from the article…”I visited Beatrice and taught a class that was advertised on the bulletin board as “Learn to Meditate.” The experience confirmed two things for me. The first, which I thought of when I read Beatrice’s note, was that her articulation of her current difficulty—”I’m having trouble getting adjusted to this new circumstance”—is a lifelong problem for everyone.”
At the ripe age of 53 what I have finally realized is this: If I am not appreciated and accepted for who I am, faults and foibles included…not found that I am, overall, adored by my partner, and, of course, reciprocate all of the above in kind for said partner, then count me out. Tall order? Perhaps. But at this riper age I’ve finally realized that life is too short and too precious for me to spend my valuable time and energy loving a person(as defined above) who is unable or unwilling to reciprocate.
So I’ve subbed three times in the past few weeks at this wonderful elementary school. It really is a special place. I’ve found myself strangely drawn to the principal, who is married(to a man I’m willing to bet) and has kids. She really is a great principal. So today the school had its monthly awards assembly. Each month they recognize kids for good attitude, good grades, most improved academics, behavior, etc etc. And mostly all they do is read the kids names and have them stand up and then everyone applauds their success. It was a very enjoyable assembly…led by the principal. Suddenly it dawned on me: she totally reminds me of Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls!
So who knows? Maybe she is gay and married and somehow managed to become principal…though that seems a bit far-fetched even with all of the advances being made by the LBGTQ community. More likely she is one of those women who perks up a lesbians gaydar but whom is, in fact, straight, just not particularly feminine…
No matter. I will happily return to that school to substitute anytime they’ll have me back….not because of her, though her presence does not hurt a bit…but because it is a happy school.
Ok…that’s it for tonite.
Someone very dear to me is going through an incredibly difficult time because of the untimely and unexpected death of a very dear and long time friend of hers…Today on facebook I wrote this statement in response to the “what’s on your mind” prompt that tends to be at the top of a person’s facebook page:
“What’s on my mind…some thoughts about strength….Just because a person is strong DOES NOT mean that they do not hurt and struggle and falter, have doubts and fears on their journey…Their strength is in their persevering, getting back up, putting themselves back together…even taking a break before doing so…not in their imperviousness or lack of vulnerability…Those qualities are not ones of strength, IMO…they are something else…”
This subject of what strength is is something that this friend and I have discussed numerous times…mainly in the context of me telling her that I believe she is quite strong and she disagreeing with me…But I stand by what I’ve said to her in these discussions and what I said in my status today….I posted that status with her foremost in my mind…because she epitomizes strength, to me! So this post tonite is dedicated to this very dear and precious woman and to the memory of her very dear and precious friend…..two strong women…one who lost the battle and the other who continues to fight on day by day, hour by hour, sometimes just moment by moment….May she hold on through this time of tremendous grief to not just survive but to one day truly thrive again! She has much yet to give to the world and I’ve a feeling that were her friend here, she would feel the same way.
A few words to ponder….Was a quote posted on a friend’s facebook page…
So lots is going on in my life and lots has happened since my last post…Had “the talk” with my daughter about what my plans for our future are…think I mentioned in an earlier post that her dad and I have had “the talk” too. Looks as if we will all be moving to another state, where I have family, but daughter’s dad will not be living with us…just be close so he can be around to be a father to his daughter. She and I went to our future home state last week during her spring break…spent some time with family, did some wandering, visited the school she’ll be attending, located the school I’ll be attending, enjoyed the spring snow early in the week and spring sunshine a bit later in the week She took “the talk” well, but after our first full day visiting our future home had a meltdown, that I probably wasn’t supposed to know about, because it happened after i told her good nite. I heard something, thought she was calling me, went to check on her and found her crying. As it turns out I think it was good that I discovered her crying. She shared honestly….I listened…did my best to comfort….and did some crying of my own. The next day she felt better and the whole trip turned out to be a good one.
