Mr, Cupcake at Craters of the Moon

Mr, Cupcake at Craters of the Moon
Mr. Cupcake at Craters of the Moon

Saturday, March 10, 2012

emotions run close to the surface

I'm nearing the end of this 21-day meditation challenge and it has been absolutely transformative for me. Not only have I learned a bunch of different meditation techniques, but it has also opened doors to the exploration of my inner self, things I have long ago buried but want to excavate and get rid of.

One of the things that comes up a lot with meditation and other new thought/new age practices is forgiveness. The idea is that once you forgive yourself and others, all that can be left is love. After one of the meditation exercises, we are encouraged to do one act towards forgiving someone who has caused us pain and suffering, and then one act towards forgiving ourselves for the pain and suffering we may have caused to others. It's easy to be dismissive of these things, to assume that I have already done this work and therefore I don't need to do it again. But that would not be true. I did the work, I wrote a letter to someone who had caused me pain and suffering from my past - not a letter that they would receive but that I needed to write to get it all out. I needed to write it because that person's name has come up in conversation with a number of friends recently and it has become glaringly obvious that I needed to process that baggage and move on. So I did that. That person can no longer hurt me. I will no longer avoid social functions in case that person will be there. I have forgiven that person for their own transgressions, and have accepted that they have their own lessons to learn as I do mine. I can let go of that resentment.

The other letter I wrote was to myself for the way I treated so-and-so. Again, I considered not doing this because it felt silly, but in the writing of this letter I had a moment of shifting consciousness, where some disparate thoughts of mine lined up, clicked together, and I had that wondrous A ha! moment. I can't tell you how freeing that was.

I'm not going into details about what happened to necessitate this forgiveness, it is unnecessary and irrelevant, and I certainly don't want to dig up that baggage. The point of my telling you this is that sometimes the work we are asked to do may seem silly or may not make sense, but our willingness to do the work is enough to unlock keys to previously closed doors.

I have titled this post "emotions run close to the surface" as that phrase came up in a recent conversation I had with a friend. It really resonated with me, as I have found that I am really emoting a lot these days, and it's a good thing. I feel a lot less blocked than I used to. When I was growing up, displays of emotion were simply not allowed in our house, and if I was upset, my father would threaten to "give me something to cry about" (as in a spanking). So I locked up my emotions, channeled them into teenage poetry, and went about my business of becoming an emotionally challenged young adult.

The turning point for me, the moment where I felt like I could allow myself to cry and cry in public, was the rehearsal for my sister's wedding in 2002. The marriage commissioner was running through his speech and the vows and I was overwhelmed with the feeling of love of everyone there. It surprised me then and it still surprises me now, ten years later. Sure I had cried for lost love before, but only in the silence of my own space, my room, or wherever I was alone. This was different, this was an opening and a realization that I could allow myself to feel these feelings and that they were healthy.

It's coming up to a year now that I have lived without my husband. I have certainly experienced a lot in these nine and a half months, lots of it loneliness and sadness for missing him, but I'm coming through that. Yes I still miss him and I'm sad that we're not together, but I am healing from all kinds of things. I am healing from the chest cold I had back in August (in fact, I do believe I am fully recovered!). I am healing from the anger and resentment that caused us to be in such a precarious predicament in Ucluelet, that drove us to be in our current state of separation 3,200 miles apart. I have been thrown into this circumstance now as an opportunity to spend time with family and friends, to be surrounded by people who love me, and in a way that I would not otherwise have experienced if I had been able to go with Dan last May.

In my adult life, I have not been able to spend much time with my sister. I love my sister tremendously, she is one of the best people on this planet, in my opinion. We have been lucky if we saw each other once a year. She was always one of those people with whom I felt like I never got to spend enough time with. Then when she had kids, I was sad about not getting to spend time with them. So, last summer, I had the gift of three months of being with them, being a part of their life, and getting to know their personalities while helping my sister.

In the fall, after being rejected at the border, I had another gift of time where I spent two months living with Zola and Thor, Dan's siblings, at his parents' house. I really learned the personalities of these people and how wonderful and gracious they are. It was amazing to me to be around people who are capable of only love and acceptance without judgement. As an added bonus, they appreciated my cooking as well. :-)

Then Toni and the Skipper opened up their home to me. I have been referring to this place as the Backyard Feast Retreat Center, complete with the Healing Chickens. Tomorrow I'll have been here three months, another gift of time. I have learned the rhythms of the house, deepened my relationships with my friends who consider me family as I do them. I have learned to communicate with the chickens and see how my cat interacts with them. I have healed from all kinds of things here, in a loving, restful, relaxing and nourishing environment.

So instead of being sad about how long I have been apart from my husband, I am choosing to view this now as a gift of time to have these healing and loving experiences. When I did the mediation about Love, I became overwhelmed by it and came to tears. I have so much love in my life and I am so thankful for that. I am thankful for the learning and growing I have been able to do here, as I develop my meditation practice and cultivate mindfulness. There is a loving exchange of energy as we build fires, cook dinners, spread compost on the raised beds, sneak some sunflower seeds to the favourite chicken, share stories, go sailing, gather firewood, and live our lives with joy. I miss my husband, but I am experiencing joy in this moment that I never thought possible. This comes from counting my blessings and choosing to view things only in the positive, I take delight in the smallest of things.

1 comment:

  1. Daffodils, sunlight, the wind in my back when cycling home.

    ReplyDelete