Monday, May 17, 2010

breath of kindness

Yesterday I was asked how my previous week had gone. My impulsive response was all negative. I had gone to Prince Edward Island on my own to attend a conference which turned out to be very difficult emotionally.  I was away from family and friends.... away from the supportive people in my life who have been helping me retain my footing and allowing me to lean on them when I've needed to.    
It left me flooded and flailing, unable to sleep. Surrounded by hundreds of people I didn't know, I was lost.  The initial shock I have been living under, which for the most part has jolted me with adrenaline and a protective shield around my confidence had completely disappeared.  Instead, I was raw.  Ironically, the conference was filled with Counsellors and Psychotherapists and I couldn't put my hand up and ask for help. 
Last night, when I was able to settle into a more peaceful silence beyond the busy trappings, I was able to recognize just how rich the week truly was. It encompassed way more than the trip to PEI.  What I have found is that the pace of the days are impossible to keep up with as far as being able to step outside of them and truly weigh all that is happening......... both on the inside and the outside.  Mostly the inside.  I haven't been able to lift above the smoke like you would do when you're not dealing with critical changes to do as the George Eliot quote suggests......
".....pouring them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.”

.....this is holistically so important isn't it?  Especially now.  I am learning how to do that.  Because, what may seem so emotionally catastrophic while in the midst of it gains rationality when you can step away from the event/moment to recognize the size of it in comparison to the bigger more important things living life offers. 

Once I was able to reflect quietly last night, the innumerable moments which I had allowed to be overshadowed began to lift into sight.  Their lovelights caught my eye and they took precedence over the more wretched moments.  I took the time to see just how blessed I am. The caring loving people in my life, particularly the ones I connected with this week, either face to face over deep conversations, or through email, phone calls are a bouquet of love. 

Of all the gifts I have been provided through the course of this personal experience, the gift of love and compassion from others is so abundantly beautiful.  I couldn't even count how many amazing conversations and connections I have made in the course of these two months.  And they continue...... sharing, revealing, deeply emotional on both sides of the conversations....... it gives me energy.  it feeds my emptiness.  it allows me to do the same for the other person too. 
I'm learning at a deeper level that once you can reach a point where two hearts open up to honest feelings, the eloquence of spiritual kinship glistens like a beautiful bow on the gift.  Dreams, fears, confessions, secrets, hopes, sadness, doubt, ideas, previous learning, tears and joy are all revealed by the stories we have shared.  It puts a very different face on how I had described my week.  
Quickly it altered into a collage of loving faces.......some who live nearby, some who live in other provinces and countries,  and some whom I've never even physically met before but have become close to through my writing.  Beautifully shaped, all shades......... caring eyes.  Lovelights of kindness and concern.... of joy and compassion.

Keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness......... blow the rest away.   When we can sit in the quiet safety, our ability to dwell in kindness..... for self and others........ resonates from within.  Last night, I sought out where I live best, cradled by God's Hands, and with His support, blew away the chaff from the wheat with a heart glowing in kindness again. 

Last week brought heartache and loneliness.  It wrenched memories right out into the open and made me feel raw.  I was forced to recognize that the family vacations we have enjoyed so much in the past are now forever altered..... that friendships we have as a family with other families are now in flux.  I fell into a pit of memories..........good ones, but with a searing nostalgic sadness and I couldn't climb out of there on my own.  It will take time to accept these changes.  I will continue to grieve.  But, I am also learning how to step out of loathing and into gratitude. 
Last night...... certainly helped soften the edges, leaving me with a handful of sifted gifts.  All glistening gems.....
Gratitude offered me solace as well as inspiration to anticipate another week that hopefully will be like my beautiful Saint John river........ surprised by the joy of its meandering unfolding.  Bring it on.  My Dad arrives Wednesday. :)


OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

What a horrific time this is, my dear...and yet---maybe it will bring you to another plane, in time. Going through all this pain of loss and change---it has got to be Heart Wrenching in every way.
I couldn't help but think of your children and what this massive change is doing to them and inside them....Having been a child of seperation and divorce myself, it throws one off into a very shaky place--like walking the tightrope with no net. And I know it has to be that for you, too. The ups and downs---intense and unsettling to say the least. The Heart so bruised...I feel for you in this journey, dear Dana. I send you Big Big Hugs and some hope, too.

awareness said...