Still this was not my original reason for posting…Just thought a wee update wouldn’t hurt. So my reason for posting is because I’ve got “mindfulness” on my mind….mindfulness, neuropsychology, neuroscience and neuroplasticity…..These are all wonderful things that seem to complement each other in ways that are most hopeful and encouraging for those of us who struggle with ingrained habits of behavior, thought and feeling. I started with reading “Just one thing” by Rick Hansen….Discovered along the way the book, “Self-Compassion” by Kristin Neff…found a great website created by a woman and her husband, whose daughter committed suicide in her late 20s after years of struggling with depression. She is a veteran psychotherapist and he is/was…hmmm don’t recall, it’s primarily her gig, this website called: http://www.helpguide.org/about.htm . They designed it to provide, free of charge, a variety of tools to help people improve their level of emotional wellness. I also discovered another practicing psychotherapist, who also uses mindfulness in her work as a psychotherapist named Linda Graham who’s written a book just out called “Bouncing Back;rewiring your brain for maximum resilience and well being”….And there’s the book I’m listening to on CD by another psychotherapist and practioner of Vispassana, insight meditation, written by Tara Brach and last but not least, while on spring break at a lovely bookstore I purchased the book “the Now Moment” by Elisha Goldstein…. Yes there is totally a theme here….The theme is cultivating mindfulness as a means of helping oneself work with the neuroplasticity of one’s brain to achieve more well being in one’s life. It’s exciting stuff for me personally and I’m hoping professionally in my quest to become a counselor working with people struggling to overcome addictions.
So there you have it a bit of an update….Oh yes and there’s the whole “getting the house ready to put on the market” thing too, but that’s another blogpost I spose.
Cheers and Happy (whatever form it is currently taking in your neck of the woods) Spring!!
So my, far too far away, long distance love has had one hell of a week, and I do believe that is putting it mildly. A week ago earlier tonite(for it is still Friday where I am) my beloved learned that a very, very, very dear friend, a woman who has been like a sister(in that close, on the same page, kindred spirits, kind of way) for 20 years, had died very unexpectedly. Out of respect for her privacy and that of her friend and her friend’s family, I will not go into detail. Suffice it to say that this loss has broken my love’s heart and the hearts of many who knew and loved their friend, sister, aunt, daughter… It has now only been a week since her passing, though for my love and the many others who loved(and still love) their friend dearly, it must feel like a lifetime has passed from last Friday to this…as indeed it has.
For my part I’ve been going through my own changes, ones I’ve yet to share in my blog….though a previous post foreshadowed big changes in the year 2013….(I’ll provide an update on them in another post.) So, I’m going through my own life challenges, which really pale when seen in the light of another’s precious life gone from this world; but they are what makes up my life these days, as is also my caring and concern for my S.O as she travels through this very difficult time. I offered to find a way to come and be with her, but she told me that it wasn’t necessary…So I stayed here and have done my best to support her emotionally from across the country, through phone calls, voicemails, text messages, a cyber sympathy card…etc., while slogging through my own personal stuff. I’ve felt , very, very sad for her loss and for my loss of the opportunity to ever get to know her friend. I’ve felt concerned to the point of being quite worried about my beloved; helpless and frustrated.
So here I am and there she is….not together in the same region of the country, let alone the same state, city or residence. (and me still “married”, but not for much longer) From where I sit her week (and life, more and more as of late) has been, along with the grief at her huge loss, about connecting with people, about realizing the wealth of connections she has. Then, just this morning and again tonite, a week to the day that her friend died, she received even further important reassurance, from a most unexpected source…Again I will not go into detail…but out of the pain and heartache there looks to be some very wonderful beginnings of new, and a strengthening and deepening of already existing, connections for her.
I, on the other hand, have received my own messages regarding what some of my current life lessons are….They are, in some ways and these are the ones I will focus on here, very different from hers. I’ve been “married” for going on 15 years and during that time have given a whole hell of a lot of power away to my “husband”. I’ve become dependent on this family unit, as dysfunctional and unsatisfying as it is, at least in terms of the relationship with my (getting closer to being ex) husband…dependent to the point of having little to no confidence in my ability to support myself financially, let alone my daughter. Tonite though, I got a message of my own….though it came in a form quite different from S. O.’s…it is one that demands I pay attention.
