California to visit our parents in Central Florida. Didn’t ask for any help and would be here on Friday (two days ago). He didn’t ask me to wire any money; he arranged all his travel and lodging and wanted to know if I wanted to see him and visit our parents (who also live in this area.) I said with that Divine prompting in my head, “Sure, yes, let’s do it.”
I offered to drive us down to their house, and I was nervous and scared of what could happen. To say that the dynamics between him and me are bad is nothing compared to how bad things had gotten between him and my parents. That’s not my story to tell, but let’s say I was pleasantly surprised they agreed to see us, and so we went down the Interstate an hour and a half to their house yesterday.
My nervous meter was off the charts; just waiting for the next shoe to drop or patterns of old behavior to manifest. They didn’t. Plus, about an hour into the journey, I saw two *gorgeous* bald eagles flying over the Interstate. It was windy, so they circled up and down, enjoying the bright blue sky and updrafts. Bald eagles symbolically mean something VERY specific to me.
When I was in counseling for my PTSD, my doctor (an actual therapist, not a conversion quack) led me through some EMDR sessions. I would pray before each one, and during one, I had a … vision, I think. spiritual Imagination? just plain imagination? Whatever it was changed my life in the span of a 50-minute session.
What unfolded was something where bald eagles represented the Divine and my relationship. A deep soul assurance that by working through all that pain, I would break free from learned helplessness, begin to thrive, and soar in my authentic self. This post isn’t about that but the whole story will be in my memoir.
So when I saw the pair of bald eagles, all fear and worry left me—all of it. Even so, I didn’t understand the purpose of all this for my journey, and again, what I am choosing to call the Divine said to me, “This isn’t about you. It’s about your brother and your parents. You are only in this to facilitate something happening between them, and keep your heart open.”
We arrived at their house, ate roast beef sandwiches, watched the Texas A&M vs Ole Miss game, and just hung out. Nothing profound, no fireworks, just hanging out. My mother had a stroke a couple of years ago, and my brother hadn’t been home to see her and was worried sick for her. She is doing really well and he was so relieved to see that and seemed at peace during the visit. When she kept falling asleep (early evening), we decided to go. Mom and my brother got very emotional when we left.
That was the moment. That moment right there was why this all happened.
I don’t know what happened within them in that divine moment with no words, and I don’t want to assume, but something did, and I have a very deep feeling it was good.
When we left, I dropped him at the airport on the way home, and off he went. It was a speedy trip.
All day today, I am like, what was THAT all about? I think I figured it out and that is why this post manifested. Of course, I did extract a personal lesson out of it all. Sometimes, my “soaring” is to remain confident in navigating relationships. That unconditional love knows what She* is doing, even when I don’t know what I am doing in response to Her. There is nothing wrong with healthy boundaries until they impede the healing of others. Unconditional love isn’t a doormat, but it isn’t supposed to be a barrier to progress in our or someone else’s relationships.
Also, the Divine is always speaking, even through AppleTV and Reese Witherspoon!
It’s on me to listen and follow Her lead.
*I believe now that the Holy Spirit is a feminine energy so I use feminine pronouns for that aspect of Their Being. I use Them/They because I do ascribe to the Trinity at the base of Christianity and carry it further to all manifestations of the divine. That’s a whole other post that might happen later :).
Thrive is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.