This will be most truthful and most difficult post I’ve ever written here. It will also be the last. A quick look at the declining level of activity here is the short story, but this place has always been about the long story, hasn’t it?
On March 17th, 2007, I started this project on Blogger. I was twenty seven years old, happily married, living in a starter home, working for a small manufacturer in town and taking my first college classes. I hadn’t written in ten years or so, and blogging was like a bearded guitar player with a wry grin and a few tattoos. Exhilarating, irresistible, and I was insatiable.
It’s always been about exploring the stories and feelings I wasn’t comfortable discussing in casual conversation. The point has always been release, perspective, wisdom, and the hope of giving my future children a better upbringing than I had.
That’s what every parent wants. It’s what my parents wanted, and they outdid themselves. They outdo themselves every single day. I wanted ‘the crazy’ to stop with me. I wanted to be the first generation to take it all on myself, and not let a drop of it color the blank slate of an innocent child.
Oh, if that were possible! I certainly had the market cornered on youthful idealism. The world had not had its way with me quite yet, although I would have insisted so back then.
Little did I know that in the years following my decision to write about my feelings and my life, it would collapse like a house of cards in slow motion. Estrangement, death, divorce, a pink slip, utter heartbreak, foreclosure and single parenthood- dreams marched off one by one to the little green room, rearing back on the leash at the smell of bleach and death.
Through all of that, it is the people I met through blogging that came like the soft glow of moonlight on all my darkest nights. Because I had the courage to show up here with all my nonsense, I came to know some of the most important people in my life today.
Let me stop here, and thank you for loving me with a consistency and a tenderness that wells up in my eyes whenever I consider it. Your grace, your humor, your compassion and generosity are all the magic I need in the world.
These pages are filled with the grasping of attachment and aversion. I would be hard pressed to provide a better example of what the suffering of self looks like. My past is a classic study in karma- a concept most people greatly misunderstand.
Karma is an energy, a tendency that follows us. It isn’t a cosmic punishment or a divine reward. It is only the manifestation of our perspective. We say there are three sides to every story, and my side is my karma. Your side is your karma. The truth is what we could see, if we knew how to look.
Part of my karma was thinking that I couldn’t access my true self without a man’s help. Having a partner since the age of seventeen caused me to identify the best part of me with loving him. Intellectually I understood that couldn’t be true, based on the worst of my behavior towards him, but emotionally it was a very deep root.
When we divorced, this deep belief that I couldn’t reclaim the joy, fulfillment, confidence and peace I found in being a wife without the sound of someone’s heartbeat in my ear caused a great deal of suffering. It also fueled some of my fondest memories.
Another part of my karma was believing that if a relationship ended poorly, it meant the other person never loved or appreciated me. My affairs went from whirlwind romance to cheap trick as soon as the wreckage cleared the intersection.
One of these men meant more to me than the others. As the quote goes, we stumbled into an intimacy from which we never recovered. Thank goodness, because I think we are both much better people for everything we put each other through.
I didn’t think I could love anyone with the same innocence and devotion the wasbund inspired in me. I just didn’t think it was possible, but I was wrong. Extremely wrong. Somewhere within, I was certain of this man’s love for me. I couldn’t explain it to you even now, but when he touched me I just felt it in every cell of my body.
The belief that this was just a delusion completely wrecked me. If I could be wrong about what I meant to him, then something must be very wrong with me. It’s one thing when things don’t work out.
It’s quite another to believe that your intuition is trying to kill you. Thinking that you meant very little to the great loves of your life and were too defective to catch the sick joke before it played out is some very painful karma.
With a great deal of humility and a kind and patient teacher, I’ve worked very hard to loosen this awful energy. Because I had the courage to show up with my nonsense, I’ve found another wellspring of kindness and belonging just when I need it most. They are a lovely bunch of people.
A few weeks ago, I found myself in front of this man I loved so deeply and his girlfriend. One good look at them explains everything you ever need to know about he and I. Some things are meant to be, and some things aren’t.
He gave me an incredible gift that night. He told me that our time together meant something to him, that he loved me as a person and he wanted me in his life. He told me that I mattered.
The peace his words bring me is immeasurable, and I am forever grateful. Still, it took one more lesson to wake up, one more stone unturned. It was a painful little lesson, but it left no doubt in my heart. I’ve been looking for permission to be who I am.
I had to realize that we are just like the wildflowers that pepper the forest floor. They bloom with or without our company. Being appreciated doesn’t make them beautiful, their true nature does. The ego wants someone to admire its bursting buds and await the unfurling of its petals with eagerness. The flower just blooms.
All of the stories I told here taught me most of what I know about myself and the universe. They are a vast ocean and a single tear, and I wouldn’t be where I am without them- ready to let go of the past and start something new.
once upon a time, wise men told a beautiful woman that the entire universe dwells inside her. so she decided to sit still until she could see it clearly.
It’s going to be a lovely story. I can just tell.
If you’d like to follow along, let me know.
September 23, 2013 11 Comments