Meditations for Queer Femmes — Ghosts and Love

We’ve all of us queer femmes lost people. It’s just part of being human. And it’s human to miss those people from time to time, even the ones with whom we had extremely conflicted relationships. We’ve lost people through death, physical or emotional distance, no good reason it just happened, and then for we queers, coming out can shift friendships and family connections subtly, dramatically, dangerously.

Sometimes I think about my college roommate, with whom I came of age in so many ways. Sometimes I think about my mother’s mother from whom I learned so much and who I loved so deeply; I wish I had been brave enough to come out to her before she died. Sometimes I think about my aunt, my cousins, various childhood friends, even people with whom I had only short but very intense relationships, sexual and otherwise. Faces, intimacies, and shared moments can pop up, surprising, saddening, stirring up all kinds of emotions. Powerful ghosts.

On a walk recently, I began to explore the possibility of being able to connect with my elder son despite the fact that he’s currently choosing not to communicate with me. Talk about a powerful ghost. I wake up in the night with regrets about his childhood, memories that torture me about his high school years when he began drinking and drugging and how little I understood what was going on with him, how worried I was and how clueless. Could I have done other, better, more? The answer is no, of course not, I could only work with the information I had, and during the day, when I can get to an Al-Anon meeting or just think things through, I know this. During the night, I am very often at the mercy of demons.

The same day I started trying to figure out how to talk to my son even though he won’t talk to me, a femme friend reminded me of the practice of metta, or loving kindness. It’s pretty simple. Love on yourself. Love on specific people. Love on everyone. And because it’s a chant, a prayer, an offering, you can memorize it and say it in the middle of the night when you’re tortured and also when you have a few moments or as part of a regular practice. I don’t think there’s one way you have to say it; my friend says go ahead and make up your own version, using the most soothing and comforting words that make sense for you.

One version is:

May I be filled with lovingkindness

May I be held in loving kindness…

May I feel connected and calm…

May I accept myself just as I am…

May I be happy…

May I know the natural joy of being alive…

You start with yourself, then move on to a specific person. Or you can just go straight to the specific person:

May you be filled with lovingkindness

May you be held in loving kindness…

May you feel connected and calm…

May you accept yourself just as you are…

May you be happy

May you know the natural joy of being alive…

Sometimes I just say, short and sweet:

May you be safe.

May you be happy.

May you be free from harm.

We can’t always stay connected in the way we want with those we love. I miss my sweet boy and worry about him, and I am holding onto the hope that one day he will be ready to reconnect. In the meantime, I can send him love, and in so doing, remember to release myself into love as well.

Dear femme sisters, remember today to turn your transcendent femme love on yourselves and on some of those difficult ghosts from your beautiful, complex lives. Turn it up, turn it on, turn it around. Your queer femme love is a healing force and you are filled with power.

Take that, demons!

Every Monday, I offer a Meditation for Queer Femmes in the spirit of my maternal grandmother, Mimi, who was fabulous, kind, and wise and from whom I inherited her Meditations for Women.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”)

 

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. May we be held in loving kindness. xoxo


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