Saturday, October 09, 2010

Gratitude and Humility

Let this be a rambling outpost tonight as I make an attempt to catch up to my thoughts and emotions which seem to be flying out of every orifous on my body! How's that for a pretty visual? 

Ok, let's start with 5 words, eh Beautiful Human Becoming GrandPip?


You know, sometimes all it takes is to find the words that attempt to describe the state of mind and heart for the uncluttering to begin.  You speak them, write them, express them and the power of the feelings lessen.  Focus begins to replace the flooding.  Awareness is invited through the door of the soul.  My 5 made up words brought me some smiling levity.  Silliness reigns!

Deep breaths....... in and out, in and out....... slow presence breathing....
Here's she goes....

Today started off well and then went into decline around 9 am after I left the Market when I allowed myself to relax and fully recognize the significance of Thanksgiving in my life and the lives of my family.   Hands down, it is the most loved dinner I prepare because the whole weekend is filled with the goodness of gratitude and the humility of stopping to remember the importance of sharing our harvest with others.   The meaning and the symbolism of preparing a meal with that in our hearts fills me with joy.  I love, love, love providing the meal for Thanksgiving.  So, it isn't surprising that I am having a tough time this weekend coping with the changes and the loss.

Since this morning, I have been shadow boxing with new and old ghosts.   Memories from way back of celebrating and giving thanks with friends and family in Spencer's Island and here in my home came marching into my presence.  Memories of last year's Thanksgiving celebration trumped all of them however, as I realized just how much my life had changed and I didn't even know it.  As much as I have tried to stop obsessing on this, I can't let go of the thoughts until I express them.  Do you have any idea how difficult it is to accept the fact that the life you were living and seeing one way wasn't that way at all?  It feels like a violation. It really does.

I am no victim.  I have no time for that mentality and I am fully aware of where my own head was at this time last year and how much it was impacting my marriage.  It was in stuck mode, trying to figure out what I wanted and trying my best to express myself.  However, I didn't express myself.  I was reacting all over the place.  Not responding. Reacting and making things much worse.  I couldn't be fully open to hearing what was being said and NOT said.  I was too angry and burnt out from years of shouldering things, which of course closed down any opportunities for intervention on my end.  And since I was the only one to have taken the lead on that, it wasn't going to happen.  I stopped asking.  I let resentment cloud my vision as I struggled to keep afloat trying to seek solutions. I was questioning everything, and the most predominant feeling I harboured was fear.  Yes, fear. I see that now.

  • I was afraid to take a real honest look because I knew it was ugly.
  • I was afraid to really see the disconnect and numbness being projected from the both of us.
  • I was afraid to push for openness because I didn't know how it would impact his health.
  • I was afraid I couldn't cope with maintaining the status quo or what the future held.
  • I was afraid that I would remain stuck and life wouldn't get any better.
  • I was afraid of being rejected even though I was already feeling its realness.

This is where I was at last Thanksgiving.  Truthfully afraid and incapable of helping to steer my marriage back to safe waters.  I was so foggy while defensively protecting myself that it wasn't until much later that I began to see the signs that someone else had already replaced me in the love department.  Today, a year later these revelations have surfaced.  I see the irony of it too because all along I have been told that my reactions and my expressed feelings scared him.  I scared him. 

Turns out how I was behaving and how he was behaving was out of fear. Fear begat fear.   Of course, I know now that he stopped loving me months and months before last Thanksgiving.  It was all a ruse. Even if I had lifted up out of my fears, it was too late.  Resignation had already happened.  I just hadn't been told yet.

So, where am I today?  Am I still fearful?  In some aspects of my life, of course I am but in a much healthier and productive way.   My courage is bright and shiny again.  Through the knee dropping humility and the comfort of learning, reflecting, expressing, grieving, grieving and grieving, I am finding my way as I continue multi-tasking throughout my days, and stepping out into new territories with a new feeling of freedom gratitude.  Insights, late nights, bright lights, and dark sights and a whole lot of tears has stripped me of the layers of resentment (though I have a way to go......).  So has the unconditional love and support of my friends and my family.  Thank God.  Thank you.

Life it seems is a process of neverending surrendering.  What gets me is that the more you surrender, the less afraid you become.  Who knew??? Maybe I missed this lesson when I was too busy stubbornly trying to be a fixer, failing at it and then giving up? Or maybe I misunderstood, thought it was a commercial and went to the kitchen to plug in the kettle?