My message came from my intuition…via my Tarot cards. I have a beautiful deck that I use and a great book called “A Magical Course in Tarot”. The author doesn’t believe in reverse cards and her descriptions of each of the cards in the deck are so positive and encouraging…two things I cannot get too much of. The way I use them is to shuffle, shuffle shuffle and see what cards, despite my best efforts at graceful shuffling, fall gracelessly from my hands. These are the cards I look at and get my guidance and/or clarification from. It was absolutely uncanny the cards that fell from my hand tonite. I do not have the patience to go over each of them but I will say that the cards that wanted to be read contained both much needed admonishments as to how I was, in the very moments immediately preceding my getting the deck out, tying myself up in mental knots which could end up in me unwittingly sabotaging myself. Less difficult to hear were the reminders to look at and recognize my strengths and gifts and plenty of encouragement to believe in my ability to be independent and more self-sufficient. They also reminded me of the “wealth and resources” I have in terms of family and friends and, it felt like, a further nudging me down the road towards relocation to a city where I have some family.
So I don’t know what the future holds for my love and me as a couple. I see her roots, in the town she has moved to, growing deeper and I am, for now, still married, though I have the divorce paperwork in my possession, along with, so far, no resistance from my “husband”. And though my plan is to move to a place that will be closer to her(as in a very long day’s drive as opposed to a long day’s plane trip) and to the same town as several of my family members, that is where I and my daughter will be staying while she attends high school. We will not be moving any closer to her for those four years. My hope is that with the dissolution of my marriage and my relocation that she and I will have more opportunities to be together and that out of that increased togetherness our relationship will only grow closer and stronger.
But I also have my work cut out for me in terms of growing my self-confidence and belief in myself, growth I believe will happen naturally, in part. as I get employed at a job that will help sustain me while I complete a training program for a new career(same one described in earlier posts just completed at a different institution and state) and take care of my daughter, getting her settled in a new home(owned but not lived in full-time by my sister) and a new school. Before that even there is a divorce to work through, a house to be readied for sale, put on the market(already spoken with a realtor and have an appointment for her to visit) and SOLD…etc. etc. Aargh!!! One of the first cards that fell out of the deck this evening was the 10 of wands, a card whose description stated, in part, that it was the card of “responsibility” bearing the message of “hard work and perseverance” and stating that i “may have over-committed” myself “or feel you(I am) are carrying the sole weight of an overwhelming situation”. But that’s what lists and putting one foot in front of the other are for.
So, despite my wish that we were together NOW, it seems that it’s not yet time for that. It seems that we each have blossoming and growing to do and lessons to learn as individuals on our respective life journeys…Whether these journeys will end up bringing us together in the same geographical location and in a partnered relationship remains to be seen; because we all know how unpredictable Life oft times is….what happens while we’re making plans, don’t ya know. One thing I have no doubts about is that I love her very much and ultimately does not really loving someone mean that you want them to find happiness and fulfillment in life, whatever form that ends up taking?
Oh yes, and there was one last message I received. A long time ago, back in my earlier incarnation as a lesbian, there was a woman’s bookstore that I used to frequent. At this store they had a dish that contained a deck of tiny “Angel” cards. Each card had one word written on it…words designed to encourage and inspire the person who pulled the card. Some of the messages on the cards were “purpose” “humour”, “creativity”, “openness”, etc. I always loved going into that store and finding out what message the “Angels” had for me by pulling a card. Well a while back I ran across a deck of those same “Angel” cards at a rummage sale at my church. The price was right so I bought them. Last nite(I’m finishing the post I started on Friday this morning, Saturday) after reading all of those involved messages from the other cards, I pulled one of the Angel cards…stuck my hand in the little basket i keep them in, picked up a bunch and let all but one drop away. The word on the card that remained clasped by my fingers? “TRUST”…