within me exists a universe of delightful sparkling stars and densely heavy planets of swiftly swimming salmon thoughts and lumbering whale-sized emotions of chartreuse green ideas springing to life and ones yet to form under the depths of winter’s ice
“Alas, there’s the sound. The queen requests her tea.”
I watched as my friend Ray poured hot water into a tall white mug over a bag of Earl Grey tea. He smiled at me then padded softly into the bedroom where his wife Bonnie lay rousing from sleep. It’s a ritual they do every morning — Ray being an early riser and Bonnie needing a nudge to greet the day. She gently calls and he answers by bringing her a cup of hot tea
As I mentioned in a previous post, a few years ago I started a habit of choosing a word for the year. The word then becomes a motto or a theme I’d like to practice.
The year I went through my divorce, my word was release. It felt like the right word after so many years of struggling to make my marriage work. I needed to release all of the things that no longer worked for me.
Last year my word was explore. With COVID still on the rampage, I figured at least the great outdoors would be open. ‘Get out and explore’ became my motto.
When I’m faced with a situation and not sure what to do or believe, a friend told me to get still and listen to my gut–that it knows.
But I have a problem with getting still.
When I am still, the silence can be agony for me. When I wait for an answer to an important question, a text reply from someone, or a response from an on-line blog on a piece I submitted, and sit in silence, it can be agonizing. When I am still, my mind makes up all kinds of stories to fill the silent space.
One sunny, Sunday morning, I walked down to a local bakery for a muffin. It was a beautiful day and I decided to sit at a table outside of the store and enjoy my treat right there.
A middle aged man walked up with a long haired dachshund. The dog was adorable–with curly, reddish brown fur and one blue eye and one green eye. He tied the dog outside and went in for his own bakery treat.
As the dog stood there waiting, he was alert and perky, looking up at everyone as they passed by. I watched as people pointed at the dog and smiled. Some stopped to bend down and pat his head. The dog wagged his tail in thanks, and generously smiled back in his own dog-like way. Everyone who interacted with him walked away smiling.
Although that may be true for him, what I know for sure is that when I fight reality, reality always wins.
When I fight the way my body looks When I fight the truth about a relationship When I fight the way people really are When I fight what my situation looks like…it’s a losing battle.
When I fight reality, I suffer. Because when I fight reality, reality always wins.
So in this new year, my goal is to stop fighting reality and instead to see and accept things as they are without judgement. I cannot force people or situations into being anything different than they are at this point in time. Maya Angelou’s wise statement, “When people show you who they are you have to believe them,” can be applied to any situation. I have to believe and accept the reality of both who people are and the way things currently are.
I have noticed that for most people, the word divorce rolls off the tongue like any other word, but it is not that way for me. When I try to say it, I feel my throat tighten and when someone else says it, I feel myself flinch. The word holds pain and sorrow–so much so that when asked about my marital status, I prefer to say I am no longer married rather than using that word.
For a short period of time, I was seeing a great life coach who helped me with many things, one of which was re-framing this aspect of my life. She encouraged me to come up with my own definition for the word. I tried to see beyond what I was experiencing at that time, and came up with this definition:
Divorce: A deep, dark, difficult decision, out of which rises a door, through which discovery, development and a new direction are possible.