  • I looked at the ugliness and it ran away, replaced by growing beauty.
  • I reflected on the reality of the disconnections and take ownership of my side of things, while learning to forgive myself and others.
  • I let go of the responsibility of his health issues and began to address my own.  I have more to do in this area, but I am taking it one day at a time.  I still have troubles sleeping.  The anxiety still kicks in when I am alone falling asleep, but it will leave soon.  Feelings are just visitors with messages.  They eventually go bother someone else.
  • I am not living in the status quo of last year.  I broke free and learned quickly that my wings will continue to unfurl, my potential only grows as I learn to let go, as I allow my confidence to meet up with my competence.  What stalls me at times is this unresolved fear of being rejected.  When you've experienced the ultimate rejection and that happens to be your trigger button, well........... it takes time.

What I fear the most did come true.  But guess what?  I didn't keel over and fall into a fetal position.  Ok, I did a couple of times, but let's just call that meditative moments shall we?  However, I didn't remain there.  I got back up.  Dusted myself off.  Put on a cute little black dress and got my sexy little butt out there in the world again with a bunch of new learning stuffed in my lacy push up bra.  

Why is it that our most important learning seems to have to germinate from an open wound?  Why is it that personal enlightenment and transformation only occurs in the middle of a messy shift?  Maybe the imbalance, lack of footing, discomfort hurt we experience is the best way of appreciating overcoming our fears.  Kicking at darkness until it bleeds daylight, sings Bruce Cockburn. There's a crack in everything.  That's how the light gets in., croons Leonard Cohen  I guess you've got to kick hard enough to make a few new light emiting cracks?  Beautiful Imperfection, writes Pip Wilson 

Tonight, I began this bloggie post with a scrambledeggs head.  I finish it in a very different place, with new awareness.  I will be attending a dinner at a new friend's place tomorrow surrounded by folks I will meet for the first time.  I'm very grateful and humbled that they are sharing their harvest with me.  I have much to be thankful for.  I know this deep in my heart. 

Happy Thanksgiving. 


Twain12 said...

Happy Thanksgiving !!

Jim in NB said...

The fear of rejection, particularly after the end of a long term marriage ... there are many of us that must face this internal beast. It is difficult not to see someone's choices as rejection. But that is all that it is, choices and preferences, not rejection. This was one of the toughest ones for me too because it seems so closely associated with trust at times. It took me years to figure it out and accept that we are all free to make choices and shouldn't perceive that is necessarily has anything to do with who we are. We must see them as nothing more.

awareness said...

Twain... I hope you're enjoying this beautiful (albeit nippy) Thanksgiving weekend.

Jim. Thank you for sharing some of your learning and perspective on this. I was rejected. That was his choice. His reality is that it does have to do with me. This is what I can learn from. How I handled it and what my role was in the demise. How I was being perceived.
Yes, we are free to make choices and live with the consequences and hope that the choices we make are based on solid ground. Our actions are our best attempt at getting our needs met. There is not much I can do with the choices made by someone else even though they impact my life journey in a earth moving way, except to choose how I process it, live it, and then let go of it right? I can wallow in it, or look at the situation through many lenses to resolve the residual feelings. Mistrust and rejection do seem to be partners in crime.
I had a conversation the other day with another counsellor. She was so eloquent in how she described it. She said that we can either remain stung in the heart, or we can step back and look at the gifts of self awareness and learning we have been offered. I am doing that. Eventually, my feelings will soften more and more.
The one thing that I learned just while writing this piece is how bloody afraid I was last year... how it paralyzed me. i'm not there anymore. In fact, the freedom and the clear open skies feeling I have now has washed away the fears. Just have to live through the "firsts" just once.

Happy Thanksgiving Jim. Smiling here.

Mavis said...

Happy Thanksgiving wonderful lady

Anonymous said...

I admire you so much, Dana. You embraced your fear which we all know is really hard to do. What a difference a year has made. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving XXX

awareness said...

Mavis...May you be surrounded by your family this weekend and enjoy it all. Take care. Perhaps will bump into one another in the melons section again soon??

Selma.... thank you. I hesitated to post this last night because it's so retchedly honest, but I thought... what the heck? Maybe someone can glean something out of it for their own reflections and life journey.
I'm so glad you are in my life and that this crazy blog world managed to bring the two of us together. Write on, Selma! Lets keep kicking until it bleeds daylight... you in Oz and me in the Great White North.


JP/deb said...

so much gratitude and healing in this ... there is a whole lotta life to live on the other side. love to you dana! xx, d