Hi Naomi... thank you for your love and support. Each day brings a bouquet of feelings and issues and we're doing our best to "ride" those unexpected waves. They do arrive loaded with surprising intensity. Undoubtedly we're all unnerved and we're doing our best to support each other and have the people in our lives surround us. It is massive. The anxiety and the sleepless nights do take their toll. The consequences are not fully known. Having said all that, my feeling right now is that we are managing pretty well. It's exhausting and we all look forward to downtime this summer. Right now, the structure keeps us in line and as focused as we can be and let the tears falls when they come knowing they bring strength.

Anonymous said...

You know what? I am really glad for this blog because I hope it is helping you make sense of your feelings, to deal with the rollercoaster ride of emotion.

Writing things out always helps me. I hope it is doing the same for you. You are a strong and inspiring lady. I take my hat off to you .

awareness said...

Hi Selma...yes it is helping, and I hope it helps others because our feelings are universally shared.
I am doing many many things in my life right now that are all a part of sorting out where I'm at and where I'm headed. From the practical scary stuff to spending time conversing with a person whom I have always wanted the opportunity to receive some guidance from, to being still long enough to find that core inside me, writing is one component. It all helps tremendously.
For the most part I am optimistic and hopeful. I am grounded too, but full, full, full of ideas. My faith grows daily....I can't even harness it right now. I can only describe my personal journey right now as sacred. This encompasses the massive emotions, but also a sense of surrendering I've never experienced before. My awareness, and my need to feed it is insatiable.
What I've been writing here only scratches the surface, because i don't have time to capture it all. I would love to, but now is not the time. Now is the time to be open to change and to shifting as well as learning how to forgive and let go of my long pent up resentment. Bit by bit, it's happening........
I'm exhausted, but for the most part in a good place. :)

Susan Deborah said...

Dear Dana:

I haven't been stopping by the 'eye' and today coming here has enabled me to ponder and reflect on many aspects of life. As someone remarked, I am glad that you choose to write and share with us your innermost landscape. You speak to each of us in different ways. Thanks.

I am also glad that you are opening up to the introspection that different occasions provide.

I pray that in the most silent valleys may you see the lessons that are being showered upon you.

Wishing you courage and passion always,

awareness said...

Susan, thank you for keeping an eye on me. As much as it can be a struggle to get to that place of peace and consequences, it is always well worth the efforts.

I wish I had time to write more often these days.....

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awareness said...

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Nelro said...

Your eloquent words take me back nearly four years to when our then eleven year old daughter asked, "What about family vacations?" That was her first immediate concern when her father told our children he would be leaving the family home. I am now in a place where I can reflect on our past happy vacations without feeling crushed or angry. I still worry, however, how this life-changing event will affect my children in their future lives and wonder if I will ever forgive my ex for letting them live this experience.

awareness said...

Nelro. Thank you for commenting. It was one of the first questions asked here too, as well as wanting to know how Christmas and birthdays etc were going to be handled. It is heartbreaking to even have to consider altering these important family gatherings. Even i wonder about what Christmas morning is going to be like.
Its all a year of firsts just like grieving .... emotionally angering and sad.
There are no real answers that are firm. The rules for this stuff have to be fluid as far as I can glean.

Nelro said...

"The first year is the hardest" as one of my friends kept telling me and it is indeed true, I am sorry to say. My family was altered just weeks before Christmas and so I experienced the loss of this holiday very quickly. It passed in a fog and was thankfully over. I have learned to make new traditions and a new family unit which sustains me. Lean on friends and let the grief and sadness come out - wherever and whenever it wants. It must come out but you probably already know that. I remember "the ambushes" very well and still have a few even now.
Take care and my prayers are with you.

awareness said...

Hey Nelro! I am doing all the things you recommend. thank you. ;) It was wonderful to meet you last night..... great serendipity! Congratulations on your big achievement.... and I hope we'll have an opportunity to sit along the Saint John River sometime this summer and enjoy a glass of wine together.... D. can come